Enlightenment according to Hinayana

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Re: Enlightenment according to Hinayana

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun May 01, 2011 11:47 am

52. Two Buddhas Cannot Exist Together
“The Blessed One said, ‘It is impossible that
in one world two Perfectly Enlightened
Buddhas could exist at the same time.’182
Yet, Nàgasena, if all the Tathàgatas teach the same
teaching, why shouldn’t they exist together? If there were
two they could teach at ease and the world would be even
more illumined.”
“O king, if two Buddhas were to exist simultaneously
this great earth could not bear the weight of their combined
goodness, it would tremble and shake and break up.183
Suppose, O king, a man had eaten as much food as he
wanted so that he had no room for any more. Then, if he
were to eat the same amount of food again, would he be at
ease?” “Certainly not, venerable sir, if he were to eat again
he would die.”
“Likewise, O king, this earth could no more bear a
second Tathàgata than that man could bear a second meal.
Also, if there were two Buddhas, disputes would arise between
their disciples and, moreover, the statement that
says the Buddha is supreme and has no equal would become
false.”
“Well has this dilemma been explained. Even an
unintelligent man would be satisfied, how much more a
wise one.184 Well said, Nàgasena, I accept it as you say.”

182. Majjhima Nikaya iii. 65; Anguttara Nikaya i. 27; Vibhanga 336.
183. At the birth of the Bodhisatta the earth shook seven times.
184. Both Rhys Davids and I.B. Horner have translated the Pali: kiü na màdiso mahàpa¤¤o.
“…how much more then a wise man like me.” This makes Milinda seem conceited and
I can’t see any reason for translating the passage like that.

http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/milinda.pdf
This is the reason behind why, according to the Theravadrins, one can only achieve the level of Arhat and not Buddha.
:namaste:
Last edited by Sherab Dorje on Sun May 01, 2011 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"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: Enlightenment according to Hinayana

Postby Mr. G » Sun May 01, 2011 1:16 pm

Namdrol wrote: Just as you will not find any Sakya or Nyingmapa agreeing that common Mahāyān is capable of producing complete buddhahood either.


Do you mean in one lifetime, or ever? I always thought it just took longer (eons).
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: Enlightenment according to Hinayana

Postby Malcolm » Sun May 01, 2011 1:47 pm

mr. gordo wrote:
Namdrol wrote: Just as you will not find any Sakya or Nyingmapa agreeing that common Mahāyān is capable of producing complete buddhahood either.


Do you mean in one lifetime, or ever? I always thought it just took longer (eons).



Ever.
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Re: Enlightenment according to Hinayana

Postby Kare » Sun May 01, 2011 1:57 pm

Namdrol wrote:Theravadins are considered to be substantialist by Tibetan Buddhists.


If that really is the case, it is sad, since it seems to indicate that Tibetan Buddhists who hold this view, live in their own separate bubble of misunderstandings. They need to break through this bubble and discover the real world.

There once were schools - like the Sarvastivada and the Pudgalavada schools - that might be called substantialist (although I am not quite sure if that would be a correct description of them, either). If those schools were denounced as substantialists by the Mahayana/Vajrayana - and subsequently called "Hinayana" - and if then afterwards a further misunderstanding led to Theravada being identified as "Hinayana", that might perhaps explain how such a bizarre view arose.

In the end, the best we can do is agree on the basic principles of Buddha's teachings and leave it at that and try to collaborate despite our differences, since there are not many Buddhists in the world, and many in other religious and secular ideologies who would happily see Buddhism as a whole destroyed.


Well said.

:anjali:
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Re: Enlightenment according to Hinayana

Postby Malcolm » Sun May 01, 2011 2:33 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Which is interesting, because I'd suggest the suttas themselves...



Tibetan Buddhists, obviously, don't consider the Buddha to be a substantialist. And as you know, Nāgārjuna cites this sutta as a criticism of Sarvastivadin substantialism.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Enlightenment according to Hinayana

Postby Malcolm » Sun May 01, 2011 3:04 pm

Kare wrote:
Namdrol wrote:Theravadins are considered to be substantialist by Tibetan Buddhists.


If that really is the case, it is sad, since it seems to indicate that Tibetan Buddhists who hold this view, live in their own separate bubble of misunderstandings. They need to break through this bubble and discover the real world.


I have read Theravadins who definitely hold what I would consider substantialist views. I have read Thervadins who do not. I find some Abhidhamma to be very substantialist in tone.

Mahāyāna bodhicitta does not exist for most Theravadins, and the narrow criteria for who can generate something resembling Mahāyāna style bodhicitta is so strict as to discourage anyone from trying (one reason, you see, why the Saddharmapundarika predicts everyone for full buddhahood as conceived by the authors of the Pundarika).

