End times propaganda in Buddhism?

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End times propaganda in Buddhism?

Postby Aemilius » Sat Nov 26, 2011 12:48 pm

This subject exists, though maybe not so evidently at first glance. There are profecies about the future in Sravakayana, in Mahayana, and in the Tantrayana Dharma. What I mean by End times Dharma is that you think that because it is the End times of the Dharma therefore..., -here follow all kinds of different views and different practices depending whether you are a Nichiren, Pure Land, Nyingma, or follower of other schools and other doctrines.
In some schools the End times teachings are more esoteric, but you get to know them gradually as you progress in that particular path of Dharma. The End times teachings in Buddhism derive from certain sutras, and from the visions of the accepted and honoured masters of different schools of Dharma.
In Mahayana there are profecies in The Lotus Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Prajnaparamita Sutra for Benevolent Kings, Avatamsaka sutra, Sutra of Bodhisattva Maitreya, and so on... In the Pureland sutras profetic ideology is implied by the teaching of Five Degenerations.
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Re: End times propaganda in Buddhism?

Postby Jikan » Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:54 pm

It's true that Buddhism does not have an optimistic view of the present or the future of this world. Samsara.

It's also true that this view of time informs the rationale for practice in many Buddhist schools (you can see this readily in the way the doctrine if Mappo affects different forms of practice in Japanese Buddhism, for one).

I'm not sure what you are trying to say about this, however. In what way is this a kind of propaganda in your view?
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Re: End times propaganda in Buddhism?

Postby Dharma Atma » Sat Nov 26, 2011 6:17 pm

Aemilius wrote:In Mahayana there are profecies in The Lotus Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Prajnaparamita Sutra for Benevolent Kings, Avatamsaka sutra, Sutra of Bodhisattva Maitreya, and so on...

Yes, and not only in these respective schools. In Hinduism also. Sri Krishna says in his Bhagavadgita, "When Dharma comes to naught, and Adharma grows up, then I'm always back" [approximately so].
As for me I think that Dharma has to meet its end times on and on. Dharma as a teaching for Samsaric creatures is itself a product of Samsara. Dharma uses abilities of our Samsaric minds to help us to achieve Nirvana. Well, using conceptions for the purpose of attaining misconceptual, so to say :)
Being a Samsaric object, Dharma should have its ups and downs, because without defeats there's no victories. The manifestation of duality in the world we inhabit.
Jikan wrote:In what way is this a kind of propaganda in your view?

Good question.
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Re: End times propaganda in Buddhism?

Postby LastLegend » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:07 pm

Any particular reasons why it is propaganda?

Dharma is conditioned, why should it be a surprise if it eventually comes to an end?
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Re: End times propaganda in Buddhism?

Postby ronnewmexico » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:17 pm

Not to purposely confuse the issue but dharma..covers a lot of ground, as to meaning and to what aspect of it may end and what may not.
It may serve to identify exactly what dharma is being referenced in what context.
Teachings in this context as being only dharma....I agree teachings come and go. Sometimes available and sometimes not. Dharma in other context....?. Is it stated that dharma is then only the teaching always.....?

It seems there are other contexts in which dharma is referenced. No scholor or even educated....I will not be able to elaborate well but suspect there are.
"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.
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Re: End times propaganda in Buddhism?

Postby Dharma Atma » Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:57 am

ronnewmexico wrote:Teachings in this context as being only dharma....I agree teachings come and go. Sometimes available and sometimes not. Dharma in other context....?. Is it stated that dharma is then only the teaching always.....?

D'accord. Dharma must change its forms but never its inner sense, its true meaning.
Sometimes Dharma may disappear for the wide masses of people, meet its so called "end times". But my imho is that buddhas and bodhisattvas cannot ever suddenly disappear. Until they're present in here, Dharma won't ever be lost never to return. Though its cultural, especially Tibetan, strata may (and maybe, have to) definitely be washed away with the lapse of time.
ronnewmexico wrote:It seems there are other contexts in which dharma is referenced. No scholor or even educated....I will not be able to elaborate well but suspect there are.

Clarity of style is clarity of thought, cher ronnewmexico :coffee:
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Re: End times propaganda in Buddhism?

Postby ronnewmexico » Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:43 am

Well we may agree.
In one sense dharma based upon truth the way things all really are or exist in relationship to one another may never change.
This truth is always true. The relationship dependent origination and all the rest when things exist they are as this displays.
So dharma in essence can not disappear nor deminish. The reflection of dharma as teaching, the buddhas teaching in a conventional fashion..of course that is of the nature of samsara and can deminish or grow.

So in one fashion I find dharma eternal in another quite not, depending of course upon which context one is referencing.
Opposed to other religions dharma is the truth of things or as they are so.... the teaching always have a eternal aspect though they display in variance.
There is a name to the forms which I forget.

Not to important but I think it is worth mentioning as only the conventional dharmic interpretaion has been mentioned.
"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.
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Re: End times propaganda in Buddhism?

