Lotus Sutra: Buddha Prabhutaratna

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DGA
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Lotus Sutra: Buddha Prabhutaratna

Post by DGA » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:06 pm

In the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha Prabhutaratna (Abundant Treasure) appears as a result of his vow to be present whenever the Lotus Sutra is taught. This indicates that the Lotus Sutra one is hearing recited, or one is reading, is not the first Lotus Sutra--that this sutra has been taught by Buddhas past, and is regularly taught (one can readily imagine Buddha Prabhutaratna bursting onto the scene of countless Lotus Sutras...)

Which means that there are Buddhas that predate Shakyamuni's teaching of this Sutra. Prabhutaratna's existence demonstrates that Shakyamuni is not the first Buddha to have attained Buddhahood.

From your perspective:

Is Prabhutaratna the coequal of Shakyamuni Buddha?

Does his Buddhahood predate Shakyamuni's, or is he somehow an emanation of Shakyamuni Buddha?

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Re: Lotus Sutra: Buddha Prabhutaratna

Post by rory » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:35 am

DGA wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:06 pm
In the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha Prabhutaratna (Abundant Treasure) appears as a result of his vow to be present whenever the Lotus Sutra is taught. This indicates that the Lotus Sutra one is hearing recited, or one is reading, is not the first Lotus Sutra--that this sutra has been taught by Buddhas past, and is regularly taught (one can readily imagine Buddha Prabhutaratna bursting onto the scene of countless Lotus Sutras...)

Which means that there are Buddhas that predate Shakyamuni's teaching of this Sutra. Prabhutaratna's existence demonstrates that Shakyamuni is not the first Buddha to have attained Buddhahood.

From your perspective:

Is Prabhutaratna the coequal of Shakyamuni Buddha?

Does his Buddhahood predate Shakyamuni's, or is he somehow an emanation of Shakyamuni Buddha?

You don't seem to understand the Lotus Sutra or Tiantai/Tendai philosophy at all: time is not linear. This is how Shakyamuni Buddha can be teaching on Sacred Vulture Peak at the same time people think he passed into Nirvana.
gassho
Rory
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Chih-I:
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58
https://www.tendai-usa.org/

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Re: Lotus Sutra: Buddha Prabhutaratna

Post by crazy-man » Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:44 pm

Nikkyō Niwano states Prabhūtaratna's stupa symbolizes the buddha-nature which all people possess, while the springing-up of the stupa from the earth is said to imply the discovery of one's own buddha-nature.[14]

According to Robert Buswell, "Prabhūtaratna (Many Treasures) invites Shakyamuni to sit beside him inside his bejeweled stūpa, thus validating the teachings Shakyamuni delivered in the scripture."[15] Thich Nhat Hanh states that Prabhūtaratna symbolizes "the ultimate Buddha" and Shakyamuni "the historical Buddha"; the two Buddhas sitting together signifies the non-duality of the ultimate and the historical, that at a given moment in the real world, one can touch the ultimate.[16]

According to Nichiren, in their interaction Shakyamuni and Many Treasures agreed to the perpetuation of the Law throughout the Latter Day.[17]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prabhutaratna

Side by Side:
Notes on the Twin Buddhas of the Lotus Sutra in the Stone Carver's Art
https://rk-world.org/dharmaworld/dw_201 ... -side.aspx

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Re: Lotus Sutra: Buddha Prabhutaratna

Post by rory » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:22 pm

All right now I have the time and text to give a fuller explanation:
We are dealing with Flower Garland (Avatamsaka, Hua-yen, Kegon) philosophy and Tiantai (Tendai) philosophy.
Hua-yen thought sees all phenomena as expressions of an originally pure and undifferentiated one mind
Stone Original Enlightenment p.7

So Avatamsaka says there is One Mind and then phenomena follow

A favourite example is the ocean (the One Mind) and the wave (phenomena) which arises and then recedes back into the ocean.

