Arhat turning to Mahayana

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jhanapeacock
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Arhat turning to Mahayana

Post by jhanapeacock » Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:50 am

So it is said that when an arhat turns to mahayana he needs to start from the very beginning (path of accoumulation), but the wisdom and insight the arhat has developed could be very beneficial for his progress on the path. It is also said that if the arhant converts and develops bodhicitta before passing away he can bypass the aeons of samadhi of cessation and be reborn immediatly. Having in acount all of this, wouldn´t be a good idea to long for arhantship in this life to turn back later to mahayana?

Note: (let´s say that there is no vajrayana and special methods, just standard Mahayana and Theravada)

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LastLegend
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Re: Arhat turning to Mahayana

Post by LastLegend » Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:17 am

:lol:
Clear!
Make personal specific vows to [for example, absorb karma of sentient beings], so that they can reach enlightenment quickly. With deep faith and trust, effects will be experienced immediately. If we can’t fulfill our vows, no problem Buddhas will help us do us; thus generate merit and strength to speed us up and lead us straight to unborn wisdom. This is not a matter of truth or not but faith and willingness. That’s what I was taught. Be aware take karma of sentient beings can be overwhelming. Only do what we are capable of.

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Re: Arhat turning to Mahayana

Post by Aemilius » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:39 am

jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:50 am

So it is said that when an arhat turns to mahayana he needs to start from the very beginning (path of accoumulation), but the wisdom and insight the arhat has developed could be very beneficial for his progress on the path. It is also said that if the arhant converts and develops bodhicitta before passing away he can bypass the aeons of samadhi of cessation and be reborn immediatly. Having in acount all of this, wouldn´t be a good idea to long for arhantship in this life to turn back later to mahayana?
Note: (let´s say that there is no vajrayana and special methods, just standard Mahayana and Theravada)
Who or which sutra says that? The White Lotus of the True Law sutra describes the conversion of several hundred arhats into the Mahayana, but in different terms.
There were and there still are other arhat-yana schools (than Theravada), like for example the Sarvastivada, Sautrantika etc, which are still extant, embedded in the Chinese and other Mahayana traditions. Their views are presented in the Abhidharma, Vinaya and Sutra literature found in the existing Canons.
svaha
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They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
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SteRo
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Re: Arhat turning to Mahayana

Post by SteRo » Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:00 pm

jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:50 am
So it is said that when an arhat turns to mahayana he needs to start from the very beginning (path of accoumulation), ...
What is the source for this?

According to Kön-chog-jig-may-wang po’s "Presentation of the Grounds and Paths" with Dan-ma-lo-chö’s Oral Commentary (see https://uma-tibet.org) this is not expressed appropriately. Why?
Because:
1. "The very beginning" isn't the path of accumulation because the path of accumulation is already an attainment. "The very beginning" actually is a beginner who hasn't yet attained any path at all.
2. Even though the path of accumulation isn't the very beginning an Arhat who turns to Mahayana doesn't start with that path but starts on the following path, the path of preparation. Why? Because a regular Mahayana practitioner trains to attain the mind of enlightenment and with that attainment she/he enters the path of accumulation. But in order to turn to Mahayana an Arhat must have already attained the mind of enlightenment following the attainment of the sravaka Nirvana. Otherwise an Arhat who is by definition already liberated could never turn to Mahayana after having attained liberation. Therefore in terms of 'going back' he starts with the path of preparation through insight based on an exceptional mind of enlightenment because on that path complete emptiness is approached the first time, even though only indirectly. But due to his meditation skills acquired on his path to liberation he might procede on that path of preparation and attain the 1st bhumi easier.
jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:50 am
but the wisdom and insight the arhat has developed could be very beneficial for his progress on the path.
As said above meditation skills are great but insight into emptiness is partial.
jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:50 am
It is also said that if the arhant converts and develops bodhicitta before passing away he can bypass the aeons of samadhi of cessation and be reborn immediatly. Having in acount all of this, wouldn´t be a good idea to long for arhantship in this life to turn back later to mahayana?

Note: (let´s say that there is no vajrayana and special methods, just standard Mahayana and Theravada)
The point is that the conditions for an Arhat to exceptionally develop the mind of enlightenment are not known. As a rule entry into path of seeing with sravaka wisdom determines sravaka Nirvana and both, sravaka wisdom and sravaka Nirvana exclude the mind of enlightenment.
Now, pursuing the sravaka path with the intention to "turn back later to Mahayana" - as you are suggesting - would be like pursuing the sravaka path with a mind of enlightenment and that's an oxymoron!

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Re: Arhat turning to Mahayana

Post by jhanapeacock » Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:32 pm

SteRo wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:00 pm
jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:50 am
So it is said that when an arhat turns to mahayana he needs to start from the very beginning (path of accoumulation), ...
What is the source for this?

