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The Bodhisatta ideal in Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism

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The Bodhisatta ideal in Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism
By. Prof. Tilak Kariyawasam
Bodhisattva is a person who aspires to become a Buddha. He has to make an effort to become a Buddha so many years. In the Theravada Buddhism it has been mentioned in certain period of fulfilling Pāramis but in Mahayana Buddhism there is unlimited period.
Some scholars say that the difference between Theravada Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism is Bodhisattva doctrine for there are some kinds of different aspects, which have been developed by Mahayana with regard to the Bodhisattva doctrine. Moreover, the base of Mahayana teaching is Bodhisattva doctrine, which is holy belong to all Mahayana Buddhism.
In Theravada Nikāyas and their commentaries, the sources of Bodhisattva doctrines are mentioned. These sources are as follow;
1.      Mahāsīhanāda Sutta 
2.      Bhayabherava Sutta
3.      Ariyapariyesana Sutta
4.      Dvedhāvitakka Sutta and
5.      Acchariya Abbuta Dhamma Sutta (in Majjhimanikaya)
6.      Mahāpadāna Sutta and
7.      Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta (in Dighanikaya)
8.      Buddhavamsa
9.      Cariyāpitaka
10. Jātaka Kathā (in Khuddakanikāya)
11. Samyuttanikāya Atthakathā
12. Suttanipāta Atthakathā
13. Sampindita Mahānidāna.
The information about Bodhisattva is mentioned in these suttas and Atthakathās. There mentions the similar kind of phrase going on and on when the Buddha was talking about his previous life before enlightenment. The phrase is “Pubbeva sambodha- before the enlightenment, Anabhisambuddho = yet to be enlightened or not yet enlightened, bodhisattova samano = like a Bodhisattva.
Majjhima Nikaya
In the Mahāsīhanāda sutta, the Greater Discourse on the Lion’s Roar, there mentions how Bodhisattva had to undergo much suffering while he was following asceticism to become a Buddha. He had to practice so many kinds of self-mortifications in that period.
Four ways of highest life practiced by Siddhattha Gotama Bodhidatta
1.      Asceticism: I became ascetic uppermost among the others
2.      Rough life: in this he became the for-most loathly One
3.      Detester: discarding about bad activities, even he did not tremble a drop of water because everything has life
4.      Aloofness: when many people coming into the forest he did not show his body to others and went into a thick forest because he did not life to speak with others
Bhayabherava sutta, the Discourse of fear and dismay, is the discourse, which mentioned one of the previous lives of Gotama Bodhisattva. It is mentioned in this Sutta that he was looking for the real meaning of fear and found that fear is nothing but unpurified bodily conduct, miss-verbal action and mental impurities. It means that when one has those three impurities actions, he always has to face so many kinds of fears. Knowing this the Bodhisattva went to the jungle and practiced the Bodhisattva practices. 
Ariyapariyesana sutta, the Discourse of Noble Search, gives information about the Bodhisattva's realization that just as all human beings have the nature of birth, sickness and death, so has he the same nature. And he realized that looking for money, houses, getting married, having children and collecting any sort of things are “ignoble search” (Anariyapariyesana) as they cannot overcome the law of nature; birth, decay, sickness and death. Then he also realized that to finding out a solution of these common problems; birth, decay, sickness and death as “Noble Search” (Ariyapariyesana). Then, he renounced the world to do the Noble Search.
InDvedhāvirakka sutta, the Discourse on the two fold thought. In this sutta it is explained that the bodhisatta when engaged in various religious practices to fine out the way of this suffering samsara he practised a kind of mental exercise, he divided his thought into two: “Yanunaham dvedha datva dvedha katva vitakkao vihareyyanti” 1. Unwholesome thought and 2. Wholesome thought. He was looking at his mind by himself and when a bad thought comes in his mind, he puts it in the left side and named “the side of Mara”. When he has a good thought in his mind, he puts it in the right side and named it “ the side of Nibbana”. This exercise is called “Introspection” in psychological term but Buddhist term is “Satipatthana’.
When he was doing that in the First Watch of that night (Pathamayame-6.00-10.00) he attained to the Recollection of Previous Existence (Pubbenivasanussati Nana). Then he attained the knowledge Disappearance and Reappearance (cutupapada Nana) in the middle Watch (Majjime yame-10.00- 2.00). then he realized the Four Noble Truths in the last Watch (Pacchima yame) of that night.
Acchariya-abbuta sutta, the discourse of strange and wonderful things, reveals thirty-two prior signs (Dvattimsa pubbanimittas) happened at the time of the birth of Bodhisattva. Some of them are as follows;
q                                           Taking place terrible earthquake
q                                           Devas gathering in human world to respect him
q                                           Bearing flowers and fruits unseasonally etc.
On the other hand, there are also (15) incidents from his departure from the Tusita heaven to the conception in Maya’s womb upto the Great utterance “I am the Lord of this world”.
These five Suttas mention only about the Siddhattha Bodhisattva doctrine.
Digha Nikaya
Mahāpadāna sutta, the Discourse of the biography of the Buddha. There information can gather with regard to the major incidents of the life of the Bodhisatta as same as in Acchariya Abbhutadhamma sutta but further can read about the life stories of the seven Bodhisattas: Vipassi, Sikkhi, Vesabhu, Kakusanda, Konagamana, Kassapa and Gotama. But the full life story of Vipassi Bodhisatta is given in this sutta explaining that these incidents of the Bodhisatta are a Rule (Dhammata) for every Bodhisatta.
In this sutta we are able to read the Four Signs (old man, sick man, dead body, mendicant) by which the Bodhisatta Vipassi was disgusted about the life and finally he wanted to become a mendicant.
Cakkavttisīhanāda Sutta, the Discourse of lion’s roar, this sutta is very important for us to read the information of King Cakkavatti in Buddhism. Any Bodhisatta has a potential to become a King Cakkavatti of he wishes. That he said in various other suttas in this manner. “Agatani kho amhakam mantesu dvattinsa mahapurisa lakkhanani yehi samanagatassa mahapurissadveyeva gatiye bhavanti ananna. Sace vijitavi………… sace kho pana agarasma anagariyam pabbajati, araham hoti sammasambuddho loke vivattacchado” if he remains as household-life he will be the Cakkavatti king or if he renounces the world he will be the Buddha).
Volumes of Khuddaka Nikaya
Buddhavamsa,history of the Buddha, from this sutta, we can read about (25) and (28) Buddhas or (28) Bodhisatta. Bodhisatta in his previous life first rooted his aspiration (Abhinihara) to become a Buddha in front of Dipankara the Buddha, as an ascetic called Sumedha. He receives the first declaration (Vyakarana) from the Dipankara the Buddha to say that he will, in his future birth, become the Buddha.
Cariyapitaka-basket of conduct, we can read all about the conduct of a Bodhisatta in order to become a Buddha. Paramitas (perfections) are explained here (Paramita, Upaparamita and Paramatthaparamita).
Jataka Katha- Jataka stories, Jataka stories are the previous life stories of the Bodhisatta to show how he tried to complete paramitas. There are ten Paramitas and some Jataka stories are mentioned to each Paramita. Every Jataka has a present incident and the pre-views story revealed by the Buddha in relation to the present incident. In every Jataka story the main character is the Bodhisatta.
Atthakatha and Later works
Samyutta Nikaya Atthakatha (Saratthappakasani)-commentary on the Kindred Sayings and Sutta Nipata Atthakatha (Paramatthajotika)-commentary on Sutta Nipata. Atthakathas are more important to find out the development of the Bodhisatta doctrine in the Theravada tradition.
  1. Etymology of the word Bodhisatta
  2. How the career of the Bodhisatta has divided into various categories such as:
  3. Maha Bodhisatta, Paccheka Bodhisatta and Savaka Bodhisatta
  4. The length of the career of the Bodhisatta
  5. What are the very important practices that the Bodhisatta has to follow
All these factors are explained in the Atthakathas.
Sampindita Mahanidana- unpublished text; here we can find the mental aspiration of the Bodhisatta to become a Buddha even much earlier than that of the Sumedha Ascetic. This shows the gradual development of the concept of the Bodhisatta in different periods.
Sanskrit Sources
Mahavastu- the only volume remains of Mahasamghika Sect. It includes a broader explanation of the career of the Bodhisatta. This is a Sanskrit text. This was written as a Vinaya Book of Mahasanghika.
Lalitavistara, it is one of the nine Dharmas of Nepalese Buddhism. The other books belonging to this class of Dharmas are:
  1. Astasahasrika Praynaparanita
  2. Gandavuha sutra
  3. Dasabhumika sutra
  4. Samadhiraja sutra
  5. Lankavatara sutra
  6. Sddharama pundarika sutra
  7. Tathajata Guyhaka
  8. Svarnaprabhasa sutra
The text of Lalitavistra is divided into 27 chapters called Parivartas or Adhyayas, of unequal extent. The first of these Parivartas is called Nidana, origin and states how Buddha himself narrated the contents of the work.
