Why choose Mahayana over Vajrayana?

General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
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LastLegend
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Re: Why choose Mahayana over Vajrayana?

Post by LastLegend »

To crazywisdom,
Let’s not pretend that there isn’t bad thought about superiority versus inferiority back and forth for decades and we still rock it this boat like it’s liberation. But Dharma travels around and returns.
Make personal vows.

End of the day: I don’t know.
Malcolm
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Re: Why choose Mahayana over Vajrayana?

Post by Malcolm »

LastLegend wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:34 pm To crazywisdom,
Let’s not pretend that there isn’t bad thought about superiority versus inferiority back and forth for decades and we still rock it this boat like it’s liberation. But Dharma travels around and returns.
Superior and inferior are relative. For someone who has no faith in Dzogchen, it is not a superior teaching. For someone who has no faith in Vajrayāna, it is not a superior teaching. For someone who has no faith in Chan, it is not a superior teaching. For someone who has no faith in the gradual Mahāyāna path, it is not a superior teaching. For someone who has no faith in pratyekabuddhayāna, it is not a superior teaching. For someone who has no faith in srāvakayāna, it is not a superior teaching. For someone who has no faith in Vedanta, etc., it is not a superior teaching, and so on.
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Re: Why choose Mahayana over Vajrayana?

Post by Astus »

Malcolm wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:32 pm
Crazywisdom wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:49 pm Pure lands are said to be 500 super long times or so. I mean the yoga of two stages, yoga of rushen, etc. It is done as a teacher explains.
Yes, when taking birth in the pure lands, there is no guarantee one will take rebirth in an open lotus. And even then, it takes thousands upon thousands of human years ( I figured it out once and reported the lenght of time somewhere in this board) to attain awakening. By contrast, Dzogchen teachings promise that if one takes birth in the pure lands as a result of having encountered and understood Dzogchen teachings, full awakening, buddhahood, will happen there in as little as 500 human years.
There are some calculations and explanations given on how and why birth in Sukhavati is the fastest way here. To that it might be added that all teachings are available there, and the realm is ideal to perfect them.
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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Re: Why choose Mahayana over Vajrayana?

Post by Crazywisdom »

Malcolm wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:32 pm
Crazywisdom wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:49 pm
Astus wrote: Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:23 pm

Do you mean anybody who did yoga - whatever that means - once for ten minutes attains buddhahood in this life? Or if one does yoga very well for thirty years, buddhahood is guaranteed to happen then? Because those who faithfully recite the name of Amitabha even just ten times are guaranteed to be born in Sukhavati, and once there, buddhahood is guaranteed as well, no fall back possible. So although one may practise yoga throughout one's life, unless buddhahood was actually attained, one should still aim to be born in Sukhavati.

As Thrangu Rinpoche says in chapter 12 of Luminous Clarity:

'To be reborn in most of the great pure realms, one needs an immeasurable store of merit. There is an exception to this, however, which is the pure realm of Sukhavati. Although it is hard to get in to an authentic pure realm, it is easy to be born into the realm of Sukhavati because of the aspiration of the Buddha Amitabha. So Karma Chagme advises us to make the intense aspiration to achieve rebirth in Sukhavati because if we are not born in a pure realm, then we might be reborn in one of the higher realms within samsara, which is still samsara. So we wish to achieve awakening through the practice of the generation and completion stages and the practice of Mahamudra and Dzogchen. But if this does not happen, we can ensure that we are reborn in a pure realm. We are therefore advised to aspire for a rebirth in Sukhavati.'
Pure lands are said to be 500 super long times or so. I mean the yoga of two stages, yoga of rushen, etc. It is done as a teacher explains.
Yes, when taking birth in the pure lands, there is no guarantee one will take rebirth in an open lotus. And even then, it takes thousands upon thousands of human years ( I figured it out once and reported the lenght of time somewhere in this board) to attain awakening. By contrast, Dzogchen teachings promise that if one takes birth in the pure lands as a result of having encountered and understood Dzogchen teachings, full awakening, buddhahood, will happen there in as little as 500 human years.
Who wants to sit on a Lotus for 500 years? Lets just get the job done.
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Re: Why choose Mahayana over Vajrayana?

Post by Crazywisdom »

LastLegend wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:34 pm To crazywisdom,
Let’s not pretend that there isn’t bad thought about superiority versus inferiority back and forth for decades and we still rock it this boat like it’s liberation. But Dharma travels around and returns.
Talking isn't a problem until it is.
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Re: Why choose Mahayana over Vajrayana?

