Bodhicitta

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Inedible
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Re: Bodhicitta

Post by Inedible »

Remind me, would you? Wasn't the Lotus Sutra the transition to Mahayana where they say the Hinayana doesn't have the new Sutras because they were too cowardly to stay and listen? Even Arhats?
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Mahabrahma
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Re: Bodhicitta

Post by Mahabrahma »

Aloka wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:03 am I could say exactly the same about your own beliefs, Ms/Mr/Mrs/he/she/they, Brahma
I don't think you think my beliefs are nonsense, or that the Lotus Sutra is for that matter, and I want you to know it is much more common to act nonsensically than to actually believe in nonsense. Truths are revealed to people deep down inside, but they go against them. Such is the way of things sometimes. Though you are just trying to inquire about things in a certain way and that is fine, you are not acting nonsensically. We can leave this issue alone though. You are a very intelligent Buddhist and I believe you have already found your way. Thank you.

Metta.
Last edited by Mahabrahma on Tue Sep 22, 2020 7:14 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Mahabrahma
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Re: Bodhicitta

Post by Mahabrahma »

Inedible wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:36 am Remind me, would you? Wasn't the Lotus Sutra the transition to Mahayana where they say the Hinayana doesn't have the new Sutras because they were too cowardly to stay and listen? Even Arhats?
Eeek, let's just end this. It's no good to disparage the Lotus Sutra or any kind of Buddhism for that matter. Buddha did a wonderful thing for us and so did His Disciples. So we should respect that. Let's change the subject, to avoid disparagement or sinful remarks. Let's talk about Theravada Buddhism and Bodhicitta. :focus:
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Re: Bodhicitta

Post by SteRo »

Nicholas Weeks wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:15 pm
befriend wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:12 pm Anyone who cares more about others than their own self is practicing the spirit of a bodhissatva this is inline with theravadan Buddhism and the Jataka tales sacrificing ones life for others is theravadan and bodhissatva I have the perception that my comfort is more important than others sometimes than I remind myself of the Tibetan teachings of other cherishing instead of self cherishing. I think we all have that deluded perception that we are more important than others it is a huge obstacle to selflessness and compassion
Yes indeed! :bow:

Attitude & living with wisdom/compassion determines the Way or Yana, not doctrinal conceptions. :buddha2:
"What do you think, Malunkyaputta ... The ideas cognizable via the intellect that are uncognized by you — that you have never before cognized, that you don't cognize, and that are not to be cognized by you: Do you have any desire or passion or love there?"

"No, lord."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Exhaling अ and inhaling धीः amounts to བྷྲཱུཾ་བི་ཤྭ་བི་ཤུད་དྷེ
Inedible
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Re: Bodhicitta

Post by Inedible »

It's like the thing with the airplane. We lost cabin pressure and the oxygen masks have dropped. Put your mask on first. I have heard all kinds of teachings on bodhichitta and it always seemed like it was about refusing to wear a mask until everyone else has theirs on first. I just wish more people would admit they aren't really sure how to put their own mask on. That is what I am trying to figure out. If I can get my own mask on I will be able to stay conscious long enough to help the people around me. I may even be able to be of use with the emergency exits. The worst part is that it seems to be against the rules for the flight attendant to admit to having knowledge about how to put on an oxygen mask. This is a life or death emergency, so save the modesty for after we are out of the plane.
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Coëmgenu
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Re: Bodhicitta

Post by Coëmgenu »

