Aemilius wrote: ↑
Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:59 am
Bristollad wrote: ↑
Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:04 pm
jmlee369 wrote: ↑
Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:16 pm
The tradition continues in the bodhisattva precept transmissions of East Asia. The bodhisattva precept ceremonies are very much based on the model of Pratimoksha ordination, and the upholders of the precepts gather twice a month to recite the precepts like during the monastic uposatha recitation of the pratimoksha. This is, of course, irrelevant to the question of the OP, since arhats, whether lay or monastic, would not be interested in taking bodhisattva precepts.
Of course I accept that bodhisattva precepts are still given in East Asia - it's the description of those, even when their practise includes a fortnightly recitation, as a Pratimoksha
that I find problematical.
What is the problem ? The problem is purely imaginary. Vasubandhu writes about pratimoksha, lay and monastic, in the Abhidharmakosha, it is very illuminating. There is also the pratimoksha of Dhyana, says Vasubandhu, it starts when you attain the state of Dhyana. It exists mentally or spiritually.
While I agree with @Aemilius vis-a-vis points he brings up with respect to Ven Vasubandhu, prātimokṣa of dhyāna &c., I also think that @jmlee369 is picking up on something in practical bodhisattvayāna that goes back further than bans on vinaya observance in certain East Asian societies (i.e. Japan at one point)
or even the various waves of Buddhist persecution and crack-downs on monastics that have happened in East Asia at various historical periods that would have perhaps disrupted vinaya/prātimokṣa observance among Dharmaguptaka practitioners for some time. I think what this something that @jmlee369 picks up on can be found going back to fairly elderly Mahāyāna tradition, but before I go into that, I would like to post the passage of Abhidharmakośakārikā
I think @Aemilius was referring to:
(Ven Vasubandhu, Abhidharmakośakārikā caturthaṁ kośasthānam (Ch 4 on Karma), transl. de la Vallée Poussin/Ven Gelong Lodrö Sangpo)
aṣṭadhā prātimokṣākhyaḥ dravyatastu caturvidhaḥ|
liṅgato nāmasaṁcārāt pṛthak te cāvirodhinaḥ||14||
The prātimokṣa is of eight types. In substance however, the prātimokṣa is of four types. The name changes with the gender. [The disciplines exist] separately. But they do not contradict one another.
pañcāṣṭadaśasarvebhyo varjyebhyo viratigrahāt|
By undertaking the renouncing of the five things to avoid, of the eight, the ten, of all the things to avoid, one obtains the quality of upāsaka, upavāsastha, śrāmaṇera, and bhikṣu.
śīlaṁ sucaritaṁ karma saṁvaraścocyate punaḥ|
ādye vijñaptyavijñapto prātimokṣakriyāpathaḥ||16||
Morality, good conduct, action and discipline. The prātimokṣa is the first vijñapti and the first avijñapti; these are courses of action (karmapatha).
prātimokṣānvitā aṣṭau dhyānajena tadanvitaḥ|
anāsraveṇāryasattvāḥ antyau cittānuvartinau||17||
Eight persons possess the prātimokṣa. He who possesses dhyāna possesses the discipline which arises from dhyāna. The āryans possess pure discipline. The last two disciplines are concomitants of the mind.
anāgamye prahāṇākhyau tāvānantaryamārgajau|
saṁprajñānasmṛtī dve tu manaindriyasaṁvarau||18||
Arising in the ānantaryamārgas, in anāgamya, they are called “abandoning”. Discipline of the mind and discipline of the organs are, each of them, two things: attentive consciousness and mindfulness.
prātimokṣasthito nityamatyāgā dvartamānayā|
avijñaptyā'nvitaḥ pūrvāt kṣaṇādūrdhvamatītayā||19||
He who is in prātimokṣa always possesses avijñapti of the present moment, as long as he does not reject the avijñapti. After the first moment, he also possesses avijñapti.
