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    The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravaad
     
    [ 作者: Jeffrey Samuels   来自:期刊原文   已阅:3043   时间:2007-1-9   录入:douyuebo


    ·期刊原文
    THE BODHISATTVA IDEAL IN THERAVAADA

    BUDDHIST THEORY AND PRACTICE:
    A REEVALUATION OF THE
    BODHISATTVA-`SRAAVAKA OPPOSITION
    By Jeffrey Samuels
    Philosophy East and West
    Volume 47, Number 3
    July 1997
    P.399-415
    (C) by University of Hawai'i Press


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     


                                    P.399

            In  the  academic   study  of  Buddhism   the  terms
            "Mahaayaana"  and  "Hiinayaana"  are  often  set  in
            contradiction  to each  other, and the  two vehicles
            are  described   as  having  different  aspirations,
            teachings,  and  practices.  The  distinctions  made
            between  the Mahaayaana  and the Hiinayaanaa, however,
            force   the   schools   into   neat,  isolated,  and
            independent  categories  that  often  undermine  the
            complexities  that exist concerning  their  beliefs,
            ideologies, and practices.

                While   some   of   the   categories   used   to
            differentiate  the Mahaayaana and the Hiinayaana are
            helpful in the study and interpretation of Buddhism,
            these  distinctions  must  continually  be reviewed.
            This   article   attempts   to   review   one   such
            distinction: the  commonly  held  theoretical  model
            that   postulates   that  the  goal   of  Mahaayaana
            practitioners  is to become buddhas by following the
            path of the bodhisattva (bodhisattva-yaana), whereas
            the goal  of Hiinayaana  practitioners  is to become
            arahants by following  the path of the Hearer or the
            Buddha's    disciples    (`sraavaka-yaana)   .    In
            demonstrating  the oversimplifications  inherent  in
            this  model,  this  article  will  investigate   the
            presence  and  scope  of the  bodhisattva  ideal  in
            Theravaada Buddhist theory and practice.

                By    raising     issues     surrounding     the
            Mahaayaana-Hiinayaana  opposition, however, I am not
            suggesting that distinctions  cannot be made between
            the two vehicles, nor am I proposing to do away with
            the terms "Mahaayaana" and "Hiinayaana."  Rather, in
            exploring  the oversimplifications  inherent  in the
            Mahaayaana-Hiinayaana  dichotomy, it is my intention
            to replace the theoretical model that identifies (1)
            Mahaayaana  Buddhism with the bodhisattva-yaana  and
            (2) Hiinayaana Buddhism with the `sraavakayaana with
            a model  that  is more  representative  of  the  two
            vehicles.  In doing so, the implied purpose  of this
            article, as is John Holt's  study  of the place  and
            relevance  of  Avalokite`svara  in Sri  Lanka, is to
            "raise   questions   among   students   of  Buddhism
            regarding  the very utility  of the terms Mahaayaana
            ... and THeravaada as designating wholly distinctive
            religiohistorical constructs"(1) (emphasis added).

                Before turning to the presence  and scope of the
            bodhisattva  ideal in Theravaada  Buddhism (the only
            extant  school  of Hiinayaana  Buddhism), it may  be
            beneficial  to investigate  briefly the sources that
            identify   the  bodhisattva-yaana   with  Mahaayaana
            Buddhism  and the  `sraavaka-yaana  with  Hiinayaana
            Buddhism.  Instead  of looking  at how this model is
            appropriated by scholars of Buddhism, I will turn to
            the writings of three Mahaayaana  Buddhists in which
            this bifurcation is suggested.

                                    P.400

                One  of  the  first  Mahaayaana   Buddhists  who
            identifies  the  bodhisattva-yaana  with  Mahaayaana
            Buddhism  and the  `sraavaka-yaana  with  Hiinayaana
            Buddhism is Naagaarjuna.  In his Precious Garland of
            Advice  for the King  (Raajaparikathaa-ratnamaalaa),
            Naagaarjuna   rhetorically   asks  "Since   all  the
            aspirations, deeds  and dedications  of Bodhisattvas
            were not explained in the Hearers' vehicle, how then
            could one become a Bodhisattva through its path?"(2)
            In another  instance, Naagaarjuna  writes  that "[In
            the Vehicle  of the Hearers]  Buddha did not explain
            the  bases  for  a Bodhisattva's  enlightenment."(3)
            While Naagaarjuna compares the `sraavaka-yaana  with
            the bodhisattva-yaana  in these first  two passages,
            he later  states  that  "the subjects  based  on the
            deeds  of Bodhisattvas  were  not  mentioned  in the
            [Hiinayaana]   suutras."(4)   Naagaarjuna's    third
            passage,  then, suggests  that  subjects  concerning
            bodhisattvas  are found only in Mahaayaana texts and
            are absent from all Hiinayaana texts.

                Another   Mahaayaana    Buddhist   to   uphold   a
            Mahaayaana-Hiinayaana   distinction   based   on   a
            bodhisattva-`sraavaka  opposition  is  Asa^nga.   As
            Richard S.  Cohen illustrates,(5) Asa^nga posits, in
            his   Mahaayaanasuutraala.mkaara,  that   the  Great
            Vehicle  and  the  Hearers'   Vehicle  are  mutually
            opposed.(6)  Their  contradictory   nature  includes
            intention,  teaching,  employment   (i.e.,  means) ,
            support  (which  is  based  entirely  on  merit  and
            knowledge), and the time that it takes to reach  the
            goal.(7) After Asa^nga discusses the opposing nature
            of  these  two  vehicles,  he  then  identifies  the
            `sraavakayaana  as the lesser vehicle  (Hiinayaana),
            and  remarks   that  the  lesser  vehicle   (yaana.m
            hiina.m)  is  not  able  to  be  the  great  vehicle
            (Mahaayaana) .(8)

                Candrakiirti  is yet another Mahaayaana  thinker
            who views the Mahaayaana and the Hiinayaana as being
            mutually  opposed.  Like Asa^nga, Candrakiirti  uses
            the  bodhisattva-`sraavaka  distinction  to separate
            Mahaayaana  and Hiinayaana  Buddhism  as well  as to
            promote  the Mahaayaana  tradition  over and against
            Hiinayaana Buddhism. In his Maadhyamakaavataara, for
            instance,  he  remarks   that  the  lesser   vehicle
            (Hiinayaana)  is  the  path  reserved   solely   for
            disciples and solitary buddhas, and that the greater
            vehicle (Mahaayaana) is the path reserved solely for
            bodhisattvas.  Not only does Candrakiirti  associate
            the bodhisattva-yaana  with Mahaayaana  Buddhism, he
            also  clings  to  the  belief  that  the  Hiinayaana
            schools know nothing of the "stages of the career of
            the future Buddha, the perfect virtues (paaramitaa),
            the resolutions  or vows to save  all creatures, the
            application  of merit  to  the  acquisition  of  the
            quality  of Buddha, [and] the great  compassion."(9)
            In   other   words,   for   Candrakiirti   (as   for
            Naagaarjuna),  the  Hiinayaana  tradition  does  not
            present a bodhisattva doctrine.

