A Mahayana version of "In the Buddha's Words"

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Kai lord
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Re: A Mahayana version of "In the Buddha's Words"

Post by Kai lord »

Javierfv1212 wrote: Mon Aug 01, 2022 3:10 pm Also, do you guys think we missed any important Mahayana subjects?
Saṃdhinirmocana Chapter 9, The twenty two obstructions starting from the first bhumi to the eleventh bhumi. Surprised you guys never include that.

Shunyatagarbha wrote: Tue Aug 02, 2022 5:47 am
Kai lord wrote: Mon Aug 01, 2022 1:49 pm Natural “Joyous Vajra” is the source union of clear light and emptiness;
Practice “Joyous Vajra” is the path union of means and wisdom;
Result “Joyous Vajra” is the union of the two kayas.
It's alright it turns out "Joyous Vajra" is nothing but a translation of the word "Hevajra". But it does make me wonder, why all these references to Anuttarayoga tantras in a section that is supposed to be about a compilation of readings from the Mahayana sutra basket?
Guhyasamāja Tantra reference was already in this thread for quite sometimes, so your question was asked several posts too late.
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Zhen Li
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Re: A Mahayana version of "In the Buddha's Words"

Post by Zhen Li »

Kai lord wrote: Tue Aug 02, 2022 7:12 am Saṃdhinirmocana Chapter 9, The twenty two obstructions starting from the first bhumi to the eleventh bhumi. Surprised you guys never include that.
Let's include it. I've only read through the Saṃdhinirmocana, I haven't studied it in depth.

Regarding Hevajra and Guhyasamāja, they certainly won't be included and nothing that requires empowerment has been included so far.
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Re: A Mahayana version of "In the Buddha's Words"

Post by Javierfv1212 »

Zhen Li wrote: Tue Aug 02, 2022 7:37 am
Kai lord wrote: Tue Aug 02, 2022 7:12 am Saṃdhinirmocana Chapter 9, The twenty two obstructions starting from the first bhumi to the eleventh bhumi. Surprised you guys never include that.
Let's include it. I've only read through the Saṃdhinirmocana, I haven't studied it in depth.

Regarding Hevajra and Guhyasamāja, they certainly won't be included and nothing that requires empowerment has been included so far.
Yea, we're only using this organization structure, which is found in the Guhyasamaja, because its useful. Also, as I pointed out above, you can find something like it in Asanga, so its not just a tantric thing.

I did add a section on Dharanis, because they are just too important to general Mahayana to leave out. I don't see dharanis as "esoteric" though or as uniquely a vajrayana thing. As far as I know, they are just as widespread in Mahayana Buddhism as other texts and practices. People chant them, inscribe them on surfaces and use them in a wide variety of ways without any esoteric transmission.

Anyways, Zhen Li, I went ahead and updated the site with your previous suggestions as well. I think there's a decent outline now - though of course, subject to further additions and revisions (comments are welcome from everyone!).

I guess the next question is how do we want to proceed moving forward? Should we mainly use the website and start adding sub-pages with translations done by others (pulled from 84000, BDK, and other widely available sources like Conze's translations) to sort of build the basic text? I guess this is an easy way to start, and then over time we can start to replace these with our own translations or editions (we don't have to re-translate everything from scratch either if we can get permission from certain parties).

One concern with this process is that the various translations do not use a uniform vocabulary, so we should try to get a set of commonly used Buddhist terms and agree on what english words we should render them as so that they are all the same across the various texts. If not, this could get confusing for people pretty quickly.
It is quite impossible to find the Buddha anywhere other than in one's own mind.
A person who is ignorant of this may seek externally,
but how is it possible to find oneself through seeking anywhere other than in oneself?
Someone who seeks their own nature externally is like a fool who, giving a performance in the middle of a crowd, forgets who he is and then seeks everywhere else to find himself.
— Padmasambhava

Visit my site: https://sites.google.com/view/abhayajana/
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Re: A Mahayana version of "In the Buddha's Words"

Post by Zhen Li »

Javierfv1212 wrote: Tue Aug 02, 2022 2:37 pm I guess the next question is how do we want to proceed moving forward? Should we mainly use the website and start adding sub-pages with translations done by others (pulled from 84000, BDK, and other widely available sources like Conze's translations) to sort of build the basic text? I guess this is an easy way to start, and then over time we can start to replace these with our own translations or editions (we don't have to re-translate everything from scratch either if we can get permission from certain parties).

