Srimala Sutra

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Srimala Sutra

Postby sraddha » Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:42 am

I just started studying this sutra, here are some excerpts:

http://www.mandala.hr/3/srimaladevi.html


Eternalism and Nihilism
The nihilistic view and the eternalistic view. If he would observe, 'The constructions are impermanent,' that would be his nihilistic view; that would not be his right view.

If he would observe, 'Nirvana is permanent,' that would be his eternalistic view; that would not be his right view.

Why is that? Lord, when someone observes that body, sense organs, feelings, and volitions deteriorate in the present life, and he cannot understand or find their transmigration, then his viewpoint with such reasons, being a confused view, is the nihilistic view.

Lord, when someone is confused regarding the stream of consciousness and cannot understand the momentary perishing of consciousness, his viewpoint with such reasons, being the view that the domain of perception does not alter, is the eternalistic view.
Lord, in that way the reasoning views declare such to be the case; they insist on nihilism or insist on eternalism because their view goes too far from the meaning, or their view falls short of the meaning, or their view is mixed with a different character. Lord, the sentient beings go astray regarding the five grasping personality aggregates; they have the idea that the impermanent is permanent, suffering is pleasure, nonself is self, the impure is pure.


Very interesting -- never understood how eternalism was wrong view -- is this a contradiction of the following:

When sentient beings have faith in the Tathagata and those sentient beings conceive [him] with permanence, pleasure, self, and purity, they do not go astray.

Those sentient beings have the right view. Why so?

Because the Dharmakaya of the Tathagata has the perfection of permanence, the perfection of pleasure, the perfection of self, the perfection of purity.

Whatever sentient beings see the Dharmakaya of the Tathagata that way, see correctly. Whoever see correctly are called the sons of the Lord born from his heart, born from his mouth, born from the Dharma, who behave as manifestation of Dharma and as heirs of Dharma.


NO! In fact nihilism and eternalism are views born from ignorance -- if I say or think Nirvana is permanent --that would be wrong view -- because it is not born out of true insight.

So right view and wrong view are differentiated based on the actual insight of the Dharmakaya (called Samyak Drishti) -- vs. the presupposition of philosophical, logical dogmatic statements made without true insight (Wrong view).

For example, a professor of religion teaching Buddhism, teaching that Buddhism teaches that Nibbana is permanent would be wrong view .

However, a person of faith in the Tathagatha who meditates and KNOWS and touches the Dharmakaya, is the one with right view, he correctly sees what is impermanent and sees what is permanent.

Am I understanding correctly?

:anjali:
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Re: Srimala Sutra

Postby thornbush » Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:31 am

Whatever sentient beings see the Dharmakaya of the Tathagata that way, see correctly. Whoever see correctly are called the sons of the Lord born from his heart, born from his mouth, born from the Dharma, who behave as manifestation of Dharma and as heirs of Dharma.

So right view and wrong view are differentiated based on the actual insight of the Dharmakaya (called Samyak Drishti) -- vs. the presupposition of philosophical, logical dogmatic statements made without true insight (Wrong view).

For example, a professor of religion teaching Buddhism, teaching that Buddhism teaches that Nibbana is permanent would be wrong view .

However, a person of faith in the Tathagatha who meditates and KNOWS and touches the Dharmakaya, is the one with right view, he correctly sees what is impermanent and sees what is permanent.

it's amazing how the human mind works...
While it would be nice that if people can realise it the way the last paragraph says it but most people would have learned on Nirvana the way the second paragraph described it though not necessarily from a professor of religion, even from Buddhist Teachers themselves. Then it would be the next level for the hearers of such teaching, taking it to the next level to apply that teaching in their lives to realise its potential.
For some, the breakthrough can come with both paragraphs in play.
Just like how many Bhikshus and Bhikshunis came to the Sixth Ch'an Patriarch and requested him to explain this/that Sutra even though they had read it like umpteen times and years but still are unable to get the point of it and when the Patriarch managed to help them break through it and suddenly they had an insight there and then.
So its like: one must turn the Sutra/Teaching around and not let the Sutra/Teaching turn us around.
http://www.dharmaweb.org/index.php/Sutr ... cumstances
"There is nothing wrong in the Sutra," replied the Patriarch, "so that you should refrain from reciting it. Whether sutra-reciting will enlighten you or not, or benefit you or not, all depends on yourself. He who recites the Sutra with the tongue and puts its teaching into actual practice with his mind 'turns round' the Sutra. He who recites it without putting it into practice is 'turned round' by the Sutra. Listen to my stanza:--
When our mind is under delusion, the Saddharma Pundarika Sutra 'turns us round'.
With an enlightened mind we 'turn round' the Sutra instead.
To recite the Sutra for a considerable time without knowing its principal object
Indicates that you are a stranger to its meaning.
The correct way to recite the Sutra is without holding any arbitrary belief;
Otherwise, it is wrong.
He who is above 'Affirmative' and 'Negative'
Rides permanently in the White Bullock Cart (the Vehicle of Buddha)."

