The Bodhi Way (三乘菩提)

Re: The Bodhi Way (三乘菩提)

Postby Buddhism » 01 Jul 2012, 22:20

Before I forget, if anyone is able to read Chinese properly, I hereby recommend you a new book on Prajñāpāramitā, Mastering the School Tenets of the Diamond Sutra Vol.1 金剛經宗通
ISBN 978-986-6431-33-3 May 2012

The author of this book elaborates on Prajñāpāramitā in plain Chinese, and pertinent koans are given as samples.
Any Buddhists should not miss this good book.
“It is difficult for the correct dharmas to manifest if the erroneous ones are not destroyed 若不破邪,難以顯正.” Bodhisattva Xuanzang (玄奘菩薩) stated in the past.

This post was recommended by brightmirror (13 Jul 2012, 03:33)
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Re: The Bodhi Way (三乘菩提)

Postby Buddhism » 04 Jul 2012, 22:55

The Three-Vehicle Bodhi 三乘菩提are:
1. Sound-Hearer Bodhi: Buddha Sakyamuni began by teaching this method to help practitioners build up their confidence in the Buddha dharma. The practitioner must observe that his physical body is illusory and that the sensation aggregate, perception aggregate, formation aggregate, and vijnana aggregate, which all derive from this body, are illusory as well. After the practitioner hears the Buddha’s teachings, he will observe mindfully to verify the non-substantiality of the above five aggregates, and he will realize that all these will eventually cease to exist and thus cannot be relied on. As a result, he will feel a sense of aversion and the urge to detach himself from everything. Eventually, as he fully believes in the Buddha’s teachings that every individual possesses the eighth vijnana, which neither arises nor ceases. He will then calmly and entirely abandon selfhood and become an Arhat. After his death, the Arhat will not take another rebirth. He will not appear in the human or heavenly realm. The Arhat is therefore liberated from the cycle of births and deaths and will enter nirvana. (Teachings from the Four Agama Sutras)

2. Solitary Realizer Bodhi: The practitioner of this vehicle is born in a time period without Buddha. With his wisdom, he observes the fact that humans suffer because of aging, illness and death. Aging, illness and death all result from the fact that we have a physical body. The physical body results from the constant impetus of the conscious mind in past lives, which consists of thinking “I want to know and I want to live.” Such impetus is due to ignorance, namely the ignorance of not knowing the Truth about life and the origin of life, and of not realizing that every individual is a temporary existence of different causes and conditions (the twelve links of dependent arising 十二因緣). Through such observations, the practitioner verifies that every life has an origin, the eighth vijnana. However, without the Buddha’s teachings, he is unable to uncover the eighth vijnana. On the other hand, he has indeed realized that he himself is of illusory nature, formed by causes and conditions. Since he has the wisdom of not being reborn again in the human or heavenly realm after death, he is liberated from the cycle of births and deaths. Before his death, he is entitled to be called a Solitary Realizer. (Teachings from the Four Agama Sutras)
(part 2)
“It is difficult for the correct dharmas to manifest if the erroneous ones are not destroyed 若不破邪,難以顯正.” Bodhisattva Xuanzang (玄奘菩薩) stated in the past.
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Re: The Bodhi Way (三乘菩提)

Postby Buddhism » 08 Jul 2012, 23:57

3. Buddhahood-Way: This is the cultivation method leading to Buddhahood, the foremost teaching of Buddha Sakyamuni. Aside from the Hinayana teachings, this dharma teaches us that the physical body is illusory and that the sensation aggregate, perception aggregate, formation aggregate, and vijnana aggregate are also illusory; all of these will eventually cease to exist, but within every mortal living being, the eighth vijnana, Alayavijnana, is immortal. This vijnana is the origin of all lives. Every mortal living being possesses his own eighth vijnana, which generates his body, and then indirectly the consciousness (the sixth vijnana), etc.; it also generates, together with the Alayavijnanas of other sentient beings, the material environment in which we live in.

Buddha Sakyamuni has taught the cultivation method of the Buddhahood-Way (For example, one trains the conscious mind to become more subtle via meditation; this will help the practitioner uncover the eighth vijnana more easily. But restraining the conscious mind from having wandering thoughts is not the ultimate goal.) The practitioner achieves enlightenment when he finds the eighth vijnana, the source of life.

