Are there any details or evidences anywhere in any part of Mahayana Buddhism that Gautama Buddha is the Adi-Buddha?

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Brahma
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Are there any details or evidences anywhere in any part of Mahayana Buddhism that Gautama Buddha is the Adi-Buddha?

Post by Brahma »

There are ideas in Buddhism that anyone who becomes a Buddha becomes an Emanation of the Adi-Buddha, being such they enter their intended constitutional position and become an Eternal Buddha, forever Enlightened, not just in the state of no regression but also they become a Buddha in Eternal Time, because they have forever entered the Slipstream of Nibbana, which is Transcendental to the time factor. However, there is the idea that there are Buddhas that have always been Enlightened begininglessly, and not from a certain point in the past or future, but always begininglessly in all spheres, because the thusness of their personal Sunyata has kept them on a forever level of Enlightenment, before even the Saha world and without any beginning or end. The Adi-Buddha is within every Buddha. From what I understand in Tibetan Buddhism all Buddhas are considered an Emanation of the Adi-Buddha. And though the Adi-Buddha is considered as One Buddha, the Adi-Buddha has infinite manifestations and Emanations, of Himself or Herself and of the Buddhas that are His or Her Emanations.

So I have two questions.

In Mahayana Buddhism is it really and truly considered that there is just one Adi-Buddha, provided that there are infinite Buddhas that have always been Enlightened forever in the paradigm that I have mentioned (reality being infinite and unlimited, and having no beginning or end, so it would go to say that there are infinite Buddhas at this moment and our pocket of the Saha world contains a limited amount of unenlightened folk, the Saha world being a limited material place)? If so how and why? And also, could this Adi-Buddha, being the One, if there is One, be Gautama Buddha Himself?

I know in what is considered the Greatest Mahayana Sutra, The Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha talks about how He attained His Enlightenment as Bodhisattva Never Disparaging in the very, very, distant, distant past, in conjunction with the Lifespan of the Thus Come One Chapter, His Enlightenment is spoken of being many eons of asamkhyas of kalpas of ages and lifetimes before His meditation at Gaya under the Bodhi Tree. However, from what I notice in His behaviour in the Bodhisattva Never Disparaging Chapter of the Lotus Sutra, His behaviour is of a perfect Buddha in disguise. Could His description of first coming to Enlightenment as that Bodhisattva be another Expedient Means? How wonderful that would be! And in life, in Buddha, when we ask and look for the Wonderful, it often comes to be more than True.

Are there any notions in Buddhism anywhere that imply that Shakyamuni Buddha is the Adi-Buddha? I mean, He has already gone through provisional Enlightenment more than quadrillions of times based on the account in the Lotus Sutra of how long He has been in the Saha world, so if we are to follow His Path would there not be a correct doing on His part in hiding the fact that He is the Adi-Buddha, and portray Himself in a humble light, a Bodhisattva who attained Enlightenment by the most powerful Teaching, to then Teach to others, and lead them on the Way? This asks for people to follow His Path instead of being awestruck or feeling less than Him because we are not Enlightened yet.

Are there any texts of any Mahayana or possibly Tibetan origin, maybe of the Tantric tradition that talk of or hint that Gautama is the Adi Buddha? Across any traditions in the Mahayana Universes has anyone ever been taught such a Teaching? Let me know. I would like to know. As this subject is important to me. Even if it is or was just a passing phrase by a Teacher or praise directed towards the Buddha in a text or Sutra.

Om Mani Padme Hum.

Thank you. :namaste:

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Re: Are there any details or evidences anywhere in any part of Mahayana Buddhism that Gautama Buddha is the Adi-Buddha?

Post by Ayu »

I only was told, all buddhas are the same in the essence.
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:
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Re: Are there any details or evidences anywhere in any part of Mahayana Buddhism that Gautama Buddha is the Adi-Buddha?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

The Dharma is like the sky.
Buddhas are the means by which sentient beings perceive the Dharma.
Suppose you live in a house with windows in every different shape and color of glass. You can see the sky from any window in any room.
In one room, looking at the window, the sky appears square and blue.
In another room, looking at the window, the sky appears round and yellow.
Another room has a triangle window with green glass in it, so the way you see the sky is triangle shaped and green.

All buddhas are manifestation of the truth of the Dharma.
In conceptual terms, we can say ‘this Buddha’ or ‘that Buddha’ but from the point of view of a Buddha, there is no difference.

You could say that Adi Buddha may not specifically be Shakyamuni Buddha, but, Shakyamuni Buddha is definitely
Adi Buddha.

