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Did Buddha Teach Mantra Meditation? - Dhamma Wheel

Did Buddha Teach Mantra Meditation?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
fragrant herbs
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Did Buddha Teach Mantra Meditation?

Postby fragrant herbs » Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:18 am

If he did where can this be found? If not, why didn't he teach it? Thanks.

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Did Buddha Teach Mantra Meditation?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:29 am

• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

plwk
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Re: Did Buddha Teach Mantra Meditation?

Postby plwk » Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:24 pm


PeterB
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Re: Did Buddha Teach Mantra Meditation?

Postby PeterB » Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:49 pm

I dont think there is actually a contradiction here.
Ajahn Chah is describing the function of a parikamma which many on this forum have found to be of great usefulness.
A mantram on the other hand is of a different order. A true mantram is believed by those who practice Hindu or Buddhist Tantra to be the sound embodiment of that which it represents. A Sanskrit mantram will contain a seed syllable. ( " Bija mantra " ) That seed syllable is not different to that which it represents. It is not merely symbolic. Its recitation is believed to have an objective effect by dint of its nature.
There is no such concept within the Theravada.
Buddho is therefore a mantra -like construct which carries a profound symbolic meaning, that can be utilised like a mantram. But it is not technically a mantram.

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Prasadachitta
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Re: Did Buddha Teach Mantra Meditation?

Postby Prasadachitta » Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:22 pm

"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

PeterB
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Re: Did Buddha Teach Mantra Meditation?

Postby PeterB » Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:36 pm

Sorry Prasadachitta but in terms of the Higher Yoga Tantras of the Vajrayana you are incorrect.
The Bija Mantra or seed syllable is considered to have objective reality as it arises non dependently from the Tathagatagharbha, and is therefore not different from that which it denotes.

For example The Guru Rinpoche mantra
Om Ah Hum Benza Guru Pema Siddhi Hung is considered to be not different from Padmasambhava.

fragrant herbs
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Re: Did Buddha Teach Mantra Meditation?

Postby fragrant herbs » Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:15 pm

Peter, so you are saying that there is nothing in the Pali Canon that even speaks of using mantras? A mantra is what Tibetan Buddhists and Hindus use, om mani padme hum, or om namah shivaya, etc.

Does the Theravada method of meditation cause one to go into bliss states like mantras do?

PeterB
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Re: Did Buddha Teach Mantra Meditation?

Postby PeterB » Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:20 pm

As Bhikkhu Pesala indicates there is nothing in the Pali Canon to support mantra practice.
Buddho is not a mantra as such. It is a skillful means which involves repetition to achieve one pointedness...
However the OP asked did the Buddha teach mantra meditation, and of course the Mahayana would say yes he did..
You pays your money and you takes your choice.

2600htz
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Re: Did Buddha Teach Mantra Meditation?

Postby 2600htz » Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:39 pm

Did the Buddha teach mantra meditation? I don´t think so.
Why? A mantra its one of many games where u lock the mind in some specific task to create a hindrance free zone by means of narrowing your field of perception-cognition-experience (u could do the same thing counting sheeps, staring at one object for long periods of time , so on..and this was very explored before the Buddha). Actually its quite amazing the similarity between that and a man who bury his problems watching tv, he could easily say: I feel better now, my mind its pure, my concentration in the movie its really good. At the end you are developing an ability to close yourself, but when u come out hindrances reappear...its the opposite of opening yourself, accepting reality, letting go hindrances instead of bury them..

With Metta.

palchi
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Re: Did Buddha Teach Mantra Meditation?

Postby palchi » Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:26 pm


namaste
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Re: Did Buddha Teach Mantra Meditation?

Postby namaste » Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:50 pm

fragrant herbs, in Prof. Ronald Davidon's "Indian Esoteric Buddhism: A Social History of the Tantric Movement", mantras evolved from spells used in India in the medieval period, possibly earlier. They found their way into Buddhism at that time, and evolved into the chants that are known in Zen and Tibetan Buddhism today. So they were a later addition, due to cultural influence you might say. The Buddha didn't teach spells or mantras because he was against the use of divination, spells, and the like. I don't have suttras at my fingertips to provide quotes, but hopefully someone else does.

fragrant herbs
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Re: Did Buddha Teach Mantra Meditation?

Postby fragrant herbs » Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:10 pm

Hi, I didn't think he taught mantras, and I don't believe that he was a tantric teacher, but that is another thread and one I don't wish to get into.

What I would like to know now is this? Does the type of meditation that Buddha taught cause blissful experiences?

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acinteyyo
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Re: Did Buddha Teach Mantra Meditation?

Postby acinteyyo » Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:22 pm

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

namaste
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Re: Did Buddha Teach Mantra Meditation?

Postby namaste » Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:30 pm

What a great post, acinteyyo! I've often wondered if some of the Eastern practices that lead to bliss don't just cause people to become addicted to bliss. Enlightenment is wisdom, beyond bliss. Your post really clarifies that the ultimate goal is to go beyond bliss, thank you! _/\_

fragrant herbs
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Re: Did Buddha Teach Mantra Meditation?

Postby fragrant herbs » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:05 pm

Addicted to bliss. So true.

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acinteyyo
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Re: Did Buddha Teach Mantra Meditation?

Postby acinteyyo » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:11 pm

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

namaste
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Re: Did Buddha Teach Mantra Meditation?

Postby namaste » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:17 pm

Thanks for joining us, acinteyyo! :)

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Prasadachitta
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Re: Did Buddha Teach Mantra Meditation?

Postby Prasadachitta » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:40 pm

"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

PeterB
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Re: Did Buddha Teach Mantra Meditation?

Postby PeterB » Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:54 am

Prasadachitta, Lama Govinda was a pioneer among westerners who studied the Vajrayana and is worth reading for historical reasons and for his portrait of pre-invasion Tibet.
However his interpretation of the Vajrayana was incomplete at best, which is not surprising given the time in which he lived in which few Tibetans spoke English. few westerners spoke Tibetan and most of the Tibetan Canon was still to be properly translated.
I was part of a Kagyu Sangha for more than 30 years and also had a lot of contact with the Nyingmapas.
Trust me, what I have described is normative in the Vajrayana. And the concept of Tathagatagharba, often translated poorly as " Buddhanature " is axiomatic in all of the Mahayana including Zen and the Vajrayana.
If you are aquainted with the Trikaya doctrine Tathgatagharba is an expression of the Dharmakaya. In the Vajrayana schema the Bija mantras are "seeded " by the Dharmakaya. And are a direct expression of the Dharmakaya in the Nirmanakaya.
The Trikaya Doctrine forms what is probably the biggest difference between the Mahayana and Theravada.

fragrant herbs
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Re: Did Buddha Teach Mantra Meditation?

Postby fragrant herbs » Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:06 pm

acinteyyo, thanks so much for the scriptures. that is exactly what i wanted to know. great post.


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