Tiantai denies that everything arises from the One MInd, rather, Chih-I (Zhiyi, Chigi) the founder of the Tiantai schools states
"one may say neither that the one mind is prior and all dharmas posterior nor that all dharmas are prior and the mind posterior...All one can say is that the mind is all dharmas and all dharmas are the mind. Therefore the relationship is neither vertical nor horizontal, neither the same nor different." p. 8.
Tiantai- Tendai philosophy posits the Truth of the Middle or as it is called the Two Truths: All phenomena are empty, all phenomena are provisionally real, both these these truths exist at the same time.
an easy example is : I have a female human body and a buddhanature that is no different from Shakyamuni or Chih-I. Both are true simultaneously.

Additionally both Flower Garden and the Tendai school (which due to its incorporation of esoteric practices) revere Vairocana Buddha (Dainichi Nyorai)
Vairocana Buddha is the Buddha as Dharma body, that is the truth without beginning or end that is inherent in all things. All other Buddhas are seen as manifestations of this cosmic Buddha; so indeed is the universe itself... p.19
So in Tiantai philosophy there is no before time or after time, it is not linear. This is the Truth of the Middle.

I hope I have explained this well as it is extremely important and the essence of Tiantai.
gassho
Rory
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Chih-I:
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58
https://www.tendai-usa.org/

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Re: Lotus Sutra: Buddha Prabhutaratna

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:01 am

Not a direct response, but this may clarify a little.

The Bhadrakalpika Sutra lists all the buddhas to come in this Bhadra Kalpa. Buddha is the one asked and he gives the list and some details. All these buddhas arise from presently existing different Mahasattvas & Bodhisattvas.

Here is one example from the 1000 or so listed. All these attributes vary from buddha to buddha. Their Bodhi or wisdom is probably the same, but the karma of beings, era, realm and His own merit may explain the variations.
The Tathagata Mahaprabha will have as birthplace the city
called Joyful Pleasure. He will be of princely descent; and his
light will extend for forty yojanas. His father will be known as
Bajir; his mother will be known as Gift of Conquerors. His son
will be called Moon Umbrella; his principal attendant will be
known as Wisdom of Tranquility. The follower foremost in
wisdom will be known as Heart of Sentient Beings; the follower
foremost in miraculous abilities will be known as Great
Gentleness. In his first assembly will be 970 million disciples; in
his second assembly will be 950 million; and in the third
assembly will be 930 million. His life will span one thousand
years; and the holy Dharma will remain a further ninety
thousand years. His relics will be extensive.
Glorious one, creator of all goodness, Mañjuśrī, his glorious eminence!
Manjushri-namasamgiti

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Re: Lotus Sutra: Buddha Prabhutaratna

Post by rory » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:53 am

Nicholas Weeks: The Bhadrakalpika Sutra ....
This has nothing to do with the Lotus Sutra and Tiantai philosophy, both you and DGA take a literalist reading of the Sutra which neither Chih-I nor any educated monk, whichever philosophical school he belonged to would do.
gassho
Rory
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Chih-I:
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58
https://www.tendai-usa.org/

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Re: Lotus Sutra: Buddha Prabhutaratna

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:46 pm

rory wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:53 am
Nicholas Weeks: The Bhadrakalpika Sutra ....
This has nothing to do with the Lotus Sutra and Tiantai philosophy, both you and DGA take a literalist reading of the Sutra which neither Chih-I nor any educated monk, whichever philosophical school he belonged to would do.
gassho
Rory
For myself, not a literalist reading exclusively, but Faith and Devotion do enrich my studies.
Glorious one, creator of all goodness, Mañjuśrī, his glorious eminence!
Manjushri-namasamgiti

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Re: Lotus Sutra: Buddha Prabhutaratna

Post by Queequeg » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:44 pm

When it comes to the identities of Buddhas, I've basically concluded its something like trying to talk about what happens beyond the event horizon of a black hole.

