Trikaya and Mantra

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Trikaya and Mantra

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:11 pm

Hi all,

The following is a discussion on mantra and how its efficacy is described by Mahayana schools. Do Peter B's responses correspond with how Mahayana practitioners on this site would describe mantra use? Especially this statement

"A true mantram is believed by those who practice Hindu or Buddhist Tantra to be the sound embodiment of that which it represents. A Sanskrit mantram will contain a seed syllable. ( " Bija mantra " ) That seed syllable is not different to that which it represents. It is not merely symbolic. Its recitation is believed to have an objective effect by dint of its nature."

Thanks

Prasadachitta









PeterB wrote:I dont think there is actually a contradiction here.
Ajahn Chah is describing the function of a parikamma which many on this forum have found to be of great usefulness.
A mantram on the other hand is of a different order. A true mantram is believed by those who practice Hindu or Buddhist Tantra to be the sound embodiment of that which it represents. A Sanskrit mantram will contain a seed syllable. ( " Bija mantra " ) That seed syllable is not different to that which it represents. It is not merely symbolic. Its recitation is believed to have an objective effect by dint of its nature.
There is no such concept within the Theravada.
Buddho is therefore a mantra -like construct which carries a profound symbolic meaning, that can be utilised like a mantram. But it is not technically a mantram.

Prasadachitta wrote:Hello Peter,

I believe Buddhist Tantra does not make the distinction you describe. The mantra is not said to be "merely symbolic" but it is also not "believed to have an objective effect by dint of its nature". There is an effect by way of Dependent Arising. The mantra is an extension of recollecting the Three Jewels and therefore its objective effect is dependent upon that. This is one of the main distinctions between Hindu Tantra and Buddhist Tantra. This does not mean that Buddhist tantra practitioners dont "believed it to have an objective effect by dint of its nature", but I expect you will find this kind of thing among Theravada practitioners as well. Many people are fettered by rites and rituals regardless of the tradition.


PeterB wrote:Sorry Prasadachitta but in terms of the Higher Yoga Tantras of the Vajrayana you are incorrect.
The Bija Mantra or seed syllable is considered to have objective reality as it arises non dependently from the Tathagatagharbha, and is therefore not different from that which it denotes.

For example The Guru Rinpoche mantra
Om Ah Hum Benza Guru Pema Siddhi Hung is considered to be not different from Padmasambhava.
Last edited by Prasadachitta on Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:12 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Trikaya and Mantra

Postby Kai » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:45 pm

The Trikaya Doctrine forms what is probably the biggest difference between the Mahayana and Theravada.


Disagree with this..............
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Re: Trikaya and Mantra

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:04 pm

Kai wrote:
The Trikaya Doctrine forms what is probably the biggest difference between the Mahayana and Theravada.


Disagree with this..............


Hello Kai,

I would find it helpful if you could say more. Are you saying you think the Trikaya teaching is not a difference or are you saying that it is not nearly as big as other differences.

I am interested.

Thanks

Prasadachitta
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Re: Trikaya and Mantra

Postby Kai » Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:41 pm

gabrielbranbury wrote:
Kai wrote:
The Trikaya Doctrine forms what is probably the biggest difference between the Mahayana and Theravada.


Disagree with this..............


Hello Kai,

I would find it helpful if you could say more. Are you saying you think the Trikaya teaching is not a difference or are you saying that it is not nearly as big as other differences.

I am interested.


I'm referring to the latter, there are other more important differences like the different requirements for the entry into a Bodhisattva path and its progression, variances in the interpretations of dependent origination and kamma, qualities of Arahant, dedication of merits, etc.......

The main reason that I don't want to say more is that I fear the whole thread might turn into a Theravada vs Mahayana hate-fest.
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Re: Trikaya and Mantra

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:25 pm

Kai wrote:
I'm referring to the latter, there are other more important differences like the different requirements for the entry into a Bodhisattva path and its progression, variances in the interpretations of dependent origination and kamma, qualities of Arahant, dedication of merits, etc.......

The main reason that I don't want to say more is that I fear the whole thread might turn into a Theravada vs Mahayana hate-fest.



Hi Kai,

I mostly started this thread with interest in the assertion about Trikaya and how mantras were described, "seed syllable is not different to that which it represents" which makes very little sense to me and does not sound very Buddhist.

I sincerely hope we can discuss these issues without a "Hate Fest"

Thanks

Prasadachitta
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Re: Trikaya and Mantra

Postby Jnana » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:18 am

gabrielbranbury wrote:I mostly started this thread with interest in the assertion about Trikaya and how mantras were described, "seed syllable is not different to that which it represents" which makes very little sense to me and does not sound very Buddhist.

The Mahāyāna makes use of symbol & metaphor, and no phenomenon whatsoever is ultimately established as real. There is no need and no value in interpreting symbols literally.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: Trikaya and Mantra

Postby DarwidHalim » Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:24 pm

Actually, I am quite confused. Is this a topic about Trikaya or about Mantra or about the relationship between Mantra and Trikaya?
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Trikaya and Mantra

Postby Prasadachitta » Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:14 am

DarwidHalim wrote:Actually, I am quite confused. Is this a topic about Trikaya or about Mantra or about the relationship between Mantra and Trikaya?


Hi DarwinHalim,

Ive edited my OP to make it more clear. Reading the whole thing should help.

Maitri

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