The second Parivarta narrates how gods encouraged the Bodhisattas, thy born in Tusita heaven, to descend on earth for the benefit of humanity. In the third, Bodhisatta after a review of the world, its countries, cities, royal houses etc ------
Astasahasrika Prajnaparamita
This is one of the earliest Mahayana texts among other volumes of Prajnaparamita literature. There are more than one hundred texts belonged to the Prajnaparamita literature. This text deals with the Bodhisatta practice, Extinction of self, The Meaning of Bodhisatta, The meaning of Mahayana, Six Paramitas, Tarining in Prajnaparamita, The Doctrine of Sunyta, Upayakausalya-skillfulness, The value of Prajnaparamita. There are (32) chapters only.
Bodhisattva Bhumi (part of Yogacarabhumi sastra
This volume on the Bodhisattva stages (Bodhisattabhumi) is belonged to the 4th A.D. Some of scholars think that this is a work of Maitreyanatha, a famous Mahayana teacher. In this some of the new concepts of the Mahayana tradition such as “Gotrabhu” has been explained in the sense of superior than that of Sravaka yana or Pratyaka Buddha yana. There are seven chapters.
Sasabhumika sutra
This book is earlier than the Bodhisatta Bhumi. This is the best source of Mahayana Dasabhumi. This has been written in 1-2 Century A.D. though there are some early source of Dasabhumi in the Lankavatara sutra and Pancavimsati Shahsrika. Prjnaparamita. Only Dasabhumika sutra provides the methodical explanation of Dasabhumi. This volume has (11) chapters explaining each Bhumi in each chapter Pramutita, Wimala etc.
Bodhicaryavatara (Shantideva)
This is one of the main sources of Bodhisatta career. This poetry book was written by Shantideva pada in the 7th A.D in India. He was belonged to the Madyamaka tradition and he has written another book on the Bodhisatta practice in the name of Siksasamuccaya. This bodhicaryavatara has (9) chapters and the last chapter deals with the Sunyata Doctrine.
Siksha samuccaya (Shantideva)
As this is a work of Shantideva Pada it deals with the Bodhisatta practices as same as the Bodhicaryavatara. The difference is the Bodhicaryavatara. The difference is the Bodhicaryavatara was written as poetry and the Siksha Samuccaya is mainly a prose book but rather mixed with poems. This provides the righteous code of conduct for a Bodhisatta. Here mainly instructions are given for the fulfilment of six Paramanitas: Dana, Sila, Ksanti, Virya, Dhyana and Prajna. This book is divided into (19) chapters the first eight chapters emphasize the avoidance of evil and self-purification. 9-15 chapters deal with Ksanti, Virya, Dhyana and Religious actions. 16-19 chapters deal with the increase of good conducts, The praise of worship, Recollection of the Three Jewels, Increase of Holiness and specially deals with a section for “NOT TO EAT FLESH’ and mentioned to avoid flesh, onions, intoxicants of different kinds and garlic of all sorts.
Secondary Sources
The Bodhisattva Doctrine of Buddhist Sanskrit Literature, by Har Dayal
This is the only book available on the Bodhisattva career. This was first publishing in 1932 but gives full and comprehensive explanation about the Bodhisattva career referring to the Buddhist Sanskrit literature. This has (8) chapters and dealt with most important aspects of the career of the Bodhisattva such as The Thought of enlightenment. The Paramitas and the Bhumis. Through it mentioned about the Bodhisattva Doctrine in Buddhist Sanskrit literature a lot of references are given here to the Pali literature as well.
Hinduism and Buddhism 11, by Sir Charles Eliot
This book has a separate chapter naming as “ Bodhisattvas” and gives a full report on the concept of Bodhisattva. In here the author says that his attempt is to clarity the position of Mahayana including their opposition to Hinayana and to protect Hinayana from the accusation that they are selfish.
It gives full description of Bodhicarya, Vatara and the Mahayana Bodhisattas: Avalokitesvara, Manjusri, Mahasthama prapta, Samtabhadra, Vajrapani and Maitreya.
The History Buddhist Thought, by E. J. Thomas
In this book there are (2) chapters explaining the Bodhisattva Doctrine named: popular “’Bodhisattva Doctrine” The Bodhisattva’s career. Here the Bodhisattva Doctrine has been explained according to the way of Mahayana and the full description is given referring to the Lotus Sutra (Saddharma Pundarika Sutra) and mainly talks about Avalokitesvara. For the Bodhisattva career it explains Dasabhumi as shown in the Mahavastu and Dasabhumika Sutra.
Aspects of Mahayana and its Relation to Hinayana, by Nalnaksa Dutt
This is a book, which deals with the Hinayana relationship to Mahayana. In this book there are few points have indicated to determine the special characteristics by which we can distinguish Mahayana from Hinayana. These are:
  1. The concept of Bodhisattva
  2. The practice of Paramitas
  3. The development of Bodhicitta
  4. The ten stages (Bhumi) of spiritual development.
Indian Buddhism by A.K Warder
In this book a separate section has been confined to the Doctrine Bodhisattva where all the details have been given. In the chapter called Mahayana and Madhyamaka there is a separate heading “The Buddha ”. It is mentioned that Mahayana means the Bodhisattvayana and explains the concept as in Theravada text as well as in the Mahayana and further explained about the Amitabha Buddha also in relation to the concept of Bodhisattva.
Zen and the Taming of the Bull- Walpola Rahula, Article “The Bhodhisattva Ideal in Theravada and Mahayana
This is a collection of articles of Ven. Walpola Rahula. There is one article “The Bodhisattva ideal in Theravada and Mahayana” appears with the detailed explanation of the concept of Bodhisattva. This article mainly deals with the misconception to say that the Doctrine of Bodhisattva means merely Mahayana and argues that this is a misconception without the proper understanding of Theravada text because there is the Bodhisattva in Theravada as same as in Mahayana.
Studies in the Lankavatara Sutra “Life and the works of the Bodhisattva” by D.T. Suzuki
In this book of the study of Lankavatara Sutra part three is confined to “the life and works of the Boddhisattva”. It deals with the discipline of the Bodhisattva, how he purifies his mind, his social life and how the Bodhisattva’s merit will transfer to other beings. All these explanations are given according to the Lankavatara Sutra.
The background of the Bodhisattva Doctrine
Buddhism was originated since the ascetic Gotama’s realization of the four Noble truths. Since then he was named as the “Buddha ”. When the Buddha advised monks asked to achieve Nirvana. This position of achieving Nirvanahas been named an Arhatta and the Buddha was also an Arhant. Writing of the biographies of the Buddha have been necessitated as in the case of any religious system and mentioned if one want to become a Buddha he has to complete certain conditions of spiritual development. The following pints were necessary to show that the Buddha was not an Ordinary person.
  1. The Buddha expressed that he was found an old path
  2. He himself said there were previous Buddhas
  3. Some Jataka stories revealed by the Buddha himself
  4. Writing of the biographies like Mahapadana sutta have been started
Some scholars say Sravakas after the 2nd century of the Parinibbana of the Buddha neglected some important advices of the Buddha because they were self-centred. They did not help other ordinary people. Therefore some of the teachers who were critical about these attitudes of monks promulgated the Bodhisattva Doctrine.
The word “Bodhisattva”
We can trace the word “Bodhisattva” in the Pali Nikayas. In the Majjhima Nikaya in the Bhayabherava sutta Ariyapariyesana sutta we can read this word, which has been used to Siddhartha Gautama before his enlightenment from birth upto the Enlightenment.
“ Pubbeva sambodha anabhisambuddha bodhisattova samano- before the Enlightenment yet to be Enlightened, when I was like a Bodhisattva”
Meaning the word “Bodhisattva”
Dighanikaya Atthakatha II-427
“Bodhisatto ti panditasatto bujjhanakasatto bodhisankhatesu va catusu maggesu asatto laggamanaso’ti bodhisatto”
  1. Bodhisattva means enlightened being
  2. A being who has the ability to realize
  3. Whose mind is attached to the bodhi
What is this “Bodhi”
Bodhi’ti sammasambodhi, arahattamaggananassa ca sabbannutananassa ca etam adhivacanam (BV.A)
Bodhi is another name for Sammasambodhi, Arahattamagganana andfor all knowledge.
Bodhinti- “Arahattamaggananam sabbannunampi vattati”
The term “Bodhi” applies to the knowledge of Arhattamagga and to the all knowledge (commentary of Buddhvamsa).
The name “Bodhisattva” is given to a being who aspires to become a “Buddha ”. as to Prof. Alalasekara this word refers to all beings who seek Nibbana including Buddha , Paccekabuddha, and Savaka.
