Is this Mahayana virtue dedication in line with Theravada?

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Is this Mahayana virtue dedication in line with Theravada?

Postby Prasadachitta » Wed Feb 11, 2009 6:41 am

"May the virtue in my acting thus go towards the alleviation of the suffering of all beings. My personality throughout my existences, my possessions, and the virtue of my actions of body speech and mind; may I give them up without regard to myself for the benefit of all beings. Just as the earth and other elements are functional in many ways to the infinite number of beings inhabiting limitless space and time, so may I become that which pacifies all beings situated throughout space and time so long as all have not attained to peace."

I think this comes from Shantideva who is a popular Figure from the Indian Mahayana. I generally get my conceptual understanding of what the Dhamma is from Pali suttas and there is allot I dont really resonate with when it comes to Shantideva, but I do regularly dedicate my practice along the lines I quoted above. So.... Im wondering If any Theravada practitioners find anything about this "prayer" that you think is out of line with the Pali Suttas. Of course the references to what is mine and myself are spoken of in the colloquial sense and not in any way meant to pertain to any ultimately self sustaining entity's.

Thanks...

Metta

Gabriel

PS: As you can probably tell I use "virtue" rather than "merit" because of these definition's(merriam-webster.com) of virtue...
1: conformity to a standard of right
3: the beneficial quality or power of a thing

Where as merit is defined as...
1: the qualities or actions that constitute the basis of one's deserts
2: spiritual credit held to be earned by performance of righteous acts and to ensure future benefits
Last edited by Prasadachitta on Wed Feb 11, 2009 6:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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Re: Is this Mahayana virtue dedication in line with Theravada?

Postby Jechbi » Wed Feb 11, 2009 6:51 am

I think it's wonderful.
:namaste:
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: Is this Mahayana virtue dedication in line with Theravada?

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:26 am

theres a chant we do everyday at temple that is a dedication of merit
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: Is this Mahayana virtue dedication in line with Theravada?

Postby mountain » Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:21 am

Gabe,
Perhaps you have a Theravada practice and a Mahayana heart. Thats wonderful to have such ideas. I am a devotee of Kuan Yin. At the end of each meditation session I recite the six sylable mantra and dedicate the merit to all sentient beings.
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Re: Is this Mahayana virtue dedication in line with Theravada?

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:22 am

mountain wrote:Gabe,
Perhaps you have a Theravada practice and a Mahayana heart. Thats wonderful to have such ideas. I am a devotee of Kuan Yin. At the end of each meditation session I recite the six sylable mantra and dedicate the merit to all sentient beings.
John

how did you pick up this practice?
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: Is this Mahayana virtue dedication in line with Theravada?

Postby mountain » Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:41 am

Well its not so easy to put in a few words. Early on I met both Theravada and Mahayana monks. Serendipity perhaps. The sound of Om Mani Padme Hum always felt pleasing.
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Re: Is this Mahayana virtue dedication in line with Theravada?

Postby kc2dpt » Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:56 pm

gabrielbranbury wrote:Im wondering If any Theravada practitioners find anything about this "prayer" that you think is out of line with the Pali Suttas.

Here's my thoughts...

gabrielbranbury wrote:"May the virtue in my acting thus go towards the alleviation of the suffering of all beings. My personality throughout my existences, my possessions, and the virtue of my actions of body speech and mind; may I give them up without regard to myself for the benefit of all beings."

Nothing incompatable here. Just as long as you include yourself in "all beings". The suttas teach that trying to benefit others at the expense of oneself is ultimately untenable.

gabrielbranbury wrote:"Just as the earth and other elements are functional in many ways to the infinite number of beings inhabiting limitless space and time, so may I become that which pacifies all beings situated throughout space and time so long as all have not attained to peace."

This bit seems out of line with the suttas. Even the Buddha Gotama himself did not do this. He certainly didn't exhort his followers to do this.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
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Re: Is this Mahayana virtue dedication in line with Theravada?

Postby Prasadachitta » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:29 pm

Peter wrote:Nothing incompatable here. Just as long as you include yourself in "all beings". The suttas teach that trying to benefit others at the expense of oneself is ultimately untenable.

gabrielbranbury wrote:"Just as the earth and other elements are functional in many ways to the infinite number of beings inhabiting limitless space and time, so may I become that which pacifies all beings situated throughout space and time so long as all have not attained to peace."

