The Lotus Sutra

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Re: The Lotus Sutra

Postby Astus » Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:42 pm

Noah,

What you say, is this how you interpret the Lotus Sutra, or is it based on somebody else's teachings? I'm asking this because while you talk about compassion and buddhahood, the concepts in the end don't really match with what I understand as the basics of the bodhisattva path or Mahayana. For instance, how could it be a meaningful truth that there is only one vehicle? How does that make a difference? What is that vehicle about? And I could go on.
"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: The Lotus Sutra

Postby Noah » Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:01 pm

I am saying how I understand the Lotus Sutra and it is based on another's teachings as well- the Buddha. I have read the Lotus Sutra over and over, meditated on it's parables and expositions of the Dharma. I have listened to talks given on the sutra and its parables. I think very critically and do not take anything only at face value (as the Buddha suggested) but, the Lotus Sutra itself is the authority and it is all that I am citing for the points I am making. I am not trying to talk about Mahayanists as a whole, just the Lotus Sutra. The fact that ALL vehicles are essentially one vehicle (the Bodhisattva vehicle) is a major point made throughout the whole first part of the text. It is a quote from the Lotus Sutra itself that the Buddha said "by his DESIRE for all unenlightened beings to enter the way of the Buddha-knowledge" is why he has appeared in the world. As a bodhisattva himself he practiced over many lifetimes to perfect himself in every way so that he could finally be born a Buddha. This is shown in the Jataka tales.

You are asking me how is it a meaningful truth that there is 1 Great Vehicle encompassing all others? What that vehicle is about? Read the Lotus Sutra! I did not join this site to teach, or debate, the merits of one of the greatest sutras in the history of Buddhism. I joined to share my understanding with fellow Buddhist practitioners and get their take as well. Take it up, one piece at a time if necessary, for the benefit and understanding of all involved.

It seems very weird to me that an admin for the site is not adding conversation to move a topic along in a meaningful way but, instead, is asking questions of a new member in the way that you are. Participate in threads you know something about or, question me and my understanding of it from the position of the Lotus Sutra itself. Even, read it!

Sorry if I seem a bit short with you but, it took over an hour of thinking about the meanings of the Lotus Sutra for me to write my last post. It is fun to share and I really was hoping for some kind of meaningful conversation. Looking back at the thread, it seems you have been asking questions from the point of view of not knowing what is "so wonderful about it" since the beginning and kept with it along with passively "busting" on individuals claiming to have gained some personal understanding from the Sutra. Lame and very weird, I think.
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Re: The Lotus Sutra

Postby Astus » Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:19 am

I've been intrigued by the Lotus Sutra ever since I heard of it. For that reason I've read it several times in case I missed something. This was all because of its reputation in East Asian Buddhism. However, on its own I could not find anything that really came through as extraordinary. Basically that is the reason I asked what you and others find in it fascinating. But then we can just say it is not my type of teaching.
"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: The Lotus Sutra

Postby Noah » Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:56 am

If you do not feel at least a since of devotion to the ideal of the Bodhisattva Path (Perfect Enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings) like with no other sutra, I think it is safe to say you are missing something. Not being critical and letting this sutra just communicate to your heart is the way to take this one, I think. This is a departure from most sutras, thats why I think it has affected my Dharma practice and devotion in the way it has. I read it all the time and meditate on it and still "miss" aspects of it.

You never asked me what I thought about it in any receptive way, you took my first post in this thread, where I tried to say a few points that illustrate why I think the Lotus Sutra is unique in it's profundity, you quoted my words and proceeded to say how my thoughts were unfounded based on the text. The Lotus Sutra is not just a teaching that expands the Universal nature of Buddhism itself, although it is surely that. It is a text that spearheaded the transformation of entire societies and cultures of people that had no previous experience with the Dharma. More respect is necessary to truly grasp its importance. I also suggest reading the opening Sutra of Innumerable Meanings and meditate on the Bodhisattva Ideal.

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Re: The Lotus Sutra

Postby rory » Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:57 am

Here we go; the Lotus Sutra is powerful and the reason is contained in Ch. 21 the Transmission chapter:

"In general, all the Dharmas of the Thus Come One, all the sovereign spiritual powers of the Thus Come One, all the secret storehouses of the Thus Come One, all the extremely profound deeds of the Thus Come One are all proclaimed and revealed in this Sutra.
http://www.buddhistdoor.com/oldweb/reso ... otus21.htm

Nichiren Buddhists are familiar with this power, chanting the Sutra and the title, the Daimoku, It has been abused to get worldy things which is just wrong; the point is to practice to reach buddhahood.

