Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

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

Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:39 pm

adinatha wrote:
I talked to my teacher about this. He explained Chakrasamvara was taught by Buddha Shakyamuni in that Pitha in Pakistan to bodhisattvas.



Ok, the nirmanakāya that teaches Cakrasamvara is Shri Heruka. Not a sambhogakāya, but a nirmanakāya.


Bodhisattvas see Shakyamuni in Sambogakaya form. Only "Buddha to Buddha" can see Dharmakaya Buddha Vajradhara. Tilopa went to this place where the teaching is kept to this day by dakinis. Tilopa was Buddha level so he could see pure nature of mind, time and space had no limitation, and received the teaching directly from Dharmakaya Buddha Vajradhara, who is Shakyamuni.


TIlopa received the Cakrasamvara empowerments from a siddha named Kuśalana. He certainly also received the transmission directly, just as Naropa received the transmission for Vajrayogini directly from Vajrayogini, etc. Why do we know this? Beause Sakya has detailed lineage lists and histories of the masters of Cakrasamvara.

And with all due respect to your teacher, Vajradhara is a sambhogakāya embodiment of the dharmakāya. The dharmakāya is called Samantabhadra, as I mentioned now several times, in Yoga tantra as well as Guhyasamaja.

And Shakyamuni is an emanation of Vajradhara, as is Garab Dorje, etc. All nirmanakāyas are emanations of the Sambhogakāya. Likewise, Shri Heruka is a nirmanakāya emanation of the Sambhogakāya.

In short, you are merely reciting an opinion usually found in Kagyu and Gelug than in Nyingma and Sakya. In Nyingma for example, they hold that Shakyamuni never taught tantra above kriya tantra, and that it was Padmasambhava who spread the tantras in Jambudvipa.

There are conflicting accounts of the genesis of the Hevajra tantra.

So it is better to leave these histories (often mutually conflicting) at the level of legend and not presume they refer to historical facts.

N
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" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:41 pm

Adamantine wrote:
Why would a Buddha need to receive teachings from a Buddha?



Oh, this happens a lot. In Guhyasamaja, for example.

There are all kinds of literary devices the authors of the tantras use to communicate things.
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" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:44 pm

Sonam Wangchug wrote:"There is a common misconception among many non-Buddhists (and even among certain Buddhists) that the Tantras are late and corrupt additions to the Buddha's Teachings. This is false. The Tantras are genuine teachings of the Lord Buddha, and they occupy a paramount position withtin the overall flamework of Buddhist doctrine. "



There are many ways to claim a teaching of the Buddha's, and not all of them require that Buddha actually spoke the teaching in question.

For example, Vasubandhu points out if something is well spoken, is virtuous and does not conflict with dependent origination, it can be accepted as Buddhavacana, the word of Buddha.

N
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Sönam » Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:11 pm

Namdrol wrote:
For example, Vasubandhu points out if something is well spoken, is virtuous and does not conflict with dependent origination, it can be accepted as Buddhavacana, the word of Buddha.

N


This is to be related to an other thread where a post states that "if it does not contradict the 4 NT it is a teaching of Buddha" ... or ?

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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:22 pm

Sönam wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
For example, Vasubandhu points out if something is well spoken, is virtuous and does not conflict with dependent origination, it can be accepted as Buddhavacana, the word of Buddha.

N


This is to be related to an other thread where a post states that "if it does not contradict the 4 NT it is a teaching of Buddha" ... or ?

Sönam


Sure...
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Sonam Wangchug » Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:31 pm

Enochian wrote:
Sonam Wangchug wrote:It's clear I did read what Namdrol wrote, so is just your attempt to tell me i'm not adept at the English language? If your going to post a rude response like this, it's better to look at your own mind.



You don't think chastising a Sakya Loppon is rude?

Wow

You are clueless.


Chastising? I have respect for Namdrol and his learning accomplishments. However I can in this discussion make points that seem to go against his, not that I Disagree but to find out what's going on.

At the end of the day it's your projection not mine.



Namdrol wrote:
Sonam Wangchug wrote:You are saying The historical buddha did not teach them, at that time out of his mouth.



Correct. And there is no valid reason to presume that he did apart from someone's opinion.


What of people at the time of Shakyamuni receiving the teaching, in a visionary manner, Sambhogakaya dimension from Shakyamuni?