One concern with this process is that the various translations do not use a uniform vocabulary, so we should try to get a set of commonly used Buddhist terms and agree on what english words we should render them as so that they are all the same across the various texts. If not, this could get confusing for people pretty quickly.
A google site is a nice way to have something public facing that everyone can view as it is updated, but it might make more sense for those who offered to edit to be added to a google drive folder with google docs files (I can begin this and add you and the other participant who offered to edit later today). This has a few advantages, one is that it will make the process of switching to print easier eventually. Another is that google docs has a spell check, and also we can leave comments there rather than discuss minute word choices on DW. This can then be pasted back into the site when it is ready.

I noticed Google docs doesn't handle large word files so well (they tend to slow it down). So, it might be best for us to make one file for the three parts.

The 3 sections of each part (two dualities and their resolution) can be chapter divisions, and each point within each can be a section, which could even have subsections. Each chapter can have an introduction, similar to In the Buddha's Words.

I agree that if we use existing translations, we would need to "adapt" them. I made Pure Land glossary based on the Shorter Sukhāvatīvyūha, which has hypertext links to the glossary entries, and I am using this for my Pure Land text translations going forward and expanding it. I think something like this will be necessary both for the website and for a print version.
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Re: A Mahayana version of "In the Buddha's Words"

Post by Javierfv1212 »

Zhen Li wrote: Tue Aug 02, 2022 3:38 pm
Javierfv1212 wrote: Tue Aug 02, 2022 2:37 pm I guess the next question is how do we want to proceed moving forward? Should we mainly use the website and start adding sub-pages with translations done by others (pulled from 84000, BDK, and other widely available sources like Conze's translations) to sort of build the basic text? I guess this is an easy way to start, and then over time we can start to replace these with our own translations or editions (we don't have to re-translate everything from scratch either if we can get permission from certain parties).

One concern with this process is that the various translations do not use a uniform vocabulary, so we should try to get a set of commonly used Buddhist terms and agree on what english words we should render them as so that they are all the same across the various texts. If not, this could get confusing for people pretty quickly.
A google site is a nice way to have something public facing that everyone can view as it is updated, but it might make more sense for those who offered to edit to be added to a google drive folder with google docs files (I can begin this and add you and the other participant who offered to edit later today). This has a few advantages, one is that it will make the process of switching to print easier eventually. Another is that google docs has a spell check, and also we can leave comments there rather than discuss minute word choices on DW. This can then be pasted back into the site when it is ready.

I noticed Google docs doesn't handle large word files so well (they tend to slow it down). So, it might be best for us to make one file for the three parts.

The 3 sections of each part (two dualities and their resolution) can be chapter divisions, and each point within each can be a section, which could even have subsections. Each chapter can have an introduction, similar to In the Buddha's Words.

I agree that if we use existing translations, we would need to "adapt" them. I made Pure Land glossary based on the Shorter Sukhāvatīvyūha, which has hypertext links to the glossary entries, and I am using this for my Pure Land text translations going forward and expanding it. I think something like this will be necessary both for the website and for a print version.
Nice, looks like we are on the way to getting started then. I guess if anyone else reading this wants to get involved they should contact Zhen Li, since our discussion will probably move to the google docs / email etc. No need to keep posting all the details here.

I added a Glossary page to the website and copied over some of the most general Mahayana terms from your Pure Land Glossary, we can start adding key terms there, starting with some from your Pure Land Glossary
It is quite impossible to find the Buddha anywhere other than in one's own mind.
A person who is ignorant of this may seek externally,
but how is it possible to find oneself through seeking anywhere other than in oneself?
Someone who seeks their own nature externally is like a fool who, giving a performance in the middle of a crowd, forgets who he is and then seeks everywhere else to find himself.
— Padmasambhava

Visit my site: https://sites.google.com/view/abhayajana/
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Queequeg
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Re: A Mahayana version of "In the Buddha's Words"

Post by Queequeg »

A thought on the basis/path/result organization -

It might be interesting to take note of other ways the canon has been organized in the past. This was a bit of a popular approach in Chinese Buddhism that has since influenced and defines many forms of e. Asian Buddhism.

