Mahāyāna Ideas in the Visuddhimagga

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Ceisiwr
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Mahāyāna Ideas in the Visuddhimagga

Post by Ceisiwr »

Greetings everyone,

I was reading the Visuddhimagga today when I came across this passage:

Or again, that motivated by craving, the purpose of which is to enjoy continued existence, is inferior; that practiced for the purpose of one’s own deliverance is medium; the virtue of the perfections practiced for the deliverance of all beings is superior. So it is of three kinds as inferior, medium, and superior
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... on2011.pdf

From page 16. Isn't this Mahāyāna like thinking?
Paññaṃ nappamajjeyya, saccamanurakkheyya, cāgamanubrūheyya, santimeva so sikkheyyā’ti

“One should not neglect wisdom, should preserve truth, cultivate relinquishment and train for peace.”

Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta
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Re: Mahāyāna Ideas in the Visuddhimagga

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:goodpost:
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Re: Mahāyāna Ideas in the Visuddhimagga

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Theravada has always ranked the rare path of those who attain Buddhahood as superior, and more difficult, than that of disciples.
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Re: Mahāyāna Ideas in the Visuddhimagga

Post by Ceisiwr »

robertk wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:59 am Theravada has always ranked the rare path of those who attain Buddhahood as superior, and more difficult, than that of disciples.
Buddha’s don’t aim to save all beings though, accept in Mahāyāna?
Paññaṃ nappamajjeyya, saccamanurakkheyya, cāgamanubrūheyya, santimeva so sikkheyyā’ti

“One should not neglect wisdom, should preserve truth, cultivate relinquishment and train for peace.”

Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta
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Kim OHara
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Re: Mahāyāna Ideas in the Visuddhimagga

Post by Kim OHara »

Ceisiwr wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:47 am Greetings everyone,

I was reading the Visuddhimagga today when I came across this passage:

Or again, that motivated by craving, the purpose of which is to enjoy continued existence, is inferior; that practiced for the purpose of one’s own deliverance is medium; the virtue of the perfections practiced for the deliverance of all beings is superior. So it is of three kinds as inferior, medium, and superior
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... on2011.pdf

From page 16. Isn't this Mahāyāna like thinking?
It is indeed, and I was intrigued enough to read part of the translator's Introduction to the work in the hope of finding out why.
I haven't had time to read all of it and may not get back to it but the reason seems to be that the dating of the work is misleading:
"It has been shown already how the presumption is always, where the contrary is not explicitly stated, that [Buddhaghosa was] editing and translating material placed before him rather than displaying his own private knowledge, experience andopinions. And so it would be a critical mistake to use any such passage in his work for assessing his personal traits; for in them it is, pretty certainly, not him we are dealing with at all but people who lived three or more centuries earlier." [etc]
So the material Buddhaghosa was working from dates from a time and place before Mahayana and Theravada had really parted company.

You may find out more by reading the whole thing.

:namaste:
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Re: Mahāyāna Ideas in the Visuddhimagga

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Ceisiwr wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 4:02 am
robertk wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:59 am Theravada has always ranked the rare path of those who attain Buddhahood as superior, and more difficult, than that of disciples.
Buddha’s don’t aim to save all beings though, accept in Mahāyāna?
It is shorthand for all beings capable of attaining.
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Re: Mahāyāna Ideas in the Visuddhimagga

Post by mikenz66 »

robertk wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:59 am Theravada has always ranked the rare path of those who attain Buddhahood as superior, and more difficult, than that of disciples.
And, isn't this also expressed in the suttas?

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Re: Mahāyāna Ideas in the Visuddhimagga

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings Mike,

It is, but the very notion of someone in this dispensation learning the Dhamma from this Buddha's dispensation and then teaching it to start a new dispensation once they achieve arahantship really just sounds like a continuance of the Buddha's dispensation.

Thus I can not see how bodhisatta aspirations can have any meaning whatsoever whilst the Buddha's dispensation exists. It would appear logically something that could only occur when there is no dispensation and no known supramundane Dhamma. Which in turn would make it irrelevant to us, since this is not the case.

Does anyone know if the Theravada commentaries address this concern?

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
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Re: Mahāyāna Ideas in the Visuddhimagga

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mikenz66 wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:21 am And, isn't this also expressed in the suttas?
Where?
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Re: Mahāyāna Ideas in the Visuddhimagga

Post by Dhammanando »

This sort of thing predates the Mahayana, for even in the suttas the Buddha is described as doing what he did for the sake of all beings.

Verses from the Vassakāra Sutta:
yo vedi sabbasattānaṃ, maccupāsappamocanaṃ |
hitaṃ devamanussānaṃ, ñāyaṃ dhammaṃ pakāsayi |
yaṃ ve disvā ca sutvā ca, pasīdanti bahū janā ||

He who found for the sake of all beings
release from the snare of death;
who revealed the Dhamma, the method,
for the benefit of devas and humans;
he in whom many people gain confidence
when they see and listen to him;

maggāmaggassa kusalo, katakicco anāsavo |
buddho antimasārīro, ‘‘mahāpañño mahāpurisoti vuccatī ti ||

the one skilled in the path and what is not the path,
the taintless one who accomplished his task;
the Enlightened One bearing his final body
is called a great man of great wisdom.

https://legacy.suttacentral.net/en/an4.35
Anabhirati kho, āvuso, imasmiṃ dhammavinaye dukkhā, abhirati sukhā.