Having heard this stanza, Fa Da was enlightened and moved to tears. "It is quite true," he exclaimed, "that heretofore I was unable to 'turn round' the Sutra. It was rather the Sutra that 'turned' me round."
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Re: Srimala Sutra

Postby sraddha » Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:31 am

thornbush wrote:it's amazing how the human mind works...
While it would be nice that if people can realise it the way the last paragraph says it but most people would have learned on Nirvana the way the second paragraph described it though not necessarily from a professor of religion, even from Buddhist Teachers themselves. Then it would be the next level for the hearers of such teaching, taking it to the next level to apply that teaching in their lives to realise its potential.
For some, the breakthrough can come with both paragraphs in play.
Just like how many Bhikshus and Bhikshunis came to the Sixth Ch'an Patriarch and requested him to explain this/that Sutra even though they had read it like umpteen times and years but still are unable to get the point of it and when the Patriarch managed to help them break through it and suddenly they had an insight there and then.
So its like: one must turn the Sutra/Teaching around and not let the Sutra/Teaching turn us around.
http://www.dharmaweb.org/index.php/Sutr ... cumstances
"There is nothing wrong in the Sutra," replied the Patriarch, "so that you should refrain from reciting it. Whether sutra-reciting will enlighten you or not, or benefit you or not, all depends on yourself. He who recites the Sutra with the tongue and puts its teaching into actual practice with his mind 'turns round' the Sutra. He who recites it without putting it into practice is 'turned round' by the Sutra. Listen to my stanza:--
When our mind is under delusion, the Saddharma Pundarika Sutra 'turns us round'.
With an enlightened mind we 'turn round' the Sutra instead.
To recite the Sutra for a considerable time without knowing its principal object
Indicates that you are a stranger to its meaning.
The correct way to recite the Sutra is without holding any arbitrary belief;
Otherwise, it is wrong.
He who is above 'Affirmative' and 'Negative'
Rides permanently in the White Bullock Cart (the Vehicle of Buddha)."

Having heard this stanza, Fa Da was enlightened and moved to tears. "It is quite true," he exclaimed, "that heretofore I was unable to 'turn round' the Sutra. It was rather the Sutra that 'turned' me round."

That is definately a perfect quote for this teaching. :smile:

If you observe your mind carefully, anytime anyone says "eternal self" , it immediately brings into mind a construct of some form/consciousness of yourself THAT IS ESSENTIALLY A MIND CONSTRUCT.

If I say "eternal Tathagatha" -- you will notice that your mind will make a picture of the Tathagatha, or think of bodiless voice of light! -- But all of this is wrong view -- a false construct of the mind, your mind can't free itself of formative thoughts without direct realization.

So as soon as you say "eternal this" or "eternal that" the human mind makes a false construct -causing a literal wrong view -- or blockage of insight.

"The Tathagata, having shattered and defeated the four Maras by the incomparable victory of a Buddha, gained the Dharmakaya which is superior to all the worlds and which cannot conceivably be witnessed by any sentient being.


In other words, any being dependant on the senses cannot witness the Tathagatha with the senses (including mind)

"Lord, the Tathagatagarbha is neither self nor sentient being, nor soul, nor personality. The Tathagatagarbha is not the domain of beings who fall into the belief in a real personality,


8-9. The Dharmakaya and the Meaning of Voidness

"Lord, the cessation of suffering is not the destruction of Dharma. Why so? Because the Dharmakaya of the Tathagata is named 'cessation of suffering,' and it is beginningless, uncreate, unborn, undying, free from death; permanent, steadfast, calm, eternal; intrinsically pure, free from all the defilement-store;


10. The One Truth

"Lord, among those four Noble Truths, three Truths are impermanent and one Truth is permanent. Why so? Because the three Truths belong to the characteristic of the constructed, and anything belonging to the characteristic of the constructed is impermanent. Anything impermanent has an illusory nature. Everything with illusory nature is untrue, impermanent, and not a refuge. Therefore, the Noble Truths of Suffering, Source of Suffering, and Path leading to the Cessation of Suffering are actually untrue, impermanent, and not a refuge. Lord, among those [four], the one Truth -- Cessation of Suffering -- excludes the realm with the characteristic of the constructed. Anything excluding the realm with the characteristic of the constructed is permanent. Whatever is permanent lacks an illusory nature. Anything that lacks an illusory nature is true, permanent, and a refuge. Therefore, the Truth -- Cessation of Suffering -- is in reality true, permanent, and a refuge.