In Tiantai alone there are four that I can think of. Huayan had it's systems.

The way I approach these systems is as different lenses that can be directed at the canon to view the same subject matter a different way. I don't think it needs to be extensive but can give the reader some context on the particular way the material is presented and that this approach is definitive. Or maybe some think it is...
You said, "Do you believe what you're sayin'?"
Yeah, right now, but not that often.

-Modest Mouse

Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter
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Javierfv1212
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Re: A Mahayana version of "In the Buddha's Words"

Post by Javierfv1212 »

Queequeg wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 10:03 pm A thought on the basis/path/result organization -

It might be interesting to take note of other ways the canon has been organized in the past. This was a bit of a popular approach in Chinese Buddhism that has since influenced and defines many forms of e. Asian Buddhism.

In Tiantai alone there are four that I can think of. Huayan had it's systems.

The way I approach these systems is as different lenses that can be directed at the canon to view the same subject matter a different way. I don't think it needs to be extensive but can give the reader some context on the particular way the material is presented and that this approach is definitive. Or maybe some think it is...
The problem is that these are all sectarian things.

You're talking about panchiaos right?
It is quite impossible to find the Buddha anywhere other than in one's own mind.
A person who is ignorant of this may seek externally,
but how is it possible to find oneself through seeking anywhere other than in oneself?
Someone who seeks their own nature externally is like a fool who, giving a performance in the middle of a crowd, forgets who he is and then seeks everywhere else to find himself.
— Padmasambhava

Visit my site: https://sites.google.com/view/abhayajana/
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Queequeg
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Re: A Mahayana version of "In the Buddha's Words"

Post by Queequeg »

Javierfv1212 wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:55 pm
Queequeg wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 10:03 pm A thought on the basis/path/result organization -

It might be interesting to take note of other ways the canon has been organized in the past. This was a bit of a popular approach in Chinese Buddhism that has since influenced and defines many forms of e. Asian Buddhism.

In Tiantai alone there are four that I can think of. Huayan had it's systems.

The way I approach these systems is as different lenses that can be directed at the canon to view the same subject matter a different way. I don't think it needs to be extensive but can give the reader some context on the particular way the material is presented and that this approach is definitive. Or maybe some think it is...
The problem is that these are all sectarian things.

You're talking about panchiaos right?
Sure. But so is the system we're presently applying. This approach is not generally used in E. Asia. I'm not interested in privileging any particular system, but without acknowledging this one we're using is as arbitrary as any other, it gets privileged. If the aim is to present an overarching study, then it's worth a mention.

Just a suggestion.
You said, "Do you believe what you're sayin'?"
Yeah, right now, but not that often.

-Modest Mouse

Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter
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Re: A Mahayana version of "In the Buddha's Words"

Post by Malcolm »

Queequeg wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 10:03 pm A thought on the basis/path/result organization -

It might be interesting to take note of other ways the canon has been organized in the past.
It's not an organization of the canon: it's a way of distributing teachings into their relevant nodes.

This was a bit of a popular approach in Chinese Buddhism that has since influenced and defines many forms of e. Asian Buddhism.

In Tiantai alone there are four that I can think of. Huayan had it's systems.
These are ranking systems for deciding which sutras specifically are more important than others. That's why Javier called them "sectarian."

The ground, path, result designations cut across all range of sūtras and tantras, and has precedence in Mahāyāna path literature, like the Mahāyāna Samgraha.

For this reason, I discourage ranking systems like three turnings and so on, because they involve sectarian opinions on the relative values of this and that class of Mahāyāna sutras. For example, those who consider PP sutras to be definitive (second turning), might exclude TG sūtras form the basis category, and so on, when clearly emptiness and tathāgatagarbha are topics related to the basis.
Vases, canvas, bucklers, armies, forests, garlands, trees
houses, chariots, hostelries, and all such things
that common people designate dependent on their parts,
accept as such. For Buddha did not quarrel with the world!

