Renunciation as path of Sutra: sources?

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Renunciation as path of Sutra: sources?

Postby David Chapman » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:00 pm

Chögyal Namhkai Norbu Rinpoche characterizes Sutra as the vehicle whose path is renunciation. This certainly seems accurate to me. However, I've had difficulty finding any other source that says the same. Renunciation is regarded as an aspect of the sutric paths, but nowhere else does it seems to be regarded as the essence or summary.

Are there other, earlier sources that regard renunciation as the essence of the Sutric path? Or is this characterization ChNNR's specific teaching?

Thanks very much for any leads.

David
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Re: Renunciation as path of Sutra: sources?

Postby KonchokZoepa » Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:15 am

no i think its quite general.

you can read the three principal aspects of the path. there the second aspect is renunciation. and all the three apsects are seen as the most important qualities of mahayana/sutrayana practitioners.

i know its not a sutra but its a work of Je Tsongkapa.

im sure buddha talks about renunciation somewhere and you could see that the theravadins study also sutras and mostly they are monks and even lay persons in theravada place high importance on renuncation. and theravada is also sutrayana.

and i would conclude that Je Tsongkapas wisdom comes from the sutras of buddha just like all authentic dharma texts come from the words of Buddha.

hope this helps a little , sorry i dont have any references for sutras. but im sure theyre there.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: Renunciation as path of Sutra: sources?

Postby Malcolm » Sat Oct 19, 2013 1:47 pm

David Chapman wrote:Chögyal Namhkai Norbu Rinpoche characterizes Sutra as the vehicle whose path is renunciation. This certainly seems accurate to me. However, I've had difficulty finding any other source that says the same. Renunciation is regarded as an aspect of the sutric paths, but nowhere else does it seems to be regarded as the essence or summary.

Are there other, earlier sources that regard renunciation as the essence of the Sutric path? Or is this characterization ChNNR's specific teaching?

Thanks very much for any leads.

David


The Sakyapas clearly make a distinction between Sūtrayāna, which is a path of giving up sense objects, and Vajrayāna, which is a path of not abandoning sense objects.
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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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Re: Renunciation as path of Sutra: sources?

Postby invisiblediamond » Sat Oct 19, 2013 3:09 pm

Have you seen the Rhino sutta? It's one of the earliest and talks about renouncing everything and wandering alone.
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Re: Renunciation as path of Sutra: sources?

Postby David Chapman » Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:07 am

Thank you all very much!

What I am looking for is a statement that renunciation is uniquely the essence of Sutrayana. There's no doubt that it's an important aspect—there's tons of scriptures that say so.

Loppön Malcom, this is just what I'm hoping to find. I don't suppose you have a textual source? Ideally in English? Doubly ideally on-line? Thank you very much indeed!

KonchokZoepa, thanks, I was unaware of that text, and it's close. It does make renunciation one of only three principal aspects, whereas in most texts I've found it's discussed as one of a larger number of factors.
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Re: Renunciation as path of Sutra: sources?

Postby heart » Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:14 am

Of course there is a lot of other things in the sutra teachings than renunciation, it is several complete paths. So you will not find a quote that sums it up quite like this. When ChNNR says renunciation is the principle for the sutra he is not trying to explain every aspect of sutra, he is just enhancing one important feature of the sutra teachings, that in order to avoid getting distracted in your practice of meditation or meritorious activity you set up rules and take vows. It is a very valid principle also, as Rinpoche often mentions, if you fail in applying the path of self-liberation or the path of transformation. For example if you have a drinking problem, a rule and a vow might be the only way to handle it.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: Renunciation as path of Sutra: sources?

Postby cloudburst » Sat Nov 02, 2013 5:42 pm

David Chapman wrote:Chögyal Namhkai Norbu Rinpoche characterizes Sutra as the vehicle whose path is renunciation. This certainly seems accurate to me. However, I've had difficulty finding any other source that says the same. Renunciation is regarded as an aspect of the sutric paths, but nowhere else does it seems to be regarded as the essence or summary.

Are there other, earlier sources that regard renunciation as the essence of the Sutric path? Or is this characterization ChNNR's specific teaching?

Thanks very much for any leads.

David


When Je Tsongkhapa talks about renunciation in the Three Principal Aspects, he is referring a mind that wishes to be free from Samsara. This is common to both Sutra and Tantra.
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Re: Renunciation as path of Sutra: sources?

Postby David Chapman » Sun Nov 24, 2013 12:16 am

I think I may have found the answer to my own question, and it's more interesting than I expected!

The Yogini's Eye is apparently the foundational textbook for tantra in the Sakya School, and its Chapter 4 contrasts Sutra, summarized as the path of renunciation, with Tantra, the path of non-renunciation. (I've mentioned this in my most recent blog post: http://meaningness.wordpress.com/2013/1 ... -buddhism/ .)

Rinpoche's academic training was of course in the Sakya School, and I suspect this is the explanation he drew on. Since I previously knew almost nothing about Sakya teachings, I wouldn't have thought of this as a possible source.

I found The Yogini's Eye to be an exceptionally clear presentation of tantra. It's opened up a new dimension of understanding of Rinpoche's thought.
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