Is Vajrayana/Mahayana the work of Mara?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
himalayanspirit
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:02 am

Is Vajrayana/Mahayana the work of Mara?

Post by himalayanspirit » Wed May 02, 2012 6:13 am

I dont know where exactly in the Canon, but I read somewhere that Buddha had warned that in future, frauds will wear monk's robes and pretend to teach his dhamma only to deceive the people away from it. This, he said, would be the work of Mara.

Mahayanists/Vajrayanists claim that their teachings didn't directly come from Shakyamuni Buddha but from other beings - Bodhisattvas and other Buddhas. Could it be that these beings posing as Bodhisattvas were merely Mara successively digressing people away from the true religion of Buddha? It is quite possible for a monk realized in samadhi to mistake a higher being as a real teacher.

Secondly, there was another excerpt in the Canon where Buddha exclusively says that he did not hide anything from his disciples. So the Mahayanists/Vajrayanists claiming that he in fact intentionally hid the true meaning of the law because initial disciples weren't capable enough would directly imply that the Buddha lied regardless of his intention? Are they not slandering the original Buddha?

Also, in the original scriptures Samantabhadra is supposed to be a mere Arhat or Bodhisattva who was a disciple of Shakyamuni Buddha but in the Mahayana scriptures he claims himself to be an Adi-Buddha? Was it his arrogance or was it really a demon posing as Samantabhadra?

I mean, it does make sense, doesn't it? Buddha himself prophesized that the true teachings will begin to disappear for over 500 years and then only something resembling Dhamma will remain. Connect the dots.

I hope I am not violating any rules through my speculation about deviancy in Mahayana/Vajrayana. I was originally a Mahayanist myself and do not consider all schools of Mahayana to be deviant. Mahayanists make no hesitation to criticize the 'lowly' Sravakayanists as self-centered cultivators with inferior achievement, so I think Sravakayanists should also have the right to question the legitimacy of the schools of Mahayana and especially Vajrayana.

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Is Vajrayana/Mahayana the work of Mara?

Post by tiltbillings » Wed May 02, 2012 6:17 am

himalayanspirit wrote:I so I think Sravakayanists should also have the right to question the legitimacy of the schools of Mahayana and especially Vajrayana.
Sravakayana is a Mahayana construct which has no bearing upon the Theravada.

"Is Vajrayana/Mahayana the work of Mara?" No.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 20149
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Is Vajrayana/Mahayana the work of Mara?

Post by retrofuturist » Wed May 02, 2012 6:20 am

Greetings,
tiltbillings wrote:Sravakayana is a Mahayana construct which has no bearing upon the Theravada.
It's an improvement on the H-bomb.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Is Vajrayana/Mahayana the work of Mara?

Post by tiltbillings » Wed May 02, 2012 6:35 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,
tiltbillings wrote:Sravakayana is a Mahayana construct which has no bearing upon the Theravada.
It's an improvement on the H-bomb.
Which only Hinaweenies would use to refer to the Theravada.


As Reginald Ray states in his Indestructible Truth:
  • In fact, as we shall see presently, "Hinayana" refers to a critical but strictly limited set of views, practices, and results. The pre-Mahayana historical traditions such as the Theravada are far richer, more complex, and more profound than the definition of "Hinayana" would allow. ...The term "Hinayana" [and Shravakaynan] is thus a stereotype that is useful in talking about a particular stage on the Tibetan Buddhist path, but it is really not appropriate to assume that the Tibetan definition of Hinayana identifies a venerable living tradition as the Theravada or any other historical school.." Page 240.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

User avatar
manas
Posts: 2464
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:04 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Is Vajrayana/Mahayana the work of Mara?

Post by manas » Wed May 02, 2012 6:39 am

Hi himalayanspirit

It's an interesting question, but considering how many virtuous & insightful people practice Vajrayana or Mahayana, for me the risk of offending them far outweighs any desire to speculate on the matter, especially considering we will not find any conclusive answer to it!

with metta

:anjali:
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

User avatar
Dan74
Posts: 3012
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: Is Vajrayana/Mahayana the work of Mara?

