Vows of Manjushri

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Vows of Manjushri

Postby Will » Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:25 am

All bodhisattvas make personal vows in addition to the general ones. Anyone know what Manjushri's vows were?
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Re: Vows of Manjushri

Postby plwk » Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:07 am

I recall this topic on E-Sangha's Mahayana Forum and remember finding some answers with another poster, one with a text stating 10 Vows and another 18 Vows, but have lost those links...but this is all I gathered for now (it's in Chinese and Indonesian) but this blog site has references to the True Buddha School but states on the 10 Vows as stemming from a 'Taisho Tripitaka Book 20 , No. 1177A'《大乘瑜伽金剛性海曼殊室利千臂千缽大教王經》
"dà chéng yú jiā jīn gāng xìng hǎi màn shū shì lì qiān bì qiān bō dà jiào wáng jīng" or 'Mahayana yoga vajratta sagara manjusri sahasrabhuja sahasrapatra mahasasanaraja sutra". Link: http://rigjedma-myblog.blogspot.com/201 ... satva.html
And from an Indonesian Buddhist forum site: http://www.kaskus.us/showthread.php?t=4961978&page=4
(I can understand the Indonesian but would lack the skills to translate it into English...)

But if you can read Chinese: http://www.cbeta.org/result/T20/T20n1177a.htm
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Re: Vows of Manjushri

Postby Anders » Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:56 pm

Will wrote:All bodhisattvas make personal vows in addition to the general ones. Anyone know what Manjushri's vows were?


There is a sutra in the ratnakuta collection specfifically about Manjushri's vows.

Basically, Manjushri has been a bodhisattva longer than anyone else around (and will be so for a long time to come still) because he has vowed to create the mother of all buddhafields, which will make Sukhavati look like a tired old garden shed in comparison. In fact, in the entire cosmos there is only buddhafield that can compare to the one Manjushri is working on (I forget the name of it). This understandably takes a bit of time, which is why even though he has lead countless beings to Buddhahood before himself, it will be a countless long time before he does so himself.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: Vows of Manjushri

Postby Will » Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:49 am

Thanks for the responses. If Anders' memory comes up with the title of the sutra, let us know. I do not suppose we would be lucky enough that it was translated by Chang in his old Ratnakuta collection? Today arrived Mipham's book on the Eight Great Heart-sons and the largest section is on Manjushri, so maybe those vows are mentioned there.

[edit] Yes, Mipham's A Garland of Jewels quotes the Compassionate White Lotus sutra, where three and half pages of Manjushri's vows are given. Nearly all of them involve the nature & qualities of his supreme pure realm.
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Re: Vows of Manjushri

Postby Anders » Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:49 am

Will wrote:Thanks for the responses. If Anders' memory comes up with the title of the sutra, let us know. I do not suppose we would be lucky enough that it was translated by Chang in his old Ratnakuta collection?


It is, that's where I read it. I'd look it up for you but I've given it away since then. Should be easy to find if you have that. Though I don't recall the title, I do recall it being rather descriptive.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: Vows of Manjushri

Postby Astus » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:27 pm

It is in Chang's collection.
chapter 10: The Prediction of Manjusri's Attainment of Buddhahood
Sutra 15, Taisho 310, pp. 336-350. translated into Chinese by Siksananda

The land equal to Manjusri's:
"In the east, there is a Buddha-land named Abiding in the Uncexcelled Vow, which is so far away that to get there one must pass worlds as innumerable as the sands of ten billion Ganges Rivers. There is a Buddha there named King of Universal, Eternal Light and Meritorious Ocean. The life span of that Buddha is immeasurable and infinite. He always teaches the Dharma to Bodhisattvas. Good man, the merits and magnificence of that Buddha-land are exactly like those of Universal Sight's Buddha-land."

