Author Topic: is buddhahood impermanent?  (Read 1051 times)

Offline pureleaf

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Re: is buddhahood impermanent?
« Reply #30 on: May 10, 2017, 09:12:13 am »
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I was taught that he thought the gods were caught up on the wheel too. He thought they were to be pitied because they would find it hard to make further progress.

Well, they wish for human rebirth…
during the time of a Buddha or his teaching.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2017, 09:15:37 am by pureleaf »

Offline IdleChater

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Re: is buddhahood impermanent?
« Reply #31 on: May 10, 2017, 12:19:41 pm »


Nevertheless, the Pabhassara (luminous) Sutta (AN 1.49-52) is considered by many to be the source for the Mahayana developments of both Buddha nature and Tathagatagarba doctrines.

Buddha Nature and Tathagatagarba are the same thing.


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Point taken, but it’s all Buddhism. I don’t think its criticism of the sutras so much, as trying to provide another source.

Then posting links to an article questioning (to put it mildly) Mahayana sturas isn't criticism?

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Anyhow, historically the shoe has often been on the other foot when it comes to the Mahayana verses the Hinayana rift.

There's no rift.  The so-called Hinayana has been taught and honored in the Mahayana tradition for a very long time.  Pema Chodron, an important teacher in the Shambhala tradition, taught nothing but Hinayana for years.  In the lineage I practice in, you can't undertake Mahayana study and practice until you can demonstrate a solid understanding of the main components of the Hinayana first.

If there's a rift at all, I think it lies with our Theravadin friends, as described by Zafrogzen.

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: is buddhahood impermanent?
« Reply #32 on: May 11, 2017, 12:20:07 am »
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I was taught that he thought the gods were caught up on the wheel too. He thought they were to be pitied because they would find it hard to make further progress.

Well, they wish for human rebirth…
during the time of a Buddha or his teaching.

No, that was the point. They were enjoying being gods too much to wish for a human rebirth. They didn't know that everything eventually changes, even them.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline pureleaf

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Re: is buddhahood impermanent?
« Reply #33 on: May 11, 2017, 01:15:52 pm »
Right, they wish for human rebirth while dying…

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: is buddhahood impermanent?
« Reply #34 on: May 12, 2017, 02:04:59 am »
I like Terry Pratchett's idea that gods merely fade away to nothingness as people stop believing in them  :teehee:
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: is buddhahood impermanent?
« Reply #35 on: May 12, 2017, 03:51:09 am »
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Idle Chater:  "If there's a rift at all, I think it lies with our Theravadin friends, as described by Zafrogzen."

I think so, too.  I think this annoyance expressed by Theravadans with The Mahayana is the main reason why secular Buddhism will continue to be chosen by many Theravadan lay practitioners in The West.

This gentleman expresses the reason for this the trend concisely:

https://youtu.be/-v-iNe1wVZ0
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline Pixie

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Re: is buddhahood impermanent?
« Reply #36 on: May 12, 2017, 04:37:37 am »


I think so, too.  I think this annoyance expressed by Theravadans with The Mahayana is the main reason why secular Buddhism will continue to be chosen by many Theravadan lay practitioners in The West.

This gentleman expresses the reason for this the trend concisely:

https://youtu.be/-v-iNe1wVZ0


 I'm not sure if that's necessarily the case at all  though,  because if  lay Theravadins are changing to Secular Buddhism, surely it's because they're unhappy with mainstream Theravada, rather than because of  any annoyance with Mahayana?

My own response to the video can be found in an "Independent Buddhists" sub-forum here:

https://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/showthread.php?6737-Early-Buddhism-and-Secular-Buddhism

_/|\_
« Last Edit: May 12, 2017, 04:56:11 am by Pixie »
May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May they all be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May they never be deprived of true happiness devoid of any suffering.
May they abide in great impartiality, free from attachment to loved ones and aversion to others.

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: is buddhahood impermanent?
« Reply #37 on: May 12, 2017, 06:26:40 am »
Hi, Pixie.

What I was referring to was the constant disagreements and the resulting cheap pot shots between traditions as we just witnessed in this thread.  The focus in The Theravada is the suttas, which are held to be almost the most reliable.  And, as was my case, eventually Theravadans come to the realization that there are so many opportunities for errors and corruptions over time, due to translations, to changes from culture to culture, that nothing remains pure.  Add to that the seeping of mythology, and superstition into the "dhamma" and what you are left with is at best questionable as to authenticity.  Therefore, cross traditional bickering is almost certain.  At least that has been my experience, and my motivation to continue to evolve away from traditional boundaries to secularism, or what I personally call Scientific Buddhism:  Practice  in light of only that which is factual and of benefit.
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline IdleChater

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Re: is buddhahood impermanent?
« Reply #38 on: May 12, 2017, 09:44:55 am »
Hi, Pixie.

