Age of Mahayana Schools

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.
Malcolm
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Re: Age of Mahayana Schools

Post by Malcolm »

Astus wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:50 am
Malcolm wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 3:50 pmThe difference is not view nor the goal, Buddhahood, the difference is in method, the intelligence of the trainee, and so on.
And that difference in method is the question. You have kindly provided a summary of Vajrayana methods, where it was made clear that the difference proposed was how it's not the five objects of desires that are given up but 'the ordinary conceptuality about the five objects of desire that is the root of all attachment and aversion'. To that I wrote that it is no different from what is done in Sutrayana.
Then you've misunderstood what "ordinary conceptuality" means. What does it mean? It means to conceive the five buddhas, the five mothers, the male and female bodhisattvas as skandhas, elements, sense organs and sense objects.

So, how is there a difference in method, when the method of Vajrayana is to eliminate ordinary concepts instead of objects, and so it is with Sutrayana too?
The sūtras do not teach that the five skandhas, five elements, sense organs, sense objects and so on, are, their real nature, the mandala of the five buddhas, five mothers, etc.
Secret Mantra is superior because the wisdom which arises in the mind at the time of the descent of gnosis, or third empowerment and so forth, is freedom from proliferation realized directly.
That is an answer then to have wisdom available from the start, although the third empowerment is said to be only an example, and the fourth is the actual realisation that is the level of Dzogchen (Treasury of Precious Qualities, vol 2, p 130-132) and Mahamudra (e.g.The Treasury of Knowledge, vol 6, p 231-233; further elaborated in Mahamudra and Related Instructions, p 485-490).
It is not certain that the gnosis of the descent of the gnosis being or the gnosis demonstrated during the experience of third and fourth empowerment is only an example wisdom. That depends very much on the trainee. But there is no method of inducing either an example gnosis or a realized gnosis in any sūtra tradition as the entrance to the path. Why? In sūtra, abhiṣeka is reserved for tenth stage bodhisattvas in the second half the tenth bhumi, as indicated by the Avatamsaka, Lankāvatāra, and other sūtras.
The verbal instruction to directly see the nature of mind is found in both the Vajrayana and the Sutrayana (Mahamudra the Moonlight, p 181), so if there is a methodical difference, it is related to the example wisdom, but not the real one.
Incorrect. The methodical difference is related to both kinds of gnosis, not merely the first, since in ordinary persons, the second arises from the first.
Sādhaka
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Re: Age of Mahayana Schools

Post by Sādhaka »

“Malcolm” wrote:The Yoginīsañcaryam states:

Further, when in a later time,
in the last age siddhi cannot be obtained…
…having understood this Dharma as such,
all that one intends will be completed.

Are you implying here that this text is saying that in the Kali Yuga, we’ll be unlikely to attain relative Siddhi’s, but that if we stick to our Vajrayana practice (despite our capacity (or lack thereof)) we will be guaranteed liberation shortly before, during, or after our physical death in this lifetime?
Malcolm
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Re: Age of Mahayana Schools

Post by Malcolm »

Sādhaka wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:59 pm
“Malcolm” wrote:The Yoginīsañcaryam states:

Further, when in a later time,
in the last age siddhi cannot be obtained…
…having understood this Dharma as such,
all that one intends will be completed.

Are you implying here that this text is saying that in the Kali Yuga, we’ll be unlikely to attain relative Siddhi’s, but that if we stick to our Vajrayana practice (despite our capacity (or lack thereof)) we will be guaranteed liberation shortly before, during, or after our physical death in this lifetime?
No, it is saying that any siddhis, whether common or supreme, can only be realized through secret mantra.
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LastLegend
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Re: Age of Mahayana Schools

Post by LastLegend »

It’s not pulling anyone over to Common Mahayana. It totally depends on individual cultural and predispositions. Certain people migrate back and forth until they settle. Chan has its own ways but it has to come from a Truly realized teacher or otherwise like Bodhidharma said, ‘how can meditation create a Buddha?’
Make personal vows.

