Many lifetimes of paramita growth needed for enlightenment?

General forum on Mahayana.

Many lifetimes of paramita growth needed for enlightenment?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Mar 08, 2010 4:16 am

Greetings,

Recently I heard someone state the following...

According to Theravada it is possible to achieve enlightenment in this lifetime, but only if you have been developing all of the perfections for many, many lifetimes already. I don't think any serious Buddhist sect ever posited otherwise.


I've already got a view on whether this statement is true in relation to Theravada, but I was wondering if this statement true of the various Mahayana and Vajrayana schools, as is claimed?

If so, why? If not, why not?

Feel free to speak in relation to your specific tradition, or more broadly if you feel capable of doing so.

Any reference to relevant scriptures, commentaries and such would be greatly appreciated.

Metta,
Retro. :)
Live in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, blending like milk and water, viewing each other with kindly eyes

Dhamma Wheel (Theravada forum) * Here Comes Trouble
User avatar
retrofuturist
Founding Member
 
Posts: 1227
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:54 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Many lifetimes of paramita growth needed for enlightenment?

Postby kirtu » Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:29 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Recently I heard someone state the following...

According to Theravada it is possible to achieve enlightenment in this lifetime, but only if you have been developing all of the perfections for many, many lifetimes already. I don't think any serious Buddhist sect ever posited otherwise.


I've already got a view on whether this statement is true in relation to Theravada, but I was wondering if this statement true of the various Mahayana and Vajrayana schools, as is claimed?


It is absolutely the case. Vajrayana is uncommon Mahayana. In the Mahayana it takes 3 uncountable eons to reach enlightenment: it takes 1 uncountable eon to reach the 1st bhumi (to become an Arya Bodhisattva) and .... then I've forgotten the progressive breakdown, sorry.

3 uncountable eons is the best case (reflected in the lives of Shakyamuni Buddha who achieved enlightenment in this way).

However in the Mahayana there is also the Pure Land teaching which is a kind of shortcut. One is reborn in the Pure Lands and attains enlightenment there after quite some time under direction tutelage from the Buddhas and Arya Bodhisattvas.

In the Vajrayana the time for enlightenment is also 2 uncountable eons if one pursues only the paramita training (the 6 perfections). Vajrayana also has Pure Land teaching. However in the tantra teaching the time for enlightenment is shortened from 16 lifetimes for kriya yoga tantra to 3 lifetimes for yoga tantra to this very lifetime for the highest yoga tantra. All of this assumes that the person holds their samaya vows purely.

I don't have scriptural references at the moment but will look them
up.


Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4569
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Many lifetimes of paramita growth needed for enlightenment?

Postby termite » Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:42 am

Funny, it's only taken me three log-ins. ;)

Oh, you said "enlightenment." Never mind, then. :rolleye:
User avatar
termite
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:55 pm

Re: Many lifetimes of paramita growth needed for enlightenment?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Mar 08, 2010 6:24 am

Greetings Kirty,

Thanks for what you've provides so far...

kirtu wrote:I don't have scriptural references at the moment but will look them up.


... and thank you. I'm particularly interested in where these timescale forecasts originated from.

Metta,
Retro. :)
Live in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, blending like milk and water, viewing each other with kindly eyes

Dhamma Wheel (Theravada forum) * Here Comes Trouble
User avatar
retrofuturist
Founding Member
 
Posts: 1227
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:54 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Many lifetimes of paramita growth needed for enlightenment?

Postby kirtu » Mon Mar 08, 2010 6:27 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Kirty,

Thanks for what you've provides so far...

kirtu wrote:I don't have scriptural references at the moment but will look them up.


... and thank you. I'm particularly interested in where these timescale forecasts originated from.


The three uncountable eons come from sutra. I'll try to track those references down. We probably won't be able to post a reference for the tantra lifetimes but these are repeated in many empowerments across traditions.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4569
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Many lifetimes of paramita growth needed for enlightenment?

Postby Huifeng » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:37 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Kirty,

Thanks for what you've provides so far...

kirtu wrote:I don't have scriptural references at the moment but will look them up.


... and thank you. I'm particularly interested in where these timescale forecasts originated from.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Just be careful NOT to make the reasoning:
1. It appears in earlier Mahayana.
2. Then it appears in Theravada commentary.
3. Therefore the Theravada got it from the Mahayana.

