Where are the bodhisattvas?

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muni
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Re: Where are the bodhisattvas?

Post by muni » Fri Sep 16, 2016 12:18 pm

But I also know that my mind is very impure, more than ordinary people: whenever I try to meditate, my mind jumps like a wild crazy monkey!
I should not say that so. Really not. It is actually because we dare meditate, we dare looking into our mind that we see this jumping in all directions. When we never meditate we are constantly caught up in the minds' movements/jumping and do not see it.
If you can get some meditation by guidance, you have a great help to use each time. May then the jumping slowly decrease.

_/\_
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H H Dalai Lama

"Relax." nirvana-samsara do not stray from spaciousness.

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Nosta
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Re: Where are the bodhisattvas?

Post by Nosta » Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:32 pm

muni wrote:
But I also know that my mind is very impure, more than ordinary people: whenever I try to meditate, my mind jumps like a wild crazy monkey!
I should not say that so. Really not. It is actually because we dare meditate, we dare looking into our mind that we see this jumping in all directions. When we never meditate we are constantly caught up in the minds' movements/jumping and do not see it.
If you can get some meditation by guidance, you have a great help to use each time. May then the jumping slowly decrease.

_/\_

Kind words, thanks.

Perhaps thats what happens, I am more aware of my mind movements (toughts, emotions,etc) because I do some meditation.

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Ayu
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Re: Where are the bodhisattvas?

Post by Ayu » Sat Sep 17, 2016 10:11 am

Recognizing a Bodhisattva from outside is not possible. My teacher says so. You'll never know, who could be a Bodhisattva and thus you should try to treat everybody as if s/he possibly could be one.

To get in contact to Bodhisattvas within meditation : I don't believe it is a matter of a pure mind. I think, many people have this kind of contact while their minds still need purification.
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Where is this perfect help from enlightened beings? What forms does it take?
Most vitally, how can we recognize it and therefore establish faith in the efficacy of this path which promises to establish us as as buddhas and bodhisattvas, to best help beings?
I think, the Buddha's or Bodhisattva's help is perceptable within meditaion and also in the aftermath of regular meditation practice. It must be recognizable in the good effects that happen to occur spontaneously inside and outside yourself
after starting and keeping a regular practice.
I believe, my confidence is not blind, but it is achieved from experience. Whenever disparraging thoughts and doubts about the Buddhas & Bodhisattvas arise, I feel, it is litarally like clouds of smoke. Those clouds are not at all more real than the sun they are covering. Indeed that sun has more power and more truth than those clouds.
It is a matter of ancle of view and perception.

And: those doubts are normal parts of the process of purification. No worry. Especially after some time of inspirational practice they occure. Just keep on trucking and the things will become clearer. No shame.
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Nosta
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Re: Where are the bodhisattvas?

Post by Nosta » Sat Sep 17, 2016 12:58 pm

Good post Ayu :)

Thats a valid aproach to understand the contact with Buddhas and Boddhisattvas.

But now I will be more literal: some people see Amitabha for example, most of the time when they are near death. Thinking about Pure Land, it is said that people that reborn there, become -sooner or later - boddhisttavas able to travel and visit worlds. Why dont we see them visiting us? "Hi! I came from Pure Land!" :D

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catmoon
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Re: Where are the bodhisattvas?

Post by catmoon » Sat Sep 17, 2016 2:22 pm

Notice that the OP question contains the assumption that the bodhisattvas are, in fact, somewhere.

The arguments supporting their existence run into the exact same problems as assertions that God is watching over us and taking care of us. To wit, if they are so powerful and kind why is life down here so crappy? The only way to answer such a question is to dive off the deep end and start multiplying the hypothetical entities. For instance you can assume something is opposing them, the Devil perhaps or evil spirits of some kind. Or perhaps there is some kind of moral code or law of the universe that prevents them from acting.Or maybe they only help the enlightened or the saved ones among us.

The ingenuity of the human mind shines brightest when demonstrating positions for which not a shred of evidence exists.
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Re: Where are the bodhisattvas?

Post by Grigoris » Sat Sep 17, 2016 4:20 pm

i see.jpg
i see.jpg (70.93 KiB) Viewed 1182 times
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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: Where are the bodhisattvas?

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Sat Sep 17, 2016 4:52 pm

catmoon wrote:Notice that the OP question contains the assumption that the bodhisattvas are, in fact, somewhere.
For us ordinary beings who do go here and there, living in terms of "somewhere", I'd hope the bodhisattvas with their profound wisdom would understand this and make themselves known in ways beings could perceive.
Painting a beautiful picture for a blind person does not demonstrate much wisdom.
Perhaps I've missed what you were getting at? Please help me understand :smile:
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The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have unobstructed vision in all directions. Everything is in their presence; and I stand in front of them. -- Shantideva

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Nosta
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Re: Where are the bodhisattvas?

