Precepts

A forum for discussion of Buddhist ethics.

Re: Brahma Net Sutra + commentary

Postby Will » Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:31 pm

The Brahma Net Sutra is the basis for bodhisattva vows in much of Asia. This commentary by the Korean Śramana of Cheongu, Taehyeon (8th c.) was very influential. I have only begun to study it, but am sure it is a gem:

http://www.buddhistelibrary.org/en/disp ... play_media

On page 72 for example is this puzzling remark - any clarification would be good. By 'bodhisattva precepts' is this sutra meant? Is the Bodhisattva Vinaya canon also referring to the Brahma Net?

I have also heard: “The various Hīnayāna temples in the western regions take
Pindola as their leader; the Mahāyāna temples take Mañjuśrī as their leader.
Both communities observe the bodhisattva precepts in ritual proceedings
羯磨 and at confessionals 說戒. Both groups carry out bodhisattva religious
services, wherein the Bodhisattva Vinaya canon is continuously recited
without break.”
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
User avatar
Will
 
Posts: 1906
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:21 am

Re: Precepts

Postby Will » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:03 pm

Asanga continues:

Because he has correctly received it from someone else, when the
bodhisattva fails in his training, then dependent upon the other, embarassment
will be born. Because of his quite purified intention, when
the bodhisattva fails in his training, then dependent upon himself, a
sense of shame will be born. Correcting the bases of training after failure,
and generating respect so that failure will not occur in the first
place, are both causes for a bodhisattva 's freedom from regret. So dependent
upon a correct reception and a purified intention, shame and
embarassment are produced. With a sense of shame and embarassment,
the correct reception of ethics will be preserved. Preserving it, he will
be free of regret.
These two phenomena--the correct reception and the purified intention--
are what induce the other two phenomena--correction after failure
and respect that avoids failure.
These three phenomena--the correct reception from someone else, the
quite purified intention, and respect to avoid failure--should be understood
to effectively prevent the failure of bodhisattva ethics. The correction
of failure should be understood to constitute rectification and recovery from breakage.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
User avatar
Will
 
Posts: 1906
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:21 am

Re: Precepts

Postby Will » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:08 pm

Je Tsongkhapa early on in his Basic Path to Awakening:

(3b) Listen reverently, you who seek a better-vehicle feast,
for herein is explained the eminent counsel of Ajita,
On staking a claim to the bodhisattva career,
And proceeding to accomplish it astutely.

[The argument]
Among those who claim to be Greater Vehicle,
Some wink at the dos and don'ts
Prescribed for the jinas' disciples;

Others intone the words but neglect the sage's' laws ,
Gaining no conviction in the best advice,
The only path travelled by jinas' sons
Who are intent upon better vehicle achievement,
And then undertake the topics with such laxity,
Like an elephant without a goad,
That they fail to reach the heart.

But those whose aptitude for the better vehicle is not weak-
The joyfulness of such fortunate ones will increase.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
User avatar
Will
 
Posts: 1906
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:21 am

Re: Precepts

Postby Will » Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:40 am

Even if you have ability and learning, if you do not live according
to the rules of morality, it is like being guided to a cache of jewels,
and not going to get them.
Even though you may practice diligently, without wisdom, it is like
wanting to go East, but heading West.


Wonhyo Awaken Your Mind and Practice
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
User avatar
Will
 
Posts: 1906
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:21 am

Re: Precepts

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:39 am

If one spends time in serious meditation or retreat, the necessity of ethics becomes more clear.

Non virtous behaviours leave disturbing imprints on the mind that come up as images or memories during meditation.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2324
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Precepts

Postby yan kong » Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:16 am

JKhedrup wrote:If one spends time in serious meditation or retreat, the necessity of ethics becomes more clear.

Non virtous behaviours leave disturbing imprints on the mind that come up as images or memories during meditation.


I've often felt in the west we emphasize seated meditation while ignoring ethics and morality to a certain extent. Without the ethics proposed by Buddhism we are just sitting around in Samadhi doing nothing for no one.
"Meditation is a spiritual exercise, not a therapeutic regime... Our intention is to enter Nirvana, not to make life in Samsara more tolerable." Chan Master Hsu Yun
User avatar
yan kong
 
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:01 am

Re: Precepts

Postby dude » Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:30 am

Will wrote:
Even if you have ability and learning, if you do not live according
to the rules of morality, it is like being guided to a cache of jewels,
and not going to get them.
Even though you may practice diligently, without wisdom, it is like
wanting to go East, but heading West.