Also what of the view that the Tantras were taught in secret so they were concealed for some time even though they were taught at the time of Buddha.

In either case whether People agree Buddha Shakyamuni taught them, can't Validity be established in terms of Guru rinpoche teaching the mantrayana?

Tulku urgyen rinpoche said for the 1000 buddha's there will be 1000 guru rinpoche's ... I wonder if then the guru rinpoche's will primarily teach secret mantra and the buddha's teach sutric, and if Maitreya will not be teaching Tantra, will the guru rinpoche be teaching it in other realms for example..
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Jikan » Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:42 pm

A lot of this is very, very speculative.
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:48 pm

If a dharma exists which, when practiced, leads to the "cessation of suffering" though whatever method, I think that is the test of its validity. When various lineages, whether vajrayana, mahayana, or theravada have for centuries produced enlightened teachers, I think it can be said that the ocean is still the same ocean regardless of what river you follow to get there, as long as it gets you there.

What if it hadn't been Sakyamuni Buddha who spoke the dharma, but his long lost brother, Lucky Buddha?
It would still be the same dharma.
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Sonam Wangchug » Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:51 pm

For the sake of conversation I offer some quotes.

"Since the
time of the Buddha the Tantras were always taught secretly and selectively." - HH sakya trizin

"The Origin of Tantra

The tantras were spoken by the Enlightened Buddha himself in the form of his supreme manifestation as a monk. also as the great Vajradhara and in various manifestations of the central deity of specific mandalas. The Great Beings, Manjushri, Samantabhadra, Vajrapani and others, urged by the Buddha also taught some Tantras.

In terms of the four classes of Tantra, the Kriya Tantras were taught by the Buddha in the form of a monk, in the realm of the thirty-three gods on the summit of Mt. Meru, and in the human world where Manjushri and others were the chief hearers.

The Pung-Zang Tantras were taught in the realm of Vajrapani. Others were taught by the Teacher Buddha himself and with his blessings some were explained by Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri and Vajrapani while others were spoken by worldly gods.

The Carya Tantras were also taught by the Teacher Buddha in the form of his supreme manifestation in the celestial realms and in the realm called Base and Essence Adorned with Flowers.

The Yoga Tantras were taught by the Enlightened One when he arose in the form of the central deity of each mandala in such places as the summit of Mt. Meru and in the fifth celestial realm of desire.

The Anuttara Tantras were also taught by the Enlightened Buddha. In the land of Ögyan the Buddha, having manifested the mandala of Guhyasamaja, taught King Indrabodhi this Tantra. The Yamantaka Tantras were taught by the Teacher Buddha at the time of the subduing of the demonic forces and they were requested by either the consort of Yamantaka or by the consort of Kalacakra. The Hevajra Tantra was taught by Lord Buddha when he arose in the form of Hevajra in the land of Madgadha at the time of destroying the Four Maras. The Tantra was requested by Vajragarbha and by the consort of Hevajra. Having been requested by Vajra Yogini, the Enlightened Buddha, in the manifestation as Heruka on the summit of Mt. Meru, taught the Root Tantra of Heruka and, when requested by Vajrapani, taught the Explanatory Tantra. As for the Kalacakra Tantra. the Mighty Buddha went south to the glorious shrine of Dharnacotaka and there, manifesting the Mandala of the Dharmadhatu Speech surmounted by the Mandala of Kalacakra, taught this Tantra to King Chandrabhadra and others. Although he appeared in many different manifestations, actually the Tantras were taught by the Enlightened Teacher, Lord Buddha. " - Kyabje Trijang rinpoche http://www.abuddhistlibrary.com/Buddhis ... g%20Ri.htm

On guru rinpoche and shakyamuni "Guru Padmasambhava is a totally enlightened being. He is the supreme embodiment of all buddhas. On the highest level of the dharmakaya, Guru Padmasambhava is known as Samantabhadra or Vajradhara. The sambhogakaya Guru Padmasambhava is known as Vajrasattva, and in nirmanakaya form he is known as Buddha Shakyamuni or Guru Padmasambhava himself." - Khenchen palden sherab from heap of precious jewels

". In the Western concept of morality, sexual energies are usually regarded as a hindrance to the spiritual path. Does the tantra mean the acceptance of these energies and can they really help us along the path?
A. If they are rightly used; if used by the right person, at the right time and correctly, they can be a very great help. The story is often told of King Indrabhuti, who told Shakyamuni Buddha that he would rather be reborn as a wolf in the jungle than undertake a spiritual path which demanded the renunciation of worldly things. The Buddha gave him a special teaching, the Guhyasamaja teaching, of which we still have the transmission. Mere external renunciation is, of course, of little use; one can renounce something externally and still be very attached to it! True renunciation is the renunciation of attachment. In any case, King Indrabhuti was of the very highest type of person and he and his entire court actually attained enlightenment while the Buddha was giving them the teaching!

