Buddhas, omnipotence and mantras

General forum on Mahayana.

Buddhas, omnipotence and mantras

Postby yan kong » Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:18 am

I have always maintained the personal belief that the path to liberation in based on personal effort. Thus Buddhas are not omnipotent or all powerful because that would imply me that they have the ability to liberate sentient beings without the use of the dharma and this would be a dilemma when contemplating their compassion because if they were omnipotent there would be no more suffering beings because they could just shall their fingers and liberation for all.

The thing is I have started chanting certain mantras which are supposed to have certain specific effects, particularly Ksitigarbha's mantra to eliminate negative karma. So I am rather wondering how this mantra can have this specific effect and who or what our how is karma purified exactly through a particular mantra?
"Meditation is a spiritual exercise, not a therapeutic regime... Our intention is to enter Nirvana, not to make life in Samsara more tolerable." Chan Master Hsu Yun
User avatar
yan kong
 
Posts: 150
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:01 am

Re: Buddhas, omnipotence and mantras

Postby Astus » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:24 am

So called "other power" works in Buddhism based on ones association with it. You do the mantras, you have faith in it, so you actually do the practise. Without practice there is no effect.

Honen's poem expresses this well:

Amida's Light

The Sutra says: ''Amida's light illumines all sentient beings throughout the ten worlds, who call upon the sacred name, protects and never forsakes them."

There is no place where the moonlight
Casts not its cheering ray;
With him who has the seeing eye
Alone that light will stay.


(Joseph A. Fitzgerald: Honen the Buddhist Saint, p 79)


See also this Dharma talk on the poem: Dharma Talk_Poem by Honen Shonin
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4170
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Buddhas, omnipotence and mantras

Postby brendan » Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:19 am

Mahayana Buddhism seems to have many contradictions.

If you read the 10 Mahyana Bhumis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bh%C5%ABmi_(Buddhism) you will notice accomplishments such as ability to read minds ability to manifest as many bodies as there are atoms.

I think its great that beings could summon this sort of vision.

But If these were true I very much doubt that we would even have to invoke an intention.

Mahayana is nice on paper.

The only way it works is the constant claim that its co-emergence from our side. Yet if one is to read the accomplishments of these great Bodhisattvas it seems silly.

On paper it is wonderful but I feel nothing more than that.
brendan
 
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Buddhas, omnipotence and mantras

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:24 am

I believe I have seen the explanation that mantra chanting, meditation, and any form of practice really has the potential for extinguishing negative karmic seeds in your individual Alaya-Vijnana, that is the purification bit.

To the best of my knowledge it is only Mahayana belief that Karma can be affected this way..but someone correct me if i'm wrong.
"We're chained to the world and we all gotta pull" -Tom Waits
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2914
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

Re: Buddhas, omnipotence and mantras

Postby Odsal » Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:02 am

brendan wrote:Mahayana Buddhism seems to have many contradictions.

If you read the 10 Mahyana Bhumis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bh%C5%ABmi_(Buddhism) you will notice accomplishments such as ability to read minds ability to manifest as many bodies as there are atoms.

I think its great that beings could summon this sort of vision.

But If these were true I very much doubt that we would even have to invoke an intention.

Mahayana is nice on paper.

The only way it works is the constant claim that its co-emergence from our side. Yet if one is to read the accomplishments of these great Bodhisattvas it seems silly.

On paper it is wonderful but I feel nothing more than that.


The vision is really what is important. I don't expect myself to be manifesting multiple bodies. Get real man. Do I believe it is possible? Yes. But regardless of whether it is possible or not, I still practice to embody and live that vision of compassion. Why? Because I love my family, I love my friends, I care about life, I want to manifest that vision into the world because I actually care. :rolleye: Crazy isn't it.
I have a Guru, he is my source of Dharma. When he shares with me his personal experiences from his life, the spiritual experiences that moved him to become the great man he his today, it inspires my heart, inspires my life, ignites my drive and enthusiasm to love and care for the people in my life and be kind and warm to those who come and go. It is a passing down of centuries of wisdom and blessings. I can personally attest to that because I am living it. I don't care what scripture says what really. Or what bhumi is what bla bla bla. I listen to my Guru and I practice the Dharma he teaches me and through that my own mind reveals to me the truth. I don't know who you are or what your Dharma experience is, But what you are doing is making light of and judging something you really seem to not give a shit about. So what are you even doing? You have a problem? Do you feel duped? You thought you were going to manifest infinite bodies and attain every siddhi?
Odsal
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:16 am

Re: Buddhas, omnipotence and mantras

Postby brendan » Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:11 am

Odsal wrote:
brendan wrote:Mahayana Buddhism seems to have many contradictions.

