The Mahayana Is Not Diluted Theravada.

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Queequeg
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Re: The Mahayana Is Not Diluted Theravada.

Post by Queequeg » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:19 pm

DGA wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:42 am
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:43 am
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:15 am
None of these is a real path; all three of these are upaya. They, in themselves, do not lead to annuttarasamyaksambodhi.
This is a questionable assertion. While it may accurately represent what the schools you mention maintain, it is not an easily defensible assertion.
I'd like to go back to Qq's assertions. There are two.

1. the three yanas are not real paths in themselves, but are instead upaya. Means to an end. Hold that thought.

2. in themselves, they do not lead to annuttarasamyaksambodhi.

OK, if 1 is true, and I think it is, then you have to consider what the objective of that upaya may be. I think they are means to the end of bringing beings to the Mahayana, which does lead to annuttarasamyaksambodhi. This means the purpose and function of the three yanas is to lead beings to annuttarasamyaksambodhi.

To my mind, as of this moment, 2 must be false if 1 is true. All three lead to Mahayana and therefore to annuttarasamyaksambodhi. There's one Dharma path but different maps and landmarks, if that analogy makes sense.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding Qq's post and Malcolm's objection to it.

If I'm mistaken, I invite the gallery to set me right.
The intervening cause that reconciles 1 and 2 is the Buddha delivering the sobering message - "Everything I've taught you is upaya. Here is what's really going on." The rich man's son was always the rich man's son, but he thought he was something else. The rich man treated him as a servant, but that was only because the son thought that was all he was. The father contrived the whole charade for the son's benefit, but there was one reality all along, and in the father's mind, one end. The son on the other hand is conducting himself within the paradigm of a servant until the father declares, "It was all a put on!" That charade was never going to lead to the son realizing his real identity. Sooner or later, the father had to pierce the fiction and reveal the truth. Once the son knows who he really is, the servant paradigm is shattered. Same thing - once the Buddha tells the sravaka, "That whole Hinayana was a story I told you because you think so little of yourself the only thing that would satisfy you was to annihilate desire, etc." How could Sariputra go back to the sravaka path once he hears he's destined for Buddhahood, and always was? The Phantom City has been dispelled, and Sariputra finds himself back on the trail. All he can do is say, with realization casting his entire sravaka endeavor in a new light, "Ohhhhh..... that's what that was...."
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, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Queequeg
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Re: The Mahayana Is Not Diluted Theravada.

Post by Queequeg » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:45 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:37 am
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:15 am
These bodhisattvas until that point still believe that Shakyamuni first attained enlightenment in Gaya.
No, they don't. Whatever gives you this idea?
I made reference to the basis of this remark above.

In the 15th Chapter of the Kumarajiva translation of the Lotus, hosts of grand bodhisattvas emerge from the Earth. The Assembly, led by Maitreya are moved to awe. When Maitreya asks where these bodhisattvas came from, the Buddha declares that they are his disciples since he attained enlightenment. This only compounds Maitreya's confusion:
Then Bodhisattva Mahāsattva Maitreya and the innumerable other bodhisattvas became doubtful and confused concerning this unprecedented experience. They thought this:

How is it possible in such a short time for the Bhagavat to have inspired such an immeasurable, limitless, incalculable number of great bodhisattvas, enabling them to abide in highest, complete enlightenment?...

...Bodhisattva Maitreya... spoke these verses:
Long ago the Buddha left
The household of the Śākya clan,
And approached Gayā
Where he sat under the bodhi tree;
It has not been so long since that time.
The number of the Buddha’s heirs
Is incalculable;
From long ago they have practiced the buddha path
And attained transcendent powers and
The power of wisdom.
They have thoroughly studied
The bodhisattva path,
And are as undefiled by worldly affairs,
As the lotus blossom in the water.
They have emerged from out of the earth,
And all stood respectfully before the Bhagavats.
It is difficult to comprehend this matter,
How can we possibly believe it!
The Buddha attained the path
Only a short time ago,
Yet he has accomplished so much.
We entreat you to remove our doubts
And give a detailed explanation
According to the truth.
Suppose there were a young man
Just twenty-five years of age
Who pointed to a one-hundred-year-old man,
Who was wrinkled and had white hair, saying:
This is my offspring.
The [old man] also says:
This is my father.
The father is young, and the son is old.
No one in the world would believe it.
The Bhagavat’s teaching is exactly like this.
He attained the path only a very short time ago,
Yet these bodhisattvas are firm in resolution
And without weak will;
They have been practicing the bodhisattva path
For immeasurable kalpas.
They are skilled at difficult discussions,
And their minds are free from fear.
They are resolute and persevering.
They are handsome and dignified,
Praised by the buddhas in the ten directions.
They are good at detailed explanations.
They did not want to be among the multitudes
For they always liked being in meditation,
And so they lived in the space under the earth
In order to seek the buddha path.
Since we heard about this from the Buddha
We have no doubts about it;
But still we entreat you, O Buddha, to expound it
And make it clear for the future.
Anyone in whom doubts awaken
And who does not believe in this sutra
Will certainly fall into the troubled states of being.
That is why we now entreat you to explain
How in such a short time
You have led and inspired
These innumerable bodhisattvas
So that the thought of enlightenment
Has awakened in them
And they abide in the stage of nonretrogression.
The Buddha then goes on to explain that he first awakened in the remote past and that he has since been in the world carrying out Buddha functions.

In the 17th Chapter, Maitreya reacts:
The Buddha has taught this marvelous Dharma
That we have never heard before.
The Bhagavat has great powers
And his lifespan is immeasurable.
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, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Re: The Mahayana Is Not Diluted Theravada.

Post by Carlita » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:07 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:16 am
This is not in order to be contentious. But a few posts recently appear to suggest that;

a) The Theravada is older than the Mahayana and is, therefore, more representative of 'pure' or original Buddhism.

b) That the Theravada somehow provides the basic platform on which the Mahayana is built.

c) That the Mahayana has to be validated by the Pali Sutras.

All these suggestions are erroneous. In reality;

The evidence suggests that the Theravada is a relatively recent development in the history of Buddhism and that much of the Mahayana corpus predates it.

The Theravada is a valid vehicle in its own right for those whose ambition is Arhatship. But it has a different set of aims than does the Mahayana.

