Was Gautama really a prince?

General forum on Mahayana.

Re: Was Gautama really a prince?

Postby Buddhanataka » Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:21 am

Why quote from the Heart Sutra then? To what purpose?
Also, where did you hear the words "Prajnaparamita"? According to you, the words "Prajnaparamita" may just occur at any time for no reason.
Why then call them "Prajnaparamita" and not something else? Why make teachings on "Prajnaparamita"?
How can you separate "Prajnaparamita" from the words "Prajnaparamita" which are included in the teaching on Prajnaparamita whose sutra you yourself quoted from?
You still need to explain all these things.

See, I am still not quite clear on the absolute distinction between Buddhism and Prajnaparamita.
So, I am far from clear on the mutual exclusivity of Buddhism and Buddhahood, simply because the words, as you claim, "Prajnaparamita" may occur at random.
Buddhanataka
 

Re: Was Gautama really a prince?

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:33 am

Dexing wrote:That is, sentient being and Buddha are not separated individualizes. One does not become the other through study and practice.

The so-called attainment of that wisdom is also not dependent upon the teachings about it, because all share the same nature, waking up to it can happen at any time, in any place, in any way.


I think I get what you're intending, i.e. that it's the wisdom itself and not the words that ultimately does the trick, but I feel compelled to point out that not only is it wrong to claim that proper Buddhist study and practice will not lead to realization of this wisdom (and thus buddhahood), but also that proper study of the Dharma and practice of its methods is a whole heck of a lot more expedient and reliable than waiting around for eons for it to just "happen" spontaneously. Many, many beings are said to have realized the Prajnaparamita through study and practice, though I've never heard of anyone just "getting it" simply by virtue of their true nature being buddha.

Seriously, the odds of someone happening to figure out the wisdom of the Prajnaparamita on his or her own, let alone THEN going on to accumulate the necessary vast heap of merit with that view in order to simultaneously accumulate the necessary vast heap of wisdom, just doesn't happen by itself, spontaneously.

edit: you might argue, as it just dawned on me that some Zen and Chan masters did, that it could happen in an instant. But even then, how is it to happen if one is not working with one's own mind in meditation in some way?
Last edited by Pema Rigdzin on Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
Pema Rigdzin
 
Posts: 1030
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:19 am
Location: Southern Oregon

Re: Was Gautama really a prince?

Postby Buddhanataka » Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:47 am

You're quite right Pema, and statements like these

Pema Rigdzin wrote:
Dexing wrote:That is, sentient being and Buddha are not separated individualizes. One does not become the other through study and practice.



are the same tired old Zen cliches which have been trotted out time and again over the centuries and summarily destroyed in debate a hundred thousand times. For example the famous debate at Samye.
Buddhanataka
 

Re: Was Gautama really a prince?

Postby Dexing » Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:01 am

Buddhanataka wrote:Why quote from the Heart Sutra then? To what purpose?
Also, where did you hear the words "Prajnaparamita"? According to you, the words "Prajnaparamita" may just occur at any time for no reason.
Why then call them "Prajnaparamita" and not something else? Why make teachings on "Prajnaparamita"?
How can you separate "Prajnaparamita" from the words "Prajnaparamita" which are included in the teaching on Prajnaparamita whose sutra you yourself quoted from?
You still need to explain all these things.


I quote the Sutra and use the Sanskrit terms simply because we are both familiar with Buddhism. No other reason.

According to you, the words "Prajnaparamita" may just occur at any time for no reason.


That's according to your misunderstanding of what I'm saying. I'm not talking about the words at all. I'm just using them because we are both familiar with them. But they point to a place where language can't go.

That "place" can be realized without the help of Buddhism.

:namaste:
nopalabhyate...
User avatar
Dexing
 
Posts: 417
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:41 am

Re: Was Gautama really a prince?

Postby Dexing » Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:06 am

Pema Rigdzin wrote:Seriously, the odds of someone happening to figure out the wisdom of the Prajnaparamita on his or her own, let alone THEN going on to accumulate the necessary vast heap of merit with that view in order to simultaneously accumulate the necessary vast heap of wisdom, just doesn't happen by itself, spontaneously.