This bit seems out of line with the suttas. Even the Buddha Gotama himself did not do this. He certainly didn't exhort his followers to do this.


Hi Peter,

Yes I would be included in "all beings". As far as what the Buddha did. Didnt he say somewhere "One who sees the Dhamma, sees me. One who sees me, sees the Dhamma."? I expect it could only be the Dhamma which pacifies all beings. So as far as I can tell the Buddha told us we would understand what and who he was by understanding that which brings peace, unbinding, and liberation to beings.

Metta

Gabriel
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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Re: Is this Mahayana virtue dedication in line with Theravada?

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Feb 15, 2009 8:28 am

Greetings,

See also:

Khp7: Tirokudda Kanda (Hungry Shades Outside the Walls)
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... html#khp-7

Outside the walls they stand,
& at crossroads.
At door posts they stand,
returning to their old homes.
But when a meal with plentiful food & drink is served,
no one remembers them:
Such is the kamma of living beings.

Thus those who feel sympathy for their dead relatives
give timely donations of proper food & drink
— exquisite, clean —
[thinking:] "May this be for our relatives.
May our relatives be happy!"

And those who have gathered there,
the assembled shades of the relatives,
with appreciation give their blessing
for the plentiful food & drink:
"May our relatives live long
because of whom we have gained [this gift].
We have been honored,
and the donors are not without reward!"

For there [in their realm] there's
no farming,
no herding of cattle,
no commerce,
no trading with money.
They live on what is given here,
hungry shades
whose time here is done.

As water raining on a hill
flows down to the valley,
even so does what is given here
benefit the dead.
As rivers full of water
fill the ocean full,
even so does what is given here
benefit the dead.

"He gave to me, she acted on my behalf,
they were my relatives, companions, friends":
Offerings should be given for the dead
when one reflects thus
on things done in the past.
For no weeping,
no sorrowing
no other lamentation
benefits the dead
whose relatives persist in that way.
But when this offering is given, well-placed in the Sangha,
it works for their long-term benefit
and they profit immediately.

In this way the proper duty to relatives has been shown,
great honor has been done to the dead,
and monks have been given strength:

The merit you've acquired
isn't small.


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: Is this Mahayana virtue dedication in line with Theravada?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Feb 15, 2009 8:41 am

Didnt he say somewhere "One who sees the Dhamma, sees me. One who sees me, sees the Dhamma."?


One who sees the Dhamma sees me, one who sees the me sees the Dhamma. SN iii 120/ 22.87.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Is this Mahayana virtue dedication in line with Theravada?

Postby Heavenstorm » Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:05 pm

Read the metta sutta, guys, you will be surprised at the familiarity at some of the methods/practices that it strongly recommends. No doubt, there is a high chance that the dedication from Mahayana practices shares a similar source somewhere in the past.

And metta is one of the ten perfections for the Bodhisattva path in Theravada.
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Re: Is this Mahayana virtue dedication in line with Theravada?

Postby Prasadachitta » Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:37 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Didnt he say somewhere "One who sees the Dhamma, sees me. One who sees me, sees the Dhamma."?


One who sees the Dhamma sees me, one who sees the me sees the Dhamma. SN iii 120/ 22.87.


Thank you Tilt
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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Re: Is this Mahayana virtue dedication in line with Theravada?

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Sun Feb 15, 2009 8:51 pm

Peter wrote:
Nothing incompatable here. Just as long as you include yourself in "all beings". The suttas teach that trying to benefit others at the expense of oneself is ultimately untenable.Just as long as you include yourself in "all beings".


I've become so fond of your postings, Peter. There are in fact many Mahayana people who need to read this ^^^

Sometimes people consider the surface of words instead of the heart of them, I think. Not everyone, just some.
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Re: Is this Mahayana virtue dedication in line with Theravada?

Postby cooran » Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:12 pm

Hello all,

This merit-sharing ceremony, according to the Tirokuddha Sutta, was introduced by the Buddha himself in order to help King Bimbisara of Magadha in sharing merits with his deceased relatives who had been reborn among the spirits who subsist on the offerings of others.

Then there is this:
The Significance of Transference of Merits to the Departed
http://www.sinc.sunysb.edu/Clubs/buddhi ... da/307.htm
but also:
Merits - Can they be transferred? ~ By Ven Aggacitta
http://sasanarakkha.org/dhamma/2007/03/ ... erred.html

metta
Chris
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