This word originally used to mention the last life of the Buddha.
According to Buddhavamasa Budhisattva career was started with the resolution (Adhitthana) of the Bodhisattva before a Buddha (Abhinihara karana) to liberate other beings.
Abhinihara means resolution before a Buddha to be a Buddha.
When ascetic Sumedha made his Abhinihara in the presence of the Buddha Dipankara looked into the future of ascetic Sumedha and declared the fulfilment of his resolution in future. This declaration is called prediction (Vyakarana). Bodhisattva Gotama received similar declaration from (24) Buddhas until he attained the Enlightenment.
  1. Dipankara- as ascetic Sumedha
  2. Kodanna- as a universal monarch in the name of Vijitavi
  3. Mangala- as a Brahmana in the name of Suruci
  4. Sumana-as Naga King-Athila
  5. Revata- as a Brahmana-Athideva
  6. Sobhita-as a Brahmana-Sujatha
  7. Anomadassi- as a Yakkha who has a power to perform miracles
  8. Paduma- as a lion King
  9. Narada- as an ascetic (Jatila)
  10. Padumttara- provincial chief Jatila
  11. Sumedha- young man Uttara
  12. Sujatha- as a universal monarch
  13. Piyadassi- young man Kassapa
  14. Atthadassi-as a Jatila
  15. Dhammadassi- as a King of Gods (Sakka a King)
  16. Siddhattha-as an ascetic Mangala
  17. Tissa- as a King-Sujatha
  18. Phussa- as a King-Vijitavi
  19. Vipassi- as a Naga King Athula
  20. Sikhi- as a King Arindama
  21. Vessabhu- as a King Sudassana
  22. Kakusanda- as a King Khema
  23. Konagamana-as a King Pabbata
  24. Kassapa- as a young man Jotipala
{25. Tanhankara, 26. Medhankara, 27. Saranamkara and 28.Gotama)
When he first received vyakarana from the Dipankara the Buddha he investigated the qualities, which should be acquired by him to gain the Buddhahood (Buddhakaraka Dhamma). This is the norms custom of all the Bodhisattva.
According to Buddhavamsa though the ascetic Sumedha was able to attain into Arahanship of he wished he made up his mind to become a Buddha.
Kim me annatavesena
Dhammam sacchikateni’dha
Sabbannutam papunitva
Buddho he’ssam sadevake
“What is the purpose for me to realise Dhamma as an unknown person?. I shall become a Buddha to the world including devas having become an omniscience”.
Kim me ekena tinnena
Purisena thamadassina
Sabbannutam papunitva
Taremi janatam bahum
“What is the purpose for me to cross alone as a man who knows my ability. I shall make the way to cross others after attaining into all knowledge”
Abhinihara is another name for first aspiration of Bodhisatta.
Abhinihara to be effective, eight conditions should be fulfilled the aspirant or the Bodhisattva should be:
1. a human being. (Manussatta)
2. a male. (Lingasampatti)
3. He should be able to attain Arahantship in this very life. (Hetu)
4. He should be able to see living Buddha (Satthāra dassana)
5. During the living Buddha time, he should be an ascetic (Pabbajjā)
6. He should have quality to attain Janas (Gunasampatti)
7. He should be prepared to sacrifice his life to the Buddha (Adhikara)
8. He should willing to follow the Bodhisatta Path (Chandatā)
{Manussatam linga sampatti
hetu sattharadassanam
pabbajja gunasampatti
adhikaro ca chandata
atthadhamma samodhana
abhiniharo samijjhati}
He has discovered the ten qualities, which should be acquired to be a Buddha. Those are called Paramitas (Perfections). The ten perfections are:
  1. Dāna           Pārami (Charity)
  2. Sila               Pārami (morality)
  3. Nekkhamma Pārami (Renunciation)
  4. Paññā          Pārami (Wisdom)
  5. Vīriya          Pārami (Energy)
  6. Khanti         Pārami (Patience) 
  7. Saccā            Pārami (Truthfulness)
  8. Adhitthāna   Pārami (Resolution)
  9. Mettā            Pārami (Loving-kindness)
10. Upekkhā     Pārami (Equanimity)
These perfections are divided into thirty according to the degrees of the practice.
In the case of Dana-giving away one’s external possessions is Danaparamita. Giving one’s limbs is Danaupaparamita. Giving away one’s life is Danaparamattha paramita. So in the Buddhavamsa Atthakatha, it is stated that (Bahira bhandapariccago paramiyo nama, anga pariccago upaparamiyo nama, jivita pariccago paramatthapamiyo namati dasa paramiyo, dasa upaparamiyo, dasa paramattha paramiyo)
In the Jataka atthakatha and in the Buddhavamsa atthakatha certain Jatakas have been named to show how the bodhisattva fulfilled Paramitas in the Jataka stories.
  1. Dana paramita- sasa Jataka
  2. Sila paramita- sankhapala Jataka
  3. Nekkhamma paramita- cula sutasoma Jataka
  4. Panna paramita- ummagga Jataka
  5. Viriya paramita- mahajanaka Jataka
  6. Khanti paramita- khantivadi Jataka
  7. Sacca paramita- maha sutasoma Jataka
  8. Adhitthana paramita- mugapakkha Jataka
  9. Metta paramita- ekaraja Jataka
  10. Upekkha paramita- lomahansa Jataka
As suttanipada atthakatha shows “ Bodhisattva during his career never be born in (18) inauspicious states (Attharasa abhabbatthanani).
1.      He is never born as a blind (Jaccanda)
2.      As a deaf ( Jaccabadhira)
3.      As a mad (Ummattaka)
4.      As a fool or idiot (Elamūga)
5.      As a trapper (Pittasappi)
6.      As a barbarian (Milakkhu)
7.      As a slave (Dasikucchiya)
8.      As a wrong viewer ( Niyata Micchāditthi: Ahetuka- fatalistic-causeless, Makkaligosala, Akiriya- non-actionists- Puranakassapa and Ucchedavadi- Nihilists- Ucchedavada- Ajita)
9.      He will never be changed his sex (Lingaparivatta)
10. He never commits the five heinous Actions (Panca anantariya kammas: Killing one’s mother, father, an arahant, raising a blister on a Buddha and causing a schism in the Order. )
11. He is never born as leprosy. (Kuttha)
12. He is never born as an animal form less than quail and bigger than an elephant.
13. He is never born in the realm of departed ghosts, which are full of hungry feeling (Khuppipāsika and Nijjhamatanhika Petas.)
14. He is never born in the realm of the Asuras. (Kalahanga Asura.)
15. He is never born in wave less hell, which is the lowest of the eight hells (Avisi niraya)
16. He never is born in a group of purgatories situated in Cakkavalantara (Lokantarika niraya)
17. He never be born in Asannasattas (Unconscious Beings) and Suddhavasa (Pure Abode: a place of Anagamis) of Rupa stages.(Rupabhave na asannasatte suddhavase.)
18. He never be born in the Immaterial World and in other Universe (Arupabhave aññe sakkavale)
The bodhisattva has to develop four buddhabhumi. They are:
  1. Ussaha- viriya-effort
  2. Ummagga- panna-wisdom
  3. Avatthana- adhitthana- resolution
In order to mature Enlightenment he has to develop six Intentions (S.N- suttanipada atthakatha-50). They are:
  1. Nekkhammajjhasaya- intention of giving away pleasure
  2. Pavivekajjhasaya- intention of solitude
  3. Alobhajjhasaya- intention of greedlessness, intention of generosity
  4. Adosajjhasaya- intention of non-hatredness
  5. Amohajjhasaya- intention of improving one’s own knowledge
  6. Nissaranajjhasaya- intention of freeing oneself from samsara
1.      Intention of giving away pleasures: He will realize effects of pleasures and develop the intention of giving away all the pleasures.
2.      Intention of solitude: He will realize the troubles of delight in company and improve the intention of solitude.
  1. Intention of greedlessness, intention of generosity: even if he has nothing to offer he has the intention of giving something
  2. Intention of non-hatredness: He will see the hatredness as worthless and try to develop universal kindness
  3. Intention of improving one’s own knowledge: He will realise the fault of delusion and try to improve wisdom. He will have intention of finding out what is Punna and what is Papa and what is good and bad
  4. Intention of freeing oneself from samsara: The bodhisattva realizes the fault of every bhava- becoming or existences and has the intention of his release from samsara
All bodhisattvas must practise five great sacrifices (Panca maha pariccaya- Jataka vi-552).
  1. Giving up wife,
  2. Children
  3. Kindom
  4. Life
  5. Limbs
The length of the bodhisattva career (S.N A P-47)
The bodhisattva career is varied according to the character of the bodhisattva.
