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Switch to Forum Live View All forms of Buddhist Philosophy are Great
5 years ago  ::  Apr 27, 2013 - 2:02PM #1
etoro
Posts: 595

All forms of Buddhist philosophy are Great in and of themselves.  It is, in the course of seeking to benefit the world with one's calling and when one has to navigate through the numerous layers of consciousness within the many mind worlds of sentient beings that the relativity of the various teachings become apparent and one has to employ the principles of expedient means. This has been the case and the issues all throughout the history of Buddhism.  It is also the same issue in todays world as well.

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5 years ago  ::  May 01, 2013 - 1:05PM #2
etoro
Posts: 595

Apr 28, 2013 -- 4:56AM, Bhakta_glenn wrote:


Vajrayana


The Buddha is sitting in Vajra Asana.


It is a skill he was taught by Qualified Brahmin Gurus, when he was a Bodhisatta.


it is indeed a great pity that one may not include references to Patanjali here. However, it may have also been a blessing for me:



The Hatha Yoga Pradipika


Transalted by Pancham Sinh


A Yogî desirous of success should keep the knowledge of Haṭha Yoga secret; for it becomes potent by concealing, and impotent by exposing.




In other words, the Dhamma is ennervated by simply studying it and discussing it.


However, if one can practise Yoga under quaified supervision, away from the madding crowd, then he or she will see the Buddha, without doubt.


Yoga is the ground of the Tibetan Vajrayana, Mantrayana.




Bakta Glen:


The following are the words of etoro based on years of faith, practice and study of Buddhist philosophy.


When we speak of Buddha wisdom, this refers to the instructions given by Shakyamuni Buddha to his voice hearer (sravaka) disciples. Even when we speak of the eightfold path, although this concept is divided into three forms of learning, 1 - modes of behavior. 2 - one pointed meditation and 3 - acquisition and dispensation of Buddha wisdom, in all cases these principles all derive from the Buddha's instructions or wisdom of Buddha.  Therefore of all three types of practice or forms of learning, knowledge of Buddhism comes first and is the highest. This means that the original acquisition and dispensation of Buddha knowledge by the Buddha to the people is foremost. This is why the phrase "Thus I heard" or to listen with great intent is the most important form of all Buddhist practices. To Listen / To believe with faith / to contemplate / and to apply is the Buddhist practice.  Therefore physical postures in themselves mean little more than a temporary relaxation and generation of life energy through improved circulation if one does not understand what to contemplate and practice within the Buddha' principles of wisdom. 


The Buddha refuted the Brahmin beliefs because of their fixed beliefs in an ontological structure of gods, transmigration of souls and other various processes undertaken by a self of persons. The Brahmin teachings condemned entire groups of human beings on the basis of social circumstances, the outer manifested effects of social status and economic circumstances.  This illusion of social circumstances, one that continues to play out even today, veils the inner sanctity and the deepest inner value of having been born itself, the gift of life that each living generation bestows upon their offspring since beginningless time. Because life thrives upon so many layers; systems of being and awareness, humanity is still developing the necessary mindfullness to percieve the true measure of being. Only the handful of great leaders in history have made these truths known. In this respect the power of the Buddha wisdom to point out and correct human error needs to be constantly revisited and revised in accordance with the needs of the times.  Moreover, such all encompassing, ever penetrating and supreme insight derives from an an ever existing universal power source. This source is the Sad Dharma, the Buddha nature itself. This is the deep teaching of the Lotus Sutra. 


The Buddha taught that all manifested states of existence are temporary whether animal, human, ghosts or gods. They are simply derived from causes and conditions and are subject to the law of birth and death.  This is the truth exhorted by the Buddha. The Buddha taught that the non-Buddhist Indian yogic practices course individuals through the three interrelated layers of the realms of desire, form and formlessness. But even the experience of the formless realms within meditation only last as long as the force of the meditative exertion itself. Living beings must always remain grounded in the universal processes which forever abide. Upon return to the normal state of humanity such believers in false notions can become even more depressed and begin to loose hope and eventually must return to the starting gate of hellish suffering once again. 


