Why danger of Elder teachings for Mahayana follower?

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Re: Why danger of Elder teachings for Mahayana follower?

Postby ground » Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:36 pm

Yeshe wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
This has nothing to do with vinaya but with people a bodhisattva who has not yet attained the state of "never falling back" should not associate. A bodhisattva does not associate with Hinayanists and although the Theravada does not teach Hinayana the Hinayanists are a signifcant fraction there and dare to openly raise their voices and critizise the bodhisattva path.

Kind regards


To drag this back to the OP (:) ) it is not a matter of associating with 'Hinayanists' but of whether there is danger for a Mahayana student in studying the Pali Cannon, and the practices it espouses ('praxis') .

Surely at some stage a Mahayana student needs to become acquainted with the 4NT and 8FP. I know several who have taken the Mahayana path and only discovered those aspects afterwards. Surely there is no danger of slipping backwards, but every opportunity of finding the foundation for their practice, which would be suitably strengthened.


Of course a Mahayana student should study the suttas of the sutta pitaka and she/he should practice accordingly. Thereby renunciation can be perfected.

There is however a vast difference between doing so after having been inspired by Mahayana teachings and Mahayana teachers and while associating with a Mahayana sangha one the on hand
and
trying to practice the bodhisattva path in the Theravada environment which is not really conducive for the bodhisattva path on the other hand.

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Re: Why danger of Elder teachings for Mahayana follower?

Postby Blue Garuda » Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:15 pm

TMingyur wrote:
Yeshe wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
This has nothing to do with vinaya but with people a bodhisattva who has not yet attained the state of "never falling back" should not associate. A bodhisattva does not associate with Hinayanists and although the Theravada does not teach Hinayana the Hinayanists are a signifcant fraction there and dare to openly raise their voices and critizise the bodhisattva path.

Kind regards


To drag this back to the OP (:) ) it is not a matter of associating with 'Hinayanists' but of whether there is danger for a Mahayana student in studying the Pali Cannon, and the practices it espouses ('praxis') .

Surely at some stage a Mahayana student needs to become acquainted with the 4NT and 8FP. I know several who have taken the Mahayana path and only discovered those aspects afterwards. Surely there is no danger of slipping backwards, but every opportunity of finding the foundation for their practice, which would be suitably strengthened.


Of course a Mahayana student should study the suttas of the sutta pitaka and she/he should practice accordingly. Thereby renunciation can be perfected.

There is however a vast difference between doing so after having been inspired by Mahayana teachings and Mahayana teachers and while associating with a Mahayana sangha one the on hand
and
trying to practice the bodhisattva path in the Theravada environment which is not really conducive for the bodhisattva path on the other hand.

Kind regards


Just trying to tease out what was meant in the OP by:

''change there praxis to the teachings of the school of the elders.''

Study of teachings is one thing, changing practice is another, and may prove regressive for some, I agree.

You have shown a useful divide. :)
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Re: Why danger of Elder teachings for Mahayana follower?

Postby Hanzze » Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:31 am

Dear friends,

it looks for me as it is just dangerous to lose his deep motivation. Why is that so by coming in contact with easy teaching, with logical understanding? How is it possible to easy loose his, I like to call it "mojo" :-)

So where is my "mojo" who had stolen my "mojo"? What does make the bodicitta so unclear, after a while. Unseen, silent, not observed, hidden under tons of dust.
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Re: Why danger of Elder teachings for Mahayana follower?

Postby ground » Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:56 am

Hanzze wrote:Dear friends,

it looks for me as it is just dangerous to lose his deep motivation. Why is that so by coming in contact with easy teaching, with logical understanding?

1. The state of "never-falling back" is attained on the eigth bhumi and the bodhissattva practices for three measureles kalpas (sutrayana).
2. The Buddha in the sutta pitaka also teaches that the qualities of people you are associating with will affect your own qualitities and therefore you should avoid the "unwise" which in the context of the Mahayana practitioner are self-centered and/or anti-Mahayanist people.
3. Living beings are innumerable and act improperly.

So to sumarize: endless duration of practice, bad influence of self-centered environment, limitless sentient beings to be liberated and their attitudes and behaviour towards the bodhisattva.

These are the reasons why a bodhisattva may lapse from the Mahayana and fall back to the Hinayana in the early and midterm stages of her/his carreer. Actually these are the reasons raised by all Hinayanists that are following the Theravada teachings (which is not Hinayana by nature) against the Mahayana. In most cases they hide their Hinayana motivation behind the argument "you have to help yourself before you can helf others". All Hinayanist share a fundamental incapacity to understand the function and workings of bodhicitta.


And Hanzze, investigate your own motivation why you as a non-Mahayanist are asking all those questions.

Are you interested in becoming a Mahayana practitioner or do you want to gain a neutral understanding of the Mahayana or do you want question the validity of the Mahayana?