Aside from this, there is not much provable evidence of anything.
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
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Re: Are there any details or evidences anywhere in any part of Mahayana Buddhism that Gautama Buddha is the Adi-Buddha?

Post by Caoimhghín »

Vairocana is the Root Buddha, the 本佛.

:popcorn:

Truth be told, this is not the first discussion here concerning this. The "ādibuddha" is actually only something you need to worry yourself about if you are practicing devayoga in a Tantric setting. It is similar to how one needn't bother themselves with the difference between Mahāvairocana as Ādibuddha, Vairocana as Dharmakāya, Vairocana as Mahāsaṃbhogakāya, or Vairocana versus "Locana," unless one is engaged in direct practices involving them, unless you are a priest of them, having receiver ordination/empowerment for their practices. Sometimes the ādibuddha is Mañjuśrī.

Ask a Tantrika is my advice. You have this question in the general Mahāyāna forum, but it is a question to do with Tantra truly. There is a notion of 本佛 in the sūtras, but it is not necessarily the same.
Then, the monks sang this gāthā:

These bodies are like foam.
Them being frail, who can rejoice in them?
The Buddha attained the vajra-body.
Still, it becomes inconstant and rots.
The many Buddhas are vajra-entities.
All are also subject to inconstancy.
Quickly ended, like melting snow --
how could things be different?

The Buddha passed into parinirvāṇa afterward.
(T1.27b10 Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra DĀ 2)
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Re: Are there any details or evidences anywhere in any part of Mahayana Buddhism that Gautama Buddha is the Adi-Buddha?

Post by Aemilius »

Brahma wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 11:04 am There are ideas in Buddhism that anyone who becomes a Buddha becomes an Emanation of the Adi-Buddha, being such they enter their intended constitutional position and become an Eternal Buddha, forever Enlightened, not just in the state of no regression but also they become a Buddha in Eternal Time, because they have forever entered the Slipstream of Nibbana, which is Transcendental to the time factor. However, there is the idea that there are Buddhas that have always been Enlightened begininglessly, and not from a certain point in the past or future, but always begininglessly in all spheres, because the thusness of their personal Sunyata has kept them on a forever level of Enlightenment, before even the Saha world and without any beginning or end. The Adi-Buddha is within every Buddha. From what I understand in Tibetan Buddhism all Buddhas are considered an Emanation of the Adi-Buddha. And though the Adi-Buddha is considered as One Buddha, the Adi-Buddha has infinite manifestations and Emanations, of Himself or Herself and of the Buddhas that are His or Her Emanations.

So I have two questions.

In Mahayana Buddhism is it really and truly considered that there is just one Adi-Buddha, provided that there are infinite Buddhas that have always been Enlightened forever in the paradigm that I have mentioned (reality being infinite and unlimited, and having no beginning or end, so it would go to say that there are infinite Buddhas at this moment and our pocket of the Saha world contains a limited amount of unenlightened folk, the Saha world being a limited material place)? If so how and why? And also, could this Adi-Buddha, being the One, if there is One, be Gautama Buddha Himself?

I know in what is considered the Greatest Mahayana Sutra, The Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha talks about how He attained His Enlightenment as Bodhisattva Never Disparaging in the very, very, distant, distant past, in conjunction with the Lifespan of the Thus Come One Chapter, His Enlightenment is spoken of being many eons of asamkhyas of kalpas of ages and lifetimes before His meditation at Gaya under the Bodhi Tree. However, from what I notice in His behaviour in the Bodhisattva Never Disparaging Chapter of the Lotus Sutra, His behaviour is of a perfect Buddha in disguise. Could His description of first coming to Enlightenment as that Bodhisattva be another Expedient Means? How wonderful that would be! And in life, in Buddha, when we ask and look for the Wonderful, it often comes to be more than True.

Are there any notions in Buddhism anywhere that imply that Shakyamuni Buddha is the Adi-Buddha? I mean, He has already gone through provisional Enlightenment more than quadrillions of times based on the account in the Lotus Sutra of how long He has been in the Saha world, so if we are to follow His Path would there not be a correct doing on His part in hiding the fact that He is the Adi-Buddha, and portray Himself in a humble light, a Bodhisattva who attained Enlightenment by the most powerful Teaching, to then Teach to others, and lead them on the Way? This asks for people to follow His Path instead of being awestruck or feeling less than Him because we are not Enlightened yet.