Prabhutaratna is described in the Lotus as follows (from the BDK translation):
“The Tathāgata is in this jeweled stupa. In the remote past, immeasurable, incalculable thousands of myriads of koṭis of worlds away in the east there was a land called Ratnaviśuddha. In that land there was a buddha called Prabhūtaratna. When this buddha was practicing the bodhisattva path in his previous lives he made a great vow, saying:

If I become a buddha, after my parinirvāṇa if the Lotus Sutra is being taught anywhere in all the lands of the ten directions, my stupa shall appear there so that this sutra may be heard, and in order that I may bear testimony to it and praise it with the word “Splendid!”

“After the Buddha had perfected the path and immediately before his parinirvāṇa, he addressed the monks among the great assembly of devas and humans, saying: After my parinirvāṇa anyone who wishes to pay me homage should build a great stupa!

“If there is anyone teaching the Lotus Sutra anywhere in the worlds of the ten directions, this buddha makes a jeweled stupa emerge out of the ground in that place through his transcendent powers and the power of his vow. He is in the stupa giving praise with the words, ‘Splendid, splendid!’
The Sutra continues:
“O Mahāpratibhāna! The Tathāgata Prabhūtaratna has now emerged from the earth, within his stupa, so that he may hear the Lotus Sutra and give praise with the words, ‘Splendid, splendid!’”

At that time Bodhisattva Mahāpratibhāna spoke to the Buddha through the Tathāgata’s transcendent powers, saying: “O Bhagavat! We all want to see this buddha’s form.”

The Buddha answered Bodhisattva Mahāsattva Mahāprati bhāna, saying:

“This Buddha Prabhūtaratna made a great vow, saying: Whenever my jeweled stupa appears in the presence of a buddha in order to hear the Lotus Sutra, if that buddha wants to show my form to the fourfold assembly he should gather into one place all his magically created forms that are teaching the Dharma in the worlds of the ten directions. After that my form will appear.

“O Mahāpratibhāna! I shall now gather all my magically created forms who are teaching the Dharma in the worlds of the ten directions.”
Shakyamuni then proceeds to gather his "magically created forms".

"Magically created forms" = 分身

The Digital Dictionary of Buddhism entry for 分身 reads -
Basic Meaning: dividing the body

Senses:

Referring to the transformation bodies of the Buddha 化身 [nirmanakaya], with which he teaches and saves living beings. A Buddhaʼs power to reproduce himself ad infinitum and anywhere.
I consulted, "A Glossary of Kumarajiva's Translation of the Lotus Sutra" compiled by Karashima Seishi, who I believe is a professor at Soka University in Japan. This is a handy little resource that lists terms from Kumarajiva's translation of the Lotus Sutra and gives the alternate translations of those terms in other translations of the LS (including Dharmaraksa's translation) as well as the corresponding Sanskrit as found in the Sanskrit version that Kern translated.

There the definition is given, "bodies which emanate from a buddha etc., bodies which a buddha etc. magically creates, magically created forms
Whenever my jeweled stupa appears in the presence of a buddha in order to hear the Lotus Sutra, if that buddha wants to show my form to the fourfold assembly he should gather into one place all his magically created forms that are teaching the Dharma in the worlds of the ten directions. After that my form will appear.
若我寶塔。爲聽法華經故出於諸佛前時。其有欲以我身示四衆者。彼佛分身諸佛。在於十方世界説法。盡還集一處。T0262_,09: 0032c23_04 - 0032c26_02

The Sanskrit is given as atmabhava nirmita and alternatively, tathagata-vigraha. I believe these terms are used to refer to various iterations of the Buddha, including images of the Buddha. I hope someone with more knowledge on these terms will chime in.