The practitioner then observes in depth all the functions of the eighth vijnana, gradually gaining more wisdom about the true reality of life; once he has fully realized the countless contents (stored seeds) of the eighth vijnana and Its magnificent functional distinctions, he will become a Buddha. The eighth vijnana can actually be realized. (Teachings from the Prajna-Paramita Sutras and Sutras of Vijnana-Only)
(part 3)
“It is difficult for the correct dharmas to manifest if the erroneous ones are not destroyed 若不破邪,難以顯正.” Bodhisattva Xuanzang (玄奘菩薩) stated in the past.
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Re: The Bodhi Way (三乘菩提)

Postby Buddhism » 09 Jul 2012, 00:06

Why did the Buddha teach only the Agama Sutras, but not prajna, to certain people? Why did the Buddha teach at most prajna to certain people, but not All-Seed-Prajna of Vijnana-Only? What is the reason? Actually, it is because the capacities and conditions of sentient beings are all different. Therefore, there were so many altogether-liberated arhats 俱解脫阿羅漢—some are even great arhats with three insights and six supernatural powers 三明六通—who were unable to realize Tathagatagarbha or understand prajna. This is because neither their conditions nor their capacities were suitable to learn the profounder dharma. Arhats only wished to enter remainderless nirvana after death and did not want to take on the responsibility of passing down the Buddha dharma. That is why the Buddha taught the profound meanings of all-seed-prajna of Vijnana-Only solely to the senior bodhisattvas or the bodhisattvas with sharp capacities, and they were willing to experience the cultivating methods stage by stage; while the Buddha taught Agama Sutras, but not prajna or all-seed-prajna, to the arhats. In other words, true Buddhist learning should be based on the practitioners’ conditions and capacities; practitioners themselves are the one who can decide their own cultivation path in Buddhism. Again, practitioners’ capacities and conditions rely on their past lives' merits and virtues of auxiliary dharma, which contribute to form their mentalities of this life. As we see deeper, the Buddhist cultivation is exactly like a spiderweb that interconnects into every directions. (part 4/end)
“It is difficult for the correct dharmas to manifest if the erroneous ones are not destroyed 若不破邪,難以顯正.” Bodhisattva Xuanzang (玄奘菩薩) stated in the past.
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Re: The Bodhi Way (三乘菩提)

Postby SauLan » 09 Jul 2012, 00:39

Buddhism wrote:In other words, true Buddhist learning should be based on the practitioners’ conditions and capacities; practitioners themselves are the one who can decide their own cultivation path in Buddhism. Again, practitioners’ capacities and conditions rely on their past lives' merits and virtues of auxiliary dharma, which contribute to form their mentalities of this life. As we see deeper, the Buddhist cultivation is exactly like a spiderweb that interconnects into every directions. (part 4/end)


I agree--I believe that "practitioner's conditions and capacities" definitely includes those conditions which change according to time and place. For me, for example, for my mentality and in my culture, I believe tantric meditation practices are very effective. It suits my nature, and quiets down my racing, over-stimulated mind by (ironically) redirecting some of that over-stimulated energy into practice rather than just everyday pursuits. I feel the same way about ngondro practice, prostrations, etc.; it may not be for everyone, but for me, it's very effective. Sometimes prostrations are the only way to focus my mind at certain times of day--it's like even I, the hyperactive one, can slow down my thinking when my whole body is involved in practice.

I believe the Buddha taught a basic philosophy which is not limited by the conditions of his time--instead, because of his brilliant distillation of ideas, he was able to get his philosophy down to something so basic that we can literally apply it broadly across times, cultures, and mentalities. Its greatest genius, in a way.
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Re: The Bodhi Way (三乘菩提)

Postby SauLan » 09 Jul 2012, 00:55

@Buddhism, thank you by the way, for the materials you sent--that was very generous, and I am reading through them and listening to the CD now. I would be happy to send you some postage in return. Thanks again.
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Re: The Bodhi Way (三乘菩提)

Postby Buddhism » 14 Jul 2012, 16:16

SauLan wrote:@Buddhism, thank you by the way, for the materials you sent--that was very generous, and I am reading through them and listening to the CD now. I would be happy to send you some postage in return. Thanks again.

You are one of the blessed bodhisattvas on earth. It's my pleasure to offer you some Buddhist materials that you would love to read and listen. As you mentioned on the earlier post, it's the "motivation" that is important; hopefully you will still be connected to the Buddha in your future lives to come.
And the CD is meant for building up the mind-nature 心性 leading to the Buddhahood-Way.
No mention of the postage, Buddhism is beyond payment.
“It is difficult for the correct dharmas to manifest if the erroneous ones are not destroyed 若不破邪,難以顯正.” Bodhisattva Xuanzang (玄奘菩薩) stated in the past.
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Re: The Bodhi Way (三乘菩提)

Postby Buddhism » 14 Jul 2012, 16:33

SauLan wrote:However, using union practice is not "sex," any more than prostrations are "exercise," or chanting mantras is "music."