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Re: Why danger of Elder teachings for Mahayana follower?

Postby ground » Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:19 am

Since boddhisattvas must take care of students who are followers of all three lineages (sravakas, pratyekabuddhas, boddhisattvas), they must train in the paths of those three lineages.


Lama Tsongkhapa, LRCM
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Re: Why danger of Elder teachings for Mahayana follower?

Postby swampflower » Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:50 am

According to Je Tsongkhapa from the Lam Rim Chen Mo, The Great Exposition of the Stages of the Path, one needs to be versed (thoroughly acquainted through study and experience) with all three levels of the path and to keep all stages as part of the path.
This is also from Atiśa who wrote in "Lamp of the Path" (verse 2) that one should understand that there are three kind of persons:

1. persons of modest scope;
2. persons of medium scope;
3. persons of high scope.

Persons of modest motive search for happiness within samsara; their motive is to achieve high rebirth.

Persons of medium motive are searching for their own ultimate peace and abandon worldly pleasure. This includes the paths of pratyekabuddhas and śravakabuddhas, which seek personal liberation alone, the traditional goal of Hīnayāna practice.

Based on their insight of their own suffering, persons of high motive seek by all means to stop the suffering of all beings. This is the Mahāyāna path of the samyaksaṃbuddhas.

I see no danger in any teachings of the Buddha.
Oṃ Tāre Tuttāre Ture Svāhā
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Re: Why danger of Elder teachings for Mahayana follower?

Postby Astus » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:43 am

Just to re-emphasise what Swampflower said, the paths (sravaka, pratyeka, bodhisattva) are primarily about motivation and not doctrine. Compared to the sravaka way the extra what a bodhisattva does is the accumulation of merits. In terms of wisdom sravaka and bodhisattva are equal. Also, the whole concept of a bodhisattvayana is not a "Mahayana" product but has existed in schools like the Sarvastivada and Dharmagupta - and many of their interpretations became mainstream in Mahayana - just as it does in Theravada now.

I find it a mistaken concept to believe that there is a clear border between "Hinayana" and "Mahayana" teachings. Keep in mind that there has never been a school or group of schools called Hinayana, it's just a convenient term to call most of Indian Buddhist schools. Thus what one may consider Mahayana teachings are in many cases found word by word in earlier "Hinayana" texts and schools, including the idea that a bodhisattva has to practise through many aeons and go through the five paths (accumulation, preparation, insight, meditation, no more learning). So a "Mahayana follower" is the one who focuses on walking to bodhisattva path instead of the sravaka way but it is no way a rejection of any of the teachings of Buddha.
"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: Why danger of Elder teachings for Mahayana follower?

Postby tobes » Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:08 pm

Astus wrote:Just to re-emphasise what Swampflower said, the paths (sravaka, pratyeka, bodhisattva) are primarily about motivation and not doctrine. Compared to the sravaka way the extra what a bodhisattva does is the accumulation of merits. In terms of wisdom sravaka and bodhisattva are equal. Also, the whole concept of a bodhisattvayana is not a "Mahayana" product but has existed in schools like the Sarvastivada and Dharmagupta - and many of their interpretations became mainstream in Mahayana - just as it does in Theravada now.

I find it a mistaken concept to believe that there is a clear border between "Hinayana" and "Mahayana" teachings. Keep in mind that there has never been a school or group of schools called Hinayana, it's just a convenient term to call most of Indian Buddhist schools. Thus what one may consider Mahayana teachings are in many cases found word by word in earlier "Hinayana" texts and schools, including the idea that a bodhisattva has to practise through many aeons and go through the five paths (accumulation, preparation, insight, meditation, no more learning). So a "Mahayana follower" is the one who focuses on walking to bodhisattva path instead of the sravaka way but it is no way a rejection of any of the teachings of Buddha.


Beautifully said Astus. The only kind of rejection required here is that of divisive sectarianism.

:namaste:
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Re: Why danger of Elder teachings for Mahayana follower?

Postby Hanzze » Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:10 pm

Dear friends,

maybe that is useful to discuss it further:

DETERMINING THE BODHICITTA: THE FOUR GREAT VOWS AND THE FOUR DEFEATS OF THE BODHISATTVA DHARMA

Determining the Bodhicitta is spoken of in the last of the Four Great Vows as follows:

"The Supreme Enlightenment we vow to achieve."

Enlightenment is Bodhi; Supreme Enlightenment is the Anuttara-Samyak-Sambodhi or the Buddha Fruit. Determining the Bodhicitta means using the faith of our worldly minds to vow to complete this path. However, if one is to complete this vow, one should have the support of the other three Great Vows. To arrive at Anuttara-Samyak-Sambodhi, one should have the desire to spread the Buddhadharma and effect the liberation of all sentient beings. Therefore, the first vow is as follows:

"Sentient beings without number we vow to enlighten."

