how do mahayana respond to theravada critism of"Bodhisattva refuse nirvana to liberate all living beings "

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how do mahayana respond to theravada critism of"Bodhisattva refuse nirvana to liberate all living beings "

Post by dawn of peace »

some Theravada Buddhists who criticize Mahayana Buddhism,said that Mahayana Buddhists have no desire for liberation because Bodhisattva vow to not attain nirvana until all living being are liberated, such as Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva in Chinese Sutras who vow to refuse nirvana until all living beings are liberated.
also,they said that Mahayana Buddhists believe that the samsara is not real, or just illusion, there is no need to liberate. They think that the desire for liberation only make sense when samsara and suffering are all real.

can Theravada's "desire for liberation" and Mahayana's "liberate all living beings" be reconciled.
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Re: how do mahayana respond to theravada critism of"Bodhisattva refuse nirvana to liberate all living beings "

Post by Dhammanando »

dawn of peace wrote: Sat Nov 26, 2022 5:26 am can Theravada's "desire for liberation" and Mahayana's "liberate all living beings" be reconciled.
It seems to me that this teaching in the Sallekha Sutta:
“Cunda, that one who is himself sinking in the mud should pull out another who is sinking in the mud is impossible; that one who is not himself sinking in the mud should pull out another who is sinking in the mud is possible.

“That one who is himself untamed, undisciplined, with defilements unextinguished, should tame another, discipline him, and help extinguish his defilements is impossible; that one who is himself tamed, disciplined, with defilements extinguished, should tame another, discipline him, and help extinguish his defilements is possible.”
(MN8)
and this one in Dhammapada 166:
“The welfare of oneself should not be neglected for the welfare of others, however great; recognizing the welfare of oneself, one should be devoted to one’s own welfare.”
are perhaps compatible with the Mahayana's conception of a "king-like bodhisattva", but can hardly be reconciled with its conceptions of a boatman-like bodhisattva or a shepherd-like bodhisattva.
When generating bodhicitta, three levels of courage can be distinguished: the courage of a king, the courage of a boatman, and the courage of a shepherd. What is meant by the courage of a king? A king’s first priorities are to overcome all his rivals, to promote those who support him, and to proclaim himself sovereign. Only once these aims have been secured does he turn to the care of his subjects. Similarly, the wish to attain Buddhahood for oneself first and then to bring others to Buddhahood subsequently is called the king’s way of generating bodhicitta. This is the wish: “May I be liberated from suffering and obtain the level of perfect enlightenment.”

What is meant by the courage of a boatman? A boatman aims to arrive on the other shore at the same time as all of his passengers. Likewise, the wish to achieve Buddhahood for oneself and all beings simultaneously is known as the boatman’s way of generating bodhicitta. This is the wish: “May I liberate myself and all sentient beings from suffering and obtain the level of perfect enlightenment.”

What is meant by the courage of a shepherd? A shepherd drives his sheep in front of him, making sure that they find grass and water, and are not attacked by wild beasts. He himself follows behind. In the same way, wishing to establish all beings of the three realms on the level of perfect enlightenment before attaining perfect enlightenment for oneself is known as the shepherd’s way of generating bodhicitta, or the incomparable way of generating bodhicitta. This is the wish: “May I liberate all sentient beings from their suffering and establish them on the level of perfect enlightenment.”

The king’s way of generating bodhicitta is the least courageous of the three, the boatman’s way is more courageous, and the shepherd’s way is the most courageous of all. Practitioners of ordinary capacity, those who follow the way of the king, will reach perfect enlightenment within ‘thirty-three countless aeons’; those of mediocre capacity, who follow the way of the boatman, will reach perfect enlightenment within ‘seven countless aeons’; while those of highest capacity, who follow the way of the shepherd, will reach perfect enlightenment within ‘three countless aeons’.

http://www.dzogchenlineage.org/kcrbcaintro.html
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Re: how do mahayana respond to theravada critism of"Bodhisattva refuse nirvana to liberate all living beings "

