simultaneity of cause and effect

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Malcolm
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Re: simultaneity of cause and effect

Post by Malcolm » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:35 am

markatex wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:04 am
I'm not really sure why Malcolm keeps posting here. His dislike of East Asian Buddhism is well-known. What's the point?
That is a complete misrepresentation. Sinitic Buddhism is just fine. But just as I have doubts about interpretations of Dharma that I consider excessively parochial in Tibetan Buddhism, I have similar doubts about interpretations of Dharma found in Sinitic Buddhism that seen excessively parochial to me.

In particular, I find it fascinating that Chinese Buddhists latched onto individual sūtras like the Saddhamapundarika and the Avatamska and formulated whole systems of thought out of them, a trend which is notably absent in Indian Buddhism.

If Huayen [Kegon] was a living school I am sure that a lively conversation would ensue with them as well.

At base, the most interesting phenomena in these discussions is the unwillingness of my fellow discussants to simply admit that their acceptance or rejection of Lotus Buddhism for example, is based on very little else other than their own proclivity towards it. Instead they try to argue their adherence to this school of Buddhism is based on some objective measure which can be found in the words of the Lotus Sūtra, forgetting the only reason they believe this is that they chose to believe it and nothing more.

I for one am certainly willing to admit that my choice of practice schools is based on my own personal proclivities, and that I accept what I accept based purely on my own authority and I do not pretend that my biases are enshrined in the words of the Buddha.
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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LastLegend
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Re: simultaneity of cause and effect

Post by LastLegend » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:02 am

From Lotus Sutra:

There were bodhisattvas,
As numerous as the sands of the Ganges River, Practicing by giving (dāna), perseverance (kṣānti), and so
on (i.e., the six perfections),
Who also became visible through the light of the Buddha. There were bodhisattvas, who,
Having entered deep samādhi,
Were tranquil and undisturbed in body and mind,
And who were seen seeking for the highest path.
There were also bodhisattvas,
Who, knowing the tranquil character of the Dharma, Were seen teaching the Dharma
And seeking the path of the buddhas
In each of the buddha worlds.
At that time the fourfold assembly,
Having seen the Buddha Candrasūryapradīpa
Manifest these great transcendent powers,
Became delighted, and asked each other...


I probably heard this Sutra before. So in many previous past lives, I have cultivated merits and in this present life, although poorly with adhering to 5 conducts. When reading the passage, it becomes clear the sublimity reveals itself in my mind no difference from Chan/Zen or Prajnaparamita Sutra. If concepts can point to a clear mind which is non-concept, then this is the True teaching. Likewise the non-concept (whatever Buddha does, shoots lights, etc) can cause instantaneous clear mind in sentient beings. Though bare in mind, all Mahayana Sutras have one taste. All are the best. There, I paid my respect to the Buddha/s and pacified you fools. Buddhas are expounding the Dharma/Sutras right now :))


You can now pay me student fees. Thank you. :lol:
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

Bodhidharma [my translation]
―I come to the East to transmit this clear knowing mind without constructing any dharma―

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LastLegend
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Re: simultaneity of cause and effect

Post by LastLegend » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:19 am

I will now defend the Lotus Sutra and all Mahayana Sutras and accept all challenges.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

Bodhidharma [my translation]
―I come to the East to transmit this clear knowing mind without constructing any dharma―

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Re: simultaneity of cause and effect

Post by LastLegend » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:43 am

How does transmission work? Buddha acts cause clear mind in sentient beings. Of course sentients must have planted seeds with Dharma/Buddha, so when hearing Buddha expounding Sutras they become attracted to Buddha's presence whether his powers or words can cause sentient beings to liberate instantaneously. Buddha's words and acts are transmission itself, so concept Dharma and non-concept Dharma are transmission itself. Every movement of hands and feet are non-concept likewise every blade of grass is Dharma concept and non-concept causes liberation.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

Bodhidharma [my translation]
―I come to the East to transmit this clear knowing mind without constructing any dharma―

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Anders
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Re: simultaneity of cause and effect

