Questions on Buddha Nature

General forum on Mahayana.

Questions on Buddha Nature

Postby Nighthawk » Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:50 am

Hi, didn't get any response in the previous thread. I'd appreciate if anyone can answer these.

If something with an awakened nature can suffer, what good is it? How could something innately awakened become defiled? If your original Buddha nature became deluded, what’s to prevent it from becoming deluded after it’s re-awakened?
Nighthawk
 
Posts: 779
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:04 am

Re: Questions on Buddha Nature

Postby catmoon » Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:13 am

maestro wrote:If something with an awakened nature can suffer, what good is it? How could something innately awakened become defiled? If your original Buddha nature became deluded, what’s to prevent it from becoming deluded after it’s re-awakened?



Of these three questions, I think perhaps I can answer somewhat to the last two.

The last question contains an assumption; that original Buddha nature became deluded. That assumption is I think a false one. Delusion has always been the state of most of us. Perhaps one can say that all sentient beings' original state is delusion.

So it seems that the questions assume that we all began in Buddhahood and somehow fell from that state. I know of no reason to believe that happened.

I also don't think an awakened being can suffer, for the basic reason that the 4NT describe an end to suffering, and a method of attaining the end of suffering.
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.
User avatar
catmoon
Former staff member
 
Posts: 3006
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: British Columbia

Re: Questions on Buddha Nature

Postby remm » Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:22 am

If something with an awakened nature can suffer, what good is it?


All living beings are endowed with the seed of Buddha-hood; therefore, Buddha-hood is inherent in all living things. Our Buddha-nature has been obscured through a single thought of ignorance, but from beginning-less time we have yet to polish the mirror of our Buddha-nature. It is not the case that at one point we were all awakened or Buddhas and somehow with a thought of ignorance we are subjected to birth and death again, and now we have to try to "re-awaken" ourselves, no, that is not it.

You should also know that the Buddha-nature isn't what suffers, but it is through the discriminating mind (the false mind) that a living being experiences suffering. The Buddha-nature remains "thus thus unmoving." It is mainly through our faculties that we experience suffering particularly the sixth consciousness which makes discriminations and judgments.
Ananda, you have all observed how aspects of these phenomena will change. Now I will show you how the presence of each of them depends on a condition necessary to it. What are the conditions necessary to these changing phenomena, Ananda? The sun is a necessary condition for sunlight, since there can be no sunlight without the sun. Therefore the sunlight is depending upon the sun, which is a necessary condition for its presence. The moon's absence is a necessary condition for the darkness in the hall. Cracks in the doors and shutters are necessary conditions for you being able to see out. The walls and roof are necessary condition for the view being blocked. Distinguishing the various objects is a necessary condition for observing how they are related to one another. The absence of objects is a necessary condition for seeing only space. Mists and clouds of dust are necessary for conditions for obscuring or distorting our visual awareness of objects. Dispersal of the mist and settling of the dust are necessary conditions for seeing clearly again. And every aspect of seeing the changing phenomena of this world belongs to one of these types. Consider these eight types. What would you say is the necessary condition for the presence of the understanding nature that is the essence of your visual awareness? If the presence of light is a necessary condition for your visual awareness, then when light is absent so that it is completely dark, you would not be able to see the darkness which in fact you do see. Your mind makes distinctions about light and dark and the other phenomena, but the essence of your visual awareness does not make these distinctions. Clearly then, the mind that experiences these conditioned phenomena is not what is fundamentally you. But what is not these conditioned phenomena must be what is fundamentally you. If it is not you, what else could it be?

Distinctions are being made when you perceive light and darkness, but not by your visual awareness; rather, they are made by your distinction-making mind that responds to circumstances. Don't take that to be the essential nature of your awareness. Your knowledge of light and dark is an activity of your mind. Your visual awareness sees everything impartially without making any distinction. The act of seeing is simply to see...The distinctions you make are made by your distinction making mind.


"Know then that your mind is fundamentally wondrous, luminous, and pure. You have confused yourself and have lost track of what is fundamental. Constantly drifting and drowning, you have become submerged in the sea of death and rebirth . That is why the Thus-Come One says you are to be pitied."

- The Shurangama Sutra with Excerpts from the Commentary by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua
remm
 
Posts: 123
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:09 pm

Re: Questions on Buddha Nature

Postby BFS » Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:57 pm

Buddha Nature - some ways of exploring further that you might find interesting and helpful:


Is a seed a tree?
A seed needs the right conditions, rain , sun, good soil - if there are not right conditions, there is no tree. A tree doesn't just grow by itself. If you said that a potential for a tree *inherently existed in the seed, it would not need right conditions.