                The points raised by these Mahaayaana  Buddhists
            are  problematic  for  three  reasons.   First,  the
            dichotomy presented by both Asa^nga and Candrakiirti
            sets  up an opposition  between  an ideology  and an
            institutional affiliation.  Rather than comparing an
            ideology   with   an   ideology   (bodhisattva   and
            `sraavaka)  or  a  Buddhist   school   with  another
            Buddhist school,

                                    P.401


            this opposition  contrasts one ideology (arahantship
            through  following   the  `sraavaka-yaana)  with  an
            institutional affiliation (Mahaayaana Buddhism).  In
            order  for  a  more  accurate   distinction   to  be
            constructed,  then,  we  must  either  compare   the
            bodhisattva-yaana   with   the  `sraavaka-yaana,  or
            compare   a  Mahaayaana   Buddhist   school  with  a
            Hiinayaana Buddhist school.

                Another  problem  with  the ideas  put forth  by
            Naagaarjuna,  Asa^nga,  and  Candrakiirti   concerns
            their  statements   that  Mahaayaana  and  Hiinayaana
            Buddhism are mutually  contradictory  and exclusive.
            These assertions  undermine  the fact that the terms
            "Hiinayaana"  and  "Mahaayaana"  refer  to  numerous
            schools  and  that  the  category   of  "Hiinayaana"
            includes even a number of "proto-Mahaayaana" schools
            (e.g., the Mahaasa^nghikas).(10) By using  the terms
            "Mahaayaana"  and "Hiinayaana" monolithically, these
            thinkers  ignore the plurality  of doctrines, goals,
            and paths that are present in the schools.

                The third problem inherent in the statements  of
            these  writers, and which  will be the focus of this
            article, is that they assume  that all followers  of
            the  Hiinayaana  are `sraavakas  striving  to become
            arahants while all followers  of the Mahaayaana  are
            bodhisattvas on the path to buddha-hood. As we shall
            see  through   the  example   of  the  only   extant
            Hiinayaana  school, the Theravaadin  tradition, this
            is clearly not the case.

                Before  reevaluating  the  bodhisattva-`sraavaka
            opposition   as  it  is  presented  by  Naagaarjuna,
            Asa^nga, and Candrakiirti, it is first necessary  to
            ascertain  the presence and scope of the bodhisattva
            ideal   in  Theravaada   Buddhism.   This   will  be
            accomplished by looking at the presence of the ideal
            in the Theravaada  Buddhist  Paali canon (theory) as
            well   as  by  investigating   how  the  same  ideal
            permeates   the   lives   of  Theravaada   Buddhists
            (practice).

                The  presence  of the bodhisattva  ideal  in the
            Theravaada   Buddhist   Paali   canon  is  primarily
            restricted  to Gotama  Buddha.  The use of the  term
            "bodhisattva" occurs in a number of the suuttas (Skt:
            suutra) in  the  Majjhima, Anguttara,  and  Samyutta
            Nikaayas where the Buddha is purported to have said:
            "Monks, before  my Awakening, and  while  I was  yet
            merely   the  Bodhisatta   [Skt:  bodhisattva],  not
            fully-awakened...."(11) In addition to referring  to
            the present  life  of Gotama, the term "bodhisattva"
            is also used in relation to the penultimate  life of
            Gotama in Tu.sita (Paali: Tusita) heaven, as well as
            his conception and birth.(12)

                In later canonical texts, the bodhisattva  ideal
            is further  developed  and associated  with numerous
            concepts.  These  developments  (which  include  the
            concept  of  a  bodhisattva  vow)  may  be  said  to
            introduce   "into   Theravaada   Buddhism   what  in
            Mahaayaana  studies has been called 'the Bodhisattva
            ideal.'"(13) In the Sutta  Nipaata, for example, the
            term "bodhisattva"  refers to the historical  Buddha
            prior to his enlightenment and signifies a being set
            on  Buddhahood.(14)  In  addition,  the  bodhisattva
            ideal  in this  text  is also  associated  with  the
            quality of compassion. This is

                                    P.402

            exemplified  by the sage Asita's  remark to Gotama's
            father      (Suddhodana)     that      the     young
            bodhisattva-prince  "will come to the fulfillment of
            perfect  Enlightenment...  [and]  will start turning
            the  wheel  of  Truth  out  of  compassion  for  the
            well-being of many."(15)

                In yet another canonical text, the Buddhava.msa,
            the bodhisattva  ideal is developed  to the greatest
            extent.  Here, the bodhisattva  ideal  refers  to an
            ideal personage  who makes  a vow to become  a fully
            and completely enlightened  buddha (sammaasambuddha)
            out of compassion  for all sentient  beings,(16) who
            performs various acts of merit,(17) and who receives
            a  prophecy   of  his   future   buddhahood.(18)  In
            addition,   the   bodhisattva    depicted   in   the
            Buddhava.msa  makes  a vow  to become  a bodhisattva
            only after the attainment  of arahantship  is within
            reach.   This  is  portrayed  in  the  chronicle  of
            Sumedha.  While  Sumedha  was lying  in the mud  and
            offering his body to the Buddha Diipa^nkara  to walk
            on, Sumedha thought: "If I so wished I could burn up
            my defilements today. What is the use while (remain)
            unknown  of realizing  dhamma  here? Having  reached
            omniscience, I will  become  a Buddha  in the  world
            with the devas."(19)

                Another idea that arises in conjunction with the
            bodhisattva  ideal is the need to complete  a number
            of bodhisattva perfections (paaramitaa); this can be
            found  most  clearly  in the  Buddhava.msa  and  the
            Cariyaapi.taka.(20)  In   these   two   texts,   ten
            perfections   are  delineated,  as  opposed  to  six
            perfections  described  in certain Mahaayaana  texts
            (e.g.,                                           the
            A.s.tasaahasrikaa-Praj~naapaaramitaasuutra  and  the
            Ratnagu.nasa.mcayagaathaa). The Buddhava.msa and the
            Cariyaapi.taka  also  discuss  how  each  of the ten
            perfections  may  be  practiced  at three  different
            levels: a regular  degree, a higher  degree, and  an
            ultimate degree of completion.

                Though   the  concept   of  three   degrees   of
            perfection is suggested in the Buddhava.msa,(21) the
            Cariyaapi.taka  explores  the idea  in more  detail,
            especially   with   the   example   of   the   first
            paaramitaa--giving  (daana).  To exemplify  how  the
            perfection  of giving  (daana) was completed  in the
            lowest   degree,  we  find   stories   of  how   the
            bodhisattva  gave people food;  his own sandals  and
            shade;  an elephant;  gifts  to mendicants;  wealth;
            clothing, beds, food, and drink; offerings; and even
            his  own family  members.(22) To illustrate  how the
            same perfection  was fulfilled in the middle degree,
            we read  how the bodhisattva  gave  away  his bodily
            parts   such   as  his   eye.(23)  And  finally,  to
            demonstrate   how  the  perfection   of  giving  was
            fulfilled  in the highest degree, we find a story of
            how the bodhisattva  gave  away his own life when he
            was a hare.(24)