Post by Anders » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:05 am

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:32 am
Apart from having issues with the accuracy of the translation you are using (Kumarajiva)
What issues do you have with Kumarajiva? Last I checked, most scholars who expressed doubts about the quality of his translations did so because they compared his translations to later sanskrit versions of those sutras and found his version very interpretive. When earlier sanskrit editions were uncovered, it turned out Kumarajiva's rendition was not only very literal in its approach, but actually closer to those than the later sanskrit versions.
"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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Anders
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Re: simultaneity of cause and effect

Post by Anders » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:21 am

Malcolm wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:19 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:58 pm
This is actually a Lotus Sutra school teaching attributable to Zhiyi, and its not just Mappo - its all times. And actually, this is the message of the Lotus Sutra itself. Its just that in Mappo, this sublime teaching is most appropriate. Sound familiar?
Right, I don't accept either Zhiyi;s interpretation or Nichiren's of the Lotus Sūtra — I respect it, but I see no reason to believe it. It is a Sino-sphere thing, relevant only to it, based on a very parochial interpretation of what sūtras Buddha taught when during his lifetime. If one does not accept that scheme, which is not found outside Tientai-Tendai ideas about Buddhist history...
The Lotus is the universal gate by which all enter the Buddhapath. Even you.
Nope. I became a Dharma practitioner because of the Heart Sūtra and Nāgārjuna, than you very much.
I am probably walking in like the proverbial bull in the china shop here, but....

I've never been able to make sense of the Lotus Sutra's self-references in a literal sense. I think it makes fine sense figuratively though, by reading the lotus sutra's references to "the lotus sutra" as the Buddha's actual enlightenment and/or expression of said enlightenment. "The lotus sutra" as a written document, being akin to a written snapshot of that, filtered through one of many kaleidoscopic filters of samsaric saha world words and letters. In that sense, it being complete and the universal gate etc are all quite digestible to me. In a literal sense, it seems to me almost self-evidently not true that this particular written document should be the gate by which all enter the buddhayana.
"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: simultaneity of cause and effect

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:48 am

When the Lotus Sutra says "this sutra", or to be more precise when it speaks of the expounding of "this (Lotus) sutra" by the Buddha called 'eternal' in this context by many, I think it actually refers to contact at the sense bases itself. That is, of course, my own silly pet theory, which has little grounds in demonstrability.
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: simultaneity of cause and effect

Post by Minobu » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:18 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:28 pm

You have your ideas about Mahāyāna Sūtras, I just don't share them.
I've asked you directly if you think they are man made and maybe not the direct words of Buddha...you never answer me.
I ask due to how you refer to them at times.

ok so ends the minobu malcolm show...

Now it is time for you to realize what I do.

The Buddha left us teachings, as He was teaching His Student Bodhisattvas here on earth where they all gathered after spending eons with Him.

Near the end of His time here He decided to show them and in the future the Truth about hHm, in the Lotus Sutra..and Nirvana Sutra.

so this is what it is all about...there are time periods when certain teachings are suited and times when they are not used or have been used and are no longer in need at that time.

The predictions of Mappo. the degenerative age was taught.

from Tibetan teachers the following was taught to me and others.
The prediction of Maitreya Buddha coming with a totally different approach other than tantra and meditation was taught.
At the time of Buddha Maitreya the average age will be ten due to total war everywhere for so long on this planet... was taught to me.

So when i practice with Gohonzon i am immersed in a space where Buddha and his Protectors and His teachers and His Bodhisattvas and beings like Brahma and Indra , Lord Nagarjuna are. I can consciously will myself to be with them and them me. This is what the practice affords everyone.

They, those in attendance at Eagle Peak at the time it was revealed , all share in the Mystic Law Myoho Renge Kyo, the teaching pointed to in the Lotus Sutra. all beings attain Buddhahood and share in this Mystic Law. All beings ,except a few burnt seeds i heard about, will attain Buddhahood. The Buddha knows this and tells us this.

Right now according to This Lotus and Nirvana sutra we are in Mappo and this practice is what we do to be in direct presence with all who were in attendance at Eagle Peak where certain sentients who by the Buddha's Power were able to see what the Buddha wanted them to see and participate in.

it's a matter of faith and understanding and when one takes up the practices witnesses in their being and daily life...A certain organization was able to capitalize on this and turned into a multi level marketing scenario due to every member seeing change and effects in their daily life...

back to the minobu malcolm show...they just cannot get enough of this stuff.
You malcom accused me in this thread
Malcolm wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:17 pm


Oh, you say that about the teachings you accept, but you regularly heap abuse on teachings you don't, which is typical of brash commoners.
and then give links to me discussing and asking questions...you deemed heaping abuse on teachings.

all i do is ask questions and discuss those questions..

obviously i touched a nerve . Something smells here of deceit on so many levels.