Down on the right hand side of this audio link are some teachings on Buddha nature by Yangsi Rinpoche that you might find interesting.

http://www.dharmafriendship.org/resources_audio_online.html

*****



In a mind that is enlightened, no causes exist for ignorance. A mind that is free of the causes of suffering, couldn't then just fall into suffering.

As His Holiness the Dalai Lama said:

"There would be no imprints in such a mind for the experience of attachment or ignorance. "

There is no a basis for this kind of being to fall back into ignorance -- Buddha, the one thus gone, transcendental wisdom, who is the compassionate eye, who is the wisdom eye who is valid and sees with omniscient mind, means there are obscurations, no causes and conditions, no seeds of ignorance present and existing in the mindstream of this being ---

To fall into ignorance, you can't be omniscient , to fall into ignorance, you can't be both blindly ignorant, AND see how things actually exist at the same time.
If a Buddha - one thus gone, transcedent destroyer, who is transcendental wisdom, who is the compassionate eye, who is valid and sees with omniscient mind, were to enter this universe, he would never suffer.

**************



Causes and Conditions & the Innate mind of clear light


Is the fundamental innate mind of clear light dependent on causes and conditions? If it is not dependent, how can it be empty of independent existence?


HH Dalai Lama: - (Dzogchen - teachings given in the west by HH , forward by Sogyal Rinpoche published by Snow Lion)
This is a very good question. Often in the texts we find mention of the fundamental innate mind of clear light being not produced by causes and conditions. Now here it is important to understand that in general when we use the term 'produced phenomena', there are different connotations. Something can be called 'produced' because it s a production of delusions and the actions they induce. Again, it may also refer to a production by causes and conditions. And there is also a sense of 'produced' as being caused by conceptual thought processes.
Certain texts speak of the activities of the Buddha as permanent and non-produced in the sense that they are continuous, and that as long as there are sentient beings, the activities of the buddhas will remain without interruption. So, from the point of view of their continuity, these activities are sometimes called permanent. It is in the sense that this is without interuption that it is labelled permanent .
In the same manner, the fundamental innate mind of clear light in terms of its continuity, is beginningless, and also endless. This continuum will always be there , and so from that specific point of view, it is also called 'non produced'. Besides the fundamental innate mind of clear light is not a circumstantial or adventitious state of mind, for it does not come into being as a result of the circumstantial interaction of causes and conditions. Rather , it is an ever -abiding continuum of mind, which is inherent within us. So from that viewpoint, it is called 'non-produced'.
However, although this is the case, we still have to maintain that because it possesses this continuity, the present fundamental innate mind - this present instant of consciousness - comes from its earlier moments. The same holds true of the wisdom of Buddha - the omniscient mind of Buddha - which perceives the two truths directly and simultaneously, and which is also a state of awareness or consciousness. Since it is a state of awareness, the factor which will eventually turn into that kind of wisdom, namely the fundamental innate natue of clear light, will also have to be maintained to be a state of awareness. For it is impossible for anything which is not by nature awareness to turn into a state of awareness. So from the second point of view, the fundamental innate mind of clear light, is causally produced.
It is from ignorant mind that the Twelve Links of Dependent Origination arises.

When the Dalai Lama was asked How Does Illusion Begin? He said: - 2

As the continuum of the mind has no beginning, ignorance does not have one either.

If it did , we would have to discover from within a state of consciousness that predates ignorance, and is different from it in an enlightened mind, a cause resulting in ignorance. That makes no sense. "

*********************************
User avatar
BFS
 
Posts: 317
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 1:17 pm

Re: Questions on Buddha Nature

Postby White Lotus » Tue Jul 20, 2010 5:09 pm

:namaste: Maestro,
if a buddha was unable to understand, and feel the pain that others experience, before his parinirvana what use would he be to anyone. it is necessary to experience and understand pain whilst in this world in order to understand and comfort the suffering.

undoubtably a buddha would suffer only the sufferings of others, but he would still suffer and he would wish to feel pain if it were to give him a better understanding of the condition others are in.

buddha nature is not something that develops or grows. from the start it is exactly what it is, regardless of actions or inactions, states of being etc etc it is exactly what it is, it always has been. everyone has and is it, but not all see this.
you cannot under any circumstances loose the mind that you are. even if you are to loose awareness... i speculate, it is still there. Mind. every single thing is Mind, whether conscious or unconcious. Mind matter. everything is the Mind. buddha nature is Mind. when you see mind you see true nature.