You'll find this sort of reasoning in the Sthavira Sarvastivadin Mahavibhasa. It mentions that other groups also discussed this issue. It was a fairly common theme of discussion at that time.

As mentioned at Dhammawheel, just a look at the teachings of other sramana teachers in the Buddha's own time indicates that these sorts of things were a fairly common element of a range of sramana religious traditions.
User avatar
Huifeng
 
Posts: 1471
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:51 am

Re: Many lifetimes of paramita growth needed for enlightenment?

Postby plwk » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:22 am

Feel free to speak in relation to your specific tradition, or more broadly if you feel capable of doing so. Any reference to relevant scriptures, commentaries and such would be greatly appreciated.

1. Pure Land...
a. Some reading links
http://www.buddhistdoor.com/oldweb/bdoo ... 7.htm#t272
http://www.ymba.org/BWF/bwf72.htm#theory
http://www.ymba.org/BWF/bwf51.htm#indispensable
http://www.ymba.org/BWF/bwf51.htm#realizations

b. Quotes from: 'The Buddha Speaks of the Larger Amitayus Sutra': http://buddhistfaith.tripod.com/purelan ... s/id2.html and 'The Buddha Speaks of Amitabha Sutra': http://online.sfsu.edu/~rone/Buddhism/amitabha.htm
a. Amitabha as Dharmakara when on the causal ground
"Then appeared a Buddha named Lokeshvararaja, the Tathagata, Arhat, Perfectly Enlightened One, Possessed of Wisdom and Practice, Perfected One, Knower of the World, Unsurpassed One, Tamer of Men, Master of Gods and Men, Buddha and World-Honored One.
"At that time there was a king, who, having heard the Buddha's exposition of the Dharma, rejoiced in his heart and awakened aspiration for the highest, perfect Enlightenment. He renounced his kingdom and the throne, and became a monk named Dharmakara. Having superior intelligence, courage and wisdom, he distinguished himself in the world. He went to see the Tathagata Lokeshvararaja...

b. His Resolve:
My discipline in giving, mind-control,
Moral virtues, forbearance and effort,
And also in meditation and wisdom,
Shall be supreme and unsurpassed.
I vow that, when I have become a Buddha,
I shall carry out this promise everywhere;
And to all fear-ridden beings
Shall I give great peace.

When I have become a Buddha,
My land shall be most exquisite,
And its people wonderful and unexcelled;
The seat of Enlightenment shall be supreme.
My land, being like Nirvana itself,
Shall be beyond comparison.
I take pity on living beings
And resolve to save them all.

Those who come from the ten quarters
Shall find joy and serenity of heart;
When they reach my land,
They shall dwell in peace and happiness.
I beg you, the Buddha, to become my witness
And to vouch for the truth of my aspiration.
Having now made my vows to you,
I will strive to fulfilll them.

I have made vows, unrivaled in all the world;
I will certainly reach the unsurpassed Way.
If these vows should not be fulfilled,
May I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

When I attain Buddhahood,
My Name shall be heard throughout the ten quarters;
Should there be any place where it is not heard,
May I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

Like your unhindered wisdom, O Buddha,
Mine shall reach everywhere, illuminating all;
May my supreme wisdom
Be like yours, Most Excellent Honored One.

His own time period for fulfilling His attainments:
For five full kalpas he contemplated the vows, and then chose the pure practices for the establishment of his Buddha-land.
Ananda asked the Buddha, "Has the Bodhisattva Dharmakara already attained Buddhahood and then passed into Nirvana? Or has he not yet attained Buddhahood? Or is he dwelling somewhere at present?"
The Buddha replied to Ananda,
"The Bodhisattva Dharmakara has already attained Buddhahood and is now dwelling in a western Buddha-land, called 'Peace and Bliss,' a hundred thousand kotis of lands away from here."
Ananda further asked the Buddha, "How much time has passed since he attained Buddhahood?"
The Buddha replied, "Since he attained Buddhahood, about ten kalpas have passed."

http://online.sfsu.edu/~rone/Buddhism/amitabha.htm
And Sariputra, since Amitabha realized Buddhahood, ten kalpas have passed.

