The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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pt1
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Post by pt1 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:34 am

Hi Dexing and all,
Dexing wrote: When the Five Aggregates for example are observed by their three marks, as in Theravada doctrine, this type of practice will lead to disenchantment and detachment, which will in turn lead to liberation from suffering. That is the goal of the practice- to end suffering, attain Nibbana, Arahantship. (That's of course super simplified, but you get my point.)

However, as long as one does not break through the illusion of the Five Aggregates altogether, one cannot see the true face of reality. One is still under the impression that there are such aggregates albeit impermanent, unsatisfactory, and not-self. Although one no longer identifies with the Five Aggregates one cannot perceive their true nature while the Aggregates are taken for granted.

So the point of breaking through the illusion of the Five Aggregates and all phenomenal existence becomes extremely pivotal in the practice of the Bodhisattva path as taught in Mahayana traditions.
Shonin wrote:I don't think I've come across a Mahayana who took the common beginner's misunderstanding of Sunyata as literal nothingness and ran with it for so far, with so much apparent articulateness and in spite of so much counter-argument.

Apart from anything else, it's a self-defeating argument. If we say 'everything is an illusion' then presumably that 'truth' is itself an illusion and all your ideas about the non-existence of everything, even any experiences that you believe verifies this - thus 'everything is an illusion/non-existent' is false.
I don't know how representative of certain Mahayana schools is what Dexing is saying, but I've heard the same argument before on e-sangha and I always found it interesting, though hard to understand.

As I understand it, in Theravada it's said (as per my understanding of the mahavihara commentarial tradition) that during insight - a dhamma is the object of citta at that instance, not a concept (which is considered an illusion). So, that distinction is made that dhammas (aggregates basically) are real (within constraints of the 3 marks and conditioned nature), while concepts are not real. So, insight/wisdom itself is dependent on a dhamma (a real thing) being an object of citta, and on wisdom arising with that same citta and understnading that particular conditioned dhamma as having the 3 marks.

That's why I find it hard to comprehend how can it be said that dhammas (aggregates) are also illusory, which is what Dexing seems to be saying that a bodhisattva realizes. In other words, if concepts are an illusion, and dhammas (aggregates) are also an illusion - so they don't exist - then what is the object of citta during a moment when insight/wisdom occurs for a bodhisattva? I mean, if all he sees are illusions, then how can wisdom arise for him in the first place? I.e. by theravadin standards (I understand they might not apply in case of mahayana, but that's the only reference point I have at the moment), I just can't make sense of the statement.

What's insight in mahayana based on - what's the object of citta during a moment of insight when wisdom arises? Of course, I'd appreciate an answer according to any particular mahayana school, I just used the term "mahayana" in general, since I don't know the distinctions between different traditions. Thanks.

Best wishes

Dexing
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Post by Dexing » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:47 am

Shonin wrote:I don't think I've come across a Mahayana who took the common beginner's misunderstanding of Sunyata as literal nothingness and ran with it for so far, with so much apparent articulateness and in spite of so much counter-argument.
There has been no solid scriptural counter argument. It is also written explicitly in Mahayana Sutras, and taught in very minute detail in the Chinese lecture series from Buddhist University classrooms that I linked to. Word for word. The thing is Westerners run from it as soon as they hear it because it sounds like Nihilism and is not what the Buddha taught. Spending more time with the teaching it becomes obvious, and all the misunderstandings and questions find obvious answers as well. It mostly has to do with the Eight Consciousnesses which is not taught in Theravada to my knowledge, so it's extremely difficult to follow without that sort of background.
Apart from anything else, it's a self-defeating argument. If we say 'everything is an illusion' then presumably that 'truth' is itself an illusion and all your ideas about the non-existence of everything, even any experiences that you believe verifies this - thus 'everything is an illusion/non-existent' is false.


The point is anything we can know, all phenomena, through our consciousness is a subjective object of consciousness and unreal, coming from seeds ripening in the Eighth Consciousness. Therefore since the object (perceived) is illusory and unreal, there can be no subject (perceiver- first 6/7 consciousnesses). In fact they are both coming from seeds of grasping planted since time without beginning in the Eighth Consciousness.

