Reincarnated when you are 4th path in Tibet?

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b man, modified 6 Years ago.

Reincarnated when you are 4th path in Tibet?

Posts: 201 Join Date: 11/25/11 Recent Posts
Its my understanding that 4th path means becoming an Arahat. Which also means no more reincarnations. Is there some kind of an exception to this for the Dalai Lama and the Karmapas who keep being reincarnated ? Or do we just not really know?
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Noah S, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Reincarnated when you are 4th path in Tibet?

Posts: 1532 Join Date: 7/6/13 Recent Posts
In his book, Bill Hamilton says arhats can reincarnate because compassion replaces clinging.  Even though compassion is super-skillful it does generate new karma.  When he asked Tuangpulu Sayadaw about this subject, TS responded "the reincarnation of arhats is a paradox."
Derek Cameron, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Reincarnated when you are 4th path in Tibet?

Posts: 326 Join Date: 7/21/10 Recent Posts
b man:
Its my understanding that 4th path means becoming an Arahat. Which also means no more reincarnations. Is there some kind of an exception to this for the Dalai Lama and the Karmapas who keep being reincarnated ? Or do we just not really know?

In Mahayana Buddhism, the ideal is not an arahant. The ideal is the bodhisattva -- one who defers their own enlightenment in order to liberate all sentient beings.
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b man, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Reincarnated when you are 4th path in Tibet?

Posts: 201 Join Date: 11/25/11 Recent Posts
thanks Derek. I just found this:

  • Buddha is a completely self-enlightened one (without help from another Buddha, direct or indirect).
  • Bodhisattva (in Theravada) is a being on its way to enlightenment.
  • Bodhisattva (in Mahayana) is an awakened being who vowed to indefinitely stick in Samsara for the sake of others.
  • Arhat (in Theravada) is a completely enlightened person (thanks to a Buddha's help).
  • Arhat (in Mahayana) is person who has attained Peace (of enlightenment) for him or herself, but not willing to give it up for the sake of others.
  • Deva is a non-human being invisible to the human eye.

Is that correct, to your knowledge?
Derek Cameron, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Reincarnated when you are 4th path in Tibet?

Posts: 326 Join Date: 7/21/10 Recent Posts
In Theravada Buddhism, "bodhisattva" is used to describe the Buddha in his previous lifetimes. No one else gets referred to as a boddhisattva.

In Mahayana Buddhism, "bodhisattva" gets applied to anyone who has taken the bodhisattva vow.

I've never heard Mahayana Buddhists talk about arhatship, but then I'm not that familiar with Mahayana Buddhism.
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b man, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Reincarnated when you are 4th path in Tibet?

Posts: 201 Join Date: 11/25/11 Recent Posts
this is interesting - taken from the Q&A section of the dalai lamas website...


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.

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