According to Kön-chog-jig-may-wang po’s "Presentation of the Grounds and Paths" with Dan-ma-lo-chö’s Oral Commentary (see https://uma-tibet.org) this is not expressed appropriately. Why?
Because:
1. "The very beginning" isn't the path of accumulation because the path of accumulation is already an attainment. "The very beginning" actually is a beginner who hasn't yet attained any path at all.
2. Even though the path of accumulation isn't the very beginning an Arhat who turns to Mahayana doesn't start with that path but starts on the following path, the path of preparation. Why? Because a regular Mahayana practitioner trains to attain the mind of enlightenment and with that attainment she/he enters the path of accumulation. But in order to turn to Mahayana an Arhat must have already attained the mind of enlightenment following the attainment of the sravaka Nirvana. Otherwise an Arhat who is by definition already liberated could never turn to Mahayana after having attained liberation. Therefore in terms of 'going back' he starts with the path of preparation through insight based on an exceptional mind of enlightenment because on that path complete emptiness is approached the first time, even though only indirectly. But due to his meditation skills acquired on his path to liberation he might procede on that path of preparation and attain the 1st bhumi easier.
jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:50 am
but the wisdom and insight the arhat has developed could be very beneficial for his progress on the path.
As said above meditation skills are great but insight into emptiness is partial.
jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:50 am
It is also said that if the arhant converts and develops bodhicitta before passing away he can bypass the aeons of samadhi of cessation and be reborn immediatly. Having in acount all of this, wouldn´t be a good idea to long for arhantship in this life to turn back later to mahayana?

Note: (let´s say that there is no vajrayana and special methods, just standard Mahayana and Theravada)
The point is that the conditions for an Arhat to exceptionally develop the mind of enlightenment are not known. As a rule entry into path of seeing with sravaka wisdom determines sravaka Nirvana and both, sravaka wisdom and sravaka Nirvana exclude the mind of enlightenment.
Now, pursuing the sravaka path with the intention to "turn back later to Mahayana" - as you are suggesting - would be like pursuing the sravaka path with a mind of enlightenment and that's an oxymoron!
1: Ok, the source for this is mostly comments in this forum and "Orthodox Chinese Buddhism: A Contemporary Chan Master answers to common questions".
2: In standard Mahayana a bodhisattva needs to accoumulate merit for at least 1 incalculable aeon before reaching the path of seeing, it doesn´t make sense that an Arhat could stock all that merit in one to seven lifetimes (remember this is standard Mahayana and no Vajrayana POV)even if he already developed the mind of enlightenment.

Now let´s say that there are documented cases of Arhats being reborn in Tibet after developing the mind of elightenment, this would imply that sravaka enlightenment doesnt burn the possibility of developing bodhicitta at all and this would be in accord with Mahayana/Ekayana teachings and the Lotus Sutra. So reaching arhantship to then turn to Mahayana would be analogous to an athlete going to the gym and making his body stronger and preparing himself for the competition.

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Re: Arhat turning to Mahayana

Post by SteRo » Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:48 pm

jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:32 pm
1: Ok, the source for this is mostly comments in this forum and "Orthodox Chinese Buddhism: A Contemporary Chan Master answers to common questions".
So no structured consistent system but a collection of ideas, I see.
jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:32 pm
2: In standard Mahayana a bodhisattva needs to accoumulate merit for at least 1 incalculable aeon before reaching the path of seeing,
The system I am following says: Three periods of countless eons:
1. path of accumulation to 1st bhumi
2. 2nd bhumi to 7th bhumi
3. 8th bhumi to 10th bhumi.
jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:32 pm
it doesn´t make sense that an Arhat could stock all that merit in one to seven lifetimes (remember this is standard Mahayana and no Vajrayana POV)even if he already developed the mind of enlightenment.
What is "standard Mahayana and no Vajrayana POV"?
The system I am following is based on Maitreya's Abhisamayalamkara which is based on "standard" Prajnaparamita sutras.
i don't know what " merit in one to seven lifetimes" you are talking about.
jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:32 pm
Now let´s say that there are documented cases of Arhats being reborn in Tibet after developing the mind of elightenment, this would imply that sravaka enlightenment doesnt burn the possibility of developing bodhicitta at all and this would be in accord with Mahaya/Ekayana teachings and the Lotus Sutra. So reaching arhantship to then turn to Mahayana would be analogous to an athlete going to the gym and making his body stronger and preparing himself for the competition.
Sorry but your thoughts don't seem to be compliant with a known system of teachings.

