maestro wrote:Is this article BS or does Mahayana really teach Buddha as the first cause of the universe? I know for a fact in Mahayana Buddha "pervades the whole universe" but he is the first cause as well? If that's the case then there is really no difference between Mahayana and theism.
First of all, can we define the so-called "universe"?
What constitutes the "universe" is not to be found outside the 18 Dhatus (5 Skandhas). Their origination is dependent and cyclic. As explained by Nagarjuna:Two deluded actions (karmic formation, becoming) arise from three deluded causes (ignorance, craving, grasping); seven uncontrolled results (consciousness, name & form, six sense organs, contact, feeling, rebirth, old age & death) arise from those two deluded actions. Again three deluded causes arise from these seven results. Such a wheel of life goes round and round.
So the first link to Dependent Origination (ignorance) is not a "first cause" per se because it is without beginning and is also regenerated in turn, but if you were without ignorance you would be free from cyclic becoming and the burdens of this "universe".