c. The Famed 48 Vows (related excerpts)
(11) If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in My Land should not dwell in the Definitely Assured State and unfailingly reach Nirvana, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
(22) If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the Buddha-lands of other quarters who visit My Land should not ultimately and unfailingly reach the Stage of Becoming a Buddha after One More Life, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
Excepted are those who wish to teach and guide sentient beings in accordance with their original vows. For they wear the armour of great vows, accumulate merits, deliver all beings from birth-and-death, visit Buddha-lands to perform the bodhisattva practices, make offerings to Buddhas, Tathagatas, throughout the ten quarters, enlighten uncountable sentient beings as numerous as the sands of the River Ganges, and establish them in the highest, perfect Enlightenment.
Such bodhisattvas transcend the course of practice of the ordinary bodhisattvas, manifest the practices of all the bodhisattva stages, and cultivate the virtues of Samantabhadra.
(39) If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not enjoy happiness and pleasure comparable to that of a monk who has exhausted all the passions, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
(46) If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in my land should not be able to hear spontaneously whatever teachings they may wish, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
(47) If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the lands of the other quarters who hear my Name should not instantly reach the Stage of Non-retrogression, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
(48) If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the lands of the other quarters who hear my Name should not instantly gain the first, second and third insights into the nature of dharmas and firmly abide in the truths realized by all the Buddhas, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment."
The Buddha said to Ananda,
"Sentient beings who are born in that Buddha-land all reside among those assured of Nirvana.
The reason is that in that land there are neither beings who are destined to adverse conditions nor
those whose destinies are uncertain.
Compare: http://online.sfsu.edu/~rone/Buddhism/amitabha.htm
Moreover Sariputra, in this country there are al-ways rare and wonderful varicolored birds: white cranes; peacocks, parrots and egrets ; kalavinkas and two-headed birds . In the six periods of the day and night the flocks of birds sing forth harmonious and elegant sounds. Their clear and joyful sounds proclaim the five roots, the five powers the seven Bodhi shares, the eight sagely way shares (Noble Eightfold Path) and dharmas such as these. When living beings of this land hear these sounds, they are alto-gether mindful of the Buddha, mindful of the Dharma, and mindful of the Sangha.
Sariputra, do not say that these birds are born as retribution for their karmic offenses. For what reason? In this Buddhaland there are no three evil ways of re-birth.
Sariputra, in this Buddhaland not even the names of the three evil ways exist, how much the less their actuality! Desiring that the Dharma sound be widely proclaimed, Amitabha Buddha by transformation made this multitude of birds.
Sariputra, in that Buddhaland, when the soft wind blows, the rows of jewelled trees and jewelled nets give forth subtle and wonderful sounds, like one hundred thousand kinds of music played at the same time. All those who hear this sound naturally bring forth in their hearts mindfulness of the Buddha, mindfulness of the Dharma, and mindfulness of the Sangha.
Sariputra, the realization of the Land of Ultimate Bliss is thus meritoriously adorned.

"All Buddhas, Tathagatas, in the ten quarters, as numerous as the sands of the River Ganges, together praise the inconceivable, supernal virtue of Amitayus. All sentient beings who, having heard his Name, rejoice in faith, remember him even once and sincerely transfer the merit of virtuous practices to that land, aspiring to be born there, will attain birth and dwell in the Stage of Non-retrogression.
But excluded are those who have committed the five gravest offenses and abused the right Dharma."

Compare this in 'The Buddha Speaks of Amitabha Sutra': http://online.sfsu.edu/~rone/Buddhism/amitabha.htm
Moreover Sariputra, those living beings born in the Land of Ultimate Bliss are all avaivartika.(non - retrogressive) Among them are many who in this very life will dwell in Buddhahood. Their number is extremely many, it is incalculable and only in measureless, limitless asankhyeya kalpas could it be spoken.
Sariputra, if there are people who have already made the vow, who now make the vow, or who are about to make the vow, 'I desire to be born in Amitabha's Country', these people whether born in the past, now being born, or to be born in the future, all will irreversibly attain to anuttara-samyak-sambodhi.
Therefore, Sariputra, all good men and good women, if they are among those who have faith, should make the vow, 'I will be born in that country.'
Sariputra, what do you think? Why is it called Sutra of the Mindful One of Whom All Buddhas Are Protective? Sariputra, if a good man or good woman hears this Sutra and holds to it, and hears the names of all these Buddhas, this good man or woman will be the Mind-ful One of whom all Buddhas are protective, and will irreversibly attain to anuttara-samyak-sambodhi.