Post by Dan74 » Wed May 02, 2012 7:28 am

himalayanspirit wrote:I dont know where exactly in the Canon, but I read somewhere that Buddha had warned that in future, frauds will wear monk's robes and pretend to teach his dhamma only to deceive the people away from it. This, he said, would be the work of Mara.

Mahayanists/Vajrayanists claim that their teachings didn't directly come from Shakyamuni Buddha but from other beings - Bodhisattvas and other Buddhas. Could it be that these beings posing as Bodhisattvas were merely Mara successively digressing people away from the true religion of Buddha? It is quite possible for a monk realized in samadhi to mistake a higher being as a real teacher.

Secondly, there was another excerpt in the Canon where Buddha exclusively says that he did not hide anything from his disciples. So the Mahayanists/Vajrayanists claiming that he in fact intentionally hid the true meaning of the law because initial disciples weren't capable enough would directly imply that the Buddha lied regardless of his intention? Are they not slandering the original Buddha?

Also, in the original scriptures Samantabhadra is supposed to be a mere Arhat or Bodhisattva who was a disciple of Shakyamuni Buddha but in the Mahayana scriptures he claims himself to be an Adi-Buddha? Was it his arrogance or was it really a demon posing as Samantabhadra?

I mean, it does make sense, doesn't it? Buddha himself prophesized that the true teachings will begin to disappear for over 500 years and then only something resembling Dhamma will remain. Connect the dots.

I hope I am not violating any rules through my speculation about deviancy in Mahayana/Vajrayana. I was originally a Mahayanist myself and do not consider all schools of Mahayana to be deviant. Mahayanists make no hesitation to criticize the 'lowly' Sravakayanists as self-centered cultivators with inferior achievement, so I think Sravakayanists should also have the right to question the legitimacy of the schools of Mahayana and especially Vajrayana.
I think that far from being something so sinister, Vajrayana and Mahayana are a product of many sincere and devoted monks delving deeply into the Buddha's teachings and their zealous disciples subsequently promoting (and sometimes over-promoting ) it. It is also a product of synthesis of the Dhamma with the cultures and philosophies it had encountered. It is also an evolution or an elaboration of some of the teachings. And above all it is an umbrella term for many disparate schools and lineages, but like the Buddha said - many rivers all leading to the ocean with the same taste!

The best way to form an opinion about Mahayana is to read, listen and study with some of its best living (and dead) masters and see if their teachings lead to liberation or to more bondage. After all this is what the Buddha described as the ultimate litmus test of spiritual teachings.

Many great Theravada masters have had deep respect for Mahayana and quoted from Mahayana texts in their teachings. Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Dune Athulo, Ajahn Amaro and others come to mind, so I guess they did not think of them as works of the Mara. Bhikkhu Bodhi resides at a Mahayana temple, Phra Khantipalo recently mentioned here did too and has been a Dzogchen practitioner for many years. Many of the Theravada practitioners here find much of value in Mahayana. And vice versa (I am a Mahayana practitioner primarily).

I don't think it is necessary to vilify another school in order to commit and practice yours. It's not an "either we are right or they are right" proposition.
_/|\_

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Is Vajrayana/Mahayana the work of Mara?

Post by tiltbillings » Wed May 02, 2012 7:35 am

Dan74 wrote: I don't think it is necessary to vilify another school in order to commit and practice yours. It's not an "either we are right or they are right" proposition.
The Mahayanists should admit, however, that they do have a problem here.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

User avatar
Bhikkhu Pesala
Posts: 3753
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:17 pm

Re: Is Vajrayana/Mahayana the work of Mara?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed May 02, 2012 7:57 am

Is this thread the work of Māra?
BlogPāli FontsIn This Very LifeBuddhist ChroniclesSoftware (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

User avatar
Polar Bear
Posts: 1193
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:39 am
Location: Bear Republic

Re: Is Vajrayana/Mahayana the work of Mara?

