4 stages of enlightenment in Theravada Buddhism

Arhat is someone who gets englightened by listening to the Buddhas message.

  • stage winner (1): Helps with integrity (truthful, honest and moral person)
    • Accept the Dhamma
    • things that should be abandoned
      • Indentity, belief in existence, doubting the Dhamma and clinging to the wrong views of God which encourages attachment.
    • still can be reborn upto 7 times
      • you cannot escape the cycle after one encounter.
  • Once-returner (2): escaped the cylce which means there is only one return left
    • Fetters to be abandoned:
      • sensual desires, ill will
      • negativity so dont wish harm upon other people 
      • GHD
  • Non-returner (3): Time to enter the heavenly realm 
    • freedom from 5 further higher fetter-
      • Craving for material existence
      • craving for immeterial existence
      • conceit (selfish acts towards other)
      • restlesness
      • igorance (develops wisdom reducdes delusions)
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4 stages of enlightenment in Theravada Buddhism co

  • Arhat (worthy one (4)): Reincarnation 
    • Better to escaper the samsara
    • surrounding
    • negative things dont effect them and dont take on other peoples anger
    • stop craving and attachments
    • discover the 4 noble truths
    • no re-birth

In Therevada Buddhism the path of the Arhat is a solitary one, despite being in an environment surrounded by other like-minded practitioners, the fear of the Theravada Buddhist is Down to individual effort. 

The body is vehicle for spiritual progress not to care for it would hinder progress. 

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'so far as there is central, defining teaching of the mahayana, it is that of the weight of the bodhisattva (being enlightened).' Cush

Mahayana Buddhism -> key important is the bodhisattva.

Bodhisattva background-> Great vehicle.

Mahayana is a school of Buddhism like Catholics within Christianity it is a branch of the religion.

Illustration-> fast-moving river and you need to get over the other side, a form transport, this can be a kayak which is one-person vehicle, this is Theravada Buddhism, showing you are on your own life. In Mahayana they use a raft which is to be built by a Buddha this allows transport for more than one person, the bodhisattva in Mahayana is there to help.

A Bodhisattva is to help all to be enlightened and be saved.

They live in the multi-verse and appear in visions and dreams to help people. 

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Bodhisattva continue

Skills developed by a bodhisattva is Upaya Kausala (skill in means teaching)

  • Ability to explain teaching and for someone to understand no matter what level of a person is at in their faith, an adult understands and sees a theme and deep meaning rather than a child (links to disney)
  • A bodhisattva explains things to people what they show it at the same level but the person understand it depending on what level of religion/Faith they are at.
  • A bodhisattva is a buddha to be 
  • All bodhisattvas have developed wisdom and compassion. The Wisdom allows them to understand all things and how everything is connected and how there will be nothing at the end. As there is a lack of self. The compassion allows them to help others and put all happiness of beings in the universe before their own, not resting until the universe is saved. This could mean they give up their own existence to have save someone else's life. If the act leads to bad karma the bodhisattva takes the consequences. Wisdom is to allow the complete understanding of the the total interdependence of all things, lack of self realisation and the emptiness of things.
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The career path of the bodhisattva

  • Live a good life
  • Follow the Buddha's teachings
  • Help others
  • Great devotion and love

Bodhichita (the thought of enlightenment) a revolution in one's consciousness like religious conversion a sudden and profound understanding of the purpose of one life in the world.

Vow: 'I octane supreme and perfect enlightenment promote the good of all beings and establish them in the final and complete Nirvana' this is usually said in the presence of a living buddha but is also a public declaration.

Bodhisattva's can build up merit to allow them to help others. For example can receive help; in that the next life there is always karma.

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10 stage career path (bodhisattva)

  • The 6 perfections 
    • 1- perfect giving 
      • Infinite compassion and show generosity to all, give away material gifts, and even life if it is necessary. Give spiritual gifts such as: courage, guidance, education and the Buddhist teaching of the Dharma this is all with no sense of pride.
      • This is significant as it allows you to build relationships with others but also encourages selflessness
    • 2- Morality
      • Have 10 precepts, taking life, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, maliciousness (harsh speech), idle chatter, covetousness, ill will and wrong views.
      • In order for morality to be perfect in was not be selfish, be prepared to bend the rules to help other people.
    • 3-patience
      • Not just enduring suffering but being joyful acceptance of difficulties if they are necessary for the goal.
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10 stage path continued

  • 4- Vigour
    • Be enthusiastic to help others and especially when studying Buddhism
  • 5- meditation
    • To become completely adept at all the practices of Buddhist meditation
  • 6- wisdom, Gaining knowledge to help someone reaches stage In knowing. It is the understanding and experiences of life and existence.
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Avalokiteshvara (avo)

Bodhisattva is pictured with thousands of arms ready to help it everyone at once this is the Chinese idea, at the 10th stage of the bodhisattva career the bodhisattva has an unlimited amount of merit to share; And supernatural powers. 'the spirit of the universe and the saviour of the world'

Tibetan Buddhist believes he works through the religious leader the Dalai Lama:

  • There to help anyone, e.g.
    • Sailors at sea
    • Robbers
    • Poison and temptation
  • Set you free from prison help you a evade the death penalty
  • Avalokiteshvara is a perfect illustration of Mahayana Buddhism showing all people are excepted within the religion it is seen as relatable and saviour figure.
  • Are we supposed to take AVO as a symbolic figure, it could be personification of the power of compassion.

'They are a big show put on by the Buddha to attract and increase fear. They are not separate beings.' CUSH

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Bodhisattva continue 2

There is a fine line between a bodhisattva and a Buddha. A bodhisattva reaches Enlightenment but returns to the world to help others. When they reached a cloud of Dharma, they opt to go back to help all beings before accepting full Enlightenment.

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Trikaya doctrine

This is the three body doctrine of Mahayana Buddhism.

  • Nirmanakaya (transformation body)
    • Like Siddhatta, someone who takes an earthly form as the Buddha.
    • A Buddha chooses to transform themselves into a semihuman body to teach and help others.
  • Sambhogakaya (enjoyment body)
    • Heavenly realms, unlike avalokiteshvara this is an image of enlightenment.
  • Dharmakaya (Dharma body)
    • Ultimate body, pure consciousness, pure enlightenment, pure truth.

Mahayana Buddhism believes in 2 realities:

  • 1 conventional: this has physical things, has a beginning and an ending (anicca).
  • 2 Ultimate: things aren't permanent it is a permanent reality, no-thing can be said to exist

Ultimate reality doesn't use the word something there is not something but there is also not nothing

Illustration: the empty bottle could say there is nothing in it but there is just no-thing.

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Criticisms of the bodhisattva

  • The importance of karma is undermined because bodhisattva's can transfer merit to people (has infinite merit)
  • If there are no-thing that exist in alternate reality then what is in A bodhisattva saving.
  • Siddhatta never taught the bodhisattva path.

Arhat view: if you can follow the Buddhist teaching and reach enlightenment then what is the point in having a bodhisattva.

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