Buddhism: Only True Religion

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Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:14 am

TMingyur wrote:
Pema Rigdzin wrote:
Well, since such a Bodhisattva is by definition someone who (1) conceived the wish to help all beings attain Buddhahood as defined by the Mahayana Buddhist doctrine and (2) who has realized emptiness to such an extent that he or she "abides" on the first Bodhisattva bhumi or beyond, it's obvious that all such Bodhisattvas are inwardly "Buddhist" despite the manner of skillful means they may employ to guide others.


Not so according to the lineage which includes Shantideva because in this context a bodhisattva is someone who has awakened to conventional bodhicitta. So the validity of "bodhisattva" and "Mahayana" merely depends on this.

Kind regards


Sorry, I meant arya bodhisattva. Not that this distinction is important in the context of this conversation.
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Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:32 am

Will wrote:
Pema Rigdzin wrote:Well, since such a Bodhisattva is by definition someone who (1) conceived the wish to help all beings attain Buddhahood as defined by the Mahayana Buddhist doctrine and (2) who has realized emptiness to such an extent that he or she "abides" on the first Bodhisattva bhumi or beyond, it's obvious that all such Bodhisattvas are inwardly "Buddhist" despite the manner of skillful means they may employ to guide others.


Those two points are certainly true for any bodhisattvas who have appeared since the time of Gautama Buddha. But what about the ages before that time?


The ultimate points of the Dharma have never been different because the nature of samsara and enlightenment have never changed, so the ground, path, and fruit is ultimately the same. That which makes one a Bodhisattva during a previous Buddha's time is exactly what makes one a Bodhisttva during and after Shakyamuni's time.

Will wrote:And after our Buddha's teachings are gone - what then? Do bodhisattvas only help beings during the dispensation of a Buddha? That certainly would make the bodhisattva vow easier and more convenient to fulfill. But I think that is not the case - bodhisattvas work in all times, places, realms, and with any sort of appearance that benefits beings.


Yes, the sutras say that once one has become an Arya Bodhisattva, one continues to work in all times, places, etc where there are beings to be tamed and one appears in whatever body or form necessary, and in as many of them as necessary (within the capacity of one's realization) to benefit beings. Not sure how anything I said could seem to suggest I thought otherwise. Or maybe you're suggesting that some beings might just spontaneously become Bodhisattvas on their own outside of any connection to a Buddha's Dharma. Is that what you're suggesting?
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Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby Malcolm » Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:41 pm

Pema Rigdzin wrote: Or maybe you're suggesting that some beings might just spontaneously become Bodhisattvas on their own outside of any connection to a Buddha's Dharma. Is that what you're suggesting?


Happened to the Buddha, so why not?
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby tamdrin » Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:58 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Pema Rigdzin wrote: Or maybe you're suggesting that some beings might just spontaneously become Bodhisattvas on their own outside of any connection to a Buddha's Dharma. Is that what you're suggesting?


Happened to the Buddha, so why not?


No, Buddha had made vows to previous Buddhas.
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Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby Malcolm » Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:11 pm

tamdrin wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
Pema Rigdzin wrote: Or maybe you're suggesting that some beings might just spontaneously become Bodhisattvas on their own outside of any connection to a Buddha's Dharma. Is that what you're suggesting?


Happened to the Buddha, so why not?


No, Buddha had made vows to previous Buddhas.


Well, according to Sonam Tsemo, what actually happened was this: when the Buddha was a hell being he aroused great compassion for other hell beings, and asked the yamas whether he could take on the sufferings of other hell beings. In doing, after his head caught fire and he died, he was born first as a deva of Trāyāstriṁśā heaven, then as the son of the a potter in Jambudvipa. At that time, he met the ancient Buddha Shakyamuni and, offering that Buddha some porridge, generated bodhicitta.

So while one may technically claim that one must by necessity generate bodhicitta in the presence of a buddha in the past, the necessary precondition for bodhicitta is compassion, and it is for that reason that Candrakirit cites compassion as the cause of all bodhisattvas.

Whether the above events are true or are a parable is irrelevant -- the point is that compassion is the cause of bodhicitta and so therefore it is possible to say that one can become a bodhisattva without having ever met a Buddha. I would rate compassion as more important than a vow.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby tamdrin » Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:18 pm

Still it would be hard to understand great compassion without the blessings of a highly realized being.

the buddha shakyamuni met the Buddha Shakyamuni? That is interesting...
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Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby Malcolm » Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:02 pm

tamdrin wrote:Still it would be hard to understand great compassion without the blessings of a highly realized being.

the buddha shakyamuni met the Buddha Shakyamuni? That is interesting...



right, our Buddha Shakyamuni is the second of the name.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:55 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Kyosan wrote:I was thinking of the people who think Buddhists worship gods or sacrifice goats, and even those people who think that it's all just superstition.
Yeah those idiots, how can they get it so wrong, I mean everybody knows that Buddhists worship goats and sacrifice Gods!
:namaste:

:lol:
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Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby Will » Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:12 pm

Pema Rigzen: Not sure how anything I said could seem to suggest I thought otherwise. Or maybe you're suggesting that some beings might just spontaneously become Bodhisattvas on their own outside of any connection to a Buddha's Dharma. Is that what you're suggesting?