just sit (without thinking)... thats Mind. just walk (without thinking)... thats Mind. eating breakfast is Mind, working is Mind, relaxing is Mind. all these things have the same taste, though there may be different emotions attached to them... the same sensation runs through all of them.

some have said that enlightenment is impossible for certain Bodhisattvas or individuals... but i say that these individuals are all perfectly endowed with the perfect Mind. Not only endowed with but actually are the direct representation of the Mind. You just cant get away from Mind, buddha nature goes with you wherever you go. this is it!

sometimes 'this' is emptiness, but ultimately 'this' is Mind, which is not empty. though emptiness is a function of Mind.

I dont think im being very helpful. its hard to describe Mind/buddha nature... but 'this' is it right now. to start with you see the dharmakaya, that all suchness is 'this', then you begin to see that all of 'this' has the same flavour... it becomes emptiness and then it becomes just Mind.

to see your original face/buddha nature, just stop thinking for a moment. thinking neither good things nor evil things. thats it.

or try looking in a mirror in a room without any light... thats another way to see it.

or just simply this feeling right here right now.

best wishes, White Lotus.

simple face is the best.
this feeling right now has
eyebrows and blinks.
true nature.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
White Lotus
 
Posts: 579
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:56 pm

Re: Questions on Buddha Nature

Postby White Lotus » Tue Jul 20, 2010 5:19 pm

:namaste: Developing awarness of what youve always had.

look into the word 'this'... feel it taste it. 'this' is the dharmakaya. the dharmakaya (truth body). work on and work on. work on and work on... 'this'. become a conoisseur of 'this', just as it is.

become aware of 'this' sensation right here right now. how does it feel looking at the computer. how do i feel within myself as i look at the computer. stop your thought for a moment and feel/experience 'this' as it is. work on this. work on it.
taste it see it, become a master of 'this'.

what is this sensation right now, typing at the computer... this is it. what is the sensation within your brain, within your heart, looking at the computer. all of these things are 'this'.

as i am... this is it, buddha nature. nothing special. just as it is. just as i am, right now. youve always had this, youve always felt this way. isnt it?

best wishes, White Lotus.

there are buddhas who wish to suffer enough to understand the pain of others... so that their pain is a gift to those in pain, a sharing.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
White Lotus
 
Posts: 579
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:56 pm

Re: Questions on Buddha Nature

Postby Dexing » Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:22 pm

maestro wrote:Hi, didn't get any response in the previous thread. I'd appreciate if anyone can answer these.

If something with an awakened nature can suffer, what good is it? How could something innately awakened become defiled? If your original Buddha nature became deluded, what’s to prevent it from becoming deluded after it’s re-awakened?


No responses? Thought you got at least one, unsatisfactory as it may be:

Dexing wrote:
maestro wrote:This was put forth by a famous theravadin monk. I wonder how a Mahayanist would respond?

If something with an awakened nature can suffer, what good is it? How could something innately awakened become defiled? If your original Buddha nature became deluded, what’s to prevent it from becoming deluded after it’s re-awakened?


This doesn't seem to show a great deal of familiarity with the Buddha Nature teachings. Nonetheless...

It's not that an Original Buddha Nature became deluded and completely cut off and stopped working. It is simply overcast with delusion. It is basic awareness, and is functioning all the time. We are always seeing, hearing, smelling, etc. which is all part of our Awakened Nature, yet we are not a part of that experience. We are busy following our thinking and giving rise to delusion.

That delusion does nothing to the Awakened nature. If it can be lost and reattained it is not real. That which is produced and extinguished is not real. It neither comes nor goes and one cannot become more or less like it, no matter what one does.

What is it that has an Awakened Nature yet can suffer? Sentient Beings. And of what use are they? They can realize their Wonderfully Awakened Nature and let it function to benefit and gladden all beings. What better use?

:namaste:
nopalabhyate...
User avatar
Dexing
 
Posts: 417
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:41 am

Re: Questions on Buddha Nature

Postby Sherab » Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:37 am

Is enlightenment something produced? If it is, it is subjected to change. If enlightenment is subjected to change, it would mean that enlightenment could become unenlightenment, no matter how small that probability is. Therefore enlightenment cannot be something produced.

That is why there is this famous utterance of the Buddha:
Ud 8.1
"There is, monks, an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated. If there were not that unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, there would not be the case that emancipation from the born — become — made — fabricated would be discerned. But precisely because there is an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, emancipation from the born — become — made — fabricated is discerned."