(15) If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should have limited life-spans, except when they wish to shorten them in accordance with their original vows, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
Compare this in 'The Buddha Speaks of Amitabha Sutra': http://online.sfsu.edu/~rone/Buddhism/amitabha.htm
Moreover Sariputra, the life of that Buddha and that of his people extends for measureless limitless asankhyeya kalpas; for this reason he is called Amitayus.

The '3 Great/Primal Vows':
(18) If, when I attain Buddhahood, sentient beings in the lands of the ten quarters who sincerely and joyfully entrust themselves to me, desire to be born in my land, and call my Name, even ten times, should not be born there, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment. Excluded, however, are those who commit the five gravest offences and abuse the right Dharma.
(19) If, when I attain Buddhahood, sentient beings in the lands of the ten quarters, who awaken aspiration for Enlightenment, do various meritorious deeds and sincerely desire to be born in my land, should not, at their death, see me appear before them surrounded by a multitude of sages, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
(20) If, when I attain Buddhahood, sentient beings in the lands of the ten quarters who, having heard my Name, concentrate their thoughts on my land, plant roots of virtue, and sincerely transfer their merits towards my land with a desire to be born there, should not eventually fulfill their aspiration, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.

Compare this in 'The Buddha Speaks of Amitabha Sutra': http://online.sfsu.edu/~rone/Buddhism/amitabha.htm
Sariputra, if there is a good man or good woman who hears spoken 'Amitabha Buddha' and holds the name, whether for one day, two days, three, four, five days, six days, as long as seven days, with one heart unconfused, when this person approaches the end of life, be-fore him will appear Amitabha Buddha and all the assem-bly of Holy Ones. When the end comes, his heart is without inversion; in Amitabha Buddha's Land of Ultimate Bliss he will attain rebirth. Sariputra, because I see this benefit, I speak these words: If living beings hear this spoken they should make the vow, 'I will be born in that land.
http://buddhistfaith.tripod.com/purelan ... s/id5.html
You should know that all who are mindful of that Buddha are like white lotus-flowers among humankind; the Bodhisattvas Avalokiteshvara and Mahasthamaprapta become their good friends. They will sit in the place of Enlightenment and be born into the family of the Buddhas."
The Buddha further said to Ananda, "Bear these words well in mind. To bear these words in mind means to hold fast to the Name of the Buddha Amitayus."

d.
...it is possible to achieve enlightenment in this lifetime, but only if you have been developing all of the perfections for many, many lifetimes already.
From the Threefold Pure Land Sutras:
http://online.sfsu.edu/~rone/Buddhism/amitabha.htm
Sariputra, one cannot have few good roots, blessings, virtues, and causal connections to attain birth in that Land.
Sariputra, just as I am now one who praises the merit and virtue of all Buddhas, all those Buddhas equally praise my inconceivable merit and virtue saying these words, 'Sakyamuni Buddha can complete extremely rare and difficult deeds. In the Saha Land, in the evil time of the five turbidities, in the midst of the kalpa turbidity, the view turbidity, the affliction turbidity, the living beings turbidity, and the life turbidity, he can attain anuttara-samyak-sambodhi and for the sake of living beings, speak this Dharma which in the whole world is hard to believe.'
Sariputra, you should know that I, in the evil time of the five turbidities, practice these difficult deeds, attain anuttara-samyak-sambodhi and for all the world speak this dharma, difficult to believe, extremely difficult!"

http://buddhistfaith.tripod.com/purelan ... s/id2.html
Excluded, however, are those who commit the five gravest offences and abuse the right Dharma.
Without a stock of goodness from past lives,
One cannot hear this Sutra;
But those who have strictly observed the precepts
Can hear the right Dharma.

Arrogant, corrupt and indolent people
Cannot readily accept this teaching.
But those who have met Buddhas in their past lives
Rejoice to hear it.

To obtain human life is difficult in the extreme;
To meet a Buddha in this world is also difficult;
It is difficult, too, for a man to attain faith and wisdom.
Once you have heard the Dharma, strive to reach its heart.