Some words of wisdom from the text:
Bodhisattva Lion of Thundering Voice asked, "Virtuous One, do you not seek enlightenment?"
Manjusri answered, "No. Why not? Because Manjusri is no other than enlightenment and vice versa. Why? because 'Manjusri' is only an arbitrary name and so is 'supreme enlightenment.' Furthermore, the name is nonexistent and cannot act; therefore, it is empty. The nature of emptiness is no other than enlightenment."
...
Good man, the Buddha-Dharma is neither a dharma nor a nondharma. Why? Because the Buddha-Dharma arises from nowhere. If a novice Bodhisattva hears this statement and becomes frightned, he will eventually attain enlightenment. Observing this, one may think, "I must first bring forth bodhicitta and abide in [deep] realization; then I can attain Buddhahood. Otherwise, if I do not bring forth bodhicitta, I can never attain Budhahood.' [Hoever, actually one should not even] harbor this kind of discrimination, because both bodhicitta and Buddhahood are inapprehensible. If they are inapprehensible, how can they be observed? If they cannot be observed, the realization will not be possible. Why not? Because without observation, realization would have no [germinating] cause.
Good man, what do you think? Can empty space attain enlightenment?
Bodhisattva Lion of Thundering Voice answered, "No."
Manjusri asked, "Good man, has the Tathagata realized that all dharmas are the same as empty space?"
Bodhisattva Lion of Thundering Voice answered, "Yes, he has."
Manjusri said, "Good man, enlightenment is like empty space and empty space is like enlightenment. Englightenment and empty space are neither two nor different. If a Bodhisattva knows this equality, then there will be neither that which he knows [and sees] nor that which he does not know or see."
...
To achieve perfection in the Buddha-Dharmas is to achieve perfection in suchness. To achieve perfection in suchness is to achieve perfection in empty space. Thus, the Buddha-Dharmas, suchness, and empty space are [all] one and the same. Good man, you ask, 'How can one achieve perfection in all Buddha-Dharmas?' Just as a person can achieve perfection in form, felling, conception, impulse, and consciousness, so he can achieve perfection in all Buddha-Dharmas."
Bodhisattva Lion of Thundering Voice asked, "What does it mean to achieve perfection in form and other dharmas?"
Manjusri asked in turn, "Good man, what do you think? Is the form you see permanent of impermanent?"
Bodhisattva Lion of Thundering Voice said, "It is neither."
Manjusri asked, "Good man, if something is neither permanent nor impermanent, does it increase or decrease?"
Bodhisattva Lion of Thundering Voice answered, "No."
Manjusri said, "Good man, if you realize that things do not increase or decrease, you are said to achieve perfection in them. Why so? If you do not thoroughly understand things, you will make discriminations among them. If you thoroughly understand things, you will not make discriminations among them. If things are not discriminated, they do not increase or decrease. If they do not increase or decrease, they are equal. Good man, if you see equality in form, you achieve perfection in form. The same is true with feeling, conception, impulse, consciousness, and all other dharmas."
Then, Bodhisattva Lion of Thundering Voice asked Manjusri, "Virtuous One, since you achieved the Realization of the Nonarising of Dharmas, you have never harbored a notion [in your mind] of attaining supreme enlightenment. Why do you now urge others to progress toward enlightenment?"
Manjusri answered, "I really do not urge any sentient beings to progress toward enlightenment. Why? because sentient beings are nonexistent and devoid of self-entity. If sentient beings were apprehensible, I would cause them to progress toward enlightenment, but since they are inapprehensible, I do not urge them to do so. Why? Because enlightenment and sentient beings are equal and not different from each other. Equality cannot be sought by equality. In equality, nothing originates. Therefore, I often say that one should observe all phenomena as coming from nowhere and going nowhere, which is called equality, that is, emptiness. In emptiness, there is nothing to seek. Good man, you said, 'Since you achieved the Realization of the Nonarising of Dharmas, you have never harbored a notion [in your mind] of attaining supreme enlightenment.' Good man, do you see the mind? Do you rely on the mind to attain enlightenment?"
Bodhisattva Lion of Thundering Voice said, "No, Manjusri. Why not? because the mind, unlike form, is invisible, and so is enlightenment. They are arbitrary names only. The names 'mind' and 'enlightenment' do not exist."
Manjusri said, Good man, there is an esoteric implication in your statement that I have never harbored a notion [in my mind] of attaining enlightenment. Why? because the mind has never come into being, what can it apprehend or realize?"
Bodhisattva Lion of Thundering Voice asked, "What does it mean to realize equality?"
Manjusri answered, "To be detached from all dharmas is to realize equality. The so-called realization means the subtle wisdom, which neither arises nor ceases, is identical with suchness, and cannot be discriminated. If a Dharma-cultivator with right view comprehends the truth that in equality there is nothing to be attained, and does not attach himself either to multiplicity or to oneness, then he realizes equality. If a person realizes that all dharmas are signless, comprehends that signlessness is their sign, and does not cling to his body or mind, then he has perfectly realized equality."
Bodhisattva Lion of Thundering Voice asked, "What is 'attainemnt'?"
Manjusri answered, "'Attainment' is a conventional expression, In fact, what saints attain is inexpressible. Why? Because the Dharma resets upon nothing and is beyond speech. Furthermore, good man, to regard nonattainment as attainment, and as neither attainment nor nonattainment, is called [the true] attainment."
"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)
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Re: Vows of Manjushri