The Mahayana path including the Vajrayana can be brought to completion with no reference to the Pali Sutras at all.
The Pali Canon is older than the Mahayana Sutras. Every sutra is based on the Pali Canon in its foundational teachings. Nothing new is in the sutras. There are different views on rebirth, different definitions of buddha nature, different ways to spread the dharma and why. They work unison. Pali Canon being the foundation for the sutras is not bad. It just means like every other history, ideas, stories, and people progress by their time period and knowledge.
[The Buddha says to his monks], when he opens his mouth to expound or when he reads the sutra, he should not delight in speaking of the faults of other people or scriptures. He should not display contempt for other teachers of the Law or speak of the good or bad, the strong or weak points of others. -Saddharma Puṇḍarīka Sūtra
:anjali:

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Malcolm
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Re: The Mahayana Is Not Diluted Theravada.

Post by Malcolm » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:31 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:19 pm
DGA wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:42 am
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:43 am


This is a questionable assertion. While it may accurately represent what the schools you mention maintain, it is not an easily defensible assertion.
I'd like to go back to Qq's assertions. There are two.

1. the three yanas are not real paths in themselves, but are instead upaya. Means to an end. Hold that thought.

2. in themselves, they do not lead to annuttarasamyaksambodhi.

OK, if 1 is true, and I think it is, then you have to consider what the objective of that upaya may be. I think they are means to the end of bringing beings to the Mahayana, which does lead to annuttarasamyaksambodhi. This means the purpose and function of the three yanas is to lead beings to annuttarasamyaksambodhi.

To my mind, as of this moment, 2 must be false if 1 is true. All three lead to Mahayana and therefore to annuttarasamyaksambodhi. There's one Dharma path but different maps and landmarks, if that analogy makes sense.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding Qq's post and Malcolm's objection to it.

If I'm mistaken, I invite the gallery to set me right.
The intervening cause that reconciles 1 and 2 is the Buddha delivering the sobering message - "Everything I've taught you is upaya. Here is what's really going on." The rich man's son was always the rich man's son, but he thought he was something else. The rich man treated him as a servant, but that was only because the son thought that was all he was. The father contrived the whole charade for the son's benefit, but there was one reality all along, and in the father's mind, one end. The son on the other hand is conducting himself within the paradigm of a servant until the father declares, "It was all a put on!" That charade was never going to lead to the son realizing his real identity. Sooner or later, the father had to pierce the fiction and reveal the truth. Once the son knows who he really is, the servant paradigm is shattered. Same thing - once the Buddha tells the sravaka, "That whole Hinayana was a story I told you because you think so little of yourself the only thing that would satisfy you was to annihilate desire, etc." How could Sariputra go back to the sravaka path once he hears he's destined for Buddhahood, and always was? The Phantom City has been dispelled, and Sariputra finds himself back on the trail. All he can do is say, with realization casting his entire sravaka endeavor in a new light, "Ohhhhh..... that's what that was...."
In his commentary on the Lankāvatara Sūtra, Vasubandhu opines:

To the immature, three vehicles, one vehicle, and no vehicle are taught; but to the āryas, the truth of the three vehicles is taught as nondual dharmatā.

On the other hand, Asvabhāva writes in his Extensive Commentary on the Ornament of Mahāyāna Sūtras:

Since it is culmination of all vehicles, it is called Mahāyāna; since there is no other special vehicle beyond that, it is called Ekayāna.


So from this point of view, Ekayāna is the bodhisattva path of perfections, and nothing else.

On the Madhyamaka team, the only thing Vimuktisena writes in his massive commentary on the Abhisamayālaṃkāra:

Since dharmatā is undifferentiated, all paths are the Ekayāna.

M
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Malcolm
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Re: The Mahayana Is Not Diluted Theravada.

Post by Malcolm » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:32 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:45 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:37 am
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:15 am
These bodhisattvas until that point still believe that Shakyamuni first attained enlightenment in Gaya.
No, they don't. Whatever gives you this idea?
I made reference to the basis of this remark above.
As I said, it can only be rhetorical.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Queequeg
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Re: The Mahayana Is Not Diluted Theravada.

Post by Queequeg » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:43 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:53 am
This statement below is indefensible.
There is one vehicle - the Buddhayana. In response to the needs of the various beings, the Buddha, employing upaya, teaches the Sravakayana, Pratyekabuddhayana, and Bodhisattvayana. The Sravakayana is characterized by the teaching of the Four Noble Truths, Eightfold Path, etc. what we usually associate with Hinayana. The Pratyekabuddhayana is characterized by wisdom of pratityasamutpada, particularly through the teaching of the 12 linked chain of causation. The Bodhisattvayana is characterized by the teaching on the Six Paramita and the gradual path of 3 eons. None of these is a real path; all three of these are upaya. They, in themselves, do not lead to annuttarasamyaksambodhi.
I'll offer as much as you offer in objection:

Sure it is.
And this can only be a rhetorical device at best
This is where the bodhisattvayana is demonstrated to be an incomplete path - even Maitreya who is supposed to be the next Buddha doesn't realize that the path he treads is so limited.
Maitreya, like Śākyamuni, is presently a nirmankāya, who will succeed Śākyamuni as the fifth in line of the 1002 buddhas of this fortunate eon. It is impossible for Maitreya to possess the ignorance you attribute to him. If Maitreya, a nirmankāya, possesses such ignorance, so does Śakyamuni, a nirmankāya. So that part of your narrative, friend is inconsistent. And save me the sermon about "The Buddha for this time and place." A nirmanak̄ya is a nirmanakāya is a nirmanakāya — they are either omniscient about the three times and everything in it, or they are not. Also, one can easily discover that Mañjuśrī attained full buddhahood countless eons ago, so claiming that he or any other bodhisattva belonging to the eight close sons, or even of the tenth bhumi were under the impression than Śākyamuni Buddha first attained buddhahood at Bodhgaya is totally ridiculous. It just means you ignore everything every other Mahāyāna sūtra has to say.

M
I addressed the limits of Maitreya's knowledge above.

It occurs to me that the forest is getting lost in the trees. Its somewhat ironic that in response to a teaching where the Buddha declares, "Everything I've taught thus far is upaya," you refer to stories that seem to fall into this category of upaya.

The Lotus is a remarkable piece of Buddhist literature. It takes advantage of all sorts of Buddha mind tricks from the Buddha's bag of tricks. On one hand it urges the kind of faith that underlies our efforts based on the Buddha's word, ie. the faith that informs us that our mantra recitations, contemplations on the cushion, prostrations, generosity, etc. have the effect of building merit. The faith for which we suspend our doubt so that we can proceed as though the the Buddha's (or our teachers') words are true. And this same narrative systematically attacks the object of our faith. It explains that the stories buddhas tell are upaya, maybe even the stories about himself.