The Sutra proclaims that Shakyamuni Buddha is eternal, that the other buddhas are his replica bodies, that all previous paths are replaced by the One Vehicle, that all things are essentially equal, that beings can attain buddhahood. Not just people, animals and even grasses and trees. Also it contains the buddhahood of a female, the Dragon King's daughter, so important.

There is a lot in the sutra, Zhiyi didn't write books about it for no reason, I think other buddhists just think of it as a teaching text, not a text that can really change
things, whilst Nichiren Buddhist do know this.
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Re: The Lotus Sutra

Postby Aemilius » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:40 am

Astus wrote:I've been intrigued by the Lotus Sutra ever since I heard of it. For that reason I've read it several times in case I missed something. This was all because of its reputation in East Asian Buddhism. However, on its own I could not find anything that really came through as extraordinary. Basically that is the reason I asked what you and others find in it fascinating. But then we can just say it is not my type of teaching.


The vision and idea came to me that you are a person in whose case it is true that merely your doubting the message of Lotus Sutra has caused some very positive things in your life.
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Well said, rory!

Postby Noah » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:57 pm

It is true! My translation (Kato, Tamura and Miyasaka) has it: "all the laws belonging to the Tathagata, all the sovereign, divine powers of the Tathagata, all the mysterious, essential treasuries of the Tathagata, and the very profound conditions of the Tathagata, all are proclaimed displayed, revealed, and expounded in this sutra."

Sure this kind of statement is common for a great Mahayana Sutra but, it is not to be "glossed over" or taken lightly as just idealized speech just to inspire devotion! This is near the end of the Sutra and one who has read and truly internalized the teachings and revelations so far will truly feel the power it transmits.

This is truly a wonderful sutra because it shows that Perfect Enlightenment is completely undiscriminating. All sentient beings, great and small, male/female, monk or lay ALL have the power to wholeheartedly understand the teaching and attain Buddhahood. Thank you for pointing this out. These types of "teachings" are conveyed by image and symbol, not by intellectual or philosophical concept, as in most sutras. The Dragon King's daughter attaining Buddhahood in front of the whole assembly is a major teaching that SHOWS rather than TELLS. Awesome :) The idea that this Sutra has power to "really change things" I think is so obvious that it is overlooked- The entire Sutra constitutes a change....a great paradigm shift!..in the major focus of Buddhist thought as a whole. People who embrace it are transformed completely, both personally as well as in a broader, cultural way in lands it has permeated. The Arhats in the Sutra are all transformed into future Buddhas! And Sakyamuni himself transforms our understanding of Enlightenment.

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Re: The Lotus Sutra

Postby Astus » Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:24 pm

Noah,

"Not being critical and letting this sutra just communicate to your heart is the way to take this one, I think."

This could be said about any sutra. One can be devoted to any text, statue, idea, whatever. And it happened and happens quite often. Such faith requires no reason, no arguments, and usually it has none. But that attitude leaves no space to discussion, to criticism, to analysis, thus it is not something debatable on a forum. Of course, debate is only one form of communication, and sharing information does not require it. But, as you are well aware of this, every sutra has a wide range of interpretations. Telling which one is useful or valid needs some comparing and reasoning. The question is whether it remains a calm discussion on confrontation of views, or a heated and even violent repetition of personal remarks. Obviously, the second one leads to nothing good.

"It is a text that spearheaded the transformation of entire societies and cultures of people that had no previous experience with the Dharma."

I can recall no occasion in the history of Buddhism where the Lotus Sutra was the first Buddhist text to be introduced to a culture or that it had a significantly larger influence on a culture than other Buddhist teachings. As a matter of fact, only Nichiren Buddhism emphasises the Lotus Sutra to the level of exclusiveness, while Tiantai and Tendai are more rounded doctrines where they use certain concepts from the Lotus Sutra itself to classify the other teachings. Nichiren Buddhism, however, is only one of the smaller traditions in Japan making it less influential than several other schools.
"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: The Lotus Sutra

Postby Astus » Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:55 pm

Rory,

"In general, all the Dharmas of the Thus Come One, all the sovereign spiritual powers of the Thus Come One, all the secret storehouses of the Thus Come One, all the extremely profound deeds of the Thus Come One are all proclaimed and revealed in this Sutra."

