Is the "Eternal Buddha" mentioned anywhere else besides the Lotus Sutra?

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Minobu
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Re: Is the "Eternal Buddha" mentioned anywhere else besides the Lotus Sutra?

Post by Minobu » Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:40 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:in the Sthaviravāda and Sarvāstivāda schools, nirvāṇa is considered a special class of dharma, an unconditioned dharma (abyākatā dharmapratyisambhidā). That doesn't really pertain directly to answering the question of "Is nirvāṇa/buddhahood a dharma or not", but it is an interesting aside.

As far as I know, in the overall Lotus-Sūtra tradition (Tiāntái, etc, perhaps Nichiren Buddhism too), just as in the Sthaviravāda-Sarvaāstivāda, nirvāṇa is considered an unconditioned dharma, as in, "the unconditioned dharmakāya" that is the "Primordial/Unconditioned Buddha". Am I not correct in regards to this?

Tiāntái interpenetrational doctrine also becomes highly suspect if the Buddha-Realm, the Dharmakāya, nor the Pure Land atop Gṛdhrakūṭa (Lotus Sutra 16) is not an unconditioned element (dhātu) of all dharmas.


I have no idea what you are saying.

Now that could be deemed some form of sarcasm if left alone .
or

you can take it exactly how it reads.

I just cannot think this way.
it's beyond my scope of undesrstanding Buddhist thought, when spoken like that.

what i asked basically is this..
what is meant by ...The Buddha is not dharma..
i went on in my post explaining how i view Dharma.
like everything is dharma..or Dharma is behind "IT ALL"

But the Buddha is outside our scope of Dharma and everything we dwell in....and yet He appeared here ....somehow...and continues to.....somehow...

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Is the "Eternal Buddha" mentioned anywhere else besides the Lotus Sutra?

Post by Coëmgenu » Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:28 pm

Minobu wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:in the Sthaviravāda and Sarvāstivāda schools, nirvāṇa is considered a special class of dharma, an unconditioned dharma (abyākatā dharmapratyisambhidā). That doesn't really pertain directly to answering the question of "Is nirvāṇa/buddhahood a dharma or not", but it is an interesting aside.

As far as I know, in the overall Lotus-Sūtra tradition (Tiāntái, etc, perhaps Nichiren Buddhism too), just as in the Sthaviravāda-Sarvaāstivāda, nirvāṇa is considered an unconditioned dharma, as in, "the unconditioned dharmakāya" that is the "Primordial/Unconditioned Buddha". Am I not correct in regards to this?

Tiāntái interpenetrational doctrine also becomes highly suspect if the Buddha-Realm, the Dharmakāya, nor the Pure Land atop Gṛdhrakūṭa (Lotus Sutra 16) is not an unconditioned element (dhātu) of all dharmas.


I have no idea what you are saying.

Now that could be deemed some form of sarcasm if left alone .
or

you can take it exactly how it reads.

I just cannot think this way.
it's beyond my scope of undesrstanding Buddhist thought, when spoken like that.

what i asked basically is this..
what is meant by ...The Buddha is not dharma..
i went on in my post explaining how i view Dharma.
like everything is dharma..or Dharma is behind "IT ALL"

But the Buddha is outside our scope of Dharma and everything we dwell in....and yet He appeared here ....somehow...and continues to.....somehow...
I was just adding my two cents, that Buddha, Buddhahood, and Nirvāṇa are usually considered dharmas that are unconditioned.
神足示現者,
世尊隨其所應,而示現入禪定正受,陵虛至東方,作四威儀,
行、住、坐、臥,入火三昧,出種種火光,青、黃、赤、白、
紅、頗梨色,水火俱現, 或身下出火,身上出水,身上出火,
身下出水,周圓四方亦復如是。

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Zhen Li
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Re: Is the "Eternal Buddha" mentioned anywhere else besides the Lotus Sutra?

Post by Zhen Li » Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:22 am

I think the more fundamental premise that needs to be understood is that the term "dharma" in Sanskrit can have two meanings: phenomenon and the doctrine of the Buddha. If it is phenomenon, I would still use the word "dharma" but not capitalize it, but if it is doctrine, it is capitalized.

So, a phenomenon refers to something that exists in the world. Something that exists in the world can have form or be formless, can arise, abide, and cease. Nirvana is neither form or formless, and does not arise, abide, or cease, so it cannot be said to exist/not-exist/both exist and not-exist/neither exist nor not-exist. Therefore, Nirvana is not a dharma. The same is said of the Buddha.

If this is proving difficult still, take it slowly and don't give up.

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Re: Is the "Eternal Buddha" mentioned anywhere else besides the Lotus Sutra?

Post by Coëmgenu » Tue Jan 03, 2017 4:06 am

Zhen Li wrote:I think the more fundamental premise that needs to be understood is that the term "dharma" in Sanskrit can have two meanings: phenomenon and the doctrine of the Buddha. If it is phenomenon, I would still use the word "dharma" but not capitalize it, but if it is doctrine, it is capitalized.

So, a phenomenon refers to something that exists in the world. Something that exists in the world can have form or be formless, can arise, abide, and cease. Nirvana is neither form or formless, and does not arise, abide, or cease, so it cannot be said to exist/not-exist/both exist and not-exist/neither exist nor not-exist. Therefore, Nirvana is not a dharma. The same is said of the Buddha.