In the first half, we just think these teachings on upaya are just directed at those poor little sravakas. Its more or less a pretty unremarkable Mahayana triumphalist story. The Buddha goes about and tells all the sravaka that they are really bound for Buddhahood. Its a story that, discounting the embellishment, we could imagine really happening at Grdhakuta. It assumes the Hinayana narrative of the buddha's career. From a Mahayana perspective, its a :shrug: , "yeah, we knew that the Hinayana wasn't the Buddha's final teaching."

And then the LSD kicks in.

A giant stupa half the size of the Earth comes up out of the ground and floats in the air. And then it really starts to get weird and no one, even Maitreya, seems to understand what the heck is going on. Buddhas in inconceivable numbers from the ten directions are summoned, and all come to verify the teaching the Buddha is about to deliver. And innumerable bodhisattvas also come pouring out of the Earth.

The Buddha then explains his lifespan is of such a scale that no one in the Assembly is able to conceive it. Not Maitreya, not Manjusri, no one. He is teaching about a path of such scale and breadth it is understood only by other samyaksambuddhas. In the course of explaining this, he says, that he tells all kinds of stories, whatever people need to hear at that time and place, to bring them along on the path of Buddhahood. He'll even tell them he's dead when he's really not. A father willing to tell his children that he is dead. Consider the cruelty in that. He all but says, "Yeah, I make it all up."

"The Buddha would never say such a thing!"

*slap the forehead*

Of course! This story, too, is upaya!

The Ekayana is not about three vehicles, or sectarian disputes about "my Buddha is bigger than your Buddha!". Its not about Hinayana and Mahayana, or Pratyekabuddhas.

It takes the Mahayana conventions, blows them up to such scales that their distortions become so obvious, that people realize... "Oh, its a story. Its the rich man telling us the story we need to hear to get doing the beneficial thing. The rich man, humoring us, "Oh, yeah, sure, you're a bum. Here's a couple bucks. Go scrub that toilet."

I'm sure this comment is going to invite a lot of pearl clutching and breathless critique "See the corruption of Sinitic Buddhism! They don't know anything." Its there in the sutra. I'm not making anything up or exaggerating.

Somebody, at some point, has to tell the kids who still don't get it by 5th grade that Santa Claus is mom and dad. The age of enchantment is wonderful - I'm living it with my 2 and 5 year olds right now. At some point, the age of enchantment ends. But not before they're ready for it to end.
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, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Re: The Mahayana Is Not Diluted Theravada.

Post by Grigoris » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:53 pm

Carlita wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:07 pm
The Pali Canon is older than the Mahayana Sutras.
There is no evidence for this.

Actually historical evidence (actual copies of Sutta and Sutra) point to two options: 1. Mahayana is older since the oldest (known) existing copy of a teaching is from a Mahayana Sutra. 2. Sutta and Sutra developed concurrently. This is based on a Gandharan text (the actually oldest existing text) which shows influences from both traditions.
Every sutra is based on the Pali Canon in its foundational teachings.
No.
Nothing new is in the sutras.
Well, actually, based on historical evidence,this statement is true, but not in the way you mean it. ;)
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Re: The Mahayana Is Not Diluted Theravada.

Post by Simon E. » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:00 pm

This :thumbsup:
If you use the word 'mind' without defining your terms I will ask you politely for a definition. :smile:
This is not to be awkward. But it's really not self-explanatory.

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Re: The Mahayana Is Not Diluted Theravada.

Post by Malcolm » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:10 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:43 pm


I addressed the limits of Maitreya's knowledge above.
There are no limits to Maitreya's knowledge, the omniscience of a tenth stage bodhisattva is equal to that of a buddha's. This is why your idea about limits to Maitreya's knowledge can't be taken seriously.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Queequeg
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Re: The Mahayana Is Not Diluted Theravada.

Post by Queequeg » Sat Feb 10, 2018 3:26 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:10 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:43 pm


I addressed the limits of Maitreya's knowledge above.
There are no limits to Maitreya's knowledge, the omniscience of a tenth stage bodhisattva is equal to that of a buddha's. This is why your idea about limits to Maitreya's knowledge can't be taken seriously.
No substantive response to the quote? A blanket declaration without citation and remarks about the scope of my knowledge?

Sigh. Par.
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, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Malcolm
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Re: The Mahayana Is Not Diluted Theravada.

Post by Malcolm » Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:57 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 3:26 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:10 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:43 pm


I addressed the limits of Maitreya's knowledge above.
There are no limits to Maitreya's knowledge, the omniscience of a tenth stage bodhisattva is equal to that of a buddha's. This is why your idea about limits to Maitreya's knowledge can't be taken seriously.
No substantive response to the quote? A blanket declaration without citation and remarks about the scope of my knowledge?

Sigh. Par.
You mean the same quote you keep trotting out?

With respect to Maitreya's or any another tenth stage bodhisattvas omniscience, the Buddha had this to say about it in the Perfection of Wisdom in 18,000 Lines:

If it is asked how a bodhisattva mahāsattva abiding on the tenth stage is called a "tathāgata," because such a bodhisattva mahāsattva has throughly completed the ten perfections, thoroughly completed the eighteen unshared buddhadharmas up to the omniscient knowledge of aspects, has totally relinquished traces, connections, and afflictions, and totally completed all buddhadharmas, Subhuti, a bodhisattva mahāsattva abiding on the tenth stage is called "tathāgata."

Thus, your idea that Maitreya's comment in that passage shows some limit to his knowledge is completely refuted.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Queequeg
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Re: The Mahayana Is Not Diluted Theravada.

Post by Queequeg » Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:05 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:57 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 3:26 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:10 pm
There are no limits to Maitreya's knowledge, the omniscience of a tenth stage bodhisattva is equal to that of a buddha's. This is why your idea about limits to Maitreya's knowledge can't be taken seriously.
No substantive response to the quote? A blanket declaration without citation and remarks about the scope of my knowledge?

Sigh. Par.
You mean the same quote you keep trotting out?

With respect to Maitreya's or any another tenth stage bodhisattvas omniscience, the Buddha had this to say about it in the Perfection of Wisdom in 18,000 Lines:

If it is asked how a bodhisattva mahāsattva abiding on the tenth stage is called a "tathāgata," because such a bodhisattva mahāsattva has throughly completed the ten perfections, thoroughly completed the eighteen unshared buddhadharmas up to the omniscient knowledge of aspects, has totally relinquished traces, connections, and afflictions, and totally completed all buddhadharmas, Subhuti, a bodhisattva mahāsattva abiding on the tenth stage is called "tathāgata."