The Buddha taught that there is a middleway that leads to correct wisdom. This correct wisdom is given the term Sat Dharma Pundarika Sutra. The wonderous dharma of the correct way of insight and wisdom. And the one who practices such a way of wisdom is called a Tathagata.  But most people who read such a statement will step back and ponder the nature of such a path, contemplate its meaning and seek to recall and acquire numerous lofty and transcendent principles of Buddhist philosophy seeking to reflect the nature of the middle way path in their actions  Even if they go so far as to contemplate and practice the path of a Bodhisattva, if it is not based upon the wisdom of the Lotus Sutra, they will still view the path incorrectly, percieving it to be the prolongued path of acquiring merit lifetime after lifetime, while vowing to save all living beings, enduring hatred and ignorance all the while seeking to employ the wisdom of the emptiness of all phenomena in order to endure the selfish behavior of others. But this itself simply leads to a practice of endless austerities, bitterness and inner pain. This was the mistaken belief and practice undertaken by Shariputra (described in the prajnaparamita sutra) and in fact was the mistaken practice of the Brahman belief system itself.  The source of this confusion was belief in the fixed nature of persons, attachment to the objects of the sense based world as dependency for one's happiness.  The Buddha worked his entire life seeking to dispell such erroneous beliefs.  Upon having revealed the revelations of the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha swung open widely the gateway to the correct teaching.  It is therefore critically important for Buddhists in the time after the Buddha's passing to embrace the wisdom of the Lotus Sutra.


It is in the Sat Dharma Pundarika sutra chapter 16 alone where the Buddha makes clear the path of the Middleway, the path of all truly awakened persons where he states, 


Suppose all these worlds, whether or not a particle was left in them, were reduced
to particles, and each particle represented a kalpa. The period of time since
I became a buddha would exceed this by hundreds of thousands of myriads
of koṭis of nayutas of incalculable kalpas. Since then I have constantly been
residing in the sahā world, teaching the Dharma and inspiring sentient beings.
I have also been leading and benefiting sentient beings in incalculable hundreds
of thousands of myriads of koṭis of nayutas of other worlds.


“O sons of a virtuous family! During this interim I explained about the
Buddha Dīpaṃkara and others. Furthermore, I also said that they had entered
parinirvāṇa. I have explained such things through skillful means.


“O sons of a virtuous family! If any sentient being comes to me, I perceive
the dullness or sharpness of his faith and other faculties with my buddhaeye.
According to the way I should bring them to the path, I, myself, proclaim
different names and lifespans in various places. In each case I have also clearly
stated that I would enter parinirvāṇa. Through various skillful means I have
explained subtle teachings and have made the sentient beings rejoice.
“O sons of a virtuous family! To those beings whom the Tathāgata perceives
as taking pleasure in the inferior teachings, who have few qualities
and grave defilements, he teaches that the Buddha attained highest, complete
enlightenment after he re nounced household life in his young age. However,
it has been a very long time indeed since I attained buddhahood. I give such
an explanation only to lead and inspire the sentient beings to enter the buddha
path through skillful means.


“Since sentient beings have various natures, desires, behaviors, thoughts,
and distinctions, the Tathāgata, wanting to cause them to plant roots of good
merit, has explained various teachings through a variety of examples, explanations,
and illustrations. He has not desisted from doing buddha acts even
for a single moment and in this way it has been an extremely long time since
I attained buddhahood. My lifespan is immeasurable and incalculable. I abide
forever without entering parinirvāṇa.


“O sons of a virtuous family! The lifespan that I first attained through practicing
the bodhisattva path has not yet expired. It is twice as great as the number
previously mentioned. Although I do not actually enter parinirvāṇa I proclaim
that I do. It is through this skillful means that the Tathāgata leads and
inspires sentient beings


 The above is the supreme teaching of the Buddha. Through these utterances the Buddha perfectly fuses the path of incarnate ever transient beings with the eternal universal law.  While in the manifest state of existence the Buddha traverses the path of a Bodhisattva, the life of an awakened being with the mission to awaken all other living beings to the Buddha nature. He states that he performs these deeds lifetime after lifetime while enduring the law of transience and making use of its functions to guide all beings to awakening. In this teaching the Buddha makes clear that the behavior of all truly awakened beings is simply the eternal path of the Bodhisattva.  Those who saw themselves simply as disciples of the Buddha were not yet awakened to the fact that the state of Buddhahood has always recided within them that it is the very nature of their being itself that is the functions of the Sat Dharma Pundarika Sutra (Nam Myoho Renge Kyo). The eternal path of compassion, teaching, guiding, loving and caring for others is the path of all Buddha's.  It is the path of awareness that the universal functions of the Dharma are ever present and is the very basis of the mutual possession of all beings that are apperent in reality. This is the path of a living Buddha. This is the state of awareness that Nichiren calls Nam Myoho Renge Kyo - Devotion to the Mystic Law of Cause and Effect, the fusion of the temporary and the eternal. This path need not depart from this saha world to enjoy the bliss of enlightenment.


