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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Lokottara
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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!
Manjushri-namasamgiti

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Dharma Gems

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:31 pm

The Dharma he [Bhagavan] taught presents pure conduct. It is virtuous in the beginning,
virtuous in the middle, and virtuous in the end. This Dharma, with its excellent
meanings and excellent words, is unadulterated, complete, pure, refined,
stainless, luminous, pleasant, agreeable, fulfilling, elating, inspiring, delightful,
and mentally enriching. It is pristine, fearless, gentle, stable, profound,
immutable, unchanging, indisputable, beyond the reach of the intellect,
inconceivable, marvelous, and utterly inexpressible. Such is the Dharma that he
taught, presented, explained, and elucidated.
Perfection of Generosity Sutra, 1.10
Glorious one, creator of all goodness, Mañjuśrī, his glorious eminence!
Manjushri-namasamgiti

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Dharma Gems

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:37 pm

The Blessed One then said, “Noble son, after having first given rise to the mind set on awakening, bodhisattva great beings should strive diligently on the path of the ten virtuous actions. Noble son, how do bodhisattva great beings strive diligently on the path of the ten virtuous actions? Noble son, bodhisattva great beings do so by abandoning killing and so forth, up until wrong views.

“Noble son, how do bodhisattva great beings abandon killing? Noble son, bodhisattvas do so by reflecting in this way: ‘Even the tiniest of insects, such as an ant, is fond of its life; it cherishes it, likes it, and enjoys it. I, too, am fond of my life; I, too, cherish it, like it, and enjoy it. Therefore, just as I want no one to kill me, order someone to kill me, or rejoice in my killing, I myself will never kill, order someone to kill, or rejoice in the killing of anyone!’ Noble son, this is how bodhisattva great beings abandon killing. Regarding this, it is said:

From the time of being in their mother’s womb,
All beings cherish their lives.
Therefore, those who hold their lives dear
Should not kill any living being.
Perfection of Generosity Sutra, 1.17-18
Glorious one, creator of all goodness, Mañjuśrī, his glorious eminence!
Manjushri-namasamgiti

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明安 Myoan
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Re: Dharma Gems

Post by 明安 Myoan » Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:10 am

Subhakarasimha wrote:"O beginners, many of your fear that thoughts arising in your mind will tempt you, and so you follow your breath and maintain a state of no-thought, thinking that this is the ultimate. You seek to improve in this way, but cannot. Thought is of two kinds. One is negative and the other positive. Negative, deluded thoughts should be removed completely. Correct thoughts of the good Dharma should not be extinguished.
Practitioners with the correct attitude should not concern themselves about temptation, but strive first to maintain and increase correct thoughts. After this, they will attain the purity of the ultimate. When people learn archery, do they not practice for a long time before achieving excellence? Furthermore, if you do not think at all, how can your practice have any stability?
Do not be afraid of your mind's workings. Consider it a disturbance of your practice only if you slacken in moving forward."
source

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Dharma Gems

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:33 pm

We living beings come into this world and renounce the roots
while we grasp at the branches. We forget the fundamental matters,
turn our backs on enlightenment and unite with the “dust” – the
wearisome mundane world. That is why we forget the Buddhas and
never remember to be mindful of them.
Master Hua
Glorious one, creator of all goodness, Mañjuśrī, his glorious eminence!
Manjushri-namasamgiti

Fortyeightvows
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Re: Dharma Gems

Post by Fortyeightvows » Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:44 am

Nicholas Weeks wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:37 pm
The Blessed One then said, “Noble son, after having first given rise to the mind set on awakening, bodhisattva great beings should strive diligently on the path of the ten virtuous actions. Noble son, how do bodhisattva great beings strive diligently on the path of the ten virtuous actions? Noble son, bodhisattva great beings do so by abandoning killing and so forth, up until wrong views.

