What makes one a Mahayanist?

General forum on Mahayana.

Re: What makes one a Mahayanist?

Postby BuddhaSoup » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:50 pm

Doing a bit of research in the evening, after my missive from this morning, and I found this, from one of my favorite Teachers:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ttvas.html

Like all great poets and writers, he puts into words what I was feeling, what I was trying to express.
BuddhaSoup
 
Posts: 165
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:06 pm

Re: What makes one a Mahayanist?

Postby viniketa » Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:33 am

BuddhaSoup wrote: I found this, from one of my favorite Teachers: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ttvas.html


Thank you, BuddhaSoup, for pointing to that resource. Here are a couple from the Berzin archive:

Introductory Comparison of Hinayana and Mahayana: http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/ar ... ayana.html

The Ten Far-Reaching Attitudes in Theravada, Mahayana, and Bon: http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/ar ... tudes.html

:namaste:
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
User avatar
viniketa
 
Posts: 819
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:39 am
Location: USA

Re: What makes one a Mahayanist?

Postby jikai » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:31 am

Hi all,

In Zhiyi's (Tendai Daishi) Xiao ZhiGuan (Smaller Calming and Contemplation) he writes including a quote from the MahaPrajnaParamita Sutra:
"The Buddha told Sabhuti, 'If when the Bodhisattva walks, he is aware of walking, if when he sits, he is aware of sitting...' and so forth until we come to 'when he dons the Sanghati robee,...gazes, or blinks,...he is single-minded,...both exiting from and entering into dhyana absorption...' One should know that a person such as this qualifies as a Bodhisattva, a Mahayanist"

Gassho
Jikai.
:buddha1:
"There are no seperate dharma's in the Three Realms. There is only the operation of the one mind."
"Whoever wishes to benefit beings ought to establish teachings that fit their capacities, expound the dharma in accordance with their capacities, and match the doctrines to them"
User avatar
jikai
 
Posts: 119
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:52 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: What makes one a Mahayanist?

Postby Sherab » Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:15 am

ngodrup wrote:
Sherab wrote:If as a Hinayanist, I not only strive for nibbana, but will do my utmost to help others to achieve nibbana as well, what does that make me? A Madhyayanist? :stirthepot: :mrgreen:


But the definition is seeking to become a Buddha, not the kindness of helping others find Nibbana.
Such a person may have altruistic intent, but to qualify as Mahayana, you must believe any being
can become a Buddha.


What is the difference between finding Nibbana and finding Buddhahood?
By the way, I mentioned "Madhya-yanist" and not "Maha-yanist".
User avatar
Sherab
 
Posts: 765
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:28 am

Re: What makes one a Mahayanist?

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:25 pm

I guess there are many kinds of buddhas who have realized nirvana: Samyaksambuddhas, Pratyekabuddhas, etc.
Karma Dondrup Tashi
 
Posts: 1014
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:13 pm

Re: What makes one a Mahayanist?

Postby ngodrup » Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:43 pm

Sherab wrote:
ngodrup wrote:
Sherab wrote:If as a Hinayanist, I not only strive for nibbana, but will do my utmost to help others to achieve nibbana as well, what does that make me? A Madhyayanist? :stirthepot: :mrgreen:


But the definition is seeking to become a Buddha, not the kindness of helping others find Nibbana.
Such a person may have altruistic intent, but to qualify as Mahayana, you must believe any being
can become a Buddha.


What is the difference between finding Nibbana and finding Buddhahood?
By the way, I mentioned "Madhya-yanist" and not "Maha-yanist".


Nibbana is defined as complete cessation from suffering. An Arhat would have that accomplishment.
Buddhahood is defined as a being having two qualities: dissolution of all karmas, and complete opening
of all qualities necessary to lead infinite beings to the same state. Buddhas have this.
ngodrup
 
Posts: 597
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:58 pm

Re: What makes one a Mahayanist?

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:09 pm

BuddhaSoup wrote:If you put an arrow to my head and forced me to choose between Theravada practice and Zen, I couldn't choose. I'd let the arrow fly, and then start to ask questions about what kind of arrow, who is the archer.... :)

I don't know, on a practical level it seems it's not just development of bodhichitta. I don't see how to get around the fact that according to Hinayana Buddha Shakyamuni never taught Prajna Paramita. Zen is Prajna Paramita. I can't ignore that 'First Promulgation' sutras are viewed as neyartha by my teachers.