While the sutra says so, it does not actually lists and explains all those things. Also, there are quite a few other Mahayana sutras stating practically the same thing about themselves, to the level that we can say it is a common Mahayana theme.

"The Sutra proclaims that Shakyamuni Buddha is eternal, that the other buddhas are his replica bodies, that all previous paths are replaced by the One Vehicle, that all things are essentially equal, that beings can attain buddhahood."

The idea that all buddhas are eternal are said in other sutras, although it is true that the Lotus Sutra stands out as a major text to re-emphasise the importance of Shakyamuni. The teaching of one vehicle are also found in other sutras, and the universality of buddha-nature is more prominent in the Nirvana Sutra.

"Not just people, animals and even grasses and trees."

The idea of enlightenment of insentient beings is very much a Chinese concept that is unknown to Indian and other Mahayana schools, also not found stated in the sutras, while at the same time it is proclaimed that only sentient beings possess buddha-nature. A longer discussion of this by Robert H. Sharf: On the Buddha-nature of Insentient Things.

"Also it contains the buddhahood of a female, the Dragon King's daughter, so important."

As a matter of fact, before the attainment of buddhahood there happens a transformation into a male bodhisattva. Thus it is not easy to argue from the Lotus Sutra that there can be woman buddhas.
"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: The Lotus Sutra

Postby Will » Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:21 pm

The prose lines from ch. 21 that say "In general, all the Dharmas of the Thus Come One, all the sovereign spiritual powers of the Thus Come One, all the secret storehouses of the Thus Come One, all the extremely profound deeds of the Thus Come One are all proclaimed and revealed in this Sutra."

are followed by these lines in verse. They clarify that "proclaiming and revealing" mean only to one who "upholds" the sutra, through their diligent practices. The lines above do not mean there is a printed list in the sutra.

The secret essentials of the Law
gained by the Buddhas who sat in the place of practice -
one who can uphold this sutra
will gain them too before long.
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: The Lotus Sutra

Postby Mr. G » Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:40 pm

    The phenomenon of temporarily treating one great Bodhisattva as preeminent in this way, apparently at the expense of the prestige of other Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, is entirely in keeping with Indian religions convention. In the vedic hymns, for instance, whichever god is being praised is always treated, in that instance, as the greatest god of them all

    - Alexander Studholme - "The Origins of Om Manipadme Hum"
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: The Lotus Sutra

Postby Astus » Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:48 pm

Will wrote:They clarify that "proclaiming and revealing" mean only to one who "upholds" the sutra, through their diligent practices. The lines above do not mean there is a printed list in the sutra.


Good point. Another instance of the repeated statement that the Lotus Sutra is the best sutra. I actually find it interesting how a whole sutra can be mainly about its own praising.
"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: The Lotus Sutra

Postby Noah » Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:58 pm

Astus- In no way am I advocating a sort of "blind devotion" to the Lotus Sutra without imploring reason as preliminary to reading/understanding. Nor am I saying that here we do not use reason to explore the meaning of it. My statement- "Not being critical and letting this sutra just communicate to your heart is the way to take this one, I think." Is to point out that I believe that the way to really understand how and why the Lotus Sutra is a unique and profound teaching is to take it without trying to intellectually "work out" the details. Letting the Sutra's parables, symbols and images have their effect without adding or taking away. Once again, you cite one statement I make, essentially misunderstand it and reduce my position to an attitude that leaves no space for discussion? lame. Look at my posts and you will see, I share my individual understanding of the text itself and am open to exploring other viewpoints on it. You are offering no other viewpoint of the Sutra except "not your type of teaching...cant find anything extraordinary in it." Why do you refuse to explore the Text itself?

