Mahāyāna bodhisattva/buddha sharing names with lower devas in suttas

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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dylanj
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Mahāyāna bodhisattva/buddha sharing names with lower devas in suttas

Post by dylanj » Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:33 am

https://suttacentral.net/en/dn3

Here vajirapāṇī is the name of a yakkha who holds a thunderbolt & threatens to split the brahman Ambaṭṭha's head into seven pieces.

cf https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vajrapani

...
https://suttacentral.net/en/sn11.8

Here verocana is the name of an asura

cf https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vairocana

...

Mahāyāna is demon worship?
susukhaṁ vata nibbānaṁ,
sammā­sambud­dha­desitaṁ;
asokaṁ virajaṁ khemaṁ,
yattha dukkhaṁ nirujjhatī


Oh! extinction is so very blissful,
As taught by the One Rightly Self-Awakened:
Sorrowless, stainless, secure;
Where suffering all ceases


etaṁ santaṁ etaṁ paṇītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭi nissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṁ

This is peaceful, this is excellent, that is: the stilling of all preparations, the relinquishment of all attachments, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation, extinction.

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dylanj
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Re: Mahāyāna bodhisattva/buddha sharing names with lower devas in suttas

Post by dylanj » Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:03 am

maybe this should be in Connections to Other Paths
susukhaṁ vata nibbānaṁ,
sammā­sambud­dha­desitaṁ;
asokaṁ virajaṁ khemaṁ,
yattha dukkhaṁ nirujjhatī


Oh! extinction is so very blissful,
As taught by the One Rightly Self-Awakened:
Sorrowless, stainless, secure;
Where suffering all ceases


etaṁ santaṁ etaṁ paṇītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭi nissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṁ

This is peaceful, this is excellent, that is: the stilling of all preparations, the relinquishment of all attachments, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation, extinction.

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mikenz66
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Re: Mahāyāna bodhisattva/buddha sharing names with lower devas in suttas

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:54 pm

dylanj wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:03 am
maybe this should be in Connections to Other Paths
Done...

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Aloka
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Re: Mahāyāna bodhisattva/buddha sharing names with lower devas in suttas

Post by Aloka » Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:53 pm

dylanj wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:33 am
https://suttacentral.net/en/dn3

Here vajirapāṇī is the name of a yakkha who holds a thunderbolt & threatens to split the brahman Ambaṭṭha's head into seven pieces.

cf https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vajrapani

...
https://suttacentral.net/en/sn11.8

Here verocana is the name of an asura

cf https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vairocana

...

Mahāyāna is demon worship?

Have you looked closely at the spelling, Dylan ?

"Vajirapani" isn't the same name as "Vajrapani" and "Verocana" isn't the same as "Vairocana".


.

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Re: Mahāyāna bodhisattva/buddha sharing names with lower devas in suttas

Post by dylanj » Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:39 am

Aloka wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:53 pm
Have you looked closely at the spelling, Dylan ?

"Vajirapani" isn't the same name as "Vajrapani" and "Verocana" isn't the same as "Vairocana".


.
Vajirapāṇī is the pāli equivalent of Sanskrit Vajrapāṇi, the two words are exactly the same, the latter is just Sanskritized. By the way in the sutta Vajirapāṇī holds a thunderbolt & is "defending" the Buddha's honor from the brahman, & the Mahāyāna bodhisattva holds a thunderbolt & is a "guardian deity". Both words mean "thunderbolt in hand".

I don't know enough to say whether the same matter of sanskritization is true re: verocana/vairocana, but I do know they are pronounced almost identically.

But I also don't know why the names would ever be *exactly* the same considering the two traditions use different languages.
susukhaṁ vata nibbānaṁ,
sammā­sambud­dha­desitaṁ;
asokaṁ virajaṁ khemaṁ,
yattha dukkhaṁ nirujjhatī


Oh! extinction is so very blissful,
As taught by the One Rightly Self-Awakened:
Sorrowless, stainless, secure;
Where suffering all ceases


etaṁ santaṁ etaṁ paṇītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭi nissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṁ

This is peaceful, this is excellent, that is: the stilling of all preparations, the relinquishment of all attachments, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation, extinction.

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Aloka
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Re: Mahāyāna bodhisattva/buddha sharing names with lower devas in suttas

Post by Aloka » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:42 am

.