Mahabrahma wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 6:39 am
Inedible wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:36 am Remind me, would you? Wasn't the Lotus Sutra the transition to Mahayana where they say the Hinayana doesn't have the new Sutras because they were too cowardly to stay and listen? Even Arhats?
Eeek, let's just end this. It's no good to disparage the Lotus Sutra or any kind of Buddhism for that matter. Buddha did a wonderful thing for us and so did His Disciples. So we should respect that. Let's change the subject, to avoid disparagement or sinful remarks. Let's talk about Theravada Buddhism and Bodhicitta. :focus:
Now, please believe me when I say that I'm not in the business of responding to each and every of your posts with a "Well, but..." but I do want to say that if you are still in touch with any of your former Nichiren or SGI companions, you should ask them about the "Diamond Chalice Precept" (金剛宝器戒). It is directly relevant to your post above. In the metaphor, the Lotus Sūtra is Indra's diamond chalice of amṛta, and those who read of the sūtra drink also of the chalice. Venerable Nichiren believes in apocatastasis, meaning "universal salvation." When one reads the Lotus Sūtra to disparage, the result is merely the drinking of the nectar of the gods by the disparager. Food for thought.

And to answer Inedible's question, yes, according to these apocryphal tales, there are a number of Arhats who supposedly left during the expounding of the Lotus and Nirvana Sūtras just before the Buddha's parinirvana. In the Lotus Sūtra, the 500 Arhats of the 1st Buddhist Council are described as staying for the whole sets of sermons and are not depicted as among those who left. A lot of people (myself included) were taught that these absentee Arhats were the 500-fold Arhats of the 1st Council, but this is directly contradicted by the LS text, which I just checked myself.
If you see a river, pray that beings gain entrance into the stream and into the ocean of wisdom. If you see a reservoir, pray that beings swiftly taste the one taste of the Dharma. If you see a pond, pray that beings become great in locution and skillful in preaching. If you see a well, pray that beings draw deep from the well of reason to disclose all dharmas. If you see a spring, pray that beings have inexhaustible roots of virtue. If you see a bridge, pray that beings carry all across to safety, as via a bridge. If you see a waterfall, pray that all beings cleanse the stains of delusion.
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Mahabrahma
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Re: Bodhicitta

Post by Mahabrahma »

Coëmgenu wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 7:52 pm Now, please believe me when I say that I'm not in the business of responding to each and every of your posts with a "Well, but..." but I do want to say that if you are still in touch with any of your former Nichiren or SGI companions, you should ask them about the "Diamond Chalice Precept" (金剛宝器戒). It is directly relevant to your post above. In the metaphor, the Lotus Sūtra is Indra's diamond chalice of amṛta, and those who read of the sūtra drink also of the chalice. Venerable Nichiren believes in apocatastasis, meaning "universal salvation." When one reads the Lotus Sūtra to disparage, the result is merely the drinking of the nectar of the gods by the disparager. Food for thought.
This is correct. Reading the Lotus Sutra for anyone will bring great merit. I don't have any qualms about this and I am glad you brought it up. The only thing is that when someone disparages someone who upholds the Lotus Sutra, they are commiting an offense, as stated within the text. Disparaging the Sutra itself has been also deemed quite an offense, but I do agree that if one reads it even with a mind to disparage it they will be getting great benefit nonetheless because of it's contents. But those who truly slander it do end up losing their merit in Buddhism, and that is what I want to point out. No one here is doing that, some people just get the wrong information or don't have the full idea of it yet. There's always a learning process. Even me, a Buddhist in a past life, when I was a lot younger in this life I would pretend to not know things I already knew and pretend disbelieve in clear true doctorines that clearly made sense all to develop my own framework to understand them for others. It's like the whole metaphor of the Lotus blooming. I don't disparage anyone here for everyone here will one day become a Buddha, or already is one.
Coëmgenu wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 7:52 pm And to answer Inedible's question, yes, according to these apocryphal tales, there are a number of Arhats who supposedly left during the expounding of the Lotus and Nirvana Sūtras just before the Buddha's parinirvana. In the Lotus Sūtra, the 500 Arhats of the 1st Buddhist Council are described as staying for the whole sets of sermons and are not depicted as among those who left. A lot of people (myself included) were taught that these absentee Arhats were the 500-fold Arhats of the 1st Council, but this is directly contradicted by the LS text, which I just checked myself.
I think you are referring to this, yes? It is quite an intricate tale, from the Second Chapter of the Lotus Sutra:
Shariputra once more spoke to the Buddha, saying, "World-Honored One, we beg you to preach! We beg you to preach! What is the reason? Because this assembly of countless hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of asamkhyas of living beings in the past have seen the Buddhas; their faculties are vigorous and acute and their wisdom is bright. If they hear the Buddha preach, they will be capable of reverent belief."

