The Mahayana believes that a Buddha has no consciousness but acts based on past merit and volition

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
User avatar
Tutareture
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2020 3:08 am

The Mahayana believes that a Buddha has no consciousness but acts based on past merit and volition

Post by Tutareture »

Does this make sence?is this possible?if not,why not ?
User avatar
Aloka
Posts: 7010
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:51 pm

Re: The Mahayana believes that a Buddha has no consciousness but acts based on past merit and volition

Post by Aloka »

Tutareture wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 8:33 am Does this make sence?is this possible?if not,why not ?
Where did this statement originate? Is it a quote from somewhere or your own conclusion? ...if so, please provide some evidence.

Dharma Wheel Mayahana/Vajrayana forum might also be a better place to post it, especially as your username is part of a Tibetan Buddhist mantra! https://www.dharmawheel.net/

.
SteRo
Posts: 3550
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:27 am
Location: अ धीः

Re: The Mahayana believes that a Buddha has no consciousness but acts based on past merit and volition

Post by SteRo »

Tutareture wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 8:33 am Does this make sence?is this possible?if not,why not ?
Countless mahayana sects have countless beliefs.
Exhaling अ and inhaling धीः amounts to བྷྲཱུཾ་བི་ཤྭ་བི་ཤུད་དྷེ
User avatar
Aloka
Posts: 7010
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:51 pm

Re: The Mahayana believes that a Buddha has no consciousness but acts based on past merit and volition

Post by Aloka »

SteRo wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:04 am
Tutareture wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 8:33 am Does this make sence?is this possible?if not,why not ?
Countless mahayana sects have countless beliefs.
The sky can be full of clouds.


.
User avatar
Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta
Posts: 1270
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2019 5:06 pm

Re: The Mahayana believes that a Buddha has no consciousness but acts based on past merit and volition

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta »

.


Maybe because He is Nothing & being Empty :lol: It sounds quite logical.



:heart:
.


🅢🅐🅑🅑🅔 🅓🅗🅐🅜🅜🅐 🅐🅝🅐🅣🅣🅐

Self ...
  • "an entirely and perfectly foolish idea" :D ~ MN22
Spiny Norman
Posts: 7658
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: Andromeda looks nice

Re: The Mahayana believes that a Buddha has no consciousness but acts based on past merit and volition

Post by Spiny Norman »

Tutareture wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 8:33 am Does this make sence?is this possible?if not,why not ?
Doesn't the Heart Sutra say that the aggregates are empty? Including consciousness.
Attachments
2014-Thich-Nhat-Hanh-New-Heart-Sutra-letter-cc.pdf
(34.54 KiB) Downloaded 3 times
Buddha save me from new-agers!
Dan74
Posts: 3488
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: The Mahayana believes that a Buddha has no consciousness but acts based on past merit and volition

Post by Dan74 »

Spiny Norman wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:15 am
Tutareture wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 8:33 am Does this make sence?is this possible?if not,why not ?
Doesn't the Heart Sutra say that the aggregates are empty? Including consciousness.
Empty means don't have own-essence, in Theravada terms, dependently originated. So consciousness being empty, does not imply that there is no consciousness anymore than it implies that the chair I'm sitting on, which is also "empty" (but also full!) does not exist.

Emptiness is about perceiving correctly, not in the static "reified" manner.
Last edited by Dan74 on Sun Nov 22, 2020 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
_/|\_
Spiny Norman
Posts: 7658
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: Andromeda looks nice

Re: The Mahayana believes that a Buddha has no consciousness but acts based on past merit and volition

Post by Spiny Norman »

Dan74 wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 12:48 pm
Spiny Norman wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:15 am
Tutareture wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 8:33 am Does this make sence?is this possible?if not,why not ?
Doesn't the Heart Sutra say that the aggregates are empty? Including consciousness.
Empty means don't have own-essence, in Theravada terms, dependently originated. So consciousness being empty, does not imply that there is no consciousness anymore than the chair I'm sitting on, which is also "empty" (but also full!)
Yes, that was my point. Empty doesn't mean not existing at all, it means not existing independently, or existing in dependence upon conditions.

I don't know what the OP question is based on.
Buddha save me from new-agers!
User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 3255
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:55 pm
Location: Whitby, Canada

Re: The Mahayana believes that a Buddha has no consciousness but acts based on past merit and volition

Post by Coëmgenu »

Aloka wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 8:40 am
Tutareture wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 8:33 am Does this make sence?is this possible?if not,why not ?
Where did this statement originate? Is it a quote from somewhere or your own conclusion? ...if so, please provide some evidence.
This is a Tantric stance. I'll get Malcolm quoted pontificating on it in a second. This is always a huge fight between East Asian and Tibetan Buddhisms, i.e. whether or not Buddhas have independent minds of their own.

Ven Nichiren, due to his status as an exiled and disgraced Taimitsu priest, also believes the Tantric narrative that Buddhas have no minds of their own:
Though muddy water has no mind, it can catch the moon’s reflection and so naturally becomes clear. When plants and trees receive the rainfall, they can hardly be aware of what they are doing, and yet do they not proceed to put forth blossoms? The five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo do not represent the sutra text, nor are they its meaning. They are nothing other than the intent of the entire sutra. So, even though the beginners in Buddhist practice may not understand their significance, by practicing these five characters, they will naturally conform to the sutra’s intent.
(WND 1:94)

This is extra-contextualized when we know that as a Taimitsu priest, Ven Nichiren believes every hanzi in the Chinese translation of the Lotus Sutra is its own Buddha. There are Taimitsu-influenced printings of the Lotus Sutra where every ideogram within is housed in a bodhimanda under a bodhi tree. How much moreso the five ideograms Ven Nichiren believes to be the mystical heart of the Lotus? (Isn't it interesting how Tendai develops a textual-mysticism kind of similar to how Kabbalistic Jews use gematria on their scriptures?)