Thus, your idea that Maitreya's comment in that passage shows some limit to his knowledge is completely refuted.
Somebody, at some point, has to tell the kids who still don't get it by 5th grade that Santa Claus is mom and dad. The age of enchantment is wonderful - I'm living it with my 2 and 5 year olds right now. At some point, the age of enchantment ends. But not before they're ready for it to end.
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, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Malcolm
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Re: The Mahayana Is Not Diluted Theravada.

Post by Malcolm » Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:43 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:05 pm
Somebody, at some point, has to tell the kids who still don't get it by 5th grade that Santa Claus is mom and dad. The age of enchantment is wonderful - I'm living it with my 2 and 5 year olds right now. At some point, the age of enchantment ends. But not before they're ready for it to end.

What an impoverished view.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Coëmgenu
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Re: The Mahayana Is Not Diluted Theravada.

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:00 pm

DGA wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:11 pm
Coëmgenu wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:45 pm
DGA wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:02 pm
Mahayana (which is the same as Ekayana)


And therein lies the controverted point: is the Mahāyāna the ekayāna?

When I read the LS, I see three provisional paths outlined and one definitive path.

The three provisional paths being pratyayasaṃbodhiyāna, śrāvakayāna,& bodhisattvayāna. I see one definitive path: buddhayāna, the ekayāna, found in all three.

Is bodhisattvayāna provisional, I suppose, is the question at hand?


Yes, I understand the Mahayana to be the ekayana. In the last analysis, the two terms are fungible into each other.

I don't think that the ekayana is found in all three provisional paths so much as all three provisional paths are means to the end of leading beings to Mahayana and hence Buddhahood. Maybe that is a distinction without a difference.
Indeed. I will try to make this as user-friendly a post as possible, given that this is in the 'Discovering Mahayana' subforum.

I think that in this part of the general exchange, at least, to say nothing of the interesting ways that the dialogue has developed since my absence, it is actually in the end not a disagreement, but a matter of perspectives and framings of terms.

The narrative that you outline is something that I know respectively either as the samādhi of the Arhantaḥ ('arhats'), the slumber of the Arhantaḥ, or the rousing of the Arhantaḥ, and seems to be a mainstream feature of many Buddhisms, but not necessarily a universal feature of all Mahāyāna. This narrative ties in quite well with the also well-established narrative of ekayāna as Mahāyāna, as the two beliefs support one another.

For instance, the rousing of the Arhantaḥ is a prominent enough narrative for Ven Huifeng, in those earlier quotes, to note it clashing with a passage in early prajñāpāramitā literature. He:
[...] take[s] those texts which say otherwise, ie. that arhats can continue on with the Mahayana, to be neyartha teachings, ie. teachings which do not express the real truth of the matter, but are expedients requiring further explanation.
He further qualifies his thinking:
Note that most of these neyartha teachings [i.e. the rousing of the Arhantaḥ] are later, even though they usually claim to be "the real truth". Such claims are more an indication of their own acknowledgement that they differ radically from established points of view.
Whether or not Ven Huifeng has a well-established, established, or completely unestablished tradition of thought behind him in making this judgement, I am not qualified to say. But this represents one perspective in which the "one vehicle" cannot be Mahāyāna, because it is said to be impossible for the śrāvaka vehicle to lead to the bodhisattva vehicle.

It makes me wonder what his opinion on ekayāna in general would be.

In the interest of providing some substantiation for this teaching that is being presented as called into question, the Venerable Khenpo Kunzang Pelden (hereafter Ven KKP) cites three passages from scripture in establishing the narrative of the rousing of the Arhantaḥ:
Ven KKP wrote:Thus you say that you have passed beyond all pain,
But from the sorrows of saṃsāra only are you free.
You have not yet transcended every misery;
The Buddha's highest vehicle you should now pursue.
(Saddharmapuṇḍarīkasūtra)

Until the state of buddhahood is gained,
The state beyond all sorrow is not reached;
Likewise with its light and beams removed,
The sun alone we could not see.
(Mahāyānottaratantraśāstra)

The Arhat Śrāvakas,
Till the Buddhas call them,
Rest in wisdom bodies,
Drunk on concentration.
Roused, they take on various forms,
And work with love for beings' sake,
Merit and wisdom gathered in,
They reach the awakening of buddhahood.
(Bodhicittavivaraṇa)
(compiled from page 343 of Ven KKP's commentary on Ven Śāntideva's Bodhicaryavatara, The Nectar of Mañjuśrī's Speech)

Note that one of the sources that Ven KKP utilizes is the Lotus Sūtra itself.

Leaving that for a moment and entering into East Asian Buddhism, it is easy to see why some degree of confusion over what is precisely meant by 'ekayāna' can occur. For instance, in consulting Paul Swanson's Clear Serenity, Quiet Insight (the extensive supplementary translations rather than Móhēzhǐguān itself), a number of seemingly divergent accounts of the ekayāna are given, all eventually leading back to, and themselves echoes of, a passage in Ven Zhìyǐ's 法華玄義 (Fǎhuá xuányì, 'The Dharma Flower's Subtle Meaning') that unifies them.

For instance, from Swanson's compiled glossary of Tiāntāi terms, on page 1949-50, one will find a definition for 開權顯實 (kāi quán xiǎn shí, "open the expedient to reveal the true") which he renders as "expose the tentative and manifest the real":
Def: to show that the triyāna is not ultimately true but that all is included in ekayāna. To show conventional truth for what it is and reveal ultimate truth. To reject the tentative and establish the real 廢權立實. One of the three meanings of the word "tentative [i.e. 權]."

Ref: Fa-hua hsüan-i, 690b10-24; Mo-ho chih-kuan, 34a20-21; Ssu-chiao-i, 46.775b12

see also: tentative [three meanings of]
Note the labelling of triyāna as both "not ultimately true" and "included in ekayāna". The definition given by Swanson here is in continuity with one particular way of reading 唯有一乘法,無二亦無三。 ('Only is there a one vehicle dharma, not two and not three.') from the verse @ 7c9 in Chapter 2 of the Lotus Sūtra and 「舍利弗!以是因緣,當知諸佛方便力故,於一佛乘分別說三。」(Burton Watson has: "“Shariputra, for this reason you should understand that the buddhas employ the power of expedient means [a]nd because they do so, they make distinctions in the one buddha vehicle and preach it as three.") from 13c16 in Chapter 3.

