Poll on Faith in Sutras

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

I have faith that the sutras were taught by Buddha in some manner or form.

1 Yes
41
84%
2 No
8
16%
 
Total votes : 49

Re: Poll on Faith in Sutras

Postby Will » Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:14 pm

Then vote No pensum.

Faith can mean a little or 'invincible' as the Vimamsaka Sutta has it or something in between.

Fussing over and parsing the clear or unclear wording of the poll question is just the monkey mind at work.

If one thinks that bodhisattvas are each in a sealed aura, with no influence from any Buddha, save visible influence - so be it.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Poll on Faith in Sutras

Postby dzogchungpa » Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:22 pm

Will wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:
Will wrote:Not me - the meaning will be determined by the reader.
OK, what do you mean by "Buddha"?
Any self-reliance in you? Same answer as before.

Are you asking if I possess any self-reliance? I'd like to think so. If I get to determine the meaning of "the sutras" and "Buddha", and presumably also "taught", then my answer to your poll question is yes.
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Re: Poll on Faith in Sutras

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:23 pm

I voted yes; but there was no choice selection for "some of the sutras, not all". I accept many, perhaps most as Buddhavacana or Buddha-inspired, but not all.
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Re: Poll on Faith in Sutras

Postby pensum » Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:45 pm

However the poll question does not say "a buddha" or even "the buddha", but rather "by Buddha" which by convention specifically refers to Shakyamuni. Hence why i find the poll question to be poorly phrased.
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Re: Poll on Faith in Sutras

Postby Will » Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:46 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:I voted yes; but there was no choice selection for "some of the sutras, not all". I accept many, perhaps most as Buddhavacana or Buddha-inspired, but not all.


If it did not say 'all', then 'all' was not what it meant.

Jeez, you folks sure are fond of right & proper and fearful of wrong & improper responses.
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Re: Poll on Faith in Sutras

Postby pensum » Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:55 pm

Will wrote:Then vote No pensum.
Faith can mean a little or 'invincible' as the Vimamsaka Sutta has it or something in between.
Fussing over and parsing the clear or unclear wording of the poll question is just the monkey mind at work.
If one thinks that bodhisattvas are each in a sealed aura, with no influence from any Buddha, save visible influence - so be it.


I did vote no Will. And as i just mentioned in my previous comment, you wrote "by Buddha" which by convention refers specifically to Shakyamuni, not to other buddhas. Parsing this is hardly the "monkey mind" but rather discriminating wisdom, as opposed to the clouded mind that leads to such poorly worded questions as yours, as the construction of your poll question only has one answer which is not based on any individual's faith but simple scriptural fact.
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Re: Poll on Faith in Sutras

Postby Will » Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:03 pm

pensum wrote:
Will wrote:Then vote No pensum.
Faith can mean a little or 'invincible' as the Vimamsaka Sutta has it or something in between.
Fussing over and parsing the clear or unclear wording of the poll question is just the monkey mind at work.
If one thinks that bodhisattvas are each in a sealed aura, with no influence from any Buddha, save visible influence - so be it.


I did vote no Will. And as i just mentioned in my previous comment, you wrote "by Buddha" which by convention refers specifically to Shakyamuni, not to other buddhas. Parsing this is hardly the "monkey mind" but rather discriminating wisdom, as opposed to the clouded mind that leads to such poorly worded questions as yours, as the construction of your poll question only has one answer which is not based on any individual's faith but simple scriptural fact.


I bow to your correction and pray you will construct a crystal worded version of the poll that will vaporize the clouds in my mind. :bow:
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Re: Poll on Faith in Sutras

Postby pensum » Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:19 pm

Will wrote:
pensum wrote:
Will wrote:Then vote No pensum.
Faith can mean a little or 'invincible' as the Vimamsaka Sutta has it or something in between.
Fussing over and parsing the clear or unclear wording of the poll question is just the monkey mind at work.
If one thinks that bodhisattvas are each in a sealed aura, with no influence from any Buddha, save visible influence - so be it.


I did vote no Will. And as i just mentioned in my previous comment, you wrote "by Buddha" which by convention refers specifically to Shakyamuni, not to other buddhas. Parsing this is hardly the "monkey mind" but rather discriminating wisdom, as opposed to the clouded mind that leads to such poorly worded questions as yours, as the construction of your poll question only has one answer which is not based on any individual's faith but simple scriptural fact.


I bow to your correction and pray you will construct a crystal worded version of the poll that will vaporize the clouds in my mind. :bow:


Being an editor i'm happy to, Will. One possibility would be to phrase it thus: "I have faith that the sutras containing teachings directly ascribed to Shakyamuni Buddha are verbatim transcriptions of what Shakyamuni Buddha himself actually said." (Note i phrase it like this because we know that Shakyamuni himself did not compose the sutras as evidenced both by the traditional accounts of the compilation of the cannon during the early Buddhist councils, as well as by the presence of the niddana, and the descriptive narration in which he is referred to in the third person.)
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Re: Poll on Faith in Sutras

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:29 pm

pensum wrote:I did vote no Will. And as i just mentioned in my previous comment, you wrote "by Buddha" which by convention refers specifically to Shakyamuni, not to other buddhas.


But in fact they are Śakyamuni Buddha's teaching. Why? Because those teachings appear through Śakyamuni Buddha's permission and blessing, just as for example, in the Prajñāpāramitahridaya, when Ārya Avalokiteśvara explains things to Śariputra.
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Re: Poll on Faith in Sutras

Postby pensum » Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:39 pm

Malcolm wrote:
pensum wrote:I did vote no Will. And as i just mentioned in my previous comment, you wrote "by Buddha" which by convention refers specifically to Shakyamuni, not to other buddhas.


