Metta in Theravada Vs Bodhicitta in Mahayana

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Metta in Theravada Vs Bodhicitta in Mahayana

Postby DarwidHalim » Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:13 am

According to your opinion, what are the difference among metta in Theravada vs Bodhicitta in Mahayana?

Why Mahayana have a notion that Theravada just try to reach arhantship for themselves? They have metta teaching, isn't it?
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Metta in Theravada Vs Bodhicitta in Mahayana

Postby Mr. G » Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:44 pm

DarwidHalim wrote:According to your opinion, what are the difference among metta in Theravada vs Bodhicitta in Mahayana?


Metta is the strong wish for the welfare and happiness of others (parahita-parasukha-kamana).

Bodhichitta is to attain complete enlightenment to benefit all sentient beings

Why Mahayana have a notion that Theravada just try to reach arhantship for themselves?


Generally, they do. However, there were some Theravadans that didn't:

A number of other famous Thai forest saints modeled their lives on the bodhisattva career of the Buddha, especially as depicted in the jâtaka tales. In Burma, Spiro reports, there has been a long tradition of select individuals striving for complete buddhahood:

It is interesting to observe, then, that in Theravadist Burma, where, restricted
to a small group, there has been a long tradition of aspiration to
Buddhahood, the aspiration is for Sammâsam, rather than Pacceka (silent)
Buddhahood. Most Burmans, to be sure, do not aspire to Buddhahood;
the notion staggers the imagination. If the chances of being born
even as an ordinary human being are small—in the words of one favorite
simile, as the grains of dust on one fingernail compared to all the dust of
the earth—imagine the chances of being born as a Buddha! And imagine
what hubris is required to entertain such a fantasy. Still, as I have said,
there has been in Burma a long and persistent tradition of aspiration to
(Sammâsam) Buddhahood. I myself have met a few Burmans who refer to
themselves as an Embryo Buddha (hpaya: laung:) [= bodhisattva] one who
is striving for and hopes to attain Buddhahood, though only of course after
numerous rebirths. It should be added, moreover, that although few Burmans
are experts in the niceties of Buddhist doctrine, I was nevertheless
surprised to find vestigial Bodhisattva beliefs among them. Even former
monks told me, when I asked why they aspire to Buddhahood, that they
not only wish to attain nirvana but want to take others with them. And
this, they said, they can only do as Buddhas.

- Daniel Boucher - Bodhisattvas of the Forest and the Formation of the Mahâyâna
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: Metta in Theravada Vs Bodhicitta in Mahayana

Postby dakini_boi » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:25 pm

Another interesting difference - and I don't know if this is the same in all schools of Theravada. When I took a Vipassana course through Goenka's organization, we learned metta meditation, to practice after Vipassana. But we were instructed to only practice metta when we felt good - not to send out metta if we ourselves were struggling with our meditation or not feeling well.
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Re: Metta in Theravada Vs Bodhicitta in Mahayana

Postby sangyey » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:48 pm

Love and compassion are the root of bodhicitta. Perhaps you could stay until the end of existence until all beings are happy :smile:

Usually there is a lot of talk in Mahayana about the great compassion of the Bodhisattva's but it's also true about the great love as well and the love that actively wants to establish all beings in happiness :smile:
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Re: Metta in Theravada Vs Bodhicitta in Mahayana

Postby Jnana » Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:15 pm

Mr. G wrote:However, there were some Theravadans that didn't

Indeed. Also, the following Pāli aspiration (from Dasabodhisattuppattikathā, p. 39; verses 4–11 of the concluding 37 verses):

    May I, through this meritorious deed, be born in my next life in the city of Tusita, the beautiful dwelling-place of the gods. May I listen to the preaching of Lord Metteyya and enjoy great glory with him for a long time. When this Great Being is born in the charming city of Ketumatī as the Buddha, may I be reborn with the three noble root-conditions in a Brahman family. May I make offerings to that Great Sage of invaluable robes of the finest sort, alms, dwelling-places and medicines in abundance. May I undertake the life of a bhikkhu in the dispensation and illumine that noble (institution), being the possessor of potency, mindful and well-versed in the Tipiṭaka. May he predict (of me), “This one will be a Buddha in the future.” And may I offer gifts to the Buddhas who will come one after the other and (receive sure prediction) from them too. May I fare on in repeated births, give food and other things that are desired like a wish-conferring tree. May I fulfil all the perfections of morality, renunciation, wisdom, and so forth, and having attained the summit of the perfections, become an incomparable Buddha. May I preach the sweet Doctrine which brings bliss to all beings, liberating the whole world with its Devas from the bondage of repeated births. May I guide them to the most excellent, tranquil Nibbāna. (Emphasis added.)
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Re: Metta in Theravada Vs Bodhicitta in Mahayana