1.      Some of them practise paramitas four Asankheyyas (in calculable) and one hundred thousand Kappas. This called the lowest period (Hetthima paricchedena)
2.      Some of them practise eight Asankheyyas and one hundred thousand Kappas (Majjhima paricchedena)
3.      Some of them practise sixteen Asankheyyas and one hundred thousand Kappas (Uprima paricchedena)
1.      Who excel in Panna (wisdom) will practise paramitas only four Asankheyyas and one hundred thousand Kappas
2.      Who excel in Saddha (faith) will practise paramitas eight Asankheyyas and one hundred thousand Kappas
3.      Who excel in Viriya (effort) will practise paramitas sixteen Asankheyyas and one hundred thousand Kappas
Every Bodhisatta has these three qualities: saddha, panna and viriya.
Excellent                                 middle                low
v     Pannadhika-panna                viriya                          saddha
v     Saddhdhika-saddha                     panna                         viriya
v     Viriya-viriya                         saddha                panna
(S.N. A P-47, Thera .A. –P-9)
Two Asankheya and one hundred thousand Kappas have to fulfil Paramitas.
Two main disciples (Aggasavaka)
One Asankheya and one hundred thousand Kappas.
(80) Great Disciples (Mahasavaka)
One hundred thousand Kappas
  1. Buddha ’s parents
  2. Buddha ’s chief Attendant (Ven. Ananda)
  3. Son of the Buddha also have to fulfil one hundred thousand Kappas.
When a Bodhisatta fulfils all the Paramitas in the last life of before his birth in human world he will be born in the Tusita Heaven (full of joy).
The life span of the Tusita heaven is very lengthy one but most of Bodhisattas leave it before completing the full life span.
Full life span is 4000 celestial years (D.A 57 Kotis and million years)
In the Tusita heaven the Bodhisatta Gotama’s name was “Setaketu”. The King of Tusita at that time was “Santusita”.
When the time approaches, various signs appear in the ten thousand world systems. The Devas of all worlds assemble in Tusita heaven and request the Bodhisatta to be born in the human world as a human being in order to become a Buddha. The Bodhisatta will not reply until he has made the five great investigations. (Panca maha vilokana) regarding time (Kala) continent (Dipa), place of birth (Desa) clan (Kula) and mother (Matha).
Kala- Time
It should be a proper time. It should not be more than one hundred thousand years of human life span and less than one hundred years of life span. If it is more than one hundred thousand years decay and death are not prominent. Buddha ’s teaching is base on these sings. When the Buddha talks about these three sings others will not realize it. If the life span is too short people will have excessive defilements (ussanna kelesa). Because of excessive defilements people to not comply with the advice given by the Buddha.
Dipa- contement
Only in Jambudipa the Buddhas are borne.
Desa- place
Middle path (Madhyadesa)
Kula- clan
Khattiya or Brahmana
Matu- mother
Bodhisatta mata should have practised Paramitas one hundred thousand Kappas. The Bodhisatta Mata in her last birth must not passionate. She should have to practise five precepts without violating them for her life. She should not have more than (7) days life after the birth of the Bodhisatta.
When the Bodhisatta investigated the five investigations he goes with other Devas to play in Nandanavana in the Tusita Heaven. He declares his departure to other devas and disappears among them while playing.
On the day of his conception the Bodhisatta mother took the vows of fasting and celibacy at the conclusion of great festival (August summer festival).
When the Divi was in a sleep she had a dream, that four great gods (Drtarastra, Virutha, Virupaka, Vaisravana) took her with her bed to the Himalayas, gave her a bath in the Anotatta lake, clad her in divine garments and placed her in a golden palaces. When she was lying these the Bodhisatta in a form of a while elephant entered the womb of Maya Devi through her right side. This story of the Siddartha bodhisatta had the influence to the Christians to form the Jesus’s birth story. After that the four great Gods assumed guards for the mother and the child.
In the Mahapadana sutta of the D.N it is mentioned that four kinds of miracles appeared at that time of the Bodhisatta Vipassi’s conception in the mother’s womb and that has mentioned as a fixed nature or natural occurrence for every Bodhisattva’s conception. The miracles were:
  1. There appeared a light (exceeding the radiance of Devas) in the ill-will illument the world of evil one (Mara) the world of Brahma and in the human world.
  2. The Lokantarika hell, which is ever in darkness also was illuminated by similar light. With that light the beings who were there were able to see each other and as a result they come to know that there were other beings too.
  3. The ten thousand world system trembled.
  4. This ten thousand world system was also illuminated by a light exceeding the height of Devas and so on.
In the Mahapadana sutta of D.N, there are (15) incidents related to the birth of Bodhisatta mentioned and all of them are fixed nature for every Bodhisattas. There are:
  1. The Boddhisatta takes the conception in the mother’s womb mindfully. This is a fixed nature for every Bodhisatta. The commentaries give a detailed report with regard to the conception and say: “the Bodhisatta will descend into the mother’s womb mindfully. Stays in the mother’s womb and born from the mother’s womb mindfully.
  2. It is a rule that there appeared a light in the world up to the Brahmaloka when the conception of the Bodhisatta was taking place.
  3. When the Bodhisatta descends into the mother’s womb the four Devas of the Great God will take position as guards
  4. The mother continues to observe the five precepts after the Bodhisatta descends into her womb.
  5. When the Bodhisatta descends into the mother’s womb no one will have a lustful thought about her.
  6. After conception takes place the mother experiences the five kinds of pleasures.
  7. The mother will have no ailments whatsoever, and she sees the Bodhisatta sitting cross-legged in her womb, just like seeing a gem in her hand. 
  8. After the birth, the mother passes away within (7) days.
  9. The Bodhisattva is born after (10) moths (normally babies are born between (9) months.
  10. The Bodhisattva’s mother gives birth while standing.
  11. When the Bodhisatta is born the devas accept him just and then he is accepted by humans.
  12. The devas inform the mother “Rejoice lady, a mighty son is born to you”.
  13. The Bodhisatta is born stainless, undefiled by any watery matter and is born like a gem wrapped in a Kasi cloth.
  14. Showers of water appear from the sky are cold, are warm, bathing the mother and the Bodhisatta.
  15. When the Bodhisatta is born he stands firm on both feet and with his face to the North takes (7) steps and says: “ I am the chief in the world, I am the oldest in the world, I am the foremost. This is the best birth. There is no more coming to be”.
In the Acchariya Abbhuta Dhamma sutta of M.N mentions these same incidents saying those things are strange and wonderful things that happens with the connection of the Bodhisattva’s conception and the birth.
At the end of the ten months the Bodhisatta’s mother gave the child four births in the Lumbini sala grow. It happened this way: at the end of ten months, Maya devi informed the King Suddhodana that she wanted to go to her mother’s place, at Devadaha Nagaram. The King arranges the road to Devadaha from Kapilavastu city.
There was a park called Lumbini between these (2) cities. At that time these park was with full of flowers all the trees were flowered and when the Devi saw the park she wanted to go inside to the park.
When she wanted to touch a branch of a Sala tree the child has born.
As same as the Bodhisatta uttered “Aggohamasmi lokassa” soon after the birth in other two previous births also the Bodhisatta uttered some words. 1. Ummmagga Jataka, 2. Vessantara Jataka were two births that the Bodhisatta uttered some words.
Some after the birth the King Suddhodana was summoned the soothsayers and when the soothsayers investigated the (32) body marks of great man and declare that the child will become either Cakkavatta or a Buddha. His father Suddhadana had the desire to see his son becoming a Cakkavatti than a Buddha brought him up in a great luxury hiding him from all the ugliness of the word. But at the young age he was aware of the actual nature of life such as birth, old age, disease and death and the freedom of mind to be found in the life of a recluse. He wanted to discover the cause of suffering in the world. Therefore, the Bodhisattva left the world on the day of his son’s (Rahula) Birth.
When he left home and became homeless the Bodhisatta went to Alarakalama and Uddakarama and learned their ways of spiritual progress but soon discovered that was not the path to freedom and started to practise austerities for six years. According to Atthakatha every Bodhisatta has to practise austerities for a certain period. The periods have been different to each Bodhisatta. As to Milindapanha Dipankara, Kondanna, Sumana, Anomadassi, Sujata, Siddattha, and Kakusanda Bodhisattas practised austerities for ten months. Mangala, Sumedha, Tissa, and Sikhi Bodhisattas practise only eight months. Bodhisatta Revata practises only seven months. Piyadassi, Plussa, Vessabhu and Konagamana practise only six months.
Sobhita Bodhisatta practises only four weeks. Paduma, Atthadassi and Vipassi Bodhisattas practise only two weeks. Narada, Padumutara, Dhammadassi and Kassapa Bodhisattas practises only one week. Only Gotama Bodhisatta practises six years. The reason for that was that he left home before he matures his wisdom.