Complicating this reading we turn to page 1991, later in that same glossary:
Hīnayāna 小乘

Def: according to T'ien-t'ai, the smaller vehicle, in contrast to Mahāyāna, the larger or greater vehicle. A derogatory term for the "inferior" teachings prior to the Mahāyāna. The Tripitaka Teachings that posits the three vehicles, or ways, of the śrāvaka,
pratyekabuddha, and bodhisattva, in contrast to the one single vehicle (ekayāna) of the Mahāyāna.
Here we see that the narrative is not so simple. Bodhisattvayāna is labelled a provisional "Tripitaka Teaching", but, the ekayāna itself is also identified as synonymous with Mahāyāna, as per the above narrative from Ven KKP & his Lotus Sūtra citation.

Another quote from the Lotus Sūtra is in order, from Chapter 3 @ 13b4, in the explanation of the burning house parable:

但以智慧方便,於三界火宅拔濟眾生,為說三乘——聲聞、辟支佛、佛乘
[The Tathāgata] merely uses wisdom and skillful means, in the trilokadhātu's [three realms'] flaming residence he saves sentient beings, to them speaking of three vehicles: śrāvaka, pratyekabuddha, and buddha vehicle.


This passage attests to "Mahāyāna = eka(buddha)yāna".

To add to the apparent ping-pong we can go later yet into Swanson's same glossary to page 2094 to find:
three vehicles 三乘

Def: the ways of the śrāvaka, pratyekabuddha, and bodhisattva, in contrast to the one single vehicle of the ekayāna.
It seems that the first major discrepancy we find is: is the triyāna properly understood as "pratyekabuddhayāna-śrāvakayāna-ekabuddhayāna" (as per the LS @ 13b4) or "pratyekabuddhayāna-śrāvakayāna-bodhisattvayāna" (as per Swanson here & some more sources I will be introducing shortly)? It seems that this is the first point of ekayāna contention, and it relates to "is bodhisattva provisional?", a question I asked before, and "Is the term 'bodhisattvayāna' completely the same as the term 'Mahāyāna'?"

With the advent of these questions one leaves the realms of what is addressable in such a glossary inasmuch as it relates to the Buddhadharma as particularly understood by one sect. We can move to investigate some of the references Swanson included for his definition of 開權顯實 ("open the expedient to reveal the true"), namely 摩訶止観/Móhēzhǐguān & 法華玄義/Fǎhuá xuányì by Ven Zhìyǐ, and 天台四教儀/Tiāntāi sìjiāoyí by Ven Chegwan (a famed Cheontae commentator).

If readers happen to have Swanson's translation of Móhēzhǐguān handy, they will find the relevant quotation near the end of volume 1 on page 559-60, in the section entitled "Clarification of the Tentative and the Real". This text uses square brackets, so edits and clarifications by me will be in [italics & square brackets]:
○五明權實者。
Fifth [referring to this very section of the text] is the clarification of the tentative and the real [practice of cessation-and-contemplation].

權是權謀暫用還廢。
"Tentative" means a tentative design, something that functions for a while but then is abandoned.

實是實錄究竟旨歸。
"Real" means "true account", the "ultimate returning to the purport".

立權略為三意。
There are three meanings for establishing [the sense of] the tentative:

一為實施權。二開權顯實。三廢權顯實。如法華中蓮華三譬。
1. the tentative is given for the sake of [knowing] the real; 2. the tentative is exposed and the real is made manifest. This is like the three analogies or symbolic meanings of the lotus blossom in the Lotus Sūtra [as explained in the Fa-hua hsüan-i].

諸佛即一大事出世。
[It is said that] Buddhas appear in the world for one great purpose.

元為圓頓一實止觀。而施三權止觀也。
[In the same way,] basically the three tentative [types of] cessation-and-contemplation are given for the sake of the complete and perfect, sudden, and one real cessation-and-contemplation.

權非本意。意亦不在權外。
The tentative [itself] is not the fundamental intent [of the Buddha], but the intent does not exist apart from the tentative [expressions].

祇開三權止觀 而顯圓頓一實止觀也。
It is by exposing the three tentative [types of] cessation-and-contemplation that the perfect and complete, one, real cessation-and-contemplation is made manifest.

為實施權實今已立。開權顯實權即是實無權可論。
"The tentative is given for the sake of [knowing] the real" means that the real is already established now. "The tentative is exposed and the real made manifest" means that the tentative is itself [indivisible from] the real, and there is no [seperate] "tantativeness" to be discussed.

是故廢權顯實權廢實存。
Therefore, "the tentative is abandoned and the real is made manifest" means that when the tentative is abandoned, the real is present.

暫用釋名其義為允。
Thus I have briefly and provisionally interpreted these terms ["tentative" and "real"]; their meaning should be so acknowledged.
& Fǎhuá xuányì (also in Swanson's translation) @ 681a25-b24, the section on the six interpretations of the lotus blossom in the explanation of the title:
所言「妙」者,「妙」名不可思議也。
The term "subtle" (SKT., sad) [in the title of the Lotus Sūtra] means "inconceivable" or "beyond conceptual understanding" (Skt., acintya).

所言「法」者,十界、十如、權實之法也。
The term "dharma" refers to the tentative and real phenomena of the ten realms and ten suchnesses.

「蓮華」者,譬權實法也。良以妙法難解,假喻易彰!況意乃多,略擬前後,合成六也。
The term "lotus blossom" is a symbol of tentative and real dharmas. Truly this subtle dharma is difficult to understand but it is easily clarified by the conventional use of the symbol. Moreover, the interpretations are many, but including the beginning and the end [that is, both halves of the Lotus Sūtra], there are six all together.

一、為蓮故華,譬為實施權。文云「知第一寂滅,以方便力故,雖示種種道,其實為佛乘。」
1. For the sake of the lotus there is the blossom. Symbolically, the tentative is given for the sake of [knowing] the real.
Therefore it is written [in the Lotus Sūtra], "Knowing the supreme quiescence of extinguishing [passions], they use teh power of [skillful] means to signify various paths, but the real [path] is the Buddha-vehicle."

二、華敷譬開權,蓮現譬顯實。文云「開方便門,示真實相。」
2. The blossoming of the flower is symbolic of the exposing of the conventional, and the appearance of the fruit is symbolic of the manifestation of the real. It is written, "The gate of [skillful] means is opened and the aspect of the truly real is signified."