                In the Paali  canon, the term  "bodhisattva"  is
            also used in reference  to other  previous  buddhas.
            For instance, in the Mahaapadaanasutta of the Diigha
            Nikaaya, the notion of past buddhas  (and hence past
            bodhisattvas) is  elucidated.  In the  beginning  of
            this sutta, the six buddhas who preceded  Gotama are
            mentioned as well as their names, the eons when they


                                    P.403

            became    buddhas    (i.e.,   when   they   attained
            enlightenment  and taught), their caste, their clan,
            their  life  span, the  trees  where  they  attained
            enlightenment, the number  of their disciples, their
            personal  attendants, and  their  parents.(25) After
            briefly  outlining  the lives  of these six buddhas,
            Gotama begins an in-depth recollection  of the first
            buddha, Vipassii, from  his life  in Tu.sita  heaven
            until  he dispersed  his  monks  for the purpose  of
            spreading  the  teachings.  In  this  narration, the
            Buddha  not  only  refers  to  Vipassii  up  to  his
            enlightenment  as a bodhisattva,(26) but also  takes
            the life events of Vipassii  as the example  for all
            future    bodhisattvas    and   buddhas,   including
            (retroactively) Gotama himself.(27)

                Another  section of the sutta-pi.taka  where the
            term  "bodhisattva"  pertains  to  each  of the  six
            previous  buddhas  is  the  Samyutta  Nikaaya.   For
            instance, in the fourth section  of the second book,
            we find  the phrase  "To  Vipassi, brethren, Exalted
            One,   Arahant,   Buddha    Supreme,   before    his
            enlightenment, while  he was  yet unenlightened  and
            Bodhisat[ta], there came this thought...." This same
            phrase, then, is used in conjunction  with the other
            five  previous  buddhas  in  the  following  verses:
            Sikhi,   Vessabhu,   Kakusandha,  Konaagama.na,  and
            Kassapa.(28)

                While most of the uses of the term "bodhisattva"
            concern  Gotama Buddha and the numerous  buddhas who
            preceded him, there are also references in the Paali
            canon  to the  possibility  of future  buddhas  (and
            hence   bodhisattvas)  .   For   example,   in   the
            Cakkavatisiihanaadasutta  of the Diigha Nikaaya, the
            Buddha foretells  of the future when "an Exalted One
            named  Metteyya   [Skt:  Maitreya],  Arahant,  Fully
            Awakened   [i.e.,  sammaasambuddha],  abounding   in
            wisdom  and goodness, happy, with  knowledge  of the
            worlds, unsurpassed as a guide to mortals willing to
            be led, a teacher for gods and men, and Exalted One,
            a Buddha, even as I am now," will arise.(29)

                Though  Maitreya   is  the  only  future  buddha
            mentioned specifically, the possibility of attaining
            buddhahood  is not restricted solely to him.  In the
            Sampasaadaniiyasutta  of  the  Diigha  Nikaaya,  for
            instance, Saariputta  is professed to have said: "In
            the presence of the Exalted One have I heard him say
            and from him have received, that... in times gone by
            and in future  times  there  have  been, and will be
            other  Supreme  Buddhas  equal  to  himself   [i.e.,
            Gotama]  in the matter  of Enlightenment."(30) Thus,
            no longer is the term "bodhisattva"  used solely  in
            conjunction  with  Gotama, with other  past buddhas,
            and with Maitreya; the bodhisattva-yaana is regarded
            as a possible, albeit difficult, path open to anyone
            who desires buddhahood.

                This more expanded use of the term "bodhisattva"
            is explicitly  expressed in the Khuddakapaa.tha.  In
            the  eighth  chapter  of this  canonical  text  (the
            Nidhika.n.dasutta) ,  the  goal  of  buddhahood   is
            presented  as  a goal  that  should  be  pursued  by
            certain exceptional beings.  After demonstrating the
            impermanence  and  uselessness  of accumulating  and
            storing

                                    P.404

            material   possessions   or  treasures,  the   sutta
            mentions  another  type  of treasure  that  is  more
            permanent  and which follows  beings  from birth  to
            birth.  This treasure  results  from giving (daana),
            morality   (siila) ,   abstinence   (sa.myama) ,  and
            restraint   (dama) .   This  treasure  fulfills  all
            desires, leads  to  a rebirth  in a beautiful  body,
            enables  one to become sovereign  of a country and a
            loving  spouse, and  leads  to rebirth  in the human
            realm (from which liberation  is possible) Moreover,
            the  qualities  of  charity, virtue, abstinence, and
            restraint  lead  to the wisdom  which  produces  the
            "bliss   of  Extinguishment"   of  either  arahants,
            pratyekabuddhas, or completely enlightened  buddhas.
            We read:

                Discriminating  knowledge, release  of mind, the
                perfections  of a Noble  Disciple  (of a Buddha)
                [i.e., saavaka-paaramii], the Enlightenment of a
                Silent  Buddha  [i.e.,  paccekabodhi]   and  the
                requisites   for  (Supreme)  Buddhahood   [i.e.,
                buddhabhuumi],  all  these  (qualities)  can  be
                obtained by this (treasure)....  Therefore  wise
                and  educated  men  praise  the  acquisition  of
                meritorious actions.(31)

            This sutta  illustrates  that the goal of buddhahood
            and the path  to the goal  (i.e., bodhisattva-yaana)
            are  no  longer  simply  associated   with  specific
            buddhas  of the past and future;  rather, buddhahood
            is one of three possible  goals  that may be pursued
            by "wise and educated" people.(32)

                Though the idea that anyone  may become a buddha
            through  following  the  bodhisattva-yaana  is  only
            present  in the Theravaada  Buddhist  Paali canon in
            seed  form, it  appears, nonetheless, to  have  been
            taken seriously by Theravaadins. This is illustrated
            in the lives of numerous  Theravaadin  kings, monks,
            and textual copyists  who have taken the bodhisattva
            vow and are following  the bodhisattva-yaana  to the
            eventual attainment of buddhahood.

                The relationship  between kings and bodhisattvas
            has its source  in the bodhisattva  career of Gotama
            as  depicted   not  only  in  his  life   as  Prince
            Siddhaartha  (Paali: Siddhattha), but  also  in  his
            penultimate   earthly   life   when   he  was   King
            Vessantara.  As  King  Vessantara,  the  bodhisattva
            exhibited   his   compassion   by   fulfilling   the
            perfection of giving. For instance, we find that the
            bodhisattva  gave away his elephant  to alleviate  a
            drought   in  nearby   Kaali^nga,  his  wealth,  his
            kingdom, and his wife  and  children, and  was  even
            willing  to give away his own life out of compassion
            for other beings.