At that time Shariputra, wishing to state his meaning once more, spoke in verse form, saying:

Dharma King, none more highly honored,
speak, we beg you, without reserve!
In this assembly of numberless beings
are those capable of reverent belief.

The Buddha repeated, "Stop, Shariputra! If I speak of this matter, the heavenly and human beings and asuras throughout the worlds will all be astonished and doubtful. The monks who are overbearingly arrogant will fall into a great pit."

At that time the World-Honored One repeated what he had said in verse form:

Stop, stop, no need to speak!
My Law is wonderful and difficult to ponder.
Those who are overbearingly arrogant
when they hear it will never show reverent belief.

At that time Shariputra once more spoke to the Buddha, saying, "World-Honored One, we beg you to preach! We beg you to preach! In this assembly at present the persons like myself number in the hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions. In age after age we have already attended the Buddhas and received instruction. People of this kind are certain to be capable of reverent belief. Throughout the long night they will gain peace and rest and will enjoy many benefits."

At that time Shariputra, wishing to state his meaning once more, spoke in verse form, saying:

Supremely honored among two-legged beings,
we beg you to preach this foremost Law.
I who am regarded as the Buddha's eldest son
ask you to favor us by preaching distinctions.
The countless members of this assembly
are capable of according reverent belief to this Law
The Buddhas have already in age after age
taught and converted them in this manner.
All with a single mind and palms pressed together
desire to hear and receive the Buddha's words.
I and the other twelve hundred of our group,
as well as the others who seek to become Buddhas,
beg that for the sake of this assembly
you will favor us by preaching distinctions.
When we hear this Law
we will be filled with great joy.

At that time the World-Honored One said to Shariputra, "Three times you have stated your earnest request. How can I do other than preach? Now you must listen attentively and carefully ponder. For your sake I will now analyze and explain the matter."

When he had spoken these words, there were some five thousand monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen in the assembly who immediately rose from their seats, bowed to the Buddha, and withdrew. What was the reason for this? These persons had roots of guilt that were deep and manifold, and in addition they were overbearingly arrogant. What they had not attained they supposed they had attained, what they had not understood they supposed they had understood. And because they had this failing, they did not remain where they were.

The World-Honored One was silent and did not try to detain them.

At this time the Buddha said to Shariputra, "Now this assembly of mine is free of branches and leaves, made up solely of the steadfast and truthful. Shariputra, it is well that these persons of overbearing arrogance have withdrawn. Now listen carefully and I will preach for you."

Shariputra said, "So be it, World-Honored One. We are eager to listen!"

The Buddha said to Shariputra, "A wonderful Law such as this is preached by the Buddhas, the Thus Come Ones, at certain times. But like the blooming of the udumbara, such times come very seldom. Shariputra, you and the others must believe me. The words that the Buddhas preach are not empty or false.

"Shariputra, the Buddhas preach the Law in accordance with what is appropriate, but the meaning is difficult to understand. Why is this? Because we employ countless expedient means, discussing causes and conditions and using words of simile and parable to expound the teachings. This Law is not something that can be understood through pondering or analysis. Only those who are Buddhas can understand it. Why is this? Because the Buddhas, the World-Honored Ones, appear in the world for one great reason alone. Shariputra, what does it mean to say that the Buddhas, the World-Honored Ones, appear in the world for one great reason alone?