All i see are people at this forum who are asking you questions about your practice, and what they do ...you claim some sort of experience from a qualified teacher...and everyone else here are just waiting and trying to get what you claim you have..it's all secret and apparently taboo to even ask direct questions about or it is labeled abuse... ....lol...

maybe just maybe there is something afoot here Malcolm Valentine Smith.

We are open and forthcoming to all..and offer a direct experience with Buddha and all mentioned at Eagle Peak.

overtime everyone admits experience...whether they stay the course, or like me walk away and study other teachings...in my case verifying what i was already taught in Lotus Buddhism ...and came back...

you knock us and outright call us Nichirenistas and talk of us in ways like your above us.....and when i question your practice...i get told publically i am heaping abuse on it...

markatex
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Re: simultaneity of cause and effect

Post by markatex » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:34 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:35 am
markatex wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:04 am
I'm not really sure why Malcolm keeps posting here. His dislike of East Asian Buddhism is well-known. What's the point?
That is a complete misrepresentation. Sinitic Buddhism is just fine. But just as I have doubts about interpretations of Dharma that I consider excessively parochial in Tibetan Buddhism, I have similar doubts about interpretations of Dharma found in Sinitic Buddhism that seen excessively parochial to me.
Well, then I've misunderstood.

In the words of Emily Litella, "Nevermind."

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Minobu
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Re: simultaneity of cause and effect

Post by Minobu » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:44 pm

markatex wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:34 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:35 am
markatex wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:04 am
I'm not really sure why Malcolm keeps posting here. His dislike of East Asian Buddhism is well-known. What's the point?
That is a complete misrepresentation. Sinitic Buddhism is just fine. But just as I have doubts about interpretations of Dharma that I consider excessively parochial in Tibetan Buddhism, I have similar doubts about interpretations of Dharma found in Sinitic Buddhism that seen excessively parochial to me.
Well, then I've misunderstood.

In the words of Emily Litella, "Nevermind."

actually Malcolm is invaluable to our cause.
He shows us a side to elitist Dharma Teachers who refer to us as commoners. His words...(it's in this thread)

He makes claims about Lotus Buddhism that are not there for he does not get it at all...(it's in this thread)

He accuses people such as myself of heaping abuse when I was only discussing and asking questions...(it's in this thread)

and he avoids parts of posts that he is uncomfortable with...and sometimes ,later he posts links to and deems them abusive...(it's in this thread)
The plethora of knowledge and then he shows us this side of him...there is a lesson somewhere in there...

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Malcolm
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Re: simultaneity of cause and effect

Post by Malcolm » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:45 pm

Minobu wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:18 pm
it's a matter of faith
I don't have much use for faith.

I prefer confidence (śraddha). What is śraddha? Śraddha is a mental factor that clarifies the 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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Queequeg
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Re: simultaneity of cause and effect

Post by Queequeg » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:23 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:32 am
Queequeg wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:28 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:59 pm
So define why the Saddharmapundarika is complete, and the others are not. Bearing in mind of course this notion of "complete" versus "incomplete" Mahāyāna sūtras is completely alien to Indo-Tibetan Buddhism. We prefer to argue about provisional vs. definitive, i.e. that which requires interpretation as opposed to that which does not.
Because the Buddha said the Lotus is Complete.
That does not explain "why?" Your answer amounts to this:

"Why?"
"Because."
LOL. Come on, bro. Are you really raising questions about the Buddha's authority?
Queequeg wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:20 pm
“To sum up, in this sutra I have clearly revealed and taught all the teachings of the Tathāgata, all the transcendent powers of the Tathāgata, all the treasure houses of the hidden essence of the Tathāgata, and all the profound aspects of the Tathāgata.

