Is mahayana Buddism?

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby whynotme » Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:41 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote::goodpost:

There are ways of deciding what is Dhamma and what is Adhamma.

Four Great References

A Brief Discourse to Gotamī

Eight Thoughts of a Great Man

etc., and of course there is also the Kesamutti Sutta, which is often misquoted and/or misinterpreted.

Whatever you decide, your future happiness depends on it, so take due care, and keep examining your view to see if it is complete. Right view (sammāditthi), doesn't mean only right view as opposed to wrong view (micchā ditthi), it means perfect view — just as Sammāsambuddha means the Perfectly Enlightened Buddha.

Sir, thank you for your compliment and links, they are short, simple and very useful

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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby whynotme » Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:49 am

Dan74 wrote:Dear whynotme

You make too many unwarranted assumptions in your long post for me to list, but thank you for taking care to write it.

To you the way you go about it must seem scientific, objective and correct, but to me it is full of logical holes and biases. Indeed, some great contemporary Theravada teachers, like Joseph Goldstein, to name one, think that practicing both Theravada and Mahayana works very well, and have discovered that they do not contradict each other, as far as their practice is concerned. How is this possible? Are they deluded or are you?

Dear Dan,

I don't care much about the name of the teachers, I only believe something when it is from Nikayas. And if you think mahayana helps you, mahayanist also taught me many things, it is not my problem

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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:23 am

whynotme wrote:
Dan74 wrote:Dear whynotme

You make too many unwarranted assumptions in your long post for me to list, but thank you for taking care to write it.

To you the way you go about it must seem scientific, objective and correct, but to me it is full of logical holes and biases. Indeed, some great contemporary Theravada teachers, like Joseph Goldstein, to name one, think that practicing both Theravada and Mahayana works very well, and have discovered that they do not contradict each other, as far as their practice is concerned. How is this possible? Are they deluded or are you?

Dear Dan,

I don't care much about the name of the teachers, I only believe something when it is from Nikayas. And if you think mahayana helps you, mahayanist also taught me many things, it is not my problem

Regards


Hi Why Not Me,
Just to go to the Kalama Sutta, but it is not the only such list
'Don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher."

this is a list of places knowledge can come from and be based, however these are not the main one
When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering"

There are texts outside of Theravada which have equal claim to authenticity. for purposes of practicing Theravada the Pali Canon is the best option, but for purposes of truth the pali canon is not the only source. Those who find themselves in Mahayana groups and have studied these texts and practiced ardently are just as Buddhist as any Theravadin, particularly when they have "ceased to do unskilled acts, learned to do skilful acts & purified their mind."
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby whynotme » Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:08 pm

Dear Cittasanto

Of course most of Mahayanist are Buddhist, and I think in Therevadin monks, many still have wrong view, it is normal. Ah thank to Bikkhu Pesala, right view is perfect view, or perfect view is right view because when something is true, then it is perfect true. If a view is not perfect, it is not right view.

I don't know how do you know this Cittasanto:
There are texts outside of Theravada which have equal claim to authenticity
particularly when they have "ceased to do unskilled acts, learned to do skilful acts & purified their mind."

How do you know this? How do you know authenticity of text outside of Therevada? How do you know authenticity of text of Therevada? How do you know they are equal?

How do you know those Mahayanist have ceased to do unskilled acts, learned to do skillful acts, purified their mind? Do you directly know their mind?

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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:28 pm

Hi Whynotme,
I did not claim any authenticity or equality, only that they have equal claim to authenticity. Also I pointed out there are ardent mendicants that can also "cease to act in unskilled ways, learn to do good & purify their minds" (Dhammapada 183) as those in Theravada.

