Guanyin

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
simsapa
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Guanyin

Post by simsapa »

Do you all think that a being like Guanyin / Avalokiteshvara could exist within a Theravada worldview?
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Re: Guanyin

Post by form »

Watch this.

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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: Guanyin

Post by Lucas Oliveira »

I participate in this forum using Google Translator. http://translate.google.com.br

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chownah
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Re: Guanyin

Post by chownah »

I think this should be in the Connections to Other Paths subforum.....unless guanyin is mentioned in the pali tipitaka.
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Re: Guanyin

Post by SteRo »

simsapa wrote: Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:14 am Do you all think that a being like Guanyin / Avalokiteshvara could exist within a Theravada worldview?
Obviously:
Theravāda account

Veneration of Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva has continued to the present day in Sri Lanka:

In times past both Tantrayana and Mahayana have been found in some of the Theravada countries, but today the Buddhism of Ceylon, Burma, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia is almost exclusively Theravada, based on the Pali Canon. The only Mahayana deity that has entered the worship of ordinary Buddhists in Theravada countries is Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. In Ceylon he is known as Natha-deva and mistaken by the majority for the Buddha yet to come, Bodhisattva Maitreya. The figure of Avalokitesvara usually is found in the shrine room near the Buddha image.[21]

In more recent times, some western-educated Theravādins have attempted to identify Nātha with Maitreya Bodhisattva; however, traditions and basic iconography (including an image of Amitābha Buddha on the front of the crown) identify Nātha as Avalokiteśvara.[22] Andrew Skilton writes:[23]

... It is clear from sculptural evidence alone that the Mahāyāna was fairly widespread throughout [Sri Lanka], although the modern account of the history of Buddhism on the island presents an unbroken and pure lineage of Theravāda. (One can only assume that similar trends were transmitted to other parts of Southeast Asia with Sri Lankan ordination lineages.) Relics of an extensive cult of Avalokiteśvara can be seen in the present-day figure of Nātha.

Avalokiteśvara is popularly worshiped in Myanmar, where he is called Lokanat or lokabyuharnat, and Thailand, where he is called Lokesvara. The bodhisattva goes by many other names. In Indochina and Thailand, he is Lokesvara, "The Lord of the World." In Tibet he is Chenrezig, also spelled Spyan-ras gzigs, "With a Pitying Look." In China, the bodhisattva takes a female form and is called Guanyin (also spelled Kwan Yin, Kuanyin or Kwun Yum), "Hearing the Sounds of the World." In Japan, Guanyin is Kannon or Kanzeon; in Korea, Gwan-eum; in Vietnam, Quan Am.[24]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avalokite ... da_account
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whynotme
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Re: Guanyin

Post by whynotme »

simsapa wrote: Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:14 am Do you all think that a being like Guanyin / Avalokiteshvara could exist within a Theravada worldview?
No, most Mahayana bodhisattvas is overpowered like a Buddha, which is wrong.

If you read jataka tales of bodhisattva Gotama, he is nowhere near that level of a Buddha, even with his last human lives. A bodhisattva is similar to a scientist, once he found the nuclear power, he possesses a very powerful energy source, but before that, before becoming a Buddha or finding nuclear energy, he is just a normal being. Maybe with a little abilities, but nowhere as overpowered as mahayana bodhisattva.
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Kim OHara
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Re: Guanyin

Post by Kim OHara »

chownah wrote: Sun Jun 21, 2020 5:58 am I think this should be in the Connections to Other Paths subforum.....unless guanyin is mentioned in the pali tipitaka.
chownah
That's an astonishingly narrow view of Theravada, coming from someone who can visit dozens of very definitely Theravadin wats within a day's travel from home (unless I'm out of date with your place of residence) and find guanyin / avalokiteshvara prominently represented in at least half of them.
You would also find Ganesha, Shiva, nagas, garudas and other "non-Buddhist" gods and guardians, of course.
We need to get over the notion that Buddhism hasn't changed or (dare I say it) grown since Gautama's day.

