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Buddhism: The Means. The Sangha. The Sangha. This has several layers of meaning: Worldwide community of Buddhists The monastic community in general A monastic community (Like Samye Ling) The Aryasangha. The Sangha. The Aryasangha

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the sangha
The Sangha
  • This has several layers of meaning:
    • Worldwide community of Buddhists
    • The monastic community in general
    • A monastic community (Like Samye Ling)
    • The Aryasangha
the sangha1
The Sangha
  • The Aryasangha
    • This includes all Buddhists (both lay and monastic) who have reached enlightenment.
    • Sometimes called the ‘noble sangha’.
mahayana bodhisattvas
Mahayana Bodhisattvas
  • Having attained liberation, arya bodhisattvas can:
    • Live as long as they wish.
    • Enter and arise from limitless types of meditation.
    • Find everything they need.
    • Be born whenever and wherever they wish.
    • They can go to any pure-land Buddha-field that they wish.
    • Understand all the words and meanings of the Dharma.
  • In the Therevada tradition there are four stages of enlightenment:
    • Stream-enterer.
    • Once-returner.
    • Non-returner.
    • Arhat.
  • Stream-enterer.
    • The stream-enterer is said to have "opened the eye of the Dharma".
    • A stream-enterer will reach arhatshipwithin seven rebirths.
    • The stream-enterer has attained perfect understanding of several aspects of the Dhamma including ‘right view’ and has complete confidence in The Three Jewels.
    • A Stream-enterer will not be reborn in any world lower than the human.
  • Once-returner.
    • They may have more than one rebirth still to go but only one as a human.
    • The once-returner has weakened the hold that the Three Root Poisons have over him/her to a greater degree than a stream-enterer.
  • Non-returner.
    • Non-returners will not be reborn as a human.
    • They are reborn in one of the five "Pure Abodes", and will attain Nibbana from there.
  • Arhat.
    • Requires no further training.
    • Is a fully enlightened person.
    • Upon death they will never be reborn in any world, having completely escaped Samsara. This is called parinibbana.