                Though  the paradigm  for the close  association
            between the institution  of kingship  and buddhahood
            came  from Gotama  when he was a bodhisattva, it was
            quickly  adopted by Theravaadin  kings by the second
            century  B.C.E.  and fully  incorporated  after  the
            eighth century  C.E.  In the early examples, we find
            the   relationship    drawn   between    kings   and
            bodhisattvas in numerous, albeit tempered, ways. For
            instance,  King   Du.t.tagaama.nii   exhibited   the
            quality of compassion by refusing to enter

                                    P.405

            the heavenly  realm  after  his previous  life as an
            ascetic (saama.nera) so that he could be reborn as a
            prince and unite the regional rulers of Sri Lanka as
            well  as help  develop  the sangha  and the Buddha's
            teaching.(33)   Though   Du.t.tagaama.nii   is   not
            referred to as a bodhisattva  in the Mahaava.msa, he
            appears   to   demonstrate    certain   bodhisattvic
            qualities.  Just  as  a  bodhisattva  renounces  the
            enlightenment  of  an arahant  so that  he could  be
            reborn countless times in this world of impermanence
            and suffering out of compassion  for all beings, so,
            too, did King Du.t.tagaama.nii renounce the world of
            the  devas  in order  to return  to  this  world  of
            suffering  for the sake of the Buddhist doctrine and
            out of compassion for all inhabitants  on the island
            of Sri Lanka.

                Similar examples of bodhisattva-like  compassion
            are exhibited  by King Sirisa.mghabodhi, who is said
            to have risked  his life to save the inhabitants  of
            Sri  Lanka  from  a devastating  drought(34) and who
            even  offered  his own  head  in order  to divert  a
            potential  war;(35) by King  Buddhadasa, who created
            "happiness by every means for the inhabitants of the
            island...  [and who was] gifted  with wisdom  [i.e.,
            pa~n~naa] and virtue [i.e., siila],...  endowed with
            the   ten  qualities   of  kings   [i.e.,  the   ten
            raajadhammas],...  [and]  lived  openly  before  the
            people  the life that bodhisattas  lead and had pity
            for  (all) beings  as a father  (has  pity  for) his
            children";(36) and especially  by King Upatissa, who
            fulfilled the ten bodhisattva perfections during his
            reign.(37)

                By the  eighth  century  C.E., the  amalgamation
            between the institution of kingship and bodhisattvas
            became even stronger. At this time, we find evidence
            of certain  Theravaadin  kings  in Sri Lanka, Burma,
            and Thailand  who openly declared  themselves  to be
            bodhisattvas.  For  example, King  Ni`s`sanka  Malla
            (1187-1196 C.E.) of Polonnaruva, Ceylon, states that
            "I will  show my self  in my [true]  body  which  is
            endowed with benevolent regard for and attachment to
            the virtuous  qualities  of a bodhisattva  king, who
            like   a  parent,  protects   the   world   and  the
            religion."(38) In other epigraphical markings, there
            is  a  reference  to  King  Paraakramabaahu   VI  as
            "Bodhisatva  [sic]  Paraakrama  Baahu."(39) Finally,
            the  conflation  of kings  and  bodhisattvas  on the
            island of Sri Lanka is established  most strongly by
            King Mahinda IV, who not only referred to himself as
            a bodhisattva  as a result  of his  bodhisattva-like
            resolute determination,(40) but who even went so far
            as to proclaim that "none but the bodhisattas  would
            become kings of prosperous La^nkaa."(41)

                In Burma, the  relationship  between  kings  and
            bodhisattvas  is exemplified  with  King Kyanzittha,
            who claimed himself to be "the bodhisatva [sic], who
            shall  verily  become  a  Buddha  that  saves  (and)
            redeems  all  beings, who  is great  in  love  (and)
            compassion for all beings at all times...  [and] who
            was foretold  by the Lord Buddha, who is to become a
            true   Buddha."(42)  In   another   instance,   King
            Alaungsithu  wrote  that he would  like  to build  a
            causeway  to help all beings reach "The Blessed City
            [i.e.,

                                    P.406

            nirvaa.na]."(43)      Finally,      kings      `Srii
            Tribhuvanaaditya,  Thilui^n  Ma^n,  Ca~nsuu  I,  and
            Naato^nmyaa    all   referred   to   themselves   as
            bodhisattvas.(44)

                In Thailand, a similar connection is drawn.  One
            example  of a Thai  bodhisattva-king  is Lu T'ai  of
            Sukhothai who "wished to become a Buddha to help all
            beings...    leave   behind   the   sufferings    of
            transmigration."(45) The relation  between  King  Lu
            T'ai and bodhisattvahood  is also manifested  by the
            events  occurring  at his ordination  ceremony  that
            were similar  to "the ordinary  course of happenings
            in the career of a Bodhisattva."(46)

                While  it may by argued  that these  bodhisattva
            kings   were   influenced   by  certain   Mahaayaana
            doctrines    when    they    appropriated    certain
            bodhisattvic  qualities or took the bodhisattva vow,
            this  does not invalidate  the relationship  between
            kingship  and bodhisattvas  in Theravaada  Buddhism.
            Though  a link  may  be  established  between  these
            bodhisattva kings and Mahaayaana Buddhism, this does
            not dismiss the fact that the bodhisattva  ideal was
            taken  seriously  by Theravaadin  kings  or that the
            bodhisattva ideal has a place in Theravaada Buddhist
            theory  and  practice.  Moreover, while  it  may  be
            possible  to posit that these  kings were influenced
            by   Mahaayaana   concepts,  it  is  impossible   to
            demonstrate that these kings were only influenced by
            Mahaayaana  Buddhism;  just because  a king may have
            been influenced  by Mahaayaana  ideas  does not mean
            that certain Theravaada  ideas, including  the ideas
            of a bodhisattva  as found  in the Buddhava.msa  and
            Cariyaapi.taka, were not equally influential.

                The   presence   of  a  bodhisattva   ideal   in
            Theravaada  Buddhism  is  also  represented  by  the
            numerous  examples  of other  Theravaadins  who have
            either referred to themselves  or have been referred
            to  by  others   as  bodhisattvas.   The  celebrated
            commentator  Buddhaghosa, for example, was viewed by
            the monks of the Anuraadhapura  monastery  as being,
            without doubt, an incarnation of Metteyya.(47) There
            are even  some instances  of Theravaadin  monks  who
            expressed  their desire  to become fully enlightened
            buddhas.   For   instance,   the   twentieth-century
            bhikkhu, Doratiyaaveye  of  Sri  Lanka  (ca.  1900),
            after  being  deemed  worthy  of  receiving  certain
            secret teachings by his meditation  teacher, refused
            to practice such techniques  because he felt that it
            would cause him to enter on the Path and attain  the
            level of arahant  in this lifetime  or within  seven
            lives  (i.e., by becoming  a sottaapanna).  This was
            unacceptable to Doratiyaaveye because he saw himself
            as a bodhisattva  who  had  already  made  a vow  to
            attain buddhahood in the future.(48)

                The vow to become  a buddha  was also  taken  by
            certain  Theravaadin  textual copyists  and authors.
            The  author  of the commentary  on the Jaataka  (the
            Jaataka.t.takathaa), for example, concludes his work
            with  the  vow  to  complete   the  ten  bodhisattva
            perfections  in the future so that he will become  a
            buddha  and liberate  "the whole world with its gods
            from the bondage of repeated  births...  [and] guide
            them to the most excellent

                                    P.407

            and  tranquil  Nibbaana."(49) Another  example  of a
            Theravaadin  author who wished to become a buddha by
            following   the   bodhisattva-yaana   is  the  `Srii
            La^nkaan  monk Mahaa-Tipi.taka  Cuulaabhaya.  In his
            twelfth-century  subcommentary  on the Questions  of
            King Milinda, he "wrote  in the colophon  at the end
            of the  work  that  he wished  to  become  a buddha:
            Buddho Bhaveyya.m 'May I become a Buddha.'"(50)