However, these Eight Consciousness can be transformed into their original state of Wisdom of a Buddha, which is of four types. This is the real dependent origination. Dependent Origination as taught in Theravada is based on illusory objects created within the first consciousness- eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, mind, etc.. It is taught to loosen our grasping to them. But Mahayana emptiness is to see that they are unreal altogether, not just dynamically existing with the 3 marks.

To really make sense of this would take a lot more explanation. But it's all right there in your Mahayana Sutras.

The relevance is as I described in my previous post about the Bodhisattva path, breaking illusion, seeing true nature, effectively functioning to save all beings by continually entering Samsara without confusion.

:namaste:

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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Post by Hoo » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:58 pm

Hi Dexing,
....To really make sense of this would take a lot more explanation. But it's all right there in your Mahayana Sutras.....
The Chan that I'm exposed to seem much more willing to explore every aspect of Buddhist belief and practice. Mine is limited exposure, to be sure, but I was privileged to join a Mahayana Buddhist Study Group at a Chan monastery - studying a book by Bikkhu Nanamoli (Theravada). It wasn't to argue against it, it was to learn from it, gain further illumination of Mahayana practice by examining the Pali Canon as presented by the Bikkhu.

It is with kindness that I offer this observation, not all the Mahayana I've encountered elsewhere were so willing. They seem to have arrived at a position of faith in their particular belief and they halt there for a while. I wonder if Dharma Wheel is a better place to continually present the Mahayana Suttras as explanations of positions, especially on the ideal in Theravada.

Here on Dhamma Wheel I appreciate references to the Suttas, too, or at least questions to where concepts can be found in the Suttas so others can point them out.

Not trying to intefere, just more interested in the bodhisatva ideal in Theravada than in repeated references to what it means in Mahayana.

PeterB
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Post by PeterB » Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:09 pm

PeterB wrote:Clearly Bhante I am unfamiliar with living Theravada tradition.


Or possibly I should have made it clear that what I was actually adressing is what actually happened in this thread..which is that it became The Mahayana Bodhisattva Ideal In The Theravada...a perusal of the thread will i think bear this out.
I agree Hoo with your final para. and it is in line with the above point I made back on the 26/5.

dhamma follower
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Post by dhamma follower » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:32 pm

That's why I find it hard to comprehend how can it be said that dhammas (aggregates) are also illusory, which is what Dexing seems to be saying that a bodhisattva realizes. In other words, if concepts are an illusion, and dhammas (aggregates) are also an illusion - so they don't exist - then what is the object of citta during a moment when insight/wisdom occurs for a bodhisattva? I mean, if all he sees are illusions, then how can wisdom arise for him in the first place? I.e. by theravadin standards (I understand they might not apply in case of mahayana, but that's the only reference point I have at the moment), I just can't make sense of the statement.

What's insight in mahayana based on - what's the object of citta during a moment of insight when wisdom arises? Of course, I'd appreciate an answer according to any particular mahayana school, I just used the term "mahayana" in general, since I don't know the distinctions between different traditions. Thanks
Very well put question ! I'd like it to be addressed as well !

PeterB
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Post by PeterB » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:40 pm

Just a suggestion but why not put the question on DHARMA Wheel, the sister forum to this, whose main focus is the Mahayana ?

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tiltbillings
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:00 pm

