Lotus Sutra: the Dragon Girl

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rory
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Lotus Sutra: the Dragon Girl

Post by rory » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:27 pm

A very nice article on the Dragon girl episode in the Devadatta chapter of the Lotus Sutra quoting commentary by Zhiyi ( Chih-I, Jp: Chigi)
https://www.lionsroar.com/becoming-a-bu ... fvLKYLb-Rw
Stephanie Balkwill is at the University of Winnipeg.
gassho
Rory

PS: If you get an annoying message about the Lions Roar auction blocking the article, just click on the auction page and then use your back button to read the article.
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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Caoimhghín
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Re: Lotus Sutra: the Dragon Girl

Post by Caoimhghín » Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:00 am

From the linked article:
in the most influential of all commentaries to the Lotus Sutra, Zhiyi (538–597), the sixth-century Chinese monk and founding patriarch of the Tiantai tradition of East Asian Mahayana Buddhism, says without hesitation that “Mara, Brahma, Indra, and women, all of them do not have to cast off their bodies and receive bodies. Each of them can attain buddhahood in their manifest bodies.” And of the sexual transformation of the daughter of the dragon king he says:
When her karmic ties to this world were weakening, only then did the dragon girl teach and convert [beings] with this power of mighty expediency: she achieved one body, all bodies, and the universal samadhi of the physical body [of the Buddha].
So, Zhiyi is clear: the act of sexual transformation is not a requisite, but instead a skillful means of converting beings—beings who, like Shariputra, remain unenlightened as to the fundamental emptiness of physical forms and who, as a result, cling to gendered notions of buddhahood.
Further proof, IMO, that Ven Zhìyǐ did not write this, speaking of the benefits of the Western Paradise: "Moreover, there are no women or those with aspirations to lone buddhahood (i.e. pratyekabuddhatva); there are solely practitioners of the Great Vehicle, [who are] pure spiritual friends. For this reason, afflictions and wicked karma, all in all, do not arise, [and it is] continuing on like this to the ground of the unarisen (i.e. 无生之位 *anutpannā bhūmi)" (淨土十疑論 Treatise of Ten Doubts Concerning the Pure Land T1961.79b21).
歸命本覺心法身常住妙法心蓮臺本來莊嚴三身徳三十七尊住心
城遠離因果法然具普門塵數諸三昧無邊徳海本圓滿還我頂禮心諸佛

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

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

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Queequeg
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Re: Lotus Sutra: the Dragon Girl

Post by Queequeg » Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:58 pm

rory wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:27 pm
A very nice article on the Dragon girl episode in the Devadatta chapter of the Lotus Sutra quoting commentary by Zhiyi ( Chih-I, Jp: Chigi)
https://www.lionsroar.com/becoming-a-bu ... fvLKYLb-Rw
Stephanie Balkwill is at the University of Winnipeg.
gassho
Rory

PS: If you get an annoying message about the Lions Roar auction blocking the article, just click on the auction page and then use your back button to read the article.
Thank you, Rory. My wife is discussing the enlightenment of women in her seminar class with her students today. I forwarded this article to her last night. Very timely.
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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