In other words, the Complete teaching.
Apart from having issues with the accuracy of the translation you are using (Kumarajiva), it is clear that the text makes this statement you quote. I just don't think it means what you think it means.
While it is fair to question whether a teaching of the Buddha really means what it appears to mean, especially in light of and while discussing the Lotus Sutra which actually explains repeatedly the nature and motivation of upaya, that leaves us without much to actually discuss. After all, if we can't agree that a text means what it literally says, let alone how it could or should be interpreted, we're reduced to looking at each other and gesturing:

:shrug: :shrug:
That, in large part, is because I have serious doubts about this notion that we can actually say that the Saddharmapundarika was taught towards the end of the Buddha's life. There is certainly no internal indication that this is the case.
Actually... in the Emerging from the Earth Chapter, Maitreya and co. are astounded when the Buddha proclaims that the multitudes of Bodhisattvas who emerge from beneath the Earth are all his disciples. Its a critical point in the sutra:
Then Bodhisattva Mahāsattva Maitreya and the innumerable other bodhisattvas became doubtful and confused concerning this unprecedented experience.

They thought this:

How is it possible in such a short time for the Bhagavat to have inspired such an immeasurable, limitless, incalculable number of great bodhisattvas, enabling them to abide in highest, complete enlightenment?

Immediately they addressed the Buddha, saying: “O Bhagavat! When the Tathāgata was a prince he left the palace of the Śākyas, sat on the terrace of enlightenment which is not far from the city of Gayā, and attained highest, complete enlightenment. Since then more than forty years have passed. How is it possible, O Bhagavat, for you to have done such greatbuddha acts in such a short period of time? Is it through the might of the Buddha and through the Buddha’s qualities that you have inspired such an assembly of incalculable great bodhisattvas to achieve highest, complete enlightenment?
Further, it brings up another point — if the Saddharmapunadarika is the final word, why would the Buddha bother to go on to teach the Nirvana Sūtra? Clearly, the Nirvana Sūtra comes later, since it mentions the Saddharmapunadarika by name due to its giving a prediction of buddhahood to the eighty mahāśrāvakas. It also mentions the Tathāgatagarbha Sūtra.


The Mahaparinirvana Sutra is considered a continuation of the Lotus. Actually, the entire body of the Buddha's teachings are considered a single, continuous teaching, with the Lotus at its heart.

You're stuck on a particular definition of sutra, one that you yourself don't hold, but you try to box me in with that definition. I've been pointing this out all along, in this way and that, but you just blow it off as "marketing." I can't help it if you selectively give my remarks weight depending on what is convenient for you to sustain a critique.

:shrug:
Once you hear it, that's it.
That's what?
You've received transmission.
Without Buddhanature, no Buddha. Buddhanature and Buddha are not definitively distinguishable, except as upaya. But as upaya, they're by definition not definitive.
Buddhanature and Buddhahood are as distinct from one another as are heaven and earth. The latter comes from realizing the former. Otherwise, there would be no need for a path, etc. — a whole raft of negative consequences flow from misidentifying tathāgatagarbha as buddhahood.
I have no idea what you're saying in those two first sentences. If the latter comes from realizing the former, then the latter is dependent on the former and not "distinct from one another as are heaven and earth." To distinguish the subject and object that way has its conventional purpose, but can't be sustained.

But I think I understand the point you are trying to make - the danger of identifying the seed of Buddhahood with full blown Buddhahood. That's a fair concern - that's the Original Enlightenment problem in East Asia. We don't go there, I promise. We still go through the steps of Buddhahood, like the Buddha Gotama did; even as its a display that Shakyamuni Buddha put on as upaya. It does not make Gotama's struggle for enlightenment any less real. It does not make all those previous lives any less real. By the same token, each of our struggles for enlightenment is no less real, no less difficult.

Bob Thurman tells a bit he calls the Long Tale - in short he says, eons from now, when you sit on the bodhimanda below your tree of awakening - maybe yours will be a Sugar Maple - and remember all your previous lives, you'll see that you were Buddha all along.
You have it backwards. You have confused cause and result (again). These distinctions are not arbitrary, they are conventional. Conventions are not merely arbitrary designations. You might designate your rocking horse a horse, but it won't eat grass no matter how much you place before it.
I don't have it backwards, what I'm saying is that the cause and result can't truly be distinguished. That is what we were originally discussing in this thread. Any distinction is rather arbitrary, but quite appropriate if it leads to awakening. When no longer appropriate, it can be relinquished.