So what then differentiate between enlightenment experience and unenlightenment experience? It is non-recognition of the state of the unborn, enlightenment, or Buddhanature. What does this non-recognition do? It creates an illusion of subject and object, of mind and matter, of good and bad etc.

Does this illusion in any way impact the unborn, buddhanature in any way? I think the answer is obvious.
User avatar
Sherab
 
Posts: 765
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:28 am

Re: Questions on Buddha Nature

Postby Sherab » Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:37 am

Is enlightenment something produced? If it is, it is subjected to change. If enlightenment is subjected to change, it would mean that enlightenment could become unenlightenment, no matter how small that probability is. Therefore enlightenment cannot be something produced.

That is why there is this famous utterance of the Buddha:
Ud 8.1
"There is, monks, an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated. If there were not that unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, there would not be the case that emancipation from the born — become — made — fabricated would be discerned. But precisely because there is an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, emancipation from the born — become — made — fabricated is discerned."

So what then differentiate between enlightenment experience and unenlightenment experience? It is non-recognition of the state of the unborn, enlightenment, or Buddhanature. What does this non-recognition do? It creates an illusion of subject and object, of mind and matter, of good and bad etc.

Does this illusion in any way impact the unborn, buddhanature in any way? I think the answer is obvious.
User avatar
Sherab
 
Posts: 765
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:28 am

Re: Questions on Buddha Nature

Postby muni » Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:57 am

:buddha1:
muni
 
Posts: 2943
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:59 am

Re: Questions on Buddha Nature

Postby muni » Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:32 pm

Could people only understand rejecting others "expressed path" is own delusion.
muni
 
Posts: 2943
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:59 am

Re: Questions on Buddha Nature

Postby White Lotus » Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:10 pm

:namaste: yes, Noble Muni,

there is within most of us a joy to share our views, this sharing can generate dynamic and chaotic energies. perhaps sometimes silence is golden... unless one meets a person who is receptive to ones views.

with best wishes, from White Lotus.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
White Lotus
 
Posts: 579
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:56 pm

Re: Questions on Buddha Nature

Postby ronnewmexico » Sat Jul 24, 2010 3:35 am

Well I may have a hand at this, the excellent responses have piqued my interest...

This from a uneducated layperson who may or may not be expressing a Buddhist view(I don't know).
So I examine the questions and will undoubtably cover ground already covered perhaps covered by me in a less adequate manner..... and this all just to my personal opinion....."If something with an awakened nature can suffer, what good is it? How could something innately awakened become defiled? If your original Buddha nature became deluded, what’s to prevent it from becoming deluded after it’s re-awakened?

First we must examine if the question itself is a viable question. If it is not, a correct answer is of course a impossible answer.

The supposition is that something with a awakened nature can suffer.
Well is that true, a true statement? I would contend..... no, if considered to its final extant. We know perhaps a being is a cause of conditional circumstances. Awareness purely considered in a particular very somplicated set of circumstances seems to elicit a suffering state when present in human form.
What then suffers....is it the circumstance that suffers or the awareness that suffers. Well can awareness or a circumstance be found to be suffering......I would contend no.
Awareness may be aware of a circumstance of suffering but not embody or constitute suffering itself. And the circumstances which may precipitate suffering or such state are but circumstance and do not in themselves constitute suffering. Nothing we may find in awareness nor in circumstance by themselves may be found that constitute suffering itself. A combination of circumstance and a awareness which is aware of a circumstance it perceives as a producer of suffering are required.

So it is a untrue statement which can not produce a true answer.
There is nothing with a awakened nature that can suffer as it is found that a awakened nature can not suffer.

Now if things were able to be considered in a lineal fashion as perhaps the catholics of the theist faith describe a soul becoming spotted by defilement and then cleaned by certain other things, if our nature could be described in such a fashion as a object then perhaps such things could happen and the question could be valid.

But I am not theist and no catholic. A suffering state can not be found but only produced by circumstance and awareness of circumstance which perceives that state as suffering. Neither contains the suffering itself.

And this nature is to my opinion, no real nature as described by the theists soul, but a natural state which some may contend exists by itself with no circumstance to elicit it(a view I do not hold) or to a view I hold, a state of potential with no real circumstance to produce it. Functionally a state always exists to produce a state of awareness that we know of. But ultimately even awareness itself must require a circumstance to produce a aware response. So that considered, this "nature" refered to is but quality but not object. As quality it cannot be found to be a thing. Thusly it may not become deluded nor defiled. It presents in continum because it has a circumstance of continum property which elicits a response of perceived continum. But in itself in isolation ultimately considered if such circumstance could be found of no circumstance, it would not exist. Like a finger without a thing to touch could not be made to feel that thing of nothing nor be described to be continually feeling nothing. If nothing is there the finger is not feeling....period. It has the capacity to feel when a object to present circumstantially occurs. So such is our "natural" aware state or our nature to my opinion. Quality not object.