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

dawn of peace wrote: Sat Nov 26, 2022 5:26 am some Theravada Buddhists who criticize Mahayana Buddhism,said that Mahayana Buddhists have no desire for liberation because Bodhisattva vow to not attain nirvana until all living being are liberated, such as Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva in Chinese Sutras who vow to refuse nirvana until all living beings are liberated.
also,they said that Mahayana Buddhists believe that the samsara is not real, or just illusion, there is no need to liberate. They think that the desire for liberation only make sense when samsara and suffering are all real.

can Theravada's "desire for liberation" and Mahayana's "liberate all living beings" be reconciled.
There actually isn’t any need to liberate from samsara, all that is just appearances of the path. In the Mahayana ultimately samsara and nirvana are not separate. A samyakssmbuddha groks fully their non-separation. We don’t, so we have to work with appearances.

From the Mahayana perspective Theravadins have the fault of believing that dwelling in nirvana - cessation of the afflictions- is full liberation, we don’t believe it is.

That’s the official story at least, IMO there are Theravadins that verge on a Mahayana attitude and vice versa.
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Re: how do mahayana respond to theravada critism of"Bodhisattva refuse nirvana to liberate all living beings "

Post by Astus »

dawn of peace wrote: Sat Nov 26, 2022 5:26 amsome Theravada Buddhists who criticize Mahayana Buddhism,said that Mahayana Buddhists have no desire for liberation because Bodhisattva vow to not attain nirvana until all living being are liberated, such as Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva in Chinese Sutras who vow to refuse nirvana until all living beings are liberated.
That's about not mistaking a temporary state of peace for liberation.
also,they said that Mahayana Buddhists believe that the samsara is not real, or just illusion, there is no need to liberate. They think that the desire for liberation only make sense when samsara and suffering are all real.
Even in Theravada what ordinary beings take to be real are merely conceptual, while those who see things for what they are are neither deluded nor attached.
can Theravada's "desire for liberation" and Mahayana's "liberate all living beings" be reconciled.
There's no contradiction.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

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

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

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


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"
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Re: how do mahayana respond to theravada critism of"Bodhisattva refuse nirvana to liberate all living beings "

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

dawn of peace wrote: Sat Nov 26, 2022 5:26 am some Theravada Buddhists who criticize Mahayana Buddhism,said that Mahayana Buddhists have no desire for liberation because Bodhisattva vow to not attain nirvana until all living being are liberated, such as Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva in Chinese Sutras who vow to refuse nirvana until all living beings are liberated.
also,they said that Mahayana Buddhists believe that the samsara is not real, or just illusion, there is no need to liberate. They think that the desire for liberation only make sense when samsara and suffering are all real.

can Theravada's "desire for liberation" and Mahayana's "liberate all living beings" be reconciled.
1. While Ksitigarbha’s vow is to refuse nirvana until all living beings are liberated. in some Mahayana traditions, Buddhists vow to attain buddhahood as soon as possible, for the sake of all beings. While the vow is different, the emphasis is the same. One is not seeking liberation for oneself. This is still, of course, different from the Theravadin approach.

2. Mahayana Buddhism teaches that ultimately samsara is just a projection of mind (illusion). But nobody is saying that a projection of mind isn’t happening as an experience of awareness.

It’s like, if you see someone who is asleep appears to be having a terrible nightmare, you can see that the experience of the nightmare is occurring, even though the dream itself is not real. The Bodhisattva sees beings struggling with their nightmares and vows to wake them up.

Also, “real” in this sense means that a phenomenon possesses some actual self-existent quality.

3. I don’t think there is a need to reconcile any differences. Both approaches are equally valid.

It should be noted that the activities of many, if not most Theravada monks is actually focused on benefitting other people, animals, various trapped spirits and so on, providing opportunities for people to acquire merit, giving Dharma teachings to the public, offering meditation instruction, and so on. There are differences in doctrine, different views about what attainment is, and what the nature of phenomena is. But one needs to ask, when applied in practical terms to every day life, how much these differences matter. My practice, personally, is Mahayana/Vajrayana. But I also help the local Thai temple as well as the Vajrayana center I attend, and experience no conflicts with the monks there, some of whom are old friends by now. They are like, “yeah, we don’t see it your way, but that’s okay”.
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Re: how do mahayana respond to theravada critism of"Bodhisattva refuse nirvana to liberate all living beings "