End of the day: I don’t know.
Charlie123
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Re: Age of Mahayana Schools

Post by Charlie123 »

LastLegend wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:47 pm Although teachers are needed but it’s not the case of regular contact and even if regular contact between the student and teacher, what needed to be encouraged is to deepen their nature at whatever that state that we are in?
Oh, this is reasonable. Sorry for attacking you in the other thread.
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Aemilius
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Re: Age of Mahayana Schools

Post by Aemilius »

PeterC wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:03 am
Aemilius wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:28 am And if one accepts the revelations received by Madam Blavatsky or by Billy Meier, or by a person accepted in the Buddha at the Gas Pump, for example.
Are you seriously accepting those people as authoritative in the same way that we would accept sutra and tantra? Just want to understand if that's what you're really saying
Yes I am serious. In the chinese history there have been many disputes whether certain sutras are authoritative or not. And those disputes still go on. Same applies to persons, will they be accepted as masters or not? And by whom will they be accepted? There were serious doubts concerning Bodhidharma. Some buddhist authorities tried to poison him. In India Vasubandhu had to fear for his life at some point of his career. Etc..
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
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Astus
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Re: Age of Mahayana Schools

Post by Astus »

Malcolm wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:48 pmThen you've misunderstood what "ordinary conceptuality" means. What does it mean? It means to conceive the five buddhas, the five mothers, the male and female bodhisattvas as skandhas, elements, sense organs and sense objects.
Then instead of me interpreting it, let's be more specific. For instance, what is perceiving Vairocana in/as the sound of a doorbell? How is it something other than the standard 'form is emptiness, emptiness is form'?
The sūtras do not teach that the five skandhas, five elements, sense organs, sense objects and so on, are, their real nature, the mandala of the five buddhas, five mothers, etc.
The sutras teach the indivisibility of the two truths, and its realisation. Vajrayana may put that into a practice of visualising buddhas, but the point is still to get rid of grasping at phenomena.
Incorrect. The methodical difference is related to both kinds of gnosis, not merely the first, since in ordinary persons, the second arises from the first.
Real wisdom is the defining attainment of noble beings, and it is realised through vipasyana, wouldn't you agree?
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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PeterC
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Re: Age of Mahayana Schools

Post by PeterC »

Aemilius wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 7:29 am
PeterC wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:03 am
Aemilius wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:28 am And if one accepts the revelations received by Madam Blavatsky or by Billy Meier, or by a person accepted in the Buddha at the Gas Pump, for example.
Are you seriously accepting those people as authoritative in the same way that we would accept sutra and tantra? Just want to understand if that's what you're really saying
Yes I am serious. In the chinese history there have been many disputes whether certain sutras are authoritative or not. And those disputes still go on. Same applies to persons, will they be accepted as masters or not? And by whom will they be accepted? There were serious doubts concerning Bodhidharma. Some buddhist authorities tried to poison him. In India Vasubandhu had to fear for his life at some point of his career. Etc..
OK, so here are some randomly-selected descriptions of the people who appear on the 'buddha at the gas pump' site:
She is a pioneer in integrating a contemporary nondual path with a healing path. At Luminous Awareness Institute she has developed and teaches a groundbreaking system, synthesized over 25 years that supports the realization of the essential being of who we already are, with practices and inner technologies from a wide variety of sources; Tibetan Buddhism, developmental psychology, neurophysiology, Chi Gong, and subtle energy.

Mark is certified in Past Life Regression Therapy by Brian Weiss MD and the Facilitated After-Death Contact technique by Raymond Moody PhD, MD

Concepts such as karma, transcendence, sychronicity, reincarnation, rebirth, pure consciousness energy, and indigenous encounters have led to an understanding of the truth power of myth and ancient truths.

Robin Aisha Landsong is a Transformational Speaker, Visual Artist, Medicine Singer, and Medical/Health Intuitive.

Sally Kempton is a deeply practiced teacher of meditation and spiritual philosophy, and the author of the books Meditation for the Love of It and Awakening Shakti: as well as the audio course Doorways to the Infinite, recently put out by Sounds True.
No Buddhas here, and I didn't see any gas pump either.

If you somehow equate these people to Vasubandhu, or equate consideration of their work to debate over whether a sutra is authoritative - then you really need to regain some sense of proportion.
Crazywisdom
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Re: Age of Mahayana Schools

Post by Crazywisdom »

Astus wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:20 pm
Crazywisdom wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 4:41 pmThe wisdom is the same in sutra and tantra. But the methods are quite different.
It is through removing the two obscurations with wisdom that one arrives at buddhahood (Uttaratantra Shastra, 7.390-391), as buddha-nature itself is already complete with perfect qualities.