Regarding the texts try to look for some comparative analysis's of the Agama Sutras; which are considered by some to be Hinayana teachings. These are from other schools of Buddhism which have just as much claim as Theravada to relaying the authentic teachings of the Buddha.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Vlcimba » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:50 am

Yes it is, instead of questioning other branches of buddhism, as i am a Mahayanist as well as partly a Theravadist too, but i dont see why not? Its still buddhism aint it. They follow similiar teaching, the aim is the same , to achieve nirvana.
Form is emptiness. Emptiness is form--- Heart sutra
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Anagarika » Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:45 pm

"There are texts outside of Theravada which have equal claim to authenticity. for purposes of practicing Theravada the Pali Canon is the best option, but for purposes of truth the pali canon is not the only source. Those who find themselves in Mahayana groups and have studied these texts and practiced ardently are just as Buddhist as any Theravadin, particularly when they have "ceased to do unskilled acts, learned to do skilful acts & purified their mind."

:goodpost:
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby suttametta » Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:16 pm

From Mahayana to Vajrayana (and Dzogchen) what you have is an increasingly global synthesis of Buddhism and Vedism. Once the method of anapanasati is changed from a mindfulness method to focusing on the breath as an object, then one begins to enter into the genre of practices begun in Pre-Vedic ages of focusing on objects, like mantras, images, etc., which are in essence a manner of concentrating on vibration.

Then, it becomes natural to synthesize Vedic ideas that flow from such experiences, like Brahman in Sanatana Dharma. How the Dharmakaya is a species of Sanatana dharma is where in Mahayana and Vajrayana the seed syllable is said to emanate from the Dharmakaya, as in the case of the Prajnaparamita of a Single Sound, etc., where mantras and dharanis become used. This comes from an Upanishadic notion about the nature of AUM. The Dzogchen Tantras explicitly describe themselves in the same way the Vedas describe themselves, as emanating from the primordial origin of the universe, namely sound.

Here we have a line in the sand. In Vedism you are focusing on vibration. One is supposed to trace the vibration back to the origin and find Brahman. Whereas, in Buddhism you are mindful of breathing, etc., to recognize pure consciousness without surface or feature with is Nirvana, no vibration. On paper it is not possible to discern, but having practice all three of these systems for years I discovered that the place in ourselves where vibrations emanate is a courser level than the level of pure consciousness. Brahman is the level of dreamless sleep, unconsciouness. Become aware of that is not nirvana which is completely lit and never unconscious.

Also, the Sravaka method of anapanasati is very fast and leads in a matter of days to whichever result Vajrayana and Dzogchen says takes a whole life or more. They are dragged down by these vibration concentration schemes. Even Mahamudra and Dzogchen in their pure forms, meditating "on emptiness," are dealing with the level of mind and thoughts, where they arises and disappear. This is not the path to nirvana either. You are still dealing with the level of fluctuation. In a real sense, these methods incorporation of Vedism and the use of such types of methodology, invariably leads to the Deva realms and not beyond samsara. It is their views about not the extreme of nirvana and not the extreme of samsara that keeps them in samsara.

Subsequently, I realized the explanations in Mahayana denigrating the Sravaka introduces doubt about the Sravaka's method and prevents success in that method due to that doubt. Which means Mahayana is hindrance.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Nyana » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:07 pm

suttametta wrote:From Mahayana to Vajrayana (and Dzogchen) what you have is an increasingly global synthesis of Buddhism and Vedism. Once the method of anapanasati is changed from a mindfulness method to focusing on the breath as an object, then one begins to enter into the genre of practices begun in Pre-Vedic ages of focusing on objects, like mantras, images, etc., which are in essence a manner of concentrating on vibration.

Then, it becomes natural to synthesize Vedic ideas that flow from such experiences, like Brahman in Sanatana Dharma. How the Dharmakaya is a species of Sanatana dharma is where in Mahayana and Vajrayana the seed syllable is said to emanate from the Dharmakaya, as in the case of the Prajnaparamita of a Single Sound, etc., where mantras and dharanis become used. This comes from an Upanishadic notion about the nature of AUM. The Dzogchen Tantras explicitly describe themselves in the same way the Vedas describe themselves, as emanating from the primordial origin of the universe, namely sound.

