Can one fall down from the Bodhisattava bhumi?

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AlexanderS
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Can one fall down from the Bodhisattava bhumi?

Post by AlexanderS » Sat Jan 21, 2017 5:37 pm

I have a simple question and perhaps rather stupid question. At what point do the attainment of the bhumi's become permanent? Can I attain the first bhumi in this lifetime and have to do again in my future life if I die before attaining liberation?

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Tsongkhapafan
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Re: Can one fall down from the Bodhisattava bhumi?

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Sat Jan 21, 2017 6:56 pm

If you attain the first ground in this life, because it is a direct realisation of emptiness, you will not regress.

It is said that even if one attains the second type of bodhichitta, which is called 'gold-like bodhichitta' or engaging bodichitta after having taken the bodhisattva vows, one will not regress from the bodhisattva path.

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Wayfarer
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Re: Can one fall down from the Bodhisattava bhumi?

Post by Wayfarer » Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:44 pm

AlexanderS wrote:At what point do the attainment of the bhumi's become permanent? Can I attain the first bhumi in this lifetime and have to do again in my future life if I die before attaining liberation?
Doesn't the whole question presume some real 'I' that attains, progresses, and so on? Isn't it arising out of self-concern, 'what will become of me?' 'am I going to "make it" '?

Just something to reflect on.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Konchog1
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Re: Can one fall down from the Bodhisattava bhumi?

Post by Konchog1 » Sun Jan 22, 2017 12:05 am

Tsongkhapafan wrote:If you attain the first ground in this life, because it is a direct realisation of emptiness, you will not regress.

It is said that even if one attains the second type of bodhichitta, which is called 'gold-like bodhichitta' or engaging bodichitta after having taken the bodhisattva vows, one will not regress from the bodhisattva path.
With respect, if you lose Bodhicitta you are not a Bodhisattva nor a Mahayanist. With that same wisdom of Emptiness, one will become a Arhat or Pratyekabuddha.

The key requirement for Anuttarasamyaksambodhi is Bodhicitta, not emptiness. Emptiness is only the supporting cause. It is like how the father determines the family of the child in dependence on the supporting condition of the mother.
“No Buddha of the three times became a Buddha without developing bodhicitta. A Buddha not needing bodhicitta is something unheard of. Therefore, someone without any bodhicitta will not receive the Buddhahood they want; they haven’t a hope of achieving Buddhahood if they lack this. So you must take it seriously.”
-Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand pg. 575
Until the Eighth Bhumi you can fall to a lesser attainment by losing Bodhicitta.

Bodhicitta is lost, as you know, by either thinking complete Enlightenment is not possible for you or creating the intention of denying Enlightenment to a being.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats

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javier.espinoza.t
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Re: Can one fall down from the Bodhisattava bhumi?

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:58 am

i believe that is not possible.
from this path there is no return. as lay or monk, or a yogin, or even in dark places, this little light of ours is whith us.

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Tsongkhapafan
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Re: Can one fall down from the Bodhisattava bhumi?

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Sun Jan 22, 2017 7:28 am

Konchog1 wrote: With respect, if you lose Bodhicitta you are not a Bodhisattva nor a Mahayanist. With that same wisdom of Emptiness, one will become a Arhat or Pratyekabuddha.

The key requirement for Anuttarasamyaksambodhi is Bodhicitta, not emptiness. Emptiness is only the supporting cause. It is like how the father determines the family of the child in dependence on the supporting condition of the mother.
“No Buddha of the three times became a Buddha without developing bodhicitta. A Buddha not needing bodhicitta is something unheard of. Therefore, someone without any bodhicitta will not receive the Buddhahood they want; they haven’t a hope of achieving Buddhahood if they lack this. So you must take it seriously.”
-Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand pg. 575
Until the Eighth Bhumi you can fall to a lesser attainment by losing Bodhicitta.

Bodhicitta is lost, as you know, by either thinking complete Enlightenment is not possible for you or creating the intention of denying Enlightenment to a being.
Thank you, I may be wrong but my understanding is that it is not possible to regress when you have attained gold-like bodhichitta, which is the second of the twenty-two types of bodhichitta so it goes without saying that if you have attained a direct realisation of emptiness and the bodhichitta associated with this, which is called 'treasure-like bodhichitta', the fifth of the twenty-two types of bodhichitta, you definitely will not regress which was AlexanderS' question.

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Konchog1
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Re: Can one fall down from the Bodhisattava bhumi?