—— Candrakīrti. MAV 6:166
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Re: A Mahayana version of "In the Buddha's Words"

Post by Queequeg »

Malcolm wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 5:12 pm
Queequeg wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 10:03 pm A thought on the basis/path/result organization -

It might be interesting to take note of other ways the canon has been organized in the past.
It's not an organization of the canon: it's a way of distributing teachings into their relevant nodes.

This was a bit of a popular approach in Chinese Buddhism that has since influenced and defines many forms of e. Asian Buddhism.

In Tiantai alone there are four that I can think of. Huayan had it's systems.
These are ranking systems for deciding which sutras specifically are more important than others. That's why Javier called them "sectarian."

The ground, path, result designations cut across all range of sūtras and tantras, and has precedence in Mahāyāna path literature, like the Mahāyāna Samgraha.

For this reason, I discourage ranking systems like three turnings and so on, because they involve sectarian opinions on the relative values of this and that class of Mahāyāna sutras. For example, those who consider PP sutras to be definitive (second turning), might exclude TG sūtras form the basis category, and so on, when clearly emptiness and tathāgatagarbha are topics related to the basis.
Those systems are not really for ranking, though they've been interpreted and used that way. I'd argue that when they are used as ranking systems, they lose their meaning, in fact.

This may be something that needs to be developed down the line, but especially for people coming from E. Asian perspective, there is going to need to be explanation of this organizing system. Personally, I find it very interesting and useful. Its not without its implicit biases, though, especially when all the accreted baggage and sectarian discourse around the system gets dragged into it. Its simply a fact that this does present some peril. Not to say it ought not be done this way... but its naive to just present it as universally accepted approach. An informed explanation of the system, how it came to be used widely in Tibetan Buddhism, its merits, etc. would be very interesting to me, at least.
You said, "Do you believe what you're sayin'?"
Yeah, right now, but not that often.

-Modest Mouse

Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter
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Re: A Mahayana version of "In the Buddha's Words"

Post by Malcolm »

Queequeg wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 10:06 pmAn informed explanation of the system, how it came to be used widely in Tibetan Buddhism, its merits, etc. would be very interesting to me, at least.
Javier pointed out that this scheme can be found in Yogacara, where it likely originated, especially texts like the Mahāyāna Samgraha or the Bodhisattvabhumi (which has a similar basis, path, and result scheme). In this case of that former the basis would be the ālaya-vijñāna, since it is this that needs to purified in the Yogacāra system; the case of the latter text, it would the gotra, etc. The scheme is later picked up in the tantras, and redefined on the basis of a person's continuum, as the citation I provided above.

There are always perils in any classification scheme, of course.
Vases, canvas, bucklers, armies, forests, garlands, trees
houses, chariots, hostelries, and all such things
that common people designate dependent on their parts,
accept as such. For Buddha did not quarrel with the world!

—— Candrakīrti. MAV 6:166
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Re: A Mahayana version of "In the Buddha's Words"

Post by Queequeg »

Malcolm wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 10:46 pm
Queequeg wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 10:06 pmAn informed explanation of the system, how it came to be used widely in Tibetan Buddhism, its merits, etc. would be very interesting to me, at least.
Javier pointed out that this scheme can be found in Yogacara, where it likely originated, especially texts like the Mahāyāna Samgraha or the Bodhisattvabhumi (which has a similar basis, path, and result scheme). In this case of that former the basis would be the ālaya-vijñāna, since it is this that needs to purified in the Yogacāra system; the case of the latter text, it would the gotra, etc. The scheme is later picked up in the tantras, and redefined on the basis of a person's continuum, as the citation I provided above.

There are always perils in any classification scheme, of course.
Is there a study of this system and its development?

In thinking about it, and this is my personal interest and not necessarily something that needs or should be in this project, I can see how this organization can be applied to discuss and analyze the panchiao systems, or to reinterpret whole systems anew. Its like a new tool for me.
You said, "Do you believe what you're sayin'?"
Yeah, right now, but not that often.