However, most tantric practitioners are monks who are not allowed worldly pleasures and who must, of course, be celibate. King Indrabhuti attained enlightenment immediately, but we only have to read the story of Milarepa to see the difficulties that even gifted individuals undergo." - hh the sakya trizin http://www.hhthesakyatrizin.org/teach_interview4.html

So from what I can infer it seems that most traditional masters maintain that, Shakyamuni buddha taught the tantric methods, it seems the traditional view is that he taught mostly mahayana, but also did teach some tantra, for example if he manifested in a certain manner and than taught.

As far as the mention of one vajra word being heard accordingly.. Can it be said then that people of vajrayana position did hear vajrayana teachings ?
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Dechen Norbu » Thu Jun 16, 2011 3:03 pm

This is the opinion of HHST and Kyabje Trijang rinpoche.
There are other lamas who would disagree.
Kyabje Trijang rinpoche was an adherent of the practice of Dorje Shugden and widely promoted it. If not by anything else, this example shows that even high lamas make mistakes. What's your point?
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jun 16, 2011 3:04 pm

Sonam Wangchug wrote:
What of people at the time of Shakyamuni receiving the teaching, in a visionary manner, Sambhogakaya dimension from Shakyamuni?



Well, this supposedly happened in the case of Indrabhuti the first, the account which I gave above. Buddha manifested the mandala of Guhyasamaja. This is also held to the case in Kalacakra, where Buddha manifested the mandala in Dhanyakata Stupa in South India at the same time he was supposedly teaching the perfection of wisdom sutras at Rajagriha.

Also what of the view that the Tantras were taught in secret so they were concealed for some time even though they were taught at the time of Buddha.


That is also classical view not only of Vajrayāna but of Mahayāna. Mahāyāna monks explained that Mahāyāna sutras were held by Nāgās for safe keeping until they could be distributed. There are many mystical ideas about text production. In short, the so called "treasure" tradition really begins with Mahāyāna sutras, not with Padmasambhava, many centuries later.



In either case whether People agree Buddha Shakyamuni taught them, can't Validity be established in terms of Guru rinpoche teaching the mantrayana?

Tulku urgyen rinpoche said for the 1000 buddha's there will be 1000 guru rinpoche's ... I wonder if then the guru rinpoche's will primarily teach secret mantra and the buddha's teach sutric, and if Maitreya will not be teaching Tantra, will the guru rinpoche be teaching it in other realms for example..



I read in interesting opinion this morning that holds that when the Guhyasamaja claims that only Sakyamuni Buddha will teach tantra, this is more about the greatness of Guhyasamaja. A counter citation is produced from the Mayajala tantra which states that secret mantra will be "Taught by the past buddhas, taught by the future buddhas, taught by the present buddhas, taught again and again..."

I am writing a post on the origins of the Cakrasamvara found in India sources. I will put it up later. I was wrong in asserting that no India masters claim that Sakyamuni taught Cakrasamvara. Some do.

N
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Sönam » Thu Jun 16, 2011 3:07 pm

It seems there is a lot of confusion between The Three Kayas of a Buddha, what is Samantabhadra, the tathagatagarbha ... and eventually the fact that most teaching are provisory (nearly all by the way).
How could one expect to teach 84,000 types of beeings with a unique, non provisionnal teaching ...

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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby pueraeternus » Thu Jun 16, 2011 3:46 pm

Namdrol wrote:For example, Vasubandhu points out if something is well spoken, is virtuous and does not conflict with dependent origination, it can be accepted as Buddhavacana, the word of Buddha.


Brings to mind something Jan Nattier mentioned in a clip. Initially the earliest inscriptions proclaim that "Whatever the Buddha said is well-spoken.", but overtime it became "Whatever is well-spoken, was said by the Buddha".
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: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jun 16, 2011 3:52 pm

pueraeternus wrote:
Namdrol wrote:For example, Vasubandhu points out if something is well spoken, is virtuous and does not conflict with dependent origination, it can be accepted as Buddhavacana, the word of Buddha.