Post by Konchog1 » Sun Jan 22, 2017 7:37 am

Tsongkhapafan wrote:Thank you, I may be wrong but my understanding is that it is not possible to regress when you have attained gold-like bodhichitta, which is the second of the twenty-two types of bodhichitta so it goes without saying that if you have attained a direct realisation of emptiness and the bodhichitta associated with this, which is called 'treasure-like bodhichitta', the fifth of the twenty-two types of bodhichitta, you definitely will not regress which was AlexanderS' question.
This book came just today actually. I'll simply quote it:
"The Peak Sutra" states:
Until the eighth ground is attained
There will be apprehension of the lower vehicle

This reveals that Bodhisattvas of the seventh ground and below do develop a mind of self-concerned attention [that could direct them to Arhatship etc.].

Bodhicitta by Ven. Lobsang Gyatso Pg. 60
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats

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Tsongkhapafan
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Re: Can one fall down from the Bodhisattava bhumi?

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Sun Jan 22, 2017 7:58 am

Konchog1 wrote:This book came just today actually. I'll simply quote it:
"The Peak Sutra" states:
Until the eighth ground is attained
There will be apprehension of the lower vehicle

This reveals that Bodhisattvas of the seventh ground and below do develop a mind of self-concerned attention [that could direct them to Arhatship etc.].

Bodhicitta by Ven. Lobsang Gyatso Pg. 60
Thanks, this is very useful :smile: but my Teacher taught that bodhisattvas on the first two grounds have completely abandoned self-cherishing through exchanging self with others and on the third ground, has even abandoned the imprints of self-cherishing. Since it is only self-cherishing that could cause of bodhisattva to regress to a lower vehicle, surely it's impossible for any superior bodhisattva to regress?

jmlee369
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Re: Can one fall down from the Bodhisattava bhumi?

Post by jmlee369 » Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:54 am

There is a stage of realisation called "non-retrogression" which is widely identified with the 8th bhumi, at which point there is full retention of all realisations and powers going forward. Prior to that, bodhisattvas are susceptible to losing some of their progress, though at the level of the bhumis, it is a very subtle change compared to any loss that ordinary beings might experience. Not sure if there is a canonical source stating that they may abandon the Mahayana though.

pael
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Re: Can one fall down from the Bodhisattava bhumi?

Post by pael » Sun Jan 22, 2017 1:23 pm

This appears to say yes. Right?
Virtuous man, when you see that Dharma-master, you should not despise or doubt him, otherwise I am afraid that you would lose the position of Bodhisattva and fall into the sufferings.
http://www.fodian.net/World/1050_04.html
May all beings be free from suffering and causes of suffering

AlexanderS
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Re: Can one fall down from the Bodhisattava bhumi?

Post by AlexanderS » Sun Jan 22, 2017 1:43 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:If you attain the first ground in this life, because it is a direct realisation of emptiness, you will not regress.

It is said that even if one attains the second type of bodhichitta, which is called 'gold-like bodhichitta' or engaging bodichitta after having taken the bodhisattva vows, one will not regress from the bodhisattva path.
But is the first bhumi realization of emptiness or direct insight into emptiness? We can get have direct insights of emptiness without gaining stability in this insight?

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Tsongkhapafan
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Re: Can one fall down from the Bodhisattava bhumi?

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Sun Jan 22, 2017 2:42 pm

AlexanderS wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:If you attain the first ground in this life, because it is a direct realisation of emptiness, you will not regress.

It is said that even if one attains the second type of bodhichitta, which is called 'gold-like bodhichitta' or engaging bodichitta after having taken the bodhisattva vows, one will not regress from the bodhisattva path.
But is the first bhumi realization of emptiness or direct insight into emptiness? We can get have direct insights of emptiness without gaining stability in this insight?
All bodhisattvas on the ten grounds are Superior Beings (Aryas) because they see emptiness directly. They are either on the Mahayana path of seeing or the Mahayana path of meditation. We can gain insight into emptiness, but it is always a conceptual realisation before we attain the first bodhisattva ground 'Very Joyful'.

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Re: Can one fall down from the Bodhisattava bhumi?

Post by Bristollad » Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:43 pm

Konchog1 wrote:Until the Eighth Bhumi you can fall to a lesser attainment by losing Bodhicitta.
Not according to the Maitreya's Abhisamayalamkara:
Chapter 4, Verse 38 wrote:Those bodhisattvas abiding
Beginning from the branches of definite discrimination [path of preparation],
On the paths of seeing and mediation
Are the assemblies of the irreversible here.
Actually, in the teachings I have received on this, Bodhisattvas of definite lineage are said to irreversible from highest complete enlightenment from the time of the small path of accumulation, even those who are of indefinite lineage will not fall from the Mahayana from the middling path of accumulation onwards. However, bodhisattvas of sharp faculty manifest signs of irreversibility on the Mahayana path of preparation, bodhisattvas of middling faculty on the Mahayana path of seeing and bodhisattvas of dull faculty on the Mahayana path of meditation.

