What's an emanation?

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thomaslaw
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Re: What's an emanation?

Post by thomaslaw » Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:37 pm

Hi
It seems that emanation of Buddha is similar to the idea of avatar?
Thomas

DGA
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Re: What's an emanation?

Post by DGA » Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:31 pm

thomaslaw wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:37 pm
Hi
It seems that emanation of Buddha is similar to the idea of avatar?
Thomas
I'm not sure. Would you say a bit about what you mean by the idea of an avatar?

In Chapter 11 of the Lotus Sutra, a myriad of emanations from Buddha Shakyamuni are described. These are sometimes translated as his "replicants" or "division-body Buddhas" or "Tathagata-frames." Sometimes translations can be wonky. Anyway here are two different versions for you to consider.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/lotus/lot11.htm

http://www.buddhistdoor.com/OldWeb/reso ... otus11.htm

Does that look like an avatar to you?

thomaslaw
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Re: What's an emanation?

Post by thomaslaw » Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:00 am

DGA wrote:
Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:31 pm
thomaslaw wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:37 pm
Hi
It seems that emanation of Buddha is similar to the idea of avatar?
Thomas
I'm not sure. Would you say a bit about what you mean by the idea of an avatar?

In Chapter 11 of the Lotus Sutra, a myriad of emanations from Buddha Shakyamuni are described. These are sometimes translated as his "replicants" or "division-body Buddhas" or "Tathagata-frames." Sometimes translations can be wonky. Anyway here are two different versions for you to consider.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/lotus/lot11.htm

http://www.buddhistdoor.com/OldWeb/reso ... otus11.htm

Does that look like an avatar to you?
I have to say it does look like an avatar. That is, various avatars or incarnations of a Buddha.

Simon E.
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Re: What's an emanation?

Post by Simon E. » Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:18 am

There are no avatars of a Buddha. You are conflating concepts from the Vedanta and Buddhadharma.
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.

thomaslaw
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Re: What's an emanation?

Post by thomaslaw » Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:47 am

Simon E. wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:18 am
There are no avatars of a Buddha. You are conflating concepts from the Vedanta and Buddhadharma.
Buddhadharma does not have emanations or avatars of a Buddha.

Simon E.
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Re: What's an emanation?

Post by Simon E. » Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:58 pm

Emanations..yes.
Avatars..no.
Buddhadharma does not recognise the reality of Avatara, because it denies the existence of that which would 'descend'.
Buddhas, even the loftiest and most transcendent, were once not Buddhas.

An Avatar is a separate order of being, self-creating and godlike, who takes human form for a duration.
This is an idea from the cluster of ideologies called in the west 'Hinduism'.

It is not found in Buddhdharma. In fact it is explicitly denied.
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: What's an emanation?

Post by DGA » Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:32 pm

thomaslaw wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:47 am
Simon E. wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:18 am
There are no avatars of a Buddha. You are conflating concepts from the Vedanta and Buddhadharma.
Buddhadharma does not have emanations or avatars of a Buddha.
Simon E. is correct with regard to avatars in Hinduism and Buddhadharma.

There are other ideas of avatars out there, in science fiction and new age thinking and films my mother-in-law likes. I don't know about these ideas; maybe they are comparable? It's probably not helpful to go out in the weeds like that looking for comparisons.

I think it's more productive to consider what these emanations are about as described in the Sutra. There are practical implications to this.

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: What's an emanation?

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:57 pm

In another sense, an emanation is one of the siddhis or powers of a bodhisattva or buddha.
self-manifesting (he has the power to make his body appear as multiple emanations; nengshi yishen wei duoshen)
From Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism
Glorious one, creator of all goodness, Mañjuśrī, his glorious eminence!
Manjushri-namasamgiti

thomaslaw
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Re: What's an emanation?

Post by thomaslaw » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:37 am

Nicholas Weeks wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:57 pm
In another sense, an emanation is one of the siddhis or powers of a bodhisattva or buddha.
self-manifesting (he has the power to make his body appear as multiple emanations; nengshi yishen wei duoshen)
From Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism
Avatar also is 'self-manifesting' :quoteunquote:

thomaslaw
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Re: What's an emanation?

Post by thomaslaw » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:43 am

Simon E. wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:58 pm
Emanations..yes.
Avatars..no.
Buddhadharma does not recognise the reality of Avatara, because it denies the existence of that which would 'descend'.
Buddhas, even the loftiest and most transcendent, were once not Buddhas.

An Avatar is a separate order of being, self-creating and godlike, who takes human form for a duration.
This is an idea from the cluster of ideologies called in the west 'Hinduism'.

It is not found in Buddhdharma. In fact it is explicitly denied.
Emanations of a Buddha also is a separate order of being, self-creating :quoteunquote:

Simon E.
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Re: What's an emanation?

Post by Simon E. » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:06 am

I think you need acquaint yourself with a few basic concepts Thomas.. :smile:
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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Brunelleschi
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Re: What's an emanation?