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Re: Arhat turning to Mahayana

Post by jhanapeacock » Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:11 pm

SteRo wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:48 pm
jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:32 pm
1: Ok, the source for this is mostly comments in this forum and "Orthodox Chinese Buddhism: A Contemporary Chan Master answers to common questions".
So no structured consistent system but a collection of ideas, I see.
jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:32 pm
2: In standard Mahayana a bodhisattva needs to accoumulate merit for at least 1 incalculable aeon before reaching the path of seeing,
The system I am following says: Three periods of countless eons:
1. path of accumulation to 1st bhumi
2. 2nd bhumi to 7th bhumi
3. 8th bhumi to 10th bhumi.
jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:32 pm
it doesn´t make sense that an Arhat could stock all that merit in one to seven lifetimes (remember this is standard Mahayana and no Vajrayana POV)even if he already developed the mind of enlightenment.
What is "standard Mahayana and no Vajrayana POV"?
The system I am following is based on Maitreya's Abhisamayalamkara which is based on "standard" Prajnaparamita sutras.
i don't know what " merit in one to seven lifetimes" you are talking about.
jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:32 pm
Now let´s say that there are documented cases of Arhats being reborn in Tibet after developing the mind of elightenment, this would imply that sravaka enlightenment doesnt burn the possibility of developing bodhicitta at all and this would be in accord with Mahaya/Ekayana teachings and the Lotus Sutra. So reaching arhantship to then turn to Mahayana would be analogous to an athlete going to the gym and making his body stronger and preparing himself for the competition.
Sorry but your thoughts don't seem to be compliant with a known system of teachings.
"i don't know what " merit in one to seven lifetimes" you are talking about."
"Patrul Rinpoche says:

“It is called the path of accumulation because it is the stage at which one makes a special effort to gather the accumulation of merit, and also because it marks the beginning of many incalculable aeons of gathering the accumulations."
An arhat couldn´t reach that level of merit within one to seven lifetimes, it is clear enough? So they can´t bypass the accoumulation stage and start at preparation, it is not possible.

"What is "standard Mahayana and no Vajrayana POV"? " standard mahayana = Buddhahood is reached within three- thirteen countless aeons... Other than standard Mahayana = Buddhahood can be reached in this very life.
"Sorry but your thoughts don't seem to be compliant with a known system of teachings" Madhyamaka would support my idea that Arhats can turn to Mahayana contrary to Yogacara thought.
Last edited by jhanapeacock on Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Arhat turning to Mahayana

Post by jhanapeacock » Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:18 pm

I made the distinction between standard Mahayana and Vajrayana because in the latter you can bypass the incalculable aeons, in the former is not the case. So my argument of the Arhat starting from the path of accoumulation would apply from the perspective of standard Mahayana.

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Re: Arhat turning to Mahayana

Post by LastLegend » Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:19 pm

jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:18 pm
I made the distinction between standard Mahayana and Vajrayana because in the latter you can bypass the incalculable aeons, in the former is not the case. So my argument of the Arhat starting from the path of accoumulation would apply from the perspective of standard uMahayana.
:lol:
Clear!
Make personal specific vows to [for example, absorb karma of sentient beings], so that they can reach enlightenment quickly. With deep faith and trust, effects will be experienced immediately. If we can’t fulfill our vows, no problem Buddhas will help us do us; thus generate merit and strength to speed us up and lead us straight to unborn wisdom. This is not a matter of truth or not but faith and willingness. That’s what I was taught. Be aware take karma of sentient beings can be overwhelming. Only do what we are capable of.

SteRo
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Re: Arhat turning to Mahayana

Post by SteRo » Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:37 pm

jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:11 pm

"i don't know what " merit in one to seven lifetimes" you are talking about."
"Patrul Rinpoche says:

“It is called the path of accumulation because it is the stage at which one makes a special effort to gather the accumulation of merit, and also because it marks the beginning of many incalculable aeons of gathering the accumulations."
Fine. But since you are referring to Patrul Rinpoche now - from your perspective - is that "standard Mahayana" or "Vajrayana POV"?

jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:11 pm
An arhat couldn´t reach that level of merit within one to seven lifetimes, it is clear enough?
No. Where do you get these "one to seven lifetimes" from? What about the sravaka path of accumulation?
jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:11 pm
So they can´t bypass the accoumulation stage and start at preparation, it is not possible.
I have already declared the system of teachings I am following. You are free to generate your private ideas but I won't discuss private ideas here.

jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:11 pm
"What is "standard Mahayana and no Vajrayana POV"? " standard mahayana = Buddhahood is reached within three- thirteen countless aeons... Other than standard Mahayana = Buddhahood can be reached in this very life.
I have already declared the system of teachings I am following.
jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:11 pm

"Sorry but your thoughts don't seem to be compliant with a known system of teachings" well, i feel that most of buddhism is just dogma not very useful from my POV so i don´t really have a problem with that. However Madhyamaka would support my idea that Arhats can turn to Mahayana contrary to Yogacara thought.
As already said the system I am following does not categorically negate the possibility of an Arhat turning to Mahayana after being appropriately exhorted by a Buddha. But it categorically negates attainment of Buddhahood through following a sravaka path. The motivation for the goal is set when entering the path of accumulation and it is either sravaka motivation which entails Arhatship or mind of enlightenment which entails Buddhahood.