But in fact they are Śakyamuni Buddha's teaching. Why? Because those teachings appear through Śakyamuni Buddha's permission and blessing, just as for example, in the Prajñāpāramitahridaya, when Ārya Avalokiteśvara explains things to Śariputra.


Be careful for you are on a slippy slope there my friend. For that still only refers to those sutras describing situations in which Sakyamuni was present or gave explicit permission or blessings. So one still must be precise as to which sutras are being referred to. But more importantly if you get too loose in regards to interpreting "Śakyamuni Buddha's permission and blessings" then your entire argument on that other 80+ page thread is nullified, as any lineage holder could be said to have such permission and blessings; in which case it would make no difference whether they were accurate transcripts of teachings actually spoken or attended by Shakyamuni or simply composed by another person long after the fact.
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Re: Poll on Faith in Sutras

Postby seeker242 » Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:00 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:Come on Malcolm, everybody knows Huineng penned the original Platform Sutra. Let's not kid ourselves. Then it developed over a 500 year period.


But at the same time, according to Huineng, there is ultimately no difference between "Huineng" and "Buddha" to begin with. :rolling:
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Re: Poll on Faith in Sutras

Postby Jikan » Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:58 pm

seeker242 wrote:
Sherab Dorje wrote:Come on Malcolm, everybody knows Huineng penned the original Platform Sutra. Let's not kid ourselves. Then it developed over a 500 year period.


But at the same time, according to Huineng, there is ultimately no difference between "Huineng" and "Buddha" to begin with.


That's how I've been taught. Emphasis on the "ultimately." I think your comment squares interestingly with Malcolm's:

Malcolm wrote:The teaching of one buddha is the teaching of all.

The platform sutra is misnamed.
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Re: Poll on Faith in Sutras

Postby Jikan » Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:03 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Jikan wrote:I voted "yes" because Buddha isn't limited by time & space.



Audiences, however, are...


Speaking only for myself as an auditor of the Buddha Dharma here--yes, most definitely and in more ways than any reasonable person could comfortably admit to him or herself.

The clever thing about Buddha-activity is that it finds ways to work with those limitations. I'm talking about the activity of those who are capable of actively teaching others and leading them, and who do so. It never ceases to amaze. Really, seeing this first-hand is why I'm willing to have an open mind about these issues.
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Re: Poll on Faith in Sutras

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:30 pm

seeker242 wrote:
Sherab Dorje wrote:Come on Malcolm, everybody knows Huineng penned the original Platform Sutra. Let's not kid ourselves. Then it developed over a 500 year period.


But at the same time, according to Huineng, there is ultimately no difference between "Huineng" and "Buddha" to begin with. :rolling:
You won't see me disagreeing, it just isn't that important to me. The wisdom of his teaching is clearly evident, even if it didn't come straight from THE Buddhas mouth
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Re: Poll on Faith in Sutras

Postby Mkoll » Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:19 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:I voted yes; but there was no choice selection for "some of the sutras, not all". I accept many, perhaps most as Buddhavacana or Buddha-inspired, but not all.

:good:

I'm in the same boat.
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Re: Poll on Faith in Sutras

Postby Berry » Fri Jun 20, 2014 7:40 am

Sorry for my ignorance - but does this poll refer to Pali Canon suttas as well as Mahayana sutras, or is it just refering to Mahayana sutras?
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Re: Poll on Faith in Sutras

Postby Will » Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:21 pm

Berry wrote:Sorry for my ignorance - but does this poll refer to Pali Canon suttas as well as Mahayana sutras, or is it just refering to Mahayana sutras?


All are meant.
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Re: Poll on Faith in Sutras

Postby Malcolm » Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:31 pm

pensum wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
pensum wrote:I did vote no Will. And as i just mentioned in my previous comment, you wrote "by Buddha" which by convention refers specifically to Shakyamuni, not to other buddhas.


But in fact they are Śakyamuni Buddha's teaching. Why? Because those teachings appear through Śakyamuni Buddha's permission and blessing, just as for example, in the Prajñāpāramitahridaya, when Ārya Avalokiteśvara explains things to Śariputra.


Be careful for you are on a slippy slope there my friend. For that still only refers to those sutras describing situations in which Sakyamuni was present or gave explicit permission or blessings. So one still must be precise as to which sutras are being referred to. But more importantly if you get too loose in regards to interpreting "Śakyamuni Buddha's permission and blessings" then your entire argument on that other 80+ page thread is nullified, as any lineage holder could be said to have such permission and blessings; in which case it would make no difference whether they were accurate transcripts of teachings actually spoken or attended by Shakyamuni or simply composed by another person long after the fact.


No, it's not a slippery slope at all.

A lineage holder does not have the same authority, for example, as a Vimalakirti, and so on.

These different types of teachings as Buddhavacana are well established. For example, we have suttas in the Pali canon taught by Śariputra or Dhammadinna, wholly on Buddha's permission.

Of course, we are merely talking about _sutras_, of which there are a finite number. When it comes to tantras, well, that is a whole 'nother game.
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Re: Poll on Faith in Sutras

Postby Alfredo » Sat Jun 21, 2014 11:07 am

I vote yes, but not so much as a matter of religious faith--more of a historical judgement that there must be *something* genuine in at least *some* of the sutras.
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Re: Poll on Faith in Sutras

Postby KeithBC » Sat Jun 21, 2014 1:04 pm

Will wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:What do you mean by "the sutras"?


Not me - the meaning will be determined by the reader.

So you intend the question to be:
I have faith that <something> was/were taught by <some entity or entities> in some manner or form.

That makes the question a bit meaningless, don't you think?

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