Post by Crazywisdom »

Malcolm wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:05 pm
LastLegend wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:34 pm To crazywisdom,
Let’s not pretend that there isn’t bad thought about superiority versus inferiority back and forth for decades and we still rock it this boat like it’s liberation. But Dharma travels around and returns.
Superior and inferior are relative. For someone who has no faith in Dzogchen, it is not a superior teaching. For someone who has no faith in Vajrayāna, it is not a superior teaching. For someone who has no faith in Chan, it is not a superior teaching. For someone who has no faith in the gradual Mahāyāna path, it is not a superior teaching. For someone who has no faith in pratyekabuddhayāna, it is not a superior teaching. For someone who has no faith in srāvakayāna, it is not a superior teaching. For someone who has no faith in Vedanta, etc., it is not a superior teaching, and so on.
I do not put much into faith. I need to experience results and then I can believe other reasonable claims made.
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Re: Why choose Mahayana over Vajrayana?

Post by Malcolm »

Astus wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:52 pm
Malcolm wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:32 pm
Crazywisdom wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:49 pm Pure lands are said to be 500 super long times or so. I mean the yoga of two stages, yoga of rushen, etc. It is done as a teacher explains.
Yes, when taking birth in the pure lands, there is no guarantee one will take rebirth in an open lotus. And even then, it takes thousands upon thousands of human years ( I figured it out once and reported the lenght of time somewhere in this board) to attain awakening. By contrast, Dzogchen teachings promise that if one takes birth in the pure lands as a result of having encountered and understood Dzogchen teachings, full awakening, buddhahood, will happen there in as little as 500 human years.
There are some calculations and explanations given on how and why birth in Sukhavati is the fastest way here. To that it might be added that all teachings are available there, and the realm is ideal to perfect them.
Yeah, it is really is not a quick path to full buddhahood unless you are born as someone of grade 1, according to the scheme you present. And this 500 human year period applies even to those who have committed the five misdeeds of immediate retribution, etc. By contrast, according to your scheme as presented, buddhahood in Sukhavati for such people takes 12 mahākalpas (720 minor kalpas), or twelve billion ninety-six million human years. So yeah, Sukhavati is a slow path according to Sūtrayāna norms and a human perspective.
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Re: Why choose Mahayana over Vajrayana?

Post by Toenail »

Malcolm, what do you mean by understanding the teachings? Knowledge of the natural state? As in: 'you get it', when you are receiving DI?
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Re: Why choose Mahayana over Vajrayana?

Post by Malcolm »

Toenail wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:14 pm Malcolm, what do you mean by understanding the teachings? Knowledge of the natural state? As in: 'you get it', when you are receiving DI?
As in, you comprehend the direct perception of dharmatā and you know what that means.
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Re: Why choose Mahayana over Vajrayana?

Post by Malcolm »

Crazywisdom wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:55 pm
Malcolm wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:32 pm
Crazywisdom wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:49 pm

Pure lands are said to be 500 super long times or so. I mean the yoga of two stages, yoga of rushen, etc. It is done as a teacher explains.
Yes, when taking birth in the pure lands, there is no guarantee one will take rebirth in an open lotus. And even then, it takes thousands upon thousands of human years ( I figured it out once and reported the lenght of time somewhere in this board) to attain awakening. By contrast, Dzogchen teachings promise that if one takes birth in the pure lands as a result of having encountered and understood Dzogchen teachings, full awakening, buddhahood, will happen there in as little as 500 human years.
Who wants to sit on a Lotus for 500 years? Lets just get the job done.
Most practitioners (99.999) will not attain rainbow body. A small number will achieve buddhahood at the time of death, most will attain buddhahood in the bardo of dharmatā, and the remainder will have to take rebirth in the natural nirmanakāya buddhafields. This is all laid out fairly straight forwardly in the Self-Arisen Vidyā Tantra, etc.
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Re: Why choose Mahayana over Vajrayana?

