Can we become Buddhas?

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jasday
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Can we become Buddhas?

Post by jasday » Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:14 pm

There seems to be a lot of different terminology respective to 'enlightened ones': tathagata, buddha, bodhisattva, arahant, etc.

What is the difference amongst these different definitions that make them different. Of course a bodhisattva is someone is going to be a buddha in a future life but would that mean I would be a bodhisattva as well? I know a arahant is someone who is enlightened and became enlightened through the help of a buddha. Does this mean if we became arahants that we could, many aeons from now, be reborn as a perfectly enlightened buddha, to teach devas and humans alike?

Or is a arahant someone who becomes enlightened purely for the objective of purifying oneself and passing to nirvana only to teach a smaller audience?

Are they the same thing or are they different. And if they are different, which one would we become?

:thanks:
:namaste:
:anjali:

dharmacorps
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Re: Can we become Buddha's?

Post by dharmacorps » Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:23 pm

In depends who you ask. Since you are on a theravada forum, you will likely get an answer sounding something like this: there is no evidence from the Pali Canon or the Early Buddhist texts that the Buddha taught people to become "Buddhas" or "Bodhisattvas". He did say there have been just over 20 Buddhas throughout the whole of existence, but many arahants. To follow the path of the Buddha to completion is to be an arahant, a state of total liberation. That is the highest and best goal. When I was first studying Buddhism, I found the idea of Bodhisattvas and Buddhas interesting, but ultimately confusing. I wish you steady progress however you come to understand things! :anjali:

jasday
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Re: Can we become Buddha's?

Post by jasday » Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:30 pm

Thank you for the response.

2600htz
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Re: Can we become Buddha's?

Post by 2600htz » Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:36 pm

Hello:

It is not possible for an arahant to be reborn and become a buddha, once you attain arahanship that will be your last birth, there is no more becoming.
A bodhisattva is a being that makes a determination to become a future buddha, actually some people say that in order to do it they have to make the choice in front of a previous buddha and have certain potential, but pretty much everyone agrees that after that you have to spend a huge period of time working (many contractions and expansions of the universe, long long long time).
The Blessed One said, "The Tathagata — the worthy one, the rightly self-awakened one — is the one who gives rise to the path (previously) unarisen, who engenders the path (previously) unengendered, who points out the path (previously) not pointed out. He knows the path, is expert in the path, is adept at the path. And his disciples now keep following the path and afterwards become endowed with the path.

"This is the difference, this the distinction, this the distinguishing between one rightly self-awakened and a monk discernment-released."
Regards.

jasday
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Re: Can we become Buddha's?

Post by jasday » Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:15 pm

Thank you, friend! :namaste:

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Re: Can we become Buddha's?

Post by Zom » Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:04 pm

Re: Can we become Buddha?
Yes, there is such possibility. The probability though is quite low. Some quadrillion times less than winning 500 mln $ jackpot 8-)

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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: Can we become Buddha's?

Post by Lucas Oliveira » Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:16 am

dharmacorps wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:23 pm
That is the highest and best goal. When I was first studying Buddhism, I found the idea of Bodhisattvas and Buddhas interesting, but ultimately confusing. I wish you steady progress however you come to understand things! :anjali:
I recently saw a story that might show a little about this confusion
It depends on what one is willing to accept as evidence. Paccekabuddhas are lauded in the Apadāna and the commentaries, so presumably the authors of these texts thought that aspiring to paccekabodhi was an admirable thing to do — and something that some people had in fact done.

Also in Thai forest tradition hagiographies a very common apadānic component is the would-be arahant bhikkhu’s encounter with some seemingly insurmountable impediment to his progress, followed by the discovery that what’s impeding him is a past-life vow he had made to attain either paccekabodhi or anuttara sammāsambodhi. The bhikkhu then has to decide whether to stick to that vow and continue developing the ten perfections or to abandon it and strive for arahatta in the present life. In every case that I know of it’s reported that the bhikkhu opted for the latter. Sometimes this is easy: the bhikkhu simply makes a resolve to relinquish his former vow. But in some of the more colourful stories this relinquishing is beset with problems, most often because the vow had been made in conjunction with other persons.

For example, it is reported of Ajahn Weun that he and his past-life wife made a somewhat oxymoronic vow that they would attain paccekabodhi together . They then spent many aeons cultivating the perfections as husband and wife until the present age, when Weun was born as a human and his former wife as a female nāga. When Weun ordained and began doing things conducive to arahantship the nāgī wasn’t very happy about it and paid him a visit to remind him of their joint vow. Weun told her that he wanted out of saṃsāra and had decided to strive for arahatta in the present life.
“Oh no, you’re not!” exclaimed the outraged nāgī and then threatened that she’d make his life hell if he didn’t quit striving for arahatta.