In another place in the Sutra,
Those who preserve this sutra
Have already seen me, The Buddha Prabhūtaratna,
And the various magically created forms;
And today they see all the bodhisattvas
I have led and inspired up until now.
能持是經者
則爲已見我
亦見多寶佛 
及諸分身
又見我今日
教化諸菩薩

Here the Sanskrit is nayaka. The meaning I get here is of "clever".

More or less, what I'm sensing is describing these "emanations" as the Buddhas that appear in response to the various conditions throughout the universe.

One thing I would point out, when Shakyamuni assembles the emanations, no one is surprised. This is in contrast to the surprise of the Assembly at the emergence of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth who appear in Chapter 15.

***

I've heard Prabhutaratna compared to Dharmakaya and identified with Mahavairocana of the Womb World, and Shakyamuni identified with Mahavairocana of the Diamond World - ie. the expedients through which Buddha appears to and leads beings.

I think this comes from the Tendai esoteric traditions - Maybe Jikai will see this and he can offer some insight on this?

***

Personally, I think Prabhutaratna, Shakyamuni, and the emanation Buddhas are all mutually identified. We can distinguish them because they embody different upaya, but fundamentally, they are iterations of Dharmakaya in response to conditions, and that Dharmakaya can only appear to beings in response to their conditions. To try and identify them as distinct entities is frustrating because Buddhas are beyond those sorts of distinctions...

This is where I give up.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Re: Lotus Sutra: Buddha Prabhutaratna

Post by Coëmgenu » Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:35 pm

Queequeg wrote:The Sanskrit is given as atmabhava nirmita and alternatively, tathagata-vigraha.
I found something similar:
tathāgatasyātmabhāvastiṣṭhati ekaghanaḥ


But my Sanskrit is sufficiently poor that I'm not sure I'm even looking at the correct section. "Ekaghana" looks, though, like it could be "gather" or "come into one".
नस्वातो नापिपरतो नद्वाभ्यां नाप्यहेतुतः उत्पन्ना जातु विद्यन्ते भावाः क्वचन केचन
There absolutely are no things, nowhere and none, that arise anew, neither out of themselves, nor out of non-self, nor out of both, nor at random.
सर्वं तथ्यं न वा तथ्यं तथ्यं चातथ्यम् एव च नैवातथ्यं नैव तथ्यम् एतद् बुद्धानुशासनम्
All is so, or all is not so, both so and not so, neither so nor not so. This is the Buddha's teaching.

一切實非實亦實亦非實
非實非非實是名諸佛法

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Re: Lotus Sutra: Buddha Prabhutaratna

Post by Malcolm » Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:14 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:44 pm

Personally, I think Prabhutaratna, Shakyamuni, and the emanation Buddhas are all mutually identified. We can distinguish them because they embody different upaya, but fundamentally, they are iterations of Dharmakaya in response to conditions, and that Dharmakaya can only appear to beings in response to their conditions. To try and identify them as distinct entities is frustrating because Buddhas are beyond those sorts of distinctions...
The dharmakāya cannot directly appear to beings at all. Only buddhas can see the dharmakāya. However, the dharmakāya manifests the rūpakāya to beings, and those rūpakāyas appear in various forms suited to the inclinations of various sentient beings in the six realms (hells through devas).
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Re: Lotus Sutra: Buddha Prabhutaratna

Post by Queequeg » Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:19 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:14 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:44 pm

Personally, I think Prabhutaratna, Shakyamuni, and the emanation Buddhas are all mutually identified. We can distinguish them because they embody different upaya, but fundamentally, they are iterations of Dharmakaya in response to conditions, and that Dharmakaya can only appear to beings in response to their conditions. To try and identify them as distinct entities is frustrating because Buddhas are beyond those sorts of distinctions...
The dharmakāya cannot directly appear to beings at all. Only buddhas can see the dharmakāya. However, the dharmakāya manifests the rūpakāya to beings, and those rūpakāyas appear in various forms suited to the inclinations of various sentient beings in the six realms (hells through devas).
Yup. I defer to that explanation. That is what I meant - Dharmakaya appears as rupakaya, and only as rupakaya to beings. There is no other way.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Re: Lotus Sutra: Buddha Prabhutaratna