I'm not talking about odds, but whether or not realization is at all "dependent" upon Buddhism. Obviously, even if the odds were one in a trillion that proves that it is not in fact dependent upon Buddhism. But for most Buddhist teachings set one in the right direction. But ultimately it is when the teachings of Buddhism are seen as empty and therefore let go, because they can't be grasped anyway, that one awakens. That is not dependent upon Buddhism, but upon realization of emptiness, of even Buddhism. Such realization has not only happened to Buddhists.

:namaste:
nopalabhyate...
User avatar
Dexing
 
Posts: 417
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:41 am

Re: Was Gautama really a prince?

Postby Dexing » Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:08 am

Buddhanataka wrote:You're quite right Pema, and statements like these

Pema Rigdzin wrote:
Dexing wrote:That is, sentient being and Buddha are not separated individualizes. One does not become the other through study and practice.



are the same tired old Zen cliches which have been trotted out time and again over the centuries and summarily destroyed in debate a hundred thousand times. For example the famous debate at Samye.


It's Mahayana teaching.

Seriously, I think you would be more comfortable on Dhammawheel.com, you are welcome to look there.

:namaste:
nopalabhyate...
User avatar
Dexing
 
Posts: 417
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:41 am

Re: Was Gautama really a prince?

Postby Virgo » Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:23 am

Dexing wrote:
Pema Rigdzin wrote:I'm not talking about odds, but whether or not realization is at all "dependent" upon Buddhism. Obviously, even if the odds were one in a trillion that proves that it is not in fact dependent upon Buddhism. But for most Buddhist teachings set one in the right direction. But ultimately it is when the teachings of Buddhism are seen as empty and therefore let go, because they can't be grasped anyway, that one awakens. That is not dependent upon Buddhism, but upon realization of emptiness, of even Buddhism. Such realization has not only happened to Buddhists.

:namaste:

Realization depends on the removal of ignorance, which, for sentient beings, entails a certain path. That path of practice is what is called "Buddhism", it being taught by the Buddhas since it removes those afflictions.

There is no non-Buddhist practice that leads to supramundane realization, though there are some that lead to mundane realizations. The cutting off of birth and death and the permanent removal of the afflictions is the sole territory of Buddhism. There are certain other paths that help people work with the radiance of the mind and gain mundane realizations of unity and so on, what people call God-realization, kundalini, and so on. These can help someone towards full awakening but are not full awakening itself, they are only instances of people feeling the warmth of the radiance of the mind.

Kevin
User avatar
Virgo
 
Posts: 1416
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:47 am
Location: Globe

Re: Was Gautama really a prince?

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:36 am

Buddhanataka wrote:You're quite right Pema, and statements like these

Pema Rigdzin wrote:
Dexing wrote:That is, sentient being and Buddha are not separated individualizes. One does not become the other through study and practice.



are the same tired old Zen cliches which have been trotted out time and again over the centuries and summarily destroyed in debate a hundred thousand times. For example the famous debate at Samye.


Whoa, I'm not saying all that. I was just saying that one's true nature being buddha doesn't automatically cause its obscurations to vanish and that Dexing seemed to be implying that attachment to the finger pointing to the moon was inevitable or something, which is certainly not the case.

The topic of the debate at Samye is more likely to be a divergence from the intent of the thread into Tibetan arguments that are largely foreign to the readers of this thread and so would be irrelevant to then. Nevermind that there's a lot of controversy about how it really went down, etc.
Pema Rigdzin
 
Posts: 1030
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:19 am
Location: Southern Oregon

Re: Was Gautama really a prince?

Postby Buddhanataka » Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:49 am

Pema Rigdzin wrote:The topic of the debate at Samye is more likely to be a divergence from the intent of the thread into Tibetan arguments that are largely foreign to the readers of this thread and so would be irrelevant to then. Nevermind that there's a lot of controversy about how it really went down, etc.