The Buddha has taught many things - such as his Parinirvana - which turn out to be upaya. This is different than being lost in the throes of delusion thinking a rocking horse is the same as a real horse. When the rich man hires his son to clean toilets, its not because he wants his toilets cleaned, but yet, in order for the son to accept that he is the rich man's son, the rich man hires his son and make him work his way up from custodian to CEO. The son works hard scrubbing those toilets. He worked hard managing the estate. The rich man originally tried to just tell his son that he was his son, but the son freaked out. Did the Buddha really have to go through all those episodes recounted in the jataka? Did he really go through all that? Are we sure that Dipamkara is not upaya? Do we really have to go through 3 aeons of strenuous practice?

:shrug:
The purpose of studying tenet systems is eliminate concepts you may be subscribing to unwittingly, in other words, to eliminate diseases you do not you have. For example, like the belief that tathāgatagarbha is commensurate with buddhahood.
Commensurate, sure, but not the same. Well, depends on what distinctions are appropriate at a particular time and place. You're so anxious to identify and condemn others for wrong views. Its not a good look.
That is the only Indic commentary that has survived. And, he is definitely not Chinese. There are semantic markers in Tibetan that distinguish translations from Sanskrit and translations from Chinese. This is very clear, for example, when you compare the Tibetan translation of the Nirvana Sūtra from Sanskrit and Chinese respectively.
Doesn't preclude that it was written by an ethnic Chinese, or possibly some multiracial, multicultural person of the Silk Road. Whatever, its not definitive.
Themes from the Saddharmapundarika Sūtra are cited quite frequently in Indian and Tibetan Buddhist sources. In other words, there are more sources than that commentary, and in fact, the way those sources use the Saddharmapundarika indicates what Indians found important and what they ignored. They cared little for historical assertions, for example, the three turnings of the wheel mentioned in the Samdhinirmocana, and tended to focus on that which was of doctrinal significance. Granted, this perspective is an exegetical perspective, and apart from inscriptions, we have almost no evidence of how these sūtras might have actually been treated in devotional communities in India.
Right. So, in the end, I get your criticisms. Noted. But there's nothing definitive. Again leaves us here: :shrug: :shrug:

Now, about that cake.
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: simultaneity of cause and effect

Post by DGA » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:23 pm

Minobu wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:06 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:36 pm
I am also very comfortable with the fact that you do not accept most of what the Buddha taught to be valid. That's your issue, not mine.
ok so now what is that suppose to mean...
it sounds very elitist and reactionary, let alone totally wrong about my character as a Budhist
How, exactly, is Malcolm incorrect? It seems to me that his remarks in this post ^^^ correspond well to the comments you have made here at DW with regard to a multitude of traditions, such as Pure Land.
you are the one who talks of a line in the Lotus Sutra as just something a Nirmanakaya said.
"something a Nirmanakaya said" is the same as "something a Buddha said."

How is that objectionable?

I'm asking these questions because I keep trying and failing to understand your perspective.

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Re: simultaneity of cause and effect

Post by Queequeg » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:53 pm

DGA wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:03 am
Queequeg wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:06 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:56 pm
At least we agree on the need for a teacher.
Oh, there's more agreement than you might ever find comfortable.
Would it be possible to unpack this agreement, at the risk of some discomfort? What's your position on this matter?


(edited for clarity)
As far as I understand Dzogchen, the critical aspect is guruyoga transmission - you need the nature of mind pointed out to you. But As far as I can tell, its not an intellectual understanding. Its actually an introduction into the enlightened mind as shared by the guru - a sudden immersion, so to speak, in the awakened state. The key here is the guruyoga and the samaya with the guru.