Here we have a line in the sand. In Vedism you are focusing on vibration. One is supposed to trace the vibration back to the origin and find Brahman. Whereas, in Buddhism you are mindful of breathing, etc., to recognize pure consciousness without surface or feature with is Nirvana, no vibration. On paper it is not possible to discern, but having practice all three of these systems for years I discovered that the place in ourselves where vibrations emanate is a courser level than the level of pure consciousness. Brahman is the level of dreamless sleep, unconsciouness. Become aware of that is not nirvana which is completely lit and never unconscious.

Also, the Sravaka method of anapanasati is very fast and leads in a matter of days to whichever result Vajrayana and Dzogchen says takes a whole life or more. They are dragged down by these vibration concentration schemes. Even Mahamudra and Dzogchen in their pure forms, meditating "on emptiness," are dealing with the level of mind and thoughts, where they arises and disappear. This is not the path to nirvana either. You are still dealing with the level of fluctuation. In a real sense, these methods incorporation of Vedism and the use of such types of methodology, invariably leads to the Deva realms and not beyond samsara. It is their views about not the extreme of nirvana and not the extreme of samsara that keeps them in samsara.

It seems to me that you've confused yourself by trying to follow too many systems. Firstly, the Vajrayāna is merely a subset of the Mahāyāna employing skillful means. Secondly, the Dzogchen tantras have been considered controversial throughout their history in Tibet and there is no evidence that they were ever propagated or accepted in Buddhist India. Thirdly, I'd suggest that if you want to understand the Mahāyāna on its own terms you find a reputable Gelugpa lama and study Śāntideva's Śikṣāsamuccaya and Bodhicaryāvatāra for a few years (and practice accordingly).
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby suttametta » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:28 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:It seems to me that you've confused yourself by trying to follow too many systems. Firstly, the Vajrayāna is merely a subset of the Mahāyāna employing skillful means. Secondly, the Dzogchen tantras have been considered controversial throughout their history in Tibet and there is no evidence that they were ever propagated or accepted in Buddhist India. Thirdly, I'd suggest that if you want to understand the Mahāyāna on its own terms you find a reputable Gelugpa lama and study Śāntideva's Śikṣāsamuccaya and Bodhicaryāvatāra for a few years (and practice accordingly).


I'm not at all confused. You're perhaps uncomfortable with my assertions. It's okay. I don't expect folks to agree. I have the transmission of the two texts you cite and have practiced them for many years from Kagyu which is very strong in Mahayana. I'm aware Vajrayana is a subset of Mahayana. I was making the point that Vajrayana employs methods more similar to Vedism than general Mahayana. I have transmission of 84 Mahasiddha methods that you won't ever have heard of. The transmissions I have are not ordinary. My teachers from the Kagyu and Nyingmpa have told me that I've realized Mahamudra and Dzogchen. My teachers from Vedanta also told me I have full knowledge of that system. All have authorized me to teach, including my Theravada teacher. Experience is the greatest teacher. I understand you are also very well experienced. My direct experience with Vedism has given me great clarity about where that path leads and whether Mahayana is really different or not.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Nyana » Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:11 pm

suttametta wrote:I'm not at all confused.... My direct experience with Vedism has given me great clarity about where that path leads and whether Mahayana is really different or not.

Yes, well, this isn't an appropriate forum to go into such things, but Bhāviveka, Śāntarakṣita, Kamalaśīla, et al, have already systematically refuted the views of Vedānta, Mimāṃsā, etc. Of course, you're certainly free to create any conceptual synthesis of different systems that you wish, but it's inaccurate to assert that your hybrids represent Mahāyāna teachings and practices.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Dan74 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:27 am

Thank you for your interesting post, suttametta.

There are several issues I have with it that perhaps you can help me with.

First a disclaimer - I am not a Vajrayana practitioner and my knowledge there is very limited. My primary practice is Korean Zen.

My first issue is whether the limitations of Vajra practice as you describe are really the limitations of your teachers rather than Vajrayana or Mahayana in general. Or perhaps even of your understanding. The reason I say this is that Sunyata (Emptiness) teachings and non-abiding which are pivotal in Mahayana go against what you are describing here.

My second issue is with the high credentials you claim. Under the circumstances and given the importance of what you have put across here, could I ask you to introduce yourself with your real name and the name of your teachers who have given you the empowerments you mentioned, the recognition and authorization to teach?