Postby Dharma Atma » Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:28 pm

ronnewmexico wrote:The reflection of dharma as teaching, the buddhas teaching in a conventional fashion..of course that is of the nature of samsara and can deminish or grow.

Maybe it makes sense to look at this potential decrease of Dharma just like an evolution of its forms?..
The outer forms of Dharma do not degrade but evolve, develop. Why not? In this world there's nothing unchanged.
Dharma as we know it nowadays will certainly evolve, 'cause it exists for people (and never vice versa). Times change and forms of Dharma are to change.
================
Résumé: The inner layers of Dharma will never diminish, but the outer ones will surely change (it may be called "the end times of Dharma" as it is nowadays).
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Re: End times propaganda in Buddhism?

Postby Jikan » Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:25 pm

Dharma Atma wrote:
ronnewmexico wrote:The reflection of dharma as teaching, the buddhas teaching in a conventional fashion..of course that is of the nature of samsara and can deminish or grow.

Maybe it makes sense to look at this potential decrease of Dharma just like an evolution of its forms?..
The outer forms of Dharma do not degrade but evolve, develop. Why not? In this world there's nothing unchanged.
Dharma as we know it nowadays will certainly evolve, 'cause it exists for people (and never vice versa). Times change and forms of Dharma are to change.
================
Résumé: The inner layers of Dharma will never diminish, but the outer ones will surely change (it may be called "the end times of Dharma" as it is nowadays).


Evolution in the sense of changes of traits over time, in response to local conditions? I think that makes some sense.

I think Upaya may be a good place to begin thinking about this one. Enlightened ones do what they need to do to teach beings, appearing in the form most appropriate to the needs of those beings.

Now, to the OP: can we understand the end-of-times tendencies in Buddhism as different variations of upaya? I'm not going to speculate on that one, but...
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Re: End times propaganda in Buddhism?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:48 pm

LastLegend wrote:Dharma is conditioned, why should it be a surprise if it eventually comes to an end?
Is Dharma conditioned or is its exposition conditioned?
:namaste:
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: End times propaganda in Buddhism?

Postby Dharma Atma » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:30 pm

Jikan wrote:Evolution in the sense of changes of traits over time, in response to local conditions? I think that makes some sense.

Yes, that's what I meant.
Jikan wrote:I think Upaya may be a good place to begin thinking about this one. Enlightened ones do what they need to do to teach beings, appearing in the form most appropriate to the needs of those beings.

According to this, what Dharma looks like depends on epoch, historical situation, place, species of creatures, and even planet at all. But what Dharma is like, stays the same, because the meaning of Dharma, its purpose and direct target are unchangeable - leading all the creatures to the Enlightenment.
gregkavarnos wrote:Is Dharma conditioned or is its exposition conditioned?

As for me I believe Dharma itself is conditioned.
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Re: End times propaganda in Buddhism?

Postby Quiet Heart » Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:24 am

Dharma Atma wrote:
Jikan wrote:Evolution in the sense of changes of traits over time, in response to local conditions? I think that makes some sense.

Yes, that's what I meant.
Jikan wrote:I think Upaya may be a good place to begin thinking about this one. Enlightened ones do what they need to do to teach beings, appearing in the form most appropriate to the needs of those beings.

According to this, what Dharma looks like depends on epoch, historical situation, place, species of creatures, and even planet at all. But what Dharma is like, stays the same, because the meaning of Dharma, its purpose and direct target are unchangeable - leading all the creatures to the Enlightenment.
gregkavarnos wrote:Is Dharma conditioned or is its exposition conditioned?

As for me I believe Dharma itself is conditioned.

------------------------------------------
Interesting thoughts.
:smile:
Personally, I see the Dharma as a PERCEPTION by human beings, so-called sentient beings, of a varied and complex entity....but that perception is conditioned by their pre-conceptions and conditioning (such as language, education, the society they live in, etc.).
It's like the old story of the blind men and the Elephant.
Because they are blind they can not see the whole entity of the Elephant.
They must use their hands to explore the nature of the Elephant. One touches the Elephant's side and says, "This Elephant is much like a wall". Another grabs the tail and declares,"This Elephant is much like a Snake". Another one grabs the Elephant's leg and he says,"No, this Elephant is like a tree."
Of course, they are all right in a sense, but they are also all wrong.....their perception is incomplete...because they can not see the total entity.
Because human beings are limited to their human senses to try and understand the Dharma, they are like those blind men. The amazing part is that even with that inherently flawed perception they can still attain some understanding of the unkowable totality.
But back to the original question...the Dharma ending age.
My belief is that the idea of that Dharma-ending age comes from the same inability of human beings to percieve the totality of that Dharma.
Because they cannot percieve the totality of the Dharma humans fear that it is limited.
They become attached to their one form of practice and understanding. Because they do not see the totality of the Dharma, only the small part they can percieve and understand, they fear that part will dissapear, and the Dharma (as percieved by them) will dissapear.
Of course, that is only an illusion, a trick of their minds and their incomplete perception.
Because of that illusion, and the fear it causes, they believe in a Dharma-ending time.
Accepting the Dharma and it's teaching and wisdom is always a leap of faith anyhow.
:smile:
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Re: End times propaganda in Buddhism?