Post by Polar Bear » Wed May 02, 2012 8:25 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Is this thread the work of Māra?
Probably (indirectly)
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Is Vajrayana/Mahayana the work of Mara?

Post by tiltbillings » Wed May 02, 2012 8:29 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Is this thread the work of Māra?
Attachments
mara.jpg
mara.jpg (56.17 KiB) Viewed 809 times
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

plwk
Posts: 1464
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:14 am

Re: Is Vajrayana/Mahayana the work of Mara?

Post by plwk » Wed May 02, 2012 8:33 am

I dont know where exactly in the Canon, but I read somewhere that Buddha had warned that in future, frauds will wear monk's robes and pretend to teach his dhamma only to deceive the people away from it. This, he said, would be the work of Mara.
Source of quote? This sounds more like here than there. And your point is?
Mahayanists/Vajrayanists claim that their teachings didn't directly come from Shakyamuni Buddha but from other beings - Bodhisattvas and other Buddhas. Could it be that these beings posing as Bodhisattvas were merely Mara successively digressing people away from the true religion of Buddha?
Let's not generalise all of them, to be fair. Just because Hitler was a mania it doesn't mean that all Austrians or Germans are like him...nor are all Americans like George Bush...
The traditionalist Mahayanists/Vajrayanists maintain that it's all from Sakyamuni Buddha's teaching in His various manifestations and stages, His Disciples and other enlightened beings.
The modernist Mahayanist/Vajrayanist is open that the Maha/Vaj teachings may or may not come from Sakyamuni Buddha per se and is not perturbed by a narrow definition of Buddhavacana nor the state of Buddhahood as limited only to Sakyamuni, as meaning exclusively Sakyamuni's only, after all, the Elder Ananda was purported to have also uttered:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .hekh.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
82,000 Teachings from the Buddha,
I have received;
2,000 more from His Disciples;
Now, 84,000 are familiar to me.
Then there's also some of them who don't even care to read/or even reject, read very little of any form of 'holy writ' but rely on self experience on practices like meditation with or without worthy teachers.
Do you see the spectrum? Is this anymore different from Theravadins and their various opinions and interpretations on the Pali Nikayas from those who uphold the Tipitaka to those who only accept 2 Pitakas (Vinaya & Sutta), those who read only the first 4 Nikayas, those who read and interpret the Nikayas without kamma & rebirth, the anti Abhidhammists and etc?
And let's not forget that the other great portion of the non-Pali Nikaya Canons as found and used in today's Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions, known as the Agamas Sutras (from the past sister and at times rival traditions to Theravada back in the old days in India) which are the close cousins of the Pali Nikayas.
It is quite possible for a monk realized in samadhi to mistake a higher being as a real teacher.

