Avatamsaka Sutra

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Re: Avatamsaka Sutra

Postby aspirant » Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:42 am

I have found these Excerpts, claiming to be from the Avatamsaka Sutra, copied on many web sites:

With this preface....
THE NET OF INDRA-The metaphor of Indra's Jeweled Net is attributed to an ancient Buddhist named Tu-Shun (557-640 B.C.E.) who asks us to envision a vast net that: at each juncture there lies a jewel; each jewel reflects all the other jewels in this cosmic matrix. Every jewel represents an individual life form, atom, cell or unit of consciousness. Each jewel, in turn, is intrinsically and intimately connected to all the others; thus, a change in one gem is reflected in all the others. This last aspect of the jeweled net is explored in a question/answer dialog of teacher and student in the Avatamsaka Sutra. In answer to the question:

The Excerpts:
"how can all these jewels be considered one jewel?" [it is replied:] "If you don't believe that one jewel...is all the jewels...just put a dot on the jewel [in question]. When one jewel is dotted, there are dots on all the jewels...Since there are dots on all the jewels...We know that all the jewels are one jewel" ..."

I have Cleary's book but do not find this in any of the 39 Chapters. In fact doing a text search there is not even the word "dot" or "dotted" (only antidote and `doting parent' in Chapter 39, Entry into the Realm of Reality).

Where do these Excerpts come from?
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Re: Avatamsaka Sutra

Postby Anders » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:50 am

I've always found myself bemused at how Indra's Net has become such a famous metaphor associated with Huayen.

The sutra does mention Indra's Net in several places, but it never really elaborates on the image, so I always just figured it must have been some Huayen master who did so, like Fazang's golden lion or hall of mirrors. It seems it was Dushun then. Good to know.

That said, though it's not really a hallmark of the sutra itself, the image is very much in keeping with the vision of the Avatamsaka, especially as found in its most impressive metaphor, the Tower of Maitreya.
"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"

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Re: Avatamsaka Sutra

Postby aspirant » Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:19 pm

Yes, I noticed that Indra's Net was not developed in the Avatamsaka Sutra; a similar metaphor was developed as the Tower of Maitreya or, in Cleary's book, Vairocana.

Do you know what would be the publication details of Tu-Shen/Dushun's work (title, etc) that develops the Indra's Net metaphor?

I have found out some more about Tu-Shen or Dushen from this link:

http://www.answers.com/topic/hua-yen :

One of the major schools of Chinese Buddhism, whose highly abstract philosophy is generally accepted as the highest expression of Buddhist thought in China. Two aspects of this school's teachings are notable: doctrinal classification and the theory of unobstructed interpenetration of all phenomena.

History

The school derives its name from the scripture that forms its primary object of study, the Avataṃsaka Sūtra (Chinese, Hua-yen ching), a text notable for its effort to describe the way the world appears to an enlightened Buddha. Indeed, the sūtra was said to have been preached by Śākyamuni directly after his attainment of enlightenment (bodhi). The scripture had been known and studied in China at least since the year 420, when Buddhabhadra completed the first translation in 60 fascicles. A group of scholars around Tu-shun (557-640) were attracted to the ‘Chapter on the Bodhisattva Grounds’ in the eighth fascicle of this translation. Consequently, they were called the Ti-lun (‘discourse on the grounds’) school, and this is commonly taken as a forerunner of the Hua-yen school itself. Tu-shun's disciple Chih-yen (602-68) also specialized in study and preaching the sūtra. However, credit for the foundation of the Hua-yen school proper goes to Chih-yen's disciple Fa-tsang (643-712; also called Hsien-shou), although, in deference to his illustrious predecessors, he is listed as the school's third patriarch. Fa-tsang, perhaps because of his central Asian ancestry, had some facility with Indian languages, and so was called to the capital Ch'ang-an to work in Hsüan-tsang's translation bureau. He broke with the latter, and later was asked by Empress Wu Tse-t'ien to assist the Indian monk Śikṣānanda with a new translation of the Avataṃsaka, which came out in 704 and consisted of 80 fascicles. However, it was not Fa-tsang's skill as a translator, but his facility in expounding the abstruse philosophy of the sūtra in accessible language and appealing metaphors that helped attract imperial patronage and consolidated the school's position.

