I have read all the posts you have linked and most on this website outside of the most recent, and am immensely grateful for the work you have done doing so. It seems it was more my inability to adequately illustrate what I was getting at in earlier entries that perhaps left the impression I hadn’t. But I believe we are on the same page now.
“– So, he probably saw that he was a bhikkhu under Buddha Kassapa.
– How does that change anything?”
“A Bodhisatta is supposed to comprehend the way to Nibbana by himself. Even if Buddha Kassapa spent months and months instructing him, he would not have been able to “learn the way” from Buddha Kassapa.
– In fact, I remember Waharaka Thero mention the following in a discourse. It seems that after becoming a bhikkhu under Buddha Kassapa, bhikkhu Jotipala (our Bodhisatta at that time) tried hard to make progress, but could not. He told Buddha Kassapa that he is unable to make progress. That is when Buddha Kassapa looked into it and realized that Bhikkhu Jotipala is going to attain the Buddhahood.”
This answers what I was asking, which is that there is no contradiction because once a Bodhisatta achieves niyata vivarana, it is impossible for them gain awakening under the teaching of another, even if it’s through memories of a past life.
This goes a long way to helping to resolve this issue in my end. I still have some inner resistance due to the idea that if the dhamma is the same, from Buddha to Buddha, ascetic Gotama pre his awakening would still have access to the true dhamma due to his memory of his past lives, the same true dhamma that he would end up awakening to later on, during the night of his enlightenment. I guess it’s the question of how can you discover for the first time something you have heard before, without it being more akin to the arahant path. Hence it changes the conception of Buddhahood to be much closer to arahantship.
I’ll leave it at this, as I suspect I may just be ensnaring myself into an endless loop here, as you have given a clear cut answer. Thanks again for taking the time Lal.
Hopefully, as I reflect and read more, it’ll become clearer or I’ll realize the uselessness in thinking about it.