“To not delight in this dhammavinaya, friend, is painful; to delight in it is bliss.”
(Sukhasutta, AN 10:66)
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Re: Mahāyāna Ideas in the Visuddhimagga

Post by DooDoot »

Dhammanando wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:13 am This sort of thing predates the Mahayana, for even in the suttas the Buddha is described as doing what he did for the sake of all beings.

Verses from the Vassakāra Sutta:
yo vedi sabbasattānaṃ, maccupāsappamocanaṃ |


He who found for the sake of all beings
release from the snare of death;

https://legacy.suttacentral.net/en/an4.35
Venerable. How can the above verse be reconciled with the other possible contrary statements in the suttas, such as:
59. Even so, on the rubbish heap of blinded mortals the disciple of the Supremely Enlightened One shines resplendent in wisdom.

174. Blind is the world; here only a few possess insight. Only a few, like birds escaping from the net, go to realms of bliss.

Dhammapada
Surveying the world with the eye of an Awakened One, I saw beings with little dust in their eyes and those with much, those with keen faculties and those with dull, those with good attributes and those with bad, those easy to teach and those hard, some of them seeing disgrace & danger in the other world.

'Open are the doors to the Deathless
to those with ears.
Let them show their conviction.
Perceiving trouble, O Brahma,
I did not tell people
the refined,
sublime Dhamma.'

MN 26
And, Master Gotama, when having directly known it, you teach the Dhamma to your disciples for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow & lamentation, for the disappearance of pain & distress, for the attainment of the right method, & for the realization of Unbinding, will all the cosmos be led [to release], or a half of it, or a third?

When this was said, the Blessed One was silent.

AN 10.95
Thank you
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Re: Mahāyāna Ideas in the Visuddhimagga

Post by Dhammanando »

DooDoot wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:22 am Venerable. How can the above verse be reconciled with the other possible contrary statements in the suttas, such as:
59. Even so, on the rubbish heap of blinded mortals the disciple of the Supremely Enlightened One shines resplendent in wisdom.
Even a non-bodhisatta yogi, if he had successfully developed mettā- and karuṇā-bhāvanā as illimitables, would be capable of generating an aspiration to do some meritorious deed "for the sake of all beings" even though only a finite number of beings would concretely benefit from deed.
Anabhirati kho, āvuso, imasmiṃ dhammavinaye dukkhā, abhirati sukhā.

“To not delight in this dhammavinaya, friend, is painful; to delight in it is bliss.”
(Sukhasutta, AN 10:66)
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Re: Mahāyāna Ideas in the Visuddhimagga

Post by DooDoot »

Dhammanando wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:45 amEven a non-bodhisatta yogi, if he had successfully developed mettā- and karuṇā-bhāvanā as illimitables, would be capable of generating an aspiration to do some meritorious deed "for the sake of all beings" even though only a finite number of beings would concretely benefit from deed.
Excellent explanation Sir. :bow:
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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Re: Mahāyāna Ideas in the Visuddhimagga

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Dhammanando wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:45 am
DooDoot wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:22 am Venerable. How can the above verse be reconciled with the other possible contrary statements in the suttas, such as:
59. Even so, on the rubbish heap of blinded mortals the disciple of the Supremely Enlightened One shines resplendent in wisdom.
Even a non-bodhisatta yogi, if he had successfully developed mettā- and karuṇā-bhāvanā as illimitables, would be capable of generating an aspiration to do some meritorious deed "for the sake of all beings" even though only a finite number of beings would concretely benefit from deed.
true. no one can remain till entire world is saved.. if so buddha would have did that..
I may be slow learner but im at least learning...
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Re: Mahāyāna Ideas in the Visuddhimagga

Post by rhinoceroshorn »

Like your previous thread about Jain ideas in Dhamma: there is nothing wrong with it. This is just labeling.

Yes, jhanas came from Jains; yes, a Bodhisattva is higher than an Arahant, but it doesn't mean Jains are any better or "Maha"yana is any better. They just happen to be right in some aspects, but deeply wrong in others.

I think we should just recognize Buddhahood as higher, but also recognize it's beyond us: it's not worth spending this lifetime with something that is not guaranteed.

If you enter the stream, you are guaranteed not to reborn in lower realms. I can not say the same about who aspires to be a Bodhisattva.
Eyes downcast, not footloose,
senses guarded, with protected mind,
not oozing — not burning — with lust,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Sutta Nipāta 1.3 - Khaggavisana Sutta
Image
See, Ānanda! All those conditioned phenomena have passed, ceased, and perished. So impermanent are conditions, so unstable are conditions, so unreliable are conditions. This is quite enough for you to become disillusioned, dispassionate, and freed regarding all conditions.
Dīgha Nikāya 17
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