In Nichiren's teachings, we receive transmission of the Buddha's awakening through the Daimoku. Its not some material seed, though it is described in those kinds of terms. Its actually entering into the Buddha's mandala albeit in a exoteric manner - This is the Buddha's land - we're already coursing in his mandala; the daimoku is merely an acknowledgement or recollection of this. I suppose the daimoku may not be as dramatic as direct introduction but that's because we're not entering into some esoteric connection with the guru, but rather into the Buddha's mandala. Having been coursing in it all along, daimoku awakening might not be as dramatic as abruptly entering the mind of a teacher. Our samaya is generic - as in evam maya srutam ekasmin samaye. Its the actual fellowship of this life that can be understood in conventional terms as our dependently originated nature which includes our dependently originated relationship to Buddha. We receive the transmission through the Buddha's Pure and Far Reaching Voice as it resonates through this world.

Other parallels I noticed are the focus on what I'll call absolute sublimity and discount of relative sublimity. The idea that we're in some age of decline in which the absolute sublimity is the most appropriate teaching for the beings of this defiled age.

I may be wrong, but the architecture of ideas rhymes. Probably because they come from comparable sources.

I should probably walk that statement I made in the previous post back.
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: simultaneity of cause and effect

Post by Queequeg » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:58 pm

Anders wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:21 am
I am probably walking in like the proverbial bull in the china shop here, but....

I've never been able to make sense of the Lotus Sutra's self-references in a literal sense. I think it makes fine sense figuratively though, by reading the lotus sutra's references to "the lotus sutra" as the Buddha's actual enlightenment and/or expression of said enlightenment. "The lotus sutra" as a written document, being akin to a written snapshot of that, filtered through one of many kaleidoscopic filters of samsaric saha world words and letters. In that sense, it being complete and the universal gate etc are all quite digestible to me. In a literal sense, it seems to me almost self-evidently not true that this particular written document should be the gate by which all enter the buddhayana.
That's more or less how I understand it. The particular words and their arrangement are not the sutra; at the same time, it is the sutra, but not exclusively. The real sutra is the universal gate or we call it 本門 honmon.

Fellow Nichiren practitioners may not agree with me.
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: simultaneity of cause and effect

Post by Queequeg » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:00 am

LastLegend wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:43 am
How does transmission work? Buddha acts cause clear mind in sentient beings. Of course sentients must have planted seeds with Dharma/Buddha, so when hearing Buddha expounding Sutras they become attracted to Buddha's presence whether his powers or words can cause sentient beings to liberate instantaneously. Buddha's words and acts are transmission itself, so concept Dharma and non-concept Dharma are transmission itself. Every movement of hands and feet are non-concept likewise every blade of grass is Dharma concept and non-concept causes liberation.
I think I can grok with that...
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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Queequeg
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Re: simultaneity of cause and effect

Post by Queequeg » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:04 am

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:35 am
At base, the most interesting phenomena in these discussions is the unwillingness of my fellow discussants to simply admit that their acceptance or rejection of Lotus Buddhism for example, is based on very little else other than their own proclivity towards it. Instead they try to argue their adherence to this school of Buddhism is based on some objective measure which can be found in the words of the Lotus Sūtra, forgetting the only reason they believe this is that they chose to believe it and nothing more.

I for one am certainly willing to admit that my choice of practice schools is based on my own personal proclivities, and that I accept what I accept based purely on my own authority and I do not pretend that my biases are enshrined in the words of the Buddha.
You exaggerate and attribute assumptions and attitudes ... this is called scarecrow making.

As for "faith", sraddha indeed. And adhimukti.

Like I suggested:

:shrug: :shrug:
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: simultaneity of cause and effect

Post by Malcolm » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:20 am

Queequeg wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:23 pm

LOL. Come on, bro. Are you really raising questions about the Buddha's authority?
Definitely, since "the Buddha" here is Buddha as literary figure in a document that has undergone considerable editing and revision.


While it is fair to question whether a teaching of the Buddha really means what it appears to mean, especially in light of and while discussing the Lotus Sutra which actually explains repeatedly the nature and motivation of upaya, that leaves us without much to actually discuss. After all, if we can't agree that a text means what it literally says, let alone how it could or should be interpreted, we're reduced to looking at each other and gesturing:

