Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

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Queequeg
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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:47 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:51 pm
Not so, mutuality is addressed by the container traces in the minds of sentient beings which produce the appearances of all six realms. Since we have these traces, we have mutual appearances of trees, rocks, etc., or river of pus and blood, etc., or hell guardians, etc.
This is what I mean. You don't address mutuality as it was taught in Tiantai.
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

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:07 pm

In Tiantai, the full blown mutuality between beings and their environment is brought out in Mohezhikuan.

In the Indian view, the world arises from the mind. So, rocks are defined as functions of the mind. In the Tiantai view, this is biased. The mind is also a function of the rock. This can be said because there is no self - no center from which to say that one thing arises from the other. Where does the rock begin? Where does the mind begin? The rock and the mind are, when we broaden the scope, aspects of a mutually arisen complex that can be analyzed and distinguished in any number of ways - even completely mistakenly, without losing ground.

That's the gist of the quote from Zhiyi commenting on Vasubandhu.

I understand if that idea doesn't fit with what you might know.

I can't find a flaw in it, though.
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

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Malcolm
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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:08 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:47 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:51 pm
Not so, mutuality is addressed by the container traces in the minds of sentient beings which produce the appearances of all six realms. Since we have these traces, we have mutual appearances of trees, rocks, etc., or river of pus and blood, etc., or hell guardians, etc.
This is what I mean. You don't address mutuality as it was taught in Tiantai.
Summarize the principle concisely, using an example, and I will see if I agree with it.
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: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:23 pm

To follow up... None of these teachings were absolute for Zhiyi. These are all ways to open up truth. All of it is not intended to be some sort of objective principle, but all of it is palliative. What does it really mean to say that rocks have buddhanature?

Its not what people get worked up about in calling East Asian Buddhism heretical. The terms have different meanings.

The implications drawn from these different meanings might lead to different ends. I guess that's the whole debate about "Are Dzogchen, Mahamudra and Zen the same awakening or different?"

I would suggest, putting aside the initial reaction and instead try to understand what is actually being communicated and discussed.

It doesn't mean that rocks are sentient. It does have some interesting implications about the path to Buddhahood and derivatively, practice.
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

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Malcolm
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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:25 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:07 pm
In Tiantai, the full blown mutuality between beings and their environment is brought out in Mohezhikuan.

In the Indian view, the world arises from the mind. So, rocks are defined as functions of the mind. In the Tiantai view, the mind is also a function of the rock.
Depends on which Indian Buddhist view we are discussing. There is for example, Karana-hetu, the principle that all phenomena are causes of all other phenomena apart from themselves.

This still does not make rocks capable of buddhahood. Nor does it make a mind a function of a rock. Your thesis amounts to saying that since there is a container universe and inhabitants, their mutual dependence means that the awakening of the latter necessitates the awakening of the former, even though it is conventionally insentient. But this also bears the consequence that buddhas can become sentient beings just as sentient beings can become buddhas. This is very terrible consequence.
This can be said because there is no self - no center from which to say that one thing arises from the other. Where does the rock begin? Where does the mind begin? The rock and the mind are, when we broaden the scope, aspects of a single complex.
This is addressed by the six causes and four conditions taught by the Sarvastivadins.

It is basic Madhyamaka to point out that things do not arise from self, other, both, or without a cause. Nevertheless, this does not mean that a tree attains buddhahood since it lacks a basis for attaining buddhahood, a mind.
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: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:29 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:23 pm
What does it really mean to say that rocks have buddhanature?
As far as I can tell, not much. It's a pretty meaningless statement. You might as well ask, does Zyklon B have buddhanature?

