Does Mahayana lose its entire validity...

General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
smcj
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Re: Does Mahayana lose its entire validity...

Post by smcj » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:49 pm

The naive are attached to forms;
The mediocre are detached from them.
Those with the highest intelligence understand
The nature of forms, and thus are freed.
I hadn’t heard that before. Nice. Thanks.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

Seeker12
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Re: Does Mahayana lose its entire validity...

Post by Seeker12 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:34 pm

smcj wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:49 pm
The naive are attached to forms;
The mediocre are detached from them.
Those with the highest intelligence understand
The nature of forms, and thus are freed.
I hadn’t heard that before. Nice. Thanks.
https://www.amazon.com/Nagarjunas-Yukti ... 0975373420

Very good and very eclipsed it seems by the MMK in terms of being known/studied. IMO. Some of the language/translational choices are, IMO, maybe not entirely ideal, but the gist gets through.
Therein is nothing to remove
And thereto not the slightest thing to add.
The perfect truth viewed perfectly
And perfectly beheld is liberation.

Uttaratantra

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Malcolm
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Re: Does Mahayana lose its entire validity...

Post by Malcolm » Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:13 pm

Seeker12 wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:34 pm
smcj wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:49 pm
The naive are attached to forms;
The mediocre are detached from them.
Those with the highest intelligence understand
The nature of forms, and thus are freed.
I hadn’t heard that before. Nice. Thanks.
https://www.amazon.com/Nagarjunas-Yukti ... 0975373420

Very good and very eclipsed it seems by the MMK in terms of being known/studied. IMO. Some of the language/translational choices are, IMO, maybe not entirely ideal, but the gist gets through.
These texts such as the Yuktisastika, etc., are important supplements to the MMK. They are quite well known and studied in the Indo Tibetan tradition.
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

Seeker12
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Re: Does Mahayana lose its entire validity...

Post by Seeker12 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:35 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:13 pm
These texts such as the Yuktisastika, etc., are important supplements to the MMK. They are quite well known and studied in the Indo Tibetan tradition.
Indeed, I was perhaps unclear in my intent - it seems that for those that undertake self-study outside of a formal Buddhist educational support system, the MMK is very well known compared to things like this, and in my opinion the yuktisastika might be a good one for more people to study is all. I feel like it’s generally a bit under-known, but that may just be my perception.
Therein is nothing to remove
And thereto not the slightest thing to add.
The perfect truth viewed perfectly
And perfectly beheld is liberation.

Uttaratantra

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hermitseb
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Re: Does Mahayana lose its entire validity...

Post by hermitseb » Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:43 pm

PeterC wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:21 am
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:14 pm
Wayfarer and Astus are working within a view that supposes linear course of development. You're responding with particular teachings about the instantanousness of the teachings. Your response is not actually responding except to implicitly assert that your view is correct and considering Dharma as unconnected to history. Its the same disagreement you guys have been going back and forth over for the last few pages.
But what does all the study in this field keep reverting to? The supposed linear model that has the Buddha saying the core of the Pali canon then everything else being obviously less important.
With respect to all those involved.. It always comes down to: Clinging, as foretold by the Buddha Shakyamuni in the Four Noble Truths. Thus, an amusing game of ping pong is established, wherein a sort of self-reinforcement occurs, in the form of "I am correct, you are not".

:shrug:

This is great, for those wishing to learn all about the details of these paths, on the forum.. any forum. Much gratitude for all those involved, in that way.

:twothumbsup:

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Malcolm
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Re: Does Mahayana lose its entire validity...

Post by Malcolm » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:04 pm

Seeker12 wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:35 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:13 pm
These texts such as the Yuktisastika, etc., are important supplements to the MMK. They are quite well known and studied in the Indo Tibetan tradition.
Indeed, I was perhaps unclear in my intent - it seems that for those that undertake self-study outside of a formal Buddhist educational support system, the MMK is very well known compared to things like this, and in my opinion the yuktisastika might be a good one for more people to study is all. I feel like it’s generally a bit under-known, but that may just be my perception.
They are good to study, not only the 60, but also the 70.
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: Does Mahayana lose its entire validity...

