Behaviour of the Enlightened- Part 2 -What the Buddhist Pali Canon says

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Kinds of Buddha (from Wiki)

In the Pali commentaries, three kinds of buddha are mentioned:

1. Sammasambuddhas attain buddhahood, then decide to teach others the truth they have discovered. They lead others to awakening by teaching the Dhamma in a time where it has been forgotten. Siddhartha Gautama is considered a sammasambuddha.

2. Paccekabuddhas, sometimes called 'silent Buddhas' are similar to sammasambuddhas in that they attain nirvana and acquire many of the same powers as a sammasambuddha, but are unable to teach what they have discovered. They are considered second to the sammasambuddhas in spiritual development. They do ordain others; their admonition is only in reference to good and proper conduct (abhisamācārikasikkhā). In some texts, the paccekabuddhas are described as those who understand the Dhamma through their own efforts, but do not obtain mastery over the 'fruits' (phalesu vasībhāvam).

3. Savakabuddhas attain nirvana after hearing the teaching of a sammasambuddha (directly or indirectly). The disciple of a sammasambuddha is called a savaka ("hearer" or "follower") or, once enlightened, an arahant. These terms have slightly varied meanings but can all be used to describe the enlightened disciple. Anubuddha is a rarely used term, but is used by the Buddha in the Khuddakapatha to refer to those who become Buddhas after being given instruction. Enlightened disciples attain nirvana and parinirvana as the two types of Buddha do. Arahant is the term most generally used for them, though it is also applicable to Buddhas.

In the Pali Canon itself, the first two are mentioned by the above names, while numerous examples of the third type occur, without that name. There is no mention of types of buddhas, though the word buddha does sometimes appear to be used in a broad sense covering all the above.

Ashvaghosha in his "Acts of the Buddha" states,

"A narrator could spend a kalpa [eon] but the virtues of the Buddha would not come to an end…":

"He makes wise all the ignorant ["illuminates those in the dark"] that's why he is called "Buddha." (Also,) this knowledge of the laws of reality has been ascertained by me and from myself distinct from all teaching by any other person, and therefore is he called "Self-existent." And, having all laws [dharmas] under his control, he is called "Lord of Law" (Dharmaraja.) "He knows what is right (naya) and wrong (anaya) with regard to laws, therefore he is called "Nayaka," teaching innumerable beings as they become fit to be taught. (Because) he has reached the furthest limit of instruction, therefore is he called "Vinayaka," from his pointing out the best route to beings who have lost their way. "He has reached the furthest extent of good teaching; he is the guide to all Dharma, attracting all beings by his knowledge of all the means of conciliation (his ability to synthesize -- to formulate.) "He has passed through the forest of mundane existence, so he is called Caravan Leader; and as absolute ruler over all law he is the Jina, Victorious One. "From his setting in motion this Wheel of Law he is the lord of all (other) sovereigns of Law (law-givers); the Master-giver of Dharma, The Teacher, Master of the Dharma -- the Lord of the World. "He who has offered the sacrifice, accomplished his end, fulfilled his hope, achieved his success, the consoler, the loving-regarder [cf. Avalokiteshvara,] the Hero, the champion, the victorious one in conflict. (As) he has emerged from all conflict, released himself and the releaser of all, he is become Light of the World, Illuminator of the Knowledge of True Wisdom: "The dispeller of the darkness of ignorance, Illuminator of the Great Torch; Great Physician, Great Seer -- the Healer of all evils who is the extractor of the barb of evil from all those wounded by evil. He is possessed of all distinctive marks and adorned with all signs. With his body and limbs in every way perfect, of pure conduct and perfectly clear mind, possessed of the ten powers, having great fortitude, learned in all learning, "Endowed with all independent states:" Attainer of the Great Vehicle (Mahayana;) "Lord of all Dharma:" the Ruler, Monarch of All Worlds, the Sovereign; "Lord of all wisdom:" the wise, the destroyer of the pride of all disputers, the omniscient, the Arhat, Possessor of Perfect Knowledge, the Great Buddha, Lord of Saints; "The Victorious:" triumphant over-thrower of the insolence and pride of the evil Mara, the Perfect Buddha, Sugata, the wise one who fulfills the wishes of all beings, "Ever cognizant of past acts, never speaking falsely, a mine of perfect excellence and of all good qualities; destroyer of all evil ways and guide to all right ways, "The ruler of the world, bearer of the world, master of the world, sovereign of the world, teacher of the world, preceptor of the world (since) he brings to the world the Law, virtue and its reward (true end.) The Fount of Nectar that quenches the scorching flame of all pain, and the powerful luminary [the sun] which dries up the great ocean of all suffering. Bringer of all virtue and all real wealth; possessor of perfect excellence and all good qualities; the guide on the road of wisdom who shows the way to Nirvana. "Tathagata without stain, without attachment, without uncertainty. That is the compendious [signature to this] declaration of the Turning of the Wheel of Law.

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The Six Paramitas

There are many enumerations of marks of an enlightened being, fruits
of practice of the Way, etc., in the Sutras. Many of them border on
the incomprehensible, others are obviously mythological, and some
are useful. The common denominator that is agreed upon by all schools
are the Six Paramitas, or Perfections:

1. Dana paramita, charity or giving. This is like the Christian caritas,
and is not just giving to the United Way when they call, but includes
opening one's heart to the demands of the moment and the needs of the
sentient beings around one. This is why it is first and fundamental.

2. Sila paramita, morality and virtue. Externally, this paramita is
identified with keeping the precepts but if we just keep precepts in
a mechanical way, while still harboring the greed, aversion, and
delusion that give rise to immorality, this is not enlightened action.

3. Shanti paramita, patience, endurance. Samsaara is a twisty maze and
it's tempting to try to force ourselves or others on the path, but this
just kicks up more karmic dirt (Buddhist karma is still karma).

4. Virya paramita, energy, enthusiasm, courage. Following on from Shanti,
this perfection is an obvious mark of a good teacher. Many masters continue to move around and spread the Dharma, in spite of doctors telling them to take it easy.

5. Dhyana paramita, concentration/meditatation. This of course is subtle.
But intuitively you can sense the presence of mind,
collectedness, and imperturbability that follow from deep practice. In
the direct presence of a Master, it can be sensed immediately.
(Dhyana is the Sanskrit word that by way of Chinese "Ch'an-na" to "Ch'an"
became the familiar Japanese "Zen".)

6. Prajna paramita, the perfection of non-dual wisdom. This is both
the crown and the foundation of the Paramitas. Proverbially indescribable
in words, while in no sense hidden, etc.
(From the Internet)

I am, yet I am not...

Asanga | Tue, 02/02/2010 - 06:11