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Re: Arhat turning to Mahayana

Post by jhanapeacock » Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:54 pm

Fine. But since you are referring to Patrul Rinpoche now - from your perspective - is that "standard Mahayana" or "Vajrayana POV"?
It is from a wiki, and he is speaking from "standard Mahayana" POV

No. Where do you get these "one to seven lifetimes" from? What about the sravaka path of accumulation?
One to seven lifetimes is the time required to reach arhatship accourding to the Pali canon. And what about the sravaka path of accumulation? it is not similar to the Mahayana path of accumulation (if that is what you are talking about) which spans for many aeons.
As already said the system I am following does not categorically negate the possibility of an Arhat turning to Mahayana after being appropriately exhorted by a Buddha. But it categorically negates attainment of Buddhahood through following a sravaka path. The motivation for the goal is set when entering the path of accumulation and it is either sravaka motivation which entails Arhatship or mind of enlightenment which entails Buddhahood.
"after being appropriately exhorted by a Buddha"

I understand. It is kinda difficult to discuss this beyond dogma, so i think we can settled this.

"The motivation for the goal is set when entering the path of accumulation and it is either sravaka motivation which entails Arhatship or mind of enlightenment which entails Buddhahood."
The path of accumulation of the sravaka and bodhisattva path are not comparable by any means.

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Re: Arhat turning to Mahayana

Post by SteRo » Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:22 pm

jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:54 pm
No. Where do you get these "one to seven lifetimes" from? What about the sravaka path of accumulation?
One to seven lifetimes is the time required to reach arhatship accourding to the Pali canon. And what about the sravaka path of accumulation? it is not analogus to the Mahayana path of accumulation (if that is what you are talking about) which spans for many aeons.
But these "seven lifetimes" refer to the path from stream entry to Arhatship, i.e. beginning with path of seeing which is attained after completion of sravaka path of preparation and after sravaka path of accumulation.
Of course one has to consider the difference of merit accumulated by a bodhisattva on the path of accumulation based on mind of enlightenment and a sravaka on the path of accumulation based on sravaka motivation. However an Arhat has already attained a high level of purification which is far beyond the purification of a bodhisattva on the path of accumulation therefore the merit of an Arhat who generates the mind of enlightment cannot be compared with the merit attained by non-aryas on the path of accumulation which is a worldly, i.e. non-arya path.
Of course it is generally said that the merit of a bodhisattva on the path of accumulation outweighs the merit of all sravakas but this refers to his stable and irreversible mind of enlightment which directs him to Buddhahood 100%.
jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:54 pm
As already said the system I am following does not categorically negate the possibility of an Arhat turning to Mahayana after being appropriately exhorted by a Buddha. But it categorically negates attainment of Buddhahood through following a sravaka path. The motivation for the goal is set when entering the path of accumulation and it is either sravaka motivation which entails Arhatship or mind of enlightenment which entails Buddhahood.
"after being appropriately exhorted by a Buddha"

I understand. It is kinda difficult to discuss this beyond dogma, so i think we can settled this.
I said above that the conditions are not known. Now I referred to the expression that can be found in the teachings "after being appropriately exhorted by a Buddha".
jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:54 pm
"The motivation for the goal is set when entering the path of accumulation and it is either sravaka motivation which entails Arhatship or mind of enlightenment which entails Buddhahood."
That's the decisive point. That is why stable "mind of enlightenment" or "bodhicitta" are of utmost importance and categorically block pursuing the sravaka path.
jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:54 pm
The path of accumulation of the sravaka and bodhisattva path are not analogous by any means.
I concur. Of course, see above.

