Reply To: The Bodhisattva Problem and questions regarding.


I am glad to hear that we are making progress, ikoren.

Let us look at your main issue from your latest post:
“Lal said
“A Bodhisatta is supposed to comprehend the way to Nibbana by himself.”

This is the exact aspect I have been pointing to. If the bodhisatta can remember the true dhamma from his previous lives. He is not comprehending the way to nibanna by himself anymore than the arahant does upon instruction..”

Let us take the specific case of our Bodhisatta who had cultivated anariya jhana (with instructions from Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta) and had the ability to recall his interactions with Buddha Kassapa.
– Recalling a past life means exactly recalling his OWN experiences. He was not recalling what Buddha Kassapa said, but what he heard.
– There is a BIG difference between those two.
– If bhikkhu Jotipala was unable to comprehend what Buddha Kassapa was saying at that time, as ascetic Siddhatta he would have just recalled the same things.

You may want to read my next post this weekend. It is on this subject of recalling past events. There are few people being studied by scientists. Those people have “perfect memories” without cultivating jhana (It is due to punna iddhi, a type of kamma vipaka). They can recall and re-live any arbitrary day in the past several years.
– They don’t have higher intelligence compared to an average person. They just can recall past events even moment-by-moment as if playing back a recorder. They experience the same feelings as if they are experiencing that event right now.

The bottom line is that ascetic Siddhatta was not able to gain any NEW knowledge by recalling his interactions with Buddha Kassapa. If he was unable to make progress with what he heard then, he would not be able to make progress by recalling the same things.

Think about a person living now, who has been taught the correct Dhamma now. Suppose he is unable to comprehend it and make progress. He dies and is reborn a few years later again a human. Suppose he cultivates jhana and is able to recall what he learned in the past life.
– There is no difference between that and him again learning the same stuff from another teacher.
– Even in that latter life, he may or may not be able to make progress, using either approach (recalling or learning from a new teacher.)
– It is not the words that matter. That is the bottom line. Learning (memorizing) and comprehension are two different things.