the Mahayana order

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the Mahayana order

Postby Aemilius » Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:25 pm

I have repeatedly thought and seen it so that the order of Bodhisattvas existed in India prior to Bhagavan Shakyamuni. Accordingly Bhagavan Shakyamuni did not found the order of Bodhisattvas, it was already in existence. At some point he became a member of it. Bodhisattvas were historical persons in those days, only much later they have become "non-historical", or "archetypal", etc...
What do those Mahayana sutras say that describe the Mahayana precepts and the Mahayana ordination?
Last edited by Aemilius on Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: about the Mahayana order

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:02 pm

I would be interested in knowing your source of information, primarily because of the use of the word 'order' which is not really accurate.

The term bodhisattva, which means, roughly an enlightenment-being (keep in mind that 'enlightenment' itself is a rough translation of the concept of bodhi.), may certainly have been in general usage before the appearance of the historical Buddha, referring to one who is seeking perfect awareness.

In the Buddhist context, the term bodhisattva suggests one who seeks perfect realization for the benefit of others. Since altruism, or dedicating one's existence to the service of others, is not an exclusively Buddhist concept, then again, the word could have had this specific meaning in some circumstances. It could have been an already occurring term that the Buddha used because it was appropriate to the usage of the time.

Keep in mind that when discussing any ancient terminology, the usage of a single word can change over many centuries, can have a variety of contexts which are not even imaginable today, and thus multiple meanings.


Aside from that, there is not really any specific "Order Of Bodhisattvas", so I am interested to know if this is your own way of expressing the Mahayana concept, or if this was from a questionable source. Whenever I hear the prase "The Order of...." it reminds me of secret societies and fraternal lodges.
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Re: about the Mahayana order

Postby Paul » Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:37 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:Aside from that, there is not really any specific "Order Of Bodhisattvas", so I am interested to know if this is your own way of expressing the Mahayana concept, or if this was from a questionable source. Whenever I hear the prase "The Order of...." it reminds me of secret societies and fraternal lodges.


The first that I thought of was Theosophy...
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"Do not block your six senses; delight in them with joy and ease.
All that you take pleasure in will strengthen the awakened state.
With such a confidence, empowered by the regal state of natural mind,
The training now is simply this: lets your six senses be at ease and free." - Princess Parani
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Re: about the Mahayana order

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:08 pm

You might want to look at the VIMALAKIRTI NIRDESA SUTRA, (translated by Robert Thurman) --you can Google that, and the term "Order of Bodhisattvas" is used, but the term refers more to an assembly. It might have been more accurate to say, in this context, to say 'able to order up some bodhisattvas' although, of course this makes them sound like burgers and fries.

The second part of your question refers to sutras defining or explaining ordination in the Mahayana tradition. You might want to research the Brahmajala or Brahma Net Sutra.
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Re: about the Mahayana order

Postby Aemilius » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:46 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:I would be interested in knowing your source of information, primarily because of the use of the word 'order' which is not really accurate.
...
Aside from that, there is not really any specific "Order Of Bodhisattvas", so I am interested to know if this is your own way of expressing the Mahayana concept, or if this was from a questionable source. Whenever I hear the prase "The Order of...." it reminds me of secret societies and fraternal lodges.


The word "order" is used in english e.g. as a religious order, a monastic order, a sufi order, etc... This is one of the many meanings of the word order. What I mean is that there was, or there is, an organisation of bodhisattvas that has existed for a very long time.

I have read the Brahma net sutra and Vimalakirti sutra, several times.
When the chinese Yogi C. M. Chen teaches about the Mahayana silas (precepts) he mentions as his sources sutras that I haven't seen in english, such as Kasyapa parivarta sutra, Akashagarbha sutra, and Bodhisattvabhumi. There is also Bodhisattva pratimoksha sutra in existence.

Pratimoksha defines rules for an organisation, for a religious order, thus it can be said that there is a bodhisattva religious order. You can use an other word for it if you wish.
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Re: about the Mahayana order

Postby Aemilius » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:10 pm

1.The immensity of time during which the bodhisattvas and ordinary beings develop.
That is to say that the mahayana community has existed for ten million years, thousand million years, or million million years,.. up to many kalpas of vacuity, development, maturity and disintegration.

2. The time it takes for an individual to develop is really vast, usually nothing happens in less than 10 million years. To understand the causes for the present situation of humanity you have to go back 1000 million years in time.

3.The sutra pitaka and the dharani pitaka exist in many different worlds. In other realms there are some really long dharanis, equivalent to something like one thousand pages up to ten thousand pages of human books.
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Re: about the Mahayana order

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:47 pm

Aemilius wrote:1.The immensity of time during which the bodhisattvas and ordinary beings develop.
That is to say that the mahayana community has existed for ten million years, thousand million years, or million million years,.. up to many kalpas of vacuity, development, maturity and disintegration.