There then follows a long narrative of all the mischief the nāgī got up to to wreck Ajahn Weun’s meditation. The story ends with Weun paying a visit to Sakka in the Heaven of the Thirty-Three, who teaches him a garuḍa-attracting mantra. From then on, whenever the snaky ex-wife comes to bother him, Weun just recites the mantra and a flock of garuḍa birds (the mythical enemies of nāgas) appear and chase her away.

https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/re ... tc/8660/48

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dylanj
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Re: Can we become Buddhas?

Post by dylanj » Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:33 am

Yes but the world needs arahants right now & if we are compassionate we will aim for the highest state of awakening as soon as possible in order to benefit ourselves & others here & now.

Anything else is Mahāyāna misunderstanding of the Dhamma & whatever difference there is between Buddhas & arahants.
susukhaṁ vata nibbānaṁ,
sammā­sambud­dha­desitaṁ;
asokaṁ virajaṁ khemaṁ,
yattha dukkhaṁ nirujjhatī


Oh! extinction is so very blissful,
As taught by the One Rightly Self-Awakened:
Sorrowless, stainless, secure;
Where suffering all ceases


etaṁ santaṁ etaṁ paṇītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭi nissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṁ

This is peaceful, this is excellent, that is: the stilling of all preparations, the relinquishment of all attachments, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation, extinction.

rightviewftw
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Re: Can we become Buddhas?

Post by rightviewftw » Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:27 pm

MN22
Both formerly and now, monks, I declare only stress and the cessation of stress.

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Can we become Buddhas?

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:08 pm

dylanj wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:33 am
Yes but the world needs arahants right now & if we are compassionate we will aim for the highest state of awakening as soon as possible in order to benefit ourselves & others here & now.

Anything else is Mahāyāna misunderstanding of the Dhamma & whatever difference there is between Buddhas & arahants.
What on earth do you mean?

You have an "anything else", is that in relation to your first point?

I think that by saying "yes but the world needs arahants right now" you may possibly be exhibiting a "Mahāyāna misunderstanding of the Dhamma & whatever difference there is between Buddhas & arahants" according to the tradition represented on this forum.
Last edited by Coëmgenu on Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Can we become Buddhas?

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:15 pm

jasday wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:14 pm
There seems to be a lot of different terminology respective to 'enlightened ones': tathagata, buddha, bodhisattva, arahant, etc.

What is the difference amongst these different definitions that make them different. Of course a bodhisattva is someone is going to be a buddha in a future life but would that mean I would be a bodhisattva as well?
Italics mine.

Since this is a Mahāyāna term, a brief foray into Mahāyāna Buddhism may be warranted, followed by a segue and brief foray into EBT studies to make this post on-topic:

In Mahāyāna Buddhism:
1) an arhat is a buddha,
2) a bodhisattva is a buddha*, and
3) a buddha is a buddha.

Arhantaḥ are also called "śrāvakabuddhāḥ" (sing. śrāvakabuddha).

*A bodhisattva who has attained the dharmameghābhūmi (the last stage of bodhisattvayāna, meghā is 'cloud', bhūmi is 'gound/stage', the dharma-cloud-ground is so named because at this stage one is like a 'dharma cloud', sending the 'dharma as a rain' unto all things, impartial to differentiations, nourishing life, as in the Mahāvaipulyabuddhāvataṃsakasūtrasya Dasabhūmikaparivartaḥ) is a tathāgata in the Mahāyāna.

Once you have bodhisattvāḥ that are also buddhāḥ, the parsing of the term "bodhisattva" as "awakening-being" really becomes prominent.

It is interesting to note that it is very possible that "bodhisattva/awakening-being" may be an incorrect Sanskritization. Some speculate the original as "bodhisakta/awakening-seeking". This stance informs, for instance, the translation of the verenable Sujato on SuttaCentral:
Ven Sujato on SuttaCentral wrote:In the EBTs, bodhisatta is almost always used of the period of striving between leaving home and awakening, and there, "one intent on awakening" has a perfect sense. Regardless of how you construe the terms, the sense of the term must be something like that in the EBTs, so I translate, for example:

Pubbeva me, bhikkhave, sambodhā anabhisambuddhassa bodhisattasseva sato etadahosi
Mendicants, before my awakening—when I was still unawakened but intent on awakening—I thought:
However there is already a very, very, very, well-established Theravāda mainline tradition of reading bodhisatta as bodhisattva. Bodhisakta is a (correct or incorrect) speculation of EBT studies. In light of that, both meanings/parsings/readings work fine in the Mahāyāna (excluding bodhisattvā on the dharmameghābhūmi), Pāli, and other EBT-material alike.
---------
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Coëmgenu wrote:Once you have bodhisattvāḥ that are also buddhāḥ, the parsing of the term "bodhisattva" as "awakening-being" really becomes prominent.

