Buddha the first cause of the universe?

General forum on Mahayana.

Buddha the first cause of the universe?

Postby Nighthawk » Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:00 am

"The Buddha did not make any attempt to validate the existence of the first cause or the Cause of the causes. In the early Buddhism there was no mention of any Absolute God akin to Brahman of the Upanishads. The followers of Mahayana deviated from this early stand of the Buddhists and declared that Buddha himself was the first cause and that as the Absolute Being he pervades and presides the over the whole universe"

http://www.hinduwebsite.com/buddhism/mahayana.asp

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.
User avatar
Nighthawk
 
Posts: 755
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:04 am

Re: Buddha the first cause of the universe?

Postby Indrajala » Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:05 am

This article is nonsense.

It sounds like they've critically misunderstood the dharmakaya.

There is no first cause of everything because such a cause would violate the law of causality.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
Former staff member
 
Posts: 5563
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: India

Re: Buddha the first cause of the universe?

Postby kirtu » Sat Jun 12, 2010 5:38 pm

maestro wrote:"The Buddha did not make any attempt to validate the existence of the first cause or the Cause of the causes. In the early Buddhism there was no mention of any Absolute God akin to Brahman of the Upanishads. The followers of Mahayana deviated from this early stand of the Buddhists and declared that Buddha himself was the first cause and that as the Absolute Being he pervades and presides the over the whole universe"

First its a summary.

This part is correct:
In the early Buddhism there was no mention of any Absolute God akin to Brahman of the Upanishads.


This part seems to assume a first cause anyway:
The Buddha did not make any attempt to validate the existence of the first cause or the Cause of the causes.


But anyway in the Pali suttas Lord Buddha listed the origin of the universe as one of several topics not conducive to liberation.

The followers of Mahayana deviated from this early stand of the Buddhists and declared that Buddha himself was the first cause and that as the Absolute Being he pervades and presides the over the whole universe


As Huseng mentions they have severely misunderstood the Dharmakaya or they have conflated the view of the original Buddha (Adi Buddha in some form) with this origin of a first cause.

However there was a kind of "first cause" for the universe at least. It was the karma of sentient beings. So for karma to be the "first cause" of the universe means that they came from another universe in some way. Either way in Buddhism sentient beings have already lived uncountable lives or infinite lives. And we are still stuck here creating more and more negativities.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4101
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Buddha the first cause of the universe?

Postby catmoon » Sat Jun 12, 2010 10:43 pm

maestro wrote:"The Buddha did not make any attempt to validate the existence of the first cause or the Cause of the causes. In the early Buddhism there was no mention of any Absolute God akin to Brahman of the Upanishads. The followers of Mahayana deviated from this early stand of the Buddhists and declared that Buddha himself was the first cause and that as the Absolute Being he pervades and presides the over the whole universe"




I don't know much Dharma but the above quote seems to grossly violate the little I do know, on at least two counts, and conflict with logic as well.

I believe Buddha said that when looking for the beginning of the universe "A beginning is not seen".

Also, someone once asked him if he was a God and the answer was a flat "no".
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.
User avatar
catmoon
Former staff member
 
Posts: 2916
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: British Columbia

Re: Buddha the first cause of the universe?

Postby sukhamanveti » Sun Jun 13, 2010 1:37 am

Mahayana explicitly rejects the idea of a Creator, just as Theravada does in the Brahmajala Sutta of the Digha Nikaya (and in at least nine other passages). The Mahayana teachers Asanga (4th century), Dharmakirti (7th century), Chandrakirti (7th century), and Shantideva (8th century) each explicitly refuted theism. Among the Mahayana Sutras the Rice Sapling Sutra in its doctrine of causality is understood by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to imply nontheism (see his remarks in Healing Anger). The idea of a Creator is excluded by several basic Buddhist doctrines, including Not-Self, shunyata, the impermanence of all samskaras, dependent origination, and karma and rebirth.

I am not aware of any "followers of Mahayana" espousing theism prior to the 20th century. The view is heterodox.
namo bhagavate śākyamunaye tathāgatāyārhate samyaksaṁbuddhāya | namaḥ sarvabuddhabodhisattvebhyaḥ ||

"Bodhisattva-mahāsattvas love all beings in the world equally, as if each were their only child..." Buddhāvataṃsakamahāvaipulya Sūtra
User avatar
sukhamanveti
 
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 5:50 pm
Location: U.S.A.

Re: Buddha the first cause of the universe?

Postby termite » Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:23 pm

Huseng wrote:This article is nonsense.

It sounds like they've critically misunderstood the dharmakaya.

There is no first cause of everything because such a cause would violate the law of causality.


Yes, except that I doubt that they've "misunderstood" anything. This looks and smells like the same old Hindu practice of twisting "Buddhism" and "Buddha" around so that it fits Hinduism. They have long claimed the Buddha as an avatar of Vishnu.
User avatar
termite
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:55 pm

Re: Buddha the first cause of the universe?

Postby Dexing » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:46 am

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".

:namaste:
nopalabhyate...
User avatar
Dexing
 
Posts: 417
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:41 am

Re: Buddha the first cause of the universe?

Postby mudra » Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:08 am

Not entirely sure why we would expect a Hindu site to explain correctly what the Mahayana view is regarding the lack of a creator, original cause etc? I'm sure if we gave them the 9th Chapter of the Bodhicaryavatara it would come back completely unrecognizable (not a few Buddhists themselves mangle it!!!)
User avatar
mudra
 
Posts: 453
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:55 am


Return to Mahāyāna Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 13 guests

>