So are Sutras really from the Buddha, or just fiction

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PeterC
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Re: So are Sutras really from the Buddha, or just fiction

Post by PeterC »

Minobu wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 3:54 pm
the question is
Did Buddha give us the Sutras or are they just man made stories by common mortals.

Yes. (You meant V, not XOR, right?)

More specifically: there was a guy called Sakyamuni, he taught students, many years later what he had said was compiled into sutras. Also there are stories - some called sutras, some called other things - that we can't easily place into the mouth of someone called Sakyamuni. But that's not the point. We don't do justification by faith in the Buddhadharma. The question we should be asking is not, can I trace this historically to one person - because even if you could, so what? The question we should be asking is, does it work: does it help us to attain liberation. And there are many excellent texts written on how we gain that kind of confidence, for instance, by trying it and seeing the results, by relying on people we consider authorities after evaluating their experience and credentials, etc. We're not historians or theologians, though we might take a passing interest in those areas if it helps us understand better our practice. If our practice is dependent on whether we can establish whether some person a few thousand years ago said a specific thing, then we've completely missed the point.
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Losal Samten
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Re: So are Sutras really from the Buddha, or just fiction

Post by Losal Samten »

Taranatha mentioned in his History that there was a solitary Prajnaparamita sutra (can't recall which one) that was written down and was the only Mahayana sutra in existence during the Hinayana era until the Yogacara sutras emerged.
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tkp67
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Re: So are Sutras really from the Buddha, or just fiction

Post by tkp67 »

Könchok Chödrak wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 2:39 am
Malcolm wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 2:32 am
Könchok Chödrak wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 2:21 am

Do you believe a literal belief in the miracles in the sutras or at least the possibility of such miracles happening are conductive to an open mind that leads closer to liberation? Like say, circling the Buddha for thousands of kalpas, or the World-Honored One performing a miracle of picking up the entire multitude of Bodhisattvas in His hand to give them a Transference of His Enlightenment in the Lotus Sutra. There is reality, but what creates limits for us in this world? And how do you view the Pure Land of Holy Eagle Peak?
Beliefs are concepts. Concepts and buddhahood are mutually exclusive.

Gridrakuta is a place you can visit in India.
Okay, on a side note then, can you direct me to a Sutric reference which talks of beliefs not being a part of the Buddha-mind?
I also would be quite interested to see it since the statement contradicts the following.
“The true aspect invariably manifests in all phenomena, and all phenomena invariably manifest in the ten factors. The ten factors invariably manifest in the Ten Worlds, and the Ten Worlds invariably manifest in life and its environment.”2 And “Both the beings and the environment of the Avīchi hell exist entirely within the life of the highest sage [Buddha], and what is more, the life and the environment of Vairochana [Buddha] never transcend the lives of common mortals.”3 These explanations are precise and clear. Who could have doubts?
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Nemo
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Re: So are Sutras really from the Buddha, or just fiction

Post by Nemo »

“There's a big difference between kneeling down and bending over.”

― Frank Zappa

Faith will lead you in the right direction but after a certain point if you can't follow your own intuition have you learned anything other than recipes? What is your goal? Is being the perfect Buddha robot all it's cracked up to be? You call it a path to freedom but you can't even rest for an afternoon without feeling guilty. Hoarding virtue like a hungry ghost.
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LastLegend
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Re: So are Sutras really from the Buddha, or just fiction

Post by LastLegend »

Doubt will visit again and again. Say no to it.
It’s eye blinking.
Malcolm
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Re: So are Sutras really from the Buddha, or just fiction

Post by Malcolm »

Könchok Chödrak wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 2:39 am
Malcolm wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 2:32 am
Könchok Chödrak wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 2:21 am

Do you believe a literal belief in the miracles in the sutras or at least the possibility of such miracles happening are conductive to an open mind that leads closer to liberation? Like say, circling the Buddha for thousands of kalpas, or the World-Honored One performing a miracle of picking up the entire multitude of Bodhisattvas in His hand to give them a Transference of His Enlightenment in the Lotus Sutra. There is reality, but what creates limits for us in this world? And how do you view the Pure Land of Holy Eagle Peak?
Beliefs are concepts. Concepts and buddhahood are mutually exclusive.