I'm still looking for Malcolm's quote on the matter that I remember from the last time this fight happened on DharmaWheel.
The thus come thus gone,
who has neither came nor went,
enthroned on men’s breath,

like the still turtle,
withdraws six appendages
and is clothed in light --

illuminating
the unilluminated
with three shining cures.
User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 3255
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:55 pm
Location: Whitby, Canada

Re: The Mahayana believes that a Buddha has no consciousness but acts based on past merit and volition

Post by Coëmgenu »

I'm still looking for the quote, but to clarify, I am responding to the OP as the stance that the Buddha has no mind, not that his activities are fruitions of his past karma. I missed that detail the first time.

EDIT: here it is. https://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.p ... 88#p423988 I remembered backwards. It's not that they have no mind. It is that they do not perceive our reality allegedly and merely respond to our karma etc that they are able to intuit as Buddhas rather than "perceiving" us. What they perceive appears to be a pure luminous nothing-or-something in these narratives. There is another "no mind" claim in the Pratyutpanna Samādhi Sutra, which refers to the Buddha as having destroyed conceptual cognition. In the Endless Exegesis (Anantanirdesasutra), the Buddha is described as "with passion submerged, with consciousness gone, and heart tranquil" (T276.384c20).
Last edited by Coëmgenu on Sun Nov 22, 2020 5:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
The thus come thus gone,
who has neither came nor went,
enthroned on men’s breath,

like the still turtle,
withdraws six appendages
and is clothed in light --

illuminating
the unilluminated
with three shining cures.
User avatar
Tutareture
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2020 3:08 am

Re: The Mahayana believes that a Buddha has no consciousness but acts based on past merit and volition

Post by Tutareture »

in cessation without remainder, even [sensation borne of wisdom-contact] is eternally destroyed. Thus it is said that in the realm of cessation without remainder, all sensations are destroyed, without remainder.

Samdhinirmocana Sutra
User avatar
Tutareture
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2020 3:08 am

Re: The Mahayana believes that a Buddha has no consciousness but acts based on past merit and volition

Post by Tutareture »

I remembered backwards. It's not that they have no mind. It is that they do not perceive our reality allegedly and merely respond to our karma etc that they are able to intuit as Buddhas rather than "perceiving" us. What they perceive appears to be a pure luminous nothing-or-something in these narratives
I have never heard this.wich sutras say they perceive a pure luminous something?I had always read that they have no Citta and no sensation or wisdom contact.
User avatar
DNS
Site Admin
Posts: 13508
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, Estados Unidos de América
Contact:

Re: The Mahayana believes that a Buddha has no consciousness but acts based on past merit and volition

Post by DNS »

It is at this point that the Buddha makes the second great revelation of the Lotus Sūtra (the first being that there is only one vehicle). In the next chapter, the Buddha explains that the world believes that he was born as a prince, left the palace in search of enlightenment, practiced austerities for six years, and achieved buddhahood near the city of Gayā. In fact, he achieved buddhahood incalculable aeons ago, and the life story that is so well known is yet another case of his skillful means; he was enlightened all the time, yet feigned those deeds to inspire the world. Not only was he enlightened long ago, his passage into nirvāṇa is not imminent. His lifespan is immeasurable: “I abide forever without entering parinirvāṇa.”
https://www.lionsroar.com/what-happens- ... scripture/
So apparently according to most Mahayana schools (all? not sure), the Buddha was already enlightened and went through "the motions" to inspire the masses. This is quite at odds with the Theravada account, where the Buddha is a human, who attains enlightenment one time in his final lifetime and becomes the Samma-Sam-Buddha of this dispensation and is not a cosmic Buddha.
User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 3255
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:55 pm
Location: Whitby, Canada

Re: The Mahayana believes that a Buddha has no consciousness but acts based on past merit and volition

Post by Coëmgenu »

The Lotus Sutra is a contrarian Mahayana text. It says that Śākyamuni never entered parinibbāna. It says he was enlightened aeons ago. The Lalitavistara is similar in this respect. It is also not an especially important scripture in Tibetan Buddhism, for instance. Similarly, it is not important in Zen AFAIK with the exception of some particular teachers who like it. It was not a definitive scripture of the now-defunct Flower Garland school. It is the highest scripture of the Tendai and Nichiren traditions, but how they read their scripture is anything but literal and intuitive.
The thus come thus gone,
who has neither came nor went,
enthroned on men’s breath,

like the still turtle,
withdraws six appendages
and is clothed in light --

illuminating
the unilluminated
with three shining cures.
User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 3255
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:55 pm
Location: Whitby, Canada

Re: The Mahayana believes that a Buddha has no consciousness but acts based on past merit and volition

Post by Coëmgenu »

Tutareture wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 8:09 pm
I remembered backwards. It's not that they have no mind. It is that they do not perceive our reality allegedly and merely respond to our karma etc that they are able to intuit as Buddhas rather than "perceiving" us. What they perceive appears to be a pure luminous nothing-or-something in these narratives
I have never heard this.wich sutras say they perceive a pure luminous something?I had always read that they have no Citta and no sensation or wisdom contact.
Sometimes those in the Shentong tradition make vague claims like that. I'll try to find a citation.
The thus come thus gone,
who has neither came nor went,
enthroned on men’s breath,

like the still turtle,
withdraws six appendages
and is clothed in light --

illuminating
the unilluminated
with three shining cures.
Post Reply