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Re: Arhat turning to Mahayana

Post by jhanapeacock » Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:17 pm

But these "seven lifetimes" refer to the path from stream entry to Arhatship, i.e. beginning with path of seeing which is attained after completion of sravaka path of preparation and after sravaka path of accumulation.
Of course one has to consider the difference of merit accumulated by a bodhisattva on the path of accumulation based on mind of enlightenment and a sravaka on the path of accumulation based on sravaka motivation. However an Arhat has already attained a high level of purification which is far beyond the purification of a bodhisattva on the path of accumulation therefore the merit of an Arhat who generates the mind of enlightment cannot be compared with the merit attained by non-aryas on the path of accumulation which is a worldly, i.e. non-arya path.
Of course it is generally said that the merit of a bodhisattva on the path of accumulation outweighs the merit of all sravakas but this refers to his stable and irreversible mind of enlightment which directs him to Buddhahood 100%.
The path of accumulation of the Arhant is just ordaining and following the precepts and it is done in the same lifetime before the monk reaches stream entry..
The edge of the arhant is just related with insight and afflective obscurations however they are still below in merit compared to a bodhisattva that has practiced virtue for millions of aeons... The Arhant stills need to cultivate the virtue neccesary to do feats like giving his arm or body to feed an animal (or any being) that needs help. The first bhumi bodhisattva can do this any time and without effort because he already practiced the paramita of generosity for trillions of years. Not only that but the bodhisattva has the edge on meditative power too, at the first bhumi he already exhibit the powers of a cosmic god, the arhant is not even close. And this is because the inconceivable merit the Bodhisattva has gained over countless quintillions of years..
This should be common sense, but you expect the result of practicing generosity and virtue for trillions of years to be the same as ordaining as a monk for a couple lifetimes? think about it.

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Re: Arhat turning to Mahayana

Post by Caoimhghín » Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:59 pm

I have nothing but secondhand tidbits, and certainly no answers, but I think these pieces of literature might start to answer your question, and perhaps you know someone more qualified than me that can delve into some of the complications I am going to bring up, in particular concerning a mysterious passage in the Aṣṭasāhasrikāprajñāpāramitāsūtra, which clearly requires very careful interpretation.
jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:50 am
Note: (let´s say that there is no vajrayana and special methods, just standard Mahayana and Theravada)
One point of ambiguity here: for the sake of this discussion, we are saying there is no Vajrayāna and secret mantra, but are we saying there are no Vajrayāna teachers even when they teach Mahāyāna? For instance, if Venerable Tsongkhapa (one of the sources I intend to bring up) addressed the point in your OP, would this be out of bounds even if the context was not talking about Tantra?
jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:50 am
So it is said that when an arhat turns to mahayana he needs to start from the very beginning (path of accoumulation), but the wisdom and insight the arhat has developed could be very beneficial for his progress on the path. It is also said that if the arhant converts and develops bodhicitta before passing away he can bypass the aeons of samadhi of cessation and be reborn immediatly. Having in acount all of this, wouldn´t be a good idea to long for arhantship in this life to turn back later to mahayana?
Consider this passage from an commentary by a Tantrika on the Abhisamayālaṁkāra, which although it is used in Tantric circles, does not appear to itself be a Tantric text.
Bodhisattvas are Mahayana practitioners who have generated Bodhicitta based on great compassion for all sentient beings and thus aspire to attain the state of a Buddha in order to be of the utmost benefit to all beings.

They can also be categorized into: (1) ordinary Bodhisattvas and (2) Arya Bodhisattvas. Ordinary Bodhisattvas are Mahayana practitioners on the Mahayana paths of accumulation or preparation. Arya Bodhisattvas are Bodhisattvas on the Mahayana paths of seeing or meditation. There are no Arya Bodhisattvas on the Mahayana path of no-more-learning, for Aryas on that path are necessarily Arya Buddhas.

Please note that Bodhisattvas who have attained the wisdom directly realizing emptiness are not necessarily Arya Bodhisattvas, for there are Bodhisattvas on the Mahayana path of accumulation or preparation who have attained the wisdom that directly realizes emptiness because there are Hinayana Arhats who achieved self-liberation before they entered into the Mahayana path and became Bodhisattvas.
(Venerable Kelsang Wangmo, The Introductory Verses of the Ornament for Clear Realizations, p. 14, underline in original, italics added)

Compare this perspective with the perspective that says there is no progression after śrāvakabuddhatva:
Subhūti said to Śakra, Lord of the Gods, and all the assembled gods: "O Kauśika! I will now, empowered by the Buddha's spiritual power, teach the Prajñāpāramitā. All those gods who have yet to generate mental aspiration toward anuttarā samyak saṃbodhi, they should now generate that aspiration. If a person has already entered into the status of certitude [to perfection] *166, they are unable to generate mental aspiration toward anuttarā samyak saṃbodhi. For what reason? Because they have already constructed an embankment against [the torrent of cyclic] birth and death. If these people were to generate mental aspiration toward anuttarā samyak saṃbodhi, I would also have appreciative joy [toward that], and never prevent their merit. For what reason? Superior people should aspire to superior dharmas.
(T227.540a12, Aṣṭasāhasrikāprajñāpāramitāsūtra translated as, An Annotated English Translation of Kumārajīva’s Xiaŏpĭn Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra, p. 223-4, translated by Venerable Huifeng, footnotes added using asterisks instead of superscript, footnotes 167-9 omitted)