So again the question...not a truly stated question and thusly the answer may not be correctly answered. Any nature is but quality not object and thusly may not be defiled improved, suffering or become awakened. A individual may be called or stated to become awakened but a nature or any nature we can know of....no it cannot be awakened nor defiled. A individual is of course not such a purely considered thing as a nature but a composite of circumstance and awareness(abeit a deluded or wrongly perceived awareness). The person, composite as we know a person to be, is always deluded to some degree. The Buddha awakened as he was, did not define himself as a person when he was asked what he was. So such a combination may be called awakened or defiled by product but under examination neither considered solely or by nature of each may be found to be awakened or defiled. The thing is not awakened or subject to such state of being acted upon or changed, as in being awakened, but simply awake, posessing this discriptive quality.

So with a untruth cannot come truth. No offense to the initiator of the thread.
That is my opinion for what it is worth, I don't know if it is a Buddhist opinion. My nature however may be by my discussion be considered exactly as any nature to include Buddha nature.

Such a nature is not the theist soul or object but to my opinion a thing that is quality. A ability to become aware when circumstance elicits it which is what descriminates us from innate matter. Which to my opinion is created by awareness but that is another subject for another discussion and another day perhaps.

So that's it to my opinion. The question is impossible.

Thank you very much for presenting the opportunity to consider and discuss such a thing which I find very exciting and exhilirating. Wether you agree or not!!!
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
User avatar
ronnewmexico
 
Posts: 1601
Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:17 pm

Re: Questions on Buddha Nature

Postby Nighthawk » Sat Jul 24, 2010 7:54 am

Thank you all for all the great replies. I now have a better understanding of Buddha Nature. :smile:
Nighthawk
 
Posts: 779
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:04 am

Re: Questions on Buddha Nature

Postby muni » Sat Jul 24, 2010 8:09 am

Sherab wrote:Is enlightenment something produced? If it is, it is subjected to change. If enlightenment is subjected to change, it would mean that enlightenment could become unenlightenment, no matter how small that probability is. Therefore enlightenment cannot be something produced.

That is why there is this famous utterance of the Buddha:
Ud 8.1
"There is, monks, an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated. If there were not that unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, there would not be the case that emancipation from the born — become — made — fabricated would be discerned. But precisely because there is an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, emancipation from the born — become — made — fabricated is discerned."

So what then differentiate between enlightenment experience and unenlightenment experience? It is non-recognition of the state of the unborn, enlightenment, or Buddhanature. What does this non-recognition do? It creates an illusion of subject and object, of mind and matter, of good and bad etc.

Does this illusion in any way impact the unborn, buddhanature in any way? I think the answer is obvious.


Like Dzongzar Rinpoche figurative explains about the dirty glassen windows. We can only wash the dirt. The glass remains the glass. Here: http://multimedia.getresponse.com/725/6 ... s/6834.pdf
muni
 
Posts: 2943
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:59 am

Re: Questions on Buddha Nature

Postby White Lotus » Sat Jul 24, 2010 3:42 pm

or... as Great Master and Patriarch of Soto Zen, Master Keizan says...

Why are you looking for your head?!


best wishes, White Lotus.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
White Lotus
 
Posts: 579
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:56 pm

Re: Questions on Buddha Nature

Postby LastLegend » Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:56 am

maestro wrote:Hi, didn't get any response in the previous thread. I'd appreciate if anyone can answer these.

If something with an awakened nature can suffer, what good is it? How could something innately awakened become defiled? If your original Buddha nature became deluded, what’s to prevent it from becoming deluded after it’s re-awakened?


1) No, for it no longer endorses the experience of pain and happiness, lose and gain, good and evil, etc through flesh. Being deluded is what suffering is for it manifests in forms that endorse pain an happiness, etc.
2) One thought of ignorance or one thought of desire (to create) is what lead to defilement
3) Once awakened, it has Wisdom, and Wisdom of karma is what prevents it from creating karma
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
User avatar
LastLegend
 
Posts: 2180
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC


Return to Mahāyāna Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Astus, mikenz66, PemaYudron and 8 guests

>