Are there any texts of any Mahayana or possibly Tibetan origin, maybe of the Tantric tradition that talk of or hint that Gautama is the Adi Buddha? Across any traditions in the Mahayana Universes has anyone ever been taught such a Teaching? Let me know. I would like to know. As this subject is important to me. Even if it is or was just a passing phrase by a Teacher or praise directed towards the Buddha in a text or Sutra.

Om Mani Padme Hum.

Thank you. :namaste:

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I think there is something like that in the beginning of the Brahma Net sutra. Why would you want to believe that? Why not the Perfection of Wisdom sutras, which say that Buddha is empty like all other phenomena. Adibuddha is also empty.
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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Re: Are there any details or evidences anywhere in any part of Mahayana Buddhism that Gautama Buddha is the Adi-Buddha?

Post by Aemilius »

"Adapa was a Mesopotamian mythical figure who unknowingly refused the gift of immortality. The story, commonly known as "Adapa and the South Wind", is known from fragmentary tablets from Tell el-Amarna in Egypt (around 14th century BC) and from finds from the Library of Ashurbanipal, Assyria (around 7th century BC).

Adapa was an important figure in Mesopotamian religion. His name would be used to invoke power in exorcism rituals. He also became an archetype for a wise ruler. In that context, his name would be invoked to evoke favorable comparisons.

When the story of Adapa was first rediscovered some scholars saw a resemblance with the story of the biblical Adam."

The group of Indo-Iranian languages includes the languages of Iran/Mesopotamia and Northern India. The corresponding words in Indian languages, i.e. Adinatha and Adibuddha, are obviously related to the word Adapa.

We do not grasp at words, like the words Adipa or Adapa.
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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Re: Are there any details or evidences anywhere in any part of Mahayana Buddhism that Gautama Buddha is the Adi-Buddha?

Post by FiveSkandhas »

Through the lens of Japanese Shingon and Tendai mikkyo (or "esotericism," often labeled "East Asian Vajrayana"), a strong argument can be made that Mahāvairocana (in the form of Dainichi Nyorai, 大日如来) is the equivalent to the Adibuddha.

According to at least some (but perhaps not all; I am not certain) strains of medieval Japanese esotericism, Dainichi Nyorai was seen as the dharmakaya form of Shakyamuni Guatama Buddha.
"One should cultivate contemplation in one’s foibles. The foibles are like fish, and contemplation is like fishing hooks. If there are no fish, then the fishing hooks have no use. The bigger the fish is, the better the result we will get. As long as the fishing hooks keep at it, all foibles will eventually be contained and controlled at will." -Zhiyi
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Re: Are there any details or evidences anywhere in any part of Mahayana Buddhism that Gautama Buddha is the Adi-Buddha?

Post by Caoimhghín »

This is an interesting theory, but I will say that the cultures featuring the Adapa figure seem to all be Afro-Asiatic and none Indo-European/Indo-Aryan.
Then, the monks sang this gāthā:

These bodies are like foam.
Them being frail, who can rejoice in them?
The Buddha attained the vajra-body.
Still, it becomes inconstant and rots.
The many Buddhas are vajra-entities.
All are also subject to inconstancy.
Quickly ended, like melting snow --
how could things be different?

The Buddha passed into parinirvāṇa afterward.
(T1.27b10 Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra DĀ 2)
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Re: Are there any details or evidences anywhere in any part of Mahayana Buddhism that Gautama Buddha is the Adi-Buddha?

Post by Aemilius »

"Indo-Iranian peoples, also known as Indo-Iranic peoples by scholars, and sometimes as Arya or Aryans from their self-designation, were a group of Indo-European peoples who brought the Indo-Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family, to major parts of Eurasia in the second part of the 3rd millennium BC. They eventually branched out into Iranian peoples and Indo-Aryan peoples.

The term Aryan has been used historically to denote the Indo-Iranians, because Arya is the self designation of the ancient speakers of the Indo-Iranian languages, specifically the Iranian and the Indo-Aryan peoples, collectively known as the Indo-Iranians. Some scholars now use the term Indo-Iranian to refer to this group, while the term "Aryan" is used to mean "Indo-Iranian" by other scholars such as Josef Wiesehofer, Will Durant, and Jaakko Häkkinen. Population geneticist Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, in his 1994 book The History and Geography of Human Genes, also uses the term Aryan to describe the Indo-Iranians."