What I was referring to was the constant disagreements and the resulting cheap pot shots between traditions as we just witnessed in this thread.  The focus in The Theravada is the suttas, which are held to be almost the most reliable.  And, as was my case, eventually Theravadans come to the realization that there are so many opportunities for errors and corruptions over time, due to translations, to changes from culture to culture, that nothing remains pure.  Add to that the seeping of mythology, and superstition into the "dhamma" and what you are left with is at best questionable as to authenticity.  Therefore, cross traditional bickering is almost certain.  At least that has been my experience, and my motivation to continue to evolve away from traditional boundaries to secularism, or what I personally call Scientific Buddhism:  Practice  in light of only that which is factual and of benefit.

Well, what does Scientific Buddhism have to say about Buddhahood.  Does it affirm the possibility of Buddhahood, the veractity of Tathagathagarba, Buddhahood within a lifetime?

Offline IdleChater

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Re: is buddhahood impermanent?
« Reply #39 on: May 12, 2017, 05:48:10 pm »



I think so, too.  I think this annoyance expressed by Theravadans with The Mahayana is the main reason why secular Buddhism will continue to be chosen by many Theravadan lay practitioners in The West.

It's not entirely clear that there are any significant number of western Theravadins becoming "secular".  Most of the Theravadins in the west are "cultural" Buddhists.  They are of nationalities where Buddhism is a dominant religion and/or part of their family's tradition.  They generally don't take part i,n nor do they seem to care about the controversies many western & online Theravadins have a bug up their butt about.  For them, Buddhism is simply what they are, something they were raised and conditioned to be.  They couldn't be secular Buddhists, because that isn't what Buddhism is about for them.

I'm not sure if that's necessarily the case at all  though,  because if  lay Theravadins are changing to Secular Buddhism, surely it's because they're unhappy with mainstream Theravada, rather than because of  any annoyance with Mahayana?

If they're changing at all.  They could also switch to being a Methodist.  I know a gal who was a hard-core Shambalian, Dorje Kasung and everything, and she returned to being a Christian, Methodist I believe.  They could become Hindu, Bahai, or take up fly fishing.

Because I rather doubt that Ron's "Scientific Buddhism" will make no attempt to visit and reconcile such Mahayana topics such as Buddhahood, and so on (notice how I try to bring us back on-topic), perhaps he should call it "Scientific Theravada" and I'd love to read a thread on that over at DhammaWheel.

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: is buddhahood impermanent?
« Reply #40 on: May 12, 2017, 07:58:42 pm »
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Idle Chater :  " Well, what does Scientific Buddhism have to say about Buddhahood."

Science and therefore Scientific Buddhism requires that any claim of factuality be supported with not only evidence, but with reproducible evidence of the facts to support the claims.

To my knowledge, there have been no Buddhas in any tradition during my lifetime, nor have I seen any claims to achievement of  Buddhahood from any Buddhist source anywhere in the world during the modern era, since the time of Gotama Buddha.   There is a foretelling of a future Buddha, Maiyatreya, but so far he has not arisen.   Therefore, science has had nothing to investigate (so far).

I doubt that a Buddha will arise anytime in our lifetime.  But, I would be very pleased if one did.

Quote
Does it affirm the possibility of Buddhahood, the veractity of Tathagathagarba, Buddhahood within a lifetime?

See above.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2017, 08:09:25 pm by Ron-the-Elder »
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: is buddhahood impermanent?
« Reply #41 on: May 13, 2017, 01:59:24 am »
Hi guys. I'm a bit confused. I was taught that since we are in a Buddhafield, within the influence of a Buddha, that people can't be a Buddha simply because a Buddha is one who becomes enlightened at a time when there is no Buddha or Buddhism. It doesn't stop people becoming enlightened, just that they can't have the label 'Buddha' in the sense that we know it.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: is buddhahood impermanent?
« Reply #42 on: May 13, 2017, 06:54:29 am »
Hi guys. I'm a bit confused. I was taught that since we are in a Buddhafield, within the influence of a Buddha, that people can't be a Buddha simply because a Buddha is one who becomes enlightened at a time when there is no Buddha or Buddhism. It doesn't stop people becoming enlightened, just that they can't have the label 'Buddha' in the sense that we know it.

This seems to be a function of what individual traditions are teaching.  For example in The Theravada there are several types of buddhas:

Quote
Sammā-sambodhi: 'Perfect Enlightenment', Universal Buddhahood, is the state attained by a Universal Buddha sammā-sambuddha i.e. one by whom the liberating law dhamma which had become lost to the world, has again been discovered, realized and clearly proclaimed to the world.

Now, someone, in things never heard before, understands by himself the truth, and he therein attains omniscience, and gains mastery in the powers. Such a one is called a Universal Buddha, or Enlightened One; Pug. 29.