I'm not going to lie, I don't totally get the passage, and it is on this point that I said we need "someone more qualified than me that can delve into some of the complications I am going to bring up." In the footnotes to that translation, we see:
*166: VAIDYA (1960: 17): "samyaktvaniyāmam;" CONZE (1973: 96): "certain that they have got safely out of this world." See the Upadeśa, fasc. 18 <<大智度論>>卷 18 (CBETA, T25, no. 1509, p. 192, c10-17), "As the Buddha taught: 'If a bhikṣu is unable to correctly direct the mind with respect to conditioned dharmas, yet wishes to attain foremost mundane dharmas, this is impossible; if one does not attain foremost mundane dharmas, yet wishes to penetratively [realize] the unconditioned in the fixed status [of dharmas], this is impossible; if one does not penetratively [realize] the fixed status [of dharmas], yet wishes to attain śrotāpanna, śakṛādāgāmi, anāgāmi, or arhatva, this is impossible. ... [and the formula in reverse.]" This is most likely in turn from the Mahāvibhāṣa Śāstra, fasc. 2 [Chinese characters omitted due to cut-and-paste error] 2 (CBETA, T27, no. 1545, p. 5, b9-18),which is itself citing earlier sūtra. See SN 25:1-10, iii 225-228; = BODHI (2000: 1004-1007); and SN 13 Abhisamayasaṁyutta, BODHI (2000: 621ff n219 = 787ff): "Bothdhammābhisamaya and dhammacakkhupaṭilābha signify the attainment of stream-entry." Mahāvibhāṣa Śāstra [Chinese characters omitted due to cut-and-paste error] 109:CBETA, T27,no. 1545, p. 563, c26-p. 564, a2); etc. Similar to: "stableness of the Dhamma (dhammaṭṭhitatā), the fixed practice of Dhamma (dhammaniyāmatā)" (BODHI 2001: 551, 573): "Conditions", II 12.20 and "Cases of Knowledge", II 12.34), the first two: °ṭṭhitatā (住位性) and niyāmatā (定性). It is a stage of realization, just not yet nirvāṇa. Thus, CONZE (1973: ): "[i.e. arhats who have reached their last birth, etc.]" is incorrect. It is a point of non-return, only, not finality. Thus, the "fixed status" is preceding realization of the ārya-phalas. This statement is found to be "attainment of stream-entry" (śrotāpatti) in all the other three earlier sūtras (Dàoxíng, Dàmíngdù(B), and Chāo). XÜÁNZÀNG's Dàbānruò (4) and (5) even specify it as "śrāvaka and pratyekabuddha certitude", implying that the bodhisattva's have a certitude, albeit of a different nature.
That is quite a footnote and I don't really know what everything means in it. An Annotated English Translation of Kumārajīva’s Xiaŏpĭn Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra from Ven Huifeng is free to access on academia.edu, and one can follow those footnotes via Ven Huifeng's bibliography at the end. He said the matter simpler in 2014:
Huifeng wrote:
Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:47 am
Konchog1 wrote:What would the Arhats' need? Bodhicitta and a better understanding of emptiness?
Ummm, neither.

Arhat = game over.

If I may cite the Xiăopĭn Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra, Kumārajīva's Chinese, my own English and footnotes:

[omitting material already quoted above]

This is the very reason why so many Mahayana texts go to so much pain to warn bodhisattvas about falling to the stages of the sravakas or pratyekabuddhas. If one could become an arhat (or pratyekabuddha) and still turn back to the Mahayana, or, must turn back to the Mahayana, all those warning would not make any sense. Why not first become an arhat? The fact being, arhat = game over. End of samsara. So, no chance to develop the special qualities of a Buddha.

I thus take those texts which say otherwise, ie. that arhats can continue on with the Mahayana, to be neyartha teachings, ie. teachings which do not express the real truth of the matter, but are expedients requiring further explanation. Note that most of these neyartha teachings are later, even though they usually claim to be "the real truth". Such claims are more an indication of their own acknowledgement that they differ radically from established points of view.

~~Huifeng
Further to that, we also have the words of a former poster here, Malcolm, from way back in 2012 when he was called Namdrol:
Namdrol wrote:Retrogression of Arhats, BTW, just means they return to the state of a never returner, not that they regress to being ordinary beings.
The last secondhand tidbit I have is the most uncertain. I have it on academic gossip that Venerable Tsongkhapa supposedly said that the liberation of the arhat was at the 7th bhūmi, while the realization was at the 6th. I don't really know where this is from or its proper context or what it's supposed to mean.

