Kunga wrote:I was thinking earlier, exactly what does one have to accept in order to be a Mahayanist. Does one, for example, have to accept the claim that many Mahayana sutras are, in fact, the words of the Buddha? Or can one reject some of them on historical grounds, where it is apparent that the author has merely put words into the mouth of the Buddha? (If we follow this line, where does it end?)
In short: is it sufficient merely to possess the Bodhisattva motivation, or does one have to accept the whole kit and caboodle of the Mahayana system - philosophy, legends and all?
I'm not denigrating the Mahayana, before anyone leaps in the air and lets their emotions override their reason, as I consider myself a Mahayanist. I'm just asking a question, as I'd like to see what others have to share in relation to it.
there is really no need to accept
anything, as Buddha expressed. acceptance and rejection can also be seen as attachment and aversion. we strive to avoid these two extremes. i believe that it is best to be free of a reference point. one can get very caught up in historical facts and non-facts. words of the Buddha, not the words of the Buddha. we know that the Buddha's words were not recorded until 400 yrs(?) after his parinirvana. can one truly say what were the Buddha's words? what was he trying to say? what did he say? even the sutras start out with, "Thus have i heard..."
if we put too much emphasis on historical accuracy, we as practitioners are missing the point. the essence. when we read these text, what do they speak to us? that is most important, i feel.
we are always free to choose what we engage in, or what we believe in. as a Mahayana practitioner, i believe the Bodhisattva motivation is essential. and i also believe it is not something one accepts, but is one's being. this is rooted in our nature. we've been working in this way for many lifetimes. so this motivation is most important. working for the benefit of all beings. philosophy, legends, they have their purpose. "legends" for inspiration, i feel. and to shake us up!
"whaaat? are you kidding me? naaaaah..." now let go. this is a form of accepting and rejecting when you really look at it. we are accepting/grasping to our view of reality, and we are rejecting/aversion the opposite. now we are dwelling in dualism. separation. in the long run, doesn't help one bit.
"philosophy"? Madhyamika, very important to understand the "View". one could get very fixed on there actual existence of beings to benefit! "Bodhisattvas benefit sentient beings, But do not see any sentient beings. This is indeed a very difficult point, Superb and ungraspable."