Why do you not diligently practice good, reflect on the naturalness of the Way and realize that it is above all discriminations and is boundlessly pervasive? You should each make a great effort to attain it.
Strive to escape from Samsara and be born in the Land of Peace and Provision.
Then, the causes of the five evil realms having been destroyed, they will naturally cease to be, and so you will progress unhindered in your pursuit of the Way.
The Pure Land is easy to reach, but very few actually go there. It rejects nobody, but naturally and unfailingly attracts beings.
"It is time for all to seek deliverance from the pains of birth, death, old age, and sickness.
Outflows of depravity and defilement are everywhere, and there is nothing in which you can find true joy. You should resolutely do worthy deeds with decorum, strive to do more good, control and purify yourselves,
wash off the mind's defilements, be sincere in word and deed, and allow no contradiction between what you think and what you do.
Seek your own emancipation and then turn to saving others; straightforwardly aspire to be born in the Pure Land and accumulate roots of virtue.
However hard you may practice in this life, it can only be for a short while.
In the life to come you will be born in the land of Amitayus and enjoy endless bliss there.
Being forever in accord with the Way, you will no longer be subject to birth-and-death and be free of the afflictions caused by greed, anger and stupidity.
If you wish your life to be as long as a kalpa, a hundred kalpas, or ten million kalpas, it will be just as you please. You will dwell in effortless spontaneity and attain Nirvana. You should each diligently seek to realize
your aspiration.
"In this world, you should extensively plant roots of virtue, be benevolent, give generously, abstain from breaking the precepts, be patient and diligent, teach people with sincerity and wisdom, do virtuous deeds, and practice good.
"Out of pity for you and other devas and humans, I have taken great pains in exhorting you to do good deeds. I have given you instructions appropriate to your capacities.

http://buddhistfaith.tripod.com/purelan ... s/id5.html
Whoever wishes to be born there should practice three acts of merit:
first, caring for one's parents, attending to one's teachers and elders, compassionately refraining from killing, and doing the ten good deeds;
second, taking the three refuges, keeping the various precepts and refraining from breaking the rules of conduct;
and third, awakening aspiration for Enlightenment, believing deeply in the law of causality, chanting the Mahayana sutras and encouraging people to follow their teachings. These three are called the pure karma."
The Buddha further said to Vaidehi, "Do you know that these three acts are the pure karma practiced by all the Buddhas of the past, present and future as the right cause of Enlightenment?"

2. Other General Readings-try these: (With Chinese Mahayana perspectives)
http://www.buddhistdoor.com/oldweb/bdoo ... each27.htm
http://www.buddhistdoor.com/oldweb/bdoo ... each28.htm
plwk
 
Posts: 2764
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:41 am

Re: Many lifetimes of paramita growth needed for enlightenment?

Postby plwk » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:29 am

Found this interesting excerpt:
http://www.google.com.my/url?sa=t&sourc ... uAq63XEuhg
According to the sutras, the Buddha taught that many, many aeons ago, there was a great Chakravartin king who had conquered the whole universe.6 This great king had one thousand sons. One of the ministers of the king was a great Brahmin teacher, a master of the spiritual path. This Brahmin master had eighty sons and thousands of Brahmin followers. When such things are discussed in Mahayana Buddhism, we should remember that there are many symbolic meanings. We cannot take everything literally; we should be aware of the symbolic as well as the literal meanings.
One of the eighty sons of this Brahmin minister became a fully enlightened being who became the Buddha of that time. He was known by the name of Buddha Ratnagarbha, or Tathagata Ratnagarbha. The Buddha Ratnagarbha gave teachings to the Chakravartin king and to his own father, the great Brahmin minister, as well as to all the subjects of that time. Each of the one thousand sons of the king became a disciple of the Buddha, and they each generated the heart of enlightenment, saying, "I want to become enlightened in a very good age, in a good time, in a good universe, and benefit those beings at that time."
His father, the Brahmin minister, was the last one to generate the heart of enlightenment. He made his aspirations, saying, "I want to attain enlightenment in the worst time, in the most polluted time. I want to attain enlightenment in an impure realm, instead of in a pure and good universe. I want to attain enlightenment in an impure realm that has been abandoned by all the other bodhisattvas." In that way, he made the aspiration to appear in that time and place and benefit those beings who have grosser emotions and have stronger ego-clinging and more hardship in finding the path of enlightenment. Thus, with a daring heart, he made this courageous aspiration. His name in Tibetan is Gyamtso Do, which means "particle of the ocean."
His aspiration was more powerful and more courageous than that of the other bodhisattvas. He was willing to go to the worst place to help those beings who cannot be helped by others, and whom the others in a sense have abandoned or do not really want to help. Therefore, the Buddha Ratnagarbha praised him and said, "All the other bodhisattvas who generated enlightened mind here are like beautiful flowers. But you are like the lotus, the udumbara flower, which is very rare." He said, "You are the most rare flower among all the bodhisattvas." Then the Buddha Ratnagarbha made a prophecy and said, "You will attain enlightenment in a polluted time as the Shakyamuni Buddha. You will have forty years of activities in which you will teach and benefit disciples directly, then you will have many hundreds of years in which your activities will continue through your speech and the transmission of your enlightened mind."

