joy&peace wrote: ↑Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:28 pm
Queequeg, one thought that occurs is related to the question, do we all see the same colors? I.e. is blue to me the same as blue for you? If we attain siddhis, and enlightenment, perhaps Sumeru will become visible and accessible.
There are other things Buddha has done, such as transforming all the canopies in Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra into one great one.
Do we see the same blue? That's a good question... Blue looks... blue.
My perspective, I'm coming from a Lotus Sutra devotional background... I love that story. I love that sutra. I think it is an incredibly rich and profound sutra.
Its a totally batshit crazy story if you take it literally. If you take it literally, it will break your head. And I think that's the point. It starts out normal. The Buddha and his disciples are hanging out on Grdhakuta, just like many sutras. But then the Buddha tells everyone, "I've never told you the full truth because you wouldn't get it." And then goes along upending the foundation of the sravaka views by telling everyone, "Arhatship is a rest stop, you're all bodhisattvas that I've been teaching for aeons and aeons. You just don't remember." And then a giant stupa rises up out of the Earth with a talking mummy inside, and everyone floats up into the air. Then, the Buddha asks who he can entrust with his deepest teachings. Maitreya raises his hand to volunteer and the Buddha says, No thank you. Then Bodhistattvas that no one has ever seen before pour out of the Earth in hordes and they greet the Buddha like old acquaintances, and everyone, the sravakas and all the bodhisattvas like Mtreya are bewildered. And then the Buddha delivers a teaching that is basically a math equation that if you try to follow, will break your head. At that point, the Buddha basically says, "I just tell stories to get you to do what's good for you," and then relates a story about a doctor who tells his children he's dead to shock them into taking medicine, and as soon as they take the medicine, he comes back. (I think at that point, you're supposed to read between the lines and realize that the Lotus Sutra is itself another one of these stories that the Buddha tells... if you didn't get it already - he explicitly says, "Sometimes I tell stories about Dipamkara, sometimes I tell stories about myself, sometimes others, sometimes I show you my body, sometimes I show the body of others... its all to get you to wake up.") When he entrusts the teaching, he entrusts the bodhisattvas who come out of the Earth and who are supposed to appear in the future. At the end, all the fireworks stop, the buddhas and bodhisattvas all go home, and I imagine Sariputra and company sitting around Shakyamuni on Grdhakuta with their jaws hanging open and nothing but the sounds of crickets in the middle of the night.
The Vimalakirti Sutra is similarly nuts. That whole part about everyone fitting in his bedroom, sitting on chairs as tall as the distance to the moon. The point, I think, is to draw one along a train of thought until the train of thought breaks under its own weight - like a koan.
These wild stories that are logically impossible - its the device employed in Mahayana texts to short circuit our grasping mind. In the Surangama Samadhi sutra, the Buddha appears to each deva who wants to be the ONE who gets to give the Buddha a seat to sit on. Vairocana in the Avatamsaka Sutra who is presented as the fabric of reality. And in the middle of all this, Sumeru... so tall it touches heaven...
Jaws hanging open. Crickets.