After Fa-tsang, the line of patriarchs continued with Ch'eng-kuan (738-820 or 838). Also versed in Indian languages, Ch'eng-kuan assisted the monk Prajñā to produce a 40-fascicle version of the last section of the sūtra, the Gaṇḍavyūha, which added new material to the end and helped bring the sūtra to a more satisfying conclusion. In addition, Ch'eng-kuan's teaching activities and his prolific commentaries on the sūtra further established the school on a secure basis.

The fifth and last patriarch was Tsung-mi (780-841), who was also acknowledged as a master in the Ch'an school. Like his two predecessors, he achieved great eminence for his learning and teaching, and served in the imperial court, assuring continued patronage. However, four years after his death, the next emperor instigated the most wide-ranging persecution of Buddhism in China prior to the Cultural Revolution in the 20th century, and this school, dependent as it was on royal patronage for maintenance of its academic facilities and the upkeep of its masters, perished at that time.


Perhaps it was Fa-tsang who developed the metaphor, attributed to Tu-Shen the school?
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Re: Avatamsaka Sutra

Postby Will » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:15 pm

Fazang's Golden Lion paper gives the varied meanings of a golden lion statue:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... google.com


When Fazang first lectured on the Flower Garland Sutra, the principles he expounded upon were so abstruse that the listeners were utterly dumbstruck. Therefore, to render the sutra comprehensible to his imperial patrons and to the masses of Buddhist faithful, he used metaphors such as Indra’s Net of Jewels and the Golden Lion. In the former, “In each of the jewels, the images of all the other jewels are reflected…the images multiply infinitely, and all these multiple images are bright and clear within a single jewel.” This concatenation, this mutual linking and inter-penetration, illustrates harmonious interconnectedness of everything. Here, causal sky net objects can not be conceived of independently: the nature of each object is defined by its place with relation to all other objects. He also devised a Hall of Mirrors to illustrate the workings of Indra’s Net and the power of the Buddha by arranging ten mirrors (corresponding with the Ten Mysterious Gates), eight in an octagon, one above and one below, with a statue of the Buddha set in the middle, the focal point of origin and return. When he lit a torch to illumine the centerpiece, an endless web of reflected light crisscrossed, creating an infinite series of images within images, each containing the entire Buddha. This demonstration made manifest the meaning of the inexhaustible interconnectedness of the universe, hence the infinite power of the Buddha.


From Internet Ency.
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: Avatamsaka Sutra

Postby Indrajala » Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:06 am

Anders Honore wrote:I've always found myself bemused at how Indra's Net has become such a famous metaphor associated with Huayen.

The sutra does mention Indra's Net in several places, but it never really elaborates on the image, so I always just figured it must have been some Huayen master who did so, like Fazang's golden lion or hall of mirrors. It seems it was Dushun then. Good to know.

That said, though it's not really a hallmark of the sutra itself, the image is very much in keeping with the vision of the Avatamsaka, especially as found in its most impressive metaphor, the Tower of Maitreya.



Many Huayan ideas are only derived from the Avataṃsaka-sūtra in name only. Individuals like Fazang in exegesis would elaborate on the meaning of things found in the text. Quite often it seems there is no canonical basis for it and was either the author's own ideas or perhaps the oral tradition they had inherited.