Both Vajrapani and Vairocana occur in Tibetan Buddhism (which I was involved with in "meatspace" for a number of years). However, in general , I didn't, to my knowledge, practice any "demon worship" !

There's more about them here: http://www.khandro.net/deity_tale_of_two.htm

Excerpt:

When Vajrasattva and Vajrapani, the Buddha and Bodhisattva of the Vajrayana become Hayagriva and Vajravarahi in heruka form, blazing in the nine kinds of physical magnificence and splendor, they proceeded to the abode of the Rudra at Malaya Mountain.
:shrug:
Last edited by Aloka on Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mahāyāna bodhisattva/buddha sharing names with lower devas in suttas

Post by dylanj » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:56 am

Well I don't suggest it's intentional demon worship :)

I'm familiar, I have been exposed to these traditions myself.
susukhaṁ vata nibbānaṁ,
sammā­sambud­dha­desitaṁ;
asokaṁ virajaṁ khemaṁ,
yattha dukkhaṁ nirujjhatī


Oh! extinction is so very blissful,
As taught by the One Rightly Self-Awakened:
Sorrowless, stainless, secure;
Where suffering all ceases


etaṁ santaṁ etaṁ paṇītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭi nissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṁ

This is peaceful, this is excellent, that is: the stilling of all preparations, the relinquishment of all attachments, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation, extinction.

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Re: Mahāyāna bodhisattva/buddha sharing names with lower devas in suttas

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:51 am

Virocana = Asura = विरोचन
Verocana = Nāgarāja = वेरोचन

Vairocana = वैरोचन

It just means "that which comes from the sun". Seems a common enough name. In Chinese he is 大日如來, 'Great Sun Tathāgata'.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.

吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

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Re: Mahāyāna bodhisattva/buddha sharing names with lower devas in suttas

Post by dylanj » Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:04 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:51 am
Virocana = Asura = विरोचन
Verocana = Nāgarāja = वेरोचन

Vairocana = वैरोचन

It just means "that which comes from the sun". Seems a common enough name. In Chinese he is 大日如來, 'Great Sun Tathāgata'.
Sorry, what's the distinction between the first two exactly?
susukhaṁ vata nibbānaṁ,
sammā­sambud­dha­desitaṁ;
asokaṁ virajaṁ khemaṁ,
yattha dukkhaṁ nirujjhatī


Oh! extinction is so very blissful,
As taught by the One Rightly Self-Awakened:
Sorrowless, stainless, secure;
Where suffering all ceases


etaṁ santaṁ etaṁ paṇītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭi nissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṁ

This is peaceful, this is excellent, that is: the stilling of all preparations, the relinquishment of all attachments, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation, extinction.

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Mahāyāna bodhisattva/buddha sharing names with lower devas in suttas

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:12 pm

dylanj wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:04 pm
Coëmgenu wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:51 am
Virocana = Asura = विरोचन
Verocana = Nāgarāja = वेरोचन

Vairocana = वैरोचन

It just means "that which comes from the sun". Seems a common enough name. In Chinese he is 大日如來, 'Great Sun Tathāgata'.
Sorry, what's the distinction between the first two exactly?
The first is an asura who is a student of Prajāpati who teaches a heretical doctrine of the ātman (self/soul) as śarīra (body) which the asurāḥ adopt. He appears in the upaniṣadaḥ ('upanishads') referenced in his wikipedia article.

The second is a king of the Nāgas from the Nārada­buddha­vaṃsa Bv11:

Yadā verocano nāgo,
dānaṃ dadāti satthuno;
Tadā samiṃsu jinaputtā,
asīti­sata­sahas­siyo.

Ahaṃ tena samayena,
jaṭilo uggatāpano;
Antalikkhacaro āsiṃ,
pañcābhiññāsu pāragū.

Tadāpāhaṃ asamasamaṃ,
sasaṃghaṃ saparijjanaṃ;
Annapānena tappetvā,
canda­ne­nābhi­pū­jayiṃ.


My Pāli is very poor, but the beginning starts with something like "when Veocana the nāga gave gifts to the teacher".

The third is a Verocanāsurinda who appears in SN11.8, which the OP already has a link to.