It could well be a Tantra-specific teaching that arhatva ≠ "game over," possibly.
歸命本覺心法身常住妙法心蓮臺本來莊嚴三身徳三十七尊住心
城遠離因果法然具普門塵數諸三昧無邊徳海本圓滿還我頂禮心諸佛

In reverence for the root gnosis of the heart, the dharmakāya,
for the ever present good law of the heart, the lotus terrace,
for the inborn adornment of the trikāya, the thirty-seven sages dwelling in the heart,
for that which is removed from seed and fruit, the upright key to the universal gate,
for all boundless concentrations, the sea of virtue, the root perfection,
I prostrate, bowing to the hearts of all Buddhas.

胎藏金剛菩提心義略問答鈔, Treatise on the teaching of the gnostic heart of the womb and the diamond, T2397.1.470c5-8

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Caoimhghín
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Re: Arhat turning to Mahayana

Post by Caoimhghín » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:27 pm

Caoimhghín wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:59 pm
It could well be a Tantra-specific teaching that arhatva ≠ "game over," possibly.
Stupid me. I had been reading too much in the Tibetan forum, which is a fascinating an unknown world to me.

East Asian ekayāna obviously also has this view that "arhatva ≠ 'game over,'" which comes from the teachings Ven Huifeng identified above that say "that arhats can continue on with the Mahayana." These teachings can be found numerous places like, for instance, the Lotus Sūtra, Mahāprajñāpāramitopadeśa, etc.
歸命本覺心法身常住妙法心蓮臺本來莊嚴三身徳三十七尊住心
城遠離因果法然具普門塵數諸三昧無邊徳海本圓滿還我頂禮心諸佛

In reverence for the root gnosis of the heart, the dharmakāya,
for the ever present good law of the heart, the lotus terrace,
for the inborn adornment of the trikāya, the thirty-seven sages dwelling in the heart,
for that which is removed from seed and fruit, the upright key to the universal gate,
for all boundless concentrations, the sea of virtue, the root perfection,
I prostrate, bowing to the hearts of all Buddhas.

胎藏金剛菩提心義略問答鈔, Treatise on the teaching of the gnostic heart of the womb and the diamond, T2397.1.470c5-8

SteRo
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Re: Arhat turning to Mahayana

Post by SteRo » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:40 pm

jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:17 pm
The path of accumulation of the Arhant is just ordaining and following the precepts and it is done in the same lifetime before the monk reaches stream entry..
Again that seems to be a private idea of yours.
jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:17 pm
The edge of the arhant is just related with insight and afflective obscurations however they are still below in merit compared to a bodhisattva that has practiced virtue for millions of aeons...
Of course.
jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:17 pm
The Arhant stills need to cultivate the virtue neccesary to do feats like giving his arm or body to feed an animal (or any being) that needs help. The first bhumi bodhisattva can do this any time and without effort because he already practiced the paramita of generosity for trillions of years. Not only that but the bodhisattva has the edge on meditative power too, at the first bhumi he already exhibit the powers of a cosmic god, the arhant is not even close. And this is because the inconceivable merit the Bodhisattva has gained over countless quintillions of years..
No comment, neither affirmation nor negation.
jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:17 pm
This should be common sense, but you expect the result of practicing generosity and virtue for trillions of years to be the same as ordaining as a monk for a couple lifetimes? think about it.
If you stick to what I have written, word by word, you should see that your imputation to my words is ill-founded. The system I follow does neither expound the sravaka path you seem to have in mind, nor does it seem to expound the bodhisattva path you have in mind.

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Re: Arhat turning to Mahayana

Post by jhanapeacock » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:00 pm

Again that seems to be a private idea of yours.
It is? it is said that the path of accumulation includes main shamatha and insight practice, the merit the practicioner has prior to starting the path (being human) is also relevant. However there is said that there are Arhats of weak faculties, so special faculties are not needed to reach Arhatship (this differs with the bodhisattva path, as the practicioner with the best faculties requires three countless aeons minimun), so my point still stands. And the practice and conditions that lead to Awakening can be summarized in ordaining and practicing diligently

If you stick to what I have written, word by word, you should see that your imputation to my words is ill-founded. The system I follow does neither expound the sravaka path you seem to have in mind, nor does it seem to expound the bodhisattva path you have in mind.
Right now my only "imputation" is with the claim that Arhats don´t start from the path of accumulation after they turn to Mahayana, so far you have failed to refute my points.

"nor does it seem to expound the bodhisattva path you have in mind" In what it defer? now that you know what i have in mind, may you explain to me what the differences are.

