Paradox of Buddhahood in Mahayana (newbie's questions)

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Paradox of Buddhahood in Mahayana (newbie's questions)

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:25 pm

In Nagarjuna's Bodhisambhara Treatise the perfection of wisdom is given more depth than the usual meaning. Ordinarily we think of perfection of wisdom as a clear intellectual & experiential understanding of sunyata or emptiness. In this teaching, both in the verses on the 10th paramita (a branch of Prajna) and the following example, he says that a bodhisattva goes far beyond the guru function of teaching & guiding Dharma aspirants:
All of the treatises as well as the specialized skills,
The occult and mundane sciences, and the various trades—
Because they bring benefit to the world,
One brings them forth and establishes them.
Bhikshu Vasitva explains:
This refers to treatises on book printing, mathematics, metallurgy,
medical treatises, to treatises on exorcism for ghost-possession and
rescuing victims of poisoning, and to treatises on the establishment
of towns and cities, gardens, rivers and springs, lakes and ponds,
flowers and fruit, medicinal herbs, forests, and so forth.
This also refers to gemological treatises revealing the nature of
such things as gold, silver, pearls, vaiḍūrya (beryl), alabaster, and
coral, to treatises which record and describe such things as the
movements of the sun, moon, stars, sunlight, and the earth, and
also to those treatises devoted to signs occurring in dreams.
It is also referencing treatises on the physiognomy of all parts of
the body and the limbs. All of the countless sorts of treatises such
as these comprise what is intended here.
All of those things which are able to be of benefit to the world
are entirely destroyed during the deterioration of the kalpa. As the
kalpa develops again, these things are brought forth and established
again among people. The specialized skills of importance
include creating things from wood, iron, clay, and copper and are
not of a single sort.
This includes all of the different sorts of occult and mundane sciences
including the ability to perform exorcisms in cases of ghostpossession,
the ability to do away with insane behavior, the ability
to cure cases of poisoning, cases of acute digestive afflictions and
indigestion, and cases involving all of the other different sorts of
pressing afflictions.
Also, making things which involve carving, painting, embroidery,
weaving, and such, including all of the different sorts of livelihoods.
Whatsoever is able to bring benefit and happiness to the
world—one brings forth and establishes all of these things.
Whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. -- MN 19

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