三、華落譬廢權,蓮成譬立實。文云「正直捨方便,但說無上道。」
3. The falling of the blossom is symbolic of abandoning the conventional; the maturing of the lotus is symbolic of the manifestation of the real [that is, when the petal falls, the fruit is mature]. It is written. "To straightforwardly abandon the [skillful] means and preach only the supreme path."

又蓮譬於本,華譬於迹,從本垂迹,迹依於本。文云「我實成佛來,久遠若斯。但教化眾生,作如是說:『我少出家,得三菩提。』」
4. Again, the fruit is symbolic of of the basis [that is, the original ground of reality], and the flower is symbolic of the traces [that is, phenomenal manifestations]. The traces emanate from the basis, and the traces depend on the basis. It is written, "Actually I perfected Buddhahood previously, a long time ago. I only taught that I left home at a young age and accomplished perfect awakening in order to teach and save sentient beings."

二、華敷譬開迹,蓮現譬顯本。文云「一切世間皆謂今始得道;我成佛來,無量無邊那由他劫。」
5. The second "blossoming of flowers" is [also] symbolic of the exposing the phenomenal; the appearance of the lotus is symbolic of the manifestation of the basis. It is written "Everyone in all the worlds is saying that ... now the path is accomplished for the first time, ... [but actually] immeasurable, unlimited eons have passed since I perfected Buddhahood.

三、華落譬廢迹,蓮成譬立本。文云「諸佛如來,法皆如是。為度眾生,皆實不虛。」
6. The third "falling of flowers" is [also] symbolic of abandoning the phenomenal, and the blossoming of the lotus is [also]
symbolic of the establishment of the basis. It is written, "The Dharma of all Buddha Tathāgatas is also like this; in order to save sentient beings, all [Buddhas] are truly real and not false [nothingness]."

是以先標妙法,次喻蓮華:
For these reasons, [the title] consists first of [the terms] miao fa (subtle Dharma), and then lien hua (the lotus).

蕩化城之執教,廢草庵之滯情;開方便之權門,示真實之妙理;會眾善之小行,歸廣大之一乘;上、中、下根,皆與記莂。又發眾聖之權巧,顯本地之幽微,故增道損生,位隣大覺。一期化導,事理俱圓,蓮華之譬,意在斯矣。
Dissolving the teaching [which consists of] attachment to the teaching of the conjured city, casting aside the obstructing passions of the "grass hut," opening the provisional gate of [skillful] means and signifying the truth of sublime reality, meeting all good and minor practices, and relying on the vast and great single vehicle, all those of inferior, mediocre, and superior capacities receive reassurance [of future Buddhahood (vyākaraṇa)]. Also, all the [skillful] means of the Noble One are cast aside and the sublime mystery of the original basis [of reality] is made manifest. Therefore [sentient beings] increase in the path and lose [further] rebirth and their stage [of accomplishment] is next to that of great awakening. In one lifetime of teaching [by Śākyamuni], both phenomena and principle are shown to be perfect and complete. This is the meaning of the symbolism of the lotus blossom.
& lastly Tiāntāi sìjiāoyí by Ven Chegwan:
次、鹿苑、但麤無妙 [藏教]次方等三麤、 [藏通別]一妙。 [圓教]次般若二麤、 [通別]一妙。 [圓教]來至法華會上。
總開會廢前四味麤、令成一乘妙。諸味圓教更不須開。
本自圓融不待開也。但是部內兼但對帶、
故不及法華淳一無雜。獨得妙名、良有以也。

In the next, the Deer Park period, there is only crudity and no refinement [the Tripiṭaka Teaching]. In the ensuing Vaipulya period, there are three cases of crudity [the Tripiṭaka, Shared, and Distinct Teachings] and one case of refinement [the Perfect Teaching]. In the ensuing Prajñā period there are two cases of crudity [the Shared and the Distinct teachings] and one case of refinement [the Perfect Teaching.]. Coming up to the outset of the Lotus sermon, [the Buddha] discloses them, merges them, and discards the prior four crude flavors, completing them in the refinement of the One Vehicle. The various flavors of the Perfect Teaching need not be disclosed again, since they are originally an amalgam, their disclosure is not necessary. These are merely the “combined,” “single,” “contrastive,” and “inclusive” within the phases and therefore do not come up to the level of the Lotus’ unadulterated coherence. The exclusive use of the word “refined” for the teachings of the Lotus is well-deserved here.

故文云、十方佛土中唯有一乘法。
無二亦無三 [教一]正直捨方便。但說無上道 [行一]但爲菩薩。
不爲小乘 [人一]。世間相常住 [理一] 時人未得法華妙旨。
但見部內有三車、窮子、化城等譬。
乃謂不及餘經。蓋不知重擧前四時權、獨顯大車。
但付家業唯至寶所、故致誹謗之咎也。

As the text [of the Lotus Sūtra] says: “In all the buddha-lands of the ten directions there is only the dharma of the One Vehicle—there are neither two, nor three” (T 262.9.8a17–18) . [The teaching is one.]“He teaches the truth directly, eschewing expedients; he only teaches the peerless way” (T 262.9.10a19) . [The practice is one.]“This teaching is only for bodhisattvas; it is not for adherents of the Hīnayāna” (T 262.9.18b20) . [The person is one.]. “The marks of the world are eternally abiding” (T 262.9.9b10) . [the principle is one.] People of this period have not grasped the subtle message of the Lotus. They only see the metaphors for the various phases of this teaching, such as the three carts, the prodigal son, the conjured city, and so forth, and say that it does not come up to the level of other scriptures. Now, not knowing enough to hold in awe the provisional teaching of the prior four periods, they exclusively exalt the great white [bullock] cart. After being entrusted with the family business, one merely proceeds to the treasure-land (nirvāṇa). Therefore one ends up committing the error of denigrating those provisional teachings.

(Translation A.C. Muller)
It seems that East Asian Buddhism draws a distinction, at least occasionally, between bodhisattvayāna and "buddhayāna".

In East Asian Buddhism, ekayāna is a property shared by the triyāna. The ekayāna is the teaching of the Buddhas. The triyāna are applied distinctions to one wisdom & one teaching.

In light of this, what is shared between the wisdoms of the three yanāni? ‘This is void of self or of what pertains to self’ -MN 43. Malcolm already said it. Ekayāna, it seems, needs to be śūnyavāda. What other property of the Buddha's stands aside from dependent origination in place of "the extant"?