Dexing wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:You are the one continually referring to the Theravada as "Small Vehicle" which is nothing more than a Chinese euphemism for hinayana.
I have explained what Small vs Large Vehicle refers to from this tradition. Small because it only deals with the non-existence of personal selfhood within the Five Aggregates. Large because it also deals with the non-existence of the Five Aggregates and phenomena themselves. And looking into Theravada doctrine I find that it is fitting.
You have not looked very hard. Again, "small" is a Chinese euphemism for what is an ugly Sanskrit word coined by the Mahayana.
So far, neither you nor anyone else, has been able to provide Sutta reference to prove this wrong.
So far, it has been a matter of trying to get you to carefully define your use of "illusion" and "exists" and so far, you have not done so. After, that I'll be delighted to provide sutta evidence to counter your misrepresentation of the Pali suttas.
Try dictionary.com then. No hidden meaning.
And again, avoiding the issue. You are refusing to give us in your own words a us carefully, clearly done definitions of "illusion" and "exists."
I wrote:And here, Dexing, is another one you have avoided:
tiltbillings wrote:
Dexing wrote:Now my point here is that the Bodhisattva path is not found within Theravada because it teaches a completely different view of phenomenal existence altogether- that of; "Three Realms Only Mind".

Perhaps if agreeable we can move forward from there.
And what about the Mahayanists who do not agree with your interpretation, such as, oh, say someone such as the Dalai Lama? By your argument, the bodhisattva path is not found in the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, or any of the Indian lineage of Madhyamikas, it would seem.
you wrote:I haven't avoid this. My last post addresses it as well. I'm not afraid to share my understanding here, because what I have said is found explicitly across many many Mahayana Sutras. I have already provided references. It is just not accepted in Western culture yet.
Again, you have not dealt with this question; you are giving us your usual side-step. You have been giving us a "Yogachara" take on things, but the Dalai Lama comes out of a Prasangika Madhayamaka position that rejects the Yogachara as having any ultimacy and would reject the statement that "it is all illusion, stating at best the Yogachara is a "provisional" point of view, but not an ultimate point of view.
>> 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

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tiltbillings
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:09 pm

Paññāsikhara wrote:Scholars must take extreme care never to transfer the conceptions of one “lineage” to another “lineage”, and never to explain Mādhyamika terms by anything else except Mādhyamika definitions, Yogācāra terms by anything else except Yogācāra definitions, and so for the Sarvāstivādins, Theravādins, Mahīśāsakas and all other sects. (Conze 1975: 204)

Conze, E. (1975). Further Buddhist studies : selected essays. Oxford [Eng.]; London: B. Cassirer ; Distributed by Luzac.
Bhante, Another Conze fan-boy. For scholars, that is quite true, but religionists tend not to give a rat's patooty about such things. As we have seen on the grey forum -repeatedly -, the evangelical Mahayanists there saw their poosition as the sole arbiter of what is what in Buddhism: the objective basis by which all esle is judged.
>> 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

Shonin
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Post by Shonin » Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:23 pm

Dexing wrote:When the Five Aggregates for example are observed by their three marks, as in Theravada doctrine, this type of practice will lead to disenchantment and detachment, which will in turn lead to liberation from suffering. That is the goal of the practice- to end suffering, attain Nibbana, Arahantship. (That's of course super simplified, but you get my point.)

However, as long as one does not break through the illusion of the Five Aggregates altogether, one cannot see the true face of reality. One is still under the impression that there are such aggregates albeit impermanent, unsatisfactory, and not-self. Although one no longer identifies with the Five Aggregates one cannot perceive their true nature while the Aggregates are taken for granted.

X

So the point of breaking through the illusion of the Five Aggregates and all phenomenal existence becomes extremely pivotal in the practice of the Bodhisattva path as taught in Mahayana traditions. It is the point of every Mahayana Sutra. It is the wisdom of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas which allows them to continually enter Samsara to save all beings. Only one who has seen reality can do that effectively.
You seem to have missed a step there - marked with an 'X'. What makes 'seeing the aggregates as illusion' pivotal? Seeing the 3 marks leads to disenchantment and Nibbana - OK. So why is an additional step of 'seeing aggregates as illusion' required? What does that lead to if recognising the 3 marks is enough to lead to disenchantment and Nibbana?

Or are you saying that this allows Mahayana practitioners to enter Samsara and save all beings? How? And surely since attaining Nibbana is 'salvation' and since seeing the 3 marks is enough to produce disenchantment and thus Nibbana, a Bodhisattva only has to encourage others to see the 3 marks - thus helping them to become disenchanted, and attaining Nibbana?

