Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

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Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Yes, all the time
14
20%
Sometimes, in passing
30
43%
No, I only read the Tipitaka
26
37%
 
Total votes : 70

Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby mettafuture » Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:01 pm

:meditate:
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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby meindzai » Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:04 pm

Maybe should have included "used to." :)

-M
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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby mettafuture » Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:21 pm

meindzai wrote:Maybe should have included "used to." :)

-M

Doh! I knew I forgot an option. lol.

But since you no longer read them, I guess that could qualify as a "no."
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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby Sanghamitta » Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:45 pm

No , but I did once read The Lord Of The Rings.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.
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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby meindzai » Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:46 pm

mettafuture wrote:
meindzai wrote:Maybe should have included "used to." :)

-M

Doh! I knew I forgot an option. lol.

But since you no longer read them, I guess that could qualify as a "no."


I guess, but I haven't ruled out the possibility that I will again, so I put "sometimes." Such temporal discinctions are often matters of interpretation.

RIMMER: Constantly fails the exam? I'd hardly call eleven times
"constantly." I mean, if you eat roast beef eleven times in your life,
one would hardly say that person constantly eats roast beef. No, it
would be a rare, nay, freak occurrence.

-M
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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby meindzai » Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:49 pm

Sanghamitta wrote:No , but I did once read The Lord Of The Rings.


And there fell a celestial rain of Mandâravas, while the drums (of heaven) resounded without being struck; the gods and elves in the sky paid honour to the highest of men.


Oh wait,that's the Lotus Sutra! (probably not a very good translation though...)

-M
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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby Sanghamitta » Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:02 pm

Naughty.. :smile:
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby jcsuperstar » Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:07 pm

meindzai wrote:
Sanghamitta wrote:No , but I did once read The Lord Of The Rings.


And there fell a celestial rain of Mandâravas, while the drums (of heaven) resounded without being struck; the gods and elves in the sky paid honour to the highest of men.


Oh wait,that's the Lotus Sutra! (probably not a very good translation though...)

-M

way to steal my joke...
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby Kenshou » Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:14 pm

Used to. Though there came to a point where I started to understand the divisions between the schools of Buddhism, and then I happened to notice that most of the sutras/suttas that actually made sense to me were all coming out of the Tipitaka. And though it isn't the same as sutras, I still read koans once and awhile. I've still got a fondness for Chan/Zen and like their literature, but in practice I put Theravada at the top.

Some of the Mahayana sutras can be so funny though;

The Best Sutra Ever

And the Buddha spoke to the assembly:
"I am about to speak the greatest Sutra ever."
"This is the best Sutra ever, this Sutra is really great."
"If you study this Sutra diligently 10,000 times, you will be Enlightened in this life."
"If you fail to do so, you will surely spend many kalpas in Hell.
"This marks the end of the Best Sutra Ever.


Okay, great, but where's the content? :thinking: Maybe a Westerner like me just can't interpret the imagery, but I think I'll go read the Pali Canon instead, *cough*...
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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby bodom » Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:45 pm

I enjoy the Platform Sutra and the Heart Sutra, Red Pines translation's.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:32 pm

I answered "no", because I don't.
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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby theravada_guy » Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:47 pm

Greetings all,

I second what mawkish said.
With metta,

Justin
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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby mettafuture » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:04 pm

I answered sometimes because I'm very selective about the ones I read. I don't bother with most Mahayana Sutras, especially the ones that claim to be the words of Siddhartha Gautama. Most of those texts, in my opinion, are counterfeit. However, I do believe that there have been other great thinkers since the Buddha, and I always keep an open spot on my bookshelf for their writings.
Last edited by mettafuture on Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:08 pm

Greetings,

I don't read them, though once I read a book called Starmaker by Olaf Stapledon, of which Sangharakshita said...

I was staying in Bombay with a Polish friend of mine who happened to be a follower of J.Krishnamurti. One day he gave me, when I was staying with him, a book to read and this was a book called "Star Maker" by Olaf Stapledon. It's a comparatively early but very good example indeed, of science fiction. And my friend said to me, "You will like this very much. It's just like a Mahayana Sutra." And indeed when I read it I found that that was quite a fair description of it. Of course, there is a great deal of difference between the Mahayana Sutras and even the best of science fiction because the former have a very definite spiritual, not to say transcendental, content. But there are a number of important resemblances too, because neither the Mahayana Sutras generally nor science fiction is confined to this particular planet, this particular Earth. Both of them tend to show consciousness, Man himself as ranging up and down time, and throughout space, from one side as it were to the other. And this can be a very liberating experience even if only imaginatively realised.