-continued-


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5 years ago  ::  May 03, 2013 - 2:52PM #3
etoro
Posts: 595

The Lotus Sutra draws together the correct wisdom and amalgamates all the teachings of the Buddha into a single great truth. Yet the strength of this teaching was so powerful that most of the four ranks of sages who coursed through the first 1000 years of Buddhist philosophy could barely speak of it. Why is this?  It is because the standard of practice established by the true object of true understanding of the true Buddha's wisdom revealed through the Lotus Sutra is so lofty, subtle, pure and pristine that the world of mankind is too heavily weighed down and burdened by the inherently dualistic nature of the manifest realm of existence that they tire of the effort and find it impossible to observe from one moment of thought to the next. The common mortal is attached to the dualistic world of sense based phenomena


This point is forefully revealed when we consider that the entire threefold Lotus Sutra, its introductory sutra, from the Immeasurable Meanings Sutra, the Lotus Sutra and the Contemplations on the Samantabadra Sutra are all envisioned within the one pointed samadhi of the Buddha's mind of concentration and insight; they are all concieved within a single moment of thought. This is known as great concentration (samatha) and insight (vipasyana). From this the great teacher Tien Tai summarized the principle of the Lotus Sutra as "Three Thousand Realms in a Single Moment of Thought.


But this approach to the practice of the Lotus Sutra proved to complicated for the average person to embrace and so became mired in the politics of Buddhist syncretics, antinomianism and the sovereign politics of feudalism and the greed of the noble classes. It is within these circumstances that the Votary of the Lotus Sutra, Nichiren, made his appearance and brought to fruition the name and form (namarupa) of the true object of devotion of the Lotus Sutra known as the three great secret laws of Myoho Renge Kyo.  The formation of this teaching and practice is a seminal event in the history of Buddhism, bringing to conclusion 1500 years of Buddhist debate regarding the issues of orthodoxy, orthopraxy and antinomianism in the realm of Buddhist philosophy. 


The Sino-Japanese debates in the realm of Buddhism culminate with the settlements of the Mahayana principles argued over the centuries by such great historic scholars such as Ashvagosha, Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Asanga, Vasubandhu, Bhavaviveka, Buddhapalita, Candrakirti and their spiritual followers. With respect to the culmination of doctrinal concerns, the sutric translations of Kumarajiva and his spiritual followers in China; followers which follow along the paths of the Prajnaparamita and Lotus Sutra on one side and followers of Lankavatara and Sandhinirmocana_Sutra; Xuanzang and Paramartha on the other, all settle upon the parallel relationships between the One Pointed Samadhi of the Lotus Sutra and the principle of ultimate consciousness (Amalavijnada). 


In the Lotus Sutra, in order to make preparations for the one pointed samadhi of the One Great Way (Sad Dharma), the Buddha begins with the exposition of the sutra known as the Immeasurable Meanings Derive from One Law sutra.  Here as we can see from the following passage found at the introductory chapter of the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha engages in certain preparatory and revelatory actions which lead to the exposition of the true sutra, to whit:


At that time the Bhagavat was respectfully surrounded by the fourfold
assembly (i.e., monks, nuns, laymen, laywomen), paid homage, honored,
and praised. He then taught the bodhisattvas the Mahayana sutra called
Immeasurable Meanings (Mahānirdeśa), the instruction for the bodhisattvas
and the treasured lore of the buddhas. After having taught this sutra, the
Buddha sat cross-legged, entered the samādhi called the “abode of immeasurable
meanings” (ananta-nirdeśa-pratiṣṭhāna) and remained unmoving in
both body and mind.