Post by Coëmgenu » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:08 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:14 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:44 pm

Personally, I think Prabhutaratna, Shakyamuni, and the emanation Buddhas are all mutually identified. We can distinguish them because they embody different upaya, but fundamentally, they are iterations of Dharmakaya in response to conditions, and that Dharmakaya can only appear to beings in response to their conditions. To try and identify them as distinct entities is frustrating because Buddhas are beyond those sorts of distinctions...
The dharmakāya cannot directly appear to beings at all. Only buddhas can see the dharmakāya. However, the dharmakāya manifests the rūpakāya to beings, and those rūpakāyas appear in various forms suited to the inclinations of various sentient beings in the six realms (hells through devas).
Perhaps this is some 'folksy Buddhism', but I swear that I had heard it explained that, since the dharmakāya does not 'appear', we 'see' saṃbhogakāya when 'looking at' dharmakāya, assuming attainment.

Is this right at all?
नस्वातो नापिपरतो नद्वाभ्यां नाप्यहेतुतः उत्पन्ना जातु विद्यन्ते भावाः क्वचन केचन
There absolutely are no things, nowhere and none, that arise anew, neither out of themselves, nor out of non-self, nor out of both, nor at random.
सर्वं तथ्यं न वा तथ्यं तथ्यं चातथ्यम् एव च नैवातथ्यं नैव तथ्यम् एतद् बुद्धानुशासनम्
All is so, or all is not so, both so and not so, neither so nor not so. This is the Buddha's teaching.

一切實非實亦實亦非實
非實非非實是名諸佛法

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Re: Lotus Sutra: Buddha Prabhutaratna

Post by Malcolm » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:12 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:08 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:14 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:44 pm

Personally, I think Prabhutaratna, Shakyamuni, and the emanation Buddhas are all mutually identified. We can distinguish them because they embody different upaya, but fundamentally, they are iterations of Dharmakaya in response to conditions, and that Dharmakaya can only appear to beings in response to their conditions. To try and identify them as distinct entities is frustrating because Buddhas are beyond those sorts of distinctions...
The dharmakāya cannot directly appear to beings at all. Only buddhas can see the dharmakāya. However, the dharmakāya manifests the rūpakāya to beings, and those rūpakāyas appear in various forms suited to the inclinations of various sentient beings in the six realms (hells through devas).
Perhaps this is some 'folksy Buddhism', but I swear that I had heard it explained that, since the dharmakāya does not 'appear', we 'see' saṃbhogakāya when 'looking at' dharmakāya, assuming attainment.

Is this right at all?

Not unless you are an eighth stage bodhisattva on up. Below that, beings can only perceived a nirmanakāya. Why? Because only nirmanakāyas appear in the three realms. The sambhogakāya cannot appear in the desire realm, but it can appear to the mind of bodhisattva in the pure stages in a samadhi on Akanishtha, for example.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Re: Lotus Sutra: Buddha Prabhutaratna

Post by Coëmgenu » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:22 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:12 pm
Not unless you are an eighth stage bodhisattva on up.
I think that this is the main difference between what is called "Lotus Buddhism" here and other Buddhisms. Lotus Buddhism seems to dismiss this: the notion of "no X until bhūmi 8 or higher".

I suppose that is the area of the LS where the divide between LS-venerating schools (in the sense of East Asian sūtra-venerating schools) and the Indo-Tibetan tradition lies. The Indo-Tibetan tradition, which I am taking you as a representative of, sees this dismissal of "no X until bhūmi 8 or higher" and concludes the sūtra to be provisional, that is, specifically provisional in that it is designed to stir up faith and devotion with 'technically untrue' radical statements, such as the statement that 'anyone' (regardless of bhūmi), via only "harbour[ing] thoughts of yearning and in their minds thirst to gaze" at the Buddha while "becom[ing] truly faithful, honest and upright, gentle in intent, single-mindedly desiring to see the Buddha, not hesitating even if it costs them their lives" can 'see/experience' the saṃbhogakāya transmitting/expounding saddharma.