            A Reevaluation of the Bodhisattva-`Sraavaka Opposition

                While   many   'canonical   uses   of  the  term
            "bodhisattva"   refer   to  Gotama   prior   to  his
            attainment  of buddhahood, in other canonical  texts
            (such  as the Buddhava.msa), the term  designates  a
            being who, out of compassion  for other beings, vows
            to become a fully and completely enlightened  buddha
            (sammaasambuddha), performs  various  acts of merit,
            renounces the enlightenment  of arahants, receives a
            prophecy  of his future buddhahood, and fulfills  or
            completes  the  ten  bodhisattva   perfections.   In
            addition, the bodhisattva  ideal  was also developed
            in terms of its application.  Not only does the word
            "bodhisattva"  pertain  to Gotama  and  all previous
            buddhas  before their enlightenment, it also applies
            to any  being  who  wishes  to pursue  the  path  to
            perfect buddhahood. This new development resulted in
            a more general  adherence  to the ideal  by numerous
            Theravaadin kings, monks, textual scholars, and even
            lay people.(51)

                The presence and scope of the bodhisattva  ideal
            in Theravaada  Buddhist  theory  and practice, then,
            appears   to  belie  Naagaarjuna's,  Asa^nga's,  and
            Candrakiirti's  claims  not only  that the "subjects
            based   on  the  deeds  of  Bodhisattvas   were  not
            mentioned  in the  [Hiinayaana]  suutras," but  also
            that the lesser  vehicle  (Hiinayaana) knows nothing
            of  the  "stages   of  the  career   of  the  future
            Buddha,(52) the  perfect  virtues  (paaramitta), the
            resolutions  or  vows  to  save  all  creatures, the
            application  of merit  to  the  acquisition  of  the
            quality  of Buddha, [and] the great compassion."  In
            addition, the  presence  of a developed  bodhisattva
            doctrine in the Buddhava.msa  and the Cariyaapi.taka
            also calls  into question  the commonly  held belief
            that the bodhisattva ideal underwent major doctrinal
            developments in early Mahaayaana Buddhism; there are
            numerous similarities  between the bodhisathra ideal
            as found in the Buddhava.msa and as found in certain
            early  Mahaayaana   Buddhist   texts   such  as  the
            Ratnagu.nasa.mcayagaathaa.(53) Both of these  texts,
            for instance, express the need for the completion of
            certain bodhisattva  perfections, the importance  of
            making  a vow  to  become  a buddha, the  notion  of
            accumulating  and applying  merit for the attainment
            of  buddhahood,  the  role  of  compassion, and  the
            implicit presence of certain bodhisattva stages.

                Even  though  the  bodhisattva   ideal  did  not
            undergo substantial  doctrinal developments  between
            the  later  canonical   texts   and  certain   early
            Mahaayaana  texts, it was developed  in terms of its
            application.  Whereas the goal of becoming  a buddha
            becomes the focus of the Mahaayaana

                                    P.408

            tradition, this  goal remains  de-emphasized  in the
            Theravaadin tradition.  In other words, although the
            bodhisattva  ideal in Mahaayaana  Buddhism becomes a
            goal that is applied  to everyone, the same ideal in
            Theravaada  Buddhism is reserved for the exceptional
            person.  This  distinction  is described  by Walpola
            Rahula:

                Though the Theravaadins  believe that anyone can
                become  a bodhisattva, they do not stipulate  or
                insist    that    everyone    must   become    a
                bodhisattva--this   is  not  considered   to  be
                reasonable. It is up to the individual to decide
                which  path to take, that of the `Sraavaka, that
                of   the   Pratyekabuddha,  or   that   of   the
                Samyaksambuddha [i.e., sammaasambuddha].(54)

                The state  of buddhahood  is highly  praised  in
            both traditions. In Mahaayaana Buddhism, this praise
            for  and  focus  on  the  ideal  of  buddhahood  has
            resulted in a vast amount of literature  centered on
            the bodhisattva ideal. In the Theravaadin tradition,
            on the other  hand, the high  regard  for buddhahood
            has  never  led  to a universal  application  of the
            goal, nor  has  it  resulted  in  a vast  amount  of
            literature  in  which  the  bodhisattva  concept  is
            delineated. As K. R. Norman posits: "The Buddhavamsa
            is therefore a developed  Bodhisattva  doctrine, but
            it  was   not   developed   further,  even   in  the
            Abhidharma."(55)

                These above-mentioned  differences  between  the
            two traditions  are essential and are a useful means
            to distinguish  Theravaada from Mahaayaana Buddhism.
            Rather than simply identifying the bodhisattva-yaana
            with  the  various   Mahaayaana   schools   and  the
            `sraavaka-yaana with the numerous Hiinayaana schools
            (as does the old model, which illustrates  the ideas
            put    forth    by    Naagaarjuna,   Asa^nga,    and
            Candrakiirti), the  revised  theoretical  model  may
            more accurately  portray the differences  that exist
            between  the two yaanas  by referring  to Mahaayaana
            Buddhism as a vehicle in which the bodhisattva ideal
            is  more  universally  applied,  and  to  Theravaada
            Buddhism as a vehicle in which the bodhisattva ideal
            is  reserved   for  and   appropriated   by  certain
            exceptional people.  Put somewhat differently, while
            the  bodhisattva-yaana  and the  goal  of buddhahood
            continues  to be accepted  as one of three  possible
            goals by followers of Theravaada Buddhism, this same
            goal becomes  viewed as the only acceptable  goal by
            followers of Mahaayaana  Buddhism.  Hence, it should
            be  stressed  that  the  change  introduced  by  the
            Mahaayaana traditions is not so much an invention of
            a new type of saint or a new ideology, but rather  a
            taking of an exceptional  ideal and bringing it into
            prominence.(56)

            NOTES

            An earlier version of this article was presented  at
            the    American    Academy    of   Religion,   Rocky
            Mountains-Great Plains Region, in April 1995.

                                    P.409

            Numerous  people  have  been  instrumental   in  its
            completion.  I would  like  to thank  Jose  Cabezon,
            Robert  Lester, and  Reginald  Ray for  reading  the
            rough drafts and making valuable suggestions  on how
            it might be improved.  I also wish to thank  the two
            anonymous    readers   for   their   comments    and
            suggestions. Finally, I would like to thank my wife,
            Benedicte F.  Bossut, for her direct involvement  in
            all  stages  of  the  production  of  this  article,
            especially   for  her  editorial  suggestions.   Any
            errors, oversights, and  inaccuracies  that  remain,
            however,  are  solely  the  responsibility   of  the
            author.

            1 - John   C.    Holt,   Buddha    in   the   Crown:
                Avalokitesvara in the Buddhist Traditions of Sri
                Lanka (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991),
                pp. viii-ix.

            2 - Naagaarjuna, Precious  Garland of Advice for the
                King  and  the Song  of the Four  Mindfulnesses,
                trans.  Jeffrey  Hopkins  and Lati Rimpoche, The
                Wisdom  of Tibet  Series, no.  2 (London: George
                Allen and Unwin, 1975), v. 390.

