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Three Types of Bodhisattas 1

Homage to the Blessed One, the Worthy One, the Highest Self Enlightened One!

Published: 2014-03-29


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Three Types of Bodhisattas 1

There are three types of Bodhisattas [that become Sammasambuddhas]. 1) Bodhisattas with great wisdom (pannadhika), 2) Bodhisattas with great faith (saddhadhika) and 3) Bodhisattas with great effort (viriyadhika).

Great Bodhisattas are of three types:[21] (1) those in whom wisdom (panna) is predominant, (2) those in whom faith (saddha) is predominant, and (3) those in whom energy (viriya) is predominant. For the first type, the preparation requires four incalculable and one hundred thousand aeons. The second type works for eight incalculable and one hundred thousand aeons. The Bodhisatta Metteyya is the third type, those who work for sixteen incalculable and one hundred thousand aeons.[22] These three types are also explained as being due to the degree of the quality of the energy they put forth, or again, as being determined by the degree they develop the mental factors which bring emancipation to maturity (vimuttiparipacaniya dhamma)

These three types of Great Bodhisattas are determined by how much they have developed the perfections when they make the aspiration to become a Teaching Buddha. At the time they aspire to become a Teaching Buddha, they will already have prepared to attain final Nibbana, Arahatship.[23] They will be at the point that they could become Arahats (1) through a condensed teaching of less than three lines (ugghatitannu), (2) through an elaborated teaching of less than four lines (vipancitannu), or (3) through further training amounting to hearing four lines (neyya).

According to the commentary on the Anagatavamsa,[24] Those in whom wisdom is predominant, which was the case for the Bodhisatta who became Buddha Gotama, would be able to understand a condensed teaching of less than three lines. Those in whom faith is predominant would understand a teaching of less than four lines. Those in whom energy is predominant, as was the case for Bodhisatta Metteyya, would understand on hearing four lines.

This might seem to suggest that the future Buddha Gotama was more advanced that the future Buddha Metteyya when he made his resolve to become a Buddha. But the difference may be related to the fact that a Bodhisatta for whom energy is predominant develops the perfections four times as long as a Bodhisatta for whom wisdom is predominant.

Notes

  1. See Treatise, pp. 325f.
  2. This is mentioned in Dvp, p. 133.
  3. CSM, p. 130f. (in the discussion of "cause").
  4. In an unpublished passage. This is mentioned by Sayādaw U Vicittasarabhivamsa in his Mahabuddhavan (Yangon: Sasana Council, 1977), pp. 6-10 (he quotes as his source: Ashin Thilawuntha [Silavamsa], Parami-kan-pyo).

May all be happy and well!

From: http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Metteyya/arimet01.htm