Affinity for particular Sutras is right?

General forum on Mahayana.

Affinity for particular Sutras is right?

Postby Rakshasa » Sat Oct 19, 2013 4:21 pm

I have read it many times that different individuals have affinity with different Sutras that they can relate to (of course, after having already affiliated themselves with the Buddhist sect of their liking, which in this case is Mahayana). How do we find which Sutras we are attracted to personally?

Personally, I have had times when I started reading a particular Sutra, but gave mid-way or even after a few chapters, to go for some other Sutra. I read the Lankavatara Sutra, and found it to be a store of many ideas about consciousness, but somehow never maintained the study (because its so huge and often I was unable to make time). I then went on to read Shurangama Sutra, which I merely skimmed through after the first chapter, then to Samdhinirmocana Sutra, and finally now I have started reading Lotus Sutra (because Buddhists often talk very highly about it).

The repetitive nature of the Sutra, with half of the Sutra trying to explain the merits of preserving the Sutra, and the other half talking about ethics often leads me to abandon the study (yes, sometimes its boredom). Do you think I have no affinity with these Mahayana Sutras?

After trying to study various Mahayana Sutras, as mentioned above, I made a stronger resolve to persevere in study the Lotus Sutra - for which I bought a hard copy and already completed the first two chapters. But as I started reading the third chapter, I also came across an academic article investigating the things that were fraudulently added in the Lotus Sutra at a later time during the early stages of Mahayana Sutra (it says that the third chapter was added later on). Also came across contradictions ( like http://www.google.co.in/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCgQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.elb-studycenter.org%2Fimages%2Fmatsumoto.pdf&ei=sqJiUoL2AoOErAeF2oDADw&usg=AFQjCNGXttgb30o7HHU-OqtM-k2vH7W-Gw&bvm=bv.54934254,d.bmk ). Now I am confused and wondering what to do. My study of Lotus sutra has stalled for some time, and I thinking of taking a more critical approach in studying it, instead of the "blind faith" approach that is the most promoted in Buddhist circles). Should I abandon the study and look for some other Sutras that resonate with me or that make sense?
User avatar
Rakshasa
 
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:29 am

Re: Affinity for particular Sutras is right?

Postby KonchokZoepa » Sat Oct 19, 2013 4:35 pm

in tibetan buddhism we dont actually necessarily study the sutras, but we study the Shastras of great masters. since they have made commentaries, extensive, middle lenght, essence, key points of the sutras into commentaries. they are authentic and they are much easier to read, study and understand then original sutras. sutra study is very slow and you can gain the same or even more benefit in much shorter time by studying the shastras of your likings, of those Great Indian Scholars of Nalanda, like Nagarjuna, Shantarakshita, Chandrakirti and Shantideva, and from the later period by Asanga and Vasubandhu and tibetan commentaries by Je Tsongkapa, Gampopa, Patrul Rinpoche, Mipham Rinpoche and many many other masters.

you receive the same teachings and the complete path of sutra and tantra but with much more simple and easier language and right to the key points and essence, direct instructions on how to proceed on the path. all instructions are made very clear and concise in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

im not marketing Tibetan Buddhist tradition here. you can learn the sutra from the great indian masters of Nalanda's time period. who have wrote clear commentaries of the Sutras and teachings of Buddha and made them actually accesible to normal lay people who dont have the time to devote themselves to study of the scriptures full time.

anyway, hope this post helps a little bit.

ps. even though the third chapter of lotus sutra is added and not original, it is probly added by a high bodhisattva or arahant or a great Dharma master so it should be respected.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
KonchokZoepa
 
Posts: 1358
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:50 pm

Re: Affinity for particular Sutras is right?

Postby Konchog1 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:43 pm

The Lotus Sutra is quite different from other Sutras. Not the best Sutra to start with.

A good (and somewhat short) Sutra is the Sutra of Golden Light. You can find it for free on the FPMT's website.

http://fpmt.org/wp-content/uploads/teac ... 0207a4.pdf

The benefits of the Sutra are in the first chapter, which is meant to encourage readers.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
User avatar
Konchog1
 
Posts: 1296
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:30 am

Re: Affinity for particular Sutras is right?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:11 pm

I like Lankavatara alot, but literally I think I have yet to comprehend past the first three sections or so after years of reading it, it requires going over and over again, reading some commentary on the relevant parts, not exactly easy reading. In addition I don't have any scholarly background at all so alot of my study is pretty bumbling. I've spent most of the time reading The Diamond Sutra, The Heart Sutra, Lankavatara, and various bits of the Pali Canon. For me reading them is practice, and like meditating I don't expect that I will get anything from it every time, or that I will necessarily figure anything out definitive. Even with that being said, there are a few lines and explanations from Lankavatara that were real "ahah" moments for me later on. Same with the Diamond and Heart Sutras, which upon first reading I almost felt were intentionally bewildering!

I would just go by what resonates with you, and not expect anything, but that's just me...a (mostly) uneducated doofus trying to get a handle on this stuff.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2408
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

Re: Affinity for particular Sutras is right?

