The Dharma produced the Buddha

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: The Dharma produced the Buddha

Postby nirmal » Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:08 am

Tilopa wrote:
nirmal wrote:The Buddha revealed the Dharma only after he was Enlightened.He did not know of the existance of the Dharma as a prince though it was all there.


How can you be so sure? Gautama Buddha is the 4th 'wheel turning buddha' to appear since the beginning of this world so dharma precedes his awakening. He also practiced the path in previous lives as told in the Jataka tales so obviously he relied on the dharma to become enlightened.


If He had known the Dharma before He was Enlightened,why did he leave his palace to seek the Truth in that particular lifetime? Even if I were to know the Truth, why would I go seeking for the Truth?

He practiced the path in previous lives as told in the Jataka tales. No doubt about that but He never uttered a word about that as a prince as He was not Enlightened yet.
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Re: The Dharma produced the Buddha

Postby ground » Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:11 am

Yeshe wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
Yeshe wrote:
Buddha did not have to teach Dharma to beings who were already fully enlightened, he chose to reveal it to those who wished to become so.


Because he was the only enlightened one, yes.




When did Budda describe himself as the only enlightened being?

Here Ananda a bhikkhu understands: 'It is impossible, it cannot happen that two Accomplished Ones, Fully Enlightened Ones, could arise contemporaneously in one world system"
Bahudhatuka Sutta (MN115)


Yeshe wrote:I thought he refused such self-focused descriptions and stated that he was 'awake'. When did he label himself as 'enlightened' and when did he state this as his exclusive condition?

Exclusiveness see above.
And
Bhikkhus, before my enlightenment, while I was still a bodhisatta, not yet fully enlightened, ...
SNIII.22.26


Yeshe wrote:If you don't know of Mahavira how may you pronounce that he was not enlightened?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahavira

How do you know that Mahavira, as I used that example, did not know of the Dharma? As he slightly predates Buddha, you don't allow for the possibility that others became enlightened and knew the Dharma. History tends to recall those who gained fame.
If Buddha did not 'produce' the Dharma, as it already existed, how do you know others had not also encountered it? You are aware of every being alive at that time?

In truth, we only know of tales which point to Shakyamuni as one who revealed the Dharma and gained fame and a following. To assert that he was the only one aware of the Dharma is impossible unless you are omniscient. ;)

Because I rely on the Buddha. He is my refuge. You see I do not have to be omniscient but I do just have to recall whether I have taken refuge and for what reason I have taken refuge and what "taking refuge" means. Therefore what he called "enlightenment", is rightly called "enlightenment" from my perspective.
I accept however that people follow other teachers and teachings.

I may have misunderstood that this forum is about the Buddha's teaching. If so then please accept my apologies.

But then ... the OP stated "the Dharma" which obviously refers to one particular dharma and if he did not refer to the Buddha's Dharma to what dharma did he refer?


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Re: The Dharma produced the Buddha

Postby Huifeng » Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:27 am

Re: The Dharma produced the Buddha
nirmal wrote:or did the Buddha produce the Dharma?


Depends on what you mean by "Dharma".
This word has many meanings, after all.

(Thanks ConeBeckham for being the only one to attempt clarification before jumping in!)
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Re: The Dharma produced the Buddha

Postby Blue Garuda » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:56 am

TMingyur:

I was going to debate your assertion based on your single quote, in that disciples gained enlightenment while the Buddha was still alive, not to mention all the records of simultaneous presence of enlightened beings in Mahayana and Vajrayana.

I would also have also debated whether only a 'Buddhist' could gain enlightenment as defined by the Buddha, and whether you would know about it (as I wrote, you are not omniscient and cannot know this).

Then I noted this:

''I may have misunderstood that this forum is about the Buddha's teaching. If so then please accept my apologies.''

Prapanca from within sarcasm - so I decided that it wasn't worth it. ;)

maitri

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Re: The Dharma produced the Buddha

Postby ground » Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:05 pm

Yeshe wrote:TMingyur:

I was going to debate your assertion based on your single quote, in that disciples gained enlightenment while the Buddha was still alive,

The Buddha used different terms, e.g. he called it "liberated" or used metaphors to describe his disciples' achievements.

Yeshe wrote:I would also have also debated whether only a 'Buddhist' could gain enlightenment as defined by the Buddha, and whether you would know about it (as I wrote, you are not omniscient and cannot know this).