I suspect in the case of the Huayan school many of their cherished metaphors were part of the oral tradition of the school which would not necessarily be represented in treatises. Unlike Chan, you don't find any Huayan texts written in the vernacular Chinese of the time.
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Re: Avatamsaka Sutra

Postby adinatha » Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:03 pm

This sutra, above all others, has touched me deeply. Indra's Net is not really a metaphor. Each drop in the web is our heart bindu. Due to method or drugs, the reflective drops and web can be seen directly. It's not just like looking into mirrors. Also imagine that each drop is a consciousness that is infinitely deep and luminous. This gives seeing it a quality like staring into the sun. Infinite infinitely spacious consciousnesses peering into one another, forever. Yikes! It's bright and unbearable from such an angle. But when looking within the nature of 'the deep' so to speak, it is very cool and peaceful. On the surface of each drop, all possibilities appear. If you have the "I" angle, you get scared and shrink into individuality and limited appearances. If you don't, then you don't and you sink into the infinite with no commotion, where there is the possibility for you to reflect buddha's appearances or not depending on the continuity of your prior motivations and whether those connected with sadhakas. This is the mechanics of non-abiding nirvana.
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Re: Avatamsaka Sutra

Postby Will » Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:58 pm

The net of jewels is more explicit in chapter 30, the Countless, which is often skipped over, because of its apparent math focus. But within the final dazzling verse portion are these lines:

In each of those rays of light
Appear untold lion thrones,
Each with untold ornaments,
Each with untold lights,
With untold beautiful forms in the lights,
With untold pure lights in the forms;

In each of those pure lights
Also appear various subtle lights;
These lights also radiate various lights,
Untold, unspeakably many.

In each of these various lights
Appear wondrous jewels like mountains;
The jewels appearing in each light
Are unspeakably many, untold.

One of those mountainlike jewels
Manifests untold lands;
All of the mountainlike jewels
Manifest lands like this.
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: Avatamsaka Sutra

Postby adinatha » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:06 pm

Will wrote:The net of jewels is more explicit in chapter 30, the Countless, which is often skipped over, because of its apparent math focus. But within the final dazzling verse portion are these lines:

In each of those rays of light
Appear untold lion thrones,
Each with untold ornaments,
Each with untold lights,
With untold beautiful forms in the lights,
With untold pure lights in the forms;

In each of those pure lights
Also appear various subtle lights;
These lights also radiate various lights,
Untold, unspeakably many.

In each of these various lights
Appear wondrous jewels like mountains;
The jewels appearing in each light
Are unspeakably many, untold.

One of those mountainlike jewels
Manifests untold lands;
All of the mountainlike jewels
Manifest lands like this.


These are the appearances of Thogal too.
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Re: Avatamsaka Sutra

Postby Will » Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:06 pm

The Preface by Avatamsaka Bodhisattva, Great Master Cheng Kuan is a profound introduction to the sutra. Here it is, with comments by Master Hsuan Hua:

http://cttbusa.org/preface/faspreface_contents.asp

Missing from the online version are these remarks by Master Hua found in the printed book:

Avatamsaka (Flower Adornment) Sutra

The Flower Adornment Sutra is the Sutra of the Dharma Realm and the Sutra of Empty Space. To the exhaustion of the Dharma Realm and empty space there is no place where the Flower Adornment Sutra is not present. Wherever the Flower Adornment Sutra is found, the Buddha is to be found, and also the Dharma and the Sangha of Worthy Sages. That is why when the Buddha accomplished Proper Enlightenment, he wished to speak the Great Flower Adornment Sutra to teach and transform the Great Knights of the Dharma Body. Since this Sutra was a Sutra of inconceivable wonder, it was then concealed within the Dragons' Palace for the Dragon King to protect. Afterwards, Nagarjuna-- "Dragon Tree" Bodhisattva went to the Dragons' Palace, memorized it, and brought it back.

The Flower Adornment Sutra is like an auspicious cloud in empty space, which extends throughout the Three Thousand Great Thousand World-System, raining down the sweet dew of Dharma rain to moisten all living beings. The Flower Adornment Sutra is also like the sun, which everywhere illumines the Great Thousand World-Realm, bringing warmth to every single living being. The Flower Adornment Sutra is also like the great earth, which can produce and grow the myriad existing things. Therefore, it can be said that any period in which the Flower Adornment Sutra exists is a period in which the Proper Dharma long remains.