It is interesting to note that it is very possible that "bodhisattva/awakening-being" may be an incorrect Sanskritization. Some speculate the original as "bodhisakta/awakening-seeking". This stance informs, for instance, the translation of the verenable Sujato on SuttaCentral:
Ven Sujato on SuttaCentral wrote:In the EBTs, bodhisatta is almost always used of the period of striving between leaving home and awakening, and there, "one intent on awakening" has a perfect sense. Regardless of how you construe the terms, the sense of the term must be something like that in the EBTs, so I translate, for example:

Pubbeva me, bhikkhave, sambodhā anabhisambuddhassa bodhisattasseva sato etadahosi
Mendicants, before my awakening—when I was still unawakened but intent on awakening—I thought:
However there is already a very, very, very, well-established Theravāda mainline tradition of reading bodhisatta as bodhisattva. Bodhisakta is a (correct or incorrect) speculation of EBT studies. In light of that, both meanings/parsings/readings work fine in the Mahāyāna (excluding bodhisattvā on the dharmameghābhūmi), Pāli, and other EBT-material alike.
Since this is the "Discovering Theravāda" subforum, the above might do with some contextualization.

"Bodhisattva" is the normative understanding of the meaning of the Prākrit term bodhisatta. You may notice this as identical to the Pāli bodhisatta. This is because Pāli is a Prākrit: a language derived from Vedic Sanskrit, much like French & Spanish are derived from Latin.

The Prākrit bodhisatta can be understood in many ways. For instance, the Vedic sattva & sakta are synonyms in many Prākrits. Both are spelled "satta".

The controversy with sattva --> sakta is mirrored in dvīpa --> dīpa in the Mahāparinibbānasutta. Some recensions say "be as islands unto yourselves" (ātmadvīpa) and some say "be as lamps unto yourselves" (ātmadīpa). This is because both dīpa & dvīpa are synonyms in many Prākrits, including Pāli.
Last edited by Coëmgenu on Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः

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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: Can we become Buddhas?

Post by Lucas Oliveira » Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:55 pm

dylanj wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:33 am
Yes but the world needs arahants right now & if we are compassionate we will aim for the highest state of awakening as soon as possible in order to benefit ourselves & others here & now.

Anything else is Mahāyāna misunderstanding of the Dhamma & whatever difference there is between Buddhas & arahants.
I think we can use the middle way in this question.

help beings and seek enlightenment.

Verse 166. Help Others - But Promote One’s Own Good

Let none neglect their good
for others’ good however great.
Know well oneself’s own good
and to that good attend.


Image

Explanation: One should not neglect one’s own spiritual progress in the course of many acts of service to others. Be fully aware of one’s own spiritual interest, and promote one’s own higher goals

http://www.buddhanet.net/dhammapada/d_self.htm


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Things
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Re: Can we become Buddhas?

Post by Things » Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:18 am

Theoritically anybody can become a Bhuddha. Its like a citizen who born in a country is literally eligible to become the president of the country. But we know how hard the pathway the obstacles to face and etc which makes it is just a dream for lot of citizens. But becoming a lord buddha is a lot of determination, dedication, strength and a huge worklord not limitted to this life not to next life, it evolves over uncountable number of years far morethan you could ever imagine.
Thats why living beings find the jem the lord buddha rarely in the world.

” buddho kappa sathehi dullabho” - its rare you find a buddha in hundred kalpa of years.
Namo buddhaya!

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Dhammanando
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Re: Can we become Buddhas?

Post by Dhammanando » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:54 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:15 pm
However there is already a very, very, very, well-established Theravāda mainline tradition of reading bodhisatta as bodhisattva. Bodhisakta is a (correct or incorrect) speculation of EBT studies.
Actually it predates modern EBT studies by at least fifteen centuries. The “well-established Theravāda mainline tradition” acknowledges both ways of construing the satta in bodhisatta. For example, the commentary to the Mahāpadāna Sutta has:
“Bodhisatto” ti paṇḍitasatto bujjhanakasatto. Bodhisaṅkhātesu vā catūsu maggesu satto āsatto laggamānasoti bodhisatto.
(DA. ii. 427)

“Bodhisatta” means a being who is a sage, a being who is awakening. Alternatively, a bodhisatta is one intent on, attached to and with a mind devoted to the four paths that are constitutive of awakening.
What does perhaps originate with modern EBT studies is the insistence on the second reading being the historically original one.

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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: Can we become Buddhas?

Post by Lucas Oliveira » Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:30 am

Why did you delete a post from me on this topic?

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