Myth in Buddhism

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:04 pm

'The Five Pure Lights give rise to the five great powers or energies. The white pure light gives rise to the power of compassion; the green pure light gives rise to the power of peace; the red pure light gives rise to the power of depth; the blue pure light gives rise to the power of generosity; the yellow pure light gives rise to the power of wisdom.' (Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche.)
Light is no more the essence of emotion, than earth is the essence of solidity. They are merely descriptors.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Namgyal » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:14 pm

Huseng wrote:Judge me based on my words

Huseng wrote: ...if you have genuine compassion then you won't have any passionate emotions...the bodhisattva does not become emotionally compromised. The physician doesn't help their patient by becoming infected with the same disease(s). Likewise, the bodhisattva remains above the fray...

My position is the opposite view. When a Bodhisattva hero arises, 'like a fire that burns all before it', it is because of Love. He is not 'above the fray' like some clinical robot, but right there on the battlefield of Samsara.
Huseng wrote:The age old forbidden love story illustrates how emotions drive people to irrational behaviour: even if there are no social, economic or material benefits...

Thats right, regardless of such considerations, the heroic Bodhisattva will cast his own life aside to rescue others, just like in the age-old stories, not because of cold-hearted analysis, but due to a fiery heart that dearly loves and cherishes all living creatures and hates their bondage in Samsara with a fury.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:39 pm

Namgyal wrote:Another would be to propose that all Buddhist teachers are inessential, then reply to the counter-argument with the apparent volte-face of actually serving a Buddhist teacher (who shall remain secret). In such circumstances it would be better to 'sail under one's own flag'.
:namaste:


I don't need to reveal personal details on a public internet forum.

I've already had people use such information against me for real life purposes, or at least try to.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby pueraeternus » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:54 pm

Namgyal wrote:
pueraeternus wrote:That is the only reason I can think of that we may have a right to question a poster's religious affiliation...

Another would be to propose that all Buddhist teachers are inessential, then reply to the counter-argument with the apparent volte-face of actually serving a Buddhist teacher (who shall remain secret). In such circumstances it would be better to 'sail under one's own flag'.
:namaste:


I don't see that is what Huseng is saying. Buddhist teachers have always been kalyanamitras, which is spiritual friend, so the relationship between master-disciple is a lot gentler than some of the more current versions we see nowadays. Now, the kalyanamitras are indeed essential, since the Buddha said they are the whole of the path. But kalyanamitras also refer to Sangha and fellow practitioners, not just teachers.

I agree with him in the sense that for those who are diligent and possess an even mind, they can indeed go very far in the practice if they study the scriptures and practice accordingly, even attaining the basic dharma patiences or arising of the dharma eye. There is clear precedence in Buddhist history - such as Sariputra and Maudgalyayana attaining stream-entry upon overhearing a single verse (akin to reading it from a text, really). Also, that is how Huineng first attained his initial enlightenment.

It is after that, that one would seek out a master to further one's practice and deepen one's attainment. Sometimes it's the other way round, where one get far with teachers and co-practitioners, then one goes into solitude practice with just the sutras as reference (this is also what Huineng did after Hongren sent him away, if history of the Platform Sutra is to be believed). In any case, in China there are many hermit practitioners who are very much on their own. At some point they did have teachers and practiced in a sangha. But how much did the teacher really factor in the breakthrough for the student? Is it mostly on the teacher, or is it more on the overall environment fostered together with the teacher and fellow sangha practitioners?
When I set out to lead humanity along my Golden Path I promised a lesson their bones would remember. I know a profound pattern humans deny with words even while their actions affirm it. They say they seek security and quiet, conditions they call peace. Even as they speak, they create seeds of turmoil and violence.

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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Namgyal » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:56 pm

Huseng wrote:I don't need to reveal personal details on a public internet forum.I've already had people use such information against me for real life purposes, or at least try to.

Then you should try to avoid making philosophical propositions that specifically hinge upon private information. My own circumstances are extremely private, so I understand your concerns.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby MalaBeads » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:56 pm

Namgyal wrote:
Huseng wrote:Judge me based on my words

Huseng wrote: ...if you have genuine compassion then you won't have any passionate emotions...the bodhisattva does not become emotionally compromised. The physician doesn't help their patient by becoming infected with the same disease(s). Likewise, the bodhisattva remains above the fray...