My Sanskrit is wretched, so please take this next quotation with a grain of salt:

ity utpādād vā tathāgatānām anutpādād vā tathāgatānām sthitā eveyaṃ dharmatā dharmasthitaye dhātuḥ [...]
With the arising of the Tathāgatāni or non-arising of the Tathāgatāni there persists dharma-nature, the stasis of the dharma in this element [...]

iti yātra dharmatā dharmasthititā dharmanairātmyatā dharmayathātathā avitathatā ananyathā bhūtaṃ
This is dharma-nature, the stasis of dharma, the selflessness of dharma, the here-and-there of dharma, unfalse, undifferent from truth [...]


It is hidden in there, but dharmanairātmyatā is the selflessness of dharmāḥ, or the "emptiness of dharmāḥ". It is 法空 in the Chinese parallel to this śrāvaka text.

Now we approach closer the relevance of this:
Coëmgenu wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:20 am
DGA wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:19 am
Malcolm wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:26 pm
Actually, if you follow Candra's logic, the one path is based on the fact that everyone realizes the dharmadhātu.
I don't see much daylight between the position you are describing, Malcolm, and the Tientai position.
The position is almost completely the same. I need to assemble some quotes but I see them as identical.
Regarding of labelling of Mahāyāna and/or bodhisattvayāna as expedient/provisional, I think too much is being made of this. To re-quote Ven Chegwan "not knowing enough to hold in awe the provisional teaching of the prior four periods, [people] exclusively exalt the great white [bullock] cart[, as if] after being entrusted with the family business, one merely proceeds to the treasure-land (nirvāṇa) [and in so doing] one ends up committing the error of denigrating those provisional teachings."

All of the Buddha's teachings are provisional to a certain extent. In light of this, it is not as scandalous as it may seem to call bodhisattvayāna a "provisional path". He himself says as much. If we were capable of immediately understanding the Buddha's teachings taught from the perspective of the Buddha directly, we would not need the Buddha to teach us, because we would already understand.

Consider the famous parable of the raft as it is related in the Diamond Sūtra:

以是義故,如來常說汝等比丘知我說法如筏喻者,法尚應捨,何況非法。
Because of this [i.e. the emptiness of dharmāḥ], the Tathāgata constantly speaks: ‘All you bhikṣavaḥ, know my dharma is likened to the raft parable, this dharma should, nevertheless, be abandoned, much less what is not [my] dharma.’


This is the way in which bodhisattvayāna is provisional. Not because the Buddha taught a "new yāna" (implying "different" yāna) that supersedes it.

Thus have I heard: At one time, the Bhagavān was at Vulture’s Peak in Rājagṛiha, together with eighty-three fully-ordained bhikṣavaḥ, and many hundreds of thousands of millions of bodhisattvāḥ, who were all abiding together in one company.

Thereupon, at that time, at that moment, the Bhagavān gave teaching to the Venerable Ānanda thus:

“Ānanda! This is the Far-Reaching Perfection of Deep Insight in a Single Syllable. For the benefit and happiness of all sentient beings, you should retain this! And it goes thus:

ཨཱ། [āh]."

The Bhagavān spoke those words, and the bhikṣavaḥ, bodhisattvāḥ, and all the assemblies of gods, humans, demigods and celestial spirits, along with the entire world, rejoiced: they deeply praised what had been spoken by the Bhagavān, the transcendent and accomplished Jina.
(The One-Syllable Perfection of Wisdom, Ākakasharamprajñāpāramitāsarvatathāgatamanāma)

X or Y Buddhist teaching or teaching, like Ven Zhìyǐ, may predate or postdate Ven Candrakīrti:
Malcolm wrote:
DGA wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Indeed. However Zhiyi could not have read Candra.
How so?
Candra lived in the 9th century.
But I do not think that that prevents them from agreeing or disagreeing with his proposal. I myself have never read Ven Candrakīrti either, and my faculties, I am very sure, are much more feeble than either figure, but even I in my vanity and upstart intellectual self-overestimation can still string together:
Coemgenu wrote:My definition of empty is empty. You can’t get emptier than empty. There are no gradations to emptiness that I can think of.
on February 3rd on SuttaCentral.

The real point of contention here that was unstated, IMO, was if a śrāvaka can complete śrāvakayāna practice and spontaneously find themselves a complete and perfect fully awakened Buddha without any exposure to Mahāyāna at all. To the best of my knowledge, there is neither precedent for that in Tiāntāi or any of the various Indo-Tibetan Buddhisms.

At least, that's how I see it. :thinking:
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः
उत्पन्नाजातुविद्यन्तेभावाःक्वचनकेचन

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Re: The Mahayana Is Not Diluted Theravada.

Post by Malcolm » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:58 pm

Short answer, since I lost a detailed post of sūtra citations.

1) Buddhayāna, Ekayāna, Mahayāna and Bodhisattvayāna are absolute synonyms.

2) The teaching of three vehicles is a skillful means. The trio Śrāvakayāna, Prayetyekabuddhayāna and Mahāyāna are more more common in sutras than the trio Śrāvakayāna, Prayetyekabuddhayāna and Buddhayāna, however, the last is always equated with Mahāyāna.

3) The teaching of Ekayāna is in no way unique to the Saddharmakpuṇḍarīka Sūtra. In the Tibetan Canon it is mentioned 145 times, only 19 of those times is in the aforementioned sūtra.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Queequeg
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Re: The Mahayana Is Not Diluted Theravada.

Post by Queequeg » Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:16 am

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:58 pm
Short answer, since I lost a detailed post of sūtra citations.

1) Buddhayāna, Ekayāna, Mahayāna and Bodhisattvayāna are absolute synonyms.

2) The teaching of three vehicles is a skillful means. The trio Śrāvakayāna, Prayetyekabuddhayāna and Mahāyāna are more more common in sutras than the trio Śrāvakayāna, Prayetyekabuddhayāna and Buddhayāna, however, the last is always equated with Mahāyāna.

3) The teaching of Ekayāna is in no way unique to the Saddharmakpuṇḍarīka Sūtra. In the Tibetan Canon it is mentioned 145 times, only 19 of those times is in the aforementioned sūtra.
Round and round.
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, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Malcolm
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Re: The Mahayana Is Not Diluted Theravada.

Post by Malcolm » Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:10 am

Queequeg wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:16 am
Malcolm wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:58 pm
Short answer, since I lost a detailed post of sūtra citations.

1) Buddhayāna, Ekayāna, Mahayāna and Bodhisattvayāna are absolute synonyms.

2) The teaching of three vehicles is a skillful means. The trio Śrāvakayāna, Prayetyekabuddhayāna and Mahāyāna are more more common in sutras than the trio Śrāvakayāna, Prayetyekabuddhayāna and Buddhayāna, however, the last is always equated with Mahāyāna.