Well according to the Buddha only the 8fold path leads to liberation and according to his successors who made explicit the Mahayana meaning implicit in the Buddha's teachings (in addition to the Sravaka-meaning) still the Buddha's 8fold path is the basis.


Yeshe wrote:Prapanca from within sarcasm - so I decided that it wasn't worth it.

Well discussing in forums generally may be considered papanca. But my remark was not sarcastic. It is just that sometimes I feel like affirming the common basis I feel I have with fellow buddhists. We should not forget this even if our views may differ in some details.


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Re: The Dharma produced the Buddha

Postby muni » Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:22 pm

I may react on others approach but don't react on me.

Some words about dharma by Padmasambhava:

"We are not enlightened by fabricated dharmas, indicated dharmas, explained dharmas, cultivated dharmas."
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Re: The Dharma produced the Buddha

Postby Blue Garuda » Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:35 pm

TMingyur wrote:
It is just that sometimes I feel like affirming the common basis I feel I have with fellow buddhists. We should not forget this even if our views may differ in some details.


Kind regards


I'm pleased that you have reminded yourself of this.

''I may have misunderstood that this forum is about the Buddha's teaching.'' (TMingyur)

As you claim the words above were not sarcastic , I will explain it for you.

In the context of the forum, and in answer to your question, you are not mistaken - this is indeed a Buddhist forum, specifically a Mahayana forum, and scripture of the latter may, as I indicated, provide ample evidence of the simultaneous existence of enlightened beings, including Buddhas.

I state that not to enter into debate, but simply to contextualise the forum for you, as if it was not sarcastic, your question indicates that you were a little lost. ;)
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Re: The Dharma produced the Buddha

Postby Blue Garuda » Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:19 pm

nirmal wrote:If He had known the Dharma before He was Enlightened,why did he leave his palace to seek the Truth in that particular lifetime? Even if I were to know the Truth, why would I go seeking for the Truth?

He practiced the path in previous lives as told in the Jataka tales. No doubt about that but He never uttered a word about that as a prince as He was not Enlightened yet.


That is my interpretation. We ordinary beings do not remember past lives and teachings, but upon enlightenment and the gaining of omniscience the Buddha would clearly remember if he had encountered the Dharma.

The definition of Dharma is indeed important. Looking back at my past post, where I sugegsted that the Buddha did not 'produce' the Dharma, but revealed it, perhaps this was a little simplistic.

Buddha revealed the 4 NT and 8FP as the means by which one may become enlightened. Is that path then the Dharma? Or is the Dharma the ultimate truth only to be known upon enlightenment, in which case the path is not Dharma of itself?

The OP uses 'Dharma' with a capital 'D' and may have meant specifically to refer to Buddhadharma. Here again is a difficulty. If the Buddha's Dharma is ultimate truth, can there be other dharmas, or are these just labels attached to paths leading nowhere?

If, as some believe, each person is already enlightened and that state has only to be revealed, then is each person's Dharma exactly the same as that of Shakyamuni?
And who is qualified to state that this or that person is enlightened, or even if he or she is a Buddha, especially if no two are able to exist at the same time?

I believe that the Dharma is the ultimate Truth, and that Buddha revealed a method through which we may eventually see that Truth clearly and without taints. I do not regard Buddha's path as the only method of enlightenment, as I have little idea about the others so would waste my time by speculating, and I would be foolish to deny the possibility.

There appear to be different Buddhas and Bodhisattvas within the Mahayana, and whilst all may share a common nature, there would be no purpose in the differentiation if all shared exactly the same qualities. I therefore conclude that the Dharma they share has many faceted qualities and is not revealed identically to each being nor revealed identically by each Buddha.

I am also clear that nobody else can become enlightened on my behalf, so I should choose a path which has some history of success, and judge for myself whether I am making progress. And it is there that the third aspect of the Refuge comes into play - Sangha to teach, support and help me to measure that progress.

Finally, and with tongue in cheek, maybe we should also ask the unthinkable - Did Sangha 'produce' both Buddha and the idea of a Buddhadharma ? ;)
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Re: The Dharma produced the Buddha

Postby Individual » Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:32 pm

nirmal wrote:or did the Buddha produce the Dharma?