My position is the opposite view. When a Bodhisattva hero arises, 'like a fire that burns all before it', it is because of Love. He is not 'above the fray' like some clinical robot, but right there on the battlefield of Samsara.
Huseng wrote:The age old forbidden love story illustrates how emotions drive people to irrational behaviour: even if there are no social, economic or material benefits...

Thats right, regardless of such considerations, the heroic Bodhisattva will cast his own life aside to rescue others, just like in the age-old stories, not because of cold-hearted analysis, but due to a fiery heart that dearly loves and cherishes all living creatures and hates their bondage in Samsara with a fury.



This has been from the very beginning a very interesting thread.

Huseng, may i suggest that it is a Buddha who does "not become emotionally compromised" ? And Namgyal, i have questions about whether Love is actually an emotion. Maybe it is something else altogether. I don't really know, I'm asking the question. Otherwise, i agree with your description the bodhisattva warrior.

Purified emotions, transformed emotion, essential for a bodhisattva warrior.

Haven't you ever wondered why different traditions have developed different methods for relations to the basic realities of their lives? I have. Worth pondering.

I have to read more of the "myth" sections of this thread.

Cheers!
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Namgyal » Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:24 pm

pueraeternus wrote:Buddhist teachers have always been kalyanamitras, which is spiritual friend, so the relationship between master-disciple is a lot gentler than some of the more current versions we see nowadays...

Although I agree with your points I am sceptical about this 'gentleness' of teachers. In my experience, the ego likes to be a 'compassionate meditator', but definately does not like to be operated on by a enlightened Guru. Rather, like a vicious rat pinned by a veterinary surgeon, it will try to bite his helping hands, and even try to bite itself to death. If there is even the remotest chance of escape, the rat will run to it, so I am extremely doubtful about an individual practitioners ability to self-medicate.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:35 pm

Namgyal wrote:Then you should try to avoid making philosophical propositions that specifically hinge upon private information. My own circumstances are extremely private, so I understand your concerns.
:namaste:


I don't see how not revealing my personal details to you somehow invalidates my earlier proposition(s). I said I have a teacher who I serve, yet I feel that ultimately liberation does not require a master as a prerequisite. Your objections to this are incoherent.

I believe ultimately the Dharma is the ultimate teacher. The real core refuge is the Dharma. From this perspective nobody can be vested with infallible authority over doctrine and orthodoxy.

Look... I'm a full-time Buddhist. Most of what I do nowadays revolves around either Buddhadharma or the organized human religion known as Buddhism. This isn't just my spirituality and religion, but my real life and career. I'm not living in the toxic environment of Delhi for no good reason.

Since 2009 I've either been studying, practising or working (translation and administrative work) more or less full-time in some way or another for Buddhism. I am not an armchair intellectual, or at least I don't think so. I think I live and breath Buddhism.

So, as I hope everyone here will understand, everything I have said is said with genuine intent. I'm not some anonymous internet user with no vested interests in the Buddhist movement.

If you want to know who I am and the perspective I am coming from please feel free to read my sites:

http://huayanzang.blogspot.com/

https://sites.google.com/site/dharmadepository/home

http://wenyanwen.blogspot.com/

http://indrajalapatha.blogspot.com/


My opinions here have been formulated as a result of experience, observation, practice and study. They need to be taken with a grain of salt, of course, but I'd like to think they're not the ramblings of some random internet bloke.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Namgyal » Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:38 pm

MalaBeads wrote:i have questions about whether Love is actually an emotion. Maybe it is something else altogether. I don't really know, I'm asking the question.

I don't know either :smile:
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby pueraeternus » Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:41 pm

Namgyal wrote:
pueraeternus wrote:Buddhist teachers have always been kalyanamitras, which is spiritual friend, so the relationship between master-disciple is a lot gentler than some of the more current versions we see nowadays...