3) The teaching of Ekayāna is in no way unique to the Saddharmakpuṇḍarīka Sūtra. In the Tibetan Canon it is mentioned 145 times, only 19 of those times is in the aforementioned sūtra.
Round and round.
Yes, it’s much better not to read sutras after all.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Re: The Mahayana Is Not Diluted Theravada.

Post by coffeebeans » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:26 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:00 pm
All of the Buddha's teachings are provisional to a certain extent. In light of this, it is not as scandalous as it may seem to call bodhisattvayāna a "provisional path". He himself says as much. If we were capable of immediately understanding the Buddha's teachings taught from the perspective of the Buddha directly, we would not need the Buddha to teach us, because we would already understand.

Consider the famous parable of the raft as it is related in the Diamond Sūtra:

以是義故,如來常說汝等比丘知我說法如筏喻者,法尚應捨,何況非法。
Because of this [i.e. the emptiness of dharmāḥ], the Tathāgata constantly speaks: ‘All you bhikṣavaḥ, know my dharma is likened to the raft parable, this dharma should, nevertheless, be abandoned, much less what is not [my] dharma.’
I really like this part.

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Re: The Mahayana Is Not Diluted Theravada.

Post by Coëmgenu » Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:04 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:58 pm
Short answer, since I lost a detailed post of sūtra citations.

1) Buddhayāna, Ekayāna, Mahayāna and Bodhisattvayāna are absolute synonyms.

2) The teaching of three vehicles is a skillful means. The trio Śrāvakayāna, Prayetyekabuddhayāna and Mahāyāna are more more common in sutras than the trio Śrāvakayāna, Prayetyekabuddhayāna and Buddhayāna, however, the last is always equated with Mahāyāna.

3) The teaching of Ekayāna is in no way unique to the Saddharmakpuṇḍarīka Sūtra. In the Tibetan Canon it is mentioned 145 times, only 19 of those times is in the aforementioned sūtra.
I think this relates to what I spoke about before here, but I was did not elaborate out my thought as fully as I intended:
it is actually in the end not a disagreement, but a matter of perspectives and framings of terms
It stems from, essentially, two different uses of the word 'ekayāna'.

次、鹿苑、但麤無妙 [藏教]次方等三麤、 [藏通別]一妙。 [圓教]次般若二麤、 [通別]一妙。 [圓教]來至法華會上。
總開會廢前四味麤、令成一乘妙。
In the next, the Deer Park period, there is only crudity and no refinement [the Tripiṭaka Teaching]. In the ensuing Vaipulya period, there are three cases of crudity [the Tripiṭaka, Shared, and Distinct Teachings] and one case of refinement [the Perfect Teaching]. In the ensuing Prajñā period there are two cases of crudity [the Shared and the Distinct teachings] and one case of refinement [the Perfect Teaching.]. Coming up to the outset of the Lotus sermon, [the Buddha] discloses them, merges them, and discards the prior four crude flavors, completing them in the refinement of the One Vehicle.


Ven Zhìyǐ identifies ekayāna as the totality of the refined elements of three periods of teachings: vaipulya (corresponding to Vimalakīrti, Viśeṣa-cinti-brahma, Laṅkâvatāra, Śūraṃgama-samādhi, Suvarṇa-prabhāsa-sūtra, Śrīmālā, etc., (Muller 2.2)), prajñā (the prajñāpāramitā sūtras), & the period of the Lotus Sermon.

Note that the "Deer Park period" (the āgamāḥ, āgama sūtras) is absent from the fusion of the Lotus sermon that completes the refined ekayāna. This actually links back to the OP:

Simon E. wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:16 am
c) That the Mahayana has to be validated by the Pali Sutras.

[This] suggestion[ is] erroneous. In reality; [... t]he Mahayana path including the Vajrayana can be brought to completion with no reference to the Pali Sutras at all.
Meaning that my initial posting here was perhaps somewhat hasty. Hopefully my better participation afterwards has somewhat redeemed me.

This is something of a disagreement-without-disagreement based on two different systems of classifying Buddhist teachings not having entirely overlapping applications in how they attach names to definitions.

Bodhisattvayāna = Mahāyāna. This one should be self-evident.

Ekayāna = Buddhayāna. This one is also self-evident, but is substantiated, for instance, in compounds like 一佛乘 (yī fó chéng, *ekabuddhayāna, 'one buddha vehicle') in places like the Lotus Sūtra..

Ekayāna = Mahāyāna. This is substantiated all over the place, including in the Lotus Sūtra itself, and also in some of the Tiāntāi writings quoted above.

Ekayāna = Buddhayāna. This would substantiated in a prior Lotus Sūtra quote.

Ekayāna = Bodhisattvayāna. This is substantiated by Ven Zhìyǐ as 'bodhisattvayāna' is one of the elements that enter into the "round-fusion" or "consummate interfusion" ((圓融, also rendered into English sometimes as 'interpenetration') that is ekayāna. This is substantiated in other Buddhisms too.

Ekayāna = Pratyekabuddhayāna & Śrāvakayāna? It seems only from a roundabout perspective, based on the aforementioned argumentation that these yanāni (vehicles) "lead" to Mahāyāna. In Ven Zhìyǐ description of ekayāna as a classification, he omits śrāvakayāna from the round-fusion.

It seems its a different-without-difference.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः
उत्पन्नाजातुविद्यन्तेभावाःक्वचनकेचन

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Queequeg
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Re: The Mahayana Is Not Diluted Theravada.

Post by Queequeg » Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:05 pm

Coemgenu, great investigation.

I would point out that in Zhiyi's system, there are three distinctions in the Mahayana - Shared, Distinct and Perfect. The Shared and Distinct, like the Tripitaka/Hinayana are marked by Gradual development. The Distinct has a Sudden component, but this Sudden is different than the Sudden in the Perfect because it is predicated on a Gradual Path. The Sudden and Perfect relates to the other paths because it opens and reveals their real aspect, not because there is a sequential, Gradual attainment. In the Sudden and Perfect, reality is the teacher, teaching and vehicle rather than Upaya.

In this Buddhayana/Ekayana/True Mahayana is the Sudden and Perfect. Everything else falls into the category of three vehicles that are upaya.

If you look closely, the comparisons you are making require much more discussion to reconcile with the Indo-Tibetan views. Actually, those views would mostly fall into Shared and Distinct views.

This is obviously a case of two dialects that use similar terms for different meanings.
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, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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