The Concept of the Buddha Between Theravada and Mahayana as Appeared in Saddharmapundarikasutra

Phramaha Komon Kamalo


The Concept of the Buddha between Theravada and Mahayana as appeared in Saddharmapundarikasutra  is of the objectives to study the concept of the Buddha  in Theravada Buddhism to compare the concept of the Buddha in Mahayana Buddhism as appeared in Saddharmapundarikasutra.

Definition and meaning of the word “Buddha” are the same both of Theravada and Mahayana, that is meant to the knower or the awakened one. The difference is that Theravada Buddha is human being while Mahayana  Buddha would be a human being or the celestial  one, i.e. Adibuddha or Dhyani Buddha that forms a numerable sum of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in Mahayana. As the Buddha-to-be, a Theravada Bodhisattva has to be predicted by the previous Buddhas and Ten Perfections have to be observed continuously. In Mahayana, a Bodhisattva has to follow the precepts of the Bodhisattva and accomplished with the four resolutions along the life endowed with compassion.

Regarding the enlightenment the human Buddha enlightens in this world while the other in Mahayana enlightens in heaven such as Amitabha and Vairocana. After the enlightenment, the human Buddha preaches mostly in this world while the heavenly Buddhas preach in Buddha world  in the heavens. As to the human Buddhas, they render the three conducts i.e. conduct for the well-being of the world, for the benefit of his relatives, and beneficial conduct as functions of the Buddha. At the same time, they perform the five daily life routines. In this world the human Buddha preaches sermons to the four companies, i.e. monks, nuns, lay-followers and female lay-followers. The heavenly Buddhas preach in their Buddha Land without interval, and most of the audiences are gods and Buddhisattvas of uncountable number.

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