How redundant, Pema, to talk about thread-relevance in a thread about whether the Buddha was prince before he left home, after you have been talking about nothing of the sort.
Buddhanataka
 

Re: Was Gautama really a prince?

Postby Buddhanataka » Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:51 am

Dexing wrote:
I quote the Sutra and use the Sanskrit terms simply because we are both familiar with Buddhism. No other reason.


Exactly, Dexing. That's why I'm not clear about this distinction you claim between Buddhism and Prajnaparamita. If you could introduce me to this Prajnaparamita without recourse to Buddhism, I would be much happier about your position. As it is, it still looks and sounds like Buddhism!
Now have you terms or techniques which are not Buddhism to enlighten me? If so, I'm eager to learn. Bear in mind though, that this alternative approach you have will also have be negated in the same way that you are trying to negate Buddhism!

And making constant perjorative references to Dhamma isn't quite cutting it..!
Buddhanataka
 

Re: Was Gautama really a prince?

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:58 am

Buddhanataka wrote:
Pema Rigdzin wrote:The topic of the debate at Samye is more likely to be a divergence from the intent of the thread into Tibetan arguments that are largely foreign to the readers of this thread and so would be irrelevant to then. Nevermind that there's a lot of controversy about how it really went down, etc.


How redundant, Pema, to talk about thread-relevance in a thread about whether the Buddha was prince before he left home, after you have been talking about nothing of the sort.


Sorry, that was actually my mistake. I got this thread mixed up with the Zen thread I had previously been looking at.
Pema Rigdzin
 
Posts: 1030
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:19 am
Location: Southern Oregon

Re: Was Gautama really a prince?

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:26 am

Dexing wrote:
Pema Rigdzin wrote:Seriously, the odds of someone happening to figure out the wisdom of the Prajnaparamita on his or her own, let alone THEN going on to accumulate the necessary vast heap of merit with that view in order to simultaneously accumulate the necessary vast heap of wisdom, just doesn't happen by itself, spontaneously.


I'm not talking about odds, but whether or not realization is at all "dependent" upon Buddhism. Obviously, even if the odds were one in a trillion that proves that it is not in fact dependent upon Buddhism. But for most Buddhist teachings set one in the right direction. But ultimately it is when the teachings of Buddhism are seen as empty and therefore let go, because they can't be grasped anyway, that one awakens. That is not dependent upon Buddhism, but upon realization of emptiness, of even Buddhism. Such realization has not only happened to Buddhists.

:namaste:


In truth, I wasn't really talking about odds either, that was just an obvious use of idiom on my part. You can say that realization corresponds with the truth of our nature and the nature of phenomena, and that true nature is not dependent on any -isms... But obviously the true nature of self and phenomena must be pointed out to us. It does not just dawn on us. No non-Buddhist tradition contains teachings that point out the Prajnaparamita directly or the bodhicitta intention or the dedication of merit, so how is this wisdom and the need to accumulate merit and wisdom (and how to do that) supposed to just dawn on people without it being pointed out to them, and how is a path that corresponds with the realization of the Prajnaparamita supposed to come about for non-Buddhists? If one properly follows what Buddha taught in the Prajnaparamita, there will be no issue of clinging to Buddhism or anything; Buddha taught the emptiness of everything, including the Dharma and including emptiness itself. You're creating a strawman type of problem that isn't an actual problem. Maybe you have an issue with organization or belonging. Maybe you prefer to be a lone wolf or something. I don't know.
Pema Rigdzin
 
Posts: 1030
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:19 am
Location: Southern Oregon

Re: Was Gautama really a prince?

Postby Buddhanataka » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:39 am

Dexing wrote:Such realization has not only happened to Buddhists.