Post by Coëmgenu » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:52 am

ford_truckin wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:12 am
...if none of the sutras were spoken by Shakyamuni Buddha himself? Why or why not?
If none of the sūtrāṇi were spoken by Śākyamunibuddha then Buddhism doesn't exist.

The question is as to whether or not Śākyamunibuddha is the inheritor of a long line of wisdom dispensed by similar Buddhas stretching into the indefinable past, IMO. If such is the case, than the śrāvaka dispensation materially provable under modern consensus is Buddhadharma, if not, then the ascetic Gautama is simply an exalted figure who fell short of sainthood, and his śrāvaka dispensation is a path that is likewise.

Once again, IMO.
歸命本覺心法身常住妙法心蓮臺本來莊嚴三身徳三十七尊住心
城遠離因果法然具普門塵數諸三昧無邊徳海本圓滿還我頂禮心諸佛

In reverence for the root gnosis of the heart, the dharmakāya,
for the ever present good law of the heart, the lotus terrace,
for the inborn adornment of the trikāya, the thirty-seven sages dwelling in the heart,
for the that which is removed from seed and fruit, the upright key to the universal gate,
for all boundless concentrations, the sea of virtue, the root perfection,
I prostrate, bowing to the hearts of all Buddhas.

胎藏金剛菩提心義略問答鈔, Treatise on the teaching of the gnostic heart of the womb and the diamond, T2397.1.470c5-8

PeterC
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Re: Does Mahayana lose its entire validity...

Post by PeterC » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:34 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:52 am
ford_truckin wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:12 am
...if none of the sutras were spoken by Shakyamuni Buddha himself? Why or why not?
If none of the sūtrāṇi were spoken by Śākyamunibuddha then Buddhism doesn't exist.

The question is as to whether or not Śākyamunibuddha is the inheritor of a long line of wisdom dispensed by similar Buddhas stretching into the indefinable past, IMO. If such is the case, than the śrāvaka dispensation materially provable under modern consensus is Buddhadharma, if not, then the ascetic Gautama is simply an exalted figure who fell short of sainthood, and his śrāvaka dispensation is a path that is likewise.

Once again, IMO.
Well...I would argue that "Buddhism" exists irrespective of the history of the sutras, in the same sense that Mormonism exists even if that whole story about the magic book and magic spectacles and the angel in the cave was complete BS. The question is whether it is a valid path to liberation of some kind.

By the rules of the modern Theraveda, if some sutras can be placed in the mouth of a historical Sakyamuni Buddha, then the Dharma proceeding from those sutras is Buddhadharma. If it can't, then it isn't Buddhadharma. Note that the extensive reliance on paracanonical and commentarial literature in their tradition is somewhat at odds with this position, and indeed the reliance on texts in the Pali canon traditionally attributed to Sakyamuni which at present cannot by modern historical techniques be so attributed. Of those taking a position on the question, a large number of modern Theravedans would assert that only a core of the Pali canon can be reliably attributed as such, so the rest isn't Buddhadharma. There are various degrees of agnostic positions that are taken on texts outside their canon or within their canon but not historically attributable to Sakyamuni.

By the rules of the modern Mahayana - common and uncommon - a text doesn't have to be spoken by a historical Sakyamuni Buddha for its content to be Buddhadharma. The criteria for it being the Buddhadharma is consistency, not historicity.

