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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:04 am 
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Greetings,

I thought it might be worth starting up a topic focussing on who we personally consider to be the 5 greatest Mahayana masters of all time, and a few sentences on what makes them so significant.

It is my hope that these lists will provide people with additional sources of study and might point them in the direction of teachers (past and present) whose works could provide them with additional Dharma insights.

Metta,
Retro. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:30 am 
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1. His Holiness the Dalai Lama

He has kept the traditions alive and in good shape and promoted harmony among the different sects. He also has embraced, lead and taught within all four sects without bias and promoted the Rime movement. He has set forth new standards regarding important practices while maintaining lineage, traditions, practices, initiations, and standards that can be traced back to the time of the Buddha. He has worked tirelessly as the temporal leader of Tibet in exile to bring about peace and harmony within nations. He promotes peaceful values and ideals that are essential to buddhism and could that could create a nicer. This earned him a Nobel Peace Prize, as he is appreciated and admired by political leaders worldwide. His spiritual contributions are countless. May His Holiness from the land of snow mountains live long and then return continue his compassionate, loving work with sentient beings until all beings reach enlightenment. He is the embodiment of compassion, Avalokiteshvara.

Om mani padme hum
Om mani padme hum
Om mani padme hum

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:59 am 
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Do you need some time to think about numbers 2-5?

:D

Metta,
Retro. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:24 am 
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LOL, I'd like to write about Her Eminence Jetsun Kushok Chimey Luding but I have a little bias towards her. Next I'll write about:

2. Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche
3. His Holiness Sakya Trinzin

But I'm taking my time with it. I'd like to see other people's opinions too :smile:


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:43 am 
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1. Thich Nhat Hanh

All of his work to spread the Dharma, engaged Buddhism.

2. Dalai Lama

A great world leader, too many achievements to mention.

3. Shabkar

The 18th-19th century mendicant monk from Tibet, engaged Buddhism.

4. Phillip Kapleau, the 20th century Zen master who wrote classic Zen books for the West.

5. Karuna Dharma

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:55 am 
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The late Ven Master Hsuan Hua was the first to inspire in me the sense of no nonsense responsibility and zeal towards the Buddha Dharma and it was through him that I learned how wonderful the Mahayana was especially in the Chinese context, previously thought by myself to be a mere poor carbon copy of folk Chinese beliefs and Taoism. Reform and destroying superstition within was some of his motto.
Link: http://www.buddhanet.net/masters/hsuan_hua.htm

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The Grand Master Venerable Master Hsing Yun inspired me in terms of a dharmaduta's (Dharma Ambassador) work and Humanistic Buddhism, bringing and making the Buddha Dharma ever relevant through modern means and media to today's society's masses, creating a Pure Land on earth.
Link: http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=Hsing_Yun

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The Venerable Master Chin Kung inspired me on the Pure Land Path, emphasizing on Education as means of propagating Buddhism as a learning and experiential journey. Again, the dharmaduta spirit is re-inforced here.
Link: http://www.buddhanet.net/masters/chin_kung.htm

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The late Venerable Master Sheng-yen was the second one whom I had read much on Ch'an practice during the earlier years and was struck by his zeal to undertake the revival of Chinese Buddhism, humanitarian and academic efforts and simplistic ways of living as a Buddhist in today's world. Touted as one of the 50 most influential personalities in Taiwan and amongst the 400 in the world.
Link: http://www.buddhanet.net/masters/sheng_yen.htm

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The Venerable Master Cheng Yen is known as the 'Mother Teresa' of Chinese Buddhism and through her and her organisation, the Tzu Chi Foundation, hundreds of thousands worldwide have benefited from her missions to the poor, sick, afflicted and marginalised. And it all started from her encounter with some Catholic Sisters, who wondered why Buddhists then talked more than they cared for the downtrodden. Tzu Chi Foundation was her response to that question. Her three vows says it all: Purify minds, Harmonize society and free the world from disaster.
Link: http://www.tzuchi.org/global/about/founder/master.html

In obeisance to the Venerable Masters :bow:

Namo Amitabha Buddha!


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 12:42 pm 
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i'm afraid my knowledge is too shallow to list 5. i can mention two that have had a paticular impact on my life.

Shinran Shonin
i really admire his efforts to make the Dharma as accessible as possible to everyone, not just the elite or monastic orders of his day. i admire his humbleness, time and time again he insisted he had no followers, only fellow dharma friends on the Pureland Path. and i am grateful to him for challenging me to face myself honestly, to examine how far down my sense of self-cherishing really goes, and to place my trust in something greater than my limited 'self'
http://www.shinranworks.com/

T'an Luan
heavily influenced Shinran's thought. elucidated clearly the details of the Pureland path in a way that i don't find too difficult to understand. placed emphasis on nembutsu as recitation of The Name and thus opened up the doors for many. his faith in Amida is inspiring as before meeting Bodhiruci he was engaged in studying Taoist texts in the hope of finding ways to prolong his life. ultimately, he abandoned that search and placed his trust in Amida.
http://www.nembutsu.info/bandluan.htm

one last person i could add, though i'm not sure he would have referred to himself as a Master -

Manshi Kiyozawa
i admire in particular his whole spiritual path - he pushed himself to the absolute limits of self-power and that in turn led him to awaken to the embrace of Amida's VowPower. challenged the established order and how they held sway to political influence. his December Fan essays are some of my favourite writings and each time i turn to them i find something new that causes me to pause for reflection.
http://www.shindharmanet.com/writings/K ... an0001.pdf

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Namu Amida Butsu


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 3:06 pm 
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:oops:

I just realized I forgot Nagarjuna!

