Nonregression of Bodhisattvas

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Nonregression of Bodhisattvas

Postby kirtu » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:10 am

From Book 2, Kongtrul' Encylopedia, "1. Our Teacher's Path to Awakening", "Bodhisattvas' Levels of Capability":

A bodhisattva of a high degree of acumen does not regress after the first time he or she develops the supreme mind of awakening; a bodhisattva of average acumen does not regress after attainment of awakening’s first stage; one of lesser acumen, at the eighth stage. These are the three points [after which bodhisattvas] no longer regress. One teaching even states that those of very low acumen [no longer regress after the attainment of ] awakening’s ninth stage. These categories are based upon distinctions in capability.


WOW! Shakyamuni belongs to the first category. This is expounded upon in Dharmamitra's "Commentary on the Perfection of Sublime Insight. (does this exist in translation?)." This is quite different from the standard teaching that states that a bodhisattva does not regress after attaining the Path of Seeing (1st bhumi). To be able to regress even if one is one the higher bhumi's is stunning.

Kirt
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"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
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Re: Nonregression of Bodhisattvas

Postby TaTa » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:03 pm

This is more in tune with what we see with tulkus
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Re: Nonregression of Bodhisattvas

Postby Andrew108 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:10 pm

kirtu wrote:From Book 2, Kongtrul' Encylopedia, "1. Our Teacher's Path to Awakening", "Bodhisattvas' Levels of Capability":

A bodhisattva of a high degree of acumen does not regress after the first time he or she develops the supreme mind of awakening; a bodhisattva of average acumen does not regress after attainment of awakening’s first stage; one of lesser acumen, at the eighth stage. These are the three points [after which bodhisattvas] no longer regress. One teaching even states that those of very low acumen [no longer regress after the attainment of ] awakening’s ninth stage. These categories are based upon distinctions in capability.


WOW! Shakyamuni belongs to the first category. This is expounded upon in Dharmamitra's "Commentary on the Perfection of Sublime Insight. (does this exist in translation?)." This is quite different from the standard teaching that states that a bodhisattva does not regress after attaining the Path of Seeing (1st bhumi). To be able to regress even if one is one the higher bhumi's is stunning.

Kirt

It would be a merit issue right? Something about the purity of the wish to benefit beings.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Nonregression of Bodhisattvas

Postby kirtu » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:18 pm

Andrew108 wrote:
kirtu wrote:From Book 2, Kongtrul' Encylopedia, "1. Our Teacher's Path to Awakening", "Bodhisattvas' Levels of Capability":

A bodhisattva of a high degree of acumen...These categories are based upon distinctions in capability.


It would be a merit issue right? Something about the purity of the wish to benefit beings.


As stated in the translation it seems to be a matter of actual capability in discernment and/or insight. In the introduction, the author (Ngawang Zangpo, Hugh Leslie Thompson, an attendant of Kalu Rinpoche for many years) stresses that Kalu Rinpoche wanted as much as possible a direct translation from Tibetan to English so the selection of the word "acumen" was no accident.

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"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
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Re: Nonregression of Bodhisattvas

Postby Astus » Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:18 am

The question is regression to what. When it is taught that bodhisattvas on the 8th bhumi don't fall back, it means leaving behind the possibility of becoming an arhat. Non-regression on the 1st bhumi means guaranteed liberation, either as a sravaka or as a buddha. Not falling back from the initial awakening of bodhicitta means maintaining the determination to enlightenment and not leaving behind the path of liberation completely by rejecting the Three Jewels. This is probably different from how Kongtrul understood the issue.
"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: Nonregression of Bodhisattvas

Postby Andrew108 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:32 am

Bodhisattvas on the eighth level don't fall back because they no longer have a sense of 'duration'. The seventh consciousness no longer functions whereas for boddhisatvas on 'lower' levels there still is a subtle grasping. For them there is something like an afflicted consciousness that sees the alaya's 'duration' as a subtle non-self? I would imagine that regression is possible in relation to 'non-self' becoming more evident i.e seeing a duration to non-self.
There is also the reach of a bodhisattvas aspiration to take into account and which if great enough (in terms of merit) would include the going beyond ideas of duration or even 4th time. 4th time here being an afflicted grasping of 'timeless' Alaya. There is still not a total integration so there is the possibility of change. I wonder if holding onto a 'non-self' can also be part of the a greater motivation of not realizing buddhahood until all beings are in that state? So that rebirth and regression becomes possible because of fixating on non-self for the benefit of beings. Gets complicated right?
Edited for clarity.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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