It does not follow that a bodhisattva on the path of seeing for instance who has not manifested signs of irreversibility is irreversible. However, all bodhisattvas receive signs of irreversibility by the 8th ground because from then on, there is no possibility for the attitude striving for one's own welfare alone to arise. On the lower grounds, it is still possible for such an attitude to arise to a slight degree. Hence the lower 7 grounds are "impure" while the 8th - 10th grounds are "pure" grounds.

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Re: Can one fall down from the Bodhisattava bhumi?

Post by Bristollad » Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:25 pm

Bristollad wrote: It does not follow that a bodhisattva on the path of seeing for instance who has not manifested signs of irreversibility is irreversible.
:oops: got lost in the negatives...
This should say: It does not follow that a bodhisattva on the Mahayana path of seeing for instance who has not manifested signs of irreveribility is reversible. That is a bodhisattva on the Mahayana path of preprepation and onwards is necessarily irreversible but may not have manifested signs of irreversibility.

A sign of irreversibility is defined by Jetsun Chokyi Gyaltsan in Ocean of Sport as "a pure proof that causes conviction that the person who possesses it is irreversible from highest complete enlightenment."

There are 44 signs described in the Abhisamayalamkara - 20 of one on the Mahayana path of preparation, 16 of one on the Mahayana path of seeing and 8 of one on the Mahayana path of mediation.

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Re: Can one fall down from the Bodhisattava bhumi?

Post by Adamantine » Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:17 am

I've heard multiple times from varying sources that up until
the 8th bhumi, because of subtle grasping to self one can still potentially fall back from realization (perhaps that's within the bhumis like from bhumi 7 one could fall back to bhumi 3 or 1, but not from the 1st bhumi?

Because I've heard both that up until the 8th Bhumi one can
regress, (and after the 8th bhumi there's no potential for regression) but also that there's no turning back after the 1st bhumi. Can anyone clarify/reconcile and cite sources, ideally textual?
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha

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Losal Samten
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Re: Can one fall down from the Bodhisattava bhumi?

Post by Losal Samten » Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:40 am

Groundless Paths, Paltrul/Tsongkhapa p.294
  • Therefore, what is presented [here] is that those with dull faculties
    do not attain said signs even on the seven impure bhumis. [However,] though
    they do not attain these signs, it is impossible for them to fall [back] into the
    hinayana once they have attained the bhumis because {329} it is impossible for
    mahayana noble ones to regress from the generation of ultimate bodhicitta.
Lacking mindfulness, we commit every wrong. - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔
ཨཱོཾ་མ་ཏྲི་མུ་ཡེ་སལེ་འདུ།།

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Re: Can one fall down from the Bodhisattava bhumi?

Post by odysseus » Sat Jun 24, 2017 3:58 pm

A Bodhisattva may fall lower, due to errors. But as one progresses in the Bhumis, there is less chance of falling and one will not fall too much.

Don't worry about this issue, just stay on the Bodhisattva path and you will not fall. :namaste:

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Re: Can one fall down from the Bodhisattava bhumi?

Post by dzogchungpa » Sat Jun 24, 2017 4:39 pm

It looks like there's a pretty good discussion in chapter 6 of Dayal's "The Bodhisattva Doctrine in Buddhist Sanskrit Literature", although it only addresses texts available in Sanskrit.
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cky
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Re: Can one fall down from the Bodhisattava bhumi?

Post by cky » Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:29 pm

Thus I have heard: Bhumi 1 more or less equals stream entry.

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Re: Can one fall down from the Bodhisattava bhumi?

Post by Tolya M » Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:59 pm

A bodhisattva can become tired and become a sravaka. Sravaka can become a bodhisattva. Exactly with which bhumi and on what level of holiness I will not say, there were many different versions, as well as about the correlation of the levels of sutra and tantra. In sarvastivada-vaibhashika even some arhats may fall, but they do not die in this condition. The irreversible bodhisattva is somewhere on 7-8 bhumi, because there is no longer alaya-vijnana.
AlexanderS wrote:Can I attain the first bhumi in this lifetime and have to do again in my future life if I die before attaining liberation?
The process will be rapid. Tulkus usually learn very well. They have no aversion to knowledge :rolleye:

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