Refuge, lay precepts, or bodhisattva vows?

Anything goes (almost).

Have you taken refuge, lay precepts or bodhisattva vow?

I've taken refuge formally
15
29%
I've taken refuge informally
7
13%
I've taken lay precepts
11
21%
I've taken the bodhisattva vows
8
15%
I've taken both
6
12%
Not yet but I plan to
3
6%
No, and I don't plan on it
2
4%
 
Total votes : 52

Refuge, lay precepts, or bodhisattva vows?

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:59 am

I'm just curious :)

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Re: Refuge, lay precepts, or bodhisattva vows?

Postby Clueless Git » Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:58 am

I had to tick the 'No and don't plan to' box.

I would have ticked the 'No but don't particularly plan not to' box instead, but there wasn't one :tongue:
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Re: Refuge, lay precepts, or bodhisattva vows?

Postby Indrajala » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:17 am

I've wanted to take full Bodhisattva vows for awhile, but the opportunity hasn't really arisen.

Although preceptors are supposed to give them to people when they ask, a lot of temples only seem to offer them once a year.

I just have refuge and the standard five precepts. :sage:
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Re: Refuge, lay precepts, or bodhisattva vows?

Postby catmoon » Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:28 pm

I'm in the same boat as CG - no precepts and no particular plans. So I ticked the "No but I plan to box" just to be different.
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Re: Refuge, lay precepts, or bodhisattva vows?

Postby Indrajala » Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:08 pm

Taking refuge precepts is what initiates the path to Buddhahood.
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Re: Refuge, lay precepts, or bodhisattva vows?

Postby catmoon » Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:33 pm

Huseng wrote:Taking refuge precepts is what initiates the path to Buddhahood.


Did Buddha take refuge precepts?
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Re: Refuge, lay precepts, or bodhisattva vows?

Postby Blue Garuda » Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:08 pm

catmoon wrote:
Huseng wrote:Taking refuge precepts is what initiates the path to Buddhahood.


Did Buddha take refuge precepts?


Logically, I don't believe he was able to be a 'Buddhist' and take Refuge or vows relating to himself, as a follower of himself. ;)

Perhaps a better question is 'Did Buddha teach his followers to do so?'.

Things evolve with time and are codified into lists of things we should strive to do and things we should strive not to do, as lay or ordained Buddhists.

A chronological list would be useful to help us understand when Refuge in the 3 Jewels was first mentioned, and when all these lists of vows were first taught and adopted.

Maybe someone familiar with the Pali canon has such a source. Wiki offers this:

''The expression Three Gems are found in the earliest Buddhist literature of the Pali Canon, besides other works there is one sutta in the Sutta-nipata, called the Ratana-sutta[6] which contains a series of verses on the Jewels in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.''


The Sutta mentioned has this to say (from Access to Insight):

''Whatever beings (non-human) are assembled here, terrestrial or celestial, come let us salute the Buddha, the Tathagata (the perfect One), honored by gods and men. May there be happiness.

"Whatever beings are assembled here, terrestrial or celestial, come let us salute the perfect Dhamma, honored by gods and men. May there be happiness.

"Whatever beings are assembled here, terrestrial or celestial, come let us salute the perfect Sangha, honored by gods and men. May there be happiness."
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Re: Refuge, lay precepts, or bodhisattva vows?

Postby meindzai » Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:39 pm

catmoon wrote:
Huseng wrote:Taking refuge precepts is what initiates the path to Buddhahood.


Did Buddha take refuge precepts?


Taking refuge and the precepts is one thing, taking the Bodhisattva vow is another. The Buddha (according to Mahayana) took the Bodhisattva vow in some prior life. In his final life he did not take precepts because

a) before his awakening he had not yet (re)discovered the teachings, which means there were were no precepts
b) after his awakening he would have been free of afflictions so he wouldn't have needed them.

Anyway, I've informally taken precepts. I've *recited* the Bodhisattva vows where that's been the practice, but I wouldn't say I've really taken them.

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Re: Refuge, lay precepts, or bodhisattva vows?

Postby Virgo » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:00 pm

catmoon wrote:
Huseng wrote:Taking refuge precepts is what initiates the path to Buddhahood.


Did Buddha take refuge precepts?

Yes, as well as Bodhisattva precepts, under a past Buddha.