As Gampopa stated:
'When one is endowed with the meaning of emptiness, there is not a single thing which in not included in this path'
(Jewel Ornament of Liberation, p 252)

One can also obtain wisdom through a successive practice of methods, by a single method, or without any method.

Again, from Gampopa:
'In that case, if all these are included in meditating on only the essence or the mind-as-such, why do there appear teachings on so many graduated methods? It is for the purpose of leading all those sentient beings of little fortune, who are ignorant in the ultimate nature.'
(Jewel Ornament of Liberation, p 254-255)
Well Gampopa taught fivefold path mahamudra to practitioners and sutra mahamudra to laypersons. Sutra mahamudra has guru yoga so as not to be ignorant. No Tibetan ever said you remove two obacurations by reading a book. Besides can work and will work are two very different prospects. But I would not promote ideas that were not just said to work but proven to work by teams of folks dedicated to the craft.
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Re: Age of Mahayana Schools

Post by Crazywisdom »

Astus wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:51 am
Malcolm wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:48 pmThen you've misunderstood what "ordinary conceptuality" means. What does it mean? It means to conceive the five buddhas, the five mothers, the male and female bodhisattvas as skandhas, elements, sense organs and sense objects.
Then instead of me interpreting it, let's be more specific. For instance, what is perceiving Vairocana in/as the sound of a doorbell? How is it something other than the standard 'form is emptiness, emptiness is form'?
The sūtras do not teach that the five skandhas, five elements, sense organs, sense objects and so on, are, their real nature, the mandala of the five buddhas, five mothers, etc.
The sutras teach the indivisibility of the two truths, and its realisation. Vajrayana may put that into a practice of visualising buddhas, but the point is still to get rid of grasping at phenomena.
Incorrect. The methodical difference is related to both kinds of gnosis, not merely the first, since in ordinary persons, the second arises from the first.
Real wisdom is the defining attainment of noble beings, and it is realised through vipasyana, wouldn't you agree?
Wrong. It is completion stage where subtle obscuration is removed. The Dalai Lama is good at explaining it. Visualization of buddhas is not going to do that.
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Re: Age of Mahayana Schools

Post by Crazywisdom »

Malcolm wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:48 pm
Astus wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:50 am
Malcolm wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 3:50 pmThe difference is not view nor the goal, Buddhahood, the difference is in method, the intelligence of the trainee, and so on.
And that difference in method is the question. You have kindly provided a summary of Vajrayana methods, where it was made clear that the difference proposed was how it's not the five objects of desires that are given up but 'the ordinary conceptuality about the five objects of desire that is the root of all attachment and aversion'. To that I wrote that it is no different from what is done in Sutrayana.
Then you've misunderstood what "ordinary conceptuality" means. What does it mean? It means to conceive the five buddhas, the five mothers, the male and female bodhisattvas as skandhas, elements, sense organs and sense objects.

So, how is there a difference in method, when the method of Vajrayana is to eliminate ordinary concepts instead of objects, and so it is with Sutrayana too?
The sūtras do not teach that the five skandhas, five elements, sense organs, sense objects and so on, are, their real nature, the mandala of the five buddhas, five mothers, etc.
Secret Mantra is superior because the wisdom which arises in the mind at the time of the descent of gnosis, or third empowerment and so forth, is freedom from proliferation realized directly.
That is an answer then to have wisdom available from the start, although the third empowerment is said to be only an example, and the fourth is the actual realisation that is the level of Dzogchen (Treasury of Precious Qualities, vol 2, p 130-132) and Mahamudra (e.g.The Treasury of Knowledge, vol 6, p 231-233; further elaborated in Mahamudra and Related Instructions, p 485-490).
It is not certain that the gnosis of the descent of the gnosis being or the gnosis demonstrated during the experience of third and fourth empowerment is only an example wisdom. That depends very much on the trainee. But there is no method of inducing either an example gnosis or a realized gnosis in any sūtra tradition as the entrance to the path. Why? In sūtra, abhiṣeka is reserved for tenth stage bodhisattvas in the second half the tenth bhumi, as indicated by the Avatamsaka, Lankāvatāra, and other sūtras.
The verbal instruction to directly see the nature of mind is found in both the Vajrayana and the Sutrayana (Mahamudra the Moonlight, p 181), so if there is a methodical difference, it is related to the example wisdom, but not the real one.
Incorrect. The methodical difference is related to both kinds of gnosis, not merely the first, since in ordinary persons, the second arises from the first.
This is the key reason. Reserved for tenth bhumi.