Never did I say that the Lotus Sutra was the very first sutra to be introduced to a particular culture or that it was the only/primary influence of the transformation of a culture to the Dharma. The fact that it was instrumental in the propagation of Mahayana Buddhism cannot be denied, it's whole focus almost is the elevation of the Bodhisattva Ideal, making the spiritual path completely Universal in it's scope.

also, In the Lotus Sutra, female devotees (wife and "mother") were predicted to future Buddhahood. It is, in fact, easy to argue that a woman can become a Buddha following the Bodhisattva path if one uses the Sutra as basis. You like using statements like this-"Thus it is not easy to argue from the Lotus Sutra that there can be woman buddhas." when there is NOTHING in the Sutra itself that would lead you to believe that women would be excluded from this teaching. It is another example of you putting up an argumentative block to an explotation of the Lotus Sutra.
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Re: The Lotus Sutra

Postby Noah » Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:25 pm

Will- I believe that is true and that it illustrates the point that understanding what is contained in the Sutra is only possible by reading/studying the text AND putting the practice of the wisdom conveyed into action in the life of the practitioner. Thank you! This is not a Sutra that is meant for merely intellectual indulgence. It is meant to affect every aspect of practice, most of all, how one relates to other beings in the world. This is in no way simply a repeat of empty devotional words and, Astus, stating that the whole sutra is "mainly about its own praising" is wrong and shows an ignorance of the text.
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Re: The Lotus Sutra

Postby Astus » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:06 pm

Noah,

Good. Now we can then turn back to the sutra itself instead of discussing personal matters.

"Then the assembly there all saw the daughter of the nāga king instantly transform into a man, perfect the bodhisattva practices, go to the vimalā world in the south, sit on a jeweled lotus flower, and attain highest, complete enlightenment, become endowed with the thirty-two marks and eighty excellent characteristics, and expound the True Dharma universally for the sake of all sentient beings in the ten directions."

Even before the perfection of the bodhisattva path the naga princess turned into a man. Why? As Shariputra reinterates the five hindrances, "Moreover, the female body has five obstructions. The first is the inability to become a great Brahma. The second is the inability to become Śakra. The third is the inability to become Māra, and the fourth is the inability to become a universal monarch (cakravartin). The fifth is the inability to become a buddha. How can you with your female body quickly become a buddha?" Although it seems that the intention of the sutra is to refute this as a lower view, actually it explicitly says that the naga princess transformed into a man. So it actually confirms it.

In the 23rd chapter it is also said, "If there is any woman who hears and holds to this chapter ‘Ancient Accounts of Bodhisattva Bhaiṣajyarāja,’ she will never be reborn with a female body." Why? Because it considers male body to be better.

On the other hand, in the Vimalakirti Sutra the essentialist view of sex is clearly refuted. "The goddess said, “Śāriputra, if you were able to transform this female body, then all females would also be able to transform themselves. Just as Śāriputra is not female but is manifesting a female body, so are all females likewise. Although they manifest female bodies, they are not female. Therefore, the Buddha has explained that all dharmas are neither male nor female."

The Nirvana Sutra actually talks about how Shakyamuni was also a female buddha, "I also manifest myself in Jambudvipa as a female Buddha. People see this and say that it is strange that a female should attain unsurpassed Enlightenment. The Tathagata, after all, has never once been a female. In order to subdue people, I manifested as a female." And the Nirvana Sutra also points to a transcendental meaning of male and female (after a series of degrading remarks on females), "If one does not know the Buddha-Nature, one cannot be called a man. Why not? Because one does not realise that one has the Buddha-Nature within. Any person who does not realise that he has the Buddha-Nature is a woman. If he does so realise, he is a man. If any woman knows that she has the Buddha-Nature, she is a man."

It is true that the Lotus Sutra promises the attainment of buddhahood to practically everybody. However, it is neither a clear statement of universal buddha-nature, nor is it a proclamation that there are actually buddhas in female form.
"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: The Lotus Sutra

Postby Noah » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:26 am

Wow. I am beginning to doubt if you even want to feel any way about the Lotus Sutra except that it is unimpressive and/or "ordinary." Just to be clear- I am stating only MY understanding of the Lotus Sutra and ONLY the Lotus Sutra.

No one here has said that the Sutra explicitly states that Buddhas exist in female form, it does however make clear that individual beings can become Buddhas by the way of the Bodhisattva path (1 vehicle). In Chapter 13- Exhortation to hold firm, Buddha's aunt and wife are predicted to become Buddhas after many lives on the Bodhisattva path. Their followers (all nuns) are also predicted to follow in their footsteps because of their good teaching and guidance. This has nothing to say about the Buddha to be being a male or female and really, it does not matter. In the example of the Dragon King's daughter, she shows how she could become a Buddha INSTANTLY so, since we see it happening in some kind of order, does it really to make since for you to look at it as if: THIS happened then THIS happened then.....This does not take away from the Universal quality of the teaching expressed in the Lotus- All beings: male/female, wise/ignorant, evil/virtuous can take the Bodhisattva vow, practice diligently and know that their destiny is Perfect Buddhahood for the sake of all suffering beings.