The implications drawn from these different meanings might lead to different ends. I guess that's the whole debate about "Are Dzogchen, Mahamudra and Zen the same awakening or different?"
They are the same awakening. There is only one kind of awakening.
It doesn't mean that rocks are sentient. It does have some interesting implications about the path to Buddhahood and derivatively, practice.
Maybe, maybe not. there are a lot of renowned Buddhist savants in history who have put forward some pretty bad arguments -- like Sapan's argument that ants lack eyes. Just embarrassing.
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: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:36 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:29 pm

Maybe, maybe not. there are a lot of renowned Buddhist savants in history who have put forward some pretty bad arguments -- like Sapan's argument that ants lack eyes. Just embarrassing.
Tell, what is your point in including this throwaway line? ...
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

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Malcolm
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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:50 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:36 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:29 pm

Maybe, maybe not. there are a lot of renowned Buddhist savants in history who have put forward some pretty bad arguments -- like Sapan's argument that ants lack eyes. Just embarrassing.
Tell, what is your point in including this throwaway line? ...
I am stating that perhaps some of Zhi Yi's arguments, as presented by you, are not as sound as you think they are. That they don't stand up to analysis and criticism as well as his exponents imagine. Bad arguments can't be excused simply as "upaya."
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: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by passel » Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:58 pm

I think I’m only responding to myself but maybe somebody else will bite:
Dogen being the most prominent later exegete of this doctrine, isn’t his point not that the insentient HAVE buddha nature, but that they ARE buddha nature?
Which I take just to mean that the phenomenal world is implicated in and inseparable from awakening.
Seems to me that that project is quite different from quasi-abhdharmic divvying up of of the world into what has and doesn’t have buddha nature?
"I have made a heap of all that I have met"- Svetonious

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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Coëmgenu » Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:13 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:59 pm
Yuren wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:14 pm
Thank you Queequeg for the in depth explanation, very useful.

I would emphatically say "cannot be traced to Indian roots" does not equal false.

It's derived from an Indian basis via some further philosophical speculation, which is very subtle.
No, it is not derived from any Indian basis at all.

Also this doctrine was rejected by many Chinese Buddhists as well. It appears to be a special feature of the Tienta'i school, but was rejected by Hua Yen scholars (justifiably, in my opinion).

Arguing that the container world appears as buddhafield when one attains buddhahood does not bear the correlation that rocks are capable of attaining buddhahood on their own.
Interestingly, The Buddhist Teaching of Totality: the Philosophy of Hwa Yen Buddhism by Garma C. C. Chang makes literally the opposite claim, that it is a Huáyán doctrine.

So no one can really make up their mind.
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: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:16 pm

passel wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:58 pm
I think I’m only responding to myself but maybe somebody else will bite:
Dogen being the most prominent later exegete of this doctrine, isn’t his point not that the insentient HAVE buddha nature, but that they ARE buddha nature?
Which I take just to mean that the phenomenal world is implicated in and inseparable from awakening.
Seems to me that that project is quite different from quasi-abhdharmic divvying up of of the world into what has and doesn’t have buddha nature?
Dogen was fully within the Tientai tradition, philosophically speaking, so that makes his ideas less radical then they appear on first glance.

Then the second problem one has to parse is what exactly does on mean by "buddhanature," if not tathāgatagarbha?

If by buddhanature, one means that everything is awakened intrinsically, then one has to parse exactly what awakening means, if not the absence of afflictions through insight into the reality of things.
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: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Anders » Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:34 pm

The thesis originated with Jizang, one of the seminal masters of the Sanlun/Madhyamika tradition, who originally wrote of it:

“Not only sentient beings have buddha-nature; grasses and trees also have buddha-nature”

Perhaps the most striking thing here is not so much positing that "grasses and trees also have buddha-nature”, but rather to see a classical Madhyamikan write "sentient beings have buddha-nature", a thesis frequently rejected by madhyamikans as eternalist.

Jizang is dialoguing with other non-sanlun writers of the times who were in a nutshell equating buddha-nature with "principle" (ie. the locus of reality), that the locus of reality is the mind and having mind = having buddha-nature (ie. locus of reality) or sentient beings are buddha-nature.

Jizang was basically arguing that not only is it not in the mind, it is not some substrate underlying phenomena either (as Daoism might posit), but that there essentially is no real locus of reality. Sengzhao, an earlier Sanlun patriarch, wrote this on this issue, which Jizang would later quote as a point of emphasis in his discussion on buddha-nature and the insentients:

  • He does not depart from reality in order to establish dharmas in their places; reality is right where they are established. This being so, is the Way far away? Reality is wherever there is contact with things. Is the sage far away? Realize from one’s life and there will be spiritual intelligence.