Nobody above would therefore argue that the sravaka dispensation is not Buddhadharma. The argument is always about whether the various Mahayana dispensations are Buddhadharma, and that argument is advanced only on the basis of historicity, and normally asserted by the sravaka dispensationalists against the mahayana dispensationalists. Certainly mahayana schools can and do assert the invalidity of other mahayana schools, but this is done more commonly on the grounds of consistency rather than historicity. The story of the Samye debate, whether or not it actually happened, is the story of a debate based on philosophy rather than on historic attribution of texts. Similarly if you read the history of Xuan Zang, some of his debates in India were recorded in quite a lot of detail: although they reveal him to be a much better rhetorician than logician, he didn't debate on the basis of historicity but on philosophical validity.

The only people who would argue that the sravaka dispensation isn't the truth of the enlightened / a path to liberation are non-Buddhists arguing that it's either all nonsense. And to complete the quartet of positions, there is also the view of the interfaith lunatic fringe who think that Dzogchen, Christianity and Vedanta are somehow all the same. The first of these two extreme positions, as Wittgenstein said of the skeptics, is irrefutable but specious. The second is completely refutable, and indeed is regularly refuted on this board, though people keep bringing it up, because it's emotionally appealing to some.

The historical perspective is important and helpful. But it won't tell us what is and isn't the Dharma, because that depends first on the criteria we set: and perhaps even if we did take the Theravedan criteria, it couldn't really tell us anyway, because the methods of history are limited and subject to error. So IMHO, the truth isn't out there.

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Astus
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Re: Does Mahayana lose its entire validity...

Post by Astus » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:49 pm

PeterC wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:34 am
The criteria for it being the Buddhadharma is consistency, not historicity.
Consistency with what?
Doctrinal consistency would require to have a basis, a consensus on what are definitely the teachings of the Buddha, then to that other teachings can be compared. For instance, there is what is called the four great references (cattaro mahapadesa), as found in AN 4.180 and DN 16, where it is stated: "If they’re not included in the discourses and found in the texts on monastic training, you should draw the conclusion: ‘Clearly this is not the word of the Blessed One, the perfected one, the fully awakened Buddha. It has been incorrectly memorized by that mendicant.’ And so you should reject it."
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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hermitseb
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Re: Does Mahayana lose its entire validity...

Post by hermitseb » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:20 pm

The Buddha himself addressed this debate about the teachings of things, regardless of their source, in a Sutra called Kalama, did he not? I assume this is from the original Pali discourses, on account of the way it loops and repeats in that ancient way. Here is a relevant passage:

do not accept (or reject) something as true merely because of oral tradition;
do not accept (or reject) something as true merely because of customary practice;
do not accept (or reject) something as true merely because of scriptural citation;
do not accept (or reject) something as true merely because of logical inference;
do not accept (or reject) something as true merely because of reasoned deduction;
do not accept (or reject) something as true merely because of thinking according to appearances;
do not accept (or reject) something as true merely because it holds up to (or goes against) one's views;
do not accept (or reject) something as true merely because the speaker appears (or does not appear) credible;
do not accept (or reject) something as true merely because the speaker is (or is not) one's teacher.

Kalamas, whenever you yourselves know that these things are wholesome, are harmless, are praised by the wise, and when practiced according to their own standard bring happiness and are beneficial, then you ought to dwell with these things.


The implication here being that the Buddha approving teachings that are of benefit, regardless of their source.

:namaste:

haha
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Re: Does Mahayana lose its entire validity...

Post by haha » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:16 pm

When the writing had not well developed, the Buddha had suggested distributing written scripture. Quite interesting, isn’t it?

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Thomas Amundsen
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Re: Does Mahayana lose its entire validity...

Post by Thomas Amundsen » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:32 pm

haha wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:16 pm
When the writing had not well developed, the Buddha had suggested distributing written scripture. Quite interesting, isn’t it?
Writing existed in the Buddha's time, it just wasn't used for all the same things it eventually came to be used for.

Seeker12
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Re: Does Mahayana lose its entire validity...