In the Middle: The Accounting of Countless Aeons
The Brahmin minister followed the path of a bodhisattva, not only in that lifetime, but also for many lifetimes afterward. According to the general Mahayana school, it takes "thirty-three countless aeons" for a bodhisattva to accumulate sufficient merit and wisdom to achieve enlightenment. However, it is said that if you are very sharp, if you are a being of the highest capacity, like the Shakyamuni Buddha, then you can achieve enlightenment in only "three countless aeons." If you are not as sharp as Shakyamuni Buddha and have only a middling capacity intellect, like Maitreya, then it takes thirty-three countless aeons.
Among Mahayana scholars, there is some disagreement about this. On the one hand, some scholars say that the accumulations of merit and wisdom necessary for enlightenment are those which can be gathered in three countless aeons; on the other hand, some scholars say that it is the accumulation of three countless aeons. There is a difference between these two. We are not saying the accumulations in three countless aeons; we are saying the accumulations of three countless aeons. The words "in" and "of" make a big difference. Most of the Mahayana scriptures speak about the accumulations "of." Therefore, the accumulations of three countless aeons could be accumulated in twelve years, which is what Milarepa was able to accomplish. Or, these accumulations might be accomplished in one lifetime or two or three.
plwk
 
Posts: 2764
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:41 am

Re: Many lifetimes of paramita growth needed for enlightenment?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:41 am

Greetings venerable Huifeng,

Huifeng wrote:Just be careful NOT to make the reasoning:
1. It appears in earlier Mahayana.
2. Then it appears in Theravada commentary.
3. Therefore the Theravada got it from the Mahayana.

You'll find this sort of reasoning in the Sthavira Sarvastivadin Mahavibhasa. It mentions that other groups also discussed this issue. It was a fairly common theme of discussion at that time.

As mentioned at Dhammawheel, just a look at the teachings of other sramana teachers in the Buddha's own time indicates that these sorts of things were a fairly common element of a range of sramana religious traditions.

Thanks for the heads up. I probably wouldn't have made that particular leap anyway, perhaps unless the numbers were bang on identical. As for early schools of Buddhism as such, I'm pretty hopeless, so I'm going to attempt to remedy that situation by reading Buddhist Sects In India by Nalinaksha Dutt. I start tomorrow.

Metta,
Retro. :)
Live in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, blending like milk and water, viewing each other with kindly eyes

Dhamma Wheel (Theravada forum) * Here Comes Trouble
User avatar
retrofuturist
Founding Member
 
Posts: 1227
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:54 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Many lifetimes of paramita growth needed for enlightenment?

Postby plwk » Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:44 pm

Another perspective from the late Ven Master Sheng-yen, Ch'an Master, Scholar & Founding Grandmaster of Dharma Drum Mountain, in his Orthodox Chinese Buddhism
Look for: (pages 99-103) 4.3 How Long Does It Take to become a Buddha? & 4.4 Can One Become a Buddha Instantaneously?
plwk
 
Posts: 2764
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:41 am

Re: Many lifetimes of paramita growth needed for enlightenment?

Postby catmoon » Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:45 am

Then there is the Catmoon school of thought. According to Catmoon, you, Retro, are a Buddha right now. You just need a little tidying up to make it obvious is all. Can it be done in a lifetime? I know of no reason it can't. Is it easily done? Probably not, but who knows? The historical Buddha paid some serious dues in his lifetime, but then, his teachings allow us to bypass large amounts of the grunt work he did.

So go be a Buddha, you don't have any choice about it anyhow.
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.
User avatar
catmoon
Former staff member
 
Posts: 2995
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: British Columbia


Return to Mahāyāna Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests

>