Brings to mind something Jan Nattier mentioned in a clip. Initially the earliest inscriptions proclaim that "Whatever the Buddha said is well-spoken.", but overtime it became "Whatever is well-spoken, was said by the Buddha".



I would like to modify that again:

"Whatever is well-spoken, was said by a Buddha."

N
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Jun 16, 2011 3:52 pm

Even if the story goes that teachings were given by celestial beings, and one doesn't choose to believe that, consider that the Buddha is said to have taught a lot of people in all those years, and everybody understood him according to their capacity.
When he spoke to a king, he spoke to a king and when he spoke to a cowherd, he spoke to a cowherd. Do you think he would phrase things the same way for each?

So, I think it is very likely, considering this is ancient INDIA we are talking about, that quite a lot of yogins and saddhus and brahmins and various holy men, whatever they had, would have shown up at his gatherings and asked questions, or listened to teachings, and (aside from the fact that generally, people hear what they want to hear) got teachings that were in the genre of tantra.

You can look at society today and see the same thing. A teacher gives a teaching and everybody who hears it relates it to their own experience, to their own context. And when you really examine all the various schools (at least this has been my limited observation) and kayas and so forth, at the end of the day, liberation from the suffering of a grasping mind is pretty much the same for everybody who experiences it. So, it doesn't matter what shape the container is, the water you pour into it is still water.

if it were any other way, I think this would be a defect in the teaching itself.
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby pueraeternus » Thu Jun 16, 2011 4:14 pm

Namdrol wrote:
pueraeternus wrote:
Namdrol wrote:For example, Vasubandhu points out if something is well spoken, is virtuous and does not conflict with dependent origination, it can be accepted as Buddhavacana, the word of Buddha.


Brings to mind something Jan Nattier mentioned in a clip. Initially the earliest inscriptions proclaim that "Whatever the Buddha said is well-spoken.", but overtime it became "Whatever is well-spoken, was said by the Buddha".



I would like to modify that again:

"Whatever is well-spoken, was said by a Buddha."

N


I agree. Hence if one accepts the visionary accounts recorded in the Mahayana sutras, there is no need for one to insist that all such teachings stem from the historical Buddha Gautama. It strains credibility to the breaking point, especially when talking to others from other Buddhist traditions. What is enough, at least for me, is that the historical Buddha Gautama prepared the field for the teachings of other Buddhas to appear in this world (besides those he taught himself), when he turned the wheel in 400-500 BCE.
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: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Sönam » Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:04 pm

We all have the nature of Buddha, it is our true nature, but obstructed by our stains. Gautama, Sakyamuni did clean-up "all" stains therefore could only be called Buddha, his only new identity. This state permanently realized by Sakyamuni is not something "belonging" to him! Then the one with no other identity than Buddha told the dharma ... so in the past, the present and the futur it is always the Buddha that tell the dharma. And what is the dharma, it's the teaching that brings to the only identity Buddha. Therefore, all teachings that bring to the only identity Buddha is told by Buddha ...

Sönam
By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby LastLegend » Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:19 pm

Sönam wrote:We all have the nature of Buddha, it is our true nature, but obstructed by our stains. Gautama, Sakyamuni did clean-up "all" stains therefore could only be called Buddha, his only new identity. This state permanently realized by Sakyamuni is not something "belonging" to him! Then the one with no other identity than Buddha told the dharma ... so in the past, the present and the futur it is always the Buddha that tell the dharma. And what is the dharma, it's the teaching that brings to the only identity Buddha. Therefore, all teachings that bring to the only identity Buddha is told by Buddha ...

Sönam


Thank you.
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:34 pm

Sönam wrote: Therefore, all teachings that bring to the only identity Buddha is told by Buddha ...

Sönam



Right. But some people really have a need to make sure that Buddha's name is "Shakyamuni".

N
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Jun 16, 2011 6:06 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Sönam wrote: Therefore, all teachings that bring to the only identity Buddha is told by Buddha ...

Sönam



Right. But some people really have a need to make sure that Buddha's name is "Shakyamuni".

N


maybe Shakya Gucci, if it's a purse.
I wouldn't be caught dead (in the bardo, that is) carrying a cheap imitation!
:rolling:
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