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Re: Arhat turning to Mahayana

Post by jhanapeacock » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:12 pm

One point of ambiguity here: for the sake of this discussion, we are saying there is no Vajrayāna and secret mantra, but are we saying there are no Vajrayāna teachers even when they teach Mahāyāna? For instance, if Venerable Tsongkhapa (one of the sources I intend to bring up) addressed the point in your OP, would this be out of bounds even if the context was not talking about Tantra?
.
Of course not, the word of a respectable master of any tradition is of value as long as it taken in the respective context

Bodhisattvas are Mahayana practitioners who have generated Bodhicitta based on great compassion for all sentient beings and thus aspire to attain the state of a Buddha in order to be of the utmost benefit to all beings.

They can also be categorized into: (1) ordinary Bodhisattvas and (2) Arya Bodhisattvas. Ordinary Bodhisattvas are Mahayana practitioners on the Mahayana paths of accumulation or preparation. Arya Bodhisattvas are Bodhisattvas on the Mahayana paths of seeing or meditation. There are no Arya Bodhisattvas on the Mahayana path of no-more-learning, for Aryas on that path are necessarily Arya Buddhas.

Please note that Bodhisattvas who have attained the wisdom directly realizing emptiness are not necessarily Arya Bodhisattvas, for there are Bodhisattvas on the Mahayana path of accumulation or preparation who have attained the wisdom that directly realizes emptiness because there are Hinayana Arhats who achieved self-liberation before they entered into the Mahayana path and became Bodhisattva
Thank you, this support the thesis that Arhats start from the path of accumulation after they develop bodhicitta

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Posts: 137
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Re: Arhat turning to Mahayana

Post by SteRo » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:17 pm

jhanapeacock wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:00 pm
Again that seems to be a private idea of yours.
It is? it is said that the path of accumulation includes main shamatha and insight practice, the merit the practicioner has prior to starting the path (being human) is also relevant. However there is said that there are Arhats of weak faculties, so special faculties are not needed to reach Arhatship (this differs with the bodhisattva path, as the practicioner with the best faculties requires three countless aeons minimun), so my point still stands. And the practice and conditions that lead to Awakening can be summarized in ordaining and practicing diligently

If you stick to what I have written, word by word, you should see that your imputation to my words is ill-founded. The system I follow does neither expound the sravaka path you seem to have in mind, nor does it seem to expound the bodhisattva path you have in mind.
Right now my only "imputation" is with the claim that Arhats don´t start from the path of accumulation after they turn to Mahayana, so far you have failed to refute my points.

"nor does it seem to expound the bodhisattva path you have in mind" In what it defer? now that you know what i have in mind, may you explain to me what the differences are.
Dear jhanapeacock,

above I have referred to the system of teaching I am following. If you follow a different system of teaching then fine. If you prefer to follow private ideas that's up to you, I don't mind.

Neither will I discuss across different systems of teachings, nor will I discuss private ideas. All I can do is to refer to the system I am following and repeat some of its tenets in this thread where appropriate.

Now if someone asks "Why do you follow the system you are following?" I answer "Because it is an established system of teaching and it perfectly meets my needs."

:namaste:

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Re: Arhat turning to Mahayana

Post by Bristollad » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:18 pm

Huifeng is commenting based on the idea that there are three final paths.

In Tibet, only the Chittamatrins amongst the Mahayana tenet holders, are said to hold that position. The Abhisamayalamkara, one of five texts of Maitreya, holds that though there are indeed three paths, there is only one final result (at least as interpreted by Haribhadra). Hearer and solitary-realiser foe-destroyers will sooner or later enter the Mahayana, become bodhisattvas and complete the path to full enlightenment. This is the position held by the four main schools in Tibet.

Since the number of lives it takes for a sravaka to complete their path to arhatship is comparably much shorter, we might think it's a short cut.
However, in the Abhisamayalamkara, it is made clear that someone who is an arhat who enters the Mahayana path takes longer to become fully enlightened than one who enters the Mahayana path directly. Why? Because even an arhat who enters the Mahayana path before they die in that same life has the habit to enter meditative equipoise for long periods rather than working for the benefit of all sentient beings. Hence it takes them longer to complete the two collections of merit and wisdom than someone who was definite in the Mahayana lineage from the beginning of the path.

The Abhisamayalamakara is essentially a commentary on Perfection of Wisdom sutras and is not based on any tantra. It is one of the five texts taught by Maitreya to Asanga see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abhisamay ... Literature for some background.

As to whether an arhat begins from the path of accumulation or the path of preparation - I was taught that, at least in the Gelug monasteries, different positions are held. Jetsunpa (followed by Sera Je) explains they start from the Path of Accumulation. I'm not sure, but I seem to remember that Jamyang Shayba (Drepung Gomang) suggests they start from the Path of Preparation. Each gives their reasonings, based on logic and the text. They also differ in the number and arrangement of interrupted and liberated paths in the path of seeing and path of meditation - the ten bhumis. Geshema Kelsang Wangmo at the IBD teaches largely based on the explanations followed by Drepung Loseling.

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