Friday, June 18, 2010

Unenlightened bodhisattvas

The below is an extract of the interview with HH the Dalai Lama. But I got it from one email someone sent but he didnot disclose the source reference. Once I have the actual source, I will put it here. The fourth type of rebirth is referring to the unenlightened bodhisattvas I was talking about in one of my recent post. Please also check out the 20th (some versions had it as 22nd) vow of Amitabha. Those are referring to both enlightened as well as unenlightened bodhisattvas who return from Amitabha's Pure Land to help sentient beings. Because their vows and aspirations are so strong, they are able to continuously practice their bodhisattva activities until perfect, i.e. fulfillment of all the paramitas and thus achieving Perfect, Complete Enlightenment. Thsi is also made clear in the Lam Rim Chen Mo, where it was described that anyone who had realised bodhicitta are sons and daughters of the Buddha, and are bohisattvas in spirit even though they may not hold any bodhisattva precepts nor achieved any stage of enlightenment. If you know of any other source to support the existence of unenlightened bodhisattvas, do make a comment and share.

Question: About you being the incarnation of the bodhisattva of infinite compassion, Avalokiteshvara. How do you personally feel about this? Is it something you have an unequivocal view of one way or another?

Answer: It is difficult for me to say definitely. Unless I am engaged in a meditative effort, such as following my life back, breath by breath, I couldn't say exactly. We believe that there are four types of rebirth. One is the common type wherein, a being is helpless to determine his or her rebirth, but only reincarnates in dependence on the nature of past actions. The opposite is that of an entirely enlightened Buddha, who simply manifests a physical form to help others. In this case, it is clear that the person is Buddha. A third is one who, due to past spiritual attainment, can choose, or at least influence, the place and situation of rebirth. The fourth is called a blessed manifestation. In this the person is blessed beyond his normal capacity to perform helpful functions, such as teaching religion. For this last type of birth, the person's wishes in previous lives to help others must have been very strong. They obtain such empowerment. Though some seem more likely than others, I cannot definitely say which I am.

1 comment:

s said...

frankly, after some contemplation about this, it is the word 'unenlightened' that shd be emphasized. Not the word 'bodhisattva'. Whether one is or not an 'unenlightened bodhisattva', there is still a long way to go and much to be done