Post by Malcolm »

Crazywisdom wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:01 pm
Malcolm wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:05 pm
LastLegend wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:34 pm To crazywisdom,
Let’s not pretend that there isn’t bad thought about superiority versus inferiority back and forth for decades and we still rock it this boat like it’s liberation. But Dharma travels around and returns.
Superior and inferior are relative. For someone who has no faith in Dzogchen, it is not a superior teaching. For someone who has no faith in Vajrayāna, it is not a superior teaching. For someone who has no faith in Chan, it is not a superior teaching. For someone who has no faith in the gradual Mahāyāna path, it is not a superior teaching. For someone who has no faith in pratyekabuddhayāna, it is not a superior teaching. For someone who has no faith in srāvakayāna, it is not a superior teaching. For someone who has no faith in Vedanta, etc., it is not a superior teaching, and so on.
I do not put much into faith. I need to experience results and then I can believe other reasonable claims made.
By "faith" I mean adhimokṣa, translated into Tibetan as "mos pa," which means confidence, interest, aspiration, faith, and so on. It is the first of the five indriyas, along with diligence, mindfulness, wisdom, and samadhi.
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Re: Why choose Mahayana over Vajrayana?

Post by Steel »

According to Shinran one attains buddhahood instantaneously upon rebirth in sukhavati. It is both the easiest and fastest path in all of Dharma.
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Re: Why choose Mahayana over Vajrayana?

Post by Malcolm »

Steel wrote: Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:38 am According to Shinran one attains buddhahood instantaneously upon rebirth in sukhavati. It is both the easiest and fastest path in all of Dharma.
Shinran was wrong. His assertion cannot be defended either thorough citation or through reasoning.
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Re: Why choose Mahayana over Vajrayana?

Post by Sennin »

Steel wrote: Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:38 am According to Shinran one attains buddhahood instantaneously upon rebirth in sukhavati. It is both the easiest and fastest path in all of Dharma.
:?
Observe the difference between the Lord of All Victors, Padmasambhava, and the mahasiddhas of India and Tibet.
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Re: Why choose Mahayana over Vajrayana?

Post by SonamTashi »

Steel wrote: Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:38 am According to Shinran one attains buddhahood instantaneously upon rebirth in sukhavati. It is both the easiest and fastest path in all of Dharma.
Shinran takes the vow of Buddhahood after one more life (the 22nd vow) in the Longer Sutra as a promise that anuttara-samyak-sambodhi will be attained after this life for those relying on the 18th vow. The problem is that the vow doesn't say that:

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 Bodhisattva stages, manifest the practices of all the Bodhisattva stages and actually cultivate the virtues of Samantabhadra.
There are a few problems with Shinran's interpretation. Amitabha's vows can be separated into three categories based on who they're aimed at:

1. Vows directed at sentient beings/humans and devas

2. "Bodhisattvas in my land"

3. And "Bodhisattvas in the Buddha-lands of other quarters"

The 22nd vow belongs to the third category. So the first problem with Shinran's interpretation is he applies the promise in the 22nd vow to all beings seeking rebirth in that land, when the vow actually only refers to visiting bodhisattvas. The second problem is that the vow refers to attainment after one more life after visiting that land, while Shinran interprets the vow as saying that sentient beings relying on the 18th vow will attain anuttara-samyak-sambodhi after this life. Shinran's reasoning for interpreting the vow in this way is very specious. He argues that beings of the pure land are those who have realized shinjin in this life. So the first problem is here is, again, that the vow doesn't apply to sentient beings. It applies to bodhisattvas, specifically bodhisattvas of other lands, and it applies after they've already visited Sukhavati. The other problem is that the term shinjin is a term that Shinran invented, so he's interpolating his own term into a vow that doesn't apply to sentient beings in the first place.

Having said all that, the 15th vow does say:

If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should have limited lifespan, except when they wish to shorten them in accordance with their original vows, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
So it can be said that sentient beings in Sukhavati will attain anuttara-samyak-sambodhi after one more life, but this is no different than what Tibetans and mainland Pure Land Buddhists teach. In fact, the very fact that it promises unlimited lifespan is because it takes so long to attain full awakening there. The unlimited lifespan also makes it clear that it does not refer to this life, because, well, the lifespan of practitioners in this life is very clearly limited. Nothing here indicates that one attains Buddhahood upon being reborn in that land. That being said, I don't think this means Jodo-Shinshu practice doesn't work. I do think it leads to rebirth in Sukhavati. But practitioners who are fully expecting instant Buddhahood may be surprised.
:bow: :buddha1: :bow: :anjali: :meditate:
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Re: Why choose Mahayana over Vajrayana?

