Reliance on a master

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.
Post Reply
Rion
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:17 am

Reliance on a master

Post by Rion » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:25 am

Hi all, i have a point that requires some clarification.

I found reference to the following quote in Sogyal Rinpoche's Tibetan Book of Living and Dying: "The Buddha says in one of the Tantras: 'Of all the buddhas who have ever attained enlightenment, not a single one accomplished this without relying on a master...'"

and yet it is generally accepted that: "The Buddha had no teacher for His Enlightenment. "Na me acariyo atthi" -- A teacher have I not -- are His own words. He did receive His mundane knowledge from His lay teachers, but teachers He had none for His a supramundane knowledge which He himself realized by His own intuitive wisdom."

Can anyone explain the contradiction?

Many thanks and have a good day, :)

User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
Posts: 6963
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Reliance on a master

Post by Astus » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:58 am

Rion wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:25 am
Can anyone explain the contradiction?
There are some significant differences between traditions in terms of how the Buddha is conceived.

You might want to check Guang Xing's study The Concept of the Buddha: Its Evolution from Early Buddhism to the Trikāya Theory as a little background info.
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"

User avatar
seeker242
Posts: 1313
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:50 pm
Location: South Florida, USA

Re: Reliance on a master

Post by seeker242 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:51 am

According to the Jataka Stories, Gautama in his previous lives, relied upon and learned from the previous Buddha Dīpankara. So if that is the case, then there's not much contradiction. :smile:
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!

Crazywisdom
Posts: 1534
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 5:48 pm

Re: Reliance on a master

Post by Crazywisdom » Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:15 pm

Rion wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:25 am
Hi all, i have a point that requires some clarification.

I found reference to the following quote in Sogyal Rinpoche's Tibetan Book of Living and Dying: "The Buddha says in one of the Tantras: 'Of all the buddhas who have ever attained enlightenment, not a single one accomplished this without relying on a master...'"

and yet it is generally accepted that: "The Buddha had no teacher for His Enlightenment. "Na me acariyo atthi" -- A teacher have I not -- are His own words. He did receive His mundane knowledge from His lay teachers, but teachers He had none for His a supramundane knowledge which He himself realized by His own intuitive wisdom."

Can anyone explain the contradiction?

Many thanks and have a good day, :)
Had masters in prev lives. Tantras revealed in Akanista.
Vajra Killah Killallaya

The criticisms of others are like wrathful mantras. Fast purification. Welcome it. -can’t remember who

Rion
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:17 am

Re: Reliance on a master

Post by Rion » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:51 pm

Thanks for all the replies, i am a little more enlightened on the subject! :smile:

Therefore it would not be true to say that a being cannot attain enlightenment in any one lifetime without a master, provided that being has had a master or masters in previous lifetimes.

I think that alongside the myriad distractions and delusions of modern life there are also great opportunities for realization for those with a true desire for such... information being so readily available, although of course discernment is key. Perhaps we live in a time where the role of the master, although incredibly beneficial is less critical than it once was?

I don't have a master, at least not in any formal sense although i have received teachings from highly realized individuals and have thereafter sought out their further teachings in books and on the internet. At the moment this is enough for me but of course who's to say how i will feel in the future..?

Best wishes to all.

User avatar
Josef
Posts: 2151
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Reliance on a master

Post by Josef » Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:53 am

Rion wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:51 pm


I think that alongside the myriad distractions and delusions of modern life there are also great opportunities for realization for those with a true desire for such... information being so readily available, although of course discernment is key. Perhaps we live in a time where the role of the master, although incredibly beneficial is less critical than it once was?
Having a master is far more than having information presented to you.
When one relies on books and the internet as the basis of their path they are missing most of the potency of the dharma, which can only be experienced through the reliance on the Three Jewels in their living form.

Relying on a realized master vs. reading about dharma is like actually being in love compared to watching a romantic comedy.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

Post Reply

Return to “Mahāyāna Buddhism”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 39 guests