Astus wrote:The majority of East Asian Mahayana schools claim that enlightenment in this life is possible, the exception is the Pure Land school where they guarantee your liberation in your next life in Sukhavati. However, since Buddhism is not a centralised church, different teachers can say different things, including the requirement for aeons of bodhisattva practice. Or it can be also said that the important thing is to become a bodhisattva - who is an enlightened being by the way - and then continue to help all beings.
Talking about the Soto school, their basic doctrine is practice-enlightenment, i.e. that the moment you do zazen right there you are buddha.
Nilasarasvati wrote:I've been wondering about several things. I hope the discussion and perspectives especially from other East Asian schools of Buddhism can clear up this issue:
In Tibetan Vajrayana constant emphasis is placed on the superiority of the Vajrayana as it is the swift path within one can achieve perfect Buddhahood in one lifetime.
My question for us Vajrayana folks: How rare is that, then? Because as far as I know, even really great teachers continue to incarnate again and again and again (or is my understanding of perfect Buddhahood skewed?)
Repeatedly we hear, I'm assuming from a Sutric context, that the "normal" Bodhisattvayana takes 3 countless Aeons to achieve the paths and Bhumis.
But I'm fairly certain other masters in other schools are purported to have achieved enlightenment. And that the end goal of their practices is the same as ours: Enlightenment. And I believe their methods work. So is the exclusivist language just the Vajrayana fanclub hype? A way of increasing devotion/vigilance?
Do any other schools really say "Yeah! Join the Soto school! With our tried and tested methods, it only takes 3 countless Aeons to become a Buddha!"
dude wrote:If it is, isn't it the road to ride?
If it isn't and some other path is, shouldn't one be abandoned for the other?
Nilasarasvati: "Do any other schools really say "Yeah! Join the Soto school! With our tried and tested methods, it only takes 3 countless Aeons to become a Buddha!"
Dude: Don't you think they do?
Monsoon wrote:At the risk of sounding blunt (and probably more than a little crass), it seems as though lots of people are still hung up on the notion of goals.
I guess I am missing something major here? A lesson, perhaps?
The meaning of this criticism of buddhahood in this life is that the theory is contrary to what we can actually see in the Buddhist world. Even respected teachers don't claim any high attainment, so what can we say about ordinary practitioners who have trouble following even the basic precepts? It is this gap between the ideal and the actual that these modern teachers address.
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