Post by Crazywisdom »

Malcolm wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:27 pm
Crazywisdom wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:55 pm
Malcolm wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:32 pm

Yes, when taking birth in the pure lands, there is no guarantee one will take rebirth in an open lotus. And even then, it takes thousands upon thousands of human years ( I figured it out once and reported the lenght of time somewhere in this board) to attain awakening. By contrast, Dzogchen teachings promise that if one takes birth in the pure lands as a result of having encountered and understood Dzogchen teachings, full awakening, buddhahood, will happen there in as little as 500 human years.
Who wants to sit on a Lotus for 500 years? Lets just get the job done.
Most practitioners (99.999) will not attain rainbow body. A small number will achieve buddhahood at the time of death, most will attain buddhahood in the bardo of dharmatā, and the remainder will have to take rebirth in the natural nirmanakāya buddhafields. This is all laid out fairly straight forwardly in the Self-Arisen Vidyā Tantra, etc.
Bardo is fine.
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Re: Why choose Mahayana over Vajrayana?

Post by Crazywisdom »

Malcolm wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:32 pm
Crazywisdom wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:01 pm
Malcolm wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:05 pm

Superior and inferior are relative. For someone who has no faith in Dzogchen, it is not a superior teaching. For someone who has no faith in Vajrayāna, it is not a superior teaching. For someone who has no faith in Chan, it is not a superior teaching. For someone who has no faith in the gradual Mahāyāna path, it is not a superior teaching. For someone who has no faith in pratyekabuddhayāna, it is not a superior teaching. For someone who has no faith in srāvakayāna, it is not a superior teaching. For someone who has no faith in Vedanta, etc., it is not a superior teaching, and so on.
I do not put much into faith. I need to experience results and then I can believe other reasonable claims made.
By "faith" I mean adhimokṣa, translated into Tibetan as "mos pa," which means confidence, interest, aspiration, faith, and so on. It is the first of the five indriyas, along with diligence, mindfulness, wisdom, and samadhi.
That's better.
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Re: Why choose Mahayana over Vajrayana?

Post by Astus »

Crazywisdom wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:55 pmWho wants to sit on a Lotus for 500 years? Lets just get the job done.
Those who are "stuck" in a lotus for a longer period are the ones born of the two lowest grades according to the Contemplation Sutra. Such people would have otherwise fallen to the hells. As for getting the job done, that's the main problem that birth in Sukhavati resolves, that most people cannot get it done in one life, they do not reach any of the noble stages but remain ordinary beings, and as such are easily driven to lower births, and are certainly not free from the vicissitudes of samsara.
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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Re: Why choose Mahayana over Vajrayana?

Post by Astus »

Malcolm wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:15 pmYeah, it is really is not a quick path to full buddhahood unless you are born as someone of grade 1, according to the scheme you present. And this 500 human year period applies even to those who have committed the five misdeeds of immediate retribution, etc. By contrast, according to your scheme as presented, buddhahood in Sukhavati for such people takes 12 mahākalpas (720 minor kalpas), or twelve billion ninety-six million human years. So yeah, Sukhavati is a slow path according to Sūtrayāna norms and a human perspective.
From an ordinary human perspective it might seem slow, but from the individual's perspective even those of the worst character spend only 12 days enclosed in a lotus (and even there there is no suffering). Furthermore, if we accept that there are teachings that can liberate in this human life, it is so much easier to accomplish the same in Sukhavati.
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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Re: Why choose Mahayana over Vajrayana?

Post by Astus »

Malcolm wrote: Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:59 amShinran was wrong. His assertion cannot be defended either thorough citation or through reasoning.
Not wrong, if it is understood that the various grades of the practitioners is valid from the human perspective but not in Sukhavati.

'In the Pure Recompensed Land produced by the great vow, there is no distinction of grades and stages. In an instantaneous thought-moment one quickly realizes highest, perfect, true enlightenment. Hence, we say “crosswise transcendence.'
(KGSS 3.52, BDK ed: p 123)

'Those who wish to be born in the Pure Land are originally divided into nine classes, but [after they have been born there] there are no di›erences, just as the waters of the Tzu River and the Sheng River become of one taste [upon entering the sea]. How can we conceive of this?'
(KGSS 4.8, BDK ed: p 172)

'If the single thought of joy and gratitude is awakened in us,
We shall realize nirvana without severing our blind passions.
When ordinary people and sages as well as those who commit the [five] grave o›enses and abusers of the [Right] Dharma are taken into the Vow,
They become one in spiritual attainment, just as many rivers become of one taste upon entering the sea.'

(KGSS 2.102, BDK ed: p 76)
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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