Mantras may appear to be music, prostrations may appear to be physical exercise, and union practices may appear to be sex, but that doesn't make it so. We are human beings, and anything at all that we do may be therefore mistaken for mere, ordinary activity; but it is our motivation and reasoning which determines whether our activity is actually mundane or spiritual.

A person may appear to be simply walking; but if they are engaged in walking meditation, they are actually meditating, not simply walking.

A clearer example might be a person who is fasting, taking only water, and no solid food: when taking a drink, someone from the outside may say, "Look, that person is drinking, and fostering a craving for satisfying thirst," when in fact the practitioners is avoiding food, specifically to reduce his craving for food overall. Again, it's the motivation, especially over time, which makes the difference, rather than the superficial appearance of one, specific act.

There is a saying in Chan Buddhist 禪宗, “A straight mind is the Bodhi-way place. 直心是道場”
You must be quite aware of it as well.

Your statements are right, and they do make sense for worldly analysis.
However, in terms of Buddhism, the conscious mind is a vital tool to uncover the Truth, but not to be submerged by meaningless trifles.
Just to remind you, the very basic of Buddhist cultivation is to reduce clinging to the name-and-form 名色, even more so not to complicate one’s mind with useless objects. As my earlier post read:

Buddhism wrote:The Three-Vehicle Bodhi 三乘菩提are:
1. Sound-Hearer Bodhi: Buddha Sakyamuni began by teaching this method to help practitioners build up their confidence in the Buddha dharma. The practitioner must observe that his physical body is illusory and that the sensation aggregate, perception aggregate, formation aggregate, and vijnana aggregate, which all derive from this body, are illusory as well. After the practitioner hears the Buddha’s teachings, he will observe mindfully to verify the non-substantiality of the above five aggregates, and he will realize that all these will eventually cease to exist and thus cannot be relied on. As a result, he will feel a sense of aversion and the urge to detach himself from everything. Eventually, as he fully believes in the Buddha’s teachings that every individual possesses the eighth vijnana, which neither arises nor ceases. He will then calmly and entirely abandon selfhood and become an Arhat. After his death, the Arhat will not take another rebirth. He will not appear in the human or heavenly realm. The Arhat is therefore liberated from the cycle of births and deaths and will enter nirvana. (Teachings from the Four Agama Sutras).


So, the key issue here is to have the correct knowledge of the proper cultivating stage, instead of indulging in or playing with the words and minds. For your references, thank you.
“It is difficult for the correct dharmas to manifest if the erroneous ones are not destroyed 若不破邪,難以顯正.” Bodhisattva Xuanzang (玄奘菩薩) stated in the past.
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Re: The Bodhi Way (三乘菩提)

Postby Buddhism » 14 Jul 2012, 16:44

SauLan wrote:... I feel the same way about ngondro practice, prostrations, etc.; it may not be for everyone, but for me, it's very effective. Sometimes prostrations are the only way to focus my mind at certain times of day--it's like even I, the hyperactive one, can slow down my thinking when my whole body is involved in practice.

I believe the Buddha taught a basic philosophy which is not limited by the conditions of his time--instead, because of his brilliant distillation of ideas, he was able to get his philosophy down to something so basic that we can literally apply it broadly across times, cultures, and mentalities. Its greatest genius, in a way.

Good for you, if you enjoy this way of practice.
For your information, Buddhism is not merely a philosophy, as a matter of fact, it can be personally realized and verified in accordance with the stages described in the sutras.
“It is difficult for the correct dharmas to manifest if the erroneous ones are not destroyed 若不破邪,難以顯正.” Bodhisattva Xuanzang (玄奘菩薩) stated in the past.
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Re: The Bodhi Way (三乘菩提)

Postby Buddhism » 18 Jul 2012, 23:05

Overview of the Liberation-Way in short:
If an individual is able to truly understand the existence and origin of the different functions of the six sense-organs 六根and the six vijnanas 六識, then the correct foundation for the Liberation-Way has been established.

if an individual can eliminate the self-attachments of his Manas (the seventh vijnana 意根) and the conscious mind (the sixth vijnana 意識), and extirpate himself upon death, then he will not undergo any more rebirth; thereupon the liberation from birth and death will be accomplished, and this state is named remainderless nirvana 無餘涅槃.
“It is difficult for the correct dharmas to manifest if the erroneous ones are not destroyed 若不破邪,難以顯正.” Bodhisattva Xuanzang (玄奘菩薩) stated in the past.
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