Mahasihanada sutta, Mahasaccaka sutta of M.N give details of self-mortification that the Bodhisatta had undergone and mention that since he left Uddakarama putta and went to Uruvela and started to practise self-mortification. First of he started a mental exercise suppressing the mind by his mind. Then he practised the trance called without breathing. Then he started to follow the four-fold Higher Life:
  1. He has become a foremost in his practice of asceticism
  2. He has become a foremost in rough life,
  3. He has become a foremost in disgusted with sins,
  4. He has become a foremost in solitude
After austerities he went to the Bodhi tree having taken the milk-rice of Sujata.
On the previous night he had five dreams: (A.N-III-240)
  1. Bodhisatta was sleeping on a couch, that couch was the world. Himalaya was his pillow. His left hand was resting on the Eastern sea, right hand on the Western sea, and his feet on Southern sea.
  2. That a Kusa grass, which was grown form his naval touched the clouds
  3. White worms with black heads crept up from his feet covering his knees
  4. Four birds (people from different clans: Brahmana, Kasattariya, Vaisya, Sudara) of varied colours from the four quarters of the world fell his feet and became white
  5. The walked on heap of dung by which he remains unsoiled
On the following day, when he sat under the Bo-tree he thought that he would not rise unless achieving enlightenment.
He sat down under the Bo-tree with cross legged on his seat facing the North with a firm determination not to rise till he attained his goal. This North direction is somewhat special direction. Edgar Caycee who had given enormous life readings for various people at the start gave readings with South-North directions. But after few readings he felt very tired. During the times of reading itself Edger Cayceee told his position should be changed to North-South direction. After changing the directions he could have given any amount of readings without trouble. Therefore, facing North direction has some meaning.
When he sat down under the Bo-tree Mara (Evil one) came with his mighty hosts to fight with the Bodhisattva and the battle went on for the whole day. Ultimately, Mara told the Bodhisatta the seat of Bodhisatta is belonged to him and he should avoid that seat immediately. The Bodhisatta asked Mara for witness to claim the seat. Then Mara said my whole force would bear witness. They all shouted saying that they agree with the words of Mara. Mara asked the same question from the Boddhisatta “ who bears witness for you”. The Boddhisatta raised his hand from his robed and said I fulfilled Paramitas and this earth will bear witness. At that time there was an earthquake. Then the Mara with his force fled after having defeated by the Bodhisatta.
Then all gods approached him. Then Bodhisatta started to have deep concentration.
  1. Sakhandha Mara- five aggregates
  2. Devaputta Mara- certain gods
  3. Abhisanskhanra Mara-certain ideas or dispositions-Karma
  4. Maccu Mara-death
  5. Kilesa Mara- defilements
Normally, all sorts of trouble are mentioned I the name of Mara. Mara Samyutta refers to various troubles faced by various disciples as well as the Buddha.
In the Padhana sutta of Suttanipata all sort of defilements have been mentioned as the force of Mara.
Buddha mentioned to Mara that:
1.      KAmA- pleasures lost of pleasures, first force, vatthu kama kilesa kama
2.      Arati- dislike, a version, dislikeness of homeless life, a version of elements of good
3.      Khuppipasa- hunger and thirst-Khuda-pipasa
4.      Tanha-craving, lust
5.      Thina-middha- sloth and torpor of immobility, drowsiness of the mind
6.      Bhiru- fear of forests and jungles where people can have rest
7.      Vicikiccha-doubt, whether we can attain into any higher attainment or not
8.      Makkha-smearing over with something (hands smear with blood), Thambha- Thaddha-hard, immobility, stiff Thambha (pillar)
9.      Labha- gains, Sakkara- has vitality, honour, and worship, Siloka-fame, Miccha Laddho ca yo yaso- a fame, which received by hypocrisy
10. Attukkansana-self exaltation, self praise, Paravambhana- contempt of others
Devaputta mara
Devaputta mara has been mentioned in the Atthakatha as one of powerfull gods who lives in Paranimmita vasavatti Heaven. (S.N.A-I-44)
When the bodhisattva continued his deep concentration he attained to Pubenivasa nussati nana (the knowledge of previous existence) in the Fist Watch. In the Middle Watch he attained to the Dibbacakkhu nana (the knowledge of death and birth of other beings). In the Last Watch he attained t the Asavakkhaya nana (the knowledge of the destruction of cankers (asava). These are called Tevijja.
The Asavas are: Kama, Bhava, Ditthi, Avijja with this knowledge of the destruction of cankers the Bodhisattva attained to the Buddhahood. This is story of Siddharta Bodhisattva but every Bodhisattva’s attainment to the Buddhahood will be the same.
Arhant and the Buddha 
After the destruction of cankers, the attainment to the Buddhahood and the attainment to Arhantship are the same. The different is, which the Arhant is just becoming an Arhant after the destruction of cankers. The Buddha will achieve some other qualities along with the Arhantship. Those qualities are mentioned in the Maha Sihanada suttta namely:
  1. Ten powers (Dasa bala)
  2. Four self confidence ( Catu vesarajja ni)
  3. Unshaken mind in the eight crowds and in some other places mentioned.
  4. Omniscience
The Buddha is the person who discovers the path, which was hidden for so many years and that path is the way to Nibbana or Arhantship. When the Buddha discovers the path and declares it to the others the Arhant is the person who follows the way according to the Buddha ’s instruction. This is the difference between the Buddha and the Arhant.
The Bodhisattva’s aim was to become a Buddha but not to become an Arhant. That was reason the Bodhisattva fulfilled Paramitas for a long period of time. When the bodhisattva attained to the enlightenment he achieved some other qualities such as Dasa bala etc.
Dasa bala
  1. Thana atthana nana: the Buddha comprehends as it really is the causal occasions as such and what is not causal occasions.
  2. Kamma vipaka nana: the Buddha comprehends Kamma of beings and their results
  3. Sabbathagamini patipada nana: He comprehends the various kinds of practices that led beings to be born in various planes.
  4. Anekadhatu nanadhatu loka nana: He understands the world with its various and divers feature. He comprehends the world by various elements, Cakkhudhatu, Kamadhatu, Khandhayatana dhatu.
  5. Sattanam nanadhimuttikata nana: He comprehends the divers characters (adhimutti) of beings. Some have low aspirations, some have excellent aspirations and come have middle level aspirations.
  6. Indriya paropariyatta nana: He comprehends the higher or lower state of the faculties (Indriya) of people. Indriyas are Saddha, Sati, Viriya, Samadhi, Panna
  7. Jhana, vimokkha, samadhi, samapattinam, sankhilesa, vadana, vutthana nana: He comprehends as they really are the defilements. (Sankhilesa) of purification (vodana) of and emergence from (vutthana) in relation to contemplation (dhynana) deliverance (vimokkha) concentration (samadhi) and attainments (samapatti)
  8. Pubbenivasa nussati nana: He remembers his many for new lives.
  9. Dibbacakkhu nana: He has purified deva vision and sees beings as they are deceasing and uprising.
  10. Asavakkhaya nana: By the destruction of asava and having realized through the knowledge that he has destroyed all asavas.
Bala katha: (K-III. I (Bala katha)
There is an argument in the Kathavatthu that these dasabala nanas are common to disciples. Andhakas held that view. But the commentary says it is because their misinterpretation of certain statements of Ven. Anuruddha in the Samyuttanikaya. They had this view. It was mentioned that Ven Anuruddha also had these ten powers because he practised the four Application of mindfulness.
But according to the commentary, it says these balas are nanas. They function without limits within the Tathagata but in the case of disciples they know them only within a certain range.
Andhakas held another view that tem powers are Aryan (Noble). But the commentary says only the last nana (asavakkhanana) is Aryan and other are not.
The four Grounds of Self-confidence (Catu vesarajjani)
Vesarajja (Vaisaradya) means “Perfect Self Confidence” or “ Self- Satisfaction”. On account of these self-confidences the Buddha preaches the doctrine and utters lion’s roar.
  1. There is no Samana or Brahmana or Deva or Mara or Brahma or any other person and that he cannot see even a sign of a person who is able to challenge the Buddha, saying though you say that you are perfectly enlightened still you do not know these Dharmas. By seeing this he lives safely, fearlessly and confidently.
  1. There is no Samana or Brahmana or Deva or Mara or Brahma or any other person and that he cannot see even a sign of a person who is able to challenge the Buddha, though you say that you have destroyed asavas and these asavas still remain within you. By seeing this he lives safely, fearlessly and confidently.
  1. There is no Samana or Brahmana or Deva or Mara or Brahma or any other person in the world who can challenge the Buddha by saying though you say a certain elements are obstacles to the higher knowledge (antarayaka dhamma) these dhammas are not obstacles to the higher knowledge. By seeing this he lives safely, fearlessly and confidently. (Ecclesiastical offences (apatti) are the Antarayika dhamma. There are seven apattis but here it accepts the sexual union as a major obstacle of a higher knowledge).
