Individual wrote: Paññāsikhara wrote:
The difference between Bodhisattva and Arahant in Theravada and Mahayana is mostly semantics, not one of ideals. If you described an Arahant's traits to a Mahayana Buddhist, he could just as easily be called a Bodhisattva, and vice-versa.
Not at all. Although there are a variety of different perspectives amongst Mahayana schools (eg. Madhyamaka, Yogacara, Tathagatagarbha, hybrids of these three, Tantra), the vast majority consider that although there are common or shared qualities that both possess, in addition bodhisattvas have certain un-shared qualities that arhats do not have.
Could you give a concrete example?
I was thinking of things like the ten powers of a buddha, and the eighteen unshared dharmas, as mentioned above. (Or even the 32 marks and 80 secondary features, though though cakkavattin kings have these too. - I think that Nanda and Ananda had 31 and 30, or something - close, but no cigar!)
I haven't seen these attributed to arhats in the Nikayas, but I may have missed something in there somewhere, so I definitely open to new perspectives here, too.
There are also other qualities which are not so much "have / have not", but are more of a sliding scale.
For instance, various forms of abhinna, and even jhana. Now, for these, as we see in the SN 16, Mahakassapa has these to the same extent as the Buddha. But, in a sense, I don't we can take Mahakassapa as a "standard issue arhat" by any means. He would have been a paccekabuddha had the Bhagavan not appeared.
Now, that is just for items that we can look at in terms of the Theravada or most early schools.
If one takes the perspectives of the Mahayana schools, then there is a lot more material, and it gets complex. One could simply point out a variety of Samadhis and so forth, and other items like sarvajna, sarvarthajna and sarvakarajna. Now, the Theravada doesn't really have this whole system, or has quite different meaning to the terms, though it has sabbanu, so it starts to get a bit like comparing apples with oranges across different systems. But in Mahayana terms, for many schools, the differences here are quite explicit.