The Myth of Adapa (also known as Adapa and the Food of Life) is the Mesopotamian story of the Fall of Man in that it explains why human beings are mortal. The god of wisdom, Ea, creates the first man, Adapa, and endows him with great intelligence and wisdom but not with immortality, and when immortality is offered Adapa by the great god Anu, Ea tricks Adapa into refusing the gift.

Though it is not expressed directly in the myth, Ea's reasoning in this seems similar to Yahweh's in the Genesis story from the Bible where, after Adam and Eve are cursed for eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, Yahweh casts them out before they can also eat of the Tree of Life:

“Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever; Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden”(Genesis 3:22-23)

If Adam and Eve were immortal they would be on par with Yahweh and there would be a loss of status for the god; and this is Ea’s same reasoning in the Adapa myth. In the Genesis myth, man takes knowledge for himself by eating of the tree; in the Mesopotamian myth, the god Ea grants man knowledge in the process of creation. Knowing that Adapa is already wise, Ea (like Yahweh in the later story from Genesis) needs to keep the man in his place.

Adapa was the king of the city of Eridu and, the myth tells us, went fishing one day in the Persian Gulf when the south wind suddenly capsized his boat and hurled him into the sea. Furious at this, Adapa broke the wing of the south wind and for seven days the wind could not blow. The sky god Anu is angered by this and sends for Adapa to explain himself. Adapa receives counsel from Ea on how he should behave in the court of the gods. As Ea is Adapa's father-god and creator, Adapa trusts him to tell him the truth. But Ea fears that Anu is apt to offer Adapa the food and drink of eternal life and Ea is intent on making sure that Adapa does not accept the offer.
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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Re: Are there any details or evidences anywhere in any part of Mahayana Buddhism that Gautama Buddha is the Adi-Buddha?

Post by Brahma »

Thank you for your kind responses.

To me the strength of the Adi-Buddha comes from the idea that there is an Eternal Buddha, and why I ask: "is it Gautama?" is because I want to perceive the secret of whether Gautama Buddha, the most revered Buddha in modern History, is the Adi-Buddha. I want to understand the Adi-Buddha, His emanations, His non-difference of full Buddha-Nature with regards to the other Buddhas, as well as His complete unity with all phenomena in perfect Sunyata and Anatta once the entire world and all phenomena are liberated, as is stated will happen and has already [outside of time, in the future] within the actual pages of the Lotus Sutra. There are things in Buddhism some Teachers uphold based on Tradition, while others break boundaries, but the true Buddhas have the Same mind. In the Buddhist text I revere the most, the Lotus Sutra, which is full of revolutionary ideas yet clear paths of Expedient Means to them, it is taught that Buddha came to Enlightenment at one point by hearing the Teachings of the Lotus Sutra in a distant past life. I hold to that Teaching when speaking about the Lotus Sutra. But could it's Teaching reveal something diffident? That Gautama Buddha has always been Enlightened? I ask this because this is not just a question for the schools of Buddhism that revere the Lotus Sutra as an important Sutra, but for all Buddhist lineages that revere Gautama Buddha and who He is. The real reason I ask is to honour the Buddha in this question, and to ask to reveal the Truth, because however humble the Buddha has been in saying that 1) first He achieved Enlightenment at Gaya and then 2) in a distant past life He achieved Enlightenment as a Bodhisattva, perhaps there is a 3) that He has always been Enlightened and that this is a subject that needs to be revealed. So I do continue to ask: does anyone have such information on this subject matter as it is important? :smile:

Om Mani Padme Hum.

:namaste:
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Re: Are there any details or evidences anywhere in any part of Mahayana Buddhism that Gautama Buddha is the Adi-Buddha?

Post by Ayu »

Brahma wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:09 am ..., perhaps there is a 3) that He has always been Enlightened and that this is a subject that needs to be revealed. So I do continue to ask: does anyone have such information on this subject matter as it is important? :smile:
Well, this is clearly not what is taught and what is the important message in Buddhism. This tells more about your desire than about buddhist teachings. :smile:
With our buddhanature, we are human beings. There is no such a thing as an external superhuman. The Buddha shows how to develop ourselves.
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:
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Re: Are there any details or evidences anywhere in any part of Mahayana Buddhism that Gautama Buddha is the Adi-Buddha?

Post by Aemilius »

In the Lankavatara sutra Buddha discusses the question in what sense he is same as the previous Buddhas, then he enumerates some of the previous ones like Krakucchanda etc... But he also points out that names of buddhas are empty. Is Buddha B, u, d, dh or a? This is also asked in the Lankavatara.
What are you grasping at in the idea of an Adibuddha? Time is empty of reality, empty of inherent existence. Time is merely a concept, this teaching is found even in the Sravakayana sutras or suttas.