  1. There is no Samana or Brahmana or Deva or Mara or Brahma or any other person in the world who can challenge the Buddha by saying though you teach the Dhamma for the destruction of suffering, though you say that these Dhammas would not help to destroy suffering in the same way. By seeing this he lives safely, fearlessly and confidently.
Unshaken mind in the (8) Crowds
These are eight crowds: Crowds of Nobles (Khattiya), Brahmana, householders (Gahapati), clergies (Samana), Catummaharajika, Tavatimsa, Mara, and Brahma.
The Tathagata who is endowed with these four self-confidences enters those crowds, go to those crowds talked to many hundred of Khattiyas had discussed with them. But there is no sign even that I felt any fear or dread. By seeing this I live safely, fearlessly and confidently.
Sabbannuta nana
The Buddha is endowed with all knowledge or omniscience (sabbannu nana). On those days some religious teachers such as Nigantha Natha Putta and Purana Kassapa claimed that they were omniscient. They claimed all knowing (sabbannu) all seeing (sabbadassavi) professes unlimited knowledge and vision by saying whether I am walking or standing still or asleep or awake, knowledge and vision permanently and continuously before me”. A.L Basham in his “ The Doctrine of Ajivikas” say that even Makkali Gosala also claimed to have such a knowledge.
Buddha criticized this claim pointing out the persons who claims to have this kind of knowledge go for begging to empty houses, dogs bide them, they encounter fierce houses and Bullocks ask the names of the villages or markets towns and the ways.
In the Tevijja Vecchagota sutta when asked whether the Buddha has a similar kind of knowledge to Nigantha Natha Putta the Buddha denied and mentioned that it is a misrepresenting him with what he does not have and mentioned that the Buddha has only three kinds of higher knowledge.
Tevijjo Samano Gotamo
Milindapanha agreed that the Buddha was an omniscient but only in the sense of not knowing things at the same time. But if he pays attention to the particular point or if he bends his mind towards that particular subject he is able to know that subject.
In the Sakuludayi sutta the Buddha mentioned that if a disciple asks a question with regard to the past (pubbanta) the Buddha could answer if he could turn his mind to pubbenivasanussati nana. If a disciple asks a question with regard to future (aparanta) when he turns his mind to dibbacakkhu he can answer. But the Buddha completely denies any knowledge, which has been used, was “ cittam aradheyya”- on an invitation to the mind, on reflection.
Because of this statement in the Sakuludayi sutta the Milindapanha says that “ on reflection the Buddha knows everything”.
Later works such as Patisambhidamagga tried to prove that the Buddha was in Omniscient in (47) ways.
Omniscience of the Buddha, according to the four Nikayas:
However we can trace in the Nikayas to prove that the Buddha also was an Omniscient for this we can use two terms, which we can find in the Nikayas. They are “Sabba-all” and “Loka-the world”. The Buddha gave the meaning for Sabba explaining (6) sense bases (Salayatana) (Kinca bhikkhave sabbam?). cakkhunceva Rupa ca, Sotanceva sadda ca ghananaceva gandha ca jivha ca rasa ca kaya ca photthabba ca mano ca dhamma ca ayam vuccati bhikkhave sabbam (S.IV.15.M.I. 3-4).
Again in the Samyutta nikaya it mentions that I will teach you arising and destruction of the world. “Owing to the eye and the objects arises eye-consciousness. The coming together of the three is contact. Depending on contact is feeling. Depending on feeling is craving. Depending on craving is grasping. Depending on grasping is coming to be. Depending on coming to be is rebirth. Depending on rebirth is decay and death, sorrow and grief, woe; lamentation and despair come into being. This is the arising of the world
Again in the Samyutta nikaya, (S.4.95) mentioned in what way the “world” can be interpreted. “Cakkhuna lokasmim hoti lokasanni lokamani ayam vuccati bhikkhve ariyassa vinaye loko- through eye one is consciousness of the world, and has conceit of the world. That is called “world” in the Ariyan discipline. The same is applied to other sense bases as well. Therefore, we can understand how the “world” and “all” can be identified as the same. If the six sense bases can be named as the “world” and “all” where these six sense bases lie that also can be named as the “world”. In that sense the Buddha also mentioned the whole physical body including mind can be named as the “world”.
“imasmim yeva vyamamatte kalevare sasannimhi samanake lokanca pannapemi lokasamudayanca loka nirodhanca, lokanirodhagamini patipadanca- in this fathom long body with its mind and perception I proclaimed the world to be arising of the world, cessation of the world, Path leading to the cessation of the world.
According to the Anguttara nikaya (A.N.430) the five kinds of love objects are called the “world” in Buddhism. The five love objects are called the world in the code of the Noble One. What five? Forms, cognised by the eye, agreeable (ittha), pleasant (Kanta), desirable (manapa), connected with pleasures (Kamupasamhita), lustful (rajaniya).
v     Sounds cognised by ear
v     Smell cognised by nose
v     Taste cognised by tongue
v     Contact cognised by body
(Pancime…………Kamaguna ariyaca vinaye lokoti vuccati katame panca? Cakkhuvineyya rupa………sota vinnaeyya sadda). This shows that one is mindful of the world with five kinds of love objects. Therefore, if anyone comprehends these five objects he can be called “Sabbannu”.
If anyone understands the nature of six sense bases or either the nature of physical body with its perception and mind he can be named as Sabbannu- sabba-all, nu-know.
Human body or man is microcosm or epitome of the universe or macrocosm. This can be the proof of the omniscience of the Buddha based on early Buddhism.
Why Niganthanathaputta’s claim cannot be accepted
That because of the arising of the knowledge that has been mentioned by Nigathanathaputta has the procedural errors. The reason behind of this fact is that the function of knowledge has a certain mode of procedure. The simple way of explaining this procedure is that the arising of knowledge depends on the availability of external object. When the objects are present only the function of the knowledge will start.
As explained in the Nikayas visual consciousness will arise because of the eye the external object. Likewise ear consciousness, nose, tongue, body and mind consciousness will also arise. When necessary external objects come to meet. This is a clear proof for the dependent origination of consciousness. That has been mentioned in the Mahatanha Samkhaya sutta “ there is no origin of Vinnana without a cause- Annatra paccaya natthi vinnanassa sambhavo”.
In this manner when the sense organ and the external object meet together it is said to have the sense perception. But there should be another condition for the origination of Vannana. This sequence has explained in the Mahahatthipadomama sutta clearly. According to that sutta, the visual consciousness will not arise because of mere eye and the material object.
  1. There should be an unimpaired (undamaged) internal sense-organ of sight, if the external visible forms are not entering into the field of vision and there well be not an appropriate act of attention on the part of the mind and there is no manifestation of this kind of perception.
{Ajjahattikan ce avuso cakkhum aparibhinnam hoti bahira ca rupa na apatham agacchanti no ca tajjo samannaharo hoti neva tava tajjassa vinnanabhagassa patubhavo hoti}
  1. There should be an unimpaired (undamaged) internal sense-organ of sight, the external visible forms are entering into the field of vision but there will be no an appropriate act of attention on the part of the mind and there is no manifestation of this kind of perception.
{Ajjhattikan ce avuso cakkhum aparibhinnam no ca tajjo samannaharo hoti neva tava tajassa vinnnabhagassa patubhavo hoti}
  1. There should be an unimpaired (undamaged) internal sense organ of sight, the external visible forms are entering into the field of vision, and there is an appropriate act of attention on the mind and there is a manifestation of this kind of perception.
{Yota ca kho avuso ajjhan tikam ceva cakkhum aparibhinnam hoti bahira ca rupa apatham agacchanti tajjo ca samannaharo hoti. Evam tajjassa vinnnabhagassa patubhavo hoti}
Here “Tajjo samannahara” means the attention towards the object, which comes through the sense organ. The commentarial interpretation is this:
Tajjo samanaharoti cakkhunca rupe ca apticca bhavangan avattetva uppajjanamanasikaro, bhavangavattanasamattham cakkhudvare kiriyamanodhatu cittanti attho.
(Our mind is like spider that is shaking in the middle of his web. When an insect gets into his web, he will run to the direction where an insect is. Similarly our mind will catch a sense object what is coming in etc).
In order to produce the sense perception all these conditions must be satisfied. The following chart shows the origin of consciousness depending on the necessary conditions.