I dunno about other Buddhists but I accord basic courtesy to worthy teachers of all today's living Buddhist lineages but do not take wholesale what everyone of them teach nor regard anyone of them as infalliable like the Catholic 'ex cathedra'... but subject to considerations to see if what they teach is proper within the Teaching & Discipline...
Secondly, there was another excerpt in the Canon where Buddha exclusively says that he did not hide anything from his disciples.
So the Mahayanists/Vajrayanists claiming that he in fact intentionally hid the true meaning of the law because initial disciples weren't capable enough would directly imply that the Buddha lied regardless of his intention? Are they not slandering the original Buddha?
Source of text? Context? The implying: is that your conjecture or what it really is?
Let me give an example. If you were a daddy of a 5 year old, would you give the 5 year old keys to the car now? And why?
Consider this passage...
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
In the same way, monks, those things that I have known with direct knowledge but have not taught are far more numerous [than what I have taught]. And why haven't I taught them?
Because they are not connected with the goal, do not relate to the rudiments of the holy life, and do not lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding. That is why I have not taught them.
So, are you gonna accuse the Buddha of 'hiding stuff' based on this?
Also, in the original scriptures Samantabhadra is supposed to be a mere Arhat or Bodhisattva who was a disciple of Shakyamuni Buddha but in the Mahayana scriptures he claims himself to be an Adi-Buddha? Was it his arrogance or was it really a demon posing as Samantabhadra?
Samantabhadra Bodhisattva is a figure from Mahayanist origins of Sutras and Tantras and is regarded as a past accomplished Buddha, now manifesting as a Bodhisattva like Manjusri, Avalokitesvara and etc, what 'original scriptures' are you referring to that mentions on Samantabhadra and what has this Samantabhadra got to do with the Pali Nikayas? The closest I know is that the Sri Lankans venerate him as Suman, a worldly protector deity but even then this has nothing to do with the Pali Nikayas nor Theravada Buddhism per se.
I mean, it does make sense, doesn't it? Buddha himself prophesized that the true teachings will begin to disappear for over 500 years and then only something resembling Dhamma will remain. Connect the dots.
Source of quote? Context? Connect what dots? The ones based on your personal conjecture?
I hope I am not violating any rules through my speculation about deviancy in Mahayana/Vajrayana. I was originally a Mahayanist myself and do not consider all schools of Mahayana to be deviant. Mahayanists make no hesitation to criticize the 'lowly' Sravakayanists as self-centered cultivators with inferior achievement, so I think Sravakayanists should also have the right to question the legitimacy of the schools of Mahayana and especially Vajrayana.
Mud slinging only achieves one purpose for both parties: getting each other dirty.
Sure, both sides have a right to question and debate each other only to help each other in Dhamma practice, otherwise isn't it an exercise of reinforcing the kilesas?
Mahayanists and their 'make no hesitation to criticise'? Do you speak for yourself or claim to know that every single Mahayanist does that?
In the end I guess, in your own words... this thread is on my speculation about deviancy...

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 20149
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Is Vajrayana/Mahayana the work of Mara?

Post by retrofuturist » Wed May 02, 2012 8:47 am

Greetings,

It's possible to learn and observe the Buddha's teaching without recourse to such unbeneficial speculation.

:buddha1:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

User avatar
Ron-The-Elder
Posts: 1887
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:42 pm
Location: Concord, New Hampshire, U.S.A.

Re: Is Vajrayana/Mahayana the work of Mara?

Post by Ron-The-Elder » Wed May 02, 2012 11:32 am

Deleted by poster due to violation of Right and harmonious Speech.
Last edited by Ron-The-Elder on Wed May 02, 2012 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

User avatar
Kim OHara
Posts: 5006
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:47 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: Is Vajrayana/Mahayana the work of Mara?

Post by Kim OHara » Wed May 02, 2012 11:55 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

It's possible to learn and observe the Buddha's teaching without recourse to such unbeneficial speculation.

:buddha1:

Metta,
Retro. :)
:candle:

Kim

User avatar
Aloka
Posts: 5796
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:51 pm

Re: Is Vajrayana/Mahayana the work of Mara?

Post by Aloka » Wed May 02, 2012 12:48 pm

All I can say is that when I read SN 20.7 Ani Sutta : The Peg, it filled me with great sadness because I felt that the prediction made by the Buddha had come true.

However, the modern Buddhist world is as it is - and we are free to make our own choices.

Staying at Savatthi.

"Monks, there once was a time when the Dasarahas had a large drum called 'Summoner.' Whenever Summoner was split, the Dasarahas inserted another peg in it, until the time came when Summoner's original wooden body had disappeared and only a conglomeration of pegs remained.

"In the same way, in the course of the future there will be monks who won't listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — are being recited. They won't lend ear, won't set their hearts on knowing them, won't regard these teachings as worth grasping or mastering. But they will listen when discourses that are literary works — the works of poets, elegant in sound, elegant in rhetoric, the work of outsiders, words of disciples — are recited. They will lend ear and set their hearts on knowing them. They will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering.

"In this way the disappearance of the discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — will come about.

"Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — are being recited. We will lend ear, will set our hearts on knowing them, will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering.' That's how you should train yourselves."


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
_/\_

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Majestic-12 [Bot] and 82 guests