Reply To: Can an arahant or sotapanna become a Buddha?


In the following, I will try to address oetb’s questions.

“1. Why kusala-mula paticca samuppada starts with “kusala-mula paccaya sankhara, …” and not with “pañña paccaya sankhara, …”?

One CULTIVATES pañña by cultivating the Eightfold Path. When one attains the Arahanthood, then pañña is complete.
– If we go in a sequential way, one MAY first start at the “moha” stage, where one may have one or more of the ten types of miccha ditthi.
– After that, one is able to comprehend Tialkkhana (anicca, dukkha, anatta) and START on the Noble Eightfold Path as a Sotapanna Anugami.
– Only then one will be able to cultivate the “kusala-mula paticca samuppada” that starts with “kusala-mula paccaya sankhara.
– However, UNTIL one gets to the Arahant stage, all those below that stage may also be engaged in the “akusala-mula paticca samuppada” depending on the situation.
The following section could be helpful:
Living Dhamma

“2. Why is only the desire to attain Nibbana for oneself that characteristic, and not too the desire for others to attain Nibbana? (or the desire to help others to attain Nibbana)”

I am not sure where you got that idea. I have not attained Nibbana (Arahanthood) but I am spending a lot of time on this website trying to help others understand what I have understood.
– Others at this forum do the same.
– Most bhikkhus allocate a significant fraction of their time to teach others.
– However, we must also keep in mind that only one can cleanse one’s own mind and attain Nibbana. Others (even a Buddha) can only teach the way to do it.

“3. What prevents a bodhisattva to learn Dhamma?”

I think that is the wrong way to look at it.
A bodhisattva spends an uncountable number of lives fulfilling “the requirements” (or paramita) to become a Buddha.
– But he cannot even attain the Sotapanna stage because then he would have learned Dhamma from someone else. A Buddha discovers the true nature of this world by himself WHEN a Buddha Sasana (Ministry of a Buddha) is ABSENT in the world. That way, he will be able to reveal Dhamma to many. That is why Buddha is a very special person.
– Two Buddhas DO NOT appear in this world at the same time. That would defeat the purpose of having a Buddha who spends so much time and effort to become a Buddha.
See, for example, “Pāramitā and Niyata Vivarana – Myths or Realities?

I think if you go through the above-suggested posts, you may find answers to the other questions in them too.

If not, or if you run into other questions, please feel free to ask.