Postby LastLegend » Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:28 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
LastLegend wrote:Dharma is conditioned, why should it be a surprise if it eventually comes to an end?
Is Dharma conditioned or is its exposition conditioned?
:namaste:


Dharma exists because of delusion. If there is no delusion, then there is no Dharma.
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Re: End times propaganda in Buddhism?

Postby Dharma Atma » Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:17 pm

Quiet Heart wrote:It's like the old story of the blind men and the Elephant.
Because they are blind they can not see the whole entity of the Elephant.
They must use their hands to explore the nature of the Elephant. One touches the Elephant's side and says, "This Elephant is much like a wall". Another grabs the tail and declares,"This Elephant is much like a Snake". Another one grabs the Elephant's leg and he says,"No, this Elephant is like a tree."
Of course, they are all right in a sense, but they are also all wrong.....their perception is incomplete...because they can not see the total entity.

Very good allegory it is :good:
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Re: End times propaganda in Buddhism?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:32 pm

Well, can we have some sources for the conditioned nature of Dharma please?
:namaste:
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: End times propaganda in Buddhism?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Nov 28, 2011 6:20 pm

In the book "The Vajra Prajna Paramita Sutra, An Explanation" by Venerable Master Hsuan Hua on the commentary to the sventh chapter we find the following:
"Subhuti what do you think? Has the Tathagata attained anuttatarasamyaksambodhi? Has the Tathagata spoken any dharma?"
Subhuti said, "As I understand what the Tathagata has said there is no concrete dharma called anuttatarasamyaksambodhi and there is no concrete dharma which the Tathagata has spoken. And why? The dharmas spoken by the Tathagata cannot be grasped and cannot be spoken. It is neither dharma nor no-dharma. And why? Unconditioned dharma distinguishes worthy sages"

or in the AF Price translation:
"Section VII. Great Ones, Perfect Beyond Learning, Utter no Words of Teaching

Subhuti, what do you think? Has the Tathagata attained the Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment? Has the Tathagata a teaching to enunciate?

Subhuti answered: As I understand Buddha's meaning there is no formulation of truth called Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment. Moreover, the Tathagata has no formulated teaching to enunciate. Wherefore? Because the Tathagata has said that truth is uncontainable and inexpressible. It neither is nor is it not. Thus it is that this unformulated Principle is the foundation of the different systems of all the sages. "
: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: End times propaganda in Buddhism?

Postby Dharma Atma » Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:26 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Well, can we have some sources for the conditioned nature of Dharma please?

At least, not from me. I can't give quotations because haven't used English translations of the Dharma sources. And searching the texts in English... I'm too lazy for it.
But in the sources there definitely is a lot of things in question. For example, in The Diamond Sutra it is stated that Dharma should be rejected, given up like a boat when one has already reached the land. Asanga takes the view, too.
It illustrates the conditioned side of Dharma. But it has also unconditioned side which is "the foundation of the different systems of all the sages". And like the blind men (told about by Quiet Heart) all beings usually deal with different aspects of "conditioned" Dharma. Its "unconditioned" part could be named a non-Dharma as well as just Dharma.
We have to distinguish between two Dharmas - inner and outer, unconditioned and conditioned. People usually deal with the latter.
Last edited by Dharma Atma on Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: End times propaganda in Buddhism?

Postby Malcolm » Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:34 pm

Dharma Atma wrote:As for me I believe Dharma itself is conditioned.


Reality is not conditioned. The Dharma comes from recognition of reality. So while the expression of Dharma may be subject to change and adaptation, reality is always there to be perceived. Further, all Dharma teachings stem from Dzogchen. Dzogchen will be the first teaching in any given eon and the last.

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Re: End times propaganda in Buddhism?

Postby Dharma Atma » Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:55 pm

In general, the discussion came to the same: Absolute and Relative Bodhicitta.
Namdrol wrote:all Dharma teachings stem from Dzogchen. Dzogchen will be the first teaching in any given eon and the last.

As for Dzogchen teaching you're completely right. It's a very deep teaching, teaching of the nature of Reality.
I feel close connexion with it, and am gonna visit a retreat with Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche in March 2012. :smile:
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Re: End times propaganda in Buddhism?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:26 pm

So would it be correct to say that the actual teachings (the "mark" of Dharma as they are referred to in the Diamond PrajnaParamita Sutra) are conditioned and thus impermanent but that the Dharma itself is unconditioned?

Last Legends comment that Dharma is conditioned by ignorance didn't sound quite right to me .
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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