Another important difference between the Hinayana and the Mahayana is that, whereas the former denied the existence of an independent “I” or soul, but not that there were material objects constituted by absolutely true, self-existing atoms, the Mahayana also denied the inherent existence of atoms. This is directly related to the fact that the Mahayana asserts the voidness of self-being or absence of an independent self-nature, not only of human individuals, who are subject as well as objects, but also of the entities which appear to beings of our time solely as object and in which we perceive no subjectivity.

Capriles

I guess if you're defining Mahayana only as development of bodhichitta, I suppose it's not impossible to imagine a 'Mahayana' teacher with a view such as Vaibhashika. (That view wasn't held by the Theravadins according to Berzin).

Perhaps we can be friends without being ecumenical?
Karma Dondrup Tashi
 
Posts: 1014
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:13 pm

Re: What makes one a Mahayanist?

Postby BuddhaSoup » Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:23 pm

Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:
BuddhaSoup wrote:
Perhaps we can be friends without being ecumenical?


I agree in part, but do not see a general sense of ecumenical quality as a negative. We can of course be friends, and further, partners in the Dharma, colleagues in the Bodhisattva way, the same Buddha Sangha. My own sense is echoed in what Bhikkhu Bodhi said in his article, infra.

There are inconsistencies in both Canons. There is some significant sense that not all of the (Pali and Chinese) Canons is Buddhavacana, though some of the suttas and sutras claim themselves to be. "Thus have I heard" might be better written as "Thus I am inventing to suit my school of thought." The best we can do, it seems to me, is to capture what most all of us agree are the basic teachings of the Buddha, and were we all to just focus on this Way as a practice, this would be well enough. To the extent that different schools and different teachers may agree or disagree on certain themes only gives me hope that, despite the Buddha's stated fears, the Dharma will not disappear, and we will happily argue with each other about what is the best path for eons. :)

Even with all of the disagreements, I feel Gautama would be very pleased at where the Dharma is....he might not like what has been done to aspects of his Dharma, but I get the sense that he'd be pleased that so many of us are chewing on it, quarreling over it, and spreading it widely in word, action, and even on great forums like this one. .
BuddhaSoup
 
Posts: 165
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:06 pm

Re: What makes one a Mahayanist?

Postby Sherab » Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:28 am

ngodrup wrote:Nibbana is defined as complete cessation from suffering. An Arhat would have that accomplishment.
Buddhahood is defined as a being having two qualities: dissolution of all karmas, and complete opening
of all qualities necessary to lead infinite beings to the same state. Buddhas have this.

Since all karma have dissolved for both an Arhat and a Buddha, why is it that the Buddha has the complete opening of all qualities and the Arhat has not?
User avatar
Sherab
 
Posts: 765
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:28 am

Re: What makes one a Mahayanist?

Postby ngodrup » Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:35 am

Since all karma have dissolved for both an Arhat and a Buddha, why is it that the Buddha has the complete opening of all qualities and the Arhat has not?[/quote]

Causes and conditions. The Buddha has generated extensive-infinite merit based on the specific altruistic intention to become a Buddha.
He or she has dedicated that merit consistently thought his training specifically to that end. Without the intent to become a Buddha
and the dedication of all karmas to that purpose, whatever purification and merit will produce whatever outcome is aspired-- worldly,
Arhat or Buddha. Non-Buddhits, for example, dedicate to a better rebirth; as a result they may be reborn as humans or gods.
ngodrup
 
Posts: 597
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:58 pm

Re: What makes one a Mahayanist?

Postby Sherab » Fri Aug 10, 2012 5:16 am

ngodrup wrote:
Since all karma have dissolved for both an Arhat and a Buddha, why is it that the Buddha has the complete opening of all qualities and the Arhat has not?


Causes and conditions. The Buddha has generated extensive-infinite merit based on the specific altruistic intention to become a Buddha.
He or she has dedicated that merit consistently thought his training specifically to that end. Without the intent to become a Buddha
and the dedication of all karmas to that purpose, whatever purification and merit will produce whatever outcome is aspired-- worldly,
Arhat or Buddha. Non-Buddhits, for example, dedicate to a better rebirth; as a result they may be reborn as humans or gods.

If you asked the Theravadins whether nibbana is caused or uncaused, they will tell you that it is uncaused.
If you asked the Mahayanist whether buddhahood is caused or uncaused, they will tell you that it is uncaused.

Do you believed that nibbana is caused?
Do you believed that buddhahood is caused?
User avatar
Sherab
 
Posts: 765
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:28 am

Re: What makes one a Mahayanist?

Postby cesar » Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:59 pm

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."
~ Nagarjuna


cheers,
cesar
User avatar
cesar
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: What makes one a Mahayanist?