My practice is very basic and I have no authority to claim higher or lower attainments within a particular path or another. But little that I have learned and experienced does not gel with your description of Mahayana or the little exposure I have had to Vajrayana.

Looking forward to your post.




suttametta wrote:From Mahayana to Vajrayana (and Dzogchen) what you have is an increasingly global synthesis of Buddhism and Vedism. Once the method of anapanasati is changed from a mindfulness method to focusing on the breath as an object, then one begins to enter into the genre of practices begun in Pre-Vedic ages of focusing on objects, like mantras, images, etc., which are in essence a manner of concentrating on vibration.

Then, it becomes natural to synthesize Vedic ideas that flow from such experiences, like Brahman in Sanatana Dharma. How the Dharmakaya is a species of Sanatana dharma is where in Mahayana and Vajrayana the seed syllable is said to emanate from the Dharmakaya, as in the case of the Prajnaparamita of a Single Sound, etc., where mantras and dharanis become used. This comes from an Upanishadic notion about the nature of AUM. The Dzogchen Tantras explicitly describe themselves in the same way the Vedas describe themselves, as emanating from the primordial origin of the universe, namely sound.

Here we have a line in the sand. In Vedism you are focusing on vibration. One is supposed to trace the vibration back to the origin and find Brahman. Whereas, in Buddhism you are mindful of breathing, etc., to recognize pure consciousness without surface or feature with is Nirvana, no vibration. On paper it is not possible to discern, but having practice all three of these systems for years I discovered that the place in ourselves where vibrations emanate is a courser level than the level of pure consciousness. Brahman is the level of dreamless sleep, unconsciouness. Become aware of that is not nirvana which is completely lit and never unconscious.

Also, the Sravaka method of anapanasati is very fast and leads in a matter of days to whichever result Vajrayana and Dzogchen says takes a whole life or more. They are dragged down by these vibration concentration schemes. Even Mahamudra and Dzogchen in their pure forms, meditating "on emptiness," are dealing with the level of mind and thoughts, where they arises and disappear. This is not the path to nirvana either. You are still dealing with the level of fluctuation. In a real sense, these methods incorporation of Vedism and the use of such types of methodology, invariably leads to the Deva realms and not beyond samsara. It is their views about not the extreme of nirvana and not the extreme of samsara that keeps them in samsara.

Subsequently, I realized the explanations in Mahayana denigrating the Sravaka introduces doubt about the Sravaka's method and prevents success in that method due to that doubt. Which means Mahayana is hindrance.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:01 pm

whynotme wrote:What do you think about Mahayana? Do you consider it part of Buddism?


Yes, I regard it as another turning of the wheel, and equally valid.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby suttametta » Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:34 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
suttametta wrote:I'm not at all confused.... My direct experience with Vedism has given me great clarity about where that path leads and whether Mahayana is really different or not.

Yes, well, this isn't an appropriate forum to go into such things, but Bhāviveka, Śāntarakṣita, Kamalaśīla, et al, have already systematically refuted the views of Vedānta, Mimāṃsā, etc. Of course, you're certainly free to create any conceptual synthesis of different systems that you wish, but it's inaccurate to assert that your hybrids represent Mahāyāna teachings and practices.


You know, arguments ultimately don't penetrate the issue. It comes down to the method and result. That's why in my humble opinion, these commentators are irrelevant.

Let me ask you something. Does an Arahat have the cognitive obscuration?
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby suttametta » Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:07 pm

Dan74 wrote:...that Sunyata (Emptiness) teachings and non-abiding which are pivotal in Mahayana go against what you are describing here.


Non-abiding is an epithet for Brahman.

My second issue is with the high credentials you claim. Under the circumstances and given the importance of what you have put across here, could I ask you to introduce yourself with your real name and the name of your teachers who have given you the empowerments you mentioned, the recognition and authorization to teach?


