Pedestrian Mahayana

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Pedestrian Mahayana

Postby Will » Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:17 am

There are several reasons why the miraculous & magical aspects of Mahayana are so often denigrated by many Buddhists. But those who are indifferent, or fear, despise or are repelled by "fairy dust" parts of Mahayana can explain themselves; I am just not one of them. Perhaps too credulous, but so be it.

Here is Yeshe Gyamtso, paraphrased a little (with my bold emphasis) from his Introduction to Mipham's Garland of Jewels, a book about the Arya Sangha:

The purpose of these sutras passages is to inspire us to emulate these great bodhisattvas and give us confidence in the effectiveness of the Mahayana path. The Buddhist is asked to open his or her mind to the vastness and profundity of the Mahayana. The miracles described here are often outrageous in their transgression of what we regard as laws of nature. This is very much to the point. It seems that there is no way to enter the Mahayana without being open to the inconceivable.

We often meditate on and pray to these bodhisattvas without much understanding of who and what they are. Although to fully understand bodhisattvas you have to be one, the stories in this book do communicate the particular activity and deeds for which these eight bodhisattvas are renowned, allowing us a glimpse into their world: a world of freedom, compassion, and wisdom far beyond ordinary experience.
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: Pedestrian Mahayana

Postby LastLegend » Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:27 am

I have two questions: What are the magical aspects of Mahayana? Should Buddhists practice those magical aspects?
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Re: Pedestrian Mahayana

Postby ground » Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:39 am

IMO bodhisattvas should end their own and inspire others to end what is called "suffering". I doubt that "miraculous & magical" fabrications are conducive.

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Re: Pedestrian Mahayana

Postby Anders » Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:40 pm

LastLegend wrote:I have two questions: What are the magical aspects of Mahayana? Should Buddhists practice those magical aspects?


Receiving inspiration, guidance and support from such bodhisattvas is one such aspect.

I am not sure how to ;practise' such aspects, but I do think they are far less likely to happen to those who are not open to them and do have have devotion towards these kind of activities.
"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: Pedestrian Mahayana

Postby Indrajala » Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:47 pm

Some texts state that certain practices will be followed by auspicious signs.

In my travels I've met numerous practitioners, some lay and some monastic, who have expressed having profound visions.

A lot of people pray to the Buddhas of the Ten Directions and Bodhisattvas. How this influences real life is subject to debate.
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Re: Pedestrian Mahayana

Postby LastLegend » Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:51 pm

Indeed those who practice Pure Land also experience miraculous changes and such in life.
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Re: Pedestrian Mahayana

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Jun 11, 2011 3:46 pm

TMingyur wrote:IMO bodhisattvas should end their own and inspire others to end what is called "suffering". I doubt that "miraculous & magical" fabrications are conducive.

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"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: Pedestrian Mahayana

Postby LastLegend » Sat Jun 11, 2011 3:50 pm

Sentient beings cannot do anything without incentives so.
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