“Noble son, how do bodhisattva great beings abandon killing? Noble son, bodhisattvas do so by reflecting in this way: ‘Even the tiniest of insects, such as an ant, is fond of its life; it cherishes it, likes it, and enjoys it. I, too, am fond of my life; I, too, cherish it, like it, and enjoy it. Therefore, just as I want no one to kill me, order someone to kill me, or rejoice in my killing, I myself will never kill, order someone to kill, or rejoice in the killing of anyone!’ Noble son, this is how bodhisattva great beings abandon killing. Regarding this, it is said:

From the time of being in their mother’s womb,
All beings cherish their lives.
Therefore, those who hold their lives dear
Should not kill any living being.
Perfection of Generosity Sutra, 1.17-18
From the time of being in their mother’s womb

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Dharma Gems

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:43 pm

Look at those who struggle after their petty ambitions, like fish in a stream that is fast drying up. Seeing this, let one fare unselfish in this life, while ceasing to worry about various states of becoming.
Suttanipata v. 777
Glorious one, creator of all goodness, Mañjuśrī, his glorious eminence!
Manjushri-namasamgiti

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明安 Myoan
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Re: Dharma Gems

Post by 明安 Myoan » Sat Sep 07, 2019 3:24 am

Lama Zopa Rinpoche wrote:Be as careful as you can. Our minds are funny. Sometimes we are skeptical of things that are really worthwhile and completely accepting of things that we should avoid. Try to avoid extremes and follow the middle way, checking with wisdom wherever you go.

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Caoimhghín
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Re: Dharma Gems

Post by Caoimhghín » Thu Sep 19, 2019 3:50 am

Venerable Muttātherī was thankful on account of freedom from five things:
I'm free, well-freed.
Freed from three crooked things that bent me down:
My mortar, my pestle, my husband.
Uprooting craving leading to being,
I'm free from age and death.
(Therīgāthā 1.11, Hymns of the Elder Nuns)
歸命本覺心法身常住妙法心蓮臺本來莊嚴三身徳三十七尊住心
城遠離因果法然具普門塵數諸三昧無邊徳海本圓滿還我頂禮心諸佛

In reverence for the root gnosis of the heart, the dharmakāya,
for the ever present good law of the heart, the lotus terrace,
for the inborn adornment of the trikāya, the thirty-seven sages dwelling in the heart,
for that which is removed from seed and fruit, the upright key to the universal gate,
for all boundless concentrations, the sea of virtue, the root perfection,
I prostrate, bowing to the hearts of all Buddhas.

胎藏金剛菩提心義略問答鈔, Treatise on the teaching of the gnostic heart of the womb and the diamond, T2397.1.470c5-8

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Dharma Gems

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:28 pm

The inconceivable state is what Buddhas know, such as neither grasping nor not grasping, seeing neither the appearance of past, present, or future, nor the appearance of coming or going, and grasping neither birth nor death, neither cessation nor perpetuity, neither arising nor acting. This knowledge is called the true wisdom-knowledge, the inconceivable wisdom-knowledge. Like open space, with neither appearances nor features, in unequaled equality, it makes no comparison, neither this against that nor good against evil.
Sūtra of Mahā-Prajñā-Pāramitā by Mañjuśrī Bodhisattva
Glorious one, creator of all goodness, Mañjuśrī, his glorious eminence!
Manjushri-namasamgiti

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Dharma Gems

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:03 pm

In the beginningless, endless flow of time you meet the Buddha but once.
Therefore, discard your worldly attachments and receive the Dharma.

We are all sinking in the sea of suffering and our depraved minds tremble in fear.
But the Buddha with his compassion shows us the Realm of Purity.

In each ray of light innumerable Buddhas reside,
Who by countless means work tirelessly to save us all.

The body of the Buddha is pure and serene, he radiates light
throughout the world but his Truth is quiet and formless.

The realm of the Buddha is unfathomable and his teachings are limitless,
but he speaks with one voice and the voice of the Dharma reaches everything.

And all beings attain Enlightenment, each according to his capacity, but all teachings are one.
Buddha-Dharma, based on Avatamsaka Sutra.
Glorious one, creator of all goodness, Mañjuśrī, his glorious eminence!
Manjushri-namasamgiti

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Dharma Gems

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:56 am

Many are the joys of the world
but none surpass the joy of pure peace.
Untainted Dharma is the Buddha’s domain,
from there he views the world with purity of vision.

All the countries of the world
occupy less space than a strand of hair.
Truly the compassion of the Buddha is wide as the open skies.

Our pride is as massive as a mountain.
But the Buddha destroys it with the power of his skillful means and wisdom.
He worked tirelessly to realize Buddhahood which dispels the darkness of our ignorance.
Pure indeed is the Buddha’s wisdom.