Wonhyo Awaken Your Mind and Practice



Exactly.
Precepts, meditation and wisdom. Without all three you don't get there.
dude
 
Posts: 536
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:38 am

Re: Precepts

Postby JKhedrup » Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:07 pm

Yes, the order in which the Three Higher Trainings are listed is not arbitrary. It starts with ethics.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2324
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Precepts

Postby zsc » Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:11 pm

yan kong wrote:
JKhedrup wrote:If one spends time in serious meditation or retreat, the necessity of ethics becomes more clear.

Non virtous behaviours leave disturbing imprints on the mind that come up as images or memories during meditation.


I've often felt in the west we emphasize seated meditation while ignoring ethics and morality to a certain extent. Without the ethics proposed by Buddhism we are just sitting around in Samadhi doing nothing for no one.


I feel the same way. I think it' because people are adverse to anything that resembles "commandments".

Understanding it "backwards", samadhi to morality, doesn't seem like a tenable position when considering real world practice. The great majority of people probably don't start off meditating "correctly" to obtain insight into ethical conduct, but they will use this incorrectly done samadhi to come to very incorrect ethical conclusions, which is often "sitting around in samadhi doing nothing for anyone" unfortunately.

I think it is more beneficial for more people to emphasize ethics before samadhi, or at least concurrently with samadhi.
yolo (but not really).
╮ (. ❛ ᴗ ❛.) ╭
성불하세요.
zsc
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:03 am

Re: Precepts

Postby JKhedrup » Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:18 pm

Of course, as I mentipned the order of the 3 Trainings is not arbitrary.

What I was trying to convey is that if one does not live ethically and tries to meditate, they will face obstacles as their lack of ethics leaves disturbances in the mind which make meditation difficult.

Sometimes in the beginning whrn people do retreats or meditation they experience these obstacles and then see the necessity of ethics.

Sorry if I phrased it in a convoluted way.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2324
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Precepts

Postby yan kong » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:25 pm

While this may be so Venerable, I still think many westerners treat Buddhism as meditation with a little philosophy behind it. They miss out on ethics because they aren't interested.
"Meditation is a spiritual exercise, not a therapeutic regime... Our intention is to enter Nirvana, not to make life in Samsara more tolerable." Chan Master Hsu Yun
User avatar
yan kong
 
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:01 am

Re: Precepts

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:03 am

I would say you are not off-base here.

I am not sure it applies exclusively to Buddhism either. In modern Western societies based on basically materialist philosophies, religious ethics may seem quaint or outdated.

For some (a minority) the reaction to this problem is to embrace fundamentalism, hence the decline of mainline Protestant dominations and the explosive growth of Evangelical movements in the USA for example.

As Asia develops economically and becomes more exposed to materialist philosophy, unfortunately the problem you mention will also increasingly manifest there. In Thailand a highly placed senior monk lamented to me that in the countryside the people wete still willing to take and practice, at least for fixed periods, the Panca Sila/ 5 Precepts. In Bangkok he said people really didn't want to take them.

Modern materialism and Buddhism are a difficult fit. Ethics especially are a tough sell in a world where comfort, convenience and material success have become the new 3 Trainings.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2324
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Precepts

Postby Will » Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:10 am

Jkhedrup -
Ethics especially are a tough sell


Never mind ethics with a spiritual intent, plain ethics for social harmony or a contented mind are also neglected. But the latter variety probably are spiraling downward since the former are weakening year by year.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
User avatar
Will
 
Posts: 1906
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:21 am

Re: Precepts

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:30 am

Agreed.

What your avatar Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua referred to (at least in translation) as 'seeking' seems to me to be the dominant mood of our current period.

As people constantly strive for their own material success, they lose sight of others and easily dismiss the importance of harmony and respect.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2324
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Precepts

Postby Will » Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:05 pm

Akṣayamati Bodhisattva teaches:

Śīla is as esteemed by the wise as wisdom itself.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
User avatar
Will
 
Posts: 1906
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:21 am

Previous

Return to Ethical Conduct

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

>