I love how the above relates the permanence of the Noble Truth of the Cessation of suffering to the Dharmakaya!

Beautiful realizations! Definately a sutra worth studying if you want to understand the Mahayana in a succint manner!:twothumbsup:
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Re: Srimala Sutra

Postby sraddha » Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:05 am

And here is a definition of the Mahayana from the same sutra:

"Lord, what is called the 'Illustrious Doctrine' is a term for the Great Vehicle.
Why so? Because all the vehicles of the Disciples and the Self-Enlightened and all the mundane and supramundane virtuous natures are distributed by the Great Vehicle.

For example, the four great streams issue from Lake Anavatapta. In the same way, all the vehicles of the Disciples and the Self-Enlightened and all the mundane and supramundane virtuous natures issue from the Great Vehicle.

For Example, whatever seeds there are, and plants, shrubs, herbs, trees, all of them, based on the great earth and resting on the great earth, sprout and grow. In the same way, whatever vehicles there be of Disciples and of the Self-Enlightened and whatever mundane and supramundane virtuous natures there be, based on the Great Vehicle, sprout and grow.

Hence, Lord, when one is based on the Great Vehicle and embraces the Great Vehicle, he also has recourse to and embraces all the vehicles of Disciples and of the Self-Enlightened and all the mundane and supramundane virtuous natures.


So the third paragraph states that Mahayana is the base for all other schools and in effect all other schools issue from the Mahayana, therefore it is called the Mahayana! :smile:

The final paragraph explains that he who embraces the Mahayana, embraces ALL Buddha vehicles.

In my humble opinion it is true. Mahayana practice (I started Buddhist practice with Bhaisajya Guru) really strengthened my faith factor in the Buddha Dharma, it then allowed me to read the Tipitika and start up the Nikaya practices!

I've noticed without my Mahayana practice, there are fewer breakthroughs in the Nikaya practice -- Mahayana literally strengthens whatever school of Buddhism you follow. So I agree!

'Great Vehicle' is an expression for Buddha Vehicle. In that way, the three vehicles are counted as one vehicle (ekayana). By realizing the 'one vehicle' one attains the incomparable rightly completed enlightenment.


Has anyone else had this experience?
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Re: Srimala Sutra

Postby sraddha » Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:09 am

Here is an understanding of the nature of the refuge!

But when they for refuge to the Tathagata, they do not go for refuge by reason of faith flowing from true nature. Lord, the going to the Tathagata for refuge is the actual going for refuge. To the extent the other two goings for refuge are also actual, one must understand them as ultimately the same as going to the Tathagata for refuge. The reason is the Tathagata is not one thing, and the two refuges something else.
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Re: Srimala Sutra

Postby Will » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:39 am

Now having Paul's translation (that makes three) of this gem of a sutra, I was wondering if Ven. Huifeng or Huseng know if any of the three major commentaries on it might be translated into English?

Wayman says that Chi-tsang's big one was put into Japanese in 1936 by Bunkyo Sakurabe. Also out there, gathering dust, are commentaries by Hui-yuan, a Tien Tai master and K'uei-chi, Hsuan Tsang's disciple.

Among the signs that the buddhadharma will have deep roots in the West is a strong & persistent demand to see these major sutras & shastras translated into Western languages. No demand = no serious interest in Buddha's teachings = weak karmic affinities = Dharma-Lite rules = Dharma-Ending-Age.
Revealing one essence: this means the inherently pure, complete, luminous essence, which is pure of its own nature. -- Fa-tsang
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Re: Srimala Sutra

Postby Will » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:47 pm

sraddha wrote:Here is an understanding of the nature of the refuge!

But when they for refuge to the Tathagata, they do not go for refuge by reason of faith flowing from true nature. Lord, the going to the Tathagata for refuge is the actual going for refuge. To the extent the other two goings for refuge are also actual, one must understand them as ultimately the same as going to the Tathagata for refuge. The reason is the Tathagata is not one thing, and the two refuges something else.


Yes, this 'only buddha' refuge is uncommon but I like it too.
Revealing one essence: this means the inherently pure, complete, luminous essence, which is pure of its own nature. -- Fa-tsang
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