Types of Bodhisattvas in Vajrayana

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Types of Bodhisattvas in Vajrayana

Postby Motova » Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:28 am

Hello,

I was wondering if it is generally assumed that people in Vajrayana are king-like bodhisattvas? Are boatman-like and shepherd-like paths seen as kind of irrelevant in Vajrayana?

I was also hoping if someone could shed some light on the different benefits to sentient beings in regards to one being a king-like, boatman-like, and shepherd-like bodhisattva? Because if one is clearly more beneficial to sentient beings then I think that would render the rest as irrelevant.

I am trying not to get hung up on these things, as I am so low on the totem pole (no vows or guru). So basically I am trying to work on perfecting the six perfections with gusto, but it's something I have been thinking about lately.

Thank you.
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Re: Types of Bodhisattvas in Vajrayana

Postby Konchog1 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:45 am

I read somewhere that shepherd-like is the most admirable, but king-like is the only practical option.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

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Re: Types of Bodhisattvas in Vajrayana

Postby smcj » Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:56 am

The king, boatman, and shepherd analogies are not characterizations of different types of bodhisattvas, but of different levels of bodhicitta motivation that a bodhisattva may have.

The king-like motivation, where one goes towards enlightenment so that one can then lead others on the Path, is the smallest motivation. The boatman analogy, where he takes all sentient beings with him, is the next greater motivation. The motivation of the shepherd, where the intent is to usher all sentient beings to enlightenment before himself, is considered the greatest.

But my understanding is that these are sequential, everyone starts out with the king-like motivation. The others are a description of the levels of freedom of love the bodhisattva experiences as his innate Buddha Nature finds expression with the removal of his obscurations. You should NOT think of it as a menu, decide to not work for your own enlightenment, and think that doing so is accomplishing the shepherd like motivation. Some lamas won't even teach this publicly because people get it all wrong.

IMHO
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Re: Types of Bodhisattvas in Vajrayana

Postby monktastic » Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:06 pm

How is this supposed to work for the shepherd-like bodhisattva? Is it considered optimal to attain some particular bhumi and then "wait"/help? Surely he does not sit and eat Cheetos in his mother's basement until the time is ripe :smile:
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Re: Types of Bodhisattvas in Vajrayana

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:13 pm

monktastic wrote:How is this supposed to work for the shepherd-like bodhisattva? Is it considered optimal to attain some particular bhumi and then "wait"/help? Surely he does not sit and eat Cheetos in his mother's basement until the time is ripe :smile:
You never know! Bodhisattvas move in mysterious ways! :roll:
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Types of Bodhisattvas in Vajrayana

Postby smcj » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:00 pm

monktastic wrote:How is this supposed to work for the shepherd-like bodhisattva? Is it considered optimal to attain some particular bhumi and then "wait"/help? Surely he does not sit and eat Cheetos in his mother's basement until the time is ripe :smile:

In terms of a disceneable course of action, they might forego doing more retreat and start teaching, as an example.

But that is a crude example. We are talking about a bodhisattva's motivation, which is private and internal.

I could speculate about that, but I am limited by my own defiled imagination. It would be more an exercise in creative writing more than about actual Dharma.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: Types of Bodhisattvas in Vajrayana

Postby kirtu » Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:03 pm

monktastic wrote:How is this supposed to work for the shepherd-like bodhisattva? Is it considered optimal to attain some particular bhumi and then "wait"/help? Surely he does not sit and eat Cheetos in his mother's basement until the time is ripe :smile:


The shepherd-like Bodhisattva is the classic case of a Bodhisattva who does not enter nirvana until everyone else is enlightened. The image is of the shepherd going last into the pen after all the sheep have entered the pen. One could argue whether this is even possible but it doesn't matter. This is the motivation. In practical terms, such a Bodhisattva would strive for highest attainment in this lifetime but would make aspirations to return immediately to continue working. As a general rule, they wouldn't strive for rebirth in a Pure Land because then they don't return (although they could send emanations).

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Re: Types of Bodhisattvas in Vajrayana

Postby maybay » Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:34 am

Konchog1 wrote:I read somewhere that shepherd-like is the most admirable, but king-like is the only practical option.

What's impractical about being a shepard?
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Re: Types of Bodhisattvas in Vajrayana

Postby smcj » Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:30 pm

maybay wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:I read somewhere that shepherd-like is the most admirable, but king-like is the only practical option.

What's impractical about being a shepard?

Give it a try. Let us know how it works out.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: Types of Bodhisattvas in Vajrayana

Postby maybay » Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:06 pm

smcj wrote:
maybay wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:I read somewhere that shepherd-like is the most admirable, but king-like is the only practical option.

What's impractical about being a shepard?