Post by Brunelleschi » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:28 am

DGA wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:32 am
I'm bringing up this topic again because, as it turns out, this theme is consequential for how some practitioners approach their practice, and how certain practices are understood. To give an example from a DW thread a few years ago, here are portions of some posts that show how one particular interpretation of the emanations of Buddha Shakyamuni in the Lotus Sutra can lead a practitioner to reject one practice and embrace another (full text at the link):

viewtopic.php?f=59&t=9389
rory wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:48 am
I have a Tendai background and practiced pure land (which I heartily repent) so my allusion wasn't a shot or being mean, it's just my frame of reference.
rory wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:54 am
When I read in the Lotus Sutra that Amida was a replica Buddha preaching the Lotus Sutra in Sukhavati and we should abandon provisional paths, it entirely resonated and I abandoned the practice.
I leave it to you to determine if the Lotus Sutra actually makes such a claim about Amitabha (I don't think it does, but you can see for yourself). What interests me in these posts is that a specific narrative about what a Buddha is and does, based on a related narrative about one sutra, could lead a Dharma practitioner to sincerely repent of having done serious Dharma practice.

I don't wish to condemn or commend this kind of action. I'm just marking it as extraordinary and remarkable, because it seems to me that it is.

This is why I think it's worthwhile for Dharma practitioners to have some clarity on what the word "Buddha" means, and how the three kayas work: your understanding of these matters can impact your practice dramatically.
What's the point of discussing one individuals action in this manner? Rory's an educated person and can speak for herself. :shrug:
Better to discuss the philosopy and leave out the implicit personal "attacks".

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Coëmgenu
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Re: What's an emanation?

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:02 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:06 am
I think you need acquaint yourself with a few basic concepts Thomas.. :smile:
Thomas doesn't 'get' the kind of Buddhism here. He thinks that his śrāvaka literature alone prepares him to engage with the Mahāyāna. He comes here to troll Mahāyānikāḥ. He thinks that because an emanation is "self-creating" it reinforces ātmavāda. He doesn't understand that the Buddha can say "I" without self-view.
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

Simon E.
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Re: What's an emanation?

Post by Simon E. » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:13 pm

Exactly so.
Although I am not sure that he doesn't 'get' it.
I think like many who hold views which derive from the 'Hindu' group of belief systems he believes that it is WE who don't get it, and he is here to enlighten us.
He is not the only representative of that belief on DW.
He is just more recent and is not yet adept at feeding us 'Hindu' beliefs by quoting from Buddhist teachers.
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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Coëmgenu
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Re: What's an emanation?

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:16 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:13 pm
Exactly so.
Although I am not sure that he doesn't 'get' it.
I think like many who hold views which derive from the 'Hindu' group of belief systems he believes that it is WE who don't get it, and he is here to enlighten us.
He is not the only representative of that belief on DW.
He is just more recent and is not yet adept at feeding us 'Hindu' beliefs by quoting from Buddhist teachers.
He's an EBT ('Early Buddhist Texts', which means slightly-heterodox Theravāda) guy, not Hindu. Hence my mention of śrāvaka literature.
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

Simon E.
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Re: What's an emanation?

Post by Simon E. » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:39 pm

I stand corrected..thank you. I have not read many of the gentleman's posts.

I assume then that my previous assumption..that the gentleman is 'Hindu' is wrong, and that his position in fact, is that the Theravada represents 'real Buddhism' and that the Mahayana is a form of Hinduism?

A belief shared by some Theravadins and most 'Hindus'. The former as a dismissal. The latter as a perceived endorsement.
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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Coëmgenu
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Re: What's an emanation?

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:43 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:39 pm
I stand corrected..thank you. I have not read many of the gentleman's posts.

I assume then that my previous assumption..that the gentleman is 'Hindu' is wrong, and that his position in fact, is that the Theravada represents 'real Buddhism' and that the Mahayana is a form of Hinduism?

A belief shared by some Theravadins and most 'Hindus'. The former as a dismissal. The latter as a perceived endorsement.
If you look for the thread the individual started on the 32 marks, you will see that the EBT crowd isn't 'exactly' Theravāda.

viewtopic.php?f=39&t=27161

The School of the Elders believes in the 32 marks, whatever they mean. The EBT crowd does not at all in any form, believing it to be a corrupted teaching.
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

Simon E.
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Re: What's an emanation?

Post by Simon E. » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:02 pm

How tiresome.

I dipped into that thread but didn't realise the agenda behind it.

Given the nature of the thread I wonder what it is doing in the Mahayana subforum.

To quote Malcolms sig 'Belief is useless'.
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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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: What's an emanation?

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:18 pm

From the Nirmankaya entry in the Princeton dictionary:
The term nirmāṇakāya may have been
employed originally to describe the doubles of himself that the Buddha is
sometimes said to display in order to teach multiple audiences simultaneously.
(Cf. MAHAPRATIHARYA.
The Confer reference is to the Great Miracle when Buddha several times emanated doubles of his form.
Glorious one, creator of all goodness, Mañjuśrī, his glorious eminence!
Manjushri-namasamgiti

thomaslaw
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Re: What's an emanation?

Post by thomaslaw » Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:19 am

Nicholas Weeks wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:18 pm
From the Nirmankaya entry in the Princeton dictionary:
The term nirmāṇakāya may have been
employed originally to describe the doubles of himself that the Buddha is
sometimes said to display in order to teach multiple audiences simultaneously.
(Cf. MAHAPRATIHARYA.
The Confer reference is to the Great Miracle when Buddha several times emanated doubles of his form.
The Great Miracle of Buddha looks like an incarnation form of Buddha.

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