:namaste:
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chownah
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Re: Guanyin

Post by chownah »

Kim OHara wrote: Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:45 am
chownah wrote: Sun Jun 21, 2020 5:58 am I think this should be in the Connections to Other Paths subforum.....unless guanyin is mentioned in the pali tipitaka.
chownah
That's an astonishingly narrow view of Theravada, coming from someone who can visit dozens of very definitely Theravadin wats within a day's travel from home (unless I'm out of date with your place of residence) and find guanyin / avalokiteshvara prominently represented in at least half of them.
You would also find Ganesha, Shiva, nagas, garudas and other "non-Buddhist" gods and guardians, of course.
We need to get over the notion that Buddhism hasn't changed or (dare I say it) grown since Gautama's day.

:namaste:
Kim
I do live in thailand. There are lots of stautes of guanyin at lots of wats in thailand. In thailand wats are not just theravada centers.....they are community centers and many features at these community centers are not from theravada sources. If the community which centers at a wat wants a statue and is willing to fund it then it can be installed there regardless of whether it is of theravada origin or not. The issue with guanyin came up some years ago and I asked my wife (thai woman born and raised in the village here) if I wanted to fund a statue of mickey mouse and have it at the wat would that be ok?.....and she smiled and said sure it could happen and it would be great and that the children would love it.....would that make mickey mouse a theravada personage?
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Kim OHara
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Re: Guanyin

Post by Kim OHara »

Thanks, chownah. That does add another kind of complexity to the issue. I'm now wondering whether it's more accurate to say your Theravada is narrower than your wife's (and the Theravada of most people in your community), or to say that Theravadin wats tolerate irreligious elements, as you seem to be saying.
If we expected that most people who choose to donate to the temple would not do so unless they believed in the religion, we should also expect that they would only donate images which they believed appropriate ... which tends to support the notion that guanyin is indeed Theravadin.

:juggling:
Kim

[edited for clarity]
santa100
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Re: Guanyin

Post by santa100 »

simsapa wrote:Do you all think that a being like Guanyin / Avalokiteshvara could exist within a Theravada worldview?
Of course. All Buddhas were Bodhisattas who had to perfect their trade before taking up their last rebirth. And there's one doing it right now up in the Tusita heaven, Bodhisatta Metteyya, the future Buddha.
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Re: Guanyin

Post by Coëmgenu »

whynotme wrote: Mon Jun 22, 2020 1:16 am
simsapa wrote: Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:14 am Do you all think that a being like Guanyin / Avalokiteshvara could exist within a Theravada worldview?
No, most Mahayana bodhisattvas is overpowered like a Buddha, which is wrong.
It depends on how we interpret the ṛddhipāda. "Having been one, he becomes many." The Universal Gate of Avalokiteśvara is Parivarta 25 of the Lotus Sūtra -- a composite text containing elements of both very early and late-stage Mahāyāna. According to this parivarta, an irreversible bodhisattva can master the ṛddhi of emanation to the extent that he can create mind-made emanation bodies that have form and appear to have their own independent consciousnesses, and many of these. They can appear as any manner of person.
chownah wrote: Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:38 am I do live in thailand. There are lots of stautes of guanyin at lots of wats in thailand. In thailand wats are not just theravada centers.....they are community centers and many features at these community centers are not from theravada sources. If the community which centers at a wat wants a statue and is willing to fund it then it can be installed there regardless of whether it is of theravada origin or not. The issue with guanyin came up some years ago and I asked my wife (thai woman born and raised in the village here) if I wanted to fund a statue of mickey mouse and have it at the wat would that be ok?.....and she smiled and said sure it could happen and it would be great and that the children would love it.....would that make mickey mouse a theravada personage?
There is a famous all-white temple in Thailand that has figures like the bodhisattva Superman in it, does it not?
Then, the monks sang this gāthā:

These bodies are like foam.
Them being frail, who can rejoice in them?
The Buddha attained the vajra-body.
Still, it becomes inconstant and rots.
The many Buddhas are vajra-entities.
All are also subject to inconstancy.
Quickly ended, like melting snow --
how could things be different?