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Re: Refuge, lay precepts, or bodhisattva vows?

Postby Ogyen » Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:48 am

As my refuge vows and lay precepts seemed more to "take me" I think the same will happen for the bodhisattva vows.

I certainly plan on taking them at some point soon.

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Re: Refuge, lay precepts, or bodhisattva vows?

Postby Indrajala » Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:32 am

catmoon wrote:
Huseng wrote:Taking refuge precepts is what initiates the path to Buddhahood.


Did Buddha take refuge precepts?


In some past life yes.
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Re: Refuge, lay precepts, or bodhisattva vows?

Postby catmoon » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:02 am

Huseng wrote:
catmoon wrote:
Huseng wrote:Taking refuge precepts is what initiates the path to Buddhahood.


Did Buddha take refuge precepts?


In some past life yes.


Well, then maybe I've already done it - many times. Hm.
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Re: Refuge, lay precepts, or bodhisattva vows?

Postby Huifeng » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:27 am

In Mahayana terms, and much of non-Mahayana buddhism too, Sakyamuni had been taking refuge in the Triple Gem for many, many lifetimes whenever he lived at a time when the Triple Gem existed. In other times, he often lived as a spiritual practitioner, upholding the teaching of karmic cause and effect as minimum.
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Re: Refuge, lay precepts, or bodhisattva vows?

Postby Ogyen » Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:56 pm

Huifeng wrote:In Mahayana terms, and much of non-Mahayana buddhism too, Sakyamuni had been taking refuge in the Triple Gem for many, many lifetimes whenever he lived at a time when the Triple Gem existed. In other times, he often lived as a spiritual practitioner, upholding the teaching of karmic cause and effect as minimum.


Now that is truly interesting. Does that imply that karmic cause-effect teachings extend beyond the modern day construct that it is "Buddhism" with all the assorted trappings of this or that form that vary per tradition?

If the underlying heart of the teachings is beyond mahayana/non-mahayana or any later articulated form and elaborated "-ism" that inevitably emerges from any teaching of substance, then taking refuge or practicing the dharma for that matter does not have to inherently have a sociocentric orientation. Or does it?

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Re: Refuge, lay precepts, or bodhisattva vows?

Postby Blue Garuda » Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:37 pm

Huseng wrote:
catmoon wrote:
Huseng wrote:Taking refuge precepts is what initiates the path to Buddhahood.


Did Buddha take refuge precepts?


In some past life yes.



Is there a scriptural reference for this, please? I ask because it is likely that he told Sangha to take Refuge in the Dharma he revealed, and in each other as Sangha.

If Buddha advised them to take Refuge in him, does this require his impermanence? You can't take Refuge in a dead person, so it implies that Buddha is still a sentient being and a suitable object of Refuge.

Did Shakyamuni say that he took refuge in himself as a Buddha?

You mention a past life, within which Buddha took Refuge - in which Buddha?

You have produced an interesting ideas, but without scriptural reference it is speculative. Is there a source for this attributable to Buddha?
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Re: Refuge, lay precepts, or bodhisattva vows?

Postby Indrajala » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:25 am

Yeshe wrote:
Is there a scriptural reference for this, please? I ask because it is likely that he told Sangha to take Refuge in the Dharma he revealed, and in each other as Sangha.



By Gautama's own admission, he was not the first Buddha as there had been others in the past.

Kāśyapa Buddha is said to be the one who proceeded Gautama in the Agammas and Nikayas. Here are a lot of the details about his background in the Nikayas.

http://www.vipassana.info/ka/kassapa.htm

This is somewhat related to the thread on the Brahma Net Sutra actually -- that Shakyamuni has an original teacher who taught the Bodhisattva vows.


Let me quote Fazang's remarks on the relevant passage again:

初法應爾故者。
1. The Dharma responds as such.

謂此菩薩三聚淨戒既為道場直路種覺圓因。是故一切諸佛出興于世利樂眾生皆依古法。
These three sets of pure precepts of the Bodhisattvas are the direct route to the site of enlightenment and the perfect cause for omniscience, therefore all the Buddhas manifesting in the world to benefit beings all rely on this ancient Dharma.

法爾、初時結於菩薩波羅提木叉、為宗本之要。
The Dharma being such: the first time one binds oneself to the Bodhisattva prātimokṣa is a requisite for the [ascertaining of the] origin of truth.