Consider this compared to the way that prātimokṣa is framed in the root downfalls of the bodhisattva:
(Ven Khenchen Kunzang Pelden’s jam dbyangs bla ma’i zhal lung bdud rtsi’i thig pa, “The Nectar of Mañjuśrī’s Speech,” pg. 141-2, commentary on Śāntideva's Bodhisattvacharyāvatāra quoting Śikṣāsamuccaya LXI quoting T407 虛空藏菩薩神呪經 *Ākāśagarbhabodhisattvadhāraṇīpadasūtra a.k.a. Ākāśagarbhasūtra)
9. To cause the ones who tread the path of prātimokṣa to leave it for the Mahāyāna;
10. To hold, and to lead others to believe that on the path of Hīnayāna learning craving and the like cannot be overcome
The above is Ven Khenchen Kunzang Pelden's (hereafter Ven KKP's)
presentation of numbers 9 & 10 of the 18 root downfalls of the bodhisattva from the Āryākāśagarbhanāmamahāyānasūtra
. There is a different rendering of these same 18 vows in the transmission of them attributed to Ven Nāgārjuna himself, the Padmakara Translation Group who is also responsible for the translation above has one of the above downfalls rendered thus, from Bodhisattvacharyāvatāra
itself as rendered here:
(Bodhicitta vows from the lineage of Nāgārjuna)
Turning self or others away from individual liberation or prātimokṣa; to join the greater vehicle having rejected the prātimokṣa vows.
Going back the sūtra in question:
“Furthermore, beginner bodhisattvas may say to some, ‘Oh! What is the use of practicing the vinaya of individual liberation, ethical discipline, and good conduct? You should swiftly bring forth the mind that strives for unsurpassable, perfectly complete enlightenment and study the Mahāyāna. Then even the tiniest unwholesome deeds you have committed with your body, speech, and mind due to the afflictions will be purified, and they will not come to maturation.’ Saying these words is the third root transgression for beginner bodhisattvas.
“Furthermore, son of noble family, beginner bodhisattvas may say to some, ‘Son of noble family, eschew the discourses of the śrāvaka vehicle! Do not listen to them, do not read them, and do not teach them to others. Son of noble family, eschew the discourses of the śrāvaka vehicle! They are the reason why you cannot obtain the great result, why you are not able to eradicate the afflictions. Therefore, have faith in the discourses of the Mahāyāna. Listen to the Mahāyāna, study the Mahāyāna, and teach it to others. Thus you will not go to the lower realms, you will not enter any path leading to the lower realms, and swiftly you will manifestly and completely awaken to unsurpassable, perfectly complete enlightenment.’ If these words are spoken and the listener acts accordingly and adopts a similar view, then both actions incur a root transgression. This is the fourth root transgression of beginner bodhisattvas.
Son of noble family, due to this root transgression, they will forfeit the entirety of their previously generated roots of virtue. [...] If the beginner wins someone over to a false view of the kind expressed in these words, they both undergo a root downfall. This is the fourth root downfall of a beginner bodhisattva.
Note these passages giving account of (beginner?)
bodhisattvayāna practitioners at least occasionally considering their practice as something particularly distinct from prātimokṣa and/or vinaya observance.
This "(beginner?)" in parentheses is important because interestingly enough Ven KKP presents these 18 root downfalls as of the bodhisattva-in-general (i.e. sarvabodhisattvāḥ)
, whereas the original buddhavacana underlying all of this, T407, has these as the downfalls of particularly the beginner bodhisattva, perhaps exclusively. I don't know where this apparent discrepancy comes from, whether it is an incorrect reading of Ven KKP or of the sūtra. For final context this is how the Padmakara Translation Group renders how Ven KKP explains this:
(Ven KKP, The Nectar of Mañjurśrī's Speech, 141-2)
When the root text says that Bodhisattvas "strive to never transgress" the disciplines of bodhicitta, this implies that it is pointless just to pretend to be learned and to make eloquent disquisitions tricked out with all sorts of examples concerning the Bodhisattva Precepts, ocean-vast as they are. The important thing is to have a general knowledge of what the Bodhisattva Precepts are and, in particular, to have a grasp of the crucial essence of these precepts. Regarding these precepts, one speaks, once gain, in terms og things to be avoided and things to be undertaken.
In the first place, the things to be avoided comprise the eighteen root or fundamental downfalls, together with the two downfalls of giving up bodhicitta in intention and bodhicitta in action. The eighteen downfalls mentioned in the Ākāśagarbhasūtra are summarized in verse in Śāntideva's Śikṣāsamuccaya:
[Here is omitted an account of the 18 root downfalls.]
It is thus that the eighteen downfalls (the five downfalls liable to be committed by a king, the five liable to be committed by a minister, and the eight associated with ordinary people) are expounded, together with a method of confessing for them.
At the end of the above, Ven KKP appears to break down these 18 root downfalls in a 5, 5, 8 manner. If we assume they are assigned linearly, downfalls 9 & 10 in question would be downfalls associated with ministerial position, so maybe that are not assigned linearly and are instead the downfalls associated with "ordinary people (who are practitioners of the Mahāyāna)
," which might explain the apparent discrepancy.