Post by Kai lord »

dawn of peace wrote: Sat Nov 26, 2022 5:26 am some Theravada Buddhists who criticize Mahayana Buddhism,said that Mahayana Buddhists have no desire for liberation because Bodhisattva vow to not attain nirvana until all living being are liberated, such as Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva in Chinese Sutras who vow to refuse nirvana until all living beings are liberated.
also,they said that Mahayana Buddhists believe that the samsara is not real, or just illusion, there is no need to liberate. They think that the desire for liberation only make sense when samsara and suffering are all real.

can Theravada's "desire for liberation" and Mahayana's "liberate all living beings" be reconciled.
You miss the point or essence of Mahayana teaching which emphasize on the non differentiation of samsara and nirvana, both are just different sides of the same coin just like emptiness and form, etc.

Samsara is as real/unreal as Nirvana. Buddha Shayamuni pure land is our samsaric Saha universe.

Vimalakirtinirdesha sutra:
Thereupon, magically influenced by the Buddha, the venerable Śāriputra had this thought: “If the buddhafield is pure only to the extent that the mind of the bodhisattva is pure, then, when Śākyamuni Buddha was engaged in the career of the bodhisattva, his mind must have been impure. Otherwise, how could this buddhafield appear to be so impure?”

The Buddha, aware of venerable Śāriputra’s thoughts, said to him, “What do you think, Śāriputra? Is it because the sun and moon are impure that those blind from birth do not see them?”

Śāriputra replied, “No, Lord. It is not so. The fault lies with those blind from birth, and not with the sun and moon.”

The Buddha declared, “In the same way, Śāriputra, the fact that some living beings do not behold the splendid display of virtues of the buddhafield of the Tathāgata is due to their own ignorance. It is not the fault of the Tathāgata. Śāriputra, the buddhafield of the Tathāgata is pure, but you do not see it.”

(...)

Thereupon the Lord touched the ground of this billion-world galactic universe with his big toe, and suddenly it was transformed into a huge mass of precious jewels, a magnificent array of many hundreds of thousands of clusters of precious gems, until it resembled the universe of the Tathāgata Ratnavyūha, called Ananta­guṇa­ratna­vyūha. Everyone in the entire assembly was filled with wonder, each perceiving himself seated on a throne of jeweled lotuses.

Then, the Buddha said to the venerable Śāriputra, “Śāriputra, do you see this splendor of the virtues of the buddhafield?”

Śāriputra replied, “I see it, Lord! Here before me is a display of splendor such as I never before heard of or beheld!”

The Buddha said, “Śāriputra, this buddhafield is always thus pure, but the Tathāgata makes it appear to be spoiled by many faults, in order to bring about the maturity of inferior living beings."
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Re: how do mahayana respond to theravada critism of"Bodhisattva refuse nirvana to liberate all living beings "

Post by dawn of peace »

Astus wrote: Sat Nov 26, 2022 12:49 pm Even in Theravada what ordinary beings take to be real are merely conceptual, while those who see things for what they are are neither deluded nor attached.
yes, some Theravada Buddhist maters do teach this, which similar to Mahayana.