Although I agree with your points I am sceptical about this 'gentleness' of teachers. In my experience, the ego likes to be a 'compassionate meditator', but definately does not like to be operated on by a enlightened Guru. Rather, like a vicious rat pinned by a veterinary surgeon, it will try to bite his helping hands, and even try to bite itself to death. If there is even the remotest chance of escape, the rat will run to it, so I am extremely doubtful about an individual practitioners ability to self-medicate.
:namaste:


Which is why I said that such individuals should also possess an even mind. It is not for everyone, but for some such an approach is better. And such people are not seeking to escape - in fact they are running towards dharma on their own volition. And their ego might not be strong in the first place.

Some even need to be on their own in order to attain fruition in their practice. During the Buddha's time, there was a monk who was apparently arrested by the Buddha's beauteous form, and entered the order mainly to gaze at him. The Buddha rebuked him, asking what is of use to be infatuated with a form that is bound to decay and dissolution? The monk persisted and eventually was cast out of the order by the Buddha. He felt great shame at this and resolved to practice. He eventually attained Arhathood on his own, away from the Buddha and Sangha. All he had was just the teachings he was given before he was expelled.

I forgot the name of the sutta that highlighted this story. This is also the earliest sutra that show homosexuals have no obstacles to enlightenment, no more than straights do. They just need to abandon desire and seek restrain, like everyone else.
When I set out to lead humanity along my Golden Path I promised a lesson their bones would remember. I know a profound pattern humans deny with words even while their actions affirm it. They say they seek security and quiet, conditions they call peace. Even as they speak, they create seeds of turmoil and violence.

- Leto II, the God Emperor
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Namgyal » Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:55 pm

Huseng wrote:I don't see how not revealing my personal details to you somehow invalidates my earlier proposition(s). I said I have a teacher who I serve, yet I feel that ultimately liberation does not require a master as a prerequisite. Your objections to this are incoherent.

'Eating isn't necessary but I like to snack.'
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby plwk » Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:58 pm

Some even need to be on their own in order to attain fruition in their practice. During the Buddha's time, there was a monk who was apparently arrested by the Buddha's beauteous form, and entered the order mainly to gaze at him. The Buddha rebuked him, asking what is of use to be infatuated with a form that is bound to decay and dissolution? The monk persisted and eventually was cast out of the order by the Buddha. He felt great shame at this and resolved to practice. He eventually attained Arhathood on his own, away from the Buddha and Sangha. All he had was just the teachings he was given before he was expelled.

I forgot the name of the sutta that highlighted this story. This is also the earliest sutra that show homosexuals have no obstacles to enlightenment, no more than straights do. They just need to abandon desire and seek restrain, like everyone else.
Dhammapada: Bhikkhuvagga
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby pueraeternus » Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:06 pm

plwk wrote:
Some even need to be on their own in order to attain fruition in their practice. During the Buddha's time, there was a monk who was apparently arrested by the Buddha's beauteous form, and entered the order mainly to gaze at him. The Buddha rebuked him, asking what is of use to be infatuated with a form that is bound to decay and dissolution? The monk persisted and eventually was cast out of the order by the Buddha. He felt great shame at this and resolved to practice. He eventually attained Arhathood on his own, away from the Buddha and Sangha. All he had was just the teachings he was given before he was expelled.

I forgot the name of the sutta that highlighted this story. This is also the earliest sutra that show homosexuals have no obstacles to enlightenment, no more than straights do. They just need to abandon desire and seek restrain, like everyone else.
Dhammapada: Bhikkhuvagga


Thanks plwk. It is a little different from what I read before. The version I read didn't mention the committing suicide and apparitional visitation by the Buddha after he was expelled. But it is probably derived from a common source.
When I set out to lead humanity along my Golden Path I promised a lesson their bones would remember. I know a profound pattern humans deny with words even while their actions affirm it. They say they seek security and quiet, conditions they call peace. Even as they speak, they create seeds of turmoil and violence.

- Leto II, the God Emperor
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby pueraeternus » Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:35 pm

Namgyal wrote:
pueraeternus wrote:And such people are not seeking to escape - in fact they are running towards dharma on their own volition. And their ego might not be strong in the first place.