:shrug: :shrug:
We can agree that red is red if someone says this thing is red — what the redness of this thing means, however, can be very different.
Since then more than forty years have passed.
That's true, I forgot about this passage. Buddha was eighty when he demonstrated parinirvana, so he would have taught this within the last four years of his life.
The Mahaparinirvana Sutra is considered a continuation of the Lotus. Actually, the entire body of the Buddha's teachings are considered a single, continuous teaching, with the Lotus at its heart.
Sure, but whether or not the Lotus Sūtra is the summum bonum of the Buddha's teachings, that is something which can be and should be questioned, just like any claim made in Buddhadharma.
You're stuck on a particular definition of sutra, one that you yourself don't hold, but you try to box me in with that definition. I've been pointing this out all along, in this way and that, but you just blow it off as "marketing." I can't help it if you selectively give my remarks weight depending on what is convenient for you to sustain a critique.
When people depend on a text, and define themselves by a text, then the definition of the nature of that text is important. As for your second comment, we all selectively give remarks weight, — you are a lawyer, so you know this intimately.
I have no idea what you're saying in those two first sentences. If the latter comes from realizing the former, then the latter is dependent on the former and not "distinct from one another as are heaven and earth." To distinguish the subject and object that way has its conventional purpose, but can't be sustained.
Sure it can, every sentient being is buddhanatured. There are not very many buddhas though.

It does not make Gotama's struggle for enlightenment any less real.
Oh, it absolutely does. The relationship of the nirmanakāya to the sambhogakāya is that of an illusion to its maker. In other words the former is provisional, the latter, definitive.
you'll see that you were Buddha all along.
Yes, this is a statement by Haribhadra, in reference to the fact that entire path is an illusion, including the attainment of buddhahood.
You have it backwards. You have confused cause and result (again). These distinctions are not arbitrary, they are conventional. Conventions are not merely arbitrary designations. You might designate your rocking horse a horse, but it won't eat grass no matter how much you place before it.
I don't have it backwards, what I'm saying is that the cause and result can't truly be distinguished.
I assume by "truly" you mean ultimately — but the basis, path, and buddhahood are strictly conventional, not ultimate.
Do we really have to go through 3 aeons of strenuous practice?
Yup, in common Mahāyāna, definitely.
The purpose of studying tenet systems is eliminate concepts you may be subscribing to unwittingly, in other words, to eliminate diseases you do not you have. For example, like the belief that tathāgatagarbha is commensurate with buddhahood.
Commensurate, sure, but not the same.
Commensurate means equivalent. Buddhanature is not equivalent to buddhahood.


Right. So, in the end, I get your criticisms. Noted. But there's nothing definitive.
In the end, it appears to me that the Chinese needed to supply a historical context for a foreign religion, one the Indians had no need to provide for themselves. This has lead to a number of innovations in Chinese Buddhism that would never occur in the land of Buddhism's birth. We see very similar trends in Tibetan Buddhology.
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: simultaneity of cause and effect

Post by Anders » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:14 am

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:20 am
Commensurate means equivalent. Buddhanature is not equivalent to buddhahood.
[semantic nazi]Not quite, but close enough I guess for the purpose of this discussion. I'd say the degree of equivalency between 'commensurate' and 'equivalent' is about commensurate with the degree of equivalence between 'truly' and 'ultimately'.[/semantic nazi]
"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: simultaneity of cause and effect

Post by Queequeg » Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:44 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:20 am
Queequeg wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:23 pm

LOL. Come on, bro. Are you really raising questions about the Buddha's authority?
Definitely, since "the Buddha" here is Buddha as literary figure in a document that has undergone considerable editing and revision.
That, my friend, is a slip n' slide coated in vegetable oil.
The Mahaparinirvana Sutra is considered a continuation of the Lotus. Actually, the entire body of the Buddha's teachings are considered a single, continuous teaching, with the Lotus at its heart.
Sure, but whether or not the Lotus Sūtra is the summum bonum of the Buddha's teachings, that is something which can be and should be questioned, just like any claim made in Buddhadharma.
I agree.
You're stuck on a particular definition of sutra, one that you yourself don't hold, but you try to box me in with that definition. I've been pointing this out all along, in this way and that, but you just blow it off as "marketing." I can't help it if you selectively give my remarks weight depending on what is convenient for you to sustain a critique.
When people depend on a text, and define themselves by a text, then the definition of the nature of that text is important. As for your second comment, we all selectively give remarks weight, — you are a lawyer, so you know this intimately.
On your first point, this is true. My remarks here are not necessarily views held by all Nichiren Buddhists. Some believe that the text we generally call the Lotus Sutra is... "expired" and that only the title is relevant now. Others accept the whole text, but weigh the latter half as more important. Others balance the entire text. I'm probably at the unorthodox end of the spectrum in being open to the entire body of Buddhist teachings, albeit through the view of the Original Gate Teaching of the Lotus. This is a rather heatedly debated issue within the Nichiren tradition.

