What can Buddhas do and not do?

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muni
Posts: 4728
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:59 am

Re: What can Buddhas do and not do?

Post by muni » Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:35 am

reveal the path.
Yes. Buddha reveals (the pathless) path, allowing to awaken. Since our coarse mind cannot do that. The revealing path has many methods and therefore the appropriate method must be applied. Since Buddha “sees” ( yes !!! ) what kind of confusion there is, there are as many as there are methods. That is why we can sometimes go to a retreat or a teaching in group and have afterwards not a little bit more insight in how our mind is working or no inner peace or whatever. And also when there is no connection, the appropriate method is lacking too. Then the awaken teacher can be as famous as can be, that itself doesn’t change anything.
May I be a guard for those without one,
A guide for all who journey on the road,
May I become a boat, a raft or bridge,
For all who wish to cross the water.

muni
Posts: 4728
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:59 am

Re: What can Buddhas do and not do?

Post by muni » Wed Nov 16, 2016 12:59 pm

if you know you need help, help will come (although not always in the form you will expect).
Yes. And sometimes our reaction can be like a wolf in trap who bites the helping hand, helping him out of his painful situation but feels himself attacked. I mean, our ego is not always appreciating some particular help, it just feels more pain or be attacked. Then doubt can arise and respect can be temporary lost. Then I think courage is necessary.
May I be a guard for those without one,
A guide for all who journey on the road,
May I become a boat, a raft or bridge,
For all who wish to cross the water.

lisasimmarco
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:24 am

Re: What can Buddhas do and not do?

Post by lisasimmarco » Wed Nov 16, 2016 5:47 pm

Thank you once again!

Such beautiful and comprehensive replies.

So, I will tell some experiences in relation to this topic; I have been really thinking a lot about this lately.

My teacher, Garchen Rinpoche, came and initiated me in a dream before I met him. It was a glorious dream. At the time, I was ill and was about to stay that way for 22 years (it is just now starting to get better with practice and acupuncture, I really should be in a wheel chair by now) and I think I might have gone down a very bad path if it wasn't for the dream.

I suppose that was from prior lifetime merit then, and Rinpoche Buddha wasn't just trolling around for souls to help and I just happened to be there.

Yes, also sometimes the help can feel not the way we want it:

This year my mom died after being in a coma for four months, I almost committed suicide because of it. I lost my job after my patient of many years was elevated to hospice (it was so hard to watch him die too!), brakes failed and I crashed my car, one thing after another, so much so that I talked to my lama about it-120 miles away in Wesley Chapel- and he invited me to come down and live in one of the houses they have down there! The shrine room will be 5 minutes away by walking in a very pretty neighborhood. I am pretty lazy about practice up here in Gainesville with no sangha, I hate to admit it, but it's true.

The experience, the tragedy after tragedy, was unbearable, and then someone from my sangha reminded me that this is what can happen when one makes those prayers to have obstacles to dharma practice removed!

Thank you once again, Really, you can't know how grateful I am.

Lisa

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cj39
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 8:26 pm

Re: What can Buddhas do and not do?

Post by cj39 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:10 pm

I am not sure how to square this with passages like this one from the Casket Seal Dharani Sutra (best translation I could find):
"At that time, The Buddha told Varjrapani: “ Listen, listen, this important Dharma has immeasurable spiritual power and uncountable benefit. It is like the precious gratified pearls on the banner. It spread gems to fulfil all wishes.

I just tell you one ten thousandth of this dharma. You should remember for the benefit for all.

If any bad person felt into the Hell. He suffered seriously and did not know when he could be

relieved. If his son or grandson calls the dead person’s name and read this Dharani for seven times. The melting copper and hot iron becomes suddenly a pond with eight virtual water.

A lotus flower carries him with a precious cover upon his head. The door of Hell will be broken and the road of Bodhi opens. The lotus flower flies to the World of Ultimate Bliss. All the wisdom appears naturally. He is happy to speak and stay at a position of supplement of a Buddha."

Or for that matter, Amida Buddha's vow (as Dharmakara) from the Juseige if Buddhas really can't save anyone:
I will be the greater provider
Throughout innumerable kalpas.
Should I fail to save all in need,
I would never attain Enlightenment.

My personal understanding is that while it is not instantaneous, there is a great conspiracy in the universe to unleash upon us some unmitigated good. Also while it may take eons to "save" every, pretty much all time in the Saha world is just one day and night in Amitabha Buddha's pure land so there is that too.

http://www.purifymind.com/RelicsBuddhasHeart.htm
https://www.nishihongwanji-la.org/teach ... s/juseige/
http://iteror.org/big/Source/Avatamsaka/chapter31.html

smcj
Posts: 6326
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 am

Re: What can Buddhas do and not do?

Post by smcj » Wed Jan 04, 2017 3:21 pm

From "Foundations of Tibetan Buddhism", by the late Kalu Rinpoche.
1st paragraph of the chapter on Guru-Yoga, pg 73:
(underlining mine)
Kalu R. wrote:The practice of Guru-Yoga and a special attitude which views the teacher as guru is something which is particular to the Vajrayana path. In the sutra tradition of the Hinayana and the ordinary Mahayana teachings, when we take the vows of refuge, the vows of the lay person, novice, monk or nun, and the bodhisattva vows, we are not speaking of a guru or lama in the strict sense of the word. We receive these vows from our abbot or preceptor, our teacher or spiritual friend, but not from our guru. On a sutra level of practice there is no sense that the teacher is one to whom we pray as a source of blessing. Certainly the teacher or spiritual friend is considered worthy of our respect and honor, someone to whom we can make offering and in whom we have faith, but only the Vajrayana views the teacher as a source of blessings.
1. No traditional Buddhist sect, Tibetan or otherwise, considers deities to be fictional. (DW post/Seeker242)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
4. Shentong] is the completely pure system that, through mainly teaching the luminous aspect of the mind, holds that the fruitions--kayas and wisdoms--exist on their own accord. (Karmapa XIII)

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