By George A. Boyd ©2022
The Buddhist scriptures describe the characteristic of an enlightened Buddha as one who has overcome the following ten fetters [via Wikipedia]:
- belief in a self (Pali: sakkāya-diṭṭhi)
- doubt or uncertainty, especially about the Buddha’s awakeness and nine supermundane consciousnesses (vicikicchā)
- attachment to rites and rituals (sīlabbata-parāmāsa)
- sensual desire (kāmacchando)
- ill will (vyāpādo or byāpādo)
- lust for material existence, lust for material rebirth (rūparāgo)
- lust for immaterial existence, lust for rebirth in a formless realm (arūparāgo)
- conceit (māna) — some writers translate this as arrogance
- restlessness (uddhacca)
- ignorance (avijjā)
Now, let’s have you evaluate how far you have progressed towards full Buddhahood. Rate yourself 0 to 10—where 0 indicates you have made no progress with this fetter and 10 indicates you have overcome it completely:
__ belief in a self (Self illusion)
__ doubt or uncertainty
__ attachment to rites and rituals
__ sensual desire
__ ill will
__ lust for material existence, lust for material rebirth
__ lust for immaterial existence, lust for rebirth in a formless realm
__ conceit or arrogance
From our vantage point in Mudrashram® on the Bridge Path, we view the Buddhist Path as a track that leads through the Supracosmic Sphere. From our perspective, we view these ten characteristics as follows:
In Mudrashram®, we point to the Self as the nucleus of the personality at the core of the Metaconscious mind. Apparently, this reference to self-illusion appears in systems where identification is transferred to a Supracosmic seed atom. This essence detaches from identification with ego, Self, Soul, Monad, and Astral Soul as it moves along its track, and any sense of self is dissolved when this Supracosmic seed atom becomes merged in its origin.
It also appears that overcoming doubt or uncertainty first appears as faith in the Buddha; at the culmination of the journey, it is faith and conviction that one has reached the same state of consciousness as the Buddha at the end of the journey.
Attachment to rites and rituals, historically marks the emergence of Buddhism as a separate and distinct religion apart from Hinduism. Hinduism, in the time of the historical Buddha, was known for its elaborate rituals for invocation of the gods and goddesses and in worship ceremonies. Buddhism, in contrast, relied upon meditation without rituals to draw close to the Source.
The pure monk, after completing his or her sadhana, roots out sensual desire, or lust for sexual enjoyment.
Ill will is overcome through the cultivation of compassion and loving-kindness.
Lust for birth in form and rebirth in a heavenly realm appear to be transcended when one reaches the Supreme Abode where Buddhas dwell at the highest stage of a Supracosmic Path.
Conceit or arrogance appears to be the surfacing of what we call spiritual egotism. Ostensibly, this also is overcome when the seed atom merges with the Light from which it originated.
Restlessness appears to be related to the existence of desire at the level of the body and the impressions that exist within the layers of the mind. Desire is the motivating force, which at the level of the human Self, drives achievement and progress towards identified objectives or goals. It is unclear whether the full overcoming of restlessness would lead to a complete cessation of motivation for any material activity.
Ignorance is overcome with the activation and full development of the Buddhi or Illumined mind. This development of the Buddhi exhibits the following characteristics: discernment, prudence, wisdom, equanimity, clear seeing of the elements of the mind and consciousness, identification of stages of the Path, and Gnosis of the spiritual essence in which it is anchored. In a Buddhist system, this spiritual essence for which Gnosis is achieved would likely be the Supracosmic Soul, for those individuals whose Supracosmic Soul dwells on a Buddhist Path; for those that don’t have the Supracosmic Soul present, it would be achieved when one merges the Supracosmic seed atom into its origin and one experiences the primordial Void that exists beyond the origin of the Supracosmic seed atom.
It appears that one would need to become identified with a Supracosmic seed atom on a Buddhist Path to experience the overcoming of several of these fetters. In systems like Mudrashram®, that do not destroy the sense of the ego and the Self, would have difficulty with overcoming the Self-illusion. We also would have a problem with the cessation of restlessness, as we recognize the importance of desire at the personal level as fueling goal achievement and motivation for personal growth; and spiritual aspiration for growth and development at the transpersonal level.
Rooting out issues such sensual desire, ill will, and arrogance appear to depend on the ability to remove these impressions entirely from the inmost mind (nijmanas) and the causal body through whatever transformational modality one utilizes in their tradition. We note that for many aspirants and disciples, when these elements are embedded in the personal unconscious—also called the Shadow or physical etheric matrix in our writings—would have much difficulty rooting out these patterns.
The achievement of Samadhi through the opening of the Buddhic capsule appears to counter ignorance; attaining this state is possible, but requires much initial effort to awaken this multidimensional stage of illumination. We would suggest that this does not spontaneously occur when one reaches some designated completion marker on the Path—such as Brahman in the First Cosmic Initiation, completion of a Supracosmic Path, or realization of Satchitananda after liberation of an ensouling entity—but appears to require genuine activation of the Illumined mind.
The attainment of Param Moksha Desh, which we have analogized to Buddhahood in the Mudrashram® system, does not appear to be identical to the characteristics described in Buddhist philosophy. In Mudrashram®, Buddhahood is seen as a stage in spiritual development that marks the dissolution of all karma in the Superconscious mind throughout the Subtle, Planetary, Transplanetary, and Cosmic Bands of the Continuum; on one’s native Supracosmic Path; and all eight Transcendental Paths—this results in the liberation of the spirit and ensouling entity in each of these realms, and the dropping of vehicles of consciousness not directly related to one’s ministry and service.
Buddhist philosophy appears to describe Buddhahood as a state achieved when one completes a particular Buddhist Path; this does not require the dissolution of karma in Subtle, Planetary, Transplanetary, Cosmic, native Supracosmic, or Transcendental levels, as we cultivate in Mudrashram®.
This would suggest that those who follow the Mudrashram® Way might not score highly on the Buddha scale, but we achieve something different in the completion of our journey than is espoused in Buddhism.