for example,ajahn Chah's teaching in the book "food for the heart"said that:
I once read a book about Zen. In Zen, you know, they teach without giving a lot of explanation. For instance, if a monk is falling asleep during meditation, they come with a stick and whack! they give him a hit on the back.When the drowsy student is hit,he shows his gratitude by thanking the attendant.In Zen practice one is taught to be thankful for all the feelings that give one the opportunity to develop. One day there was an assembly of monks gathered for a meeting. Outside the hall a flag was blowing in the wind. A dispute arose between two monks as to why the flag was blowing. One of the monks claimed that it was because of the wind while the other argued that it was because of the flag. Thus they quarreled because of their narrow views and couldn't come to any kind of agreement. They would have argued like this until the day they died. However, their Teacher intervened and said, "Neither of you is right. The correct understanding is that there is no flag and there is no wind."This is the practice, not to have anything, not to have the flag and not to have the wind. If there is a flag, then there is a wind; if there is a wind, then there is a flag. You should contemplate and reflect on this thoroughly until you see in accordance with Truth. If considered well, then there will remain nothing. Its empty — void; empty of the flag and empty of the wind. In the great Void there is no flag and there is no wind. There is no birth, no old age, no sickness or death. Our conventional understanding of flag and wind is only a concept. In reality there is nothing. Thats all! There is nothing more than empty labels.
in another book "Being Dharma: The Essence of the Buddha's Teachings ":
Occasionally, Ajahn Chah spoke of the unconditioned, of original mind, of that which is beyond birth and death, and he seemed to get a great kick out of doing so. Hearing the Heart Sutra in rough translation from English to Thai,he remarked that it talks of deep wisdom beyond conventions, but this does not mean we can discard conventions; without conventions how could we teach,communicate, or explain anything?
Ajahn Chah is considered to be an arhat by many Thai people,but some of his teaching are hard to be understood by people from Theravada background,while those teaching make more sense from Mahayana point of view.
Last edited by dawn of peace on Sun Nov 27, 2022 1:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: how do mahayana respond to theravada critism of"Bodhisattva refuse nirvana to liberate all living beings "

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Whether a person is Theravada or Mahayana doesn't really matter. If you are part of a group then the point is to fit in with your group. That can mean being opposed to people who are not in your group. The strongest competition tends to be with groups who are close to your own because it is more important to emphasize the differences.
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Re: how do mahayana respond to theravada critism of"Bodhisattva refuse nirvana to liberate all living beings "

Post by Kim O'Hara »

Inedible wrote: Sun Nov 27, 2022 2:24 am Whether a person is Theravada or Mahayana doesn't really matter. If you are part of a group then the point is to fit in with your group. That can mean being opposed to people who are not in your group. The strongest competition tends to be with groups who are close to your own because it is more important to emphasize the differences.
:shock:
Either you're expressing yourself badly or you're advocating for some of our most destructive social habits, so I hope you're expressing yourself badly. :tongue:

Let's see if I can put it more clearly, so you can say, "Yes! That's what I thought I said!" or not.

If you are part of a group then the group always puts pressure on you to fit in with your group. Part of 'fitting in with your group' can include voicing your opposition to people who are not in your group. The strongest competition of any group tends to be with groups who are similar to them, which makes it especially important (to both of them) to emphasize the differences between them. All this is true whether a person is Theravada or Mahayana.

That's more or less what I hope you tried to say.

What I would like to add to that is that these sorts of group pressures are nearly always destructive in the end. They can strengthen the internal bonds of the group, but only at the cost of weakening the bonds between group members and anyone outside the group. They are inherently authoritarian and divisive, and they underlie sectarian disputes everywhere - and racism, sexism etc, etc. :toilet:

As applied to the Mahayana/Theravada split, the only people who might benefit from highlighting the differences and saying "you must choose one or the other" are people who stand to benefit from gaining locked-in followers. Most Westerners will have no trouble seeing that in relation to Christianity: if a family switches from Catholicism to the Episcopalians, all their future donations to the church go with them. It doesn't work quite the same way in traditionally-Buddhist countries but there are similarities.

:namaste:
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Re: how do mahayana respond to theravada critism of"Bodhisattva refuse nirvana to liberate all living beings "

Post by Kai lord »

dawn of peace wrote: Sun Nov 27, 2022 1:42 am Ajahn Chah is considered to be an arhat by many Thai people,but some of his teaching are hard to be understood by people from Theravada background,while those teaching make more sense from Mahayana point of view.
And his fellow Dharma monastic brother , Ajahn Maha Bua, another Arahant talked a lot about the Original Luminous mind. :D

His teacher, Ajahn Mun, also a well known Arahant, preached the same.
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Re: how do mahayana respond to theravada critism of"Bodhisattva refuse nirvana to liberate all living beings "