Is this way off track, would you say, or is this a fair summation of the perspective of the Indo-Tibetan tradition with regards to the provisionality of the LS?
नस्वातो नापिपरतो नद्वाभ्यां नाप्यहेतुतः उत्पन्ना जातु विद्यन्ते भावाः क्वचन केचन
There absolutely are no things, nowhere and none, that arise anew, neither out of themselves, nor out of non-self, nor out of both, nor at random.
सर्वं तथ्यं न वा तथ्यं तथ्यं चातथ्यम् एव च नैवातथ्यं नैव तथ्यम् एतद् बुद्धानुशासनम्
All is so, or all is not so, both so and not so, neither so nor not so. This is the Buddha's teaching.

一切實非實亦實亦非實
非實非非實是名諸佛法

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Re: Lotus Sutra: Buddha Prabhutaratna

Post by Queequeg » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:04 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:22 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:12 pm
Not unless you are an eighth stage bodhisattva on up.
I think that this is the main difference between what is called "Lotus Buddhism" here and other Buddhisms. Lotus Buddhism seems to dismiss this: the notion of "no X until bhūmi 8 or higher".

I suppose that is the area of the LS where the divide between LS-venerating schools (in the sense of East Asian sūtra-venerating schools) and the Indo-Tibetan tradition lies. The Indo-Tibetan tradition, which I am taking you as a representative of, sees this dismissal of "no X until bhūmi 8 or higher" and concludes the sūtra to be provisional, that is, specifically provisional in that it is designed to stir up faith and devotion with 'technically untrue' radical statements, such as the statement that 'anyone' (regardless of bhūmi), via only "harbour[ing] thoughts of yearning and in their minds thirst to gaze" at the Buddha while "becom[ing] truly faithful, honest and upright, gentle in intent, single-mindedly desiring to see the Buddha, not hesitating even if it costs them their lives" can 'see/experience' the saṃbhogakāya transmitting/expounding saddharma.

Is this way off track, would you say, or is this a fair summation of the perspective of the Indo-Tibetan tradition with regards to the provisionality of the LS?
That is an interesting point.

I think that's why its still considered Shakyamuni (Nirmanakaya) who delivers the sermon at the heart of the LS, why this teaching is considered to be taught to all beings, not just advanced Bodhisattvas.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Lotus Sutra: Buddha Prabhutaratna

Post by Coëmgenu » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:43 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:04 pm
Coëmgenu wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:22 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:12 pm
Not unless you are an eighth stage bodhisattva on up.
I think that this is the main difference between what is called "Lotus Buddhism" here and other Buddhisms. Lotus Buddhism seems to dismiss this: the notion of "no X until bhūmi 8 or higher".

I suppose that is the area of the LS where the divide between LS-venerating schools (in the sense of East Asian sūtra-venerating schools) and the Indo-Tibetan tradition lies. The Indo-Tibetan tradition, which I am taking you as a representative of, sees this dismissal of "no X until bhūmi 8 or higher" and concludes the sūtra to be provisional, that is, specifically provisional in that it is designed to stir up faith and devotion with 'technically untrue' radical statements, such as the statement that 'anyone' (regardless of bhūmi), via only "harbour[ing] thoughts of yearning and in their minds thirst to gaze" at the Buddha while "becom[ing] truly faithful, honest and upright, gentle in intent, single-mindedly desiring to see the Buddha, not hesitating even if it costs them their lives" can 'see/experience' the saṃbhogakāya transmitting/expounding saddharma.