            3 - Ibid., v. 391.

            4 - Ibid., v. 393.

            5 - Richard   S.  Cohen,  "Discontented  Categories:
                Hiinayaana  and  Mahaayaana  in Indian  Buddhist
                History," Journal  of the  American  Academy  of
                Religion 63 (1) (1995): pp. 2-3.

            6 - Asa^nga,    Mahaayaanasuutraala.mkaara,   trans.
                Surekha Vijay Limaye, Bibliotheca  Indo-Buddhica
                Series, no. 94 (Delhi: Sri Satguru Publications,
                1992), 1:9.

            7 - ibid., 1:10.


            8 - Yaana.m   hiina.m   hiinam   eva   tat   na  tan
                Mahaayaana.m   bhavitum  arhati  (ibid.) .   The
                identification  of  the  Hiinayaana  schools  of
                Buddhism   with  the  `sraavaka-yaana   made  by
                Asa^nga  has  been  adopted   by  certain  later
                scholars.  For  instance, Har Dayal  makes  this
                same  identification  as follows: "Corresponding
                to these three  kinds  of bodhi, there are three
                yaanas or "Ways," which lead an aspirant  to the
                goal.  The third yaana  was at first called  the
                bodhisattva-yaana,  but   it  was   subsequently
                re-named  mahaa-yaana.   The  other  two  yaanas
                (i.e.,    the    `sraavaka-yaana     and     the
                pratyekabuddha-yaana)  were  spoken  of  as  the
                hiina-yaana"   (The  Bodhisattva   Doctrine   in
                Buddhist  Sanskrit  Literature  [Delhi:  Motilal
                Banarsidass, 1975], p.  11).  The identification
                of Hiinayaana  Buddhism with the `sraavaka-yaana
                is also made by scholars  like  Leon Hurvitz, in
                Scripture  of  the  Lotus  Blossom  of the  Fine
                Dharma  (New  York: Columbia  University  Press,
                1976) ,  p.  116,  and  M.   Monier-Williams,  A
                Sanskrit-English   Dictionary   (Delhi:  Motilal
                Banarsidass, 1990), p. 1097.

                                    P.410

            9 - Louis  de La Vallee  Poussin, "Bodhisattva, " in
                Encyclopaedia  of Religion and Ethics (New York:
                Charles Scribner's Sons, 1913), 8:334.

            10 - Andre  Bareau, Les Sectes Bouddhiques  du Petit
                 Vehicule      (Paris:      Ecole      Francaise
                 D'Extreme-Orient, 1955).

            11 - "Pubbe    va    me,    bhikkhave,    sambodhaa,
                 anabhisambuddhassa   bodhisattassa  sato,  edad
                 ahosi."   The   suttas   in  which   the   word
                 "bodhisattva"   follows   this   prelude   are:
                 Majjhima Nikaaya 1:17, 92, 114, 163, 240; 2:93,
                 211;  3:157;  Anguttara  Nikaaya 3:240;  4:302,
                 438;  and Samyutta  Nikaaya 2:4;  3:27;  4:233;
                 5:281, 316.  Unless  otherwise  indicated,  all
                 references  to the Paali  canon  are  from  the
                 English translation of the Paali Text Society.

            12 - Majjhima  Nikaaya 3:119-120, and Diigha Nikaaya
                 2:108.

            13 - Richard  Gombrich, "The Significance  of Former
                 Buddhas in the Theravaadin Tradition," Buddhist
                 Studies   in  Honour  of  Walpola  Rahula,  ed.
                 Somaratna  Balasooriya  et al.  (London: Gordon
                 Fraser Gallery, 1980), p. 68.

            14 - H.   Saddhatissa,   trans.,  The   Sutta-Nipata
                 (London: Curzon Press, 1985), v. 683.

            15-Ibid., v. 693.

            16 - The vow to become  a buddha  includes  both the
                 qualities   of  mental   determination   (i.e.,
                 manopa.nidhi)          and           aspiration
                 (abhiniihaarakara.na) to attain buddhahood;  to
                 engage in the long and arduous path to complete
                 and      perfect      enlightenment      (i.e.,
                 sammaasambuddha)  .    Whereas    the    mental
                 determination   to  become  a  buddha  is  made
                 silently  to oneself  and  is analogous  to the
                 Mahaayaana concept of bodhicitta or "thought of
                 Enlightenment," the aspiration  is usually made
                 in the presence  of an existing buddha.  Though
                 the  mental  determination  to become  a buddha
                 occurs  only  once, the  aspiration  to  attain
                 buddhahood  must be repeated in the presence of
                 all   subsequent   buddhas   (I.   B.   Horner,
                 introduction to the Buddhava.msa [Chronicles of
                 the  Buddha], Sacred  Books  of the  Buddhists,
                 vol. 31 [London: Paali Text Society, 1975], pp.
                 xiv-xv).  The dearest example  of a bodhisattva
                 vow is found  in BUddhava.msa  2A:56 ff., where
                 the bodhisattva Sumedha thought:

                 What  is the  use  of my crossing  over  alone,
                 being  a  man  aware  of  my  strength?  Having
                 reached  omniscience, I will  cause  the  world
                 together with the devas to cross over.  Cutting
                 through the stream of sa.msaara, shattering the
                 three  becomings,  embarking  in  the  ship  of
                 Dhamma, I will cause  the world  with the devas
                 to cross over.

                                    P.411

            17 - A  list   of  the  various   meritorious   acts
                 performed  by Gotama to each of the twenty-four
                 previous buddhas is delineated by I. B. Horner,
                 in her  introduction  to the  Buddhava.msa, pp.
                 xlix  ff.  One  example  of  a meritorious  act
                 performed  for  a Buddha  can  be found  in the
                 chronicle  of Sumedha.  When Sumedha heard that
                 the  then  buddha--Diipa^nkara--was  to pass  a
                 long a road, he, as an act of merit, offered to
                 clear a section of the path:

                 When I heard "Buddha," zest arose  immediately.
                 Saying   "Buddha,  Buddha"   I   expressed   my
                 happiness.  Standing  there elated, stirred  in
                 mind, reasoned, "Here  will  I  sow  seeds  [of
                 merit]; indeed, let not the moment pass! If you
                 are clearing for a Buddha, give me one section.
                 I myself  will also clear  the direct  way, the
                 path and road" (Buddhavam.sa 2A:42 ff.).

                 Before  Sumedha  was able to finish the section
                 of  the  road  allotted   to  him,  Diipa^nkara
                 arrived  accompanied  by four hundred  thousand
                 arahants.  As a result  of not having  finished
                 his  task   of  preparing   the  road,  Sumedha
                 prostrated  himself  in the mud and offered his
                 body to Diipa^nkara for walking on (2A:52-53).

            18 - See, for instance, Buddhavam.sa 2A:61 ff. These
                 developments have a great affect on the ways in
                 which  the  term  "bodhisattva"  is  used.   As
                 Gombrich   posits,  "Any  future  Buddha  is  a
                 Bodhisattva  (by  definition) ,  but  with  the
                 appearance  of this theory one formally becomes
                 a Bodhisattva  by taking  a vow in the presence
                 of a Buddha and receiving his prediction" ("The
                 Significance of Former Buddhas," p. 68).