I see Jizang's assertion as a pragmatic move away froom Buddha-nature as a hidden metaphysical substrate, as it was generally perceived in Chinese Buddhism of the time (and often is in modern times too), into something more actual. The gist of the argument is that the way/principle/reality is universal and equal with respect to all dharmas, with no inside and outside. To talk of Buddha-nature, as principle, as something hidden inside beings is a misapprehension, since it is actualised, as Sengzhao writes, "wherever there is contact with things". Hence,

“Not only sentient beings have buddha-nature; grasses and trees also have buddha-nature”

The moral of the story being: "This being so, is the Way far away?"
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra

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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:57 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:50 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:36 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:29 pm

Maybe, maybe not. there are a lot of renowned Buddhist savants in history who have put forward some pretty bad arguments -- like Sapan's argument that ants lack eyes. Just embarrassing.
Tell, what is your point in including this throwaway line? Don't be an ass.
I am stating that perhaps some of Zhi Yi's arguments, as presented by you, are not as sound as you think they are. That they don't stand up to analysis and criticism as well as his exponents imagine. Bad arguments can't be excused simply as "upaya."
No, no, no. Don't be like that. If you have a substantive analysis, then make it. ...
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

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Malcolm
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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:03 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:13 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:59 pm
Yuren wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:14 pm
Thank you Queequeg for the in depth explanation, very useful.

I would emphatically say "cannot be traced to Indian roots" does not equal false.

It's derived from an Indian basis via some further philosophical speculation, which is very subtle.
No, it is not derived from any Indian basis at all.

Also this doctrine was rejected by many Chinese Buddhists as well. It appears to be a special feature of the Tienta'i school, but was rejected by Hua Yen scholars (justifiably, in my opinion).

Arguing that the container world appears as buddhafield when one attains buddhahood does not bear the correlation that rocks are capable of attaining buddhahood on their own.
Interestingly, The Buddhist Teaching of Totality: the Philosophy of Hwa Yen Buddhism by Garma C. C. Chang makes literally the opposite claim, that it is a Huáyán doctrine.

So no one can really make up their mind.
Nope, Chang is mistaken. It is very clear that Hua Yen rejects this idea.

http://buddhism.org/kr/koan/Robert_Sharf-e.htm
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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Malcolm
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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:04 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:57 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:50 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:36 pm


Tell, what is your point in including this throwaway line? Don't be an ass.
I am stating that perhaps some of Zhi Yi's arguments, as presented by you, are not as sound as you think they are. That they don't stand up to analysis and criticism as well as his exponents imagine. Bad arguments can't be excused simply as "upaya."
No, no, no. Don't be like that.
Make better arguments.
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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Malcolm
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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:07 pm

Anders wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:34 pm
The thesis originated with Jizang, one of the seminal masters of the Sanlun/Madhyamika tradition, who originally wrote of it:

“Not only sentient beings have buddha-nature; grasses and trees also have buddha-nature”

Justifiable perhaps on the basis of the MMK:
Whatever is the Tatāgata's nature, that is the world's nature;
as the Tatāgata has no nature, the world also has no nature.
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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Queequeg
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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:34 pm

Had to step out for a moment... Now, substance.
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:25 pm
Depends on which Indian Buddhist view we are discussing. There is for example, Karana-hetu, the principle that all phenomena are causes of all other phenomena apart from themselves.

This still does not make rocks capable of buddhahood. Nor does it make a mind a function of a rock. Your thesis amounts to saying that since there is a container universe and inhabitants, their mutual dependence means that the awakening of the latter necessitates the awakening of the former, even though it is conventionally insentient. But this also bears the consequence that buddhas can become sentient beings just as sentient beings can become buddhas. This is very terrible consequence.
I'm not familiar with Karana-hetu, but all phenomena are indeed causes of all others, in a way.

Are you familiar with the Tiantai slogan, Even Buddhahood includes Hell? The implications are what you think is so terrible. But why is that terrible? Because it doesn't conform to what people say a Buddha is or what Buddhahood is? What do those distinctions even mean to a Buddha? I don't think the Buddha cares. We care, because we have our sacred cows, because we think these particular stories are capital T True and will lead to awakening; I mean, we've devoted so much time and effort to these ideas... THEY BETTER BE TRUE! I'm being facetious to make a point.