Consequently, in our daily investigation and lecturing of the Flower Adornment Sutra, it is essential to rely upon the Sutra's principles to cultivate and to use the Sutra as a cure for our own personal faults. Those who are greedy, after hearing the Flower Adornment Sutra, should rid themselves of greed. People who have hatred, upon hearing the Sutra, should give up their hatred; and those who are stupid should stop being stupid. The principles discussed in the Sutra are designed to correct our faults and bad habits. It is absolutely not the case that the Sutra was Dharma spoken for Bodhisattvas with no relation to us, or that it was Dharma spoken for Arhats with no relevance for us. Don't think, "All I as an ordinary person can do is listen to the Sutra. I could never aspire to the states of a Sage." To think that way is to throw yourself away, to separate yourself from the Sages.

From the beginning to the end of the Flower Adornment Sutra, every phrase of the Sutra is an unsurpassed Dharma jewel. If we are able actually to apply and cultivate according to the principles in the Sutra, then we are certain to become Buddhas. For that reason the Flower Adornment Sutra can be called the Mother of all Buddhas. The Flower Adornment Sutra is the Dharma Body of all Buddhas. The Buddha praised the Vajra Sutra saying:

In any place where the Sutra text is found, there is the Buddha.
Wherever the Flower Adornment Sutra is, there is the Buddha. The Buddha is right there. It is just that your karmic obstacles are too deep and heavy, so although you are face-to-face with him, you do not see the Buddha. As it is said,

Face-to-face, not recognizing Guanyin Bodhisattva.
Right now our thousand-handed, thousand-eyed image of Guanyin Bodhisattva constantly emits unobstructed light which reaches all living beings with affinities throughout the entire Three Thousand Great Thousand World Realm; yet we here daily bow to the Buddha, recite the Buddha's name, bow to Guanyin, and recite Guanyin's name, but do not see Guanyin Bodhisattva. We just follow along with the crowd, bowing when people bow, reciting when people recite, which is just to be turned by the states of others and not actually to take it up into our own persons and minds.

"How, then, should I be in my daily bowing and recollection of Guanyin Bodhisattva? Should I continue to have a huge temper? Should I still retain my old faults and not change them?" If you are that way, you could bow to the exhaustion of the boundaries of the future, but you would never see Guanyin Bodhisattva. If you can change from evil and go towards the good, and truly rid yourself of your faults and bad habits -- doing your best to reform and become a new person -- Guanyin Bodhisattva is certain to come to your aid. That is why some people cultivate a good many years without opening the least bit of wisdom, while others cultivate and, without being aware of it, open their wisdom and acquire unobstructed eloquence. We Shramanas should diligently cultivate precepts, samadhi, and wisdom, and put to rest greed, hatred, and stupidity. In every move we make we should return the light and look within. If you cultivate that way, you will make progress. If we listen to the Flower Adornment Sutra, lecture the Flower Adornment Sutra, and recite the Flower Adornment Sutra, but fail to practice according to the principles of the Flower Adornment Sutra, the Sutra remains the Sutra, you remain you, I remain myself and others remain themselves, and we cannot unite as one. If we ourselves can become one with the Sutra by acting according to its principles, that is actual union with the Sutra. If you are unable truly to practice in accord with the Sutra, but instead are deficient in kindness and compassion with a dearth of joy and giving, having ignorance and afflictions as your only companions, then you have failed to understand the Sutra and lack the ability to listen to the Sutra. Upon hearing one phrase of the Sutra we should ask ourselves, "How should I act? Should I run after my faults and bad habits, or should I rely upon the principles of the Sutra and cultivate?" If you can constantly ask yourself that question, you will certainly obtain great benefit. The reason you have not obtained great benefit is simply that you look upon the Sutra as the Sutra, having no connection with yourself. Actually, when the Buddha spoke the Flower Adornment Sutra, it was spoken for all living beings including you, me, and everyone else of the present. The Buddha is face-to-face with us, speaking it for us from his golden mouth. When we listen to the Sutra, it is the same as having the Buddha take us by the ear and speak the principles right to our face, telling us to use the Sutra's Dharma doors to cultivate.