Nothing is self-caused; all things arise in dependence on other things. Secondly, there is no self, so in this sense, there is no "Buddha," there is only dharma, and Buddha-dharma is an inseparable unity. How is it an inseparable unity? You could ask a similar question: Do people practice Buddhism because they are Buddhists, or is it because of Buddhism that they are practicing Buddhists? It is an complex and inseparable unity of cause & effect, in which to say one came first doesn't make any sense because everything is devoid of self-nature, arising and ceasing in dependence.

muni wrote:I may react on others approach but don't react on me.

Some words about dharma by Padmasambhava:

"We are not enlightened by fabricated dharmas, indicated dharmas, explained dharmas, cultivated dharmas."

I am not disagreeing, but one could say it is a contradiction for Padmasambhava to say that and for you to quote it.
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Re: The Dharma produced the Buddha

Postby Tilopa » Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:07 am

Yeshe wrote:The definition of Dharma is indeed important. Looking back at my past post, where I sugegsted that the Buddha did not 'produce' the Dharma, but revealed it, perhaps this was a little simplistic.

Buddha revealed the 4 NT and 8FP as the means by which one may become enlightened. Is that path then the Dharma? Or is the Dharma the ultimate truth only to be known upon enlightenment, in which case the path is not Dharma of itself?

The OP uses 'Dharma' with a capital 'D' and may have meant specifically to refer to Buddhadharma. Here again is a difficulty. If the Buddha's Dharma is ultimate truth, can there be other dharmas, or are these just labels attached to paths leading nowhere?


It's often taught that each of the 3 Jewels has a conventional and ultimate aspect:

Conventional
Buddha = nirmanakaya and samboghakaya (the buddhas two form bodies)
Dharma = the scriptures and teachings
Sangha = the monastic community

Ultimate
Buddha = dharmakaya and svavabakaya (the buddhas mental body)
Dharma = true cessation and true path
Sangha = a being who has realized emptiness

This might be helpful to the current discussion
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Re: The Dharma produced the Buddha

Postby Individual » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:51 am

Tilopa wrote:It's often taught that each of the 3 Jewels has a conventional and ultimate aspect:

Conventional
Buddha = nirmanakaya and samboghakaya (the buddhas two form bodies)
Dharma = the scriptures and teachings
Sangha = the monastic community

Ultimate
Buddha = dharmakaya and svavabakaya (the buddhas mental body)
Dharma = true cessation and true path
Sangha = a being who has realized emptiness

This might be helpful to the current discussion

Ultimately there is only emptiness.
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Re: The Dharma produced the Buddha

Postby plwk » Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:04 am

When did Budda describe himself as the only enlightened being?

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
I have no teacher,
and one like me can't be found.

In the world with its devas,
I have no counterpart.
For I am an Arahant in the world;
I, the unexcelled teacher.
I, alone, am rightly Self-Awakened.
Cooled am I, unbound.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .budd.html
Of all the paths the Eightfold Path is the best;
of all the truths the Four Noble Truths are the best;
of all things Passionlessness is the best:
of men the Seeing One (the Buddha) is the best.
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Re: The Dharma produced the Buddha

Postby conebeckham » Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:15 am

Ultimately there is only emptiness.


Yeah....and what realizes it?
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Re: The Dharma produced the Buddha

Postby Tilopa » Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:34 am

conebeckham wrote:
Ultimately there is only emptiness.


Yeah....and what realizes it?


Thanks CB I was lost for an appropriate response but this is perfect. :tongue:
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Re: The Dharma produced the Buddha

Postby Individual » Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:37 am

If it came in a vessel, it would not be called emptiness. It has no vessel, therefore it can be called boundless, luminous, and unconditioned liberty. :)
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Re: The Dharma produced the Buddha

Postby Tilopa » Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:53 am

Individual wrote:If it came in a vessel, it would not be called emptiness. It has no vessel, therefore it can be called boundless, luminous, and unconditioned liberty. :)


There you go being cryptic again...... :tongue:
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Re: The Dharma produced the Buddha

Postby Individual » Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:29 am

Tilopa wrote:
Individual wrote:If it came in a vessel, it would not be called emptiness. It has no vessel, therefore it can be called boundless, luminous, and unconditioned liberty. :)


There you go being cryptic again...... :tongue:

I don't know if this is a good idea. I have other concerns to deal with right now and there are already things written on this, but I just can't resist. Also, when I am too long-winded, it gives people too much of an opportunity to think about all the details of what I say, and judge them based on preconceptions.