If you read the 10 Mahyana Bhumis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bh%C5%ABmi_(Buddhism) you will notice accomplishments such as ability to read minds ability to manifest as many bodies as there are atoms.

I think its great that beings could summon this sort of vision.

But If these were true I very much doubt that we would even have to invoke an intention.

Mahayana is nice on paper.

The only way it works is the constant claim that its co-emergence from our side. Yet if one is to read the accomplishments of these great Bodhisattvas it seems silly.

On paper it is wonderful but I feel nothing more than that.


The vision is really what is important. I don't expect myself to be manifesting multiple bodies. Get real man. Do I believe it is possible? Yes. But regardless of whether it is possible or not, I still practice to embody and live that vision of compassion. Why? Because I love my family, I love my friends, I care about life, I want to manifest that vision into the world because I actually care. :rolleye: Crazy isn't it.
I have a Guru, he is my source of Dharma. When he shares with me his personal experiences from his life, the spiritual experiences that moved him to become the great man he his today, it inspires my heart, inspires my life, ignites my drive and enthusiasm to love and care for the people in my life and be kind and warm to those who come and go. It is a passing down of centuries of wisdom and blessings. I can personally attest to that because I am living it. I don't care what scripture says what really. Or what bhumi is what bla bla bla. I listen to my Guru and I practice the Dharma he teaches me and through that my own mind reveals to me the truth. I don't know who you are or what your Dharma experience is, But what you are doing is making light of and judging something you really seem to not give a shit about. So what are you even doing? You have a problem? Do you feel duped? You thought you were going to manifest infinite bodies and attain every siddhi?


Sorry but you making incorrect judgments. I think Mahayana is a wonderful path.

This page is about how mantras work.
brendan
 
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Buddhas, omnipotence and mantras

Postby Odsal » Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:44 am

brendan wrote:
Odsal wrote:
brendan wrote:Mahayana Buddhism seems to have many contradictions.

If you read the 10 Mahyana Bhumis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bh%C5%ABmi_(Buddhism) you will notice accomplishments such as ability to read minds ability to manifest as many bodies as there are atoms.

I think its great that beings could summon this sort of vision.

But If these were true I very much doubt that we would even have to invoke an intention.

Mahayana is nice on paper.

The only way it works is the constant claim that its co-emergence from our side. Yet if one is to read the accomplishments of these great Bodhisattvas it seems silly.

On paper it is wonderful but I feel nothing more than that.


The vision is really what is important. I don't expect myself to be manifesting multiple bodies. Get real man. Do I believe it is possible? Yes. But regardless of whether it is possible or not, I still practice to embody and live that vision of compassion. Why? Because I love my family, I love my friends, I care about life, I want to manifest that vision into the world because I actually care. :rolleye: Crazy isn't it.
I have a Guru, he is my source of Dharma. When he shares with me his personal experiences from his life, the spiritual experiences that moved him to become the great man he his today, it inspires my heart, inspires my life, ignites my drive and enthusiasm to love and care for the people in my life and be kind and warm to those who come and go. It is a passing down of centuries of wisdom and blessings. I can personally attest to that because I am living it. I don't care what scripture says what really. Or what bhumi is what bla bla bla. I listen to my Guru and I practice the Dharma he teaches me and through that my own mind reveals to me the truth. I don't know who you are or what your Dharma experience is, But what you are doing is making light of and judging something you really seem to not give a shit about. So what are you even doing? You have a problem? Do you feel duped? You thought you were going to manifest infinite bodies and attain every siddhi?


Sorry but you making incorrect judgments. I think Mahayana is a wonderful path.

This page is about how mantras work.