The Buddhist conception of time and temporality; David J. Kalupahana
Philosophy East and West 24, no. 2, APRIL 1974.
The University Press of Hawaii
p.181-191
http://www.chinabuddhismencyclopedia.co ... emporality
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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Re: Are there any details or evidences anywhere in any part of Mahayana Buddhism that Gautama Buddha is the Adi-Buddha?

Post by Caoimhghín »

Brahma wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:09 amperhaps there is a 3) that He has always been Enlightened and that this is a subject that needs to be revealed. So I do continue to ask: does anyone have such information on this subject matter as it is important?
Why on earth would it be important whether or not a being didn't have to practice Buddhism to become a Buddha? It matters little to deluded sentient beings if there is an inconceivable overlord who doesn't need to practice six perfections to become a Buddha. Deluded beings need to practice six perfections either way.

When you postulate an overlord who has always been enlightened then you just pass the puck of "first Buddha" to his first student. If the Buddha has always been enlightened, he is not a Buddha, as he has never "woken up," always having been "awake." So the "first Buddha" just becomes the student of this master. The whole things sort of falls apart, because the Buddha is no longer the Buddha.

The only way it would become "important" that such a being existed was if we were that being, as hinted as in your OP, and all I can say is that if you think everyone is primordially enlightened as the primordial Buddha, then there is no need for Buddhas. It sounds like the OP at worst is just looking for an excuse not to practice six perfections and to declare the work done before it has been completed or at best is trying to make an argument for Theistic Buddhism.

The question of the Buddha's parinirvana that you attribute to the Lotus Sutra is already present in East Asian Madhyamaka:
Now, names do not arise in a vacuum, designations do not arise by themselves. The designations found in the sutras, “nirvana with remainder” and “nirvana without remainder,” must be, respectively, the true name for the return to the root and the wondrous designation for the way of spirit. Allow me to speak of these in turn.

When the Tathāgata attained great awakening and his Dharma body was established, he bathed in the pure waters of the eight kinds of liberation and found repose in the verdant grove of the seven limbs of awakening. After cultivating wholesome deeds for innumerable aeons, he at last shook off the dust accumulated over time immemorial. The three illuminations mirrored within him, his spiritual glow illuminated without. Having at first armed himself with the bodhisattva’s resolve, finally, in universal compassion, he delved into the world of human distress.

Above, he held on to the root of mysteries; below, he reached out to lift the weak and the forlorn. He strode beyond the threefold world; he trod alone into the Great Square. He opened up the eightfold path, a road for the multitude, broad and gentle. He mounted the spirit-steed of the six ṛddhipādas and rode the royal carriage comprised of the five vehicles. At will he crossed the border between life and death, joining with beings as they wandered in samsara, his way harmonized with all, his virtue reaching everywhere. He plunged to where the root of manifestation gives origin to being, and fully activated the wondrous function of the mysterious mechanism. He draped the firmament of vacuity beyond all borders, and stoked the fire of omniscience to illumine the darkness. He was ready to erase his traces from the nine abodes of being and immerse himself forever in great vacuity, yet there remained in him a residue of karmic conditions, traces not yet effaced. This residue lingered on like a cloud-soul, and his sagely wisdom endured.

This is nirvana with remainder. In the words of scripture, “Myriad afflictions are no more, as though transmuted into pure gold, yet his numinous cognition alone abides.”

When the Perfect had taught what had to be taught, he extinguished forever his numinous illumination and vanished into the boundless and nonmanifest: this is nirvana without remainder.

Of all forms of disease, none is greater than that of having a body — he extinguished the body. Of all forms of torment, none is more severe than that of having a calculating mind — he erased it and submerged in the vacuous. The mind is taxed by the body; the body is burdened by the intellect. The two pull each other, turning like a wheel on the endless road of misery. It is said in a sutra, “The intellect is poison, the body is shackles. Because of them the abysmal silence of liberation remains beyond reach; they are the cause of all tribulations.”

The Perfect turned his body into ashes and extinguished his intellect, he relinquished his form and discarded his reason. Within, he abandoned the stirrings of illumination; without, he put to rest the basis of misery. Transcendent, perfectly free from all existents; boundless, he became great and vacuous. Tranquil, inaudible, clear, non-manifest, mysteriously gone forever into a destination unknown. When a lamp goes out its flame is extinguished, the oil and the flame gone all at once.

