Training of Beginner Bodhisattvas

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Re: Training of Beginner Bodhisattvas

Postby Astus » Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:40 am

Four siddhantas (catuh-siddhanta, 四悉檀):

(1 loka-siddhanta) shijiexitan 世界悉檀 Worldly siddhānta. Preaching which accords to the conventional understanding of the world.
(2 prthagjana-siddhanta) gegeweirenxitan 各各爲人悉檀 Siddhānta for each individual. Preaching according to the abilities and levels of understanding of the people listening.
(3 pratipaksa-siddhanta) duizhixitan 對治悉檀 Special application siddhānta. Preaching aimed at destroying strong defilement or evil karma of certain beings.
(4 paramartha-siddhanta) diyiyixitan 第一義悉檀 Siddhānta of supreme truth. Preaching of reality as understood by the Buddha himself.

also here (Tiantai): The Four Siddhanta
Nagarjuna on the four siddhantas: part 1 part 2 part 3
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Training of Beginner Bodhisattvas

Postby ground » Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:29 pm

Thank you.

So from my perspective the text qua text for a reader is "pratipaksa-siddhanta" because even if a teachings is aimed at "supreme truth" as a verbal teaching there is always the flaw that it is based on nominal truth.
And the text qua Prasannendriya teaching Agramati is not even "pratipaksa-siddhanta" because the definition reads "Having ... healed their spiritual flaws (Therapeutic Method)" which obviously has been skipped thus causing harm to Agramati. So there seems to be the inconsistency of the bodhisattva's Prasannendriya's alleged "view of reality as it is" and his lack of skillful and compassionate means.

But as an illustration (parable) for the reader that attachment (even to sila) may cause further secondary afflictions (hatred) which again may cause suffering it is valid. Also as an illustration that hatred directed against a bodhisattva causes re-appearance in hell it is valid.


Kind regards
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Re: Training of Beginner Bodhisattvas

Postby Huifeng » Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:17 pm

Perhaps I was correct, and shouldn't have posted it in the first place.

Something suggests that greater familiarity with both the four-fold siddhanta system of the Upadesa and the whole outlook of the Upadesa itself would be helpful if we are to pursue this line of discussion. Otherwise we are just making things even more confusing.
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Re: Training of Beginner Bodhisattvas

Postby Astus » Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:20 pm

Master Huifeng,

You talk about a complete course in the MPPU but that may not be necessary. A single introductory book (eg. Yinshun's Way to Buddhahood, Shengyan's Orthodox Chinese Buddhism, Gampopa's Jewel Ornament of Liberation) should suffice to provide enough basis for approaching more complicated teachings. But so far Buddhist communities rarely provide the necessary fundamentals, like in the form of Sunday schools. However, this is a discussion rather for the Western Buddhism part than sutra analysis.

What could be looked into here is catmoon's question about what to do with teachings one can't put anywhere. That's one thing. Another thing is the nature of reactions and what difference it makes if this text is from a sutra, from a Zen teacher, from a tantra or somewhere else. Many have read the Vimalakirti sutra and the relevant part hasn't been raised as far as I can recall as a controviersial teaching here or on other forums (where I've been). Calling it a teaching for beginner bodhisattvas might have added to the edge of it. But then, no problems with Zen teachings about directly getting at buddha-mind. How strange!
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Training of Beginner Bodhisattvas

Postby Jnana » Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:57 pm

Astus wrote:A single introductory book (eg. Yinshun's Way to Buddhahood, Shengyan's Orthodox Chinese Buddhism, Gampopa's Jewel Ornament of Liberation) should suffice to provide enough basis for approaching more complicated teachings.

Hi Astus & all,

These are very good examples of bodhisattvayāna treatises. I would add a few classical Indian sources to the list, such as Śāntideva's Śikṣāsamuccaya and Bodhicaryavatāra, as well as Kamalaśīla's Bhāvanākramas.

[The best translation of the three Bhāvanākramas to date is: Adam, Martin T. Meditation and the Concept of Insight in Kamalaśīla's Bhāvanākramas. Doctoral Dissertation. 2002.]

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: Training of Beginner Bodhisattvas

Postby Astus » Wed Dec 29, 2010 4:01 pm

Geoff,

Can you think of a treatise that is easily obtainable - afaik Siksasamuccaya wasn't reprinted and is impossible to buy - and readable? I mean, the Bodhicaryavatara is good but too terse, not really explaining things.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Training of Beginner Bodhisattvas

Postby Will » Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:09 pm

I will mention (again) the Kalavinka Press series. http://www.kalavinka.com/

Excepting the two meditation books & the Stories volume, everything there is seminal and clear and focused on the bodhisattva path.

The "Friendly Letter" of Nagarjuna was a favored primer for aspiring bodhisattvas in India long ago - so why not study it first? Kalavinka's edition has three translations - all older than any Tibetan version.

I am fond of Vasubandhu's work on bodhichitta and N.'s Bodhisambhara Shastra which latter Dharmamitra has in two versions: abridged & a full commentary by Bhikshu Vasitva.

Since Nagarjuna is often thought of as the "founder" of Mahayana his shorter texts should be at the top of any list.
Last edited by Will on Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:56 pm, edited 3 times in total.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Training of Beginner Bodhisattvas

Postby Jnana » Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:15 pm

Astus wrote:Can you think of a treatise that is easily obtainable - afaik Siksasamuccaya wasn't reprinted and is impossible to buy - and readable? I mean, the Bodhicaryavatara is good but too terse, not really explaining things.

Well, Gampopa's Jewel Ornament covers everything.

I've heard that Lozang Jamspal (Columbia University) has made or is in the process of making a new translation of the Śikṣāsamuccaya. Much needed and long, long overdue. The old 1922 translation of the Śikṣāsamuccaya is available in PDF here.

There is also Richard Mahoney's Of the Progresse of the Bodhisattva: The Bodhisattvamārga in the Śikṣāsamuccaya. It's a good translation and survey of the root stanzas of the text. It can be downloaded as a PDF once you register as a member (free).

As for the Bodhicaryavatāra, The Nectar of Manjushri's Speech is an excellent commentary by Kunzang Pelden, who was a student of Patrul Rinpoche. Very traditional Mahāyāna.

And as Will mentioned, Nāgārjuna's Letter to a Friend is very good. As is his Precious Garland.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: Training of Beginner Bodhisattvas

Postby kirtu » Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:31 pm

Yeshe D. wrote:As for the Bodhicaryavatāra, The Nectar of Manjushri's Speech is an excellent commentary by Kunzang Pelden, who was a student of Patrul Rinpoche. Very traditional Mahāyāna.


There is also the commentary by Sazang Mati Panchen translated by Khenpo Kalsang Gyaltsen and Ani Kunga.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
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Re: Training of Beginner Bodhisattvas

Postby catmoon » Mon Jan 03, 2011 6:04 am

Pardon me Venerable, but what does that mean without the Sanskrit?
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.
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