This irregular “Dharma Questions” series deals with “dharma” meaning both the truth of the nature of reality and some Buddhist teachings. Amongst other things these questions can be:
- thought experiments
- borderline musings not meant to be answered
- from laziness of not contemplating or researching them yet
Please comment below with anything remotely related
The following questions explore Arhatship, the way of Bodhisattvas and Buddhahood from a limited innerstanding in order to gain clear, right, true knowledge for the highest good and well-being of all, without preferences. Even if based on proper premises some of these questions may be unanswerable and/or may be better left unanswered for now. Please see this post on why and why not to question for over-arching reasoning behind these types of inquiries.
- Is there a Theravada equivalent to purelands/Buddha-fields and if so, do Arhats and Bodhisattvas apply? How?
- At Paranirvana what happens to any and all abandoned karma on a mundane level especially if collectivity (ie., collective consciousness and interconnectivity) is involved? Do others then bear it? If so that would make entering Parinirvana kind of irresponsible unless being a great inspiration and benefit by doing so, right?
- Could somebody desiring Buddhahood have no opportunity to do so after becoming enlightened/attaining Arhatship by hearing teaching from a Buddha?
- Where are passed(paranibbna) Arhats now?
- Can arhats obtain Buddhahood (in current life)?
- Can (the) arhatship (path) be a step on the Bodhisattva(hood) path and/or vice versa? If not, why?
- If the historical Buddha was in previous lives an unenlightened Bodhisattva how/why did he become a Buddha? Wasn’t he supposed to forego enlightenment? (If the term bodhisattva here means something different than the current Bodhisattva vows could this term bodhisattva be misleading?)
- Where did the notion of saving all beings originate? Do beings need saved in the first place? How did it get like this? Why can’t beings save themselves? And if on an ultimate level there are no beings who/what is saving who/what?
- If not completely liberated how can choosing to be reborn again and again until all beings are liberated best help completely liberate others without the knowledge of complete, total and full liberation? In other words, how can we best help others to the fullest capacity, and on/from the highest level if not fully enlightened? The paradox being once completely liberated, there’s no coming back (into a human life) to help liberate others right?
- Could Bodhisattvas (attempting the) saving (of) beings interfere with the learning, growth and journey of some?
- [Note: if changing the language of “vowing to save all beings” to something more like, “upon request, helping and instructing beings,” it puts to rest many of the “saving all beings” questions]
- Could some bodhisattvas be under Mara’s control since choosing to forego full liberation and remain here where Mara is in charge? And could some only be a bodhisattva so as to achieve Buddhahood for themselves?
- What if all beings became Bodhisattvas except a few or one?
- If/when all but bodhisattvas have realized buddhahood/full enlightenment then how will/is realizing full enlightenment for bodhisattvas happen/gone about?
- What happens if buddhahood happens spontaneously while a bodhisattva? Is that breaking the bodhisattva vow?
- Could those vowing the Bodhisattva path be tempted with (unskillful, unwise, unwholesome) worldly power feeling they may need worldly power to accomplish vows?
- Could more powerful beings lure others on to the Bodhisattva path as a reincarnational trap?
- Can bodhisattva vows shy beings away from heavenly realms? If so don’t the heavens also need liberating?
- Are there bodhisattvas in the animal realm? If so, who? If not, why not?
- Can’t passed Arhats and Buddhas assist in liberating beings without being human here (like from a pureland or Buddha-field)? How could beings yet to realize enlightenment know a Buddha would provide more benefit while in the world?
- Is a type of hybrid Bodhisattva/Arhat(/Buddha) possible?