Compassion metaphor

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
User avatar
Aemilius
Posts: 1900
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:44 am

Compassion metaphor

Postby Aemilius » Tue May 04, 2010 1:04 pm

Why do I always think that it is revealing of tibetans that they can only speak of all beings as like "mothers"? This comparison of all beings is found in Theravada scriptures, in Lankavatara sutra and in Abhisamayalankara of Maitreya, but it includes:" Fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, relatives, friends and kin." Is there some unconscious factor in the tibetan psyche that is responsible for this unfortunate omission ??
svaha

Karma Dondrup Tashi
Posts: 1453
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:13 pm

Re: Compassion metaphor

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Tue May 04, 2010 8:14 pm

I dunno but I was always taught by several teachers to practice by using people who you really love and have huge affection for.

Nicholas Weeks
Posts: 2540
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:21 am

Re: Compassion metaphor

Postby Nicholas Weeks » Tue May 04, 2010 10:12 pm

Aemilius wrote:Why do I always think that it is revealing of tibetans that they can only speak of all beings as like "mothers"? This comparison of all beings is found in Theravada scriptures, in Lankavatara sutra and in Abhisamayalankara of Maitreya, but it includes:" Fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, relatives, friends and kin." Is there some unconscious factor in the tibetan psyche that is responsible for this unfortunate omission ??


Generally speaking, since women bear the children, they have the most affection for them. Fathers & siblings etc. do not have the intensity of compassion that mothers do. Nothing particularly Tibetan about it.
Basically, there is not even one buddha, only great wisdom. Bodhisattva Hsuan Hua

Ngawang Drolma
Founding Member
Posts: 2230
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:44 pm

Re: Compassion metaphor

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Wed May 05, 2010 3:14 am

Because our mothers gave us life.

:namaste:

User avatar
Aemilius
Posts: 1900
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:44 am

Re: Compassion metaphor

Postby Aemilius » Thu May 06, 2010 6:04 am

There are several points to consider. In the existing Sutra passages Buddha doesn't say that "all beings have been our mothers", rather he says: "It is difficult to find a being on earth that has not been in a past life our father, mother, brother, sister or other close relative."
Then there is the immensity of time that is necessary for this statement. If you consider it in terms of evolution, you have to consider that the evolution (and final destruction) of species has occurred thousands of times, etc... up to millions of times, uncountable number of times.
If you manage to comprehend the immensity time and the number of rebirths that is involved, it seems quite absurd that it would then suddenly stop with any kind of simple method!!
svaha

User avatar
Indrajala
Posts: 6288
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Compassion metaphor

Postby Indrajala » Thu May 06, 2010 1:16 pm

It was probably just a literary expression that became so commonly used that to use anything else in such contexts would sound awkward and out of place.
tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog) Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog) Dharma Depository (Site)

User avatar
Aemilius
Posts: 1900
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:44 am

Re: Compassion metaphor

Postby Aemilius » Thu May 06, 2010 2:26 pm

Probably the great compassion precepts were part of the original mahayana, which was transmitted to Indonesia ( and elsewere??). In the course of centuries they disappeared in India, and thus we find in the life story of Dipankara Srijnana Atisha that he takes a dangerous seatrip to Indonesia in order to find these lost precepts. He then returns with these precious teachings on great compassion, and so on...
I don't know what is the origin and history for Asanga's teachings of this same theme, great compassion. Were they hidden from Atisha? -or something else that made them unavailable ? -or were they just different ? How did Atisha know that they existed ???
It seems certain that the teaching of great compassion was not recorded in sutras in its entirety, but it existed in a more complete form as oral explanations.
svaha

muni
Posts: 3837
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:59 am

Re: Compassion metaphor

Postby muni » Sun May 09, 2010 10:52 am

http://www.fpmt.org/education/lop/pdf/A ... t%20km.pdf

That metaphor; helpful to see all as very precious, like obviously for many a mom is, that reduces the coarse thinking and makes the wall of duality less solid till a fortunate one then see the illusion of the wall when warm heart is in wisdom. Then spontanity needs no description.

P.S Don't breath my air.
Remember that a thought is only the fleeting conjunction of myriad factors and circumstances. It does not exist by itself. When a thought arises, recognize its empty nature. It will immediately loose its power to elicit the next thought. And the chain of delusion will be broken. ~~Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

User avatar
Aemilius
Posts: 1900
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:44 am

Re: Compassion metaphor

Postby Aemilius » Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:57 am

muni wrote:http://www.fpmt.org/education/lop/pdf/Atisha%20bio%20shrt%20km.pdf

That metaphor; helpful to see all as very precious, like obviously for many a mom is, that reduces the coarse thinking and makes the wall of duality less solid till a fortunate one then see the illusion of the wall when warm heart is in wisdom. Then spontanity needs no description.

P.S Don't breath my air.


The Atisha's life story is good, some versions don't mention that he went to Indonesia.
I don't see how You could own even one molecule of the atmosphere ? You don't own even atom of your material corpse. In the end it is all given back to the earth, water, fire and air elements, when you die that is. It is given back gradually to the elements of the universe daily, when you urinate, sweat, defecate, spit, dandruff, lose hair, shave, cut your nails and so on...
svaha


Return to “Dharma in Everyday Life”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: MSNbot Media, Tirisilex and 10 guests