What this really gets to is the kinds of teachings that appear in the Vimalakirti and Lotus Sutras that I quoted above - This Saha World is a Buddhaland, and the Saha World includes all the beings, along with the environments from which they cannot be separated, including this darn rock that we can't agree has Buddhanature or not. But if this world, as it is, is the Buddha's tranquil land, then that means the rock is form in Buddhahood.

It makes the aim of our practice immediately tangible.

So what is Buddhanature in Tiantai? I am not familiar with Jizang, but what Anders describes sounds familiar to me. Zhiyi taught that Buddhanature is threefold. The Direct Cause is the way things really are, and seems to correspond with what Anders describes. The Complete Cause is the Buddha's teaching on Buddhanature - basically telling us about it. The Conditional Causes are the activities we undertake to perfect wisdom. Buddhahood of rocks is important here because all dharmas have Buddhanature and "pull" us to enlightenment. Like descriptions of Pure Lands that echo with dharma teachings. We're saying that this Saha world, as it is, is such a field of merit revealing awakening all around us.
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

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by passel » Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:36 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:07 pm
Anders wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:34 pm

Justifiable perhaps on the basis of the MMK:
Whatever is the Tatāgata's nature, that is the world's nature;
as the Tatāgata has no nature, the world also has no nature.
Whether that’s the explanation that accords with the view of Zhiyi or anyone else brought up in the thread or not, that’s the one that seems to make the most sense.

If you posit buddha nature as something beings have, sooner or later you’ll be arguing for a thumb-sized man who lives in the heart or some other absurdity. If buddha nature is just another way to talk about the way things are- emptiness, d-o, or another similarly robust doctrine- then I think you have a fine upaya

It also works w Hakuin, who doesn’t seem to have been enraptured by b-n doctrine, but who’ll happily and consistently say, “true nature is no nature”
"I have made a heap of all that I have met"- Svetonious

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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:53 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:03 pm
Nope, Chang is mistaken. It is very clear that Hua Yen rejects this idea.

http://buddhism.org/kr/koan/Robert_Sharf-e.htm
Not quite. The article suggests that the Hua-yen view sidesteps the issue in order to remain literally faithful to the Mahaparinirvana.
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

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Malcolm
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Re: Buddhahood of Insentient Beings Exclusively East-Asian?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:27 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:34 pm
Had to step out for a moment... Now, substance.
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:25 pm
Depends on which Indian Buddhist view we are discussing. There is for example, Karana-hetu, the principle that all phenomena are causes of all other phenomena apart from themselves.

This still does not make rocks capable of buddhahood. Nor does it make a mind a function of a rock. Your thesis amounts to saying that since there is a container universe and inhabitants, their mutual dependence means that the awakening of the latter necessitates the awakening of the former, even though it is conventionally insentient. But this also bears the consequence that buddhas can become sentient beings just as sentient beings can become buddhas. This is very terrible consequence.
I'm not familiar with Karana-hetu, but all phenomena are indeed causes of all others, in a way.
Not in a way, directly.
Are you familiar with the Tiantai slogan, Even Buddhahood includes Hell? The implications are what you think is so terrible. But why is that terrible? Because it doesn't conform to what people say a Buddha is or what Buddhahood is? What do those distinctions even mean to a Buddha? I don't think the Buddha cares. We care, because we have our sacred cows, because we think these particular stories are capital T True and will lead to awakening; I mean, we've devoted so much time and effort to these ideas... THEY BETTER BE TRUE! I'm being facetious to make a point.
The problem is not buddhas in hell realms, the problem is buddhas experiencing the suffering of hell realms, or any other realm, for that matter.
What this really gets to is the kinds of teachings that appear in the Vimalakirti and Lotus Sutras that I quoted above - This Saha World is a Buddhaland, and the Saha World includes all the beings, along with the environments from which they cannot be separated, including this darn rock that we can't agree has Buddhanature or not.
Actually, this doctrine, that insentient beings possess buddhanature, is not in Zhi Yi's writings. See Swanson, CSQI, vol. 1, pg. 58. He states that Zhi Yi really treads lightly around the tathagātagarbha theory.
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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