In this first chapter the great Bodhisaattva Manjushri instructs Maitreya on the meaning of the Buddha's actions by resorting to the same events haviong had occurred in other cosmological time periods and explains the causal relationships between them all and the relationships and exchanges among the Mentor and Disciples, Shakyamuni Buddha and the Bodhisattva Maitreya. By engaging the full attention of the Bodhisattva's of other realms, the Buddha is able to enjoin the attention of Shariputra and his saha wordly disciples to take faith in the unsurpassed teaching of the Lotus Sutra. This is why the second chapter on the true nature of the ways and means of the Buddha is directed at Shariputra, the wisest of all human disciples.


Here, in this chapter the important issues which draw the principle conflicts regarding the highest object of contemplation or Buddha's wisdom (Middleway of Wisdom) is disclosed by the Buddha upon awakening from his samadhi.  This issue in many respects addresses in actual true form the historic point of contention within the advanced Mahayana, the issues that were debated at Nalanda between Buddhapalita and Bhavaviveka; the debates concerning the proper way to utter the Buddha's perfection of wisdom by way of utter negations communicating the emptiness of true marks of all dharmas (known as Consequences Only in the prajna paramita of Tibetan Buddhism)  versus the Propositional approach, an approach to uttering true wisdom; grounded in the proposition that although all phenomena are empty of self natures, they temporarily exist and manifest the marks of all dharmas. The middleway consequentialists saw this proposition as tainted with the marks of the Consciousness Only school who argued that the mind only truly exists by way of self establishment. 


The principles expounded in the Lotus Sutra bring to fruition the essence of the Buddha's fully awakened nature of being. This essence on the one hand is ineffable or an unspeakable truth due to its unconditional and boundlesss aspect. On the other hand if such a nature of being were not present in the conditional world, within a single point of actual four dimensional reality, it would not have any value for living beings. The Buddha's presence of being here in this saha world is itself the best proof that both aspects can be present here in this world. Therefore the exposition of the second chapter of the Lotus Sutra concerns the true relationship or oneness between ultimate truth and conventional truth. Ultimate truth indicates the Buddha wisdom itself, a truth that is boundless, immeasurable, inconcievable under ordinary functions of cognition. Conventional truth indicates the way in which the Buddha employs the conditional wisdom of worldly truths to serve as a gateway and means of entry for ordinary common mortals to realize the Buddha wisdom for themselves. The Lotus Sutra serves this ultimate purpose.


The Great Teacher Dengyo declares:


The Former and Middle Days are almost over, and the Latter Day is nearat hand. Now indeed is the time when the one vehicle of the Lotus Sutra will prove how perfectly it fits thecapacities of all people. How do we know this is true? Because the Peaceful Practices chapter of the Lotus Sutra states "In the latter age hereafter, when the Law is about to perish, [accept and embrace the Lotus Sutra]. And Dengyo further states:“  Speaking of the age, [the propagation of the true teaching will begin] in the age when the Middle Day of the Law ends and the Latter Day opens. Regarding the land, it will begin in a land to the east of Tang and to the west of Katsu". As for the people, it will spread among people stained by the five impurities who live in a time of conflict." WND V1 pg 543.



The Great Teacher Fa-tsang of the Flower Garland school praised Tien-

tai in these words "Men like Nan-yüeh and [Tien-tai] Chih-che can understand the truth through intuition, and in practice have already ascended to the first stage of security. They recall the teachings of the Law as they heard them on Eagle Peak and present them that way today. There is an account of how the Tripitaka Master Pu-kung of the True Word school and his disciple Han-kuang both abandoned the True Word school and became followers of the Great Teacher Tien-tai.


The Biographies of Eminent Priests states: "When I [Han-kuang] was traveling in India together with the Tripitaka Master Pu-k'ung, (Amogavajra) a monk said to him, "In the land of China there are the teachings of T'ien-t'ai, which are most suitable in helping distinguish correct from in-correct doctrines and illuminating what is partial and what is perfect. Would it not be well to translate these writings and bring them here to this country? This story was related by Han-kuang to the Great Teacher Miao-lo. When he heard the story, Miao-lo exclaimed: "Does this not mean that Buddhism has been lost in India, the country of its origin, and must now be sought in the surrounding regions? But even in China there are few people who recognize the greatness of Tien-tai teachings. They are like the people

of Lu” ....................... Now if there had been any major treatises in India that could compare to these three works in thirty volumes byTien-tai, then why would the Indian monk have asked that Tien-tai s commentaries be brought from China? In view of all this, how can you deny that during the Middle Day of the Law the true meaning of the Lotus Sutra was made clear, and that the widespread proclamation and propagation of its teachings was accomplished throughout the southern continent of Jambudvipa?