None of the Dharma doors goes beyond the self-nature of each one of us. Our self-nature, too, exhausts empty space and the Dharma Realm. Therefore, if you can expand and enlarge the measure of your mind, you will unite with the Flower Adornment Sutra, being two and yet not two. If all people can make the states of the Flower Adornment Sutra their own states and receive the Flower Adornment Sutra's limitless principles and infinite wisdom as their own, how vast and great that will be. As it is said,

It is vast and subtle.
Let it go, it fills the whole universe.
Roll it up, it secretly hides away.
That is ineffably wonderful!

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: Avatamsaka Sutra

Postby Will » Thu Jun 23, 2011 10:15 pm

Right at the beginning of the sutra many "spirits", such as "Vajra-wielding Spirits" are listed. What is the Sanskrit equal to "spirits"? It is not "devas" those come later in the list.
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Re: Avatamsaka Sutra

Postby pueraeternus » Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:07 pm

Will wrote:Right at the beginning of the sutra many "spirits", such as "Vajra-wielding Spirits" are listed. What is the Sanskrit equal to "spirits"? It is not "devas" those come later in the list.


That would be yakshas. For example, Vajrapani, as the diamond-wielding yaksha.
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Re: Avatamsaka Sutra

Postby Will » Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:21 pm

pueraeternus wrote:
Will wrote:Right at the beginning of the sutra many "spirits", such as "Vajra-wielding Spirits" are listed. What is the Sanskrit equal to "spirits"? It is not "devas" those come later in the list.


That would be yakshas. For example, Vajrapani, as the diamond-wielding yaksha.


I thank you!
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Re: Avatamsaka Sutra

Postby tatpurusa » Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:15 am

adinatha wrote:This sutra, above all others, has touched me deeply. Indra's Net is not really a metaphor. Each drop in the web is our heart bindu. Due to method or drugs, the reflective drops and web can be seen directly. It's not just like looking into mirrors. Also imagine that each drop is a consciousness that is infinitely deep and luminous. This gives seeing it a quality like staring into the sun. Infinite infinitely spacious consciousnesses peering into one another, forever. Yikes! It's bright and unbearable from such an angle. But when looking within the nature of 'the deep' so to speak, it is very cool and peaceful. On the surface of each drop, all possibilities appear. If you have the "I" angle, you get scared and shrink into individuality and limited appearances. If you don't, then you don't and you sink into the infinite with no commotion, where there is the possibility for you to reflect buddha's appearances or not depending on the continuity of your prior motivations and whether those connected with sadhakas. This is the mechanics of non-abiding nirvana.


I agree very much with this. I spontaneously had the same vision in a dream many years ago. But instead of drops or gems I saw lotos flowers connected the same way, making up the universe, and together forming the same shape again.
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Re: Avatamsaka Sutra

Postby Will » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:02 pm

Way back in the Tang dynasty, a Ch'an layman wrote a commentary on the Avatamsaka Sutra. Note his symbolic interpretations....

Avalokiteshvara represents living in the ocean of birth and death, helping beings compassionately. This is one of the three laws that make up the virtues of Vairocana, the Illuminator Buddha; the other two are the subtle principle of the spiritual body represented by Manjushri and the myriad acts of the body of knowledge represented by Samantabhadra. Avalokiteshvara lives on a mountain of little white flowers to show people they should not do even a little wrong and should not abandon even a little good. Sudhana saw Avalokiteshvara on a plateau on the west side of the mountain, which was adorned with shining springs and streams, thick woods, and soft fragrant plants spiraling to the right covering the ground. West is the direction associated with killing and punishment, meaning a place calling for the practice of compassionate education. The great compassion of the enlightening being is paramount, intent on the benefit of beings and not dwelling on personal rewards, so he lives in the material world of sentient beings, represented by the mountainside. The springs and streams represent the clear shining of the heart of compassion, the woods represent the dense shade of works of kindness. The fragrant plants represent fine words that please people, while spiraling to the right symbolizes sentient beings going along with the teaching.