There once were schools - like the Sarvastivada and the Pudgalavada schools - that might be called substantialist (although I am not quite sure if that would be a correct description of them, either).


Yes, it is. They really do assert things really exist on some level or another -- atoms, moments, persons, etc. Early Buddhists went crazy with a proliferation of dharmas to explain everything, just as Mahayanists went crazy with cosmic narratives ala Puranas.

If those schools were denounced as substantialists by the Mahayana/Vajrayana - and subsequently called "Hinayana" - and if then afterwards a further misunderstanding led to Theravada being identified as "Hinayana", that might perhaps explain how such a bizarre view arose.


Well, in my opinion the distinction between Mahāyāna and Hināyāna really hinges on how vinaya was interpreted more than anything. Mahāyānists consistently maintain that intent is more important than the vow. That under certain circumstances a monastic could even kill a human being, lie about miraculous powers, etc. without losing his monastic vows. Mahāyānists felt that many monastics used their vows as an excuse to disengage from the world. There is element of "engaged" Buddhism in the formation of early Mahāyāna that has been overlooked. Of course, at the same time, there also trends in Mahāyāna that suggest withdrawing from the world.

Mahāyāna is not a coherent, monolithic entity either. This is perhaps the most important thing to recognize -- apart from distinct features common to all Mahāyāna schools, the development of Mahāyāna was not a rational evolution, the development of any system of thought with many contributing thinkers never is (including Theravada).

So called Modern Mahāyāna is basically a scholastic fabrication every bit as much as Modern Theravada is.

The fact is that circumstances on the ground are not so easy -- there used to be Mahāyāna Thervadins until they are were crushed in Shri Lanka. So, in general the main line of division is that all monastic orders belong to a so called "hināyāna" because their goal and intention is inferior and lower. The vows of monk are the essence of "hināyāna" because they are so restrictive. Theravadins, etc., thought it was scandalous that so called Mahāyāna bhiksus would freely handle gold, sometimes go to bars, and generally mix with the population. In some ways the monastic orders were too elite oriented and this created a vacuum where the populist Mahāyānis could easily fill. It is often easier to get your spiritual milk from the guy you drink beer with than a priest. This also explains the popularity of the siddha movement later on.

Mahāyāna was originally sub-altern movement that was bucking the monastic establishment while at the time trying to co-opt it. It also did not develop rationally, but was rationalized by later Mahāyānis once certain Mahāyāna trends were set as "establishment" and gained royal support post Nāgārjuna. Nāgārjuna's secured his place in history no so much because of what he wrote, but because of who his friends were (kings). This is the way of samsara.

Then Mahāyāna grew stale, abstract, irrelevant to needs of normal people and we have another sub-altern movement, anuttarayoga tantra (I exclude lower tantras because these were never sub-altern movements -- but from the beginning grew out of a need to parallel the replacement of brahmins in the burgeoning context of a growing Puranic culture for ritual needs of the aristocracy and commoners).

Finally, the Huns, then Hindu Kings, and finally Persian Moslems burnt, dismembered and interred Buddhism in its homeland over a period of 700 years.

We need to not forget that -- and we need to make sure our Buddhism, whatever it is, is as relevant to the beer drinker (without of course insisting that he give up his beer) as it is to a scholar.

Well said.


Thanks.

Buddhism is a vast tree planted in the soil of India, which shot out runners in many different directions. All of our Buddhist teachings are shoots from that tree, at least in this era. There were other Buddhas, other eras. But root, trunk, branch, leaf, and flower all lead to but one result. Awakening. And that is the most important thing to recall when conversing and discussing with our fellow Buddhists.

N
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Enlightenment according to Hinayana

Postby LastLegend » Mon May 02, 2011 1:58 pm

Looking at the current situation of Vietnamese Mahayana monks now, they would go to teach Dharma wherever they are invited to, and usually they are invited by different temples. Other than teaching Dharma, I don't think they engage in anything else...so intent is important BUT monks (Mahayana or Hinayana) should avoid using intent by not actively digging for such circumstances that compel them to use intent. Monks do need to maintain vows/precepts, and vows/precepts are important...as for special circumstances especially with KILLING for example, I will have to say killing done by a Bodhishattva is pure for Bodhishattva is enlightened. This situation is what called "opening" or "engaging" vow according to my translation of the word, instead of "breaking" vow. But killing by us is not pure because we are not enlightened and we are still using thinking, intent.

Killing by a Bodhishattva to save 500 lives comes from a Sutra.
NAMO AMITABHA
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Re: Enlightenment according to Hinayana

Postby adinatha » Mon May 02, 2011 2:55 pm

Namdrol wrote:But root, trunk, branch, leaf, and flower all lead to but one result. Awakening. And that is the most important thing to recall when conversing and discussing with our fellow Buddhists.


This agrees with Gongchig's main point. Wow. :anjali:
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