Author Topic: Icons in Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Tibetan Buddhism  (Read 4514 times)

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Offline Jetavan

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Re: Icons in Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Tibetan Buddhism
« Reply #45 on: October 14, 2012, 12:15:22 PM »
Every Buddha has to start out as a bodhisattva. A bodhisattva is basically a Buddha-to-be.

I thought a bodhisattva was one who voluntarily delayed his transition to nirvana to help other beings achieve enlightenment.

Sometimes it is presented this way, but the general Mahayana teaching is that a bodhisattva is someone who vows to become a Buddha for the enlightenment and liberation of countless sentient beings. This is in contrast to the Hinayana ideal of the arhat, who attains a personal enlightenment.

There is no need to delay Buddhahood to help other beings achieve enlightenment, because that is what Buddhas do.

Wait...Buddhas do things? Clearly everything I thought I knew about Buddhism is wrong. I need to start another thread for this.
Different Mahayana Buddhist schools have different ideas about what a Buddha can do. Some say that once you become a Buddha, you can't help sentient beings as directly as you could as a Bodhisattva, so one should focus on being a helpful Bodhisattva and let Buddhahood take care of itself.

Others say that being a Buddha means that one has the greatest power to help sentient beings, so one should realize Buddhahood as quickly as possible.

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.