Is this way off track, would you say, or is this a fair summation of the perspective of the Indo-Tibetan tradition with regards to the provisionality of the LS?
That is an interesting point.

I think that's why its still considered Shakyamuni (Nirmanakaya) who delivers the sermon at the heart of the LS, why this teaching is considered to be taught to all beings, not just advanced Bodhisattvas.
Indeed, as soon as "only X bhūmi or higher" came into play regarding the Pure Land of Mahāvairocana (in the latest "Primordial Buddha" thread), I knew that there was some incompatibility or some 'distinct teaching' that was separating the perspectives outlined here.
नस्वातो नापिपरतो नद्वाभ्यां नाप्यहेतुतः उत्पन्ना जातु विद्यन्ते भावाः क्वचन केचन
There absolutely are no things, nowhere and none, that arise anew, neither out of themselves, nor out of non-self, nor out of both, nor at random.
सर्वं तथ्यं न वा तथ्यं तथ्यं चातथ्यम् एव च नैवातथ्यं नैव तथ्यम् एतद् बुद्धानुशासनम्
All is so, or all is not so, both so and not so, neither so nor not so. This is the Buddha's teaching.

一切實非實亦實亦非實
非實非非實是名諸佛法

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Re: Lotus Sutra: Buddha Prabhutaratna

Post by rory » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:53 pm

Coemgemu: I think that this is the main difference between what is called "Lotus Buddhism" here and other Buddhisms. Lotus Buddhism seems to dismiss this: the notion of "no X until bhūmi 8 or higher".
The entire point of Chih-I's Tiantai philosophy is the Truth of the Middle, meaning that the emptyness of phenomena and the provisional reality of phenomena exist simultaneously there is no linear time and thus the deep idea of interpenetration of all things: 3,000 worlds in one thought moment. So of course the notion of "no X until bhumi 8" is entirely done away with. It is profoundly radical and subversive!

The Lotus Sutra illustrates this deconstruction of Yogacarya with its progressions in Ch12 Devadatta with the story of the Dragon King's daughter:
Wisdom Accumulation Bodhisattva said, "I have seen the Thus Come One Shakyamuni practicing difficult ascetic practices throughout limitless aeons, accumulating merit and virtue as he sought Bodhi without ever resting. As I observe the three thousand great thousand worlds, there is no place, not even one the size of a mustard seed, where as a Bodhisattva he did not renounce his life for the sake of living beings. Only after that did he attain the Bodhi Way. I do not believe that this girl can accomplish proper enlightenment in the space of an instant.
http://www.buddhistdoor.com/OldWeb/reso ... otus12.htm

Shariputra in the very same chapter tells the Dragon Girl:
Only after one has passed through limitless aeons, diligently bearing suffering and accumulating one�s conduct, perfecting one�s cultivation of all Paramitas, can one then attain realization
The Dragon Girl replies:
The girl said, "With your spiritual powers, watch as I become a Buddha even more quickly than that!
and she does.

This immediate leap to Enlightenment via the Tiantai reading of the Lotus Sutra is the intellectual basis of East Asian Buddhism, so much so that most don't even realize it, just accept it. It is only when we have close discussion with Tibetan Buddhists of such things, that we realize the big differences.

Read my signature again, these are the profound words of Chih-I, the Lotus Sutra is about profound equality; there is no difference between my cat's buddhanature and my own. Between my own and Chih-I, between my cat's buddhanature and Chih-I
gassho
Rory
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Chih-I:
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58
https://www.tendai-usa.org/

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Re: Lotus Sutra: Buddha Prabhutaratna

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:20 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:35 pm
Queequeg wrote:The Sanskrit is given as atmabhava nirmita and alternatively, tathagata-vigraha.
I found something similar:
tathāgatasyātmabhāvastiṣṭhati ekaghanaḥ


But my Sanskrit is sufficiently poor that I'm not sure I'm even looking at the correct section. "Ekaghana" looks, though, like it could be "gather" or "come into one".
Speaking of these textual layers in general, is the Sanskrit here not a back-translation based on the Chinese?