This is nirvana without remainder. In the words of a sutra, “The five aggregates are no more, like a flame extinguished.”

This being so, nirvana with remainder can indeed be called “the nameable,” while nirvana without remainder may be called “the nameless.” With non-nameability asserted, partisans of emptiness will be gratified to find sanction for their belief that in the all-pervading silence; with nameability affirmed, those concerned about virtue and morals will have the Sage's actions to look up to as their model. Such are the teachings imparted to us in the authoritative scriptures, the tracks laid down by the sages of old.

“Considered from within, neither is it existent nor nonexistent; viewed from without, language fails to approach it. Seeing and hearing do not reach it, the four kinds of formlessness obscure it even further.”

When lovers of virtue hear this doctrine they will despair; when proponents of emptiness hear it they will be left without a refuge. It describes a state no different from that of someone who, even though his eyes and ears are as obtuse as when he was still in the womb, and for whom the heavenly bodies are obscured beyond the most distant clouds, nevertheless attempts to pronounce on fine distinctions in musical notation and to discuss the diverse appearances of the astral phenomena. He knows only to banish the Perfect outside of being and nonbeing, to sing lofty praises of what is beyond forms and names. Yet all the while his words lead nowhere and block the recondite path, instead of revealing it. Though he ponders on them intently, they do not bring him peace. Are they really the light in the dark chamber, the wondrous sound that restores hearing to the deaf?

The terms “with remainder” and “without remainder” are only external appellations for nirvana, conventional designations for the divergent modes of the sages’ responding to things. Those who cling to concepts will be bound by concepts; those who are attached to forms and images will be constrained by forms and images. Names reach no further than the definable; forms stop at the square and the round. But there are things that “square” and “round” cannot capture, and things that concepts cannot convey. How could names express the unnameable, how could forms truly capture the formless?

It is correct to say that the terms “with remainder” and “without remainder” describe the two modes establishing the teaching, through action and through quiescence, or the two modes of the Tathāgata’s supreme activity, the manifest and the hidden. But they do not refer to, on the one hand, any dark mysteriously quiescent principle beyond words, or, on the other, to some wondrous workings of the Perfect in the center of the maṇḍala. Have you never heard of “correct contemplation”? Vimalakīrti said, “The way I see the Buddha is as one with no beginning or end, one who has transcended the six senses, who has left the triple world behind, one who is neither somewhere nor nowhere, who neither acts nor does not act, one who can neither be cognized with consciousness nor known with knowledge, one beyond language, one whose mental operations are extinguished. To view in this manner is called to contemplate correctly; to view otherwise is to not see the Buddha.” As "The Radiance" (a Chinese title for the Pañcaviṃśatisāhasrikā) says, “The Buddha is like empty space. He neither comes nor goes. He manifests in response to conditions, he dwells in no definite location.”

As for the Sage’s position in the world: silent, vacuous, he does not grasp, he does not contend, he leads without asserting himself, he responds to each stimulus without fail, like an echo in a dark valley or images in a clear mirror. Face him, no one knows from where he came; follow him, no one knows where he goes. He emerges suddenly into being, suddenly he disappears. The more active he is, the more quiescent; the more hidden, the more manifest. From the darkness he emerges, to the darkness he returns; his transformations follow no predefined pattern.

As for these appellations, they are established to indicate the various modes of sagely response. When the Sage manifests traces, we call this “arising”; when he makes them vanish, we call this “cessation.” His “arising” is referred to as nirvana “with remainder,” his “cessation” as nirvana “without remainder.” All along both appellations — “with” and “without remainder” — remain rooted in the nameless. Surely the nameless will take any name? Thus, the Perfect becomes a square when he inhabits a square, a circle when he stops in a circle, a deva when among devas, a human being when among humans. To become a deva or a human being in accordance with circumstance is surely not something that devas or humans could do. It is precisely because he is neither a deva nor a human that he can become one or the other.

As for his transformative rule, he merely responds, he does not act deliberately; he follows the causes, he is not being charitable. Not being charitable, his charity is perfect; not acting deliberately, his action is unsurpassed. He is unsurpassed in his action, yet he goes back to ordinary accomplishments. He is perfect in his charity, yet in the end he returns to the nameless.

It is said in scripture, “The Bodhimārga cannot be measured; it has no top, no bottom, it is expansive, and deep without limit. Great, it envelops Heaven and Earth; miniscule, it penetrates into that which has no openings. Thus it is called ‘mārga.’” Clearly “being” or “nonbeing” cannot capture the path to the uncreated (asaṁskṛtagāmimārga).

