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Buddha/Boddhisattva?

opiumpoetryopiumpoetry Delaware, Ohio, USA New
edited June 7 in Buddhism Basics

Is it OK to call a Boddhisattva a Buddha? I mean, aren't they pretty much the same thing? And how about the term Dharmaraja, which I came across somewhere?

Comments

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited June 7

    When we say Buddha we mean three things. The first is a reference to The Buddha, Sidhartha. The second is a reference to one who has achieved enlightenment, and the third is the primal essence that lies at the heart of our true, non-dualistic essence - our Buddha nature, an awareness of our unlimited infinite potential, a potential that lies at the heart of all sentient beings. The Buddha provided the basis for dharma teachings. The followers of these teachings hope this leads them on a path that achieved the same expression of primordial awareness that led Sidhartha to his moment of “enlightenment”. This enlightenment is essentially the result of removing all negative emotions, habitual thinking and other obscurations to the expression of that which is already there.

    A bodhisattva is an individual who has committed themselves to a Buddhist practice that leads to the enlightenment of all sentient beings and has committed themselves to this by taking vows to practice bodhicitta. Bodhicitta is a commitment to act for the benefit of all beings. It can be aspirational, actionable or ultimate (meaning an innate expression of our Buddha nature). In Tibetan Buddhism, there are various levels of bodhisattvas based on their achievements. Not all bodhisattvas achieve enlightenment in one lifetime but that is the goal. It is true that some of those who could move into a completely non-dualistic state, enlightenment, may hold back in order to help all sentient beings achieve this state.

    Harry C Emberson, Advanced student of Tai Situ Rinpoche.

    Remember, being a Boddhisattva is a Tibetan Buddhist premise.

    The only reference I could find to the term Dharmaraja is here.

    Not really sure what you're asking about that.

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited June 7

    In Tibetan Buddhism bodhisattva isn't final realization of Buddhahood. The bodhisattva practices the progressive 10 bhumis and after the 10th bhumi is completed then they are a Buddha. This whole matter is explained in the Jewel Ornament of Liberation which is a text for one of the Tibetan schools of Buddhism (Kagyu). That text describes what realization is that is the bodhisattva realization (attain 1st bhumi) if I recall correctly.

    Bodhisattvas are not all that common (those that have the realization) is an understainment indeed. But those who have taken the "bodhisattva vows" to help beings are more common. I think one of the realization that happens when you attain bodhisattva is to see that all beings can become enlightened. Even though our starting points appear very different from the point of view of a bodhisattva they are all the same.

    lobsterperson
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited June 7

    Hi welcome to NewBuddhist :)

    Is it OK to call a Bodhisattva a Buddha?

    It is not unusual for Tantric vajrayana Buddhists to think or visual themselves as awake Buddhas.
    eg. Tara, Manjushri, Dalai Lama aka Pope Avalokiteshvara etc

    I mean, aren't they pretty much the same thing?

    A Buddha is awake. Enlightened. In that sense you can call them Neo, Siddhartha, Rinpoche, Roshi, Mrs Smith, King Dhar Ma, Ma Dakini, Maitreya, opiumpoetry III, Dakini, Mr Daka etc ... Why would they care?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dakini

    satcittananda
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I’m pretty sure that the bodhisattva concept is not just Tibetan, but a Mahayana Buddhist thing. You will find it referred to in China and other places. But there is a difference between the two, a bodhisattva is nearly but not yet a Buddha.

    lobsteradamcrossley
  • opiumpoetryopiumpoetry Delaware, Ohio, USA New

    @federica said:
    The only reference I could find to the term Dharmaraja is here.
    Not really sure what you're asking about that.

    Well, it says here that "Dharmaraja is the title of a Buddha, often mentioned in the Buddhist scriptures. For example, in the "Simile and Parable" (3rd) chapter of the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni says, "I am the Dharma King, free to do as I will with the Dharma. To bring peace and safety to living beings—that is the reason I appear in the world." Also, according to Mahayana Buddhism, each Buddha presides over his Pure Land, and hence this could explain the possible origin of the name Dharmaraja." So I guess Dharmaraja and Buddha are the same thing, but it looks like Buddha and Bodhisattva are 2 different things--I was under the impression they were one and the same.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Obviously not.... :)

  • opiumpoetryopiumpoetry Delaware, Ohio, USA New

    Thanks to everyone for their replies. =)

    Shoshin
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