            19 - Buddhavam.sa 2A:54-55.

            20 - The  ten  perfections  are  mentioned  numerous
                 times  in the  Buddhava.msa.  See, for example,
                 Buddhava.m.sa 2A:117 ff., 4:14, 5:20, and 6:14.

            21 - In  Buddhavam.sa  1:76-77, Saariputta  asks the
                 Buddha about his process  of Awakening  and how
                 he fulfilled the ten perfections. He then asks:
                 "Of what  kind, wise one, leader  of the world,
                 were  your ten perfections? How were the higher
                 perfections   fulfilled,  trow   the   ultimate
                 perfections?"

            22 - Cariyaapi.taka 1:1-1:8 and 1:9.

            23 - Ibid., 1:8:2-3.

            24 - Ibid., 1:10:9, 1:10:22-23.

            25 - Diigha Nikaaya 2:1-7.

            26 - For instance, we find: "Now Vipassii, brethren,
                 when as a Bodhisat[ta], he ceased to belong  to
                 the hosts  of the heaven  of Delight, descended
                 into   his   mother's    womb    mindful    and
                 self-possessed" (Diigha Nikaaya 2:12).

                                    P.412

            27 - In  many  of  the  following   paragraphs,  for
                 instance, we find  the phrase  "It is the rule,
                 brethren, that...." (Ayam ettha dhammataa) used
                 to refer to the paradigm set by Vipassii.

            28 - Samyutta  Nikaaya  2:4  ff.  The  six  previous
                 buddhas  mentioned  in the Diigha  and Samyutta
                 Nikaayas are increased to twenty-four  and even
                 to twenty-seven  in later canonical  texts such
                 as the Buddhava.msa.  In yet a later  canonical
                 text, the Apadaana of the Khuddaka-Nikaaya, the
                 number of previous  buddhas  increases  to more
                 than thirty-five.

            29 - Diigha Nikaaya 3:76.

            30 - Ibid., 3:114.  Though  the possibility  for the
                 existence   of  other  future  buddhas   beside
                 Metteyya is mentioned only briefly in the Paali
                 canon,  in  other  post-canonical   Theravaadin
                 texts, there  are more specific  references  to
                 future bodhisattvas and buddhas.  For instance,
                 in    the    Dasabodhisattuppattikathaa,    the
                 Dasabodhisattaddesa, and  in one  recension  of
                 the    Anaagatava.msa    Desanaa,   the    nine
                 bodhisattvas   who  will  follow  Maitreya  are
                 mentioned.  Moreover, in one  recension  of the
                 Dasabodhisattuppattikathaa, we  even  find  the
                 places  of  residence   of  seven  of  the  ten
                 bodhisattvas:  Metteyya,  Raama,  Pasena,   and
                 Vibhuuti  are  presently  residing  in  Tu.sita
                 heaven and Subhuuti, Naalaagiri, and Paarileyya
                 are now in Taavati.msa heaven. Thus, it appears
                 that  the  Theravaadin  tradition  acknowledges
                 certain   "celestial"   bodhisattvas   who  are
                 currently  residing  in various heavenly realms
                 and not that the only recognized bodhisattva in
                 Theravaada  Buddhism is Maitreya (Edward Conze,
                 Thirty  Years  of  Buddhist  Studies:  Selected
                 Essays by Edward Conze [Oxford: Bruno Cassirer,
                 1967], p. 38).

            31 - Khuddakapaa.tha 8:15-16.

            32 - Though  the accessibility  of these three goals
                 to all beings is only briefly mentioned  in the
                 Khuddakapaa.tha, in the  Upaasakajanaala^nkaara
                 (a twelfth-century  Paali text dealing with lay
                 Buddhist  ethics), all three ways of liberation
                 are clearly admitted  (Hajime  Nakamura, Indian
                 Buddhism: A Survey  with Bibliographical  Notes
                 [Osaka: Kufs Publication, 1980], p. 119).

            33 - Mahaava.msa 22:25-41.

            34 - Ibid., 36:76.  There  is a remarkable  parallel
                 between  King Sirisa.mghabodhi, who risked  his
                 life to avert  a devastating  drought, and King
                 Vessantara, who gave away his precious elephant
                 to avert a drought in Kaali^nga.

            35 - Mahaava.msa 36:91 ff.  The willingness to offer
                 his own life to avert  the potential  suffering
                 of his subjects  appears to have some origin in
                 the life of King Vessantara, who was willing to
                 offer his life to fulfill

                                    P.413

                 the perfection of giving.  After commenting  on
                 the    bodhisattva-like    nature    of    King
                 Sirisa.mghabodhi,  John  Holt  argues: "By  his
                 actions, Sirisanghabodhi  very clearly cuts the
                 figure  of  an earthly, royal  bodhisattva, and
                 almost  a  Mahaayaana   bodhisattva   at  that"
                 (Buddha   in  the   Crown,  p.   59) .

            36 - Cuu.lava.msa, 37:106 ff.

            37 - Ibid., 37:180.

            38 - Epigraphia Zeylanica, 2:76.

            39 - Ibid., 3:67.  This  passage  is  translated  on
                 pages 68-69 of the same volume.

            40 - Ibid., 1:227.

            41 - Ibid., 1:240.

            42 - Epigraphia Burmanica, 1:146.

            43 - P. M.  Tin, "The Shwegugyi Pagoda Inscriptions,
                 Pagan  1141  A.D.," The  Journal  of the  Burma
                 Research Society 10 (2) (1920): 72.

            44 - T. Tun, "Religion in Burma, A.D. 100-1300," The
                 Journal  of  the  Burma  Research   Society  42
                 (1959): 53.

            45 - E.  Sarkisyanz,  Buddhist  Backgrounds  of  the
                 Burmese   Revolution   (The   Hague:   Martinus
                 Nijhoff, 1965), p. 47.

            46 - B.  W.  Andaya, "Statecraft  in the Reign of Lu
                 T'ai   of   Sukhodaya,  "   in   Religion   and
                 Legitimation of Power in Thailand, Laos, Burma,
                 ed.    Barwell    L.    Smith    (Chambersburg:
                 Conocosheague Associates, 1978), p. 13.

            47 - Cuu.lava.msa  37:242.  In  commenting  on  this
                 story, Holt posits: "What  this...  seem[s]  to
                 suggest  is that not only did Maitreya  come to
                 be  associated   with   visions   of  perfected
                 kingship,  but  he  also  seems  to  have  been
                 continuously  associated  with the ideal of the
                 perfected  monk" (Buddha  in the Crown, p.  8).
                 Even though Buddhaghosa  was depicted  as being
                 an  incarnation   of  Metteyya,  he   is  never
                 described  as taking  a bodhisattva  vow and as
                 practicing certain bodhisattva perfections.

            48 - F.  L.  Woodward, trans., A Manual of a Mystic:
                 Being a Translation from the Pail and Sinhalese
                 Work   Entitled   "The  Yogavachara's   Manual"
                 (London: Oxford  University  Press,  1916), pp.
                 xvii-xviii.