Give it a try. Let us know how it works out.

Come don't get personal. I sheparded 40 Saasen goats in the Alps. I wouldn't call it impractical, but you think different Konchog?
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Re: Types of Bodhisattvas in Vajrayana

Postby smcj » Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:02 pm

Give it a try. Let us know how it works out.

Come don't get personal. I sheparded 40 Saasen goats in the Alps. I wouldn't call it impractical, but you think different Konchog?

I tried it. It didn't work. It was a train wreck. My own (defiled) imagination of what I thought that entailed defeated me.

Now I stick to paths the texts describe as 'inferior'. It's working much better for me now.

But hey, don't let me stop you. Maybe it's more karmically appropriate for you than me.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: Types of Bodhisattvas in Vajrayana

Postby tomamundsen » Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:59 pm

maybay wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:I read somewhere that shepherd-like is the most admirable, but king-like is the only practical option.

What's impractical about being a shepard?

It takes a LOT more time that way. Vajrayana is about swiftness and efficiency.
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Re: Types of Bodhisattvas in Vajrayana

Postby smcj » Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:30 pm

What's impractical about being a shepard?

In this society, trying to put everybody else before oneself only makes you pathologically co-dependent with the entire world. To do it in a healthy and productive manner you need to establish yourself in a higher level of sanity than is normaly available to us first.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: Types of Bodhisattvas in Vajrayana

Postby maybay » Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:39 pm

smcj wrote:
What's impractical about being a shepard?

In this society, trying to put everybody else before oneself only makes you pathologically co-dependent with the entire world. To do it in a healthy and productive manner you need to establish yourself in a higher level of sanity than is normaly available to us first.

Of course your majesty.
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Re: Types of Bodhisattvas in Vajrayana

Postby Konchog1 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:57 pm

tomamundsen wrote:
maybay wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:I read somewhere that shepherd-like is the most admirable, but king-like is the only practical option.

What's impractical about being a shepard?

It takes a LOT more time that way. Vajrayana is about swiftness and efficiency.
Also, because there is huge difference in power and ability to help others between a tenth level Bodhisattva and a Buddha.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Types of Bodhisattvas in Vajrayana

Postby kirtu » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:38 am

Konchog1 wrote:
tomamundsen wrote:
maybay wrote:What's impractical about being a shepard?

It takes a LOT more time that way. Vajrayana is about swiftness and efficiency.
Also, because there is huge difference in power and ability to help others between a tenth level Bodhisattva and a Buddha.


We can still cultivate the aspiration while practicing Vajrayana assiduously.

Kirt
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"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
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Re: Types of Bodhisattvas in Vajrayana

Postby brendan » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:17 am

We can still cultivate the aspiration while practicing Vajrayana assiduously.

Kirt[/quote]

The problem being that no one has achieved Vajrayana Buddhahood let along the higher stages or Bhumis of the Bodhisattva path. How could they, there are still suffering sentient beings!

Yet Vajrayana and Mahayana followers are led to believe they must follow in the footsteps of these supreme beings. It really is a bit comical dont you think?

From a Hinayana (to obtain enlightenment for oneself) perspective cessation of suffering seems possible. But from a Vajrayana/Mahayna (to obtain enlightenment for _all_ sentient beings), cessation of suffering clearly hasnt happened.
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Re: Types of Bodhisattvas in Vajrayana

Postby maybay » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:22 am

I wish I could see the comedy in not understanding ground, path and result.
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Re: Types of Bodhisattvas in Vajrayana

Postby brendan » Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:04 pm

maybay wrote:I wish I could see the comedy in not understanding ground, path and result.


Ground path and result is the view of Vajrayana (the path to obtain enlightenment for _all_ sentient beings).

Vajradhara along with all the other Vajrayana Buddhas claim they have perfected the path of Vajrayana (the path to obtain enlightenment for _all_ sentient beings_).

Like I pointed out before its obvious Vajradhara and the other Vajrayana Buddhas have not perfected this path due there still being suffering sentient beings.

Ground path and result are only empty on paper.
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Re: Types of Bodhisattvas in Vajrayana

Postby smcj » Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:40 pm

Vajradhara along with all the other Vajrayana Buddhas claim they have perfected the path of Vajrayana (the path to obtain enlightenment for _all_ sentient beings_).

Like I pointed out before its obvious Vajradhara and the other Vajrayana Buddhas have not perfected this path due there still being suffering sentient beings.

According to the teachings on Buddha Nature, when someone becomes totally enlightened they can see the Buddha Nature, the enlightened essence, in everyone else also. Thus for the enlightened person, the unenlightened appear as enlightened also.

It's a bit of a cop-out, but doctrinal nevertheless. :-(
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