On your latter point... I'm not like those lawyers... I only argue for the "right" side of the argument. :smile:
I have no idea what you're saying in those two first sentences. If the latter comes from realizing the former, then the latter is dependent on the former and not "distinct from one another as are heaven and earth." To distinguish the subject and object that way has its conventional purpose, but can't be sustained.
Sure it can, every sentient being is buddhanatured. There are not very many buddhas though.
Well, I don't have time to find the specific source now, but Zhiyi cites the Avatamsaka to explain the view as it pertains to the Perfect Teaching - is the candle's flame the same or different when first lit as compared to when it has burned down? Alternatively, I've heard the comparison of a seed and tree - same or different? The point I take is that once on the path, in the scheme of things, the sentient and Buddha are not different - of course when we start analyzing those differences, the differences can be refined into infinite gradations. Depends on the view, depends on the present expedient - what is the illness that needs to be treated? There are many parables that are illustrative - looking outside the Lotus, one of the most poignant I can think of is the royal physician who outlaws milk, but then later prescribes it to cure the king.

I don't know if I can emphasize this enough - the Lotus School holds the teaching on upaya very closely to both make very strong assertions and to completely empty them of meaning. You say to someone who has a corrupted notion of nondualism - Nirvana is very far from you. Meanwhile, when the person becomes convinced that Nirvana is very far away, almost to the point of being overwhelmed by the path ahead, the doctor says, "Nirvana is right here." The goal is always awakening, and depending on circumstances, the relevant teachings and path are going to vary, sometimes to the point that people will find it impossible that the Buddha could say such things as he is recounted as saying in the Mahayana. All of it, though, is the Original Gate.
It does not make Gotama's struggle for enlightenment any less real.
Oh, it absolutely does. The relationship of the nirmanakāya to the sambhogakāya is that of an illusion to its maker. In other words the former is provisional, the latter, definitive.
The Buddha's path to enlightenment is as real as ours.
Yes, this is a statement by Haribhadra, in reference to the fact that entire path is an illusion, including the attainment of buddhahood.
Complete agreement.
I don't have it backwards, what I'm saying is that the cause and result can't truly be distinguished.
I assume by "truly" you mean ultimately — but the basis, path, and buddhahood are strictly conventional, not ultimate.
Right... See Anders comment.
In the end, it appears to me that the Chinese needed to supply a historical context for a foreign religion, one the Indians had no need to provide for themselves. This has lead to a number of innovations in Chinese Buddhism that would never occur in the land of Buddhism's birth. We see very similar trends in Tibetan Buddhology.
I'm not so sure that explains it all. To an extent that might be, particularly at the beginning, but three centuries in, its naturalized to the point that Chan emerges which doesn't have much concern with Indian history at all.

Humans like stories and storytelling. Are you really going to tell me that Indians are not into stories that relate their history and construct cultural meaning? Come on! Indians are still telling and retelling the Mahabharata and Bollywood is huge.

We like stories because we're human. Its also a human thing to dissect things to understand them. The detailed teachings come from the narrative, not the other way around. Abhidhamma/Abhidharma is derivative of the Sutta/Sutra. Sanchi is covered with stories, not lists of mental factors. The list making Indian has his counterpart in the Chinese Confucian bureaucracy. The Mohezhikuan assumes familiarity with sutras, but is not a narrative discourse.

What makes texts like the Lotus so wonderful is how they convey profound teachings through the narrative - which I'd argue is more effective in conveying dharma than a dry list of good deeds distilled out of the narrative. In many ways, narratives convey teachings in what I'd call a natural way - we think in metaphor. Embedding information is a story is a proven way to memorize facts. Our brain is wired for narrative. As far as I understand, tantra is a highly advanced form of story telling, and that goes without saying in sutra recitation practice and contemplation on the teachings.
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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