What does 'seeing the aggregates as illusion' add to the situation? Why is it required in order to help others? And how was it that Gotama Buddha was able to save other beings without teaching such a thing?

It seems to me that 'seeing the aggregates as illusion' is a remnant of grasping at self - Niratta: believing in no-self - positing an absolute essence of 'nothingness' to phenomena/reality.
Last edited by Shonin on Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Hoo
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Post by Hoo » Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:39 pm

Dexing wrote:.... (From a posting on May 25, thanks Peter B for referring back to that date area)....I have made my case that the Bodhisattva's realization is the absolute unreality of the phenomenal world, not just Dependent Origination, Causes & Conditions, Impermanence, etc., but the non-existence of all phenomena, for example the Five Aggregates as having never been produced nor extinguished, not attributed to Causes & Conditions because they have never existed. They are illusory and unreal, not "existing but just temporary and interdependent, lacking an eternal substance".

Since this teaching doesn't appear in the Pali Suttas, I don't see that a follower of these scriptures can follow the Bodhisattva path.

Now if you want to take a position against this, you simply have to show that such a teaching does in fact exist within the Pali Suttas, since that is the basic realization of a Bodhisattva as taught all over Large Vehicle Sutras.

If you can find that, I will stand corrected.

But if you cannot find those teachings present in the Pali Suttas, then I rest my case and should withdraw from the topic. :namaste:
Dexing, I find one of your conclusions correct. I believe you should have withdrawn from the topic when you made this statement. I believe you haven't made your case for some reasons below. Please don't take offense at my observations, they are just views, like any others.

I take no offense to your views and have enjoyed reading them, but I do not see where you have made any case outside of demonstrating that you have firm convictions. That's cool, so do lots of people. But some of the Chan and Tibetans I have met take a somewhat different approach. If your view was the proven true view, it is not shared by all of the Mahayana. Why have they not all taken up your view?

You make a personal statement about a bodhisatva's realization - I believe it's not shared by all the Mahayana. You need to provide proof that universality is the case. To quote you from elsewhere, it's not enough to just say it is, or it is not.

You propose a proof that it is not in the Pali Suttas. Then you personalize again in that you don't see how a follower of the Pali Canon can follow the bodhisatva path (which definition is agreed on by all Mahayana, per you). I would suggest that bodhisattva has different connotations in different systems. Yours is not established as the definitive measure.

Then you place responsibility for proving your personal case, on another person who disagrees, in a Canon that does not support your personal view. Instructions that will certainly lead to a known conclusion.

In philosophy, it's known as a self-referential system. The definition is yours, the sources of proof are yours, the acceptability of sources are yours, instructions are yours, criterion for proof are yours, and by resting your case before getting the answer, you demonstrate that the verdict is yours as well - before the reply is made. Any combination of those yields only an exercise in logic, but cannot lead to a truth. Even if it starts with a truth, inserting self-referential processes defeats that truth.

Your convictions are admirable. I really have enjoyed your presentations of the Mahayana and the bodhisatva ideal. I do not agree with some of it, which is neither here nor there. My views are like noses - everyone has one :) I just thought I'd add this piece that I haven't seen in the thread so far....There are other systems that disagree with much of what you write, some that agree entirely, many may not even be relevant. But it is important to know when one is presenting a view and when one is presenting a supposed truth. My faded-glory contribution is that from the perspective of philosophy, the process of presentation undercut what you wished to convey. The case was not proven by the process used.

My personal bias is as relevant as any of those who have contributed so far. I began firmly in Theravada, began to see some value in Mahayana and Vajrayana, drifted into an acceptance of "one Dharma," and have landed briefly in an open mind :) With decades of philosophy and psychology under my belt, I can be accused of any bias one may choose. But I am unlikely to blindly accept such from anyone. I have only recently learned kindness and compassion and am still not good at either, so I appreciate instruction and demonstrations on those :)

Hope you take this in the spirit offered - kindness, and a wish to convey another view of the discussion.