In the infinite past
he transcended the suffering of birth and death.
He teaches the way of purity.
The Buddha is the lamp of wisdom.

Ah, birth, old age, sickness and death,
misery and sorrows weigh heavily on the human heart.
But, when one sees the Buddha just once,
his mind immediately enters the Realm of Purity.

All the countless Buddha worlds
are filled with his profound virtues.
Here great numbers of untainted Buddha’s children assemble, always to listen to the voice of the Dharma.
The Buddha is high and lofty
but he also resides in every speck of dust.

He shows us numerous practices
and uses means beyond our understanding
to lead all of his children to the Realm of Purity.

Ah, the pure world of Enlightenment, the ocean of virtue,
all beings blessed with the good circumstances to hear the Dharma vow to follow the path
And ultimately realize supreme Buddhahood.
Buddha-Dharma, rest of Avatamsaka gatha.
Glorious one, creator of all goodness, Mañjuśrī, his glorious eminence!
Manjushri-namasamgiti

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Dharma Gems

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Fri Oct 25, 2019 2:40 pm

The Buddha said, “Brahmin, if you claim not to affirm anything, you must not affirm the principle of not affirming anything.” Dighanakha said, “That is so; if I affirm the principle of not affirming, then that would be affirming something.” The Buddha said, “Brahmin, there are many like you who, while maintaining negation, do not abandon negation itself; those who are free of that error are few. In the world, there are those who say that they affirm all things and those who say that they affirm one part while not affirming another part. Among all these views, on the whole, the principle that affirms all things is closely related to greed, bondage, and attachment; and the principle that does not affirm all things is only distantly related to them. But in either case, if you firmly attach yourself to any of these principles, enemies will appear and engage in disputes, obstructions will form, and troubles will ensue. Those with wisdom perceive this and abandon those principles.
Buddha-Dharma page 40.
Glorious one, creator of all goodness, Mañjuśrī, his glorious eminence!
Manjushri-namasamgiti

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Dharma Gems

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Sun Oct 27, 2019 12:26 pm

Listen well, companions: for bodhisattva mahāsattvas who are beginners one
must explain the six perfections with a reference point, with the notion that
suchness is expressible. That is to say, they must understand the nature of the
great elements to be arising and perishing. Only then should they familiarize
themselves with the idea that all phenomena are in essence inexpressible, nonarising,
non-ceasing, not perceptible, and not in the slightest way existing.
“Thus will they definitively abandon eternalism and nihilism, and they will
not be at all frightened or terrified. Once they have ceased to relate to
phenomena with attachment, [F.266.a] they will swiftly perfect the six
perfections and henceforth not remain in either nihilism or eternalism.
Ākāśagarbha Sūtra
Glorious one, creator of all goodness, Mañjuśrī, his glorious eminence!
Manjushri-namasamgiti

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Dharma Gems

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:07 pm

Even before the Bodhisattva manifested as the Prince, he taught Devas. From Buddha-Dharma page 4:
Then the Bodhisattva, for the sake of the host of divine beings, expounded the teachings: “All of you, first give rise to faith, venerate the teaching, hold the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha in your mind, and attain the path of the sages. Knowing that the world is impermanent and filled with suffering, abide in an egoless mind. With peace in your mind, do not give rise to thoughts of greed. Ceaselessly absorbed in meditation, attain wisdom and, using skillful means, guide those people who are shrouded by the darkness of ignorance.

“Even the marvellous adornments of the celestial world sink down into the lands of suffering when the good fortune that produced these adornments exhausts itself. Even greed is pathetically fleeting. All is as empty as a dream. Greed is never satiated; it is like being parched and drinking salt water.

“Therefore, urging yourself onward, attain the bliss of the uncreated. Should you attain transcendent wisdom, you will then realize fulfillment.

“Study the principles of things; do not become attached to words. Act in accordance with your words, and speak in accordance with your actions.

“Always be aware of your own evil, and do not look at the faults of others. Without your own actions, you will not receive the fruits of the actions performed by others.” The Bodhisattva instructed the host of divine beings with these words.
Glorious one, creator of all goodness, Mañjuśrī, his glorious eminence!
Manjushri-namasamgiti

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