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Kim O'Hara wrote: Sun Nov 27, 2022 5:45 am Either you're expressing yourself badly or you're advocating for some of our most destructive social habits, so I hope you're expressing yourself badly. :tongue:
Back when I was in college there were a lot of people from Buddhist countries. I found them because I wanted to know what it was like to grow up in the right religion. Not one of them knew the terms Mahayana, Theravada, or Vajrayana. They just knew the name of some local teacher and their local flavor of Buddhism. They all believed that what they grew up with was the real Buddhism and represented all of Buddhism. I'm not advocating anything. Just describing what I see. From what I can tell, the average Theravada and Mahayana practitioners have something in common: neither is qualified to enter into Nirvana, so any promise to wait to go there is only hypothetical. Recently the lottery has gone over one billion dollars more than once. It was just at two billion. Imagine having that lottery ticket in your hands and having time to visualize countless ways to spend the money. Then imagine giving up that ticket without cashing it in, in the hopes that the money will benefit countless other people. Until you have that winning ticket in your hands and you know in your heart that you have won, it doesn't mean anything to talk about giving it up for others.
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Re: how do mahayana respond to theravada critism of"Bodhisattva refuse nirvana to liberate all living beings "

Post by Astus »

dawn of peace wrote: Sun Nov 27, 2022 1:42 amyes, some Theravada Buddhist maters do teach this, which similar to Mahayana.
I was referring to the generally accepted distinction that apart from dhammas everything is paññatti.

'According to dhamma theory, only the dhammas are real; all things besides the dhammas are conceptual constructs or logical abstractions with no objective counterparts.'
(from the introduction of The Theravada Abhidhamma by Y. Karunadasa; see more on this online: The Dhamma Theory)
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

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

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

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


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"
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Re: how do mahayana respond to theravada critism of"Bodhisattva refuse nirvana to liberate all living beings "

Post by Natan »

dawn of peace wrote: Sat Nov 26, 2022 5:26 am some Theravada Buddhists who criticize Mahayana Buddhism,said that Mahayana Buddhists have no desire for liberation because Bodhisattva vow to not attain nirvana until all living being are liberated, such as Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva in Chinese Sutras who vow to refuse nirvana until all living beings are liberated.
also,they said that Mahayana Buddhists believe that the samsara is not real, or just illusion, there is no need to liberate. They think that the desire for liberation only make sense when samsara and suffering are all real.

can Theravada's "desire for liberation" and Mahayana's "liberate all living beings" be reconciled.
It's the illusion part... Samsara is real must be avoided if you have ideas of delusion being real. It's a subtle shift in vision to see the delusion itself is unreal, like see animal shapes in clouds, taking a step to the right and not seeing anything. So seeking liberation from the very isolated practice of renunciation becomes pointless and a bodhisattva can operate in the world.
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Re: how do mahayana respond to theravada critism of"Bodhisattva refuse nirvana to liberate all living beings "

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Inedible wrote: Sun Nov 27, 2022 12:04 pm Recently the lottery has gone over one billion dollars more than once. It was just at two billion. Imagine having that lottery ticket in your hands and having time to visualize countless ways to spend the money. Then imagine giving up that ticket without cashing it in, in the hopes that the money will benefit countless other people. Until you have that winning ticket in your hands and you know in your heart that you have won, it doesn't mean anything to talk about giving it up for others.
Hah! I like that story,
My Theravada monk friend said something similar to me many years ago, basically, that if one isn’t a Buddha, how can one liberate all sentient beings?
I think that is why many Mahayana Buddhists make the vow to actually attain buddhahood, as soon as possible, in order to liberate others. In a sense, the aspiring Bodhisattva makes the wish to win the lottery. Again, this is different than the vow to postpone buddhahood. I’m not sure how the two different vows emerged.

