Mahayana vs Theravada aspirations

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Re: Mahayana vs Theravada aspirations

Postby Astus » Thu May 20, 2010 9:58 am

The first time I've heard about the 52 stage system was from Ven. Mingzheng from Bailin temple whom under I've studied for a while. As it is based on the Huayan Sutra, it seems kind of common system in East-Asia. I'm not sure of the system's origin, maybe Sanlun, or not.

faith
1-10 ten faiths
understanding
11-20 ten abidings
practice
21-30 ten practices
31-40 ten returnings
41-50 ten stages (10 bhumis)
51 equal enlightenment
enlightenment
52 marvelous enlightenment

More on the 52 stages: here
"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: Mahayana vs Theravada aspirations

Postby Lazy_eye » Wed May 26, 2010 10:08 pm

I came across something just now which contrasts Theravada and Mahayana "basic goals".

Ven. Chin Kung wrote:Theravada practitoners need to reach, at least, the level of Stream-enterer, which is achieved by severing various wrong views.

The minimum standard to achieve attainment in Mahayana Buddhism is to rid ourselves of a portion of our attachments, to sever the eighty-eight kinds of deviated thoughts and views. If we cannot sever there, we have not yet achieved attainment. Mayahana practitioners who successfully sever them reach the Initial Belief Stage.


The criterion he is using here for basic attainment is escape from the lower realms. As can be seen above, what he is calling "Initial Belief Stage" appears to correspond to stream-entry in Theravada, although the requirements are somewhat different. Stream entry entails the abandonment of self-view, the overcoming of skeptical doubt (through personal experience of the truth of the Buddha's teachings), and overcoming the clinging to rites and rituals.

So, what are the "eighty-eight kinds of deviated thoughts and views"? Are these the 62 wrong views from the Brahmajala sutra, with 26 additional ones for good measure? Or are they an elaboration of the three conditions for stream entry? Anyone happen to know more about this?

Incidentally, the author considers both "stream entry" and "initial belief stage" to be out of reach in this era -- the whole discussion is a preface to advocating Pure Land as the safest escape.

LE
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Re: Mahayana vs Theravada aspirations

Postby LastLegend » Sun Apr 10, 2011 8:52 am

Following Hinayana (path to Arhart) is following the path of Buddha, but one should realize that before Buddha became Buddha he had gone through many lifetimes of cultivation. So if conditions are not ripened for us practitioners to realize enlighentment, following the Hinayana in this lifetime will not lead us to enlightenment. So this means you should know where you stand in your capacity...There are meditational stages that one has to go through and if not careful one will be stuck in one of the realms of gods, and by this I mean rebirth. This goes for Mahayana practitioners also.

As for Pure Land, there is no falling back to the six realms of death and rebirth. From Pure Land, one can continue schooling to become Bodhisattava. As for practice, practitioners still have to follow Conduct/Concentration/Wisdom and Buddha/Dharma/Sangha or "Awakened/Truth/Purity." This means that the practitioners practice letting go of self and attachments to this life and body. In order words, the goal is to abandon everything except Namo Amitabha in Mind.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
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Re: Mahayana vs Theravada aspirations

Postby ground » Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:30 am

Lazy_eye wrote:I came across something just now which contrasts Theravada and Mahayana "basic goals".

Ven. Chin Kung wrote:Theravada practitoners need to reach, at least, the level of Stream-enterer, which is achieved by severing various wrong views.

The minimum standard to achieve attainment in Mahayana Buddhism is to rid ourselves of a portion of our attachments, to sever the eighty-eight kinds of deviated thoughts and views. If we cannot sever there, we have not yet achieved attainment. Mayahana practitioners who successfully sever them reach the Initial Belief Stage.


The criterion he is using here for basic attainment is escape from the lower realms. As can be seen above, what he is calling "Initial Belief Stage" appears to correspond to stream-entry in Theravada, although the requirements are somewhat different. Stream entry entails the abandonment of self-view, the overcoming of skeptical doubt (through personal experience of the truth of the Buddha's teachings), and overcoming the clinging to rites and rituals.

So, what are the "eighty-eight kinds of deviated thoughts and views"? Are these the 62 wrong views from the Brahmajala sutra, with 26 additional ones for good measure? Or are they an elaboration of the three conditions for stream entry? Anyone happen to know more about this?

Incidentally, the author considers both "stream entry" and "initial belief stage" to be out of reach in this era -- the whole discussion is a preface to advocating Pure Land as the safest escape.

LE



I would say that "Initial Belief Stage" is awakening to bodhicitta which of course is conventional bodhicitta since it is called "Belief". So this is not comparable to Stream entry at all.

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