Postby Mr. G » Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:01 pm

Jnana wrote:
Mr. G wrote:However, there were some Theravadans that didn't

Indeed. Also, the following Pāli aspiration (from Dasabodhisattuppattikathā, p. 39; verses 4–11 of the concluding 37 verses):

    May I, through this meritorious deed, be born in my next life in the city of Tusita, the beautiful dwelling-place of the gods. May I listen to the preaching of Lord Metteyya and enjoy great glory with him for a long time. When this Great Being is born in the charming city of Ketumatī as the Buddha, may I be reborn with the three noble root-conditions in a Brahman family. May I make offerings to that Great Sage of invaluable robes of the finest sort, alms, dwelling-places and medicines in abundance. May I undertake the life of a bhikkhu in the dispensation and illumine that noble (institution), being the possessor of potency, mindful and well-versed in the Tipiṭaka. May he predict (of me), “This one will be a Buddha in the future.” And may I offer gifts to the Buddhas who will come one after the other and (receive sure prediction) from them too. May I fare on in repeated births, give food and other things that are desired like a wish-conferring tree. May I fulfil all the perfections of morality, renunciation, wisdom, and so forth, and having attained the summit of the perfections, become an incomparable Buddha. May I preach the sweet Doctrine which brings bliss to all beings, liberating the whole world with its Devas from the bondage of repeated births. May I guide them to the most excellent, tranquil Nibbāna. (Emphasis added.)


Very interesting. :thumbsup:
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: Metta in Theravada Vs Bodhicitta in Mahayana

Postby Malcolm » Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:38 pm

DarwidHalim wrote:According to your opinion, what are the difference among metta in Theravada vs Bodhicitta in Mahayana?


The former does not have the capacity to bring you to liberation, since it is a mundane meditation.
Last edited by Malcolm on Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Metta in Theravada Vs Bodhicitta in Mahayana

Postby Will » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:19 am

Here is a Burmese sage giving a wonderful teaching on the bodhisatta path:

http://lifeintegrity.com/A-Manual-of-th ... nt-Man.pdf
Last edited by Will on Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Metta in Theravada Vs Bodhicitta in Mahayana

Postby DarwidHalim » Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:18 am

Jnana wrote:
Mr. G wrote:However, there were some Theravadans that didn't

Indeed. Also, the following Pāli aspiration (from Dasabodhisattuppattikathā, p. 39; verses 4–11 of the concluding 37 verses):

    May I, through this meritorious deed, be born in my next life in the city of Tusita, the beautiful dwelling-place of the gods. May I listen to the preaching of Lord Metteyya and enjoy great glory with him for a long time....


Some Theravada practitioner said not all Pali text are original. I don't know how they make the demarcation, which one is considered original, which one is not.

In your opinion, will this Pali text be considered original to them, in the sense spoken by Budha?
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Metta in Theravada Vs Bodhicitta in Mahayana

Postby Virgo » Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:37 am

DarwidHalim wrote:
Some Theravada practitioner said not all Pali text are original.

The Theravadin school is the doctrine of the elders which was a school based in the Mahavihara in Sri Lanka. They saw all Pali Suttas as authentic and based their interpretations on specific Commentaries on them and so on. Modern day Buddhists in the Vehicle of Personal Liberation sometimes say certain Pali Suttas are not authentic but these people are not Theravadins.

Kevin
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Re: Metta in Theravada Vs Bodhicitta in Mahayana

Postby Mr. G » Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:54 am

DarwidHalim wrote:
Some Theravada practitioner said not all Pali text are original. I don't know how they make the demarcation, which one is considered original, which one is not.


That's an interesting question, isn't it? :smile:

In your opinion, will this Pali text be considered original to them, in the sense spoken by Budha?


It's a later text.
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: Metta in Theravada Vs Bodhicitta in Mahayana

Postby ground » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:10 am

DarwidHalim wrote:According to your opinion, what are the difference among metta in Theravada vs Bodhicitta in Mahayana?


Metta is radiated, pervading the universe in all directions, the source (heart) being located in the center whereas bodhicitta is one-pointed intent. A significant difference.

Kind regards
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Re: Metta in Theravada Vs Bodhicitta in Mahayana

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:07 am

Greetings,

Virgo wrote:The Theravadin school is the doctrine of the elders which was a school based in the Mahavihara in Sri Lanka. They saw all Pali Suttas as authentic and based their interpretations on specific Commentaries on them and so on. Modern day Buddhists in the Vehicle of Personal Liberation sometimes say certain Pali Suttas are not authentic but these people are not Theravadins.

Perhaps you should tell the monks who believe such things that they are not Theravadin.

:roll:

What you are doing is the equivalent of saying that anyone who doesn't accept everything written and said in the name of Mahayana, isn't Mahayanan. Pull your head in.

What would be interesting is to explore whether there is any sign of bodhicitta in Theravada.