Yet when the deluded consider the Buddha’s extraordinary feats in the world they assert his existence, and when they reflect on his passing into cessation they assert his nonexistence. Yet how could one, from within this realm of being and nonbeing, from this domain of delusive thought, adequately express his difficult Dharma and adjudicate on the sagely mind?

I say that the Perfect is quiescent, imperceptible, without any external form. The hidden and the manifest aspects of his being originate in one source. Although present, he does not “exist”; gone, he does not “nonexist.”

How so? The Buddha said, “There is no birth realm where I am not born, but I am never born. There is no form that I do not take on, but even while embodied I do not have a body.” This means that though present, he does not “exist.” It is also said in a sutra, “The Bodhisattva entered limitless samādhis and saw all the Buddhas of the past who had passed into cessation.” Also, “He entered nirvana, yet did not enter parinirvāṇa.” From this we know that, while vanishing, the Tathāgata does not simply nonexist. Not nonexistent: while nonexistent, he exists. Not existent: while existing, he does not exist. Existing, he is nonexistent: therefore “being” cannot be attributed to him. Nonexistent, he exists: thus “nonbeing” likewise does not apply.

Hence, we can conclude that nirvana transcends the domain of being and nonbeing, and leaves the path of names and images far behind.

Yet the Sage saw the body as the source of the greatest distress, so he extinguished the body and returned to nothingness. He saw the unawakened mind as the source of the greatest torment, so he eradicated it to submerge in the vacuous. Is this not a violation of the Sage’s spiritual perfection, an injustice to his profound teaching?

It is said in the Flower Garland, “The Dharma body is formless, in responding to things it takes on particular shapes. Prajñā has no knowledge, it just illuminates in response to objects.”

As the Sage hastens to engage the myriad events, his spirit stays unperturbed; as he responds to each of a thousand exigencies, his mind remains unruffled. In movement, he is like wandering clouds; in repose, he is like the valley spirit. Would he tangle his mind in discriminations between “this” and “that,” or his emotions in the distinction between “movement” and “repose”?

Since he does not bring a deliberate mind to his movement or stillness, he does not show discrete forms in his coming and going. Since he does not impute a discrete form to his coming and going, there are no shapes that he cannot assume. Since he does not bring a deliberate mind to his movement or stillness, there are no stimuli to which he fails to respond,

What I mean is that the Sage’s “mind” arises in response to the deliberate mind of beings; his “forms” emerge in response to the existing forms in the world. Since his forms do not emerge from his self, even if he were to tread on molten rock and metal he would not be burned. Since his mind arises not from his self, even though he delves into everyday affairs he remains unperturbed. Could the tangles of conventional distinctions like that between self and other constrain his self?

Thus the Sage’s wisdom embraces all things yet it is never belabored; his bodily form fills the eight directions but this brings him no distress. If you add to him, he will not overflow; if you subtract from him, he will not be lessened. How could anyone take literally the story that he contracted dysentery on the way to Kuśinagara, that his life ended under the twin trees, that his mind ceased in the regal casket, and that his body was cremated on a pyre? Yet all the while the deluded, investigating the traces of his extraordinary responsiveness, cling to the evidence of their eyes and ears. Carpenter’s square and ruler in hand, they go about trying to measure the Great Square: they want to find the Perfect belabored by knowledge and distressed by bodily form. “He discarded being to delve into nonbeing,” they claim, and then assign to him the corresponding names.

Surely what they do is not picking words of subtlety from the realm beyond speech, or pulling the root of mystery from the vacuous field.
(Venerable Sēngzhào 肇論 Zhào's Essays T1858.158a4)
Then, the monks sang this gāthā:

These bodies are like foam.
Them being frail, who can rejoice in them?
The Buddha attained the vajra-body.
Still, it becomes inconstant and rots.
The many Buddhas are vajra-entities.
All are also subject to inconstancy.
Quickly ended, like melting snow --
how could things be different?

The Buddha passed into parinirvāṇa afterward.
(T1.27b10 Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra DĀ 2)
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Brahma
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Re: Are there any details or evidences anywhere in any part of Mahayana Buddhism that Gautama Buddha is the Adi-Buddha?