Why is the Sanskrit seemingly so much more detailed and nuanced, with tathāgatasyātmabhāva instead of 分身, which, although may be understood to mean tathāgatasyātmabhāva, means actually something much more simple and less specific: separated/emanated body or bodies. Tathāgatasyātmabhāva, if it means what it seems to mean, actually refers specifically but not exclusively to a tathāgata & an ātma, two very precise Sanskrit terms that are utterly absent from the Chinese. It is detail that has been added to the Sanskrit recension, if this Sanskrit recension cited is indeed the later one I am thinking of. Where did it come from? Does it comes from a particular commentary on the sūtra?

This would also make sense if 分身 were an abbreviation for a longer phrase in Chinese, something that occurs occasionally in the language, but I have never seen substantiation for that.
नस्वातो नापिपरतो नद्वाभ्यां नाप्यहेतुतः उत्पन्ना जातु विद्यन्ते भावाः क्वचन केचन
There absolutely are no things, nowhere and none, that arise anew, neither out of themselves, nor out of non-self, nor out of both, nor at random.
सर्वं तथ्यं न वा तथ्यं तथ्यं चातथ्यम् एव च नैवातथ्यं नैव तथ्यम् एतद् बुद्धानुशासनम्
All is so, or all is not so, both so and not so, neither so nor not so. This is the Buddha's teaching.

一切實非實亦實亦非實
非實非非實是名諸佛法

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Re: Lotus Sutra: Buddha Prabhutaratna

Post by Queequeg » Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:40 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:20 am

Speaking of these textual layers in general, is the Sanskrit here not a back-translation based on the Chinese?
Not sure but I don't think so. The glossary gives the Sanskrit from the version Kern translated, which IIRC, is the version found in Kathmandu. It's a later version than the versions found in Afghanistan?, and all existent versions are later than the version Kumarajiva translated. For a detailed discussion of the existent versions of the LS see
https://books.google.com/books/about/Bu ... ead_button
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Coëmgenu
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Location: Whitby, Ontario

Re: Lotus Sutra: Buddha Prabhutaratna

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:06 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:40 pm
Coëmgenu wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:20 am

Speaking of these textual layers in general, is the Sanskrit here not a back-translation based on the Chinese?
Not sure but I don't think so. The glossary gives the Sanskrit from the version Kern translated, which IIRC, is the version found in Kathmandu. It's a later version than the versions found in Afghanistan?, and all existent versions are later than the version Kumarajiva translated. For a detailed discussion of the existent versions of the LS see
https://books.google.com/books/about/Bu ... ead_button
I took a look at the book, and then it got me looking at Ven Dharmarakṣa's recension. Its not in good shape either. I'm being a little bit blown away by how ragged some of the lines of textual transmission for this sūtra are! One expects this for older EBTs, but this is a Mahāyāna sūtra! :spy: There's no excuses! :stirthepot:

Of course, it has the same 'vague/general gist' as the Ven Kumārajīva authoritative recension, but its actual terminology complies neither with the Kumārajīva nor the Sanskrit it doesn't seem. I'll post more once I've looked at it harder.
Last edited by Coëmgenu on Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
नस्वातो नापिपरतो नद्वाभ्यां नाप्यहेतुतः उत्पन्ना जातु विद्यन्ते भावाः क्वचन केचन
There absolutely are no things, nowhere and none, that arise anew, neither out of themselves, nor out of non-self, nor out of both, nor at random.
सर्वं तथ्यं न वा तथ्यं तथ्यं चातथ्यम् एव च नैवातथ्यं नैव तथ्यम् एतद् बुद्धानुशासनम्
All is so, or all is not so, both so and not so, neither so nor not so. This is the Buddha's teaching.

一切實非實亦實亦非實
非實非非實是名諸佛法

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