The practical side of the Mahayana vow is simply that dedicating your journey on the path to others takes the focus off of oneself, and self-grasping is, of course, an important aspect of dharma practice.
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Re: how do mahayana respond to theravada critism of"Bodhisattva refuse nirvana to liberate all living beings "

Post by Inedible »

We are here because we know Buddhism can give results, but the vast majority of people fail. I don't think it is as bad as it looks. I think small successes are actually very common and can be built on, if only we had some way to recognize them. Without that, there can't actually be a difference between the Mahayana and Theravada. Neither is doing anything, but they fight over who looks better doing it.
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Re: how do mahayana respond to theravada critism of"Bodhisattva refuse nirvana to liberate all living beings "

Post by muni »

good morning!

I heard somewhere Buddha said:

When you think to know better than another you are deluded
When you think to know less than another you are deluded
When you think to know as much as another you are deluded.

Because all of these comes from grasping to me, mine, my.

Never forget that without Theravada, what Buddhism would there be?

Whatever critism, all the teachings of the traditions are to first see our own source of suffering and perhaps critism can then somehow even help.
There may be the different method, but only when we see own source of suffering we can help, and excluding none regarding Mahayana. Without that we are suffering quarreling who is the best.
The difference between unawareness/extremism and awareness/Buddhism is that by the first there are many enemies, by the second none.
https://www.shambhala.com/snowlion_arti ... m-thubten/
https://www.shambhala.com/snowlion_arti ... ghtenment/
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Re: how do mahayana respond to theravada critism of"Bodhisattva refuse nirvana to liberate all living beings "

Post by Kai lord »

muni wrote: Mon Nov 28, 2022 8:16 am Never forget that without Theravada, what Buddhism would there be?
Theravada branched off from one of the eighteen Nikaya schools in ancient India. The Mahayana tradition you see today, branched off other Nikaya schools different from Theravada. In fact Sarvastivada is closer to Mahayana than Theravada.

All Buddhist schools criticized each other over the centuries, its not hard to read or find works of them doing that. Those criticisms are worth reading and investigating as it will open up one's mind to the different POVs and intellectual dynamics that existed in Buddhism centuries ago.
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Re: how do mahayana respond to theravada critism of"Bodhisattva refuse nirvana to liberate all living beings "

Post by muni »

Kai lord wrote: Mon Nov 28, 2022 11:19 am
muni wrote: Mon Nov 28, 2022 8:16 am Never forget that without Theravada, what Buddhism would there be?
Theravada branched off from one of the eighteen Nikaya schools in ancient India. The Mahayana tradition you see today, branched off other Nikaya schools different from Theravada. In fact Sarvastivada is closer to Mahayana than Theravada.

All Buddhist schools criticized each other over the centuries, its not hard to read or find works of them doing that. Those criticisms are worth reading and investigating as it will open up one's mind to the different POVs and intellectual dynamics that existed in Buddhism centuries ago.
Thanks! For me basically there is only the other tradition, so that is perhaps too simple.😊

I throw no any intellectual dynamics out. We all need to find what helps us awaken, free from suffering and I realize very much how this opportunity is now impermanent.
The difference between unawareness/extremism and awareness/Buddhism is that by the first there are many enemies, by the second none.
https://www.shambhala.com/snowlion_arti ... m-thubten/
https://www.shambhala.com/snowlion_arti ... ghtenment/
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Re: how do mahayana respond to theravada critism of"Bodhisattva refuse nirvana to liberate all living beings "

Post by MaitreyaBuddha »

dawn of peace wrote: Sat Nov 26, 2022 5:26 am some Theravada Buddhists who criticize Mahayana Buddhism,said that Mahayana Buddhists have no desire for liberation because Bodhisattva vow to not attain nirvana until all living being are liberated, such as Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva in Chinese Sutras who vow to refuse nirvana until all living beings are liberated.
also,they said that Mahayana Buddhists believe that the samsara is not real, or just illusion, there is no need to liberate. They think that the desire for liberation only make sense when samsara and suffering are all real.

can Theravada's "desire for liberation" and Mahayana's "liberate all living beings" be reconciled.
In my 'humble' yet educated view; both are simply aspects of the One Goal: the attainment of complete freedom for oneself and all other living beings...

That said; All is fundamentally illusory/empty - this meaning, there is no Nirvana or Samsara, apart from the time in which they are actually experienced!

Sometimes thinking leads to error...
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