            49 - H.  Saddhatissa, The Birth-Stories  of the  Ten
                 Bodhisattas  and the Dasabodhisattuppattikatha,
                 Sacred Books of the Buddhists, vol.  29 London:
                 Paali Text Society, 1975), pp. 38-39.

                                    P.414

            50 - Milinda  Tiikaa  (Paali  Text Society), p.  73;
                 quoted   in   Walpola   Rahula,   "L'ideal   du
                 bodhisattva    dans   le   Theravada    et   le
                 Mahaayaana," Journal Asiatique, 1971, p. 69.

            51 - There  is evidence  that suggests  that certain
                 lay people living in Sri Lanka took bodhisattva
                 vows to attain buddhahood. For example, we find
                 that  two  Sri  Lankans,  after  freeing  their
                 children and wives from slavery, dedicated  the
                 merit   derived   from   these   actions   "for
                 the.benefit    of   all   beings"   (Epigraphia
                 Zeylanica, 4:133, nos. 1-4) as well as to their
                 own  attainment  of  "Buddhahood   as  desired"
                 (ibid.,  4:133,  nos.  2-3).  We  also  find  a
                 similar  wish made by a "lay" person  who lived
                 between the fifth and eighth centuries  and who
                 sculpted  or commissioned  the  sculpting  of a
                 rock in the shape of a stuupa.  The person then
                 dedicated    the   merit   accrued   from   his
                 undertaking  for the benefit  of all beings and
                 for his attainment of buddhahood. He writes:

                 By  this   merit,  may  I  be  able,  in  every
                 succeeding rebirth, to relive all the suffering
                 of the world and to bestow  complete  happiness
                 [on humanity].  [May I also always]  be full of
                 forbearance and compassion.

                 By this  merit, may I vanquish  the foes, Maara
                 ...  and  sin;  and  having  attained  to  that
                 supreme  state  of Buddhahood, may  I, with  my
                 hand  of  great  compassion, deliver  suffering
                 humanity   from  the  extensive   quagmire   of
                 sa.msaara  (ibid., 3:161;  neither the brackets
                 nor the ellipses are mine).

                 One cautionary  note concerning  these examples
                 must  be made.  While  there  is evidence  that
                 certain  Sri Lankans  took  a bodhisattva  vow,
                 there  is not  sufficient  evidence  to suggest
                 that these people were, in fact, Theravaadins.

            52 - While the concept of the bodhisattva  stages is
                 not overtly delineated  in the Buddhava.msa, it
                 is implicit  in the text.  The stages  found in
                 the Buddhavam.sa, though, closely resemble  the
                 four  bhuumi  outlined  in one  section  of the
                 Mahaavastu, and not the traditional  ten stages
                 found in the Da`sabhuumika  Suutra.  These four
                 stages outlined  in the Mahaavastu  (1:1 and 46
                 ff.)    are:    (a)    the    natural    career
                 (prak.rti-caryaa) ,  in  which   a  bodhisattva
                 acquires  merit  by  living  a righteous  life,
                 giving  alms  to the sangha, and  honoring  the
                 buddhas;     (b)    the     resolving     stage
                 (pra.nidhaana-caryaa), in  which  a bodhisattva
                 makes  a  vow  to  attain  buddhahood;  (c) the
                 conforming  stage  (anuloma-caryaa), in which a
                 bodhisattva  advances to his goal by fulfilling
                 the perfections (paaramitaa);  and finally, (d)
                 the  preserving   stage   (anivartana-caryaa) ,
                 whereby a bodhisattva  is destined  to become a
                 buddha  and cannot  turn back from  the path to
                 buddhahod.

                    In the Buddhava.msa, these  four stages  are
                 implicit  in  the  chronicle  of  Sumedha.  For
                 example, Sumedha  first  performed  an  act  of
                 merit to the Buddha Diipa^nkara by lying in the
                 mud (natural

                                    P.415

                 career);  he then made a mental  resolution  to
                 become a buddha in the future (resolving stage)
                 ;  he then examined  (and worked on completing)
                 the  ten perfections  (conforming  stage);  and
                 finally, he became assured of the attainment of
                 buddhahood   by  receiving  a  prediction  from
                 Diipa^nkara  and by the occurrences  of certain
                 supernatural  events that caused him to resolve
                 to  attain  buddhahood   (preserving   stage) .
                 Contrary to the Mahaavastu, however, all of the
                 four stages  implicit  in the Buddhava.msa  are
                 reached   in   each   lifetime    of   Gotama's
                 bodhisattva  career  and not over  a number  of
                 lifetimes.

            53 - This  point is more fully developed  in chapter
                 four of my M.A.  thesis, "Bodhisattva  Ideal in
                 Theravaada  Buddhism: With Special Reference to
                 the  Suutra-Pi.taka"  (University  of Colorado,
                 1995).  It may  be argued, however, that  while
                 the Buddhava.msa contains the central doctrines
                 associated  with  the  bodhisattva  ideal, this
                 text   was   heavily   influenced   by  certain
                 Mahaayaana  Buddhist schools of thought.  While
                 this idea is sometimes asserted (E. J.  Thomas,
                 The  History  of  Buddhist   Thought   [London:
                 Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1953], pp.  147-148),
                 it  has  not  been  confirmed.   In  fact,  the
                 opposite assertion  may also be made.  This may
                 be  supported  by  the  dating  of  texts.  For
                 example,   though   the   Buddhava.msa   is   a
                 relatively  late addition  to the Paali  canon,
                 according  to certain scholars (e.g., Gombrich,
                 "The Significance  of Former  Buddhas," p.  68,
                 and  A.  K.  Warder,  Indian  Buddhism  [Delhi:
                 Motilal Banarsidass, 1991], p.  298), this text
                 may  be dated  from  the  third  to the  second
                 century  B.C.E.  This approximate  date is also
                 supported  by the fact that there is a parallel
                 version  of this  text in the Mahaavastu, which
                 has  been  dated  to the first  century  B.C.E.
                 (Etienne  Lamotte, History  of Indian Buddhism:
                 From the Origins  to the Saka Era, trans.  Sara
                 Webb-Boin [Paris: L'Institute  Orientaliste  de
                 Louvain,   1988],   p.   158)  .   Hence,   the
                 Buddhava.msa  may actually precede the earliest
                 Mahaayaana  text, the Ratnagu.nasa.mcayagaathaa
                 (which  has been  dated  by Conze  to the first
                 century B.C.E.), by at least one hundred years.


            54 - Walpola Rahula, "L'ideal du bodhisattva dans le
                 Theravada et le Mahaayaana," Journal Asiatique,
                 1971, p. 69.

            55 - K.  R.  Norman, Pali Literature: Including  the
                 Canonical Literature in Prakrit and Sanskrit of
                 All the Hinayana Schools of Buddhism, A History
                 of   Indian   Literature,  vol.   7,  fasc.   2
                 (Wiesbaden: Otto Harrasowitz, 1983), p. 94.

            56 - Reginald Ray, Buddhist Saints in India: A Study
                 of Buddhist  Values  and Orientations  (London:
                 Oxford University Press, 1994), p. 251.

     

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