Bodhi

 

 

The literal meaning of Bodhi is “the awakening or “enlightenment”. This word is derived from the original “budh” which means awake, become aware, notice, know or understand. In Buddhism Bodhi means the awakening experienced by Sidhartha Gautam and his disciples. After attainment of Bodhi it is maintained that a man becomes free of the life-cycle (samsara) denoting birth, rebirth , suffering and death.

Once Paramitas (perfections) are accomplished, the attainment of Bodhi is possible.It can be attained when Four Noble Truths are fully practiced and all the karma has reached cessation.In this situation all greed (lobha), aversion(dosa),delusion(moha),ignorance(avijja ),craving(tanha) and ego-centered consciousness(atta) are extinguished. In this way anatta is also included in ego-centeredness. Certain sutras of Mahayana Buddhist emphasize that Bodhi is always present and perfect, and simply needs to be "uncovered" or disclosed to purified vision. Thus the "Sutra of Perfect Awakening" states that, like gold within its ore, Bodhi is always there within the being's mind but needs the vague mundane ore (the surrounding defilements of samsara and of impaired, unawakened perception) to be eliminated.

Modes of Bodhi

According to Buddhist philosophy, there are three diffent modes of Bodhi-

Savaka-Bodhi (Arhat) :

Those who atttain enlightenment having studied the teachings of samma-sambuddha are called Arhats.Arhats are skilled at helping the people reach their enlightenment as they have learnt skill from their own experience.

Pacceca-Bodhi (Pratyeka) :

Pratyeka Buddhas are those who attain enlightenment from self-realisation without any help from any religious teacher or instructor.According to Tripitka, such special beings take birth in ages especially when dharma is lost.There skill of teaching others the right wat to experience eenlightenment is considered inferior to Arhats. Many Pratyekas can arise at one single time.

Samma-Sambodhi (supreme Buddha) :

These are most developed, most compassionate, most loving, perfect and all-knowing beings who have fully grasped dhamma by their own efforts and wisdom and teach it skillfully to others, having freed from Samsara. One that attains Samma-Sambodhi is known as samma-sambuddha. Bodhi tree is erected in the present day Bodhgaya in India. It is the tree sitting under which Sidhartha Gautam got the enlightenment.It the legends of Mahayana it is stated that Queen Maya or mother of Siddhartha had held a branch of the saal tree(Ficus reliosa) while she was giving birth to Sidhartha in a garden of Lumbini.


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