Source: http://www.freebuddhistaudio.com/texts/ ... =jewel&p=7

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby Kare » Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:46 pm

I have read lots of Mahayana texts - but found them more and more superfluous and unnecessary. Some, like the Lotus Sutra, are downright disgusting. Still I can enjoy some of the beautiful paradoxes in the Lankavatara Sutra, or the deep and sincere feelings expressed in the Bodhicaryavatara, or the penetrating insights of for instance Vasubandhu in his Madhyantavibhagashastra. There is, however, a cathegory of Mahayana texts that have meant a lot to me, and that is Zen stories. In these stories there often are poignant pointers to reality that are easily recognizable from a Vipassana point of view.
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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby meindzai » Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:17 pm

Vimilikirti is quite funny, if you are not offended easily.

-M
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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby mettafuture » Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:29 pm

Kare wrote:I have read lots of Mahayana texts - but found them more and more superfluous and unnecessary. Some, like the Lotus Sutra, are downright disgusting.

Hahaha. :D

Still I can enjoy some of the beautiful paradoxes in the Lankavatara Sutra, or the deep and sincere feelings expressed in the Bodhicaryavatara, or the penetrating insights of for instance Vasubandhu in his Madhyantavibhagashastra. There is, however, a cathegory of Mahayana texts that have meant a lot to me, and that is Zen stories. In these stories there often are poignant pointers to reality that are easily recognizable from a Vipassana point of view.

I agree with what was said here. Zen is a great resource. I especially enjoy the Lankavatara Sutra, Dogen Zenji's Shobogenzo, and many of the koans.

meindzai wrote:Vimilikirti is quite funny, if you are not offended easily.

-M

I don't think I've read that sutra. How is it offensive?
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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby meindzai » Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:27 pm

mettafuture wrote:
meindzai wrote:Vimilikirti is quite funny, if you are not offended easily.

-M

I don't think I've read that sutra. How is it offensive?


(Vimalakirti - I spelled it wrong)

It basically spoofs on a lot of the Buddha's chief disciples (Sariputta, Mogallana, and a few others) as being somewhat clueless in comparison to the householder Vimalikirti.

-M
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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby zavk » Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:13 am

I think the study of suttas is best performed together with the right supporting conditions--i.e. with the guidance of a teacher, with the support of a sangha, as part of a study group, etc. Without these supporting conditions, the understanding of the texts would be limited. All sorts of misunderstanding could easily arise. In my own experience, my understanding of Theravadin Suttas has been greatly influenced by these supporting conditions.

I am not practicing Mahayana so I obviously do not have these kinds of support. For this reason, I have refrained from reading Mahayana Sutras (in their entirety).

I have, however, read quite a few critical studies of Mahayana texts, and through these studies I have been introduced to bits and pieces of various Mahayana Sutras. What little I have read has been useful in terms of my overall understanding of the Dhamma.
With metta,
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Re: Do you also read Mahayana Sutras?

Postby Dan74 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:51 am

I obviously do read Mahayana sutras, being a Mahayana practitioner. Not quite "all the time" but often.

There are different classes of sutras. Those focusing on emptiness (shunyata), the so-called Prajnaparamita Sutras, like the Heart Sutra and the Diamond Sutra (no Spade or Cross Sutras, sorry, these belong to a different category). There are also sutras that have more to do with the Mind-Only school, like Lankavatara, or more with Bodhisattvahood or Non-duality like Vimalakirti Nirdesa.

There are also sutras that focus on meditation like The Complete Enlightenment Sutra and Surangama (which also goes into other matters).

I've read Zen (Chan) material more but it actually makes a lot more sense after some sutric background. For those baffled by Zen, it may be worth keeping in mind that a lot of the material around is very advanced. Whereas letters of Zen masters written to followers of different levels are often much more accessible (like Yuan Wu's and his disciple Ta Hui's letters).

Caveat: I am no scholar and my knowledge is extremely patchy and understanding virtually nil. So beware!

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