How can you say that the Lotus Sutra is "not a clear statement of universal Buddha-nature"? This kind of statement can only come from not understanding the text. The fact of Buddhahood as the "final goal" of the Bodhisattva path, which is available to anyone to tread, is THE POINT of the Lotus Sutra. Why it is so important that ALL vehicles are in essence the 1 vehicle is....this makes the whole idea of being a Buddha (Buddha-nature) accessible to all beings.
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Re: The Lotus Sutra

Postby Astus » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:34 am

"How can you say that the Lotus Sutra is "not a clear statement of universal Buddha-nature"? This kind of statement can only come from not understanding the text. The fact of Buddhahood as the "final goal" of the Bodhisattva path, which is available to anyone to tread, is THE POINT of the Lotus Sutra. Why it is so important that ALL vehicles are in essence the 1 vehicle is....this makes the whole idea of being a Buddha (Buddha-nature) accessible to all beings."

Do you know a single passage in the sutra where it says that all beings without exception has buddha-nature?
The teaching of the one vehicle means that whoever started practice, whether as a sravaka, pratyekabuddha or bodhisattva, will all eventually attain finally buddhahood. But, this does not include those who have not started on any of the paths, the so called icchantikas, who are without any root of goodness. And this is the difference between saying that there is only one vehicle or every being has buddha-nature.
"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: The Lotus Sutra

Postby Jikan » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:21 pm

Responding to several points made in this thread so far...

*It's true that the Lotus Sutra is comparatively low on doctrine and long on... something else. That is, it is not a doctrinally intense or specific text compared to many other Mahayana sutras. I think many of the post-Tientai claims on the text are a bit overblown (the only last and final teaching &c). That said...

*It's also true that this is a sutra that seems to capture the imagination of many readers. It is very teachable. People can relate to it. It feels good to recite it. It rewards multiple readings in the way any worthwhile piece of literature does. One might say that the quality of the text is more literary than philosophical. Memorable parables, moments of spectacle... the thing sticks in the memory and makes a real impact.

*I think it makes more sense to discuss the Lotus Sutra in terms of pedagogy and rhetoric than in terms of exegesis for the above reason. If being able to reach ordinary people, householders and working people, the Lotus Sutra has real value and real wisdom behind it.

Namo Buddhaya!
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Re: The Lotus Sutra

Postby Astus » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:30 pm

Good points Jikan. It is for those reasons that it is often quoted by a large number of teachers in different schools.
"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: The Lotus Sutra

Postby Noah » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:08 am

The parables in the Lotus Sutra are many and full of symbols that cannot be easily pinned down into exclusive meanings. It was said earlier in this thread (in an attempt to downplay the sutra and feign understanding) that it is "overloaded with metaphors explaining the same ideas again and again." Reducing it down in this way is perhaps the easiest way to miss the points and fully misunderstand the differences between the many stories and parables. On the topic of inherent Buddha-nature, I would say- meditate on the parable in chapter 4- "Faith Discernment" and also the story told in chapter 8 by the 500 Arhats after their prediction to Buddhahood. Indeed, most of the stories, parables and predictions to Buddhahood in the Lotus Sutra, I believe, is meant to drive "home" (the heart of the reader) the fact that Buddha-nature is our true nature, and by "our" I mean all sentient beings.

It is said in the Sutra that by preaching the Lotus Sutra the Buddha has "awoke" the original vows of the Arhats and they realize now they are actually Bodhisattvas destined for Buddhahood for the sake of all beings.

I am not here to teach, or to debate with individuals that do not hold the Lotus Sutra in high esteem. It is well understood that there are many other Sutras with perhaps more profound passages or, at least, that state explicitly teachings of deep Dharma. I love those as well. The Lotus Sutra, I believe is unique in it's form and content and I like it because of that. If you don't, I do not understand why you continue this line of declaring the text does not contain teachings I (or others) gain from it or the Sutra itself explicitly states.

Perhaps it was naive but, I assumed this would be a place to explore and praise the Sutra for the teaching that it is.

Noah
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Noah
 
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