The Buddha passed into parinirvāṇa afterward.

(T1.27b10 Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra DĀ 2)
chownah
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Re: Guanyin

Post by chownah »

Kim OHara wrote: Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:04 pm Thanks, chownah. That does add another kind of complexity to the issue. I'm now wondering whether it's more accurate to say your Theravada is narrower than your wife's (and the Theravada of most people in your community), or to say that Theravadin wats tolerate irreligious elements, as you seem to be saying.
If we expected that most people who choose to donate to the temple would not do so unless they believed in the religion, we should also expect that they would only donate images which they believed appropriate ... which tends to support the notion that guanyin is indeed Theravadin.

:juggling:
Kim

[edited for clarity]
You compare the narrowness or width of views of theravada between me and my wife and say that mine is narrower.....I really don't know what I said that leads to that conclusion. With respect to installing a mickey mouse statue at our wat we are in agreement that it is acceptable and would be appreciated....so where is the difference you assert?

My post has nothing to do with width or narrowness of anything to do with me. My post has to do with the width or narrowness of what the administration here recognizes and where the administration likes to put various kinds of topics. It doesn't matter to me much where this discussion is held.

Also, my post has nothing to do with the width or narrowness of anything to do with my wife's buddhism. You assume that the motivation for placing figures at the wat is only buddhist....what I am saying is that the wat is the community center for the village where I live and I think that is true in most temples in rural thailand. The people don't think of the wat as being just a place for religious matters....they think of it being their community center. My wife practices with her dance troop at the temple but as far as I know the dances only have cultural significance and no buddhist significance.....she also goes there for aerobic exercise. Sometimes gov't sponsored immunizations are administered there as are free health exams....and lots of other stuff....even festivals where beer is served on occasionally.....is drinking beer then theravadan?

The wat is MORE than a buddhist church....it is a community center....not all things there are just there because of religious significance.
chownah
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Re: Guanyin

Post by chownah »

Coëmgenu wrote: Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:27 am
whynotme wrote: Mon Jun 22, 2020 1:16 am
simsapa wrote: Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:14 am Do you all think that a being like Guanyin / Avalokiteshvara could exist within a Theravada worldview?
No, most Mahayana bodhisattvas is overpowered like a Buddha, which is wrong.
It depends on how we interpret the ṛddhipāda. "Having been one, he becomes many." The Universal Gate of Avalokiteśvara is Parivarta 25 of the Lotus Sūtra -- a composite text containing elements of both very early and late-stage Mahāyāna. According to this parivarta, an irreversible bodhisattva can master the ṛddhi of emanation to the extent that he can create mind-made emanation bodies that have form and appear to have their own independent consciousnesses, and many of these. They can appear as any manner of person.
chownah wrote: Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:38 am I do live in thailand. There are lots of stautes of guanyin at lots of wats in thailand. In thailand wats are not just theravada centers.....they are community centers and many features at these community centers are not from theravada sources. If the community which centers at a wat wants a statue and is willing to fund it then it can be installed there regardless of whether it is of theravada origin or not. The issue with guanyin came up some years ago and I asked my wife (thai woman born and raised in the village here) if I wanted to fund a statue of mickey mouse and have it at the wat would that be ok?.....and she smiled and said sure it could happen and it would be great and that the children would love it.....would that make mickey mouse a theravada personage?
There is a famous all-white temple in Thailand that has figures like the bodhisattva Superman in it, does it not?
I visited that temple many years ago and don't remember seeing the figures you mention but the artist designing the continuing building of the various buildings in the very large temple sight is a very imaginative artist and it does not surprise me at all that he would fashion such figures.....it doesn't offend me either but I think the issue is that those figures being located in temple grounds does not make superman into a theravada anything.
chownah
whynotme
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Re: Guanyin

Post by whynotme »

santa100 wrote: Tue Jun 23, 2020 2:12 pm
simsapa wrote:Do you all think that a being like Guanyin / Avalokiteshvara could exist within a Theravada worldview?
Of course. All Buddhas were Bodhisattas who had to perfect their trade before taking up their last rebirth. And there's one doing it right now up in the Tusita heaven, Bodhisatta Metteyya, the future Buddha.
It seems that is not the case. The reason is time span.