Saraha said those who conceptualize emptiness are stupider than cows. You cannot cherry pick quotes to prove the path of no path sudden enlightment is a thing. If it is who was I in my past lives and who will I be? A Buddha would know. A high bhumi bodhisattva would too
Malcolm
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Re: Age of Mahayana Schools

Post by Malcolm »

PeterC wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:06 am

If you somehow equate these people to Vasubandhu, or equate consideration of their work to debate over whether a sutra is authoritative - then you really need to regain some sense of proportion.
:rolling: :rolling: :rolling:
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Re: Age of Mahayana Schools

Post by Astus »

Crazywisdom wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:43 amWrong. It is completion stage where subtle obscuration is removed. The Dalai Lama is good at explaining it. Visualization of buddhas is not going to do that.
And in completion stage what does it mean to see the five skandhas as the five buddhas?
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"
Crazywisdom
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Re: Age of Mahayana Schools

Post by Crazywisdom »

Astus wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:26 pm
Crazywisdom wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:43 amWrong. It is completion stage where subtle obscuration is removed. The Dalai Lama is good at explaining it. Visualization of buddhas is not going to do that.
And in completion stage what does it mean to see the five skandhas as the five buddhas?
Depends on the tantra. Can be bliss-emptiness, or clarity-emptiness.
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Re: Age of Mahayana Schools

Post by haha »

The practice of Shamatha or Tranquility is how to calm down coarse thoughts and kleshas and the practice of Vipashyana or insight is how to see the nature of your mind just as it is and in that way eradicate defects and increase qualities.

From above provided link: Bringing Obstacles to the Path
All techniques come under these two headings: Shamatha and Vipashyana.

Kamalasila in his BhavanaKrama has explained well “how to practice”. He has even elaborated such and such verses of Mahayana sutras into actual practice. It means that many Mahayana sutras as well as sastras have briefly provided practice modality. So it depends on who would hear it or read it. Many yogacara mastars explained how to establish in dhamadhatu, vajropamasamadhi, etc. Yogacara texts have acutely explained how to attain mirror like wisdom, equality wisdom, etc. Those who are familiar with Shamatha and Vipashyana, it would not difficult to apply srutamaya prajna from the teachers or the texts. In one moment, one can attain complete Buddhahood (i.e. from Namasamgiti); however, one needs be familiarized with that.

Myth of 3 incalculable eons was to establish Mahayana is different than Shravakayana. When it was established, another group established new discourse of one life time to show superior to its preceding group. Good and bad, superior and inferior, etc. they all are perceivers’ perception.

Here is one example. I believe researcher/writer had some references to state this:
Even Vasubandhu, prior to his conversion to Mahayana, is said to have remarked that Nagarjuna is a manifestation of Mara and his brother, Asanga, is following him.

Karma Phuntsho, (2005) Mipham’s Dialectics And The Debates On Emptiness
It also shows in those centuries how and what other buddhist traditions would regard Nagarjuna and his Madhyamika or Mahayanist. However, he perceived thing differently after conversion.
There are the above methods that use a reference point, and there is also the method of direct or naked recognition of the mind's nature. All these methods are means to develop supreme wisdom. There are many methods to gain this wisdom and the methods are given in accordance with the individual's capabilities and nature. Some methods are for individuals with strong devotion, some are for those with strong understanding, and so on, so one doesn't do every method of samatha and vipasyana described, but the one that is suitable to one's capacity and nature.

What is developed by all the practices of samatha is stability of mind. With this stability one can develop vipasyana. If the mind is stable and resting in its natural state, one can use sharp understanding to analyze and investigate the texts or understand the meaning of the words of the texts. So with stability of mind, one can examine and understand whatever one focuses one's mind on, so that one's samatha practice becomes vipasyana practice.