I was responding, in the main, to your notion of "as defined by Mahayana doctrine". There are ages when there is no such doctrine, nor Theravada, nor any school of Buddhism. So Namdrol's point about compassion is important. There must be some powerful wish within a person that leads to actions, when there is no teachings of a Buddha around, that lead that one to strive to help others beyond one lifetime. Whether that inner drive is based on some old vasanas from previous contact with a Buddha or his teachings, I do not know. Vasubandhu & Nagarjuna (and others) have laid out the root causes & conditions for one's original bodhicitta vow or aspiration, but no time right now to look them up. Memory says that compassion for others is the best motive, but other motives can result in bodhisattva-hood.
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
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Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby Malcolm » Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:15 pm

Will wrote:
Pema Rigzen: Not sure how anything I said could seem to suggest I thought otherwise. Or maybe you're suggesting that some beings might just spontaneously become Bodhisattvas on their own outside of any connection to a Buddha's Dharma. Is that what you're suggesting?


I was responding, in the main, to your notion of "as defined by Mahayana doctrine". There are ages when there is no such doctrine, nor Theravada, nor any school of Buddhism. So Namdrol's point about compassion is important. There must be some powerful wish within a person that leads to actions, when there is no teachings of a Buddha around, that lead that one to strive to help others beyond one lifetime. Whether that inner drive is based on some old vasanas from previous contact with a Buddha or his teachings, I do not know. Vasubandhu & Nagarjuna (and others) have laid out the root causes & conditions for one's original bodhicitta vow or aspiration, but no time right now to look them up. Memory says that compassion for others is the best motive, but other motives can result in bodhisattva-hood.



Nagarjuna states in the Mula that since suchness of phenomena is always present, there is always a basis for the arising of buddhas, even when there is no buddha present.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby Will » Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:33 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Will wrote:
Pema Rigzen: Not sure how anything I said could seem to suggest I thought otherwise. Or maybe you're suggesting that some beings might just spontaneously become Bodhisattvas on their own outside of any connection to a Buddha's Dharma. Is that what you're suggesting?


I was responding, in the main, to your notion of "as defined by Mahayana doctrine". There are ages when there is no such doctrine, nor Theravada, nor any school of Buddhism. So Namdrol's point about compassion is important. There must be some powerful wish within a person that leads to actions, when there is no teachings of a Buddha around, that lead that one to strive to help others beyond one lifetime. Whether that inner drive is based on some old vasanas from previous contact with a Buddha or his teachings, I do not know. Vasubandhu & Nagarjuna (and others) have laid out the root causes & conditions for one's original bodhicitta vow or aspiration, but no time right now to look them up. Memory says that compassion for others is the best motive, but other motives can result in bodhisattva-hood.



Nagarjuna states in the Mula that since suchness of phenomena is always present, there is always a basis for the arising of buddhas, even when there is no buddha present.


Chapter & verse please Namdrol. I am trying to get away from this machine and go back to studying the new Mula with Mabja bodhisattvas comments; there I can see what he says.
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
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Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby Anders » Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:03 pm

Will wrote:Vasubandhu & Nagarjuna (and others) have laid out the root causes & conditions for one's original bodhicitta vow or aspiration, but no time right now to look them up. Memory says that compassion for others is the best motive, but other motives can result in bodhisattva-hood.


Nagarjuna laid out seven causes for the resolve to become a Buddha:
the instructions of a Tathagata
the resolve to guard and protect the dharma
compassion for living beings
instruction from a bodhisattva to generate the resolve
observing the conduct of a bodhisattva and desiring to emulate this
the aftermath of an act of giving
delight from seeing the signs of a Buddha's body.

The first three are considered to definitely result in Buddhahood because the roots are deeply anchored, whereas the latter three are unlikely to result in success.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:40 pm

Will wrote:There are ages when there is no such doctrine, nor Theravada, nor any school of Buddhism.
Maybe in our world system, but I think you will find that the doctrine, the Dharma continued to exist but was just not perceivable. That is why, when asked about the origin of his teachings, the Buddha answered: "I monks, saw the ancient way, the ancient path, that had been folowed by the Buddhas of the past." Nagara Sutta SN 12.65 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Quite clearly the rediscovery of an existing path/doctrine.
:namaste:
Last edited by Sherab Dorje on Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:17 am, edited 2 times in total.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby PMTF » Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:11 pm

Will wrote:Before the Dalai Lama left Tibet he thought Buddhism was the "only true religion". But his attitude changed when he visited India in 1956.

Dear Will,

The word "true" in itself does not embody any "truth". The word "true" is only relative. As an example, Jesus taught: "I am the only way". This can be regarded as "true" or "necessary" for those for whom the Jesus path is suitable.