For a Bodhisattva, the eradication of one's own suffering is joined with the desire to aid in the eradication of all others' suffering as well. The real Bodhisattva identifies the immeasurable distress of all sentient beings as his own. With this immeasurable compassion (Mahakaruna), one can take the second vow:

"Vexations without number we vow to eradicate."

The desire to win Supreme Bodhi, convert and liberate sentient beings, aid in the eradication of their distress, etc., should not be an impulse based on idle sentimentality or romantic notions of spiritual life. This noble aspiration can only come to completion provided that there is a strong foundation of wisdom. With wisdom only, and not otherwise, can one spread the Dharma and assist living beings. This wisdom arises from a keen desire to learn and practice the Buddhadharma. Therefore, the Buddha said, "All Buddhas in the three periods arise from learning and practice." One who is not willing to learn will remain eternally foolish, and what foolish man or woman ever completed the Bodhi Tao, spread Dharma and assisted sentient beings?

As there is immeasurable distress in the lives of sentient beings, there are innumerable methods of Dharma practice. Therefore, the third vow of great compassion is as follows:

"Limitless approaches to the Dharma we vow to master"

When one perceives the suffering of sentient beings, one vows to enlighten sentient beings without number when perceiving the distress in one's life and that of others, one vows to eradicate vexations without end. Perceiving the myriad Dharma doors to enlightenment, one vows to master them all. Perceiving the truth of Nirvana, one vows to attain the Supreme Bodhi. All Bodhisattvas who determine the Bodhicitta hold these Four Vows of Great Compassion.

There are various conditions leading to the deterioration of both the Bodhicitta and the practice of Bodhisattva Dharma. These conditions are called parajika (defeats), and they are acts or thoughts that break or defeat the Bodhisattva practice. This same term is used in connection with the monastic Vinaya, where it denotes the first four rules, the transgression of which calls for expulsion from the order of Bhiksus. The elder Tripitaka Master Hsuan Tsang translated this term as "overcoming by specific conditions". This means that the good roots necessary for the practice of Bodhisattva Dharma are overcome by the specific conditions of unwholesome roots.

The first specific condition which leads to the defeat of the Bodhicitta is the tendency to praise oneself and to slander others. If the Bodhisattva loses his Mahakaruna, he is no longer willing to profit others at his own expense. Being solely concerned with his own name and fame, he loses respect in the eyes of family, friends and society.

The second specific condition leading to defeat is seeing someone in a state of suffering and anxiety and not lifting a finger to help. Losing one's Mahakaruna, one makes no effort to teach or profit those who may come for assistance but, instead, cultivates miserly tendencies.

The third specific condition leading to defeat is not receiving the repentant or those desirous of following the right path. Losing one's Mahakaruna, one allows himself to bear anger and grudges in his mind and, as a result, is not willing to teach or assist those who are repentant.

The fourth specific condition leading to defeat is the act of foolishly deceiving others with pseudo--dharma. Without wisdom, one manipulates heterodox views, slandering the Buddhadharma and deceiving others with what appears to be Dharma but which is, in fact, not genuine.

If a Bodhisattva falls into any of these categories of defeat, he loses the Bodhicitta and also the qualifications of Bodhisattva practice. Therefore, one should preserve the qualifications, protect the Bodhicitta and increase the vast storehouse of Bodhisattva Dharma.

THE PRACTICE OF BODHISATTVA DHARMA from Dharma Master T'ai-hsu


Can it be that one is loosing his "mojo", Mahakaruna, Bodhicita, Budo if one is going into the Pali canon in some cases?
or
Is it possible, not jet found the different between pity and compassion, that this could be a risk to go to deep into the Pali canon?
...and like always: Why?

_/\_
with loving kindness
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Re: Why danger of Elder teachings for Mahayana follower?

Postby Astus » Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:08 pm

Hanzze,

None of the four defeats in your quote may come from studying the Pali Canon but rather the opposites of them. Also, on of the essential practices of bodhisattvas, the four immeasurables, are articulated in quite a few suttas of the Pali Canon.
"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: Why danger of Elder teachings for Mahayana follower?

Postby Hanzze » Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:53 pm

Dear Astus,

thanks for your quote, I guess it leads now a little off-topic but my belly tells (I actually have no knowledge) one will find them maybe hidden as duties, like:

"And, ascetics and Brahmans so respected reciprocate with compassion in six ways: by restraining you from wrongdoing, guiding you to good actions, thinking compassionately, telling you what you ought to know, clarifying what you already know, and showing you the path to heaven.


as teaching of the dhamma/dharma is the only way to help except sharing the less physical needs.

I guess it would be good for an other topic if some are in the mood to touch that hot iron.

