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Switch to Forum Live View The Buddha's Law of Wisdom - The Buddha Dharma
6 years ago  ::  Nov 14, 2011 - 9:24PM #1
etoro
Posts: 595

The principle known as "The Dharma" with a large D is the name given to the Buddha's unrivaled mode of wisdom.  This concept has been hotly debated both during and much after the Buddha's passing. There are as many ideas about it as there are people who contemplate its meaning.  It is said that the Buddha left the Dharma in the world for the sake of all living beings to attain an eternal liberation from all suffering. Yet at the same time the Buddha taught there is no eternal soul existing as the essential core of all beings. Moreover, during his death bed he instructed Ananda and all disciples to carry on by basing their lives on the dharma as the sole basis of their liberation by saying - be lamps unto thyselves, islands unto thyselves, ever self reliant, based upon inner awakening, wisdom regarding the true nature of oneself.

There is an account in the Angutarra Nikaya that shortly after the Buddha attained enlightenment, he gave voice to the conundrum of how to awaken the unconditional Dharma wisdom within the conditional dualistic world of common mortals. Various commentators here  know that I have offered much in the way the followers of the Lotus Sutra (Saddhamma) are led to understand this event through the Buddhism of the Lotus Sutra. But here I am simply posing the question,

"How do you perceive the meaning of the following discourse by the Buddha. At the conclusion of this contemplation, does the Buddha decide to praise and honor himself?, or something other than himself? Is there a difference?


On one occasion soon after the Enlightenment, the Buddha was dwelling at the foot of the Ajapāla banyan tree by the bank of the Nera�jarā river. As He was engaged in solitary meditation the following thought arose in His mind:


"Painful indeed is it to live without someone to pay reverence and show deference. How if I should live near an ascetic or brahmin respecting and reverencing him?"


Then it occurred to Him:


"Should I live near another ascetic or brahmin, respecting and reverencing him, in order to bring morality (Sīlakkhandha) to perfection? But I do not see in this world including gods, Māras, and Brahmas, and amongst beings including ascetics, brahmins, gods and men, another ascetic or brahmin who is superior to me in morality and with whom I could associate, respecting and reverencing him.


"Should I live near another ascetic or brahmin, respecting and reverencing him, in order to bring concentration (samādhikkhandha) to perfection? But I do not see in this world any ascetic or brahmin who is superior to me in concentration and with whom I should associate, respecting and reverencing him.


"Should I live near another ascetic or brahmin, respecting and reverencing him, in order to bring wisdom (pa��ākkhandha) to perfection? But I do not see in this world any ascetic or brahmin who is superior to me in wisdom and with whom I should associate, respecting and reverencing him.


"Should I live near another ascetic or brahmin, respecting and reverencing him, in order to bring emancipation (vimuttikkhandha) to perfection? But I do not see in this world any ascetic or brahmin who is superior to me in emancipation and with whom I should associate, respecting and reverencing him."


Then it occurred to Him: "How if I should live respecting and reverencing this very Dhamma which I myself have realized?"









    

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6 years ago  ::  Nov 18, 2011 - 7:12PM #2
Bob0
Posts: 487

Do you have a specific reference for this sutta?

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6 years ago  ::  Nov 20, 2011 - 1:29PM #3
etoro
Posts: 595

Nov 18, 2011 -- 7:12PM, Bob0 wrote:


Do you have a specific reference for this sutta?




The reference for these quotes can be found here ----->  www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/budtch/bud...


When we view the above acount from the standpoint of the entire philosophy of the Buddha it substantiates all that is taught regarding the form of wisdom that the Buddha was contemplating at the start of his preaching career.  Many great sutras both in Mahayana as well as in Abhidharma teach that the expositions revealed by the Buddha in the first several weeks after his proclaimed enlightenment address the BUddha's supreme object of wisdom in direct form.  This object of wisdom is called the Sad-Dharma, the correct and equal Dharma.


It is the same mode, level and quality of concentration and insight to which the Buddha returns at the end of his preaching career, the Dharma qualities of the Lotus Sutra better known as Sad-Dharma. .


The Dharma preached in the Lotus Sutra is the Sad- Dharma, the true dharma, the Dharma that is the Buddha's enlightenment itself. It is the Dharma of the eternal true reality and wisdom to which the Buddha is awakened. It is the highest Dharma; a Dharma that is the very teacher of all correctly awakened beings whether of the past, present and future.


This revelation of insight and wisdom regarding the correct Dharma is uttered by the Buddha during the beginning of his preaching career and is returned to at the end of his preaching career. 


The only difference between the two periods is that in the beginning of the Buddha's preaching career there are no persons in the "saha" world that the Buddha percieves has measured up to this standard, the standard of his own enlightenment. Hence the Buddha is recorded in the Nikaya (above) as having vexed over the diffificulty of commencing to convey the correct Dharma to all the people of this world.  Yet we find in the recording of the Lotus Sutra (42 years later in the Buddha's preaching life) the fact that by the time of the preaching of the Sad-Dharma Pundarika [Lotus] Sutra, the sutra records the accomplishment of the Buddha having completed his mission of transmitting the correct Dharma to his human disciples.Therefore the essence of the Lotus Sutra is the explanation of the Buddha's methods of teaching and the final revelation of which teachings are to be discarded as simple expedient means and which teachings are to be kept forever in mind and protected throughout eternity and the methods of how the correct teaching is to be revealed in the latter ages when the Buddha wisdom falls into obscurity and is about to be lost.  The Lotus Sutra also reveals the prophesy of the who the correct teaching will be in these latter ages and how this person along with his "retinue of followers" will preach the Law at "that time". 