Postby SunRay » Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:26 pm

Kunga wrote:I was thinking earlier, exactly what does one have to accept in order to be a Mahayanist.


I feel that as a Mahayana practitioner one needs to accept the mountain of blessings that Buddhas are offering him/her and joyfully and swiftly complete all the paths and bhūmis to gain the full liberation in order to help all the migrators gain buddhahood.
OM GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA
User avatar
SunRay
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:39 am
Location: Helsinki

Re: What makes one a Mahayanist?

Postby vajrahorizon » Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:29 am

BuddhaSoup wrote:Doing a bit of research in the evening, after my missive from this morning, and I found this, from one of my favorite Teachers:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ttvas.html

Like all great poets and writers, he puts into words what I was feeling, what I was trying to express.


In understand the difference in intent and beliefs but what about the difference in practice? Is the meditative practices that much different between Zen and Thai forest tradition for example?
vajrahorizon
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:04 am

Re: What makes one a Mahayanist?

Postby BuddhaSoup » Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:10 pm

vajrahorizon wrote:
BuddhaSoup wrote:Doing a bit of research in the evening, after my missive from this morning, and I found this, from one of my favorite Teachers:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ttvas.html

Like all great poets and writers, he puts into words what I was feeling, what I was trying to express.


In understand the difference in intent and beliefs but what about the difference in practice? Is the meditative practices that much different between Zen and Thai forest tradition for example?


Speaking from my own experience, the practice experiences are more similar than they are different. Shikantaza seems quite similar to Samatha meditation. The approach of "panoramic awareness" of Zazen seems to me similar (but not the same) as Vipassana. Having practiced both Thai Theravada and Soto Zen, I feel at home in both traditions, and celebrate the nuanced differences. In my Soto Zen sangha, we chant at times the Metta Sutta/Sutra, and have a Pali chant as well. The forms and rituals of Soto Zen are different, but as I said, I celebrate these differences and find the practice on the cushion to be compatible.

Dogen did not recommend jhana practice and trained his monks in what he saw as a more direct form of meditation that did not involve stages of "achievement". Dogen was, however, an Abbot in a monastery who followed vinaya based practices, and otherwise lived a renunciate life that a Thai Forest monk's would have echoed to some degree.
BuddhaSoup
 
Posts: 165
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:06 pm

Re: What makes one a Mahayanist?

Postby vajrahorizon » Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:19 am

Do Bodhisattvas have suffering? MY main practice background is Theravada though I'm moving into Mahayana and hopefully Vajrayana one day.

VH
vajrahorizon
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:04 am

Re: What makes one a Mahayanist?

Postby Son of Buddha » Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:34 am

take the Bodhisattva vows and walk the Bodhisattva path.
User avatar
Son of Buddha
 
Posts: 888
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:48 pm

Re: What makes one a Mahayanist?

Postby vajrahorizon » Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:15 am

Son of Buddha wrote:take the Bodhisattva vows and walk the Bodhisattva path.


Taking the vow won't automatically turn me into a Bodhisattva will it!?

I was just asking do Bodhisattvas have suffering?

VH
vajrahorizon
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:04 am

Re: What makes one a Mahayanist?

Postby Jikan » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:42 pm

vajrahorizon wrote:Do Bodhisattvas have suffering? MY main practice background is Theravada though I'm moving into Mahayana and hopefully Vajrayana one day.

VH


What are you waiting for?
Jikan
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5260
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm

Re: What makes one a Mahayanist?

Postby BuddhaSoup » Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:52 pm

vajrahorizon wrote:Do Bodhisattvas have suffering? MY main practice background is Theravada though I'm moving into Mahayana and hopefully Vajrayana one day.

VH


To try to answer your question, it would seem that Bodhisattvas experience dukkha, but are able to release themselves from its fetters.

...before my Awakening, when I was an unawakened bodhisatta, being subject myself to birth, sought what was likewise subject to birth. Being subject myself to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement, I sought [happiness in] what was likewise subject to illness... death... sorrow... defilement.
—Ariyapariyesana Sutta

My suggestion is that a fully awakened Bodhissattva is free of the fetters of dukkha and able to achieve eventual Buddhahood. I quote from the Pali, above, but am now sort of reflecting on the Mahayana sensibility. Rather than enter nirvana, the Bodhisattva remains in the world to work to free others from dukkha. My thought is that the Bodhisattva path entails the afflictions of dukkha, and the practice of freeing oneself of this so that others may be freed.

My two cents.
BuddhaSoup
 
Posts: 165
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:06 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Mahāyāna Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Dan74 and 6 guests

>