Shonin
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Post by Shonin » Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:34 pm

Dexing wrote:There has been no solid scriptural counter argument. It is also written explicitly in Mahayana Sutras, and taught in very minute detail in the Chinese lecture series from Buddhist University classrooms that I linked to.
What you have stated is - or is closely related to - the literalist interpretation of Yogacara, which indeed had significant influence on Chinese Buddhism. And by quoting such texts selectively it is possible to present this as being the orthodox understanding of Sunyata. This, however is simply not the case - the literal interpretation of Yogacara is very much a minority position in Mahayana - and I shall be posting a series of excerpts with which I hope to demonstrate this.

Here is the first:
Seventy Verses On Sunyata: Shunyatasaptati by Nagarjuna

1. Though the Buddhas have spoken of duration, origination, destruction, being, non-being, low, moderate, and excellent by force of worldly convention, [they] have not done [so] in an absolute sense.

4. Being does not arise, since it exists. Non-being does not arise, since it does not exist. Being and non-being [together] do not arise, due to [their] heterogeneity. Consequently they do not endure or vanish.

17. How can the non-existing have own-being, other-being, or non-being? Consequently, own-being, other-being, and non-being [result from] perverted views.

20. Without being there is no non-being. [Being] neither arises from itself nor from [something] else. This being so, this [being] does not exist: So there is no being, and [therefore] no non-being.

25. If nirvana [resulted] from cessation, [then there would be] destruction. If the contrary, [there would be] permanence. Therefore it is not logical that nirvana is being or non-being.

32. Composite and non-composite are not many [and] not one; are not being [and] are not non-being; are not being -- non-being. All [possibilities] are comprised within these limits.

67. Nothing exists by virtue of own-being, nor is there any non-being here. Being and non-being, born through causes and conditions, are empty.

72. One with faith who tries to seek the truth, one who considers this principle logically [and] relies [upon] the Dharma that is lacking all supports leaves behind existence and non-existence [and abides in] peace.

Shonin
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Post by Shonin » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:01 pm

Next...
Buddhanet: Teachings in Chinese Buddhism: Sunyata (Emptiness) in the Mahayana Context

Egolessness (non-self) implies the void characteristics of all existence. Egolessness (non-self) signifies the non-existence of permanent identity for self and existence (Dharma). Sunyata stresses the voidness characteristic of self and existence (Dharma). Sunyata and egolessness possess similar attributes. As we have discussed before, we can observe the profound significance of sunyata from the perspective of inter-dependent relationships. Considering dharma-nature and the condition of nirvana, all existences are immaterial and of a void-nature. Then we see each existence as independent of each other. But then we cannot find any material that does exist independent of everything else. So egolessness also implies void-nature!
...
For example, sunyata and the state of nirvana where there is no rising nor falling, are interpreted by most people as a state of non-existence and gloom. They fail to realise that quite the opposite, sunyata is of substantial and positive significance.

The sutras often use the word "great void" to explain the significance of sunyata. In general, we understand the "great void" as something that contains absolutely nothing. However, from a Buddhist perspective, the nature of the "great void" implies something which does not obstruct other things, in which all matters perform their own functions. Materials are form, which by their nature, imply obstruction. The special characteristic of the "great void" is non-obstruction. The "great void" therefore, does not serve as an obstacle to them. Since the "great void" exhibits no obstructive tendencies, it serves as the foundation for matter to function. In other words, if there was no "great void" nor characteristic of non-obstruction, it would be impossible for the material world to exist and function.

The "great void" is not separated from the material world. The latter depends on the former. We can state that the profound significance of sunyata and the nature of sunyata in Buddhism highlights the "great void’s" non-obstructive nature.

