What is the exact correlation between Nirvana and Buddhahood?

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Re: What is the exact correlation between Nirvana and Buddhahood?

Post by Caoimhghín »

Brahma wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 6:56 pmCan Bodhisattvas that are not Buddhas attain Nirvana while staying in the Bodhisattva stage, and not yet Buddha, but dwelling in Nirvana? This is my primary question. I understand that there are various levels of Stream Entry.
Bodhisattvas can be Buddhas. Arhats are also Buddhas, a technical class of Buddha called a Śrāvakabuddha (Sāvakabuddha in Pali). Different Mahayana teachers have different places where they assign the degree of wisdom and liberation the Arhat enjoys relative to the bodhisattva path. See this thread: https://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=23667

Relating to that bodhisattvas can be Buddhas:
daśamyāṃ punaḥ subhūte bhūmau vartamāno bodhisattvas tathāgata eveti vaktavyaḥ || tatra kathaṃ bodhisattvo daśamyāṃ bhūmau sthitaḥ saṃs tathāgata eveti vaktavyaḥ | yadā bodhisattvasya mahāsattvasya ṣaṭpāramitāḥ paripūrṇā bhavanti | catvāri smṛtyupasthānāni yāvad aṣṭādaśāveṇikā buddhadharmāḥ paripūrṇā bhavati | sarākārajñatā paripūrṇā bhavati | sarvakleśānāṃ tadvāsanānāṃ ca prahāṇaṃ bhavati | evaṃ hi bodhisattvo mahasattvo daśamyāṃ bhūmau sthitas tathāgata eveti vaktavyaḥ ||

Furthermore, O Subhūti, the bodhisattva on the tenth ground (dharmameghābhūmi) should simply be called "Tathāgata." Why should the bodhisattva on the tenth ground be called simply "Tathāgata?" When he completely fulfills the six perfections, when he completely fulfills the four foundations of mindfulness up to and including the eighteen special attributes of the Buddhas, when he completely fulfills the knowledge of all the aspects and when he destroys all the passions and their traces, the bodhisattva mahāsattva in the tenth ground should be called simply "Tathāgata."
(Pañcaviṁśatisāhasrikāprajñāpāramitāsūtra quoted in Mahāprajñāpāramitopadeśa)

Complete Buddhatva is a bhumi higher still in most interpretations of the 10 bhumis.

In addition, there is the story of Saddharmapradīpa Buddha, whose vow led him to become the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara. See here: https://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?p=530264#p530264 (this does not seem to be a common story about Avalokiteśvara at all though).
savi saghara aṇica di, savi saghara dukha di, savi dhama aṇatva di:
yada paśadi cakhkṣuma tada nivinadi dukha eṣo mago viśodhia.

"All formations are inconstant," he said.
"All formations are stressful," he said.
"All phenomena are selfless," he said.
When one sees this, one becomes adverse to stress, and this is the path of purity.

(Gāndhārī Dharmapada fragments)
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Re: What is the exact correlation between Nirvana and Buddhahood?

Post by Brahma »

Caoimhghín wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 5:35 pm ...
Yes you are fully correct in all of this. As you say Bodhisattva Avalokakitesvara is a Buddha, and the Vow of the Bodhisattva is to be considered an Eternal Vow if taken seriously in all it's ways (at least for me, ...)

My question in this thread primarily lies in whether one can be in the full Stream of Nirvana but not yet a Buddha. That is what I want answered from anyone's perspective, though I have already got some definitive answers and I don't doubt their purpose, truth, and authenticity. Thank you.
Last edited by Ayu on Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: What is the exact correlation between Nirvana and Buddhahood?

Post by Ayu »

This is a quite easy explanation by an Indian Zen teacher about the difference in which context the terms 'Arhat' and 'Bodhisattva' are being used:
https://bigpicturezen.com/2008/11/24/ar ... dhisattva/

This link explains the different pathways of a Bodhisattva or an Arhat (Shravaka):
https://studybuddhism.com/en/advanced-s ... esentation

"What is it like to be an Arhat?" from Tibetan buddhist Gelug view:
https://studybuddhism.com/en/tibetan-bu ... e-an-arhat

And explained from Kagyu view:
https://www.samyeling.org/buddhism-and- ... dhisattva/
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:
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