By "such realization" we are talking about perfect Buddhahood, aren't we? I mean we are talking about the all-knowing enlightened knowledge of the Tathagata, are we not...?
And now it seems like you're claiming that there are Buddhas out there who are non-Buddhist.
How amazing! Can you give us any names? This is the first time I have ever heard of a non-Buddhist Buddha. Can you give us just one name please. What tradition are they then I wonder? Do they teach? What are their teachings? What are their sutras? What are their precepts? Where can I find the teaching of the non-Buddhist Buddhas you are revealing for us.
How frankly amazing.
Buddhanataka
 

Re: Was Gautama really a prince?

Postby Indrajala » Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:40 am

Pema Rigdzin wrote:
edit: you might argue, as it just dawned on me that some Zen and Chan masters did, that it could happen in an instant. But even then, how is it to happen if one is not working with one's own mind in meditation in some way?


I would imagine in the case of such Zen and Chan masters they already had many lifetimes of solid practise and training behind them.

The late Master Sheng Yen in one of his books that I read pointed out something like this. That some people are born with a great deal of practise, merit and wisdom behind them, so they have only to "peck through a thin shell" to get to realization. For the rest of us fools we're not dealing with thin eggshells, but reinforced concrete walls in near total darkness.

In any cases it comes down to your past life resume.

Even in Theravada, you probably won't achieve Arhatship in this life unless several lifetimes ago you already achieved stream entry.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
 
Posts: 5863
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Nepal

Re: Was Gautama really a prince?

Postby Indrajala » Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:45 am

KeithBC wrote:I can't see that it really matters.

I, too have read that Siddhartha Gautama's father might not have been a hereditary king but may have been an elected or appointed ruler. It makes no difference. He was the son of the ruler of that particular state, and, just like the children of secular rulers anywhere, he had the best housing, the best clothing, the best food, the best education, etc. The point of the story is that he was born into a situation of privilege and gave it up to seek enlightenment. The nature of his father's office is quite unimportant.

Om mani padme hum
Keith


Hi Keith. :smile:

After a few days of thinking about it, I came to the same conclusion.

If all Buddhas of the past, present and future more or less have to follow the same life script as Shakyamuni did, then it probably means that they will reject the best of what samsara has to offer and go off to attain enlightenment and to form the sangha.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
 
Posts: 5863
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Nepal

Re: Was Gautama really a prince?

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:08 pm

Huseng wrote:
Pema Rigdzin wrote:
edit: you might argue, as it just dawned on me that some Zen and Chan masters did, that it could happen in an instant. But even then, how is it to happen if one is not working with one's own mind in meditation in some way?


I would imagine in the case of such Zen and Chan masters they already had many lifetimes of solid practise and training behind them.

The late Master Sheng Yen in one of his books that I read pointed out something like this. That some people are born with a great deal of practise, merit and wisdom behind them, so they have only to "peck through a thin shell" to get to realization. For the rest of us fools we're not dealing with thin eggshells, but reinforced concrete walls in near total darkness.

In any cases it comes down to your past life resume.

Even in Theravada, you probably won't achieve Arhatship in this life unless several lifetimes ago you already achieved stream entry.


Thank you Huseng, this is my understanding as well. Dexing seems to have some other idea, so I was curious as to how he/she could explain someone suddenly just "getting it" without first having ever studied and practiced Buddha's teachings.
Pema Rigdzin
 
Posts: 1030
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:19 am
Location: Southern Oregon

Re: Was Gautama really a prince?

Postby Dexing » Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:07 pm

Buddhanataka wrote:If you could introduce me to this Prajnaparamita without recourse to Buddhism, I would be much happier about your position. As it is, it still looks and sounds like Buddhism!


Of course, as I said, I used the Buddhist term because we are both familiar with that tradition. Using that word is Buddhism. But call it what you want, that word will never take its place, nor will any teaching on it.

That's why in Chan schools for example, they use wordless techniques :applause: to point to the wordless.

Still my only point is that realization is not dependent upon Buddhism, or any religion for that matter. Because all practices are impermanent, as is anything produced from them.

So, Pema says it has to be pointed out to you. Strange that. It's as clear as the nose on the front of your face and you think there is no chance that someone could realize it without having it pointed out to them?