Post by Seeker12 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:35 pm

Thomas Amundsen wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:32 pm
haha wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:16 pm
When the writing had not well developed, the Buddha had suggested distributing written scripture. Quite interesting, isn’t it?
Writing existed in the Buddha's time, it just wasn't used for all the same things it eventually came to be used for.
For further clarification, as I understand Pali itself doesn't have a written language, but that doesn't mean there was no writing. And anyway, many of the Mahayana Sutras were not necessarily given in the human realm, and who knows what kind of writing/etc is present in other realms.
Therein is nothing to remove
And thereto not the slightest thing to add.
The perfect truth viewed perfectly
And perfectly beheld is liberation.

Uttaratantra

Sentient Light
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Re: Does Mahayana lose its entire validity...

Post by Sentient Light » Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:02 am

Seeker12 wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:35 pm
Thomas Amundsen wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:32 pm
haha wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:16 pm
When the writing had not well developed, the Buddha had suggested distributing written scripture. Quite interesting, isn’t it?
Writing existed in the Buddha's time, it just wasn't used for all the same things it eventually came to be used for.
For further clarification, as I understand Pali itself doesn't have a written language, but that doesn't mean there was no writing. And anyway, many of the Mahayana Sutras were not necessarily given in the human realm, and who knows what kind of writing/etc is present in other realms.
First point: David Drewes recently published a paper suggesting that the instances where scholars have translated a specific verb to mean "to write" or "to copy" actually are instances of the verb "to memorize." It is a very convincing argument and shows the use of that verb in the context of memorization in many different texts, both Buddhist and non-Buddhist.

Link to Original (2007), which I did not know about until just this second and will start reading today: https://www.academia.edu/9225110/Revisi ... k_IIJ_2007_

Link to paper I was actually thinking of (2015): https://www.academia.edu/11322753/Oral_ ... a_IIJ_2015_

Second thing: Pali doesn't have a written script, which is a very different thing from saying it doesn't have a written language (which is sort of meaningless). There is no written script inherent to Sanskrit or any Prakrit language; the current script for Hindi is derived from the script that proved most popular for Sanskrit: Siddham script.

The Gandhari Prakrit scriptures, btw, are mostly found in Kharosthi script, which interestingly enough is related (in some way, we don't know how) to Aramaic. A lot of the Sanskrit and Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit(-Gandhari) is in Siddham script.
:buddha1: Nam mô A di đà Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Quan Thế Âm Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Đại Thế Chi Bồ Tát :bow:

:buddha1: Nam mô Bổn sư Thích ca mâu ni Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Di lặc Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Địa tạng vương Bồ tát :bow:

Seeker12
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Re: Does Mahayana lose its entire validity...

Post by Seeker12 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:12 pm

Sentient Light wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:02 am

First point: David Drewes recently published a paper suggesting that the instances where scholars have translated a specific verb to mean "to write" or "to copy" actually are instances of the verb "to memorize." It is a very convincing argument and shows the use of that verb in the context of memorization in many different texts, both Buddhist and non-Buddhist.

Link to Original (2007), which I did not know about until just this second and will start reading today: https://www.academia.edu/9225110/Revisi ... k_IIJ_2007_

Link to paper I was actually thinking of (2015): https://www.academia.edu/11322753/Oral_ ... a_IIJ_2015_

Second thing: Pali doesn't have a written script, which is a very different thing from saying it doesn't have a written language (which is sort of meaningless). There is no written script inherent to Sanskrit or any Prakrit language; the current script for Hindi is derived from the script that proved most popular for Sanskrit: Siddham script.

The Gandhari Prakrit scriptures, btw, are mostly found in Kharosthi script, which interestingly enough is related (in some way, we don't know how) to Aramaic. A lot of the Sanskrit and Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit(-Gandhari) is in Siddham script.
Drewes is talking about Sanskrit? That's interesting. Translation seems quite hard in many instances.

I knew that 'written language' sounded funny but I couldn't think of a good term. Script is a better way of putting it :P

Thanks.
Therein is nothing to remove
And thereto not the slightest thing to add.
The perfect truth viewed perfectly
And perfectly beheld is liberation.

Uttaratantra

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