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6 years ago  ::  Nov 20, 2011 - 5:12PM #4
Bob0
Posts: 487
You reference the Angutarra Nikaya. There is a numeric reference for each sutta, ie AN 2.5. Do you have the reference for the cited sutta?  I tried your provided link and got "not found" as a response.
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 21, 2011 - 2:08PM #5
etoro
Posts: 595

Nov 20, 2011 -- 5:12PM, Bob0 wrote:


You reference the Angutarra Nikaya. There is a numeric reference for each sutta, ie AN 2.5. Do you have the reference for the cited sutta?  I tried your provided link and got "not found" as a response.



Yes your are right.  The link is faulty above.  Try this link to the Venerable Narada Mahathera's book entitled "The Buddha and His Teachings", the  table of contents is here -----------------> www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/budtch/bud... but everytime I post it the http:// reference is not posted with the link. So do it yourself and ten go to the chapter entitled "The invitation to Preach the Dharma" and you will find the quote there.


This book is also in print.  I have a copy given to me by my father many years ago.  It is an interesting book but I can not vouch for its veracity.  If readers are so inclined they may pursue this course themselves. The book appears to discuss all the basic principles taught in the Theravada school of Buddhism so I assuem its all authentic material.


The underlying point of this brief event in the Buddha's preaching career is that this simpe way of reporting the account itself is considered merely a brief indication of what is actually occurring within the Buddha's inner mind of enlightened wisdom itself.  The Theravada claim that the entire abhidarma was preached during this period of time to Brahma and all the other superior beings in the universe.  This is where the concept of "the leader of both Gods and Men" comces from.  The Mahayana scholars took these earliest stage events in the Buddha's life and elaborated their philosophical meaning into what is known as the Avatamsaka Sutra, a huge voluminous vaipulya sutra whose many parts became sutras in their own right such as the Ten Stages Sutra as well as the Brahma's net Sutra.  


This is not surprising when we reflect on the true meaning of the Buddha's description of how he acquired his insight. This is also explained in brief indications through Ven. Mahathera's book but the true significance of the three watches of the night" and, the encounter with "Mara" and his review of the entire Dharma regarding the law of Karma of both himself and the lives of all living beings encompass the meanings of the so called 80,000 teachings of Buddhism. 



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6 years ago  ::  Nov 25, 2011 - 10:27AM #6
christine3
Posts: 9,274

Nov 14, 2011 -- 9:24PM, etoro wrote:

Then it occurred to Him: "How if I should live respecting and reverencing this very Dhamma which I myself have realized?"  





You respect it as you respect yourself, you don't worship it.  Be its friend, care for it.

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6 years ago  ::  Dec 05, 2011 - 3:48PM #7
etoro
Posts: 595

Nov 25, 2011 -- 10:27AM, christine3 wrote:

Nov 14, 2011 -- 9:24PM, etoro wrote:

Then it occurred to Him: "How if I should live respecting and reverencing this very Dhamma which I myself have realized?"  




You respect it as you respect yourself, you don't worship it. Be its friend, care for it.



Care for what? What is it?

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6 years ago  ::  Dec 05, 2011 - 4:30PM #8
christine3
Posts: 9,274

Dec 5, 2011 -- 3:48PM, etoro wrote:

Nov 25, 2011 -- 10:27AM, christine3 wrote:

Nov 14, 2011 -- 9:24PM, etoro wrote:

Then it occurred to Him: "How if I should live respecting and reverencing this very Dhamma which I myself have realized?"  




You respect it as you respect yourself, you don't worship it. Be its friend, care for it.



Care for what? What is it?





IMO, higher intelligence.

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6 years ago  ::  Dec 05, 2011 - 7:17PM #9
etoro
Posts: 595

Dec 5, 2011 -- 4:30PM, christine3 wrote:

Dec 5, 2011 -- 3:48PM, etoro wrote:


Nov 25, 2011 -- 10:27AM, christine3 wrote:

Nov 14, 2011 -- 9:24PM, etoro wrote:

Then it occurred to Him: "How if I should live respecting and reverencing this very Dhamma which I myself have realized?"  




You respect it as you respect yourself, you don't worship it. Be its friend, care for it.



Care for what? What is it?





IMO, higher intelligence.



Yes, in a matter of speaking I would agree that the Buddha Dharma is higher intelligence. But then again there are many forms of intellectual disciplines that can fall into the same category. Astro physics is a form of higher intelligence but would you say that a physicist holds his knowledge of astro physics in reverence? Today there are many fields of knowledge which are certainly lofty and respectworthy especially in the sciences and humanities. In many cases people seek to develop these disciplines to earn a living and turn a profit.  It would seem then that the Buddha's reference in terms of referencing and respecting the Dharma refers to something more, like a type of higher form or body in itself. Not to suggest that this form or body is separate, distinct or apart from his life but somehow he refers to it as something august and praiseworthy. It is both a self realization and something universal at the same time.  In fact, it is no wonder that what the Buddha refers to indeed came to be called the Dharmakaya or "body of the Dharma".  Very interesting.


In the Buddhist literature developed throughout its active developmental history, a spiritual and intellectual development which continues until this very day, the principle of Dharmakaya is advanced and expanded to mean the essential law and function of the eternal universe itself as the "Law Body Buddha".  See --------->  http://www.sgilibrary.org/search_dict.php?id=2304.

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6 years ago  ::  Dec 06, 2011 - 2:13PM #10
nnn123
Posts: 1,552

Roshi Phillip Kapleau said "long meditation produces great insight."



Just like with the writer, that the answers come from sitting onself down and writing...


so too, in Buddhism the answers come from the practice itself, --- of meditation, right action (moral disciplines) and etc.



to my mind Dharma is the spiritual law.  It includes morality as well as discussion of the underlying principles of the world --- that, karma exists and we are repaid for every good and bad action that we do.


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