daveblack wrote: ↑
Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:38 pm
Dan74 wrote: ↑
Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:33 pm
I am indeed more of a Mahayana practitioner.
Since you are, then maybe you can clarify this for me. Is the idea of Mahayana's version of no-self that you cannot individually save yourself because everything is you, we're all one, etc. so that literally saving all beings is necessary to even save your individual self? That is, if one person has not yet realized enlightenment, nobody has? I think that is the only way their rejection of Theravada makes sense. Its absurd to reject Buddha's teaching of individual liberation for some pipe-dream of saving all beings (like you're some Omnipotent Deity who can save everyone). It must be a confusion of the idea of no-self into a world-self, or that everything is you, so unless you save everything you haven't saved yourself. That's the illogical hole I think the creators of Mahayana fell into, and its practicioners have never been able to dig themselves out of; That's why they spew hate on paccekabuddhas and arhants.
I wouldn't presume to speak for Mahayana, not only because I am just one poor practitioner with no credentials, but also because it is an umbrella term for a variety of teaching schools and lineages.
One thing I would like to set straight is that I don't think anyone 'spew hate on paccekabuddhas and arhants' except maybe online. In the Sutras where there are sectarian passages, it is clearly the mode of practice that is criticised, not practitioners and I do agree that the language seems strong at times. Whether they are later accretions or editions, I don't know of course.
Regarding your first question, to the best of my knowledge there is no teaching in Mayahana that asserts that 'we are all one'. Sounds like Hinduism perhaps? Nor does Mahayana reject individual liberation. I guess with this line of questioning, you are referring to Bodhisattva vows:
Sentient beings are numberless; I vow to liberate them.
Greed, hatred, and ignorance rise endlessly; I vow to abandon them.
The Dharma gates are countless; I vow to wake to them.
The Buddha’s way is unsurpassed; I vow to embody it fully.
There are many wonderful explanations of the Vows and a range of interpretations. To me, the 1st Vow is ultimately about orientation - I practice with others and for others as well as for myself. We are indeed not separate, but nor are we 'all one'. Each has his or her karma. What better help can I be to others, than when I earnestly embrace the 2, 3 and 4th Vows? What better chance to save all beings eventually, not in this life, but after thousands of others, perhaps? It imbues practice with a whole new level of meaning. It is no longer just about me and my own suffering, my bliss, my happiness, shutting out the suffering around me. If I practice in earnest, I am a better Dad, better partner, better teacher, better neighbour. Even a hermit who abandons all to plunge him or herself into practice, is an inspiration for others who cling to the world and possibly a guide if one seeks them out. See
Every practitioner deals with the Vows in their way. Many of us don't take them too seriously and essentially practice for ourselves. Some keep coming back to the Vows and grappling with them from time to time. Others turn to the Vows for inspiration especially during the tough times. I don't think anyone really think themselves omnipotent or spend any energy fantacising about saving everyone. In Zen especially, we are taught to be grounded in this moment, this is where the work is done. So the First Vow, as far as I understand, if truly internalised, provides an orientation for practice, but not some kind of a different practice. The practice is still about the 2-4 Vows and.