As long as you distance yourself from Buddhahood, setting up an imaginary gap to somehow cross with practice, you will never succeed. It will always always seem like something to come in the distant future. Not this life. Not this life. Keep going around and around with no hope for escape.

So it is said;

"The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences.
When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised.
Make the smallest distinction, however, and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart."


It really isn't as difficult as we think it. Just return before distinctions arise. Anyone can realize that. It's not difficult. It's not in the distant future. It's always right now.

What's the big deal? Why do you need Buddhism to understand?

Buddhanataka wrote:And now it seems like you're claiming that there are Buddhas out there who are non-Buddhist.
How amazing! Can you give us any names? This is the first time I have ever heard of a non-Buddhist Buddha. Can you give us just one name please.


Siddhartha Gautama, for one. He would be the most well-known of our time.
nopalabhyate...
User avatar
Dexing
 
Posts: 417
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:41 am

Re: Was Gautama really a prince?

Postby Buddhanataka » Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:33 pm

Buddhanataka wrote:And now it seems like you're claiming that there are Buddhas out there who are non-Buddhist.
How amazing! Can you give us any names? This is the first time I have ever heard of a non-Buddhist Buddha. Can you give us just one name please.


Siddhartha Gautama, for one. He would be the most well-known of our time.


No indeed friend, I'm asking for the non-Buddhist Buddhas you mentioned about. But Shakyamuni is the original Buddhist in our kalpa; he is the Hinayana Buddhist monk of the 8-fold holy way par excellence as Gotama, a Mahayana Bodhisattva of the practice of the 6 paramitas par excellence as Sarvarthasiddha, a universal Buddha of the ten powers par excellence as Shakyamuni, a Vajrayana Buddha of the creation and completion processes par excellence as Vairocana, and so on and so forth. But you made a fascinating reference to some several Buddha Lords, Tathagatas from traditions other than Buddhism or perhaps from no tradition at all; those are the ones I'm interested in, if you please.
Last edited by Buddhanataka on Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
Buddhanataka
 

Re: Was Gautama really a prince?

Postby Dexing » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:02 am

Buddhanataka wrote:No indeed friend, I'm asking for the non-Buddhist Buddhas you mentioned about. But Shakyamuni is the original Buddhist in our kalpa; he is a Hinayana Buddhist monk as Gotama, a Mahayana Bodhisattva as Sarvarthasiddha, a universal Buddha as Shakyamuni, a Vajrayana Buddha as Vairocana and so on and so forth. But you made a fascinating reference to some several Buddhas from traditions other than Buddhism or perhaps from no tradition at all; those are the ones I'm interested in, if you please.


:crazy:
nopalabhyate...
User avatar
Dexing
 
Posts: 417
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:41 am

Re: Was Gautama really a prince?

Postby Buddhanataka » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:06 am

Dexing wrote:
Buddhanataka wrote:No indeed friend, I'm asking for the non-Buddhist Buddhas you mentioned about. But Shakyamuni is the original Buddhist in our kalpa; he is a Hinayana Buddhist monk as Gotama, a Mahayana Bodhisattva as Sarvarthasiddha, a universal Buddha as Shakyamuni, a Vajrayana Buddha as Vairocana and so on and so forth. But you made a fascinating reference to some several Buddhas from traditions other than Buddhism or perhaps from no tradition at all; those are the ones I'm interested in, if you please.


:crazy:


Uh huh? I don't quite follow your line of thought on this occasion. Presumably, such type of symbolism is some form of teaching which you expound that transcends words; however as I am either unready or of wrong capacity to receive that kind of teaching, the meaning is lost on me.
Now if you please to name these non-Buddhist Buddha Lords, Tathagatas that you made reference to, be pleased, friend, to reveal their names, their birth stories, their lives, their teachings, their retinues, their attendents, their halos, their lifespans, and their manifestation of nirvana! And please do so in words we understand and not with arcane symbols quite beyond the ordinary intellectual ken...!
Buddhanataka
 

PreviousNext

Return to Mahāyāna Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: smcj and 7 guests

>