Post by Nosta » Sat Sep 17, 2016 9:31 pm

catmoon wrote:Notice that the OP question contains the assumption that the bodhisattvas are, in fact, somewhere.

The arguments supporting their existence run into the exact same problems as assertions that God is watching over us and taking care of us. To wit, if they are so powerful and kind why is life down here so crappy? The only way to answer such a question is to dive off the deep end and start multiplying the hypothetical entities. For instance you can assume something is opposing them, the Devil perhaps or evil spirits of some kind. Or perhaps there is some kind of moral code or law of the universe that prevents them from acting.Or maybe they only help the enlightened or the saved ones among us.

The ingenuity of the human mind shines brightest when demonstrating positions for which not a shred of evidence exists.

The question "Why we dont see God or Angels" is different from "Why we dont see Boddhisattvas or Buddas?", because buddhism has karma and mental obstructions. I suppose thats the answer: people with a very pure mind, clean from most of the kilesas, may be able to see them [Buddhas,etc] but not the ordinary guy. Christians dont have such arguments.

Anyway, one stills asking: are boddhisattvas [in Pure Realms, etc] really real?

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Re: Where are the bodhisattvas?

Post by AlexMcLeod » Sat Sep 17, 2016 11:10 pm

Nosta wrote:Anyway, one stills asking: are boddhisattvas [in Pure Realms, etc] really real?
Just as real as you and I. I'll vouch for a couple of them. Some are far less "active" in the world. Kwan Shi Yin Pu Sa is one of the more active ones.
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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: Where are the bodhisattvas?

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:13 am

I sometimes fall into this mistake:
1. Omnipotence is a possible trait of a being.
2. If X being were omnipotent, they would specifically impact the world in ways I predetermine, i.e. eliminate disease, starvation etc., preserve their followers from harm, and so on.
3. Doing these things, the being would be worthy of my time and energy.
4. Such and such does not occur with X being, even if omnipotence was never attributed to them except by me.
5. Therefore X being is actually powerless and unworthy, or does not "really" exist.

Omnipotence is not a quality present in any being anywhere, as deduced in sutras and observable through common sense, seeing the state of the world and our lives.
So hoping for omnipotence is like hoping to finally find a horned rabbit, or a fountain of youth to prevent aging.

In "Pure Land Buddhism - Dialogues with Ancient Masters", it states, "If you recite Amitabha Buddha's name in earnest, without interruption, it is very easy to see him. Otherwise, it is very difficult." (pg. 135)
I have verified this in my own practice.
Especially vital is suspending assumptions I had about what would constitute "seeing" a buddha, and what would constitute a blessing or assistance.
For example, if an opportunity to violate the precepts suddenly falls apart, whether it was the compassionate activity of Amitabha or not is moot if I have already decided "Amitabha's activity would not bear on the mundane, it would be blatant and miraculous and I would know, 'Ah, there's Amitabha!'"

So since many monks and masters have stated bodhisattvas and buddhas can be perceived, given affinity and practice, the question becomes what is their influence on our lives?
To know this requires accepting the hypothesis that they can have influence in the first place, may have already begun influencing our lives without our knowledge, and that such influence may not be what we expect.
I have found various examples in books, such as the ten benefits for a person who practices remembrance of Amitabha, countless devotional tales relating to Kannon, many Pure Land deathbed tales...

Some expectations of the majority religion where I grew up and have lived are proving difficult to shake.

Just thinking out loud I guess as I continue to wrangle this matter :shrug:
Amitābha Buddha!

The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have unobstructed vision in all directions. Everything is in their presence; and I stand in front of them. -- Shantideva

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Rakz
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Re: Where are the bodhisattvas?

Post by Rakz » Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:14 am

Bodhisattvas are everywhere. Doesn't matter though. Just worry about your own karma. That is what will take you to the other shore.

muni
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Re: Where are the bodhisattvas?

Post by muni » Sun Sep 18, 2016 7:36 am

Yes do not seek merely in form or name or merely in appearance ( dependence, as dependent on our mind). And still it is said it is possible to perceive bodhisattva-activity by purifying our mind. It is in any case compassionate activity always for the welfare of others, never for own purpose, never with the intention to harm, always with the genuine wish to help, going together to liberation!

Gratitude for this selfless and therefore pure activity. _/\_
“ Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek. ”
H H Dalai Lama

"Relax." nirvana-samsara do not stray from spaciousness.

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catmoon
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Re: Where are the bodhisattvas?

Post by catmoon » Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:50 am

Is there such a thing as a part time bodhisattva? My experience of humanity woud suggest that there is a spectrum of bodhisattva behavior ranging from those who make some annual donation, progressing through those who often concerned by the welfare of others, all the way up to the classical bodhisattva who does nothing else.
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