Post by Brahma »

Aemilius wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 10:06 am In the Lankavatara sutra Buddha discusses the question in what sense he is same as the previous Buddhas, then he enumerates some of the previous ones like Krakucchanda etc... But he also points out that names of buddhas are empty. Is Buddha B, u, d, dh or a? This is also asked in the Lankavatara.
What are you grasping at in the idea of an Adibuddha? Time is empty of reality, empty of inherent existence. Time is merely a concept, this teaching is found even in the Sravakayana sutras or suttas.

The Buddhist conception of time and temporality; David J. Kalupahana
Philosophy East and West 24, no. 2, APRIL 1974.
The University Press of Hawaii
p.181-191
http://www.chinabuddhismencyclopedia.co ... emporality
What you are saying is Wonderful to me. What I am grasping at in the concept of the Adi-Buddha is primarily the idea that Gautama has always been Enlightened. If that is true, and if that were said more commonly, other Buddhists who truly are like the Adi-Buddha, could more easily come out as beginninglessly Enlightened, Eternally Enlightened, and forever infinitely Enlightened. Then those of us who haven't always been Enlightened could ask more about our origins as living beings and where we came from in our own beginingless nature, what part of consciousness we Emanated from, and modem about the thusness that brings people to Enlightenment, because it has a lot to do with what one wants to be and not always their level of learning, study, meditation, or even forbearance. If someone wants to be a Buddha they generally become a Buddha, if that's all they want. If they have other desires, they may fall down or take their time becoming Enlightened.
Caoimhghín wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:12 am
Brahma wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:09 amperhaps there is a 3) that He has always been Enlightened and that this is a subject that needs to be revealed. So I do continue to ask: does anyone have such information on this subject matter as it is important?
Why on earth would it be important whether or not a being didn't have to practice Buddhism to become a Buddha? It matters little to deluded sentient beings if there is an inconceivable overlord who doesn't need to practice six perfections to become a Buddha. Deluded beings need to practice six perfections either way.

When you postulate an overlord who has always been enlightened then you just pass the puck of "first Buddha" to his first student.

The only way it would become "important" that such a being existed was if we were that being, as hinted as in your OP, and all I can say is that if you think everyone is primordially enlightened as the primordial Buddha, then there is no need for Buddhas. It sounds like the OP at worst is just looking for an excuse not to practice six perfections and to declare the work done before it has been completed or at best is trying to make an argument for Theistic Buddhism.
Everything the Buddha has stated about Himself in the Lotus Sutra is important. And His Truths open up as a Lotus Flower, and everything in His life comes to a great show of fortitude as to how someone aught to live their life as a Buddhist.

But how can you say that just because someone is Enlightened already from a past life a or from forever ago, that they don't need to practice Buddhism fully? Gautama seems to do it all the time, especially even if we take His first Enlightenment as Bodhisattva Never Disparaging, it goes to show just how much a Buddha practices the six perfections, being provisionally Enlightened, over and over, having nothing but the full devotion to Buddhism and Buddhahood. It is truly the best life to live for a Spiritual Being and being such there are no deviations from the Path. There is no conceit in Buddhahood, and the Buddhas are the perfect authors of Peace. I think it is because of certain doubts that Gautama Buddha doesn't often come out as the Adi-Buddha if He is. But if He is the Adi-Buddha I believe it is important for everyone to know that, when they are ready, to understand His purpose and their own need for Spiritual Progress on that Path, to become His Emanations in full and clear knowledge.

:anjali:
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Brahma
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Re: Are there any details or evidences anywhere in any part of Mahayana Buddhism that Gautama Buddha is the Adi-Buddha?

Post by Brahma »

Caoimhghín, thank you for the East Asian Madhyamaka take on the Buddha and His Nirvana. There are a lot of deep questions as to whether the Enlightened One was ever even in this world in a material body, or whether He was an Emanation of Nirvana itself. When someone saw the Buddha, they may have asked ask Him, "are You Nirvana?" and even if He didn't give an ample answer to the unready aspirant, He would show the Path exactly to Nibbana by the power of His Teachings. But one thing, whatever one believes about this Saha world, be they thinking it's matter or Spirit or a combination of both, they must understand that experience is a manifold system. Although all the pain the Buddha sensed and experienced throughout His life and departure was to Him an illusion, Him being above it as the Tathagata, that illusion of pain was still manifest, and although the Buddha is an infinite being, He still took a form. The mystery of His Mahakaruna was where did He come from? And I believe He came from Metta, Metta, and more Metta. My primary question with regards to the Adi-Buddha makes me ask the questions of the origins and Eternality of Buddhist Maitri, which I think is the basis and meaning of all life's experience. We are not alone. :twothumbsup:
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