Dharma Gems

Discuss and learn about the traditional Mahayana scriptures, without assuming that any one school ‘owns’ the only correct interpretation.
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Re: Dharma Gems

Post by Lokottara » Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:28 am

Then the bodhisattva Drdhamati asked the devaputra Gopaka:
Through what good-rooted action did you change your female body?
Gopaka: Kulaputra, those who are pledged to the Great Vehicle do not see any difference between man and woman. Why? Because the omniscient thought is not found in the triple world and because [notions] of man and woman are wrought by discrimination. You ask me, O friend, through what good actions I changed my female body; well, it is because in days gone by I served the Bodhisattva [Sakyamuni] with a mind free of hypocrisy
Drdhamati: How did you 'serve' him?
Gopaka: I served the Bodhisattva as the Lord.
Drdhamati: How did you serve him 'with a mind free of hypocrisy'?
Gopaka: I conformed my bodily action to my voice, and I conformed my vocal action to my mind: this is, for a woman, a mind free of hypocrisy.
Drdhamati: How did you change your female body?
Gopaka: In conformity with fulfillment.
Drdhamati: How did you 'fulfill'?
Gopaka: In conformity with changing.
Drdhamati: O devaputra, what is the meaning of that word?
Gopaka: Kulaputra, dharmas do not consist of either 'fulfillment'
or 'changing'. All dharmas are of a single flavour, that is, the flavour of the fundamental element. It is in conformity with my aspiration that I had a female body and, if now my body is that of a man, I have not for all that destroyed or abandoned the signs of a female body. That is why, O Kulaputra, it must be
understood that [concepts] of man and woman are perverse views, and that all dharmas as well are perverse views: they are absolutely free of duality

- - The Śūraṅgama Samādhi Sūtra

This view of gender is refreshing to see in a Mahāyāna sūtra, as there are quite a bit of them that contain sexist remarks (most of them probably inserted at a later date). It's important to note that this is a sort of sibling sūtra to the Vimalakīrti Nirdeśa, which contains the infamous encounter between Śāriputra and a goddess.

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Dharma Gems

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:01 pm

If we cultivate the awareness of peace and joy, have positive perception, and
strengthen these good habits in our mindstream, this awareness will transform our life and mental
character. Unhappy situations will have little effect on us, and the strength of peace and joy will prevail.
But if we don’t take advantage of our life right now, in the future we could fall into the misery of
confusion, fear, and pain.
To attain the goal, we must pursue a spiritual path. It can be any path that generates awareness of peace
and joy, loosens the grip of our mental grasping, purifies emotional afflictions, and refines our words and
deeds. This is the only way to change our negative habits into meritorious karmas and realize inner wisdom.
Tulku Thondup, Peaceful Death, Joyful Rebirth, page 41
Glorious one, creator of all goodness, Mañjuśrī, his glorious eminence!

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