如大王路法爾常規故須說也。
Like the Great King’s Way – the law being such, it is always regulated, so it must be explained.

《大方廣佛華嚴經疏》卷18〈15 十住品〉:「今初。謂三世佛果無不由此。十住因成。如大王路法爾常規。故同說也。」(CBETA, T35, no. 1735, p. 635, a9-10)

是故下云。各坐菩提樹誦我本師戒。
Thus it is stated below, “Each sit under the Bodhi tree and recite my original teacher’s precepts.”

《梵網經》卷2:「各坐菩提樹誦我本師戒」(CBETA, T24, no. 1484, p. 1004, a8-9)

又云。是盧舍那誦。我亦如是誦。
Again it is said, “This Vairocana recites. I too recite it like this.”

《梵網經》卷2:「是盧舍那誦我亦如是誦」(CBETA, T24, no. 1484, p. 1004, a12)
解云。既佛本師戒。復但云誦不言說者。明則本法非新制也。
When it says, “Buddha’s original teacher’s precepts,” it only states recite and does not say elucidate – it is clear that this original teaching is not a new regulation.

又云。三世諸佛已說今說當說。故知同說也。
Again it is stated, “The Buddhas of the three realms have taught it, are teaching it and will teach it.” Therefore we know it is the same teaching.



So, it is clear from the Chinese Mahayana perspective Shakyamuni had a former teacher who presumably taught him the Bodhisattva vows which would include refuge vows as well.

Now, according to the Nikaya Pali tradition, of which I'm unfortunately not too well read, we find such remarks as this:

All-conquering, all-knowing am I, with regard to all things, unadhering. All-abandoning, released in the ending of craving: having fully known on my own, to whom should I point as my teacher?


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#dhp-353

However, that doesn't preclude that in a past life Shakyamuni had taken refuge in a past Buddha. In fact Shakyamuni did quote the former Buddha (see the Amagandha sutta).

One other thing I would like to point out is that Maitreya was present in Shakyamuni's assembly and received the prophecy of his future Buddhahood. If I understand correctly, one receives a prophecy of future Buddhahood from a Buddha. In the case of Maitreya he was an ordained member of the sangha, so this would have included refuge vows. We can imagine Shakyamuni as well in a past life was in similar circumstances.

I don't know the Sanskrit title of the following Chinese Agama sutra (it translates as "Sutra of Past and Present Worlds and Times"), but in the passage quoted below Buddha speaks of Maitreya's future enlightenment and becoming a World Honoured Buddha.

《古來世時經》卷1:「佛告比丘。後來世人其命增長八萬
歲。當有世尊號曰彌勒如來至真等正覺明
行成為善逝世間解無上士道法御天人師號
佛世尊。如我今也。天上天下諸天梵釋。沙
門梵志莫不歸伏從受道教。普說法化上
中下。善分別其義[13]清修梵行。普興道化猶
如我今也。其清淨教流布天上天下莫不承
受。其比丘眾無央數千。
爾時賢者彌勒處其會中。即從坐起偏袒右
肩。長跪叉手前白佛言。唯然世尊。我當來
世人壽八萬歲時。當為彌勒如來至真等正
覺。教化天上天下如今佛耶。」(CBETA, T01, no. 44, p. 830, b9-20)
[13]清=淨【宋】*【元】*【明】*。


Now as to a precise reference where Shakyamuni says, "I took refuge in such and such a past Buddha" I'll keep looking.

Maybe somebody can point to a precise place.

In any case I think I've provided enough sources so far to safely say we can infer that, indeed, Shakyamuni in a past life took refuge in a Buddha of the past.
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Re: Refuge, lay precepts, or bodhisattva vows?

Postby Huifeng » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:23 am

An important source can be found here: Abhiniskramana Sutra.
Note in particular the story of Sakyamuni's encounter with Dipamkara Buddha, his taking of the full precepts (ie. bhiksu ordination). Also the long lists of Buddha to which the Bodhisattva makes puja of the Dharma, and plants the "wholesome roots".
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Re: Refuge, lay precepts, or bodhisattva vows?

Postby Indrajala » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:13 pm

Venerable

Thanks for the reference.

Did you make a link there? It links to this discussion. Is this discussion a sutra? :rolling:
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