Eye     External object      Attention       Eye-consciousness
X                 X                   X              X
+               X                X              X
+               +                 X              X
       +             +                   +               +
Thought process: (has 17 moments)
  1. Bhavanga
  2. Bhavanga calana
  3. Bhavanga upacchedaka
  4. Pancadvaravajjana
  5. Cakkhuvinnana
  6. Sampaticchana
  7. Santirana
  8. Votthapana
  9. Jovana …….
  10. Tadarammana .. (Read > manual of Abhidhamma, by Narada, P-24-34,
The Buddha clearly rejected the sabbannuta nana, which has been claimed by other teachers on the basis of above-mentioned conditions. In order to have any kind of knowledge the mind should be focussed towards the particular object. Therefore, the Buddha clearly rejected any spontaneous knowledge and he himself claimed that he could answer to any question if he really wanted to answer. Therefore, we can come to a conclusion that the concept of sabbannu has been a wrong concept from the very beginning but the Buddha modified it. However, we can say the Buddha also a sabbannu on the basis of the facts we can find in the Nikayas.
  1. Pali proper Name
  2. Encyclopaedia of Buddhism
The origin and development of the plurality of the Path to Liberation
In the first sermon (Dhammacakkapavattana sutta) of the Buddha he advised the monks to avoid two extremes and to follow the middle path. What is this Majjhima Patipada? This is the Noble Eightfold Path. (Ayameva ariyo atthangiko maggo De me bhikkhave anta pabbajitena na sevitabba; yocayam kamesu kamasukhallikanuyogo hino, gammo, potthujjaniko, anariyo, anatthasanhito, yo cayam attakilamathanuyogo dukkho anariyo anattha samhito-monks, there are two extremes that monks should not have to follow: what are those “ Attachment to worldly pleasures. These are low (hino), common to the villages (gammo), common to the ordinary people (pothujjaniko), innoble (anariyo), useless (anatthasanhito), disadvantageous” and following the path of self-mortification or severe penance, unpleasant (dukkho), innoble (anariyo) disadvantageous (anatthasanhito).
Ete te bhikkhave ubho ante anupagama majjhima patipada tathagatena abhisambuddha cakkhukarani, nanakarani, upasamaya abhinnaya sambodhaya nibbanaya samvattati- no having following these two extremes the Buddha through the middle path which is produced knowledge (nanakarani), tranquillising (upasamaya) for the realization (sambodhaya) for Nibbana (Nibbanaya).
In the Satipatthana sutta it is mentioned that four kinds of Mindfulness is the only path for the realization of Nibbana.
Many other ways also mentioned in another places in various suttas in the Nikayas.
Yamhijjhananca pannaca sa ve nibbane santike- if anyone attains to trances and wisdom, he is near to Nibbana.
In the Dhammapada:
Sabbe sankhara anicca yadapannaya passati, attha nibbindati dukkhe esamaggo visuddhiya- all conditional things are impermanent. If anyone sees this by wisdom, then he will be disgusted with the dukkha. That will be the path to liberation.
The same thing will apply to Sabbe sankhara dukkha and Sabbe dhamma anatta.
In the Samyutta Nikaya:
Sile patitthaya naro sapanno, cittam pannanca bhavayam, atapinipako bhikkhu so imam vijataye jatam- a wise man who is established in Sila if develop the mind and the wisdom. This clever monk who is exert himself will remove all his confusion.
Later on in almost every suttas we can read Sila, Samadhi and Panna three kinds of discipline (Tividha sikkha) have been mentioned.
In the first sermon, there is no mention about Tividha sikkha separately. But we con say that thee three kinds of discipline is included in the Eightfold Path. This has been mentioned in the Cullvedall sutta
  1. Sammaditthi
  2. Sammasankappa (Panna)
  1. Sammavaca
  2. Sammakammanda
  3. Sammaajiva (Sila)
  1. Sammavayama
  2. Sammasati
  3. Sammasamadhi (Samadhi)
“Tihi ca kho visakha khandhehi attangiko maggo sangahito”-The eightfold path can be comprised in the three aggregates. As the sutta mentions three aggregates are Sila, Samadhi and Panna.
We can see clearly the division of these three kinds of discipline in the D.N specially in the Silakkhandha vagga. In the suttas of Brahmajala, Samannaphala, Ambattha, Sonadanda, we can see that how Sila, Samadhi and Panna explained in the gradual level and the way Sila itself have been explained in great length dividing into Culasila, Majjhimasila, and Mahasila. That shows how the path of liberation has been developed from the very beginning.
We know that the emphasis on Sila came on after the pathama bodhi period (Early period of the life of the Buddha). Because of the formation of precepts or enactment of precepts, for monks came on (20) years after the enlightenment.
Sequence or methodology of liberation (vimutti) has been mentioned in the Mahaparinibbana sutt in the manner of gradual development (Iti silam iti samadhi ito panna silaparabhavito samadhi mahapphalo hoti mahanisanso. Samadhi paribhavoti panna mahapphala hoti mahanisansa panna paribhavitam cittam sammadeva asavehi vimuccati seyya thidam kamasava bhavasava ditthasava avijjasaya- such and such is morality, such and such is contemplation, such and such is wisdom. Great because of the fruit, great the advantage of contemplation when it is set round with morality. Great because the fruit, great the advantage of wisdom when it is set round with contemplation. The mind set round with wisdom is set quite free from the intoxications (asavas) what is to say intoxication of sensuality of becoming, of wrong vies; from delusion).
[Without Sila, Samadhi and Panna no one can see Anicca, Duddha and Anatta clearly].
The methodology of liberation is Sila, Samadhi, Panna and Vimutti.
One has to start with Sila then come to Samadhi and Panna. Then only he will be liberated.
Therefore, it is a gradual development, gradual practice and as mentioned in the Paharada sutta (A.IV-200-201).
This gradual development is similar to the gradual slope of the ocean.
Seyyathapi paharadha mahasamuddo--------anna pativedho (A.N)
“Paharadha just as the mighty ocean slopes away gradually, falls away gradual, she lies away gradually with son abruptness like a precipice. Even so in this discipline of dhamma there is a graduated training a graduated practice, a graduated mode of progress with no abruptness such as a penetration of Niravana.
We can see that even (10) perfections (dasaparamita), which is the path of the Bodhisattva, has been developed through this Sila, Samadhi and Panna.
(10) Perfections
  1. Dana-sila
  2. Sila- sila
  3. Nekkhama-sila
  4. Panna-panna
  5. Viriya- samadhi
  6. Khanti- sila 
  7. Sacca- sila
  8. Aditthana- samadhi
  9. Metta- samadhi
  10. Upekkha- samadhi
The term Bodhi applies to the knowledge of Arahattamagga and to the all knowledge. (Bodhiti sammasambodhi arahattamagganananassa ca etam adhivacanam).
In the Alagaddupama sutta mentioned that “ if the three fetters are destroyed in any monk they all are ending in enlightenment (Yosam bhikkhave tini samyojanani pahinani sabbe te sotapanna sambodhi parayana).
The Bodhi has been divided into three:
  1. Sammasambodhi
  2. Pacceka bodhi
  3. Savaka bodhi
In the Anguttara Nikaya there are two Buddhas (A.I. 77) (Dve me bhikkhave Buddha katame dve? Tathagata ca araham sammasambuddho pacceka buddho ca. Ime kho bhikkhave dve Buddha ).
Theragatha Atthakatha: the term “Savaka paramippatto” has been mentioned for the fulfilment of paramitas of Savakas.
Mahamoggallana theragatha Atthakatha: “Sambodhi pana tividha sammasambodhi, pacceka bodhi, savaka bodhi”
That shows there are three bodhis as paths or realizations through which become three Buddhas.
v     Sammasam bodhi- sammasam Buddha  
v     Pacceka bodhi- pacceka Buddha 
v     Savaka bodhi- savaka Buddha  
But we have to make a note here that we cannot find the word “Savaka Buddha ” at the beginning in the atthakathas. First of all we come across the term “Catusacca Buddha ” in Samyutta Atthakatha (S.A.I. P-20)- Hevavitharana) cattaro Buddha , sabbannu Buddha , pacceka Buddha , catusacca Buddha , suta Buddha ti. Tatha samatimsa paramiyo puretva sammasambodhim patto sabbannu buddho nama. Kappasatasahassadhikani dve asamkheyyani paramiyo pure tva sayambhutam patto paccekabudha nama. Avasesa khinasava catusacca, Buddha nama, bahussuta suta Buddha )
Then in the Theragatha Atthakatha we came across the term “Savaka Buddha ” as well as the Bodhisatta term has been used fro three kinds of bodhisattas Mahabodhisatta, Pacceka bodhisatta and Savaka bodhisatta.
That show the Authors of Atthakathas logically realized if the word bodhi refers to the realization of Four Noble Truths they all could be named buddhisattas and Buddhas.