Nagarjuna would be my #1 or #2 on my revised list. My list had only modern teachers on there, so in the interest of the all-time factor, I would probably put Bodhidharma on there somewhere too.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 4:51 pm 
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Buddha, Nagarjuna, Shantideva, Tsongkhapa, Chih-i

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:05 pm 
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I admire all people who have attained enlightenment or come close, but I admit that this thread is good for discussion so I'll add a few more.

1) PADMASAMBHAVA! - He had the spiritual strength to bring Vajrayana Buddhism to Tibet. The scope of his wisdom and teachings are almost too vast to comprehend.

2) Naropa - One of the forefathers of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. Naropa started his life as a great scholar in India and later became a great enlightened yogi with the help of his master Tilopa. Naropa taught Marpa, who in turn taught Milarepa.

3) Machig Labdrön - One of the founders of the profound tantric practice of Chöd. She was both a mother with children and a yogini of the highest level. She's an inspiring example of a female Vajrayana master.

4) The 16th Karmapa - The late head of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. He possessed the deepest wisdom and compassion and was one of the greatest Buddhist masters in modern times.

5) The 14th Dalai Lama - He's the most loved Dalai Lama in history. It's impossible not to love him!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:11 am 
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Greetings,

I'm certainly not qualified to give anything resembling an objective viewpoint, so I'll open this by saying it's very subjective and based solely on that which relates to my own practice and my own perspectives.

1. Nagarjuna - primarily on account of MMK, and the way it refutes the reificiation of dhammas. Key founder of Mahayana, but his teachings on emptiness have relevance regardless of which tradition you follow.

2. Seng Ts'an - Hsin Hsin Ming is brilliant - http://www.age-of-the-sage.org/buddhism ... h_zen.html - very powerful stuff, he obviously "gets it"

3. HHDL 14 - prominent role in bringing Buddhism to the West and as an exemplar for compassion, promoter of the compatibility of Buddhism with science, and just like the Buddha, actively opposed to superstitions and inappropriate rituals and beliefs

4. Bodhidharma - prominent role in bringing Buddhism to China and Japan in the form of Ch'an and Zen

5. Master Hsing Yun - establishment of the Fo Guang Shan and promoting Humanitarian Buddhism... making Buddhism in China and other Asian countries more about humans and less about the appeasement of hungry ghosts. I also meditate at an FGS centre at lunchtimes when I get a chance, so I appreciate his role in the existence of that centre.

Metta,
Retro. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 4:34 pm 
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Will wrote:
Buddha, Nagarjuna, Shantideva, Tsongkhapa, Chih-i


Asanga, Vasubandhu, Atisha, & Hsuan Tsang should also be on any short list.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:27 am 
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These lists are kind of fun:

1. Nagarjuna

2. Shantideva

3. Longchen Rabjam

4. Zhaozhou (Joshu)

5. Huangbo


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:45 am 
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I don't know how I could have overlooked Shantideva or Milarepa for even a moment.
Homage to both!

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:12 pm 
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Nagarjuna
Shantideva
Milarapa
Padmasambhava
Asanga


I have put them in a rough order of how influential I feel they have been to me.


Gabe


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:34 pm 
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Nagarjuna

Bodhidharma

Jianzhi Sengcan

Dōgen Zenji



Thats my four lol


Metta

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:05 pm 
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.
Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava)
Yeshe Tsogyal
Nagarjuna
Naropa
Milarepa



:anjali:

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:11 am 
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1)Nagarjuna/Ashvaghosha = a tie (NO one said no ties :tongue: )
2)Bodhidharma
3)Huineng
4)Hsuan Tsang (for upstaging all the Indian masters and taking the Dharma to China)
5)Dalai Lama (for reviving Buddhism's popularity)


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:30 am 
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Greetings,

sraddha wrote:
(NO one said no ties :tongue: )


Fair enough... but you do realise you've done a Top 6? :o

Metta,
Retro. :)

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Dhamma Wheel (Theravada forum) * Here Comes Trouble


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:24 am 
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retrofuturist wrote:
Greetings,

sraddha wrote:
(NO one said no ties :tongue: )


Fair enough... but you do realise you've done a Top 6? :o

Metta,
Retro. :)


:lol: I only see 5 numbers there... :tongue:


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