Bodhisattas and the EBTs

My problem with this is that it puts fully awakened Buddhas on a God level. Having determinism over someone else’s existence? The difference between a bodhisatta receiving an absolutely correct prediction and a sotāpanna having at most 7 lives left is that a sotāpanna has seen the Dhamma. They know which way to go and which way not to go. It may take them up to seven life times or it may take just one. They possess the path and they don’t need a teacher, although it would help. It’s their kamma.

But with such a deterministic prediction of Buddhahood, where they don’t see the Dhamma, and according to the EBTs they’re still considered a worldling, having that kind of prediction takes away a sense of will, of choice. How is the Buddha to know if they’ll screw up along the way and get lost? He didn’t answer whether all beings would become awakened one day, because he knew he didn’t have control over their choices. Sure he could influence and teach them, that’s why he taught them to reach the fixed course of righteousness where they would be guaranteed full release, based on their own efforts.

Of course, these are just my thoughts on the matter. Always fun to discuss though, so thank you for your input as well!

With mettā

A bodhisatta must make the vow before a living sammasambuddha. I would imagine there would be exposure to saddhamma.

Some random person taking the vow before anyone other than a living sammasambuddha wouldn’t be a bodhisatta. He’d just be some dude or chick that said some words before some other dude or chick. Nothing would become of it…

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Exactly. And it doesn’t mean they don’t have their place and use. They provide a sense of security in the Lord Buddha, “he really knew what he was talking about” sort of thing. But faith must always be balanced with wisdom, and eventually transcended. :pray:


It’s true there may be some powerful forces at work. That’s something I cannot take a stance on. But still, from the POV of the EBTs, the modern day bodhisatta ideal is kind of inconsistent. Again I recommend reading the book I mentioned if you’re interested in that sort of thing. Just finished it and it taught me A LOT.

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Consider number 7 as being symbolic. According to the tantras seven shaktis correpond to seven subtle energies in our beings .
The key musical notes are seven corresponding to the seven planes of consciousness both within and without.

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True, seven is very symbolic for ancient Indians and many other cultures. Like the assurance of awakening section in the Satipatthana Sutta (Seven years, six years, five years… Seven months, six months, five months… Etc.) Still, it means one who’s seen the Dhamma will be extinguished SOON.

Consider one more thing :
Islam says there is only one God .
Christian says there is one God only .
Now there are Two actually .
Ebt says there is only one Buddha (Gotama).

Now what ?

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No i don’t believe in rebirth neither do i disbelieve. There are many other teachings that are testable within my own mind and person. Such as khandas, aytanas, four noble truths etc. Having gained a measure of confidence in those teachings i am not afraid to take a leap of faith and assume that many other things in the suttas which are currently untestable by my self might be true.


EBTs say there is only one Buddha that arises in a world system at a given time. It does mention 6 previous Buddhas and opens up the possibility to more.


Well I’m glad you have faith in the Dhamma as well. May it flourish into realization and freedom from suffering :grin: :pray:


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They are both worshipping the same one God, the “God of Abraham”, that the Jews also worship.

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Saddha faith or more accurately trust (?) is said to increase. Unshakeable faith is established at stream entry. The faculty (indriya) of Trust (in the Buddha) is said to grow in strength to become the Power (bala) of Trust in an Arahant.

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If Jews originated monotheism, they can be compared to the original dispensation of the historical ascetic Gautama.

From this perspective, Mahāyānikāḥ are like trinitarian monotheists.

It’s sort-of monotheism, at least that is the Christian trinitarian self-narrative. They say/think it’s monotheism.

Mahāyāna and Theravāda bodhisattva-discourses have a similar relation IMO.

You can perhaps compare, if you believe in such a difference, the Theravāda to Islam, if Judaism is considered the Buddha’s historical dispensation.

The monotheism is clearer, but there are other significant differences.

I’ve always thought of Mahayana to be like Gnosticism. Added more scriptures and new doctrines, claimed to have special teachings not held by others, etc.

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Well, Gnosticism isn’t in the least monotheistic. They don’t believe in the same God of Abraham that the mainstream Abrahamic faiths do, indeed they often thought he was essentially the devil. So if Mahāyāna isn’t in the least Buddhism, I would concede that in that scenario, Mahāyāna is like Gnosticism.

True, I just meant you don’t have to rely on it after a certain point. You’ve seen it for yourself.

:pray: mettā

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As far as I know, Mahayana practicioners still value and train in sīla, samādhi, and pañña, and see and revere the Buddha as their teacher.


Yup. Of course, sometimes the ideas of the above words diverge, but sometimes they are the same. IMO Mahāyāna is too diverse and disunified for a blanket statement to apply to every sect and permutation of it. Some do the above, some don’t to any of the above.


I wouldn’t say that, but I wouldn’t say that Christian Gnosticism isn’t Christian either, its just radically different and makes radical changes to doctrine.

The Buddha in Mahayana in something else entirely than a Buddha in EBT. Just like god in Gnosticism is radically different than in “orthodox” Christianity. The docetism in Mahayana shows just how radical this difference is.

edit: Likewise, their soteriological goal has been transformed as well, from escaping samsara, to a remaining in samsara while also being enlightened (apratistha nirvana).

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I think there’s an “if” on my comment that supplies a fair amount of contextualization, that was left out of the quote :yum:.

I think Gnosticism isn’t monotheism by the strict standards set out by the 3 mainstream Abrahamic faiths. That is the comparison I meant to make.