Was Buddha a Buddha?
The word enlightenment literally translates to “unconditioned.” The English word enlightenment, on the other hand, is the common Western translation of several Buddhist terms, including bodhi and sokyu. The original abstract meaning of bodhi, which is the wisdom or knowledge of a Buddha, is not clear. Scholars have argued about the meaning of bodhi for centuries, but the more important question to ask is, “What does enlightenment mean?”
The enlightenment of the Buddha occurs when the practitioner becomes enlightened, i.e., his mind opens to the unconditioned realities. The word bodhisattvaship means, “the state of being enlightened.” The original abstract meaning of bodhisattvaship is, “the state of being free from all ignorance (dhatu)”. The more literal translation is, “the condition in which bodhisattvaship fully develops.”
The Buddha, in his enlightenment, discovered that all things existent in independent forms. He saw that there are innumerable buddhas, and that each of these buddhas corresponds to a realm of being called the dhatu. The primary being was identified as the prince, or kami, who rules all the other buddhas.
The path of the enlightened is one characterized by an encounter with all living entities, with the exception of the self. The path involves encountering bodhicitta, which is not simply a being, but rather, it is an act of seeing and realizing that we are included in all existing things. This act of recognizing is called bodhicitta. Bodhicitta is not something that can be realized immediately; rather, it must be developed over a period of time. It is this process that is generally referred to as the Buddhist path of enlightenment.
The term “Buddhist” in India has always been used broadly to describe any person who is practicing Buddhist teachings, including its ascetic aspects. The enlightenment of the Buddha occurs when a bodhisattva approaches his teacher and begins to apply the teachings, which are based on Buddhism. The most common forms of Buddhism are Jataka, Analects, and Mahayana. Mahayana is usually considered the school of Buddha himself, and it includes all the older teachings from his time. Jataka, however, is often called “non-Buddhist” because it is sometimes said to have influenced the Buddhist doctrines, but it does not actually make any important contribution to them.
In modern times, some of the influences of Jataka include the Japanese Zen movement and the Theravada Buddhist tradition. The primary texts of Jataka are the verses related to the life of the Bodhisattva. According to Mahayana Buddhism, the bodhisattvas are always enlightened, but they sometimes go into a state of non-rejuvenation, called nirvana. The teachings of the ancients describe this state of being as interdependent arising from self-nature (emptiness), but it is up to modern people to learn how to achieve bodhicitta.
It is possible to find examples of the enlightenment of the Buddha in Sanskrit, but these are rare
The most extensive documentation of the Buddha’s teachings is the Jataka tales, which narrate the adventures of the bodhisattvas. These stories were usually written in prose, and are much more dynamic than the writings of the sanskrit adepts. The majority of the stories from the Jataka tales deal with the early Jataka stories, which were supposedly written by a monk called bodhidharma. The most well-known of these stories, the Yama Sutra, was orally transmitted from teacher to student until it became a scripture. However, the stories of the other buddhists also tell how the bodhisattvas attained nirvana.
The true nature of satvara dhatu is one that is based on suffering, and it is this aspect of the teachings of the Buddha which is the subject of the short story ‘The Enlightened Mind’. This short work, which appeared just before the arrival of the fifth century CE, expounded the secrets of enlightenment for all the first time. The short story described the relationship between a king called King Magadha and his associate Kasyapa, who were enlightened teachers. Kasyapa taught King Magadha about the nature of suffering, and guided him into meditation, and finally to enlightenment.
The story of King Magadha makes interesting reading, and many of the precepts that heeded can be applied today
For instance, he learned that true enlightenment could not be obtained by passive acceptance of worldly conditions, but required active engagement with the circumstances of his surroundings. He further observed that bodhisattvas, who could fully realize enlightenment, would no longer be subject to the kings tyranny, since they would then be able to benefit those with whom they interacted. Finally, Mahayana Buddhism rejected the notion that all beings, living entities or non-living entities, were bodhisattvas. Instead, the truth of being was that each individual, when transformed, would then become a bodhisattva.
In the Mahayana Buddhist kingdom of India, being a buddha was a very important status, and all men were expected to be studded in the robes of a bodhisattva. However, a young prince from a family of kamasutra noblemen, who is accompanied by a retinue of beautiful maidens, enters the kingdom of monks who try to stop him from destroying the beauty of his new religion, and the lives of his companions. Although the Prince tries many methods, none are successful, and he finally realizes the futility of attempting to overthrow the powers of his teacher with the support of his own powers. Having realized the power of bodhisattvas, the young prince converts to Buddhism, renouncing his former life of luxury, and entering the monastic life.