Postby dude » Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:30 pm

Rakshasa wrote:I have read it many times that different individuals have affinity with different Sutras that they can relate to (of course, after having already affiliated themselves with the Buddhist sect of their liking, which in this case is Mahayana). How do we find which Sutras we are attracted to personally?

.

The repetitive nature of the Sutra, with half of the Sutra trying to explain the merits of preserving the Sutra, and the other half talking about ethics often leads me to abandon the study (yes, sometimes its boredom). Do you think I have no affinity with these Mahayana Sutras?

After trying to study various Mahayana Sutras, as mentioned above, I made a stronger resolve to persevere in study the Lotus Sutra - for which I bought a hard copy and already completed the first two chapters. But as I started reading the third chapter, I also came across an academic article investigating the things that were fraudulently added in the Lotus Sutra at a later time during the early stages of Mahayana Sutra (it says that the third chapter was added later on). Also came across contradictions ( like http://www.google.co.in/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCgQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.elb-studycenter.org%2Fimages%2Fmatsumoto.pdf&ei=sqJiUoL2AoOErAeF2oDADw&usg=AFQjCNGXttgb30o7HHU-OqtM-k2vH7W-Gw&bvm=bv.54934254,d.bmk ). Now I am confused and wondering what to do. My study of Lotus sutra has stalled for some time, and I thinking of taking a more critical approach in studying it, instead of the "blind faith" approach that is the most promoted in Buddhist circles). Should I abandon the study and look for some other Sutras that resonate with me or that make sense?


Yes, take a critical approach. The Lotus Sutra is the highest teaching, most difficult to believe and most difficult to understand. Although I am convinced of this, I have found it helpful indeed to read the other sutras when I get stuck. On the other hand, the Lotus Sutra has been my key to understanding and putting all the other sutras in their proper perspective. As the Buddha said with his last breath, "Work out your own liberation with diligence.
dude
 
Posts: 528
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:38 am

Re: Affinity for particular Sutras is right?

Postby SunRay » Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:21 am

Rakshasa wrote:How do we find which Sutras we are attracted to personally?


:namaste: By gathering abundant virtue by the practice generosity and other perfections. :meditate:
OM GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA
User avatar
SunRay
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:39 am
Location: Helsinki

Re: Affinity for particular Sutras is right?

Postby Son of Buddha » Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:22 am

Rakshasa wrote:I have read it many times that different individuals have affinity with different Sutras that they can relate to (of course, after having already affiliated themselves with the Buddhist sect of their liking, which in this case is Mahayana). How do we find which Sutras we are attracted to personally?

Personally, I have had times when I started reading a particular Sutra, but gave mid-way or even after a few chapters, to go for some other Sutra. I read the Lankavatara Sutra, and found it to be a store of many ideas about consciousness, but somehow never maintained the study (because its so huge and often I was unable to make time). I then went on to read Shurangama Sutra, which I merely skimmed through after the first chapter, then to Samdhinirmocana Sutra, and finally now I have started reading Lotus Sutra (because Buddhists often talk very highly about it).

The repetitive nature of the Sutra, with half of the Sutra trying to explain the merits of preserving the Sutra, and the other half talking about ethics often leads me to abandon the study (yes, sometimes its boredom). Do you think I have no affinity with these Mahayana Sutras?

After trying to study various Mahayana Sutras, as mentioned above, I made a stronger resolve to persevere in study the Lotus Sutra - for which I bought a hard copy and already completed the first two chapters. But as I started reading the third chapter, I also came across an academic article investigating the things that were fraudulently added in the Lotus Sutra at a later time during the early stages of Mahayana Sutra (it says that the third chapter was added later on). Also came across contradictions ( like http://www.google.co.in/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCgQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.elb-studycenter.org%2Fimages%2Fmatsumoto.pdf&ei=sqJiUoL2AoOErAeF2oDADw&usg=AFQjCNGXttgb30o7HHU-OqtM-k2vH7W-Gw&bvm=bv.54934254,d.bmk ). Now I am confused and wondering what to do. My study of Lotus sutra has stalled for some time, and I thinking of taking a more critical approach in studying it, instead of the "blind faith" approach that is the most promoted in Buddhist circles). Should I abandon the study and look for some other Sutras that resonate with me or that make sense?


You gave a list of the sutras that didnt peak your intrest,so could you give me a list of sutras that you REALLY like reading.

From this list I can help you track down similar Sutras of like Nature.
User avatar
Son of Buddha
 
Posts: 850
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:48 pm

Re: Affinity for particular Sutras is right?

Postby oushi » Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:52 pm

Rakshasa wrote:How do we find which Sutras we are attracted to personally?

Sutras that you like to read? For me, there are those that I read often, and those which I drop after first chapter. I've always followed this rule (of no rules), and thx to it, by gathering all the teachings I was attracted to, I can see what doctrine fits me best.
Say what you think about me here.
User avatar
oushi
 
Posts: 1596
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:18 am


Return to Mahāyāna Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests

>