-Modest Mouse

Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter
Malcolm
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Re: A Mahayana version of "In the Buddha's Words"

Post by Malcolm »

Queequeg wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 10:51 pm

Is there a study of this system and its development?
I think for Tibetan Buddhists, it's like air. You never notice it, but it is essential for all life. :-)
Vases, canvas, bucklers, armies, forests, garlands, trees
houses, chariots, hostelries, and all such things
that common people designate dependent on their parts,
accept as such. For Buddha did not quarrel with the world!

—— Candrakīrti. MAV 6:166
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Re: A Mahayana version of "In the Buddha's Words"

Post by Queequeg »

Malcolm wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 12:23 am
Queequeg wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 10:51 pm

Is there a study of this system and its development?
I think for Tibetan Buddhists, it's like air. You never notice it, but it is essential for all life. :-)
Lurking scholars, behold some obvious low hanging fruit! It is quite a big melon, though. Half a career and tenure at least!
You said, "Do you believe what you're sayin'?"
Yeah, right now, but not that often.

-Modest Mouse

Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter
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Queequeg
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Re: A Mahayana version of "In the Buddha's Words"

Post by Queequeg »

sincere question here.

Doesn't such an unexamined and ubiquitous system pose a danger of engendering bias mistaken for objectivity?
You said, "Do you believe what you're sayin'?"
Yeah, right now, but not that often.

-Modest Mouse

Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter
Malcolm
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Re: A Mahayana version of "In the Buddha's Words"

Post by Malcolm »

Queequeg wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 2:25 pm sincere question here.

Doesn't such an unexamined and ubiquitous system pose a danger of engendering bias mistaken for objectivity?
I don't see how. It is as simple as: This is where you start (NYC). This is the method (train, car, plane). This is the result (LA).

BTW, Midtown has a serious trash issue. The rats are as big as cats. Adams really needs to increase Sanitation. It's disgusting that NYC is so filthy, the city really needs to clean up its act. It's a bad look and it's a public health hazard.
Vases, canvas, bucklers, armies, forests, garlands, trees
houses, chariots, hostelries, and all such things
that common people designate dependent on their parts,
accept as such. For Buddha did not quarrel with the world!

—— Candrakīrti. MAV 6:166
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Queequeg
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Re: A Mahayana version of "In the Buddha's Words"

Post by Queequeg »

My point is made.

As Bill Burr remarked when Rick Moranis was randomly punched on the UWS, "New York's back, baby!"

August is not a good time to be in NYC. Everyone who can leave, leaves and the tourists take over. But yeah, hate to say it but Democratic mayors have a bad track record. They run to implement all kinds of progressive policies and they forget that most city administration is picking up garbage, policing, keeping the fire department ready, filling potholes... Etc.

Bloomberg was the best mayor in the last 50 years. Garcia would have been a better mayor than Adams.

Ps. Unfortunately we're stuck with Adams for the next 7 years. Nobody will primary him and the Republican party in NY is basically dead. We were stuck with Debalsio's mediocrity for the same reason.
You said, "Do you believe what you're sayin'?"
Yeah, right now, but not that often.

-Modest Mouse

Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter
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Re: A Mahayana version of "In the Buddha's Words"

Post by Javierfv1212 »

Also, I think you can see a similar kind of structure in the Abhidharmakosha -

Basis - chapter 1 to 5 discuss different aspects of samsara, the dhatus, indriyas, lokas, karma and kleshas.

Path - chapter 6 discusses the path and the practitioners on the path and their stages

Result - chapters 7 and 8 discuss wisdom and different states of attainment.

9 is commonly seen as a kind of appendix.
It is quite impossible to find the Buddha anywhere other than in one's own mind.
A person who is ignorant of this may seek externally,
but how is it possible to find oneself through seeking anywhere other than in oneself?
Someone who seeks their own nature externally is like a fool who, giving a performance in the middle of a crowd, forgets who he is and then seeks everywhere else to find himself.
— Padmasambhava

Visit my site: https://sites.google.com/view/abhayajana/
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