From Cleary's trans. pp. 1601-02
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Re: Avatamsaka Sutra

Postby cdpatton » Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:20 am

Huifeng wrote:
Buddhanataka wrote:The interesting thing about this sutra is that the title literally means

"Sutra of the Buddha's Earrings"

Because the full title is Buddhavatamsaka Sutra
Now avatamsa in Sanskrit means "an earring"
Avatamsaka simply is the plural.
But in the Chinese they changed it to "Flower Ornament", or Hua-yen
Possibly because avata could be taken for avatara i.e. manifestation (whence the English word "avatar"), the letter m as a hiatus break, whence avatam, and saka could be taken as shaka i.e. a type of heavenly flower (as in manjushaka, mahamanjushaka, flowers that rain down when the Buddha does something miraculous, as in for example the Lotus Sutra).
Hence, "flower ornament"

But originally, Avatamsaka means "Earrings".
So, the real meaning of title is simply
"The Great Extensive Sutra of the Buddha's Earrings"
But not many people know that
Not many at all


Monier Williams Sanskrit dictionary:
avataMsa %{as} , %{am} m. n. (ifc. f. %{A}) , ( %{taMs}) , a garland , ring-shaped ornament , ear ornament , ear-ring , crest R. &c.
Capeller dictionary:
avataMsa m. garland or ear-ring.
avataMsaka m. the same, as adj. (f. {-sikA}) crowned with (---).

Hence, the Chinese translation of 華嚴 is quite correct, indicating a "garland".
The words "flower ornament" are of course, and English translation, and not a Chinese translation.


Edgerton says (Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dict) that avatamsaka is figurative for a large number of collection of things. Hence, Buddhavatamsaka would be a large number of buddhas. I've wondered then if the reading should be something like "Garland of Buddhas Sutra".
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Re: Avatamsaka Sutra

Postby Will » Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:49 pm

So many teachings in the Mahayana about the altruistic work done by bodhisattvas are available now, but chapter 17, especially the verse portion is one of the best. It focuses on the foundation of the Mahayana - bodhicitta or bodhi resolve and the vows therefrom.

http://www.cttbusa.org/fas17/fas17.asp

This version has Bodhisattva Hsuan Hua's commentary.
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Re: Avatamsaka Sutra

Postby Will » Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:21 pm

The Bodhisattva, having once thus first brought forth the resolve,
Should go throughout the countries of the ten directions,
To venerate and make offerings to all Thus Come Ones,
Which bring about irreversibility.

The Bodhisattva, bravely seeking the Buddha Way,
Dwells in birth and death without weariness or satiation,
And extols for others so they can practice accordingly,
Which brings about irreversibility.


[From chapter 15]
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: Avatamsaka Sutra

Postby Will » Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:56 pm

Thru June 19th recitation of the sutra is going on - join in at home.

http://www.cttbusa.org/avatamsaka_recit ... tation.asp
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: Avatamsaka Sutra

Postby Leo Rivers » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:43 am

I thought I'd mention this here.

Currently, Dr Osto is working on a complete, annotated English translation of the Sanskrit Gandavyuha-sutra.
Location: Turitea Site
Sir Geoffrey Peren Building
Manawatu Campus
Palmerston North
Email: D.Osto@massey.ac.nz


This is interesting - I tried to read this "chapter" aloud on day to "read it in my ear" - (this goes back to an old post) - and after what seemed like 20 pages my mouth became exhausted. But I have to say reading it "puts it up" in the mind in a way that imply reading it doesn't.
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Re: Avatamsaka Sutra

Postby Will » Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:51 am

Leo Rivers wrote:I thought I'd mention this here.

Currently, Dr Osto is working on a complete, annotated English translation of the Sanskrit Gandavyuha-sutra.
Location: Turitea Site
Sir Geoffrey Peren Building
Manawatu Campus
Palmerston North
Email: D.Osto@massey.ac.nz


This is interesting - I tried to read this "chapter" aloud on day to "read it in my ear" - (this goes back to an old post) - and after what seemed like 20 pages my mouth became exhausted. But I have to say reading it "puts it up" in the mind in a way that imply reading it doesn't.


Yep, the Avatamsaka Sutra is surely in the air more of late. And yes indeed, reading aloud a sutra is a more powerful way to "study" it. Reciting from memory, even better.
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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Will
 
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