Postby Will » Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:19 am

If a bookworm's memory of what his books contain fades... :(

Thanks Astus, although my edition of Chang has the sutra on pp. 164ff. Mipham does translate a good portion of it also (pp. 19 ff.)
It seems that, depending on which of Manjushri's countless lives one looks at, his vows for that life differed. Which were his original bodhicitta vows? not sure yet, but Mipham devotes 160pp (half the book) to Manjushri, so it may become clearer.

For example, in this sutra (# 15 of Ratnakuta) Manjushri vowed:

May I gaze with the unobscured eyes of a buddha at the infinite worlds in the 10 directions, and see that all buddhas, all bhagavats, have been placed in awakening, in bodhicitta, and in the paramitas, and have been encouraged and taught, by me. Until I see that, I will not achieve the buddhahood of unsurpassable awakening. When I no longer see a single tathagata in any one of the 10 directions that was not placed in buddhahood by me, I will achive the manifest buddhahood of unsurpassable awakening.
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Re: Vows of Manjushri

Postby Astus » Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:40 am

Will wrote:although my edition of Chang has the sutra on pp. 164ff.


That pp. 336-350 is in the Taisho not Chang. Starts from here: 文殊師利授記會.
"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)
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Re: Vows of Manjushri

Postby Astus » Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:50 pm

From the sutra translated by Chang from the Maharatnakuta collection, the vows of Manjusri:
If all the [future] Tathagatas in countless Buddha-lands in the ten directions, whom I see with my unhindered deva-eye, are not persuaded by me to engender bodhicitta or taught by me to cultivate giving, discipline, patience, vigor, meditation, and wisdom and to attain supreme enlightenment, I shall not attain bodhi. Only after the fulfillment of this vow shall I attain supreme enlightenment.

I have vowed to combine the worlds of Buddhas as innumerable as the sands of the Ganges into a single Buddha-land and to adorn it with incalculable, intermingled, exquisite jewels. I I cannot do this, I shall never attain supreme enlightenment.

I have vowed to cause my land to have a bodhi-tree as big as ten billion-world universes; that tree will shed a light all over my Buddha-land.

I have vowed not to rise from my seat under the bodhi-tree from the time I sit down upon the seat until I attain supreme enlightenment and enter nirvana, [and during that time] to teach the Dharma by magically produced bodies to sentient beings in incalculable, numberless Buddha-lands in the ten directions.

I have vowed to cause my land to lack the name 'woman,' and to be inhabited by numerous Bodhisattvas who are free from the filth of afflictions, who cultivate pure conduct, and who are spontaneously born dressed in monastic robes and seated with crossed legs. [I have vowed to cause my land to] have no Sravakas or Pratyekabuddhas, even in name, except those magically produced by the Tathagata to explain the doctrines of the three vehicles to sentient beings [of other Buddha-lands] in the ten directions.

I have vowed that, just as the inhabitants of Amitabha Buddha's land have joy in the Dharma for food, in my land the Bodhisattvas will all have in their right hands a bowl full of delicacies as soon as they think of food. After a moment, they will think, 'Under no circumstances will I eat any of this myself before I have offered it to the Buddhas in the ten directions and given it to poor, suffering sentient beings, such as hungry ghosts, until they are satiated.' After thinking this, they will obtain the five miraculous powers, enabling them to fly in space without hindrance; and then will go to offer the delicacies to the Buddhas, Tathagatas, and Sravakas in numberless Buddha-lands in the ten directions. The Bodhisattvas from my land will give the food to all the poor, distressed sentient beings in all those Buddha-lands and will explain the Dharma to them so as to free them from the thirst of desire. It will take the Bodhisattvas only an instant to accomplish all this and come back to their land.