Maitri,
Retro. :)
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Re: Metta in Theravada Vs Bodhicitta in Mahayana

Postby Astus » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:15 am

Namdrol wrote:The former does not have the capacity to bring you to liberation, since it is a mundane meditation.


Metta and the other three can lead to liberation.

"Then again, a monk keeps pervading the first direction with an awareness imbued with good will, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth. Thus above, below, & all around, everywhere, in its entirety, he keeps pervading the all-encompassing cosmos with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, without hostility, without ill will. He reflects on this and discerns, 'This awareness-release through good will is fabricated & intended. Now whatever is fabricated & intended is inconstant & subject to cessation.' Staying right there, he reaches the ending of the mental fermentations. Or, if not, then — through this very Dhamma-passion, this Dhamma-delight, and from the total wasting away of the first five Fetters — he is due to be reborn [in the Pure Abodes], there to be totally unbound, never again to return from that world.
MN 52: Atthakanagara Sutta
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Metta in Theravada Vs Bodhicitta in Mahayana

Postby sangyey » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:17 pm

I think it would be the intention behind the practice. If you practiced metta with no intention then it would be cause for happiness within samsara, if you practiced metta with the intention of renunciation then that would be a cause for personal liberation, and if you practice metta done with the intention of renunciation and the intention of bodhicitta then it would be a cause for Buddhahood.
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Re: Metta in Theravada Vs Bodhicitta in Mahayana

Postby Malcolm » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:03 pm

Astus wrote:
Namdrol wrote:The former does not have the capacity to bring you to liberation, since it is a mundane meditation.


Metta and the other three can lead to liberation.

"Then again, a monk keeps pervading the first direction with an awareness imbued with good will, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth. Thus above, below, & all around, everywhere, in its entirety, he keeps pervading the all-encompassing cosmos with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, without hostility, without ill will. He reflects on this and discerns, 'This awareness-release through good will is fabricated & intended. Now whatever is fabricated & intended is inconstant & subject to cessation.' Staying right there, he reaches the ending of the mental fermentations. Or, if not, then — through this very Dhamma-passion, this Dhamma-delight, and from the total wasting away of the first five Fetters — he is due to be reborn [in the Pure Abodes], there to be totally unbound, never again to return from that world.
MN 52: Atthakanagara Sutta


No, what liberates here is insight into the nature of the impermanent.

"'This awareness-release through good will is fabricated & intended. Now whatever is fabricated & intended is inconstant & subject to cessation.'"

It is actually the opposite, this passage shows that metta cannot lead to liberation since it is "is fabricated & intended".

N
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
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-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Metta in Theravada Vs Bodhicitta in Mahayana

Postby Astus » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:15 pm

Namdrol wrote:It is actually the opposite, this passage shows that metta cannot lead to liberation since it is "is fabricated & intended".


Metta is not the direct cause of liberation but it leads to liberation, just as meditation and morality leads to liberation. Bodhicitta is not the direct cause of liberation either but it leads to that. The quoted sutta lists 11 different practices to attain liberation with, among them are the immeasurables.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Metta in Theravada Vs Bodhicitta in Mahayana

Postby Jnana » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:30 pm

Here are a few resources for anyone interested in the historical aspects of the bodhisattva path in Sri Lanka and other Theravāda locations:

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Re: Metta in Theravada Vs Bodhicitta in Mahayana

Postby Will » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:32 pm

From Master Ledi Sayadaw's work on bodhisatta path I linked to above:

What is meant by “the Noblest Aspiration”? It is the verbal and mental undertaking that the bodhisatta had made at some point of time aeons before taking up the perfections. It was made in these terms:

“As a man who knows his own strength, what use is there to get to ‘the yonder shore’ (nibbāna) alone? I will attain to Supreme Knowledge and then convey men and devas to the yonder shore.”
That was the pledge that sent the ten thousand universes reeling and echoing in applause. That was the bodhisatta’s earnest wish.

For he intensely aspired to Supreme Self-Enlightenment thus:

“Knowing the Truth, I will let others know it. Freeing myself from the world, I will free others. Having crossed over, I will enable others to cross.”

This fervent and most daring aspiration is called “the Noblest Aspiration.”
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: Metta in Theravada Vs Bodhicitta in Mahayana

Postby Malcolm » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:41 pm

Astus wrote:
Namdrol wrote:It is actually the opposite, this passage shows that metta cannot lead to liberation since it is "is fabricated & intended".


Metta is not the direct cause of liberation but it leads to liberation, just as meditation and morality leads to liberation. Bodhicitta is not the direct cause of liberation either but it leads to that. The quoted sutta lists 11 different practices to attain liberation with, among them are the immeasurables.


Bodhicitta is the direct cause of buddhahood.

By itself, metta has no force to lead to liberation, as Dharmakirti points out.
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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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