If this is proving difficult still, take it slowly and don't give up.
But most schools of Buddhism I have been exposed to disagree with you on that. In East Asian madhyamika particularly, it is considered that Nirvāṇa,and Dharmakāya, alike are both unconditioned dharma, or at the very least an unconditioned dhātu (element) which interpenetrates (ie Buddha-dhātu) the other dharmas.
神足示現者,
世尊隨其所應,而示現入禪定正受,陵虛至東方,作四威儀,
行、住、坐、臥,入火三昧,出種種火光,青、黃、赤、白、
紅、頗梨色,水火俱現, 或身下出火,身上出水,身上出火,
身下出水,周圓四方亦復如是。

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Zhen Li
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Re: Is the "Eternal Buddha" mentioned anywhere else besides the Lotus Sutra?

Post by Zhen Li » Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:03 am

My apologies, I meant to say an unconditioned dharma. Complete mix up.

The difference with Madhyamaka is that none of these, fundamentally, can be said to exist or not.

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Minobu
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Re: Is the "Eternal Buddha" mentioned anywhere else besides the Lotus Sutra?

Post by Minobu » Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:29 am

can anyone explain unconditioned in the sense of unconditioned dharma and unconditioned Dharma,

thanks for your patience with me

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Re: Is the "Eternal Buddha" mentioned anywhere else besides the Lotus Sutra?

Post by Coëmgenu » Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:53 am

Zhen Li wrote:My apologies, I meant to say an unconditioned dharma. Complete mix up.

The difference with Madhyamaka is that none of these, fundamentally, can be said to exist or not.
I was only not being specific enough about that I was talking about. Early Tiāntái (ie the writing of Zhìyǐ) comes out of a movement called "East Asian Madhyamika" (which later blended with yogācāra to form contemporary Tiāntái and Tendai), which shares a lot of features with the Indian Madhyamika (ie Nāgārjuna's Madhyamika), but not all. The teachings on interpenetrationality and the 10 suchnesses (十如是) and their consequence in yī niàn sān qiān 一念三千 (ichinen sanzen) are not common to all Madhyamika schools, they are something of a uniquely Chinese insight. As such, other Buddhisms might explain things differently without necessarily being "wrong".

Buddhism is a wide and varied path, with lots of teachings, and all of this "unconditioned dharma" stuff is, in some part, upāya. We're talking about the "ultimate" here when we talk about Nirvāṇa and Dharmakāya etc.

Its perfectly reasonable that a certain school should teach that Nirvāṇa isn't even a dharma, because the idea of an "unconditioned dharma" is certainly an unusual dharma to say the least. I just haven't encountered such a teaching. If it was a mistake, we all make them, but I hope I didn't inadvertently bully you into agreeing with me. I don't claim to have encyclopaedic gnosis of all Buddhist teachings and ways of expressing Nirvāṇa. If it is indeed a teaching in a certain school or sect that Dharmakāya isn't a dharma itself, which one teaches this?
神足示現者,
世尊隨其所應,而示現入禪定正受,陵虛至東方,作四威儀,
行、住、坐、臥,入火三昧,出種種火光,青、黃、赤、白、
紅、頗梨色,水火俱現, 或身下出火,身上出水,身上出火,
身下出水,周圓四方亦復如是。

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Minobu
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Re: Is the "Eternal Buddha" mentioned anywhere else besides the Lotus Sutra?

Post by Minobu » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:30 pm

Zhen Li wrote:My apologies, I meant to say an unconditioned dharma. Complete mix up.

The difference with Madhyamaka is that none of these, fundamentally, can be said to exist or not.

i don't think madhaymika question whether they exist or not exist ...more like the nature of existence , which is neither inherent or nihilistic in view.

i really am having trouble with unconditioned Dharma.
I think there is a problem in translation from sanskrit and Indian to english..take the word suchness and how it is used in Buddhist terms.

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Re: Is the "Eternal Buddha" mentioned anywhere else besides the Lotus Sutra?

Post by Zhen Li » Tue Jan 03, 2017 8:54 pm

Neverminding Madhyamika, Prajnaparamita texts claim they cannot be said to exist, not exist, etc.

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Re: Is the "Eternal Buddha" mentioned anywhere else besides the Lotus Sutra?

Post by Coëmgenu » Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:27 am

Minobu wrote:
Zhen Li wrote:My apologies, I meant to say an unconditioned dharma. Complete mix up.

The difference with Madhyamaka is that none of these, fundamentally, can be said to exist or not.

i don't think madhaymika question whether they exist or not exist ...more like the nature of existence , which is neither inherent or nihilistic in view.

i really am having trouble with unconditioned Dharma.
I think there is a problem in translation from sanskrit and Indian to english..take the word suchness and how it is used in Buddhist terms.
Unconditioned Dharma and unconditioned dharma(s) are not the same usage of the word dharma. Saying something is an unconditioned dharma is a little like saying it is an unconditioned phenomenon, or perhaps even unconditioned experience, but that is not the best term to use because it can lead to self-view-thickets quite easily.

Think of the line sarva-dharmāḥ śūnyatā-lakṣaṇā in the Prajñāpāramitāhṛdaya, the word "dharma", in its plural, is being used in its "phenomenon-esque" reading, rather than meaning Buddhadharma etc.
神足示現者,
世尊隨其所應,而示現入禪定正受,陵虛至東方,作四威儀,
行、住、坐、臥,入火三昧,出種種火光,青、黃、赤、白、
紅、頗梨色,水火俱現, 或身下出火,身上出水,身上出火,
身下出水,周圓四方亦復如是。

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