I cannot recall Shakyamuni Buddha ever saying his religion was the "only true religion". If his Holiness once believed this, his wisdom may have been immature at that time. I do, however, recall Shakyamuni Buddha saying his path is "the only way" for the purification of beings. My opinion is this cannot be disputed because any religious path, including the Jesus path, which does not have shunyata as its fruition remains "impure", in terms of mental purity.

As Buddhists, we generally accept there are various paths, such as paths to hell, paths to heaven and paths to human birth. Each of these paths possesses its "truth". But the path to Nirvana is the only path to purity. There cannot be the complete purification of mind without shunyata (emptiness).

Namaste

:namaste:
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Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby Kyosan » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:45 am

PMTF wrote:
Will wrote:Before the Dalai Lama left Tibet he thought Buddhism was the "only true religion". But his attitude changed when he visited India in 1956.

Dear Will,

The word "true" in itself does not embody any "truth". The word "true" is only relative. As an example, Jesus taught: "I am the only way". This can be regarded as "true" or "necessary" for those for whom the Jesus path is suitable.

I cannot recall Shakyamuni Buddha ever saying his religion was the "only true religion". If his Holiness once believed this, his wisdom may have been immature at that time. I do, however, recall Shakyamuni Buddha saying his path is "the only way" for the purification of beings. My opinion is this cannot be disputed because any religious path, including the Jesus path, which does not have shunyata as its fruition remains "impure", in terms of mental purity.

As Buddhists, we generally accept there are various paths, such as paths to hell, paths to heaven and paths to human birth. Each of these paths possesses its "truth". But the path to Nirvana is the only path to purity. There cannot be the complete purification of mind without shunyata (emptiness).

Namaste

:namaste:

My understanding is that there are many paths to nirvana. There are many different expedients and beings practicing different expedients can be thought of as different paths. Even within Buddhism we see different schools, with considerably different practices. The practices are different but the end result is the same.

I agree that if another religion doesn't lead to purification it won't be the same as Buddhism, but there can be another religion that leads to purification.
:namaste:
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Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby Will » Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:23 am

Greg,
No argument from me. But rediscovery of an ancient path, suggests to me a path found again in meditation; not found in an existing school or from a guru. So no contradiction at all. Gautama did visit a couple of respected gurus of the day, but there was nothing spiritually real there that he sensed.
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
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Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby Malcolm » Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:29 am

Kyosan wrote:
I agree that if another religion doesn't lead to purification it won't be the same as Buddhism, but there can be another religion that leads to purification.
:namaste:


Only if that religion teaches dependent origination as well as emptiness.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:12 am

Will wrote:Greg,
No argument from me. But rediscovery of an ancient path, suggests to me a path found again in meditation; not found in an existing school or from a guru.
I would say: found again through practice that includes meditation. As for the "existing" part, I guess it all depends on what you define as "existing". The Buddha did learn at the feet of various Buddhas during his lifetimes.
Gautama did visit a couple of respected gurus of the day, but there was nothing spiritually real there that he sensed.
Well, understanding what to avoid is also part of the path! :tongue:
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby Anders » Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:42 am

Namdrol wrote:Nagarjuna states in the Mula that since suchness of phenomena is always present, there is always a basis for the arising of buddhas, even when there is no buddha present.


This is echoed, somewhat, in his prajnaparamita upadesha:

The noble practice consists of practicing the absence of all practice. Why? Because during all noble practice, one never departs from the three gates of liberation (vimokṣamukha). The brāhmanic and the divine practices arise insofar as they grasp the characteristics of beings (sattvanimittodgrahaṇa); although they do not show defects at the time they are being practiced, they will show them later on and the realities they actually pursue will all appear to be false. However, the saint (ārya) who practices these two kinds of practice with a detached mind (asaktacitta) does not commit any fault.

For the person who practices the absence of practice thus, nothing exists any longer: errors (viparyāsa), deceptions (vañcana) and the afflictions (kleśa) no longer arise for they are purified like space (ākāśaśuddha). He acquires the true nature of dharmas by holding his non-acquisition (anupalabdhi) as an acquisition. It is said in the non-acquired Prajñā: “Dharmas, form (rūpa), etc., are not empty as a result of emptiness; they are originally and eternally empty in themselves; dharmas, form, etc., are not non-perceptible because wisdom does not reach them: they are originally and eternally non-perceptible in themselves.”This is why we should not ask how many virtues must be practiced to obtain Prajñāpāramitā. Out of loving-kindness and compassion to beings, the Buddhas teach the practices in order to be in harmony with common usage (saṃvṛti), but there is nothing absolute (paramārtha) there.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby Malcolm » Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:38 pm

Will wrote:Greg,
No argument from me. But rediscovery of an ancient path, suggests to me a path found again in meditation; not found in an existing school or from a guru. So no contradiction at all. Gautama did visit a couple of respected gurus of the day, but there was nothing spiritually real there that he sensed.



In this case, Buddha discovered the ancient dharma path through recalling his past lives. Then he applied that view in the third watch.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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