Answer: The Great Teacher Tien-tai preached and spread throughout China a perfect meditation and perfect wisdom surpassing the lifetime teachings of the Buddha that had never been preached previously by any of the scholars in the fourteen hundred or more years since the Buddha's passing, that is, in the thousand years of the Former Day of the Law and the first four hundred years of the Middle Day.  His fame even reached as far as India.  WND V1 pg 557.



If I were to give an interpretation of the above teachings of Nichiren as I have come to understand the application of methods of healing or awakeing living beings within Buddhist philosophy over the many centuries across Asia, I would have to say that Buddhist philosophy posseses a method of applying orthopraxy such that greater means can be formulated over time (using what we call in the modern day memetics or cultural information trasfer) ) to reach even greater masses of people in keeping with the Bodhisattva practices of finding ever new means and methods to speedily enable people to attain Buddha wisdom for themselves, their families and communities. I believe this comes from a profound grasp of the functions of name and form (namarupa and mantrayana) in the formations of higher (non-dual) consciousness. 
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4 years ago  ::  Jul 04, 2013 - 12:31PM #4
etoro
Posts: 595

Speaking of the the principle of the two truths, a principle much debated in both the East and Western worlds of philosophical debates,  these two truths derive from a single basis.  The ulimtate truth must never contradict the functions of conventional truth. Coming into an awareness of the ultimate truth follows directly from a direct perception of the functions of conventional truths.  This entails the law of cause and effect.  However, while the ultimate truth is inherently embeded within conventional truth, the awakening of ultimate truth does not derive from a conventional cause.  A Buddha will construct the principles of wisdom upon which the Buddha wisdom flows, for the benefit of unawakened disciples, utilizing the tenets of the conventional world as a bridge or scaffold.  But when the time comes to reveal the cause and effect of Buddhahood itself the Buddha invariably discards all the provisional ways and means and expounds upon the one cause and the one effect of the true Buddha's nature. This cause is unconditional and the effect is unconditional as well.  In this respect the actual cause itself is faith in one's own inherent Buddha nature. Therefore upon awakening to the true Buddha nature, the causes and effects of the nine lower worlds are not discarded but rather seen as the myriad functions of the Dharma each and all possesed of all the marks of the true Dharma. The great teacher Tien Tai termed this principle the mutual possession of the ten realms of dharmas. This mutual possession is the one true Dharma. Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.

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4 years ago  ::  Jan 31, 2014 - 2:07AM #5
etoro
Posts: 595

In this respect the Lotus Sutra reveals the functions of the Dharma in regards to the means by which a Buddha, a universally awakened being, not only makes appearance within the conditional dualistic reality of the world but also how the wheel of doctrine is turned such that the meaning of the Buddha's words and teachings are sifted and refined to replace conditional truth with unconditional truth.  In this respect the inherent Buddha wisdom of the Buddha's disciples are ripened righ within their own lives through the Buddha's instructions.


The Lotus Sutra also teaches that the process of awakening is not the same for all persons present.  The Lotus Sutra divides the potential of all disciples into those of inferior, middling and superior capacities.  These are revealed through the first nine chapters of the Sutra. This division is not only made known among disciples within the Buddha's own lifetime but is also directed to the qualities and spiritual capacities of followers in the posthumous era after the Buddha's passing.  This establsihes the meaning of the four types of messengers in the period after the Buddha's passing. The point is that once a Buddha makes appearance in the dualistic world, this indicates that living beings within such a world system are all ready sufficiently advanced in their cognitive development to enter into and realize the Buddha wisdom for themselves. The appearance of a Buddha is in itsef an omen or a sign of the state of the living beings in such a world system. Therefore a Buddha sets forth preparations, revelations and transmissions so that all future generations hereafter can enter into the Buddha wisdom. The Lotus Sutra therefore also teaches a view of time on the basis of cognitive and spiritual functions. This is also among the powers and function of the Lotus Sutra.   

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