Prediction for Buddhahood

Dear All,

In the Lotus Sutra, there are numerous prediction of Buddhahood, with the following prediction for ;

1. Sariputra
2. Mahakasyapa
3. Subhuti
4. Mahakatyayana
5. Mahamaudgalyayana
6. Purna Maitrayaniputra + 500 disciples
7. Ananda
8. Rahula + 200 disciples

All these can be related to the Parables of the Magic City, whether the Arhat - Bodhisatva - Buddhahood concept can be demonstrated, and with the final results revealed.

What is the real final goal of Buddhist? Arhat or Buddhahood?

This is another thought provoking question I have, which probably is a good essay topics. Any comments and idea would be welcomed.

Different vehicles

As a buddhist in the world with Gotama Buddha and we strive for cessation of suffering and we successfully done it in this life, we are arahants. The fruit of arahant or Buddha is no difference in this context. If we know that we are not able to attain nibbana in this life, we wow to practice the path life by life until we gather enough merit to become Buddha ourself, the final goal will be buddhahood. In the process if we reborn in a world with Buddha teaching,and we attain nibbana there, we are still arahants. Life by life, we are Bodhisattas in the process to practice paramitas so that one day we gather enough merits to enlighten as a Buddha.

Denis Wallez's picture

knowing we are not able to attain nibbana in this life?

(taking a Mahayana perspective)
There is nothing, truly and inherently existent, that separates us from Buddhahood; this is Buddha-nature (and seeing the emptiness of the difference as clearly as the emptiness of the Self).
So when "we know we are not able to attain nibbana in this life," we are actually feeding our delusion and belief that something truly exists that makes us and buddhas essentially different. We cannot 'know' we are not able to attain nibbana: that 'knowledge' is merely an illusion, the very illusion that keeps us from being buddhas right now. And based on this illusion, we build other illusions, like the 'necessity' for 'progress' and 'steps.' Don't get me wrong: walking these 'steps' is useful to give us insights in the nature of the illusion, to make us see the illusion for what it is (i.e. an illusion!)… but we cannot truly 'know' we are not able to attain nibbana in this life.
Nibbana is unconditioned: it cannot be 'excluded' from this life based on some inherent 'blocking factor.' No such inherent factor exists.

Different vehicles

Dear CL,

One of the main purposes of Buddha’s teaching in Lotus Sutra is to realize all living beings that all living being has the nature of Buddhahood.

In my understanding, there is a difference between Arahant and Buddha even during Gotama Buddha time if the Arahant does not realize that he can become a Buddha.

In chapter 2, Expedient device, Saripura is the great disciple who already attained Arahant, realizing he was the son of the Buddha and Buddha predicted his Buddhahood.

Sariputra who has the highest capacity can understand Buddha teaching about the Buddhahood without using any expedient device.

Others disciples in the list, in order to realize them, Buddha used expedient devices.
Similes of the burning house, medical herbs and illusion city are used to explain the concept of the 3 different vehicles, which finally unified into one.

It is clear that the final goal of the practice is to attain the Buddhahood, it can be achieved by all vehicles.

with metta, FS