Author Topic: Mantra  (Read 929 times)

Offline leveraldo8

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Mantra
« on: September 29, 2015, 03:50:09 pm »
In your opinion, what is mantra? What is it used for? All should recite Buddhist mantra, or is it optional?

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Offline ཨོཾRaZor༄

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Re: Mantra
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2015, 09:54:10 pm »
Mantra can be considered as a form of shamata meditation.  It's unavoidable if you practice tantra.  There are accumulations of mantra in the 100,000s.  Lama Yeshe in the book on Vajrasattva describes Mantra as a sound that is already within in your nervous system.  I really like that idea. Depending on which mantra your are reciting the emphasis will different.  In general, all Buddhist mantras are for connecting with enlightenment, your own Buddha nature.  Personally, I think mantra is a wonderful means, but you should receive authorization through empowerment along with the teaching of how to practice before reciting any mantra other than Om Mani Peme Hung.  Visualizations usually accompany mantra as well. 


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Offline Dharmakara

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Re: Mantra
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2015, 11:27:04 pm »
I would have to say that it's optional (or a matter of personal preference, depending on the tradition that's being practiced, ect.), but, with that said, the following comes from "A Guide to Buddhism A-Z" by the Ven. Shravasti Dhammika

Quote
A mantra (Pali manta) is a sound or a combination of sounds used as a spell. Brahmanism at the time of the Buddha taught that repeating certain mantras would impart spiritual power and blessings and evoke the help of the gods. The Tipiñaka mentions a sage named Araka who taught the doctrine of 'enlightenment through chanting a mantra' (mantayàbodhabbam , A.IV, 136).

Some mantras consisted of lines or verses from the Vedas, but single syllables such as hum were used too. In the Vinaya the Buddha said that the enlightened person will not chant hum (Vin. I, 3). Skill in Vedic mantras, he said, guarantee neither regard or virtue. 'Brahmins are born into scholarly families, have mantras as their kinsmen, and yet again and again they are seen doing evil deeds. For this they are blamed here and have a bad destiny hereafter' (Sn. 140-1). The Sutta Nipàta says that chanting mantras, making offerings and performing sacrifices (mantahutiyanna), i.e. practices so central to Brahmanism, could not help someone plagued by doubt (Sn. 249). The Buddha rejected all forms of magic and replaced it with the idea that the greatest strength and protection comes from acting ethically and having a pure mind. For this reason the Milindapanha called the Buddha's Dhamma the highest mantra (uttaram mantam, Mil. 11).

The Jàtaka includes a story about a group of virtuous men who were falsely accused of doing wrong and were sentenced to be trampled by elephants. But try as he might, the executioner could not get the elephants to kill the men. Assuming that they must be reciting some protective spell or incantation the executioner asked them: 'What is your mantra?' The leader of the men replied: 'We have no mantra other than this, that none of us kills, steals, sexually misconducts ourselves, lies or drinks alcohol. We cultivate love, practice generosity, repair roads, construct wells and built rest houses for travellers. This is our mantra, our protection and the thing by which we flourish' (Ja. I, 200).

The use of mantras was an aspect of Brahmanism that became so central to Vajrayàna that this school of Buddhism is sometimes also called Mantrayàna. Vajrayàna Buddhism in Japan is called Shingon, the Japanese word for mantra.

http://www.buddhisma2z.com/content.php?id=247


Offline ཨོཾRaZor༄

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Re: Mantra
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2015, 05:08:21 am »
The use of mantras in Brahmanism is not a central aspect in Vajrayana Buddhism. This is entirely incorrect.  Vajrayana Buddhism is not adopting Vedic mantras in a Buddhist context, nor are the practitioners lacking enlightenment, compassion, or virtue because they recite hum.  This is a very dualistic view where two approaches are being set against one another. The use of mantras in Vajrayana Buddhism if done properly evoke compassion, love, and generosity. They even lead to ordinary siddhis and the ultimate siddhi, enlightenment.  If you read about  Thang Tong Gyalpo, the iron bridge builder, you will see that this dualistic view of mantra and Buddhism is a delusion. He did a lifetime of retreat meditating on the bodhisattva if love and compassion, chenrezig. Om mani Peme hung is the mantra. He built iron bridges that are still standing.  He was compassionate and generous. He was an enlightened Buddha that recited hum. 


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Offline Dharmakara

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Re: Mantra
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2015, 06:58:56 am »
My friend, you really need to pay a bit more attention to what you're reading because Bhante Dhammika didn't say that the use of mantras in Brahmanism was a central aspect of Vajrayana Buddhism, or that it adopted Vedic mantras in a Buddhist context, ect. --- what he was referring to was the influence of Brahmanic ritual orthopraxy upon the early development of Vajrayana Buddhism, mind you, something that's also interwoven throughout Vajrayana ritual practice in general.

As for the comment about practitioners lacking enlightenment, compassion, or virtue because they recite hum and so forth, it was a specific reference found within the Vinaya, where the Buddha himself is recorded as having said that the enlightened person would not chant hum (Vin. I, 3). You can disagree and argue about this as much as you like, but you're not going to sit here and rewrite the Vinaya, nor put words into the mouth of another person that were not spoken.

To borrow a verse from the great bard himself,s found within Act III/Scene II of Hamlet by William Shakespeare: "The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

 


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