Sunyata does not imply the "great void". Instead, it is the foundation of all phenomena (form and mind). It is the true nature of all phenomena, and it is the basic principle of all existence. In other words, if the universe’s existence was not empty nor impermanent, then all resulting phenomena could not have arisen due to the co-existence of various causes and there would be no rising nor falling. The nature of sunyata is of positive significance!
http://www.buddhanet.net/cbp2_f6.htm

Shonin
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Post by Shonin » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:37 pm

Next...
When the boy said, “Because Buddha Nature is devoid, you therefore say
that It is beyond existence,” 14 he had put it clearly, for ‘being devoid’ does not
mean ‘being nothing’.
- Dogen, Shobogenzo
At the same time, when those who are commonplace and foolish hear about
what the Tathagata said—namely, that what is seen by those with bleary-eyed
vision are the flowerings in Unbounded Space—they assume that ‘bleary-eyed
vision’ refers to topsy-turvy vision in human beings. Because their own diseased
vision is already topsy-turvy, they believe that one experiences flowers in
Unbounded Space as something floating in an absolute void
. Being attached to this
understanding, they have concluded that the three worlds of desire, form, and
beyond form, the six worlds*of existence, the existence of Buddhahood, and the
state of going beyond Buddhahood, are all really non-existent but are mistakenly
seen as having existence
. They go about making their living by asserting that, if we
were to bring to a halt this bleary-eyed vision brought about by our delusions, we
would no longer see these flowers in the void since, from the beginning, the void is
devoid of flowers.
- Dogen, Shobogenzo

Dexing
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Post by Dexing » Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:25 pm

dhamma follower wrote:
That's why I find it hard to comprehend how can it be said that dhammas (aggregates) are also illusory, which is what Dexing seems to be saying that a bodhisattva realizes. In other words, if concepts are an illusion, and dhammas (aggregates) are also an illusion - so they don't exist - then what is the object of citta during a moment when insight/wisdom occurs for a bodhisattva? I mean, if all he sees are illusions, then how can wisdom arise for him in the first place? I.e. by theravadin standards (I understand they might not apply in case of mahayana, but that's the only reference point I have at the moment), I just can't make sense of the statement.

What's insight in mahayana based on - what's the object of citta during a moment of insight when wisdom arises? Of course, I'd appreciate an answer according to any particular mahayana school, I just used the term "mahayana" in general, since I don't know the distinctions between different traditions. Thanks
Very well put question ! I'd like it to be addressed as well !
The answer to this is quite straightforward, but will take an understanding of the Eight Consciousnesses taught not only in Mahayana schools like Yogacara, but in many many Mahayana Sutras accepted in basically all Mahayana schools, including my lineage tradition- Chan.

The basic response is this;

An Ordinary Being uses consciousness to perceive objects of that consciousness, and functions from within the limited capability of this deluded consciousness. This is the meaning of the terms Cittamatra and Vijnaptimatra. An Ordinary Being's experience is consciousness-only.

A Buddha on the other hand does not function through such consciousness anymore. The Eight types of Consciousness of an Ordinary Being are transformed into Four types of Wisdom.

An Ordinary Being's consciousness is always slow and ignorant. But a Buddha's wisdom functions spontaneously for the benefit of all beings. There is no longer a duality of Subject and Object, Perceiver and Perceived, Consciousness/Citta and Object of Citta, etc..

:namaste:

Dexing
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Post by Dexing » Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:35 pm

Shonin wrote:What you have stated is - or is closely related to - the literalist interpretation of Yogacara, which indeed had significant influence on Chinese Buddhism. And by quoting such texts selectively it is possible to present this as being the orthodox understanding of Sunyata.
I have quoted no Yogacara text thus far, but only very widely accepted Sutras in all Mahayana schools which say the same things explicitly. Namely I have quoted here the Shurangama Sutra and various Prajnaparamita Sutras.
This, however is simply not the case - the literal interpretation of Yogacara is very much a minority position in Mahayana - and I shall be posting a series of excerpts with which I hope to demonstrate this.
What each of your excerpts are saying is not in conflict with the "literal interpretation of Yogacara". If you really understand Yogacara teachings, it is saying the same thing in your excerpts.

That is, there is simply nothing to point to and say "this exists" or "this does not exist". If you attach to non-existence, saying something does not exist, then there is still "something" to not exist.

Yogacara teachings first of all teach that everything ordinary beings perceive is merely the object of a subjective consciousness and not objective existence. Once realizing this, then obviously "exist" or "does not exist" both do not apply.

:namaste:

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