Gridrakuta is a place you can visit in India.
Okay, on a side note then, can you direct me to a Sutric reference which talks of beliefs not being a part of the Buddha-mind?
Buddhas are omniscient, they have no need of beliefs.
"Conceptuality is great ignorance,
causing one to fall into the ocean of samsāra."
—Māyājālamahātantra
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: So are Sutras really from the Buddha, or just fiction

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Könchok Chödrak wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 2:39 amcan you direct me to a Sutric reference which talks of beliefs not being a part of the Buddha-mind?
There is a slight problem with this question to begin with.
So, there isn’t a sensible answer to it.

The problem with the question is how it regards the notion of “Buddha mind” which isn’t a specific “thing”, Buddha-mind and sentient being’s mind, like comparing a cats’s brain with a horse’s brain.

Yes, there is a difference in the way a Buddha experiences the world and how sentient beings experience the world, but fundamentally there is no difference in minds. There are not two “types” of mind. Rather, it’s like the sky which over one city is clear and over another city is obscured by clouds. It’s still the same mind. In other words, while both are fundamentally the same, buddha’s mind is perfectly clear and the mind of sentient beings isn’t perfectly clear.

This seems like a small point to make. But it matters if the question is whether beliefs” are “part” of a buddha’s mind. What the question really comes down to then, is “are beliefs (or rather, the ‘action’ of believing) something that clouds the mind?”

And the answer then, is that for sentient beings, it is possible for beliefs to cloud the mind, but for a Buddha, beliefs will not cloud the mind, whether a Buddha has them or not. In other words, having a belief or not isn’t what defines being a Buddha.

So, you probably won’t find, specifically, sutras that say whether a buddha has beliefs or not, because it doesn’t matter in that regard. Just as a Buddha is not moved depending on whether the sky is clear or cloudy, likewise, the question of ‘believing’ is Irrelevant.
EMPTIFUL.
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microbodhi
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Re: So are Sutras really from the Buddha, or just fiction

Post by microbodhi »

Buddha is not a person, in fact there is no easy way to translate what buddha is, also what sutras are is more or less beyond any English translation and definitions

They are not fiction, the main fiction is the translations, so if the questions were are the translations fictions and man made then its more or less a certainty due to most of them not being awake and conditioned by sakkaya dhitti, which the heads full of thoughts are still trying to work out with the wrong tools , they are in a category that the west cant make up or designate due to lack of humility and using the wrong faculties
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Nemo
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Re: So are Sutras really from the Buddha, or just fiction

Post by Nemo »

Everyone thinks their pet ideology will save the world. They are right to some degree but all of them have massive blind spots. Some things will invariably be wrong. Humans live in a very odd reality where physics has discovered we interact with only 5% of the universe. 95% of the matter and energy in the universe is almost undetectable in our dimensions. The Sutras state we are a shitty reality near the bottom of the stack. Without omniscience all we can do is make simplified models of our limited experience and pretend we understand the universe. We need to be mature enough to see the exaggerations and wishful thinking in our beliefs or we become slaves to dead men's ideas and not Buddhas. Like the coming ten million day. Having practiced on them for 30 years now I only think they are 100 to 1000 days and they are not uniform in the amount of magnification.
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Re: So are Sutras really from the Buddha, or just fiction

Post by mabw »

I will agree with Peter C. Someone in this forum once posted; even if it were the words of the Buddha, if it doesn't benefit you, it is still of no use. So all you can do is really give it a try and see if it works. Then you no longer have to believe; you know. I am not a meditator, but I have benefited from Anapanasati from whatever little I have applied it. Buddhism helped me deal with my OCD. I feel I am more centred and have a more mature perspective of the world, attributable to my study of Buddhism. Buddhism helped me to deal with the loss of a parent. All these give me a reason to continue studying and practising. At the very least, Buddhism is an important legacy worth preserving. Do I accept everything it says, not yet. I have various doubts. My solution so far is to have one leg in the mundane and another that continues my involvement in Buddhism. I am not able to follow all its tenets wholeheartedly. I'll see what the future holds. For now, I try to dedicate some time every day for study. It has enriched me. It has given a goal in life and an anchor.. So whenever doubt overwhelms me, I recall this, and push forward to another day.
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tkp67
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Re: So are Sutras really from the Buddha, or just fiction