The doctrine characteristie of all the Buddhas, and each time rediscovered by them and fully explained to the world, consists in the 4 Truths sacca of suffering, its origin, its ceasing and the way to its ceasing see: magga See bodhi
.

Quote
Ariya-puggala: or simply Ariya: Noble Ones, noble persons:
The 8, Ariya = Noble Ones are those who have realized one of the 8 stages of Nobility, i.e. the 4 supra-mundane paths magga and the 4 supra-mundane fruitions phala of these paths. There are thus these 4 pairs:

A1. The one realizing the path of Stream-winning sotāpatti-magga.
A2. The one realizing the fruition of Stream-winning sotāpatti-phala.

A3. The one realizing the path of Once-return sakadāgāmi-magga.
A4. The one realizing the fruition of Once-return sakadāgāmi-phala.

A5. The one realizing the path of Non-return anāgāmi-magga.
A6. The one realizing the fruition of Non-return anāgāmi-phala.

A7. The one realizing the path of Nobility arahatta-magga.
A8. The one realizing the fruition of Nobility arahatta-phala.

Summed up, there are 4 noble individuals ariya-puggala:
1: The Stream-winner Sotāpanna,
2: The Once-Returner Sakadāgāmi,
3: The Non-Returner Anāgāmī,
4: The Worthy One Arahat.

In A. VIII,10 and A. IX, 16 the gotrabhū is listed as the 9th noble individual.

According to the Abhidhamma, the supra-mundane path, or simply path magga, is a designation of the moment of entering into one of these 4 stages of Nobility with Nibbāna being the object, produced by intuitional insight vipassanā into the impermanence, misery and impersonality of existence, flashing forth and forever transforming one's life and nature. By fruition phala is meant those moments of consciousness which follow immediately thereafter as the result of the path, and which in certain circumstances may repeat for innumerable times during the life-time.

I: Through the path of Stream-winning sotāpatti-magga one becomes free whereas in realizing the fruition, one is freed from the first 3 mental chains samyojana, which bind beings to existence in the sense-sphere, to wit:
1: Personality-belief sakkāya-ditthi, see. ditthi,
2: Skeptical doubt vicikicchā,
3: Clinging upādāna to mere rules and rituals sīlabbata-parāmāsa.
One has maximally 7 rebirth rounds before Awakening and cannot be reborn
as animal, ghost, demon or hell-being.

II: Through the path of Once-return sakadāgāmi-magga one becomes nearly freed from the 4th and 5th mental chains, to wit:
4: Sense-desire kāma-cchanda = kāma-rāga rāga, and
5: Ill-will vyāpāda = dosa see: mūla.

III: Through the path of Non-return anāgāmi-magga one becomes fully freed from the above-mentioned 5 lower mental chains.

IV: Through the path of Nobility arahatta-magga one furthermore becomes free from the 5 higher mental chains, to wit:
6: Craving for fine material existence rūpa-rāga,
7: Craving for formless existence. arūpa-rāga,
8: Conceit and pride māna,
9: Restlessness uddhacca, and
10: Ignorance avijjā.

The stereotype Sutta text runs as follows:

Stream-enterer:
I: After the disappearance of the three mental chains, the Bhikkhu has won the stream to Nibbāna and is no more subject to rebirth in the lower worlds, is firmly established, bound for full enlightenment.

Once-returner:
II: After the disappearance of the three mental chains and the reduction of greed, hatred and confusion, he will return only once more; and having once more returned to this world, he will put an end to suffering.

Non-returner:
III: After the disappearance of the five mental chains he appears in a higher world, and there he reaches Nibbāna without ever returning from that world to the sense-sphere worlds.

Arahat:
IV: Through the ceasing of all mental fermentations āsava-kkhaya he reaches already in this very life the deliverance of mind, the deliverance through understanding, which is free from fermentations, and which he himself has understood and directly realized.

For the various classes of Stream-winners and Non-Returners, see: Sotāpanna, Anāgāmī.

B: The sevenfold grouping of the Noble Disciples is as follows:

1: The faith-devotee saddhānusārī,
2: The faith-liberated one saddhā-vimutta,
3: The body-witness kāya-sakkhī,
4: The both-ways-liberated one ubhato-bhāga-vimutta,
5: The Dhamma-devotee dhammānusārī,
6: The vision-attainer ditthippatta,
7: The one liberated by understanding paññā-vimutta.
This group of seven Noble Disciples is thus explained in Vis.M XXI, 73:

1-2: He who is filled with determination adhimokkha and, in considering the constructions as impermanent anicca, gains the ability of faith, he, at the moment of the path to Stream-winning A1 is called a faith-devotee saddhānusārī; 2: at the seven higher stages A2-A8 he is called a faith-liberated one saddhā-vimutta.

3: He who is filled with tranquillity and, in considering the constructions as miserable dukkha, gains