I'm Paul Nathan Puri. As to Vajrayana, my teacher is Drubpon Gonpo Dorje Rinpoche since 2008. Others teachers here include Drubpon Rinchen Dorje, Khenchen Konchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche, Garchen Rinpoche, HH Chetsang Rinpoche and HH Taklung Matul Rinpoche. I have received empowerments of Chakarasamvara and Vajrayogini from the Drikung Kagyu lineage, including a transmission of a very secret Vajrayogini method given to Lawapa by Vajrayogini known as "White Lotus and Single A." It is a method whereby one can realize Mahamudra if practiced for one half a day, only a handful of people have been given this transmission, three of whom are the Holinesses and Garchen Rinpoche. I've received a vast amount of oral instruction on Mahamudra, especially Gampopa's pith instructions for example to Dusum Khyenpa, and Lord Jigten Sumgon's Profound Inner Methods. Here I also received the practice of Santideva. I've practiced Dzogchen through Kunsang Dechen Linpa Rinpoche, ChNN, and my own visionary dreams and experiences I had in childhood, mainly focused on Nyingthig and Zhang Zhung Nyen Gyud style. I've followed several different Theravada teachers, but the one I really agreed with is more recent, Madawala Punnaji. He told me if I want to teach his system to put it in my own words. I received tantra and Vedanta from my family lineage beginning in 1980. There are many sadhus who ascribe to it because it is very ancient.

My practice is very basic and I have no authority to claim higher or lower attainments within a particular path or another. But little that I have learned and experienced does not gel with your description of Mahayana or the little exposure I have had to Vajrayana.


I'm not really in favor of notions of high and low attainments. I'm not claiming I have a high attainment. I'm claiming I've understood what I've been taught and understood what demonstrated to me through methods.

I don't mention these things lightly. I'm not surprised at all that you and others would disagree with me. I am only doing my best to be honest with myself and others about what I see.

What I see is that Buddha's teachings on the way to Nibbana is a special case and stands alone in terms of practice and result. There is vast interrelatedness with all these other systems I've mentioned both in terms of practice and result. It's not something that can be ferreted out by means of argumentation. One has to feel the difference between a cool still pool and a swirling warm pool. Experience is the arbiter here.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby daverupa » Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:13 pm

suttametta wrote:Experience is the arbiter here.


Well, I wonder about this, given that the Brahmajala Sutta teaches us that experience, in and of itself, can be quite misleading. The majority of views discussed there are a result of meditative attainment of one sort or another, experiences which are not rejected in and of themselves.

No, it is that such clingable conclusions as are based on these experiences are problematic, sustained as they are by craving and conceiving. Ultimately, we are taught that these views are all conditioned by contact. They are, altogether, "the feeling of those who do not know and do not see; that is only the agitation and vacillation of those who are immersed in craving."

Experience is a problem when it is laden with ignorance in this way. Yoniso manasikara is required; without it, the experience of a putthujana can mislead just as easily as it can inform. Seeing correctly with wisdom takes effort, as experiences can be interpreted in innumerable ways, many of which are unwholesome.

Just by way of example, one can examine ones experiences for the presence of the asavas, which is kusala. Or, one can examine ones experiences for details on a/the self, which is akusala. The experience of the six senses is a given in each case, but the route of inquiry makes all the difference, which is the value of the Teaching.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby suttametta » Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:31 pm

daverupa wrote:
suttametta wrote:Experience is the arbiter here.


Well, I wonder about this, given that the Brahmajala Sutta teaches us that experience, in and of itself, can be quite misleading. The majority of views discussed there are a result of meditative attainment of one sort or another, experiences which are not rejected in and of themselves.

No, it is that such clingable conclusions as are based on these experiences are problematic, sustained as they are by craving and conceiving. Ultimately, we are taught that these views are all conditioned by contact. They are, altogether, "the feeling of those who do not know and do not see; that is only the agitation and vacillation of those who are immersed in craving."

Experience is a problem when it is laden with ignorance in this way. Yoniso manasikara is required; without it, the experience of a putthujana can mislead just as easily as it can inform. Seeing correctly with wisdom takes effort, as experiences can be interpreted in innumerable ways, many of which are unwholesome.