"The Buddhas, the World-Honored Ones , wish to open the door of Buddha wisdom to all living beings, to allow them to attain purity. That is why they appear in the world. They wish to show the Buddha wisdom to living beings, and therefore they appear in the world. They wish to cause living beings to awaken to the Buddha wisdom, and therefore they appear in the world. They wish to induce living beings to enter the path of Buddha wisdom, and therefore they appear in the world. Shariputra, this is the one great reason for which the Buddhas appear in the world."

The Buddha said to Shariputra, "The Buddhas, the Thus Come Ones, simply teach and convert the Bodhisattvas. All the things they do are at all times done for this one purpose. They simply wish to show the Buddha wisdom to living beings and enlighten them to it.
-The Lotus Sutra, Chapter Two: Expedient Means.
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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Bodhicitta

Post by Nicholas Weeks »

Even the Path of Purification gives the bodhisattva path option:
About the attainment of the Ten Perfections through the four divine abodes Vism IX.124 says:

Once the monk has in this way understood the power of
these four boundless states, culminating in the beautiful, etc.,
he also should know that these exercises will bring to
perfection all the ten noble qualities, such as liberality, etc.

(1) The Great Beings (mahāsatta=bodhisatta, beings
destined for Buddhahood) are intent on the welfare of all
living beings, do not tolerate the suffering of beings and wish
them long enjoyment of all their particular states of happiness;
and, not inclining to any special side, they show them
liberality (dāna) without considering whether they are worthy
of gifts or not.
(2) By avoiding hurting living beings, they practise morality (sīla).
(3) In order to bring morality to perfection, they practise
renunciation (nekkhamma).
(4) In order to attain clear understanding of what is
wholesome and unwholesome for beings, they purify their
wisdom (paññā).
(5) For the sake of their salvation and welfare, they
continually exert their energy (viriya).
(6) Although through the highest energy they may have
attained heroism, they are nevertheless full of forbearance (khanti).
(7) They will never break a promise to give or do
something (truthfulness: sacca).
(8) With unshaken resolution (adhiṭṭhāna) they work for
the safety and welfare of beings.
(9) With unshaken kindness (mettā) they serve them in a
selfless manner.
(10) In their equanimity (upekkhā) they do not expect
anything in return.
Thus, while bringing the Ten Perfections to their
accomplishment, they at the same time realize all the noble
qualities up to the ten powers (dasa-bala; see BD) the four
kinds of self-confidence (see AN4:8), the six kinds of spiritual
powers (abhiññā: see BD), and the ten qualities of an
Enlightened One.”
From Nyanatiloka Thera's Buddha's Path to Deliverance. Of course this list of ten is not identical with the Mahayana's ten.
Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he indeed is the noblest victor who conquers himself. Self-conquest is far better than the conquest of others. No god or devil can turn into defeat the victory of a person who is self-subdued and ever restrained in conduct. Dhammapada
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Re: Bodhicitta

Post by SteRo »

Nicholas Weeks wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:42 pm Even the Path of Purification gives the bodhisattva path option:

...
From Nyanatiloka Thera's Buddha's Path to Deliverance. Of course this list of ten is not identical with the Mahayana's ten.
All these ideas about paths and goals would not have arisen if they would not correspond to human nature. So enumeration of all paths and goals reveals human nature.
Exhaling अ and inhaling धीः amounts to བྷྲཱུཾ་བི་ཤྭ་བི་ཤུད་དྷེ
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Re: Bodhicitta

Post by Inedible »

Debate can be a lot of fun, but it is just cheap entertainment if it drifts away from real choices we make in the present moment. Is anyone here in this Theravada forum actively considering cultivating Bodhichitta?
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Re: Bodhicitta

Post by SteRo »

Inedible wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 2:28 pm Is anyone here in this Theravada forum actively considering cultivating Bodhichitta?
That's irrelevant. After all this is the 'connections to other paths' section of this forum and as Nicholas has shown there is definitely a connection between Theravada and the bodhisattva path. It is just that mainstream theravada does not follow the bodhisattva path.
Exhaling अ and inhaling धीः amounts to བྷྲཱུཾ་བི་ཤྭ་བི་ཤུད་དྷེ
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Re: Bodhicitta