Khenchen Thrangu, (1993), The Practice Of Tranquility And Insight pp 134-135
(Note: above methods: withdrawl, practice of channel, vayu, yidam, mantra, etc. samatha of vajrayana )
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Re: Age of Mahayana Schools

Post by Astus »

Crazywisdom wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:37 amWell Gampopa taught fivefold path mahamudra to practitioners and sutra mahamudra to laypersons.
The Fivefold Mahamudra is a teaching of the Drikungpas coming from Jigten Sumgon. Gampopa taught to a few close disciples candali, to everyone else (monastic or not) he taught what is now called Sutra Mahamudra, and regarding the reason behind that distinction between the two approaches:

'The Mahāmudrā of bliss and emptiness on the path of means
Is the actual practice of secret mantra,
But those who practise it are few and far between.
The Mahāmudrā of the innate on the path of liberation
Is an easier practice offering great reward at little risk,
And is of benefit to all, regardless of capacity.'

(Mahāmudrā: The Swift Way to Become a Lord of Realization by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye)
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"
Malcolm
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Re: Age of Mahayana Schools

Post by Malcolm »

Astus wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 2:03 pm The Fivefold Mahamudra is a teaching of the Drikungpas coming from Jigten Sumgon.
No, it is actually a teaching that comes from Phagmo Drupa, and as such, is also found extensively taught and practiced in Drukpa Kagyu as well.
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Re: Age of Mahayana Schools

Post by LastLegend »

Crazywisdom wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:34 pm
Astus wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:26 pm
Crazywisdom wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:43 amWrong. It is completion stage where subtle obscuration is removed. The Dalai Lama is good at explaining it. Visualization of buddhas is not going to do that.
And in completion stage what does it mean to see the five skandhas as the five buddhas?
Depends on the tantra. Can be bliss-emptiness, or clarity-emptiness.
I see.
Make personal vows.

End of the day: I don’t know.
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Re: Age of Mahayana Schools

Post by Astus »

Malcolm wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 2:16 pmalso found extensively taught and practiced in Drukpa Kagyu as well.
Thanks, that's good to know.
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"
Malcolm
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Re: Age of Mahayana Schools

Post by Malcolm »

Astus wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:51 am
Malcolm wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:48 pmThen you've misunderstood what "ordinary conceptuality" means. What does it mean? It means to conceive the five buddhas, the five mothers, the male and female bodhisattvas as skandhas, elements, sense organs and sense objects.
Then instead of me interpreting it, let's be more specific. For instance, what is perceiving Vairocana in/as the sound of a doorbell? How is it something other than the standard 'form is emptiness, emptiness is form'?
Are your concepts about a buddha is pure or impure? If they are impure, what would be the point of Buddhānusmṛti? In sūtra there is no antidotal method of conceiving the appearance of things as pure which are typically conceived by ordinary sentient being as impure. Emptiness, in sutra, is provided as cure for this, in terms of nature, but not in terms of appearance. Vajrayāna address both nature and appearance; sūtra only addresses nature, not appearance.
The sūtras do not teach that the five skandhas, five elements, sense organs, sense objects and so on, are, their real nature, the mandala of the five buddhas, five mothers, etc.
The sutras teach the indivisibility of the two truths, and its realisation. Vajrayana may put that into a practice of visualising buddhas, but the point is still to get rid of grasping at phenomena.
Yes, the point is here efficacy of methodology. Of course, if you do not have faith in Vajrayāna, then it won't work for you, just as if you do not have faith in the curative properties of given medicine, you will not take it.
Incorrect. The methodical difference is related to both kinds of gnosis, not merely the first, since in ordinary persons, the second arises from the first.
Real wisdom is the defining attainment of noble beings, and it is realised through vipasyana, wouldn't you agree?
The distinction between the the common and uncommon Mahāyāna is principally the difference between method, the latter being more efficacious and more rapid. One does not merely regard oneself as buddhanatured, causally, one regards oneself as a buddha from the outset of entering the path. One does not regard one's teacher as being "like a buddha," one regards one's master as an actual buddha right from the outset and so on, based on the special methods of abhiṣeka, sadhana, and so forth.
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