Let look at previous lives of Gotama as the example. This maha kappa has five Buddhas, the maximum number of possible in a kappa.

How long is a kappa, who knows? But it seems the maha kappa or greate aeon can not start before the big bang. Maybe maha kappa is an aeon of universe, or a galaxy or a solar system, who knows. But it is said that in a maha kappa, there are multiple smaller kappas. Buddhas arise in each of these small kappas, to the maximum of five in a maha kappa.

Its not that the time span between Buddhas is short, it is long enough for ppl to forget all the teaching of previous Buddha, and longer than life span of tusita deva. So, the bodhisattva must reborn multiple times in between these spans.

Look at Gotama previous lives. Previous Buddha is Kassapa Buddha, and Gotama was reborned as Jotipala under Kassapa time. This story is quite famous, because Gotama insulted Kassapa before joined his sangha. It shows how dangerous samsara is, for even a bodhisattva like Jotipala can insult a Buddha in very last human life of him.

Because of this insult, Jotipala was reborned in hell. Yes, under the guidance of a Buddha, the bodhisattva reborned in hell.

After this a long time, bodhisattva reborn in human, and with his effort he reborn in tavatimsa or 33 realm. And it is not the last human life of Gotama.

After full life span in 33 realm, Gotama returned to human world as Vessantara. This is the last human life of him before Tusita, not the life under Kassapa Buddha.

Both the Jotipala and Vessantara are famous stories. It shows that bodhisattva has multiple human lives, even between the very next time for Buddha dispensation.

If we apply this time frame to Metteyya, then if he is currently in Tusita, his life span will be not enough to fit in time for the next dispensation. So he will need other human lives as well to fit the time frame.

So maybe he has multiple human lives as well before coming to Tusita for his last. And maybe Jesus is one of his human life.

I get the info on Jesus from Osho. Osho revealed so much information that he may be a pacceka Buddha himself. He implicitly stated that by saying he came to awaken by himself, without any teacher. Self awaken only applies to Buddhas. Of course Osho can not be a samma sam Buddha, so he can only be a pacceka Buddha.

Osho also funnily called himself a Buddha, Zobra Buddha. This clearly implies he is a Buddha. Zobra is a joyful character, so Osho want to say that he is a zen Buddha, a person that doesn't grasp to anything. And compares to all the zen masters, Osho is still a Buddha in himself, not a disciple, but a self awaken person. He only uses zen bc he loves zen method.

There is a myth that pacceka Buddha can not exist in samma sam Buddha dispensation, but no one can give a reliable reference for it. So its still a myth.

If Osho is a pacceka Buddha, then he is on another lvl with ten powers of Buddha. Even Sariputta and Moggallana can not match him in abilities and wisdom, for being a Buddha.

Osho did not say Jesus is Metteyya, but he implied that they may be one person or closely related like teacher-student. Thats how i read Osho.

So maybe Metteyya will have multiple human lives before coming to Tusita heaven. Maybe he is currently a deva somewhere, even in tusita, but its surely not in his last tusita life of a bodhisattva.

Most of Therevada information comes from disciples of Gotama. But even the highest students like Ven Sariputta or Ven Moggallana can not be compared to a Buddha. So if a Buddha wants to reveal something, it may be worthy.
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santa100
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Re: Guanyin

Post by santa100 »

whynotme wrote:It seems that is not the case. The reason is time span.
I think you're missing the point. The OP's question is whether it's possible for the concept of a Bodhisatta (like Guanyin/Avalokiteshvara) to exist in the Theravada worldview. And the answer is yes, there's Metteya Bodhisatta who's doing his work right now. And since the Theravada's Nikayas only place a constraint on the existence of 1 Buddha per world system at a time, if the multiple-universe of modern physics is true, then there's nothing wrong with many other Buddhas and many other Bodhisattas existing in many other world systems or universes.
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