Post by Inedible »

The best people to be involved in discussing Bodhichitta would be the ones who want it in their own life. I don't understand it. If I did understand it I would probably try to generate it. In person even the people I met who tried to generate it only succeeded in generating depression and anxiety. It did not make them better people. It seems to me that it is like being in a terrible dream. The first step would be to become lucid in the dream or to wake up from it. Trying to fix all the dream characters first before I do anything for myself? Why? If I had any control over other people I wouldn't always have such crappy neighbors.

If you throw out the element of trying not to reach Enlightenment it would be easier to understand Bodhichitta. A plan that helps one person is good. Helping two people is better. Extend it to unimaginable numbers of people and you lose me again. It is like dumping all the sugar in the world in a limitless ocean and finding the sweetness is undetectable.
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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Bodhicitta

Post by Nicholas Weeks »

SteRo wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 3:47 pm
Inedible wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 2:28 pm Is anyone here in this Theravada forum actively considering cultivating Bodhichitta?
That's irrelevant. After all this is the 'connections to other paths' section of this forum and as Nicholas has shown there is definitely a connection between Theravada and the bodhisattva path. It is just that mainstream theravada does not follow the bodhisattva path.
Actually, I would be interested to know how many DW folk are cultivating or might in future cultivate, the bodhisatta path as outlined only by Theravadin sources.
Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he indeed is the noblest victor who conquers himself. Self-conquest is far better than the conquest of others. No god or devil can turn into defeat the victory of a person who is self-subdued and ever restrained in conduct. Dhammapada
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Re: Bodhicitta

Post by SteRo »

Nicholas Weeks wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 5:42 pm
SteRo wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 3:47 pm
Inedible wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 2:28 pm Is anyone here in this Theravada forum actively considering cultivating Bodhichitta?
That's irrelevant. After all this is the 'connections to other paths' section of this forum and as Nicholas has shown there is definitely a connection between Theravada and the bodhisattva path. It is just that mainstream theravada does not follow the bodhisattva path.
Actually, I would be interested to know how many DW folk are cultivating or might in future cultivate, the bodhisatta path as outlined only by Theravadin sources.
I think it's a matter of lineage. Regardless whether some join mahayana or theravada they may be following the path of arahantship or the path of buddhahood depending on lineage. But of course the number of those following the path of arahantship will be higher among Theravada followers as will the number of those following the path of buddhahood be highter among Mahayana followers. So from my perspective what is decisive is lineage not outer tradition.
Exhaling अ and inhaling धीः amounts to བྷྲཱུཾ་བི་ཤྭ་བི་ཤུད་དྷེ
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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Bodhicitta

Post by Nicholas Weeks »

SteRo wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:06 pm
Nicholas Weeks wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 5:42 pm
SteRo wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 3:47 pm

That's irrelevant. After all this is the 'connections to other paths' section of this forum and as Nicholas has shown there is definitely a connection between Theravada and the bodhisattva path. It is just that mainstream theravada does not follow the bodhisattva path.
Actually, I would be interested to know how many DW folk are cultivating or might in future cultivate, the bodhisatta path as outlined only by Theravadin sources.
I think it's a matter of lineage. Regardless whether some join mahayana or theravada they may be following the path of arahantship or the path of buddhahood depending on lineage. But of course the number of those following the path of arahantship will be higher among Theravada followers as will the number of those following the path of buddhahood be highter among Mahayana followers. So from my perspective what is decisive is lineage not outer tradition.
What is decisive is the motivation or intent of the individual. Whatever one follows or rejects, the decision is still that of the individual.
Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he indeed is the noblest victor who conquers himself. Self-conquest is far better than the conquest of others. No god or devil can turn into defeat the victory of a person who is self-subdued and ever restrained in conduct. Dhammapada
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