Here goes:

Emptiness is just emptiness; nothing more and nothing less. If it comes in a jar, it is called "jar." If it comes in a box, it is called "box." If it comes in the form of a being called Tilopa, it is called "Tilopa." But in each case it is only emptiness and the thing around it is only what covers it. Seeing the emptiness is freedom from suffering because it is universal (where is there not emptiness?) and it is the one thing that cannot be destroyed. Whereas jars, boxes, and beings like Tilopa come and go, everywhere there always remains emptiness -- all the beings of this realm could die, this universe itself could be destroyed too, but still, emptiness would remain. Of course emptiness also never left either; it's only the mind that creates coming and going.

Reflecting on this leads to limitless joy and freedom, because one is no longer constrained by anything, whether mental or physical, because one identifies simply with the emptiness itself; not this jar, this box, this being, but simply emptiness. In a negative, cynical sense one could equate it with nothingness. In a positive, more joyful sense one could equate it with limitless potential for creative self-expression. The nihilist is the one who is attached to the former view and does not actually do anything useful with it while the idealist is one who is attached to the latter view. With the realization of emptiness, no views are clung to and both the positive and negative expressions are regarded as valid or invalid in different contexts. And instead of saying emptiness, one could also merely say, "Do not falsely regard anything as permanent and self." Not falsely regarding any thing as permanent or self, the only thing left is "no-thing." This no-thing is very different, though, from mere nothingness because of its light-like qualities and capacity for being used for freedom. Seeing and using that no-thing is freedom because slavery always manifests in a context of conditioned objects: the slave-owner with his body holds whips and chains, and the slave lives within a body. With no-thing, there is no slavery or injustice, only liberty. Instead of thinking or imagining this based on what you read here, completely ignore all this and just look at it. If you're an alcoholic, see, "I am not this, this is impermanent," that is, the emptiness of alcoholism; and become sober! If you are overweight, see, "I am not this, this is impermanent," the emptiness of weight, and the pounds will fall right off!

Does that clarify anything? There are already good things written on this, but like I said, I could not resist. :)
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Re: The Dharma produced the Buddha

Postby nirmal » Wed Dec 08, 2010 7:44 am

Dharma is the Truth or Bhutatathata.This is where Dharma has been recognized with profound insight, the true nature of everything.This is the narrow definition of the term.

Both world laws and mundane Buddhist rules can be called the Dharma too.The law is thus the many regulations and percepts of the Vinaya. The meaning here is still not the main definition.

Then there is the Wisdom of the Buddhas, or the Dharma considered as Perfect Enlightenmment.This is our goal to we make profound worship and towards which we earnestly strive.

Every phenomenon, interior or exterior, phychological and physical, are all called Dharmas.Besides these Dharmas we can find nothing else for no 'thing' or event lies outside this system.However vast in extent, this is still not the main meaning of the Dharma.

The doctrines taught in the three yanas is the principal meaning(OP).Here are included all the teachings of the Buddha found in the Tripitakas of the Theravada and Mahayana. The various doctrines should receive our humble and sincere reverence. Buddha 'revealed' the Dharma.The Buddhas before Him did not do that though knowing of It.

Without His Enlightenment, could the Dharma be revealed(produced)? Did he talk about the Dharma before he was Enlightened? If so, then it would be the Dharma that revealed(produced) the Buddha.

I'm still new at this posting posting stuff and the suggestions that were put forward in this thread together with the ongoing discussion have given me a better chance and knowledge to start a more mature and solid post in future.Thank you for giving me a chance to learn.But I still have this fear in me to start an opening post.
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Re: The Dharma produced the Buddha

Postby Tilopa » Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:30 am

Individual wrote:Does that clarify anything? There are already good things written on this, but like I said, I could not resist. :)


Errrrr....not really :tongue:

it might have been easier to just say all phenomena are empty of inherent existence.
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Re: The Dharma produced the Buddha

Postby Aemilius » Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:59 pm

nirmal wrote:or did the Buddha produce the Dharma?


According to Lankavatara Sutra Tathagata Shakyamuni did not produce the Dharma, the sutra continues to say that this the meaning in His saying that between Enlightenment and Parinirvana He never uttered one word, He never taught anything.
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