2. The time it takes for an individual to develop is really vast, usually nothing happens in less than 10 million years. To understand the causes for the present situation of humanity you have to go back 1000 million years in time.

3.The sutra pitaka and the dharani pitaka exist in many different worlds. In other realms there are some really long dharanis, equivalent to something like one thousand pages up to ten thousand pages of human books.


Why don't you write to them and ask for an informational brochure?
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Re: about the Mahayana order

Postby Virgo » Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:12 pm

What people sometimes fail to take into consideration is that most Bodhisattvas who have practiced under The Buddha had been on the Bodhisattva Path for Eons already.

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Re: about the Mahayana order

Postby Tilopa » Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:25 pm

Aemilius wrote:I have repeatedly thought and seen it so that the order of Bodhisattvas existed in India prior to Bhagavan Shakyamuni. Accordingly Bhagavan Shakyamuni did not found the order of Bodhisattvas, it was already in existence. At some point he became a member of it.

Shakyamuni Buddha was the 4th Buddha to turn the wheel of dharma in our world and depending on which tradition you follow he was either a bodhisattva in his final incarnation who completed the path before teaching or already an enlightened being who just manifested in the way he did to inspire others. Either way Dharma and therefore Bodhisattvas predate the historical Buddha.

Bodhisattvas were historical persons in those days, only much later they have become "non-historical", or "archetypal", etc...

There have always been Bodhisattvas and they are not restricted to archetypes - there are many who take human and non human form to benefit living beings.

What do those Mahayana sutras say that describe the Mahayana precepts and the Mahayana ordination?

http://viewonbuddhism.org/resources/bod ... _vows.html
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Re: about the Mahayana order

Postby Huifeng » Tue Nov 01, 2011 6:40 am

Probably the term from which "bodhisattva order" is translated is "bodhisattva-gaṇa".
In early Mahayana sutras, they talk about the "bhikṣu-saṃgha" and the "bodhisattva-gaṇa".
Both terms, saṃgha and gaṇa were used for various types of groups, organizations, fraternities, orders, ... in the period before Buddhism.

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Re: about the Mahayana order

Postby Aemilius » Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:54 pm

Huifeng wrote:Probably the term from which "bodhisattva order" is translated is "bodhisattva-gaṇa".
In early Mahayana sutras, they talk about the "bhikṣu-saṃgha" and the "bodhisattva-gaṇa".
Both terms, saṃgha and gaṇa were used for various types of groups, organizations, fraternities, orders, ... in the period before Buddhism.

~~ Huifeng


Thanks !
What are the words parisad ( in caturparisad) and varga (in caturvarga) ?
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Re: about the Mahayana order

Postby Huifeng » Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:41 am

Aemilius wrote:
Huifeng wrote:Probably the term from which "bodhisattva order" is translated is "bodhisattva-gaṇa".
In early Mahayana sutras, they talk about the "bhikṣu-saṃgha" and the "bodhisattva-gaṇa".
Both terms, saṃgha and gaṇa were used for various types of groups, organizations, fraternities, orders, ... in the period before Buddhism.

~~ Huifeng


Thanks !
What are the words parisad ( in caturparisad) and varga (in caturvarga) ?


parisad - assembly, group, etc.
varga - group, division, etc.

Meaning can vary a lot with the context.

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Re: about the Mahayana order

Postby Aemilius » Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:32 pm

Going further, do the words Ganachakra and Ganachakra puja mean Circular assembly and Puja of the Circular assembly? Or the Circular order and Puja of the Circular order ? How do you think these have developed ? How and when did they come into existence ?

When reading european history I have thought that Bacchus and Dionysos, and others like them, were vajrayana type of religious orders. They held monthly Ganachakra pujas, that were called Symposium or Bacchanalia. The later history, especially christian history, has methodically put them in bad light and spread enormous lies about them, as is normal to christian history composition. It is almost impossible to know anything about them that is true and correct.
Symposium begins with an offering to a Tutelary Deity, which they often forget to mention, and then they give a quite distorted view of it, in the very modern accounts.

From the historical descriptions that I have found of Ganachakras in India, Nepal and TIbet it seems that it was earlier customary that people would express their spiritual understanding in spontaneous songs and in extempore dharmic expressions, like dances. This is similar to a Symposium or a Bacchanalia. Unfortunately in today's Ganachakras there is nothing spontaneous, in its place you must pray for the long life of the teachers and spiritual friends in the words of a prayerbook.
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