In the Sarvāstivāda parallels he is either Vairocanāsurendrarāja (鞞盧闍那阿修羅王, SA1119/T2n99.40.296b26) or he is Śakradevānām (天帝釋, SA-250/T2n100.3.390a23). In the Sarvāstivāda parallels, the meeting is much more detailed. Vairocanāsurendrarāja and/or Śakradevānām arrives when the Bhagavān has retreated into sequestered contemplation alone, Vairocanāsurendrarāja's shining body produces a display of myriad lights, illuminating all of Anāthapiṇḍada’s park at Jetavana (身諸光明,普照祇樹給孤獨園。) he arrives to prostrate himself before the Buddha and presents him with a gāthā, Vairocanāsurendrarāja and/or Śakradevānām proceeds to receive a teaching from the Buddha.

In short the differences between the recensions are limited to the fact that in SA1119 Śakradevānām is accompanied by Vairocanāsurendrarāja and in SA-250 Śakradevānām arrives alone. Vairocanāsurendrarāja sings the first gāthā in SA1119.

Perhaps a Pāli whiz will see this thread for the above Nārada­buddha­vaṃsa excerpt.

In short, though, I don't think there is any reason to think these figures are the same aside from their sharing a common name.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.

吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

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Re: Mahāyāna bodhisattva/buddha sharing names with lower devas in suttas

Post by dylanj » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:27 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:12 pm
dylanj wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:04 pm
Coëmgenu wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:51 am
Virocana = Asura = विरोचन
Verocana = Nāgarāja = वेरोचन

Vairocana = वैरोचन

It just means "that which comes from the sun". Seems a common enough name. In Chinese he is 大日如來, 'Great Sun Tathāgata'.
Sorry, what's the distinction between the first two exactly?
The first is an asura who is a student of Prajāpati who teaches a heretical doctrine of the ātman (self/soul) as śarīra (body) which the asurāḥ adopt. He appears in the upaniṣadaḥ ('upanishads') referenced in his wikipedia article.

The second is a king of the Nāgas from the Nārada­buddha­vaṃsa Bv11:

Yadā verocano nāgo,
dānaṃ dadāti satthuno;
Tadā samiṃsu jinaputtā,
asīti­sata­sahas­siyo.

Ahaṃ tena samayena,
jaṭilo uggatāpano;
Antalikkhacaro āsiṃ,
pañcābhiññāsu pāragū.

Tadāpāhaṃ asamasamaṃ,
sasaṃghaṃ saparijjanaṃ;
Annapānena tappetvā,
canda­ne­nābhi­pū­jayiṃ.


My Pāli is very poor, but the beginning starts with something like "when Veocana the nāga gave gifts to the teacher".

The third is a Verocanāsurinda who appears in SN11.8, which the OP already has a link to.

In the Sarvāstivāda parallels he is either Vairocanāsurendrarāja (鞞盧闍那阿修羅王, SA1119/T2n99.40.296b26) or he is Śakradevānām (天帝釋, SA-250/T2n100.3.390a23). In the Sarvāstivāda parallels, the meeting is much more detailed. Vairocanāsurendrarāja and/or Śakradevānām arrives when the Bhagavān has retreated into sequestered contemplation alone, Vairocanāsurendrarāja's shining body produces a display of myriad lights, illuminating all of Anāthapiṇḍada’s park at Jetavana (身諸光明,普照祇樹給孤獨園。) he arrives to prostrate himself before the Buddha and presents him with a gāthā, Vairocanāsurendrarāja and/or Śakradevānām proceeds to receive a teaching from the Buddha.

In short the differences between the recensions are limited to the fact that in SA1119 Śakradevānām is accompanied by Vairocanāsurendrarāja and in SA-250 Śakradevānām arrives alone. Vairocanāsurendrarāja sings the first gāthā in SA1119.

Perhaps a Pāli whiz will see this thread for the above Nārada­buddha­vaṃsa excerpt.

In short, though, I don't think there is any reason to think these figures are the same aside from their sharing a common name.
:goodpost: thank you
susukhaṁ vata nibbānaṁ,
sammā­sambud­dha­desitaṁ;
asokaṁ virajaṁ khemaṁ,
yattha dukkhaṁ nirujjhatī


Oh! extinction is so very blissful,
As taught by the One Rightly Self-Awakened:
Sorrowless, stainless, secure;
Where suffering all ceases


etaṁ santaṁ etaṁ paṇītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭi nissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṁ

This is peaceful, this is excellent, that is: the stilling of all preparations, the relinquishment of all attachments, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation, extinction.

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