Post by tkp67 »

Malcolm wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 5:39 am
Könchok Chödrak wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 2:39 am
Malcolm wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 2:32 am

Beliefs are concepts. Concepts and buddhahood are mutually exclusive.

Gridrakuta is a place you can visit in India.
Okay, on a side note then, can you direct me to a Sutric reference which talks of beliefs not being a part of the Buddha-mind?
Buddhas are omniscient, they have no need of beliefs.
They don't need dharma or liberation either so doesn't that make the answer completely irreverent?
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tkp67
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Re: So are Sutras really from the Buddha, or just fiction

Post by tkp67 »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 7:37 am So, you probably won’t find, specifically, sutras that say whether a buddha has beliefs or not, because it doesn’t matter in that regard. Just as a Buddha is not moved depending on whether the sky is clear or cloudy, likewise, the question of ‘believing’ is Irrelevant.
By this logic suffering doesn't matter because buddhas no longer experience it once liberated.

From a perspective of provision it serves to explain belief being transcended by a liberated being but the ignorance of ordinary beings never becomes irrelevant to buddhas as long as it causes suffering in humans.

Belief causes suffering in humans because they fail to realize the inherent self in such things is put there by the mind cognizing such things as possessing an inherent self in the first place.

Now the question becomes can belief/faith exist without an INHERENT self. I contend the object of belief is the basis for belief/faith as appearing either as possessing an inherent self or being empty while maintaining the four immeasurable.

I have yet to find a position that renders this as false but am open to understanding one.
Malcolm
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Re: So are Sutras really from the Buddha, or just fiction

Post by Malcolm »

microbodhi wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 8:36 am Buddha is not a person, in fact there is no easy way to translate what buddha is, also what sutras are is more or less beyond any English translation and definitions
Silly.
"Conceptuality is great ignorance,
causing one to fall into the ocean of samsāra."
—Māyājālamahātantra
Malcolm
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Re: So are Sutras really from the Buddha, or just fiction

Post by Malcolm »

tkp67 wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 12:59 pm
Malcolm wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 5:39 am
Könchok Chödrak wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 2:39 am

Okay, on a side note then, can you direct me to a Sutric reference which talks of beliefs not being a part of the Buddha-mind?
Buddhas are omniscient, they have no need of beliefs.
They don't need dharma or liberation either so doesn't that make the answer completely irreverent?
Ummm, no. It’s a clear answer to the question posed. And yes, buddhas don’t need liberation, and when they teach dharma, it’s for mutual enjoyment (sambhoga).
"Conceptuality is great ignorance,
causing one to fall into the ocean of samsāra."
—Māyājālamahātantra
Malcolm
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Re: So are Sutras really from the Buddha, or just fiction

Post by Malcolm »

tkp67 wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 1:16 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 7:37 am So, you probably won’t find, specifically, sutras that say whether a buddha has beliefs or not, because it doesn’t matter in that regard. Just as a Buddha is not moved depending on whether the sky is clear or cloudy, likewise, the question of ‘believing’ is Irrelevant.
By this logic suffering doesn't matter because buddhas no longer experience it once liberated.
Buddhas do not even perceive suffering, since they have no impure perceptions. To a buddha, all is buddhahood.
"Conceptuality is great ignorance,
causing one to fall into the ocean of samsāra."
—Māyājālamahātantra
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Queequeg
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Re: So are Sutras really from the Buddha, or just fiction

Post by Queequeg »

Malcolm wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 1:19 pm when they teach dharma, it’s for mutual enjoyment (sambhoga).
Wonderful! Always wonder if what brings us joy is only a one way street and for the Buddha it is something of a featureless chore...
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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Re: So are Sutras really from the Buddha, or just fiction