It should be not a Ma-Hi discussion, just the possible danger and its cause when going into the Pali Canon in some cases as told.

_/\_
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Re: Why danger of Elder teachings for Mahayana follower?

Postby Astus » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:27 pm

Hanzze,

Teachings to reach human and heavenly birth are very much present in Mahayana, not to mention methods to attain earthly welfare (e.g. mantras and rituals). An important point is that whatever Mahayana teaching you may find, they're all built upon the earlier teachings, in this case represented by the Pali Canon (although Mahayana has used the Sanskrit texts and not the Pali). Thus we could say that Mahayana includes the teachings found in the Nikayas and accepts them as valid Buddha-speech.
"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: Why danger of Elder teachings for Mahayana follower?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:14 pm

The Bodhisattva Ideal In Theravada
Buddhist Theory And Practice: A Re-evaluation Of The Bodhisattva-`Sraavaka
Opposition
By Jeffrey Samuels
Philosophy East and West, Volume 47, Number 3, July 1997, P.399-415

In the academic study of Buddhism the terms "Mahaayaana" and "Hiinayaana"
are often set in contradiction to each other, and the two vehicles are
described as having different aspirations, teachings, and practices. The
distinctions made between the Mahaayaana and the Hiinayaanaa, however,
force the schools into neat, isolated, and independent categories that
often undermine the complexities that exist concerning their beliefs,
ideologies, and practices.

Link to the Complete Article
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Why danger of Elder teachings for Mahayana follower?

Postby Hanzze » Sat Jan 22, 2011 3:52 am

Dear Astus,

it is always amazing that the analyst of "is he Ma or Hi" is often more important than the questions. So just speculative: The one who asks is aware of all the vehicles and understand its different or one may call it not different.

So let me ask one more time. What could be the danger to loose his "mojo" when entering the teaching of the pali canon? What is the reason?
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Re: Why danger of Elder teachings for Mahayana follower?

Postby ground » Sat Jan 22, 2011 4:59 am

Hanzze wrote:Dear Astus,

it is always amazing that the analyst of "is he Ma or Hi" is often more important than the questions. So just speculative: The one who asks is aware of all the vehicles and understand its different or one may call it not different.

So let me ask one more time. What could be the danger to loose his "mojo" when entering the teaching of the pali canon? What is the reason?


What is mojo?

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Re: Why danger of Elder teachings for Mahayana follower?

Postby ground » Sat Jan 22, 2011 5:03 am

Hannze

Why are you not satisfied with answers already given?

If you want to push people to give the answer you want to hear why don't you give your answer to yourself?


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Re: Why danger of Elder teachings for Mahayana follower?

Postby ground » Sat Jan 22, 2011 5:07 am

The threads here goes like this:

Hanzze: Question
Person A: Answer A.

Hanzze: Same Question
Person B: Answer B.

Hanzze: Same Question
Person C: Answer C.

Hanzze: Same Question
Person D: Answer D.

Is it due to lack of respect or due to lack of understanding on your side, Hannze?

Or is it a poll and you plan to make a statistical analysis with the anwers given?

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Re: Why danger of Elder teachings for Mahayana follower?

Postby ground » Sat Jan 22, 2011 5:14 am

Dear Moderators

can you please remove this thread from the Mahayana forum and shift it into a forum more appropriate?


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Re: Why danger of Elder teachings for Mahayana follower?

Postby Hanzze » Sat Jan 22, 2011 5:32 am

The second specific condition leading to defeat is seeing someone in a state of suffering and anxiety and not lifting a finger to help. Losing one's Mahakaruna, one makes no effort to teach or profit those who may come for assistance but, instead, cultivates miserly tendencies.

The third specific condition leading to defeat is not receiving the repentant or those desirous of following the right path. Losing one's Mahakaruna, one allows himself to bear anger and grudges in his mind and, as a result, is not willing to teach or assist those who are repentant.

The fourth specific condition leading to defeat is the act of foolishly deceiving others with pseudo--dharma. Without wisdom, one manipulates heterodox views, slandering the Buddhadharma and deceiving others with what appears to be Dharma but which is, in fact, not genuine.

If a Bodhisattva falls into any of these categories of defeat, he loses the Bodhicitta and also the qualifications of Bodhisattva practice. Therefore, one should preserve the qualifications, protect the Bodhicitta and increase the vast storehouse of Bodhisattva Dharma.


I think it is good to ask good teachers about that case, as I dont know much. Is it really needed to quote some samples of "don't go to the teaching of elders" as it would be a kind of right and wrong.

_/\_
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Re: Why danger of Elder teachings for Mahayana follower?

Postby ground » Sat Jan 22, 2011 5:42 am

Hanzze wrote:I think it is good to ask good teachers ...

Correct. There is no Mahayana without teachers. And teachers of a Mahayana practitioner typically are Mahayana teachers.

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