We are the left-over dregs of a dark age, so it is safe to assume that our egos are phenomenally strong. We only run towards the Dharma as an elaborate self-deception. When you actually reach your goal you will desperately try to turn back.
:namaste:


Oh ye of little faith! If we look at the earliest Buddhist records, we have been in the dark age even before the Buddha entered parinirvana, but we still had a lot of practitioners who reached great attainments without needing a great deal of supervision.
When I set out to lead humanity along my Golden Path I promised a lesson their bones would remember. I know a profound pattern humans deny with words even while their actions affirm it. They say they seek security and quiet, conditions they call peace. Even as they speak, they create seeds of turmoil and violence.

- Leto II, the God Emperor
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby plwk » Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:45 pm

Some even need to be on their own in order to attain fruition in their practice. During the Buddha's time, there was a monk who was apparently arrested by the Buddha's beauteous form, and entered the order mainly to gaze at him. The Buddha rebuked him, asking what is of use to be infatuated with a form that is bound to decay and dissolution? The monk persisted and eventually was cast out of the order by the Buddha. He felt great shame at this and resolved to practice. He eventually attained Arhathood on his own, away from the Buddha and Sangha. All he had was just the teachings he was given before he was expelled.

I forgot the name of the sutta that highlighted this story. This is also the earliest sutra that show homosexuals have no obstacles to enlightenment, no more than straights do. They just need to abandon desire and seek restrain, like everyone else.
Dhammapada: Bhikkhuvagga


Thanks plwk. It is a little different from what I read before. The version I read didn't mention the committing suicide and apparitional visitation by the Buddha after he was expelled. But it is probably derived from a common source.
See this & this then...
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby shel » Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:52 pm

Namgyal wrote:
pueraeternus wrote:Buddhist teachers have always been kalyanamitras, which is spiritual friend, so the relationship between master-disciple is a lot gentler than some of the more current versions we see nowadays...

Although I agree with your points I am sceptical about this 'gentleness' of teachers. In my experience, the ego likes to be a 'compassionate meditator', but definately does not like to be operated on by a enlightened Guru. Rather, like a vicious rat pinned by a veterinary surgeon, it will try to bite his helping hands, and even try to bite itself to death. If there is even the remotest chance of escape, the rat will run to it, so I am extremely doubtful about an individual practitioners ability to self-medicate. :namaste:


Interesting metaphor, but I fail to see the point, being that enlightened Guru's don't actually pin-down anyone. People (and their inner rats) go to Guru's by choice and may flee at any time. People may 'self-medicate' and abandon that practice at any time. What is the difference?
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:53 pm

Namgyal wrote:Although I agree with your points I am sceptical about this 'gentleness' of teachers. In my experience, the ego likes to be a 'compassionate meditator', but definately does not like to be operated on by a enlightened Guru. Rather, like a vicious rat pinned by a veterinary surgeon, it will try to bite his helping hands, and even try to bite itself to death. If there is even the remotest chance of escape, the rat will run to it, so I am extremely doubtful about an individual practitioners ability to self-medicate.
:namaste:
Just coz it doesn't work for you... You are making the mistake of generalizing from your personal experiences.

Don't get me wrong, I believe that a teacher is 100% essential (especially for the Vajrayana) and that sometimes it is necessary for them to be tough (if a student is being physical, then I may even agree that the teacher should apply physical discipline, in a retreat situation for example) but it is not correct to generalise so widely.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby plwk » Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:55 pm

Oh ye of little faith! If we look at the earliest Buddhist records, we have been in the dark age even before the Buddha entered parinirvana, but we still had a lot of practitioners who reached great attainments without needing a great deal of supervision.

Good one and reminds me of what the late Ven Master Xuan Hua opined...
http://cttbusa.org/other/quotes.htm
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Q : Is there really a Dharma Ending Age?
A : If you think the Dharma will come to an end, it will. If you don’t want the Dharma to end, then you are in the Proper Dharma Age.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Namgyal » Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:03 pm

pueraeternus wrote:If we look at the earliest Buddhist records, we have been in the dark age even before the Buddha

In this final Age of Lead we look back to their Age of Iron, just as they looked back to the Age of Silver.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Namgyal » Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:22 pm

shel wrote:enlightened Guru's don't actually pin-down anyone. People (and their inner rats) go to Guru's by choice and may flee at any time

If you are able to flee then of course you cannot be pinned down.
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