Post by Astus »

Yixuan has a solution:

"Followers of the Way, make no mistake! All the dharmas of this world and of the worlds beyond are without self-nature. Also, they are without produced nature. They are just empty names, and these names are also empty. All you are doing is taking these worthless names to be real. That’s all wrong! Even if they do exist, they are nothing but states of dependent transformation, such as the dependent transformations of bodhi, nirvana, emancipation, the threefold body, the [objective] surroundings and the [subjective] mind, bodhisattvahood, and buddhahood. What are you looking for in these lands of dependent transformations! All of these, up to and including the Three Vehicles’ twelve divisions of teachings, are just so much waste paper to wipe off privy filth. The Buddha is just a phantom body, the patriarchs just old monks.
But you, weren’t you born of a mother? If you seek the Buddha, you’ll be held in the grip of Buddha-Māra. If you seek the patriarchs, you’ll be bound by the ropes of Patriarch-Māra. If you engage in any seeking, it will all be pain. Much better to do nothing.
There are a bunch of shavepate monks who say to students, ‘The Buddha is the Ultimate; he attained buddhahood only after he came to the fruition of practices carried on through three great asaṃkhyeya kalpas.’ Followers of the Way, if you say that the Buddha is the ultimate, how is it that after eighty years of life the Buddha lay down on his side between the twin śāla trees at Kuśinagara and died? Where is the Buddha now? We clearly know that his birth and death were not different from ours."

(Record of Linji, p 19, tr Sasaki)
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"
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tkp67
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Re: So are Sutras really from the Buddha, or just fiction

Post by tkp67 »

Malcolm wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 1:21 pm
tkp67 wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 1:16 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 7:37 am So, you probably won’t find, specifically, sutras that say whether a buddha has beliefs or not, because it doesn’t matter in that regard. Just as a Buddha is not moved depending on whether the sky is clear or cloudy, likewise, the question of ‘believing’ is Irrelevant.
By this logic suffering doesn't matter because buddhas no longer experience it once liberated.
Buddhas do not even perceive suffering, since they have no impure perceptions. To a buddha, all is buddhahood.
Yet Shakyamuni perceived the sufferings of people well enough to teach them according to cause, capacity and conditions. His existence was not independent of ours.

If you say it was all a show and his life a mirage you destroy the teaching that buddhahood in human form is attainable. It also denies his declaration and desire to make himself equal with all sentient beings by proxy. The lotus was taught as a proof. If it does not hold up to the light of the lotus sutra it is not congruent with his enlightenment.
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Re: So are Sutras really from the Buddha, or just fiction

Post by LastLegend »

tkp67 wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 1:16 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 7:37 am So, you probably won’t find, specifically, sutras that say whether a buddha has beliefs or not, because it doesn’t matter in that regard. Just as a Buddha is not moved depending on whether the sky is clear or cloudy, likewise, the question of ‘believing’ is Irrelevant.
By this logic suffering doesn't matter because buddhas no longer experience it once liberated.

From a perspective of provision it serves to explain belief being transcended by a liberated being but the ignorance of ordinary beings never becomes irrelevant to buddhas as long as it causes suffering in humans.

Belief causes suffering in humans because they fail to realize the inherent self in such things is put there by the mind cognizing such things as possessing an inherent self in the first place.

Now the question becomes can belief/faith exist without an INHERENT self. I contend the object of belief is the basis for belief/faith as appearing either as possessing an inherent self or being empty while maintaining the four immeasurable.

I have yet to find a position that renders this as false but am open to understanding one.
Does a Buddha know suffering?

Be careful on establishing what a Buddha is and isn’t. :lol:
It’s eye blinking.
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Re: So are Sutras really from the Buddha, or just fiction

Post by GDPR_Anonymized001 »

tkp67 wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 2:09 pm If you say it was all a show and his life a mirage you destroy the teaching that buddhahood in human form is attainable.
Have you read the Lotus Sutra?
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