The word “Savaka bodhi” has been mentioned not only in Theragatha Atthakatha but also in the Sumangalavilasini (D.N) Saratthappakasini (S.A) and in the Samantapasadika (V.A). That means Buddhaghosa referred to this term “ Savakabodhi” in the sense of Arahatta magga nana but Dhammapala in his commentary on Theragatha Atthakatha even went further and mentioned the word “Savaka Buddha ”.
Here he has been mentioned about if a Savaka who has the intention to attain into Aggasavaka or Mahasavaka or even the Arhantship will be named as Savaka-Buddha
Savaka pana satthu sabrahmacarino va catu-sacca-kammatthana-kathan sutva, tasmim yeva khane ete-
This is a very bold step that has been taken up by Dhammapala Thera to mention as Savaka-Buddha which has been reluctant to mention all these time but all possible avenues has been set for such development during the Buddhaghosa’s time. As mentioned by Dr.T.Endo in his book “Buddha in Theravada Buddhism” (P-236-37).
If there are three Buddhas that means there should be three bodhisattas also. The same thing has been mentioned in the Theragatha Atthakatha. The word Tinnam bodhisattanam has been mentioned to indicate three kinds of bodhisattas.
These are:
  1. Maha bodhisatta
  2. Pacceka bodhisatta
  3. Savaka bodhisatta
Savaka Bodhisattas also have to fulfil paramitas but the time factor will be different for their resolutions (Abhinihara).
If anyone wants to become Aggasavakas they have to fulfil Paramitas one incalculable and one hundred thousand Kappas. If anyone puts the resolution to become Mahasavaka, The Mother of the Buddha, The Father of the Buddha, The Attendant of the Buddha, The Son of the Buddha, they have to fulfil only one hundred thousand Kappas.
Regarding the Savaka Buddha the tow passages in the Theragatha Atthakatha and the Upasaka Janalankara are almost identical. That means Upasaka Janalankara following the Theragatha Atthakatha that passage has been copied. However, Ven Walpola Rahula was quite unaware of the Theragatha Atthakatha said in his article “ The Bodhisatta ideal in Theravada and Mahayana” (Zen and the Taming of the Bull 6th article) Ananda Thera of Mahavihara tradition lived in 12th in his Upasaka Janalankara mentioned there are three Boddhis and when the Savakas realized the Savaka bodhi becomes a Savaka Buddha. Ven. W. Rahula thouth the title of Savaka Buddha has given to the Savaka by Ven. Ananda in the 12th century.
It seems that in some Atthakathas the position of Arahant and the Savakabodhi has been divided into two. Mainly Savakabodhi means the position of two main disciples. In order to achieve that position of Aggasavaka one has to follow Paramitas the period of one incalculable and one hundred thousand Kappas. To become Mahasavaka and Aggupatthayaka, Buddha Mata should be fulfilled Paramitas only one hundred thousand Kappa.
Taking this method into consideration by Mahayanists also followed this as two separate positions and mentioned
  1. Arahanta
  2. Savaka bodhi
  3. Pratyeka bodhi
Samyaksambodhi as separate positions Astasahasrika Prajnaparamita mentions the “Bhumi” instead of “Bodhi”. Therefore, it has been mentioned
  1. Savaka Bhumi
  2. Pratyeka Buddha Bhumi
  3. Bodhisattva Bhumi
Saddharma pundarika sutra mentions “Yana” instead of “Bhumi”
  1. Sravaka Yana
  2. Pratyeka Buddha Yana
  3. Buddha Yana or bodhisattva Yana
Aupamaya parivarta (third Chapter) of the Saddharma pundarika sutra mentions that “ Traidhatukat satvanam niskasanahetotsrini, Yana nyupadarsayanti yaduta sravak yanam, Prateykabuddhayanam Bodhisattvayanamiti”. In order to drive away beings from the three kinds of worlds the Buddhas admonished three Yanas such as Sravaka yana, Pratyeka Buddha yana and the Bodhisatta yana.
The Doctrine of Yana
[Sravaka yana and Pratyeka yana are Hinayana, Bodhisatta Buddha yana is Mahayana]
The Yana Doctrine is another diverging point of Mahayana from the Hinayana. The word “Yana” cannot be traced in the Pali canon, but R. Kimura in his book “A Histrical study of the terms Hinayana and Mahayana and the origin of Mahayana Buddhism” says that the world “EkayAna” is in the Pali canon. Though he says that we can find in the Pali canon only the word EkAyana.
As he says we can find in the Prajnaparamita sutras, Saddharma pundarika sutra and in the Avatamsaka sutra how the Doctrine of Yana had been developed. In the sutras the words “EkayAna”. Agrayana, Anuttarayana, Paramayana, Uttamayana, Bodhisattayana and Buddha yan a have been used which are similar to the word “Mahayana”.
In the early Mahayana sutras the words Sravakayana, Pratyeka buddhayana and Bodhisattvayana are appeared. Pratyeka buddhayana and the Sravakayana the two have been denoted by the word “Hinayana”.
In the Saddharma pundarika sutra more offer the word “ Buddhayana” has been mentioned to indicated Bodhisattayan. The word Buddhayana has been mentioned because of the fact that the Bodhisattva’s aim is to attain enlightenment by following this yana.
It is the intention of Saddharma pundarika to write three yana together. That is why the word Ekayana has been used.
At the very beginning of the Sutra Ven. Sariputra requested to the Buddha to preach the sutra. But the Buddha mentioned that “ It is no use of preaching this sutra because the people uncluding Devas in this world will be frightened to listen to this sutra.
This is true in the sense that the Saddharma pundarika sutra menitions that the two yanas Sravakayana and the Pratyekayana are false yanas. The problems lie here if the above mentioned two yanas are false what will be the position of Sravaka and Pratyekabuddhas. The answer is given in the Saddharma pundarika sutra is that they will attain into the enlightement by the Buddhayana. In this manner the Saddharma sutra mentions that only one yana exists. that is Ekayana and there is no second yana or the third yana.
It is further added that even to achieve the position of Sravaka or Pratyekabuddha they have to accept that there is only one yana exists and no second. However, many as to Saddharma sutra if one wants to get the knowledge of Buddha (buddhanana) he needs the Bodhisattayana. In the Mahayana sutras the concept of the bodhisatta has been specially developed.
According to Keith- Buddhist philosophy P-288. The Mahayanists get the credit of developing the bodhisattva ideal. But E.J.Thomas does not agree with this idea in his “The History of Buddhist Thought”. P-200. He thinks that Theravada and Mahayana both traditions were influenced by some early text which do not exist any more”. But it is very difficult to give a primary text which were influenced by the both traditions but rather possible to think that these traditions were influenced by each other for the development of these concepts.
According to the available sources the Mahavastu can be considered as the primary text to develop the concept of the bodhisattva. But it is not a Mahayana text. This is a text of Mahasanghika but the explanation given in this text is similar to Theravada tradition. Nalinaksha Dutt in his “Aspects of Mahayana and its relation to Hinayana” mentions that Mahasanghika are Hinayana and mentions:
  1. Theravada prakarana (book)
  2. Mahasanghikas
  3. Sarvastivadins are Hinayanists
But in the Mahavastu there is no mention with regard to that everybody will be bodhisattvas, but explain the bodhisattva career of Sakyamunibudha.
In the Saddharmapundarika sutra mentioned that if anyone worships the relics of the Buddha he will be qualified to be a bodhisattva. In the book of Hirakawa Akira (tr. Paul Groner) “A History of Modern Buddhism from Sakyamuni to early Mahayana, in a separate chapter called “Relics worship and Mahayana Buddhism”. It is mentioned that because of the Relics worship (Stupa worship) Mahayana was originated.
Importance of Relics worship has been mentioned in the Saddharmapundarika sutra and Culasukhavativyuha sutra.
Lay devotees were more engaged in Stupa worship who could not practise the Vinaya and enter to the order of Sangha. Those worshipers lived near by Stupas and they meditated on Buddha. And there have been groups (Bodhisattva gana). These people were called bodhisattvas.
In the Mahavastu it is menitioned that there are four kinds of bodhisattva career. These four stages are the career of bodhisattva. What are the four? They are:
  1. The natural career
  2. The resolving career
  3. The conforming career
  4. The persevering career
Prakrti carya
When he lives as an ordinary natural life at Home, it is the nature of bodhisattvas in the world to respect mother and father, to be well disposed to recluse and Brahmanas, to honour their elders, to practise ten right ways of behaviour (dasakusala karamapattham) to exhort others to give alms and acquire merit, and to honour contemporary Buddhas and their disciples. But as yet they do not conceive the thought of winning the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment.
{iha mahamandgalyayana bodhisattva prakrtirevam Bhavanti matrijnah pitrijna sramanya brahmaanyah kulajyestapacayakah dasakusalam karmapattham sanadaya vartante paresam ca desayanti danani detha karotha punyanmiti tistantanca Buddham--

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