Just by way of example, one can examine ones experiences for the presence of the asavas, which is kusala. Or, one can examine ones experiences for details on a/the self, which is akusala. The experience of the six senses is a given in each case, but the route of inquiry makes all the difference, which is the value of the Teaching.


I understand, but there's really no way for someone to recognize "consciousness without surface or feature," without some manner of experiential faculty. Nibbana is to be experienced and seen first hand.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Nyana » Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:29 pm

suttametta wrote:You know, arguments ultimately don't penetrate the issue. It comes down to the method and result. That's why in my humble opinion, these commentators are irrelevant.

Right view accords with reason. Which is why, when you to claim:

suttametta wrote:Experience is the arbiter here.

This assertion is a rather pointless appeal when the person(s) you are in discussion with don't acknowledge the existence of the reality that you claim to have experienced.

suttametta wrote:That's why in my humble opinion, these commentators are irrelevant.

And this statement illustrates that your opinions are not in accord with the teachings of the Indian Mahāyāna commentarial traditions.

suttametta wrote:Let me ask you something. Does an Arahat have the cognitive obscuration?

Irrelevant question, but at any rate, all extant commentarial traditions including the Theravāda maintain that an arahant disciple does not have omniscient knowledge.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby suttametta » Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:01 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:Right view accords with reason.


Not just reason, wisdom. That is discovered within.

Ñāṇa wrote:This assertion is a rather pointless appeal when the person(s) you are in discussion with don't acknowledge the existence of the reality that you claim to have experienced.


What existence is that?

Ñāṇa wrote:And this statement illustrates that your opinions are not in accord with the teachings of the Indian Mahāyāna commentarial traditions.


When Vasubhandu came out, he was not in accord with any commentarial traditions either, or Nagarjuna. When Buddha came out, he certainly wasn't either. Commentarial traditions are only for reference. They are not authoritative. In the legal profession, relying on commentarial literature, when it contradicts the authoritative literature, is malpractice. As a practitioner it is one's duty to ensure that one has not run afoul the authority. The situation with regard to Suttas is the same, as it mentions in the Maha-Parinibbana Sutta.

Ñāṇa wrote:Irrelevant question, but at any rate, all extant commentarial traditions including the Theravāda maintain that an arahant disciple does not have omniscient knowledge.


The commentarial literature has run afoul the authoritative literature. It is most definitely not an irrelevant question if we are to judge correctly the value of the Sutta methodology. If you believe the Suttas, then you get the picture of an Arahant-Sammasambuddha. Then one can look at the claims coming from the commentarial side including the Mahayana with a much more critical eye.

I take it, then, you hold that the Arahant has a cognitive obscuration. If Arahants are obscured, then, in my view, the suttas do not tell a path to awakening. Because they say they do, then they would be lies. The Mahayana specifically refutes that Arahants have dispelled ignorance. The Suttas claim they have. Both cannot be right. I would urge that, for good reason, the Pali Sutta Buddha did not make a distinction that Arahants have the cognitive obscuration or only understand the emptiness of persons and not the emptiness of things. He was specifically assuring everyone that he held nothing back, and they have what he has.

When viewed from this lens, the practices of Mahayana and Vajrayana in particular come into focus as being syncretic modes, attempts to use Vedism as a path to bodhi. They use a monistic or pan-theistic trend in that line of practice, which the practice of Guru Yoga is the best exemplar, as expressed to me by Garchen Rinpoche.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Nyana » Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:45 pm

suttametta wrote:When viewed from this lens, the practices of Mahayana and Vajrayana in particular come into focus as being syncretic modes, attempts to use Vedism as a path to bodhi. They use a monistic or pan-theistic trend in that line of practice, which the practice of Guru Yoga is the best exemplar, as expressed to me by Garchen Rinpoche.

Monism, pantheism, Vedānta, Mimāṃsā, etc., are all quite incompatible with right view. And without right view there can be no path to bodhi. Again, this has been explained at length by numerous Mahāyāna commentators. Your idiosyncratic opinions are not representative of the Mahāyāna teachings, period.
Nyana
 
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