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Pilgrimage in India, Ch I, 5.

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  • Nina van Gorkom
    Dear friends, The Buddha accumulated these perfections in the course of innumerable lives as a Bodhisatta, a being destined to Buddhahood. He made his
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 10, 2012
      Dear friends,

      The Buddha accumulated these perfections in the course of innumerable
      lives as a Bodhisatta, a being destined to Buddhahood. He made his
      resolution to become a Buddha many aeons ago, when he was born into a
      brahmin family as Sumedha, during the time of the Buddha D�pa�kara
      who declared him to be a future Buddha.

      The Buddha D�pa�kara was succeeded by other Buddhas who lived before
      the Buddha Gotama, the Samm�sambuddha of this Buddha era. When the
      Bodhisatta who would be the future Buddha Gotama made his resolution,
      he knew that he would have to endure innumerable lives in order to
      accumulate the perfections necessary for the attainment of Buddhahood.

      A Samm�sambuddha has to accumulate a higher degree of wisdom and
      virtue than others who attain enlightenment. All those who have
      attained arahatship have eradicated defilements, they are �perfected
      ones�. However, arahats do not have the same degree of wisdom and
      they all have different talents and abilities. Some arahats are
      experts at teaching, others have accumulated clairvoyance, others are
      inclined to be forest-dwellers, others again are experts in jh�na
      (absorption concentration) or in remembering past lives.

      The person who is destined to be a Samm�sambuddha, however, is born
      at a time when the teachings of past Buddhas have disappeared
      completely. He has to discover the truth all by himself and he has to
      teach the Path to others as well. Therefore, he has to accumulate
      the highest degree of wisdom and he has to be foremost in all
      perfections. We read in the �Gradual Sayings� (Book of the Ones, Ch
      XIII, � 5):

      �Monks, there is one person born into the world who is unique,
      without a peer, without counterpart, incomparable, unequalled,
      matchless, unrivalled, best of bipeds he. Who is that one person? It
      is a Tath�gata who is Arahant, a fully Enlightened One. This, monks,
      is that one person.�

      The Bodhisatta made his resolution to become a Buddha out of
      compassion. He did not only wish to gain the truth for himself, he
      also wanted other beings to attain enlightenment. He had the welfare
      of other beings in mind when he decided to develop insight, to win
      the truth and to eradicate defilements. He made the resolution to
      become a future Buddha at the feet of the Buddha D�pa�kara and
      renewed his resolution time and again during his innumerable lives as
      a Bodhisatta. He was unshakable in his determination to accumulate
      all the perfections necessary for the attainment of Buddhahood. His
      determination, made out of compassion for other beings, is one of the
      �perfections� he fulfilled.

      --------

      Nina.




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