I have vowed that when they are just born, all the Bodhisattvas in my land will obtain at will in their hands whatever kind of precious clothes they need, clean and fit for sramanas. Then they will think, 'I shall not use these myself until I have offered them to the Buddhas in the ten directions.' Thereupon, they will go to offer their precious clothes to the Buddhas of countless Buddha-lands in the ten directions and then return to their own land, all in a moment. Only after this will they enjoy the clothing themselves.

I have vowed that the Bodhisattvas in my land will offer their wealth, treasures, and necessities of life to Buddhas and Sravakas before they themselves enjoy them.

[I have vowed] my land will be free from the eight adversities, unwholesome dharmas, wrongdoings and prohibitions, pain, annoyance, and unhappiness.

I have vowed that my Buddha-land will be formed of incalculable amounts of wonderful jewels and adorned with innumerable, interlaced, exquisite pearls. These pearls will be exceptionally rare and difficult to find in the ten directions; their names will be so numerous that no one could finish recounting them, even in millions of years. My land will appear to be made of gold to the Bodhisattvas who wish it to be made of gold, and will appear to be made of silver to the Bodhisattvas who wish it to be made of silver, without affecting its golden appearance to those who wish it to be made of gold. According to the Bodhisattvas' wishes, it will appear to be made of crystal, lapus lazuli, agate, pearls, or any other treasure without affecting its appearance to others. It will also appear to be made of fragrant sandalwood, of fragrant aloewood, of red sandalwood, or of any other kind of wood, all according to the Bodhisattvas' wishes.

My land will not be illuminated by the brilliance of suns, moons, pearls, stars, fire, and so forth. All the Bodhisattvas there will illuminate hundreds of billions of myriads of Buddha-lands with their own lights. In my land, it will be daytime when flowers open and night when flowers close, and the seasons will change according to the Bodhisattvas' wishes. There will be no cold, heat, old age, illness, or death.

If they wihs, Bodhisattvas in my land may go to any other land to attain [supreme] enlightenment; they will ttain it after descending from the Tusita Heaven when their lives come to an end there. No one in my Buddha-land will enter nirvana.

Though they will not appear in the sky, hundreds of thousands of musical instruments will be heard; their music will not be the sounds of greedy desire, but the sounds of the paramitas, the Buddha, the Dharma, the Samgha, and the doctrines of the Bodhisattva canon. The Bodhisattvas will be able to hear the wonderful Dharma in proportion to their understanding. If they wish to see the Buddha, they will see Universal Sight Tathagata sitting under the bodhi-tree as soon as they think of seeing him, wherever they are, whether walking, sitting, or standing. Bodhisattvas who have doubts about the Dharma will break the net of their doubts and comprehend the import of the Dharma at the sight of that Buddha, without receiving any explanation.

I have vowed to fill my Buddha-land with all the merits and magnificence of the lands of the hundreds of thousands of [millions of] billions of myriads of Buddhas, World-Honored Ones, whom I have seen before. However, my land will lack the two vehicles, the five depravities, and so forth. World-Honored One, if I myself enumerate the merits and magnificence of my Buddha-land, I cannot finish doing so even in kalpas as innumerable as the sands of the Ganges. Only the Buddha knows the scope of my vow.
"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)
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Re: Vows of Manjushri

Postby Will » Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:30 am

From page 175 of Chang is a likely choice for Manjushri's original bodhicitta vow. He was a Chakravartin in that lifetime and was deciding between dedicating his merit to brahmaa or shravaka or pratyekabuddha status. Some devas appeared and suggested he raise his aspiration to bodhisattva-hood - so he did.

I vow to involve myself in samsara countless times to bring great boons to living beings until the end of the future.
I shall cultivate all the bodhisattva deeds to save living beings from their sufferings.
From this moment on, if I break my vow and become greedy, miserly or resentful, I shall be deceiving the buddhas of the ten directions.
From today until the day I attain enlightenment, I shall always follow the buddhas in cultivatin pure conduct; I shall observe the pure precepts and commit no misdeeds.
I shall not cherish the idea of attaining buddhahood in haste, but until the end of the future, I shall benefit all living beings and adorn and purify incalculable, inconceivable buddha-lands. My name shall be heard throughout the worlds of the ten directions.
Now I shall prophesy on my own behalf that I shall without fail become a buddha. Because my aspiration is superior and pure, I have no doubt of my achievment. I shall purify my words, thoughts and deeds and let no trace of evil arise. In accordance with this sincere vow, I shall become a buddha an Honored One among human beings.
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