I'm not concerned with the topic of how mantras work. I apologize to the OP and terms of service if I violate any. You say Mahayana is a wonderful path, but you say it is nice on paper. Which implies that it is not applicable to life as it is actually lived. Which is wrong, because my experience proves otherwise.
You say about Mahayana: "it is wonderful on paper, but I feel nothing more than that.". If that is truly how you feel then you certainly don't think much of it as an actual path, you don't even think it actually works. I guess you think it just sounds pretty and you appreciate that in the same way someone might appreciate piece of art in a gallery. Which to me has nothing to do with any real heart connection with anything. It just intellectual and kind of shallow. Like "oh I like that, its pretty". For others it is their heart beat, their life inspiration and for people like that the path actually works.
Odsal
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:16 am

Re: Buddhas, omnipotence and mantras

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Fri Aug 16, 2013 7:02 am

Haven't poured through the TOS, but i'll bet not intentionally derailing threads into new subjects is in there! Maybe take the disagreement to PM's?

Anyway, even if one doesn't buy that Mahasattvas and such are out there somewhere to purify your Karma..there are all kinds of explanations in Vajrayana for what Mahasattvas etc. actually are - see sambogakaya, Three Bodies ideas. And as I mentioned, one explanation of purification is said to be extinguishing seeds in the Alaya Vijnana - storehouse consciousness.

So far be it from me to dissuade anyone that wants to take a completely literalist view of things, but in the all the teachings i've read on this the explanation is a bit more nuanced than just thinking something out there is doing it all for you. Stories about manifesting bodies and whatnot..well, if you want to complain about Mahayana believing in such things, you need to accuse all Buddhism, as there is stuff about beings, hells, psychic powers in the Pali Canon also...albeit in Mahayana the "magic" aspect really does stand out.

Skillful means. Alot of stories may be hard to swallow from a literal perspective from people living in our culture..but I think it's important to keep a bit of an open mind, while also acknowledging that much of human history period is full of such stories, and in fact was told with such stories. This may seem difficult to deal with in a culture where finding what is empirically true is such an obsession, but really if it's a problem with Mahayana that one can't get past..i'd say it's a problem that one will eventually have to grapple with in all Buddhism minus the sanitized "secular" versions out there.
"We're chained to the world and we all gotta pull" -Tom Waits
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2914
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

Re: Buddhas, omnipotence and mantras

Postby Ayu » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:08 am

freakpower70 wrote:...
The thing is I have started chanting certain mantras which are supposed to have certain specific effects, particularly Ksitigarbha's mantra to eliminate negative karma. So I am rather wondering how this mantra can have this specific effect and who or what our how is karma purified exactly through a particular mantra?


I think it doesn't function because of omnipotence but because of emptyness.

Through the emptyness and the connection of all the phenomenons - being together in reality and not departed - good thoughts ar able to have an impact. I THINK SO - but never read it anywhere. :namaste:
Metta, Karuna, Mudita, Upekha
*** om vajra krodha hayagrīva hulu hulu hūm phat**
User avatar
Ayu
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1258
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:25 am
Location: Europe

Re: Buddhas, omnipotence and mantras

Postby brendan » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:12 am

Yes on paper the claims ie: 10 Bhumis along with the perfections are wonderful but to claim that beings have achieved them just seems silly.

So there for I don't see how the mantras can purify ones karma. But hey these beings are still clearly fantastic so why not do them ( Which is what this thread is about.)

I am also on the path.

At least it is a path that dosnt seem to have any sideeffects like the Abraham or monotheistic paths have. The monotheistic paths just seem to create a "I" that believes it can do what it wants when it wants without any negative consequences.

At least the Mahayana path shows total responsibility for one actions.

Anyway all the best.
brendan
 
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Buddhas, omnipotence and mantras

Postby Astus » Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:04 am

brendan,

Purification happens because you practice. There is nothing magical here. Instead of thinking about one's desires and aversions, one focuses on the object of meditation, thus overwriting to some extent one's habits. This is purification.

Supernatural powers like having many bodies and reading minds are not exclusive for bodhisattvas and buddhas but practically any being (including the lower realms) with a not too dull mind.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4170
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest


Return to Mahāyāna Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 10 guests

>