TrimePema wrote: ↑
Tue Nov 20, 2018 6:08 pm
Malcolm wrote: ↑
Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:32 pm
TrimePema wrote: ↑
Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:27 am
Can you explain how a non-arya bodhisattva of limited range actually benefits beings in the same way a less limited, arya bodhisattva benefits beings?
If a common bodhisattva has a more limited range than an āryabodhisattva, it stands to reason they cannot immediately benefit as many sentient beings, right?
On the other hand, a first stage bodhisattva has a limited range compared with a tenth stage bodhisattva as well.
I understand what you are saying, Lopon. I am asking about the specific mechanics by which one can prove that a non-arya bodhisattva is already engaged in the same caliber of benefit to any given sentient being as an arya bodhisattva is but with less range. Here speaking of let's say only one subject of benefit.
I am asking this question regarding what I said earlier - that in order to benefit sentient beings as a bodhisattva one must really first attain at least the first bhumi (but now I think, after having read all of your responses, that I was mistaken and I really should have said the 8th bhumi).
Well, if there is no ārya bodhisattva around, but there is someone who wants to hear the dharma, and there is a regular guy named joe who has some understanding of Mahāyāna, and give an explanation, who is benefitting that being more? An absent ārya bodhisattva or a present common bodhisattva name joe?
And what is meant here by benefit? The only truly beneficial things Buddhas and bodhisattvas do is demonstrate the path. Of the three kinds of giving, the gift of Dharma is the most meaningful. Of course, giving material gifts to the needy and protection to the fearful is beneficial, but the most profound generosity is the gift of Dharma.
One might not be an ārya bodhisattva, but if one can bestow the gift of Dharma, the benefit of this gift is truly inconceivable, and it really does not matter whether you are an awakened bodhisattva or not. You never know if the person to whom you bestow the gift of Dharma won't manifest high level of realization.
The aspiration to attain full buddhahood itself is of inconceivable benefit from the point of view of the cause. It is the cause of all benefit in samsara. Therefore, even the aspiration of a common person to full buddhahood is inconceivably beneficial to all sentient beings, far more profound than the awakening of an arhat or pratyekabuddha.
The idea that one can only benefit sentient beings as a first or an 8th stage bodhisattva is therefore erroneous.
Shantideva says in The Way of the Bodhisattva 1:9
Should bodhicitta come to birth
In those who suffer, chained in the prison of samsara,
in that instant they are called Children of the Blissful One,
revered by all the world, the gods, and humankind...
Shantideva also mentions that of course the bodhicitta of aspiration itself is not sufficient, one needs to have engaged bodhicitta as well. And here, in 1:17-19, he says:
From bodhicitta in intention,
Great results arise for those still turning in the wheel of life;
But merit does not arise from it in ceaseless streams
As is the case for active bodhicitta.
For when, with irreversible intent
the mind embraces bodhicitta,
Willing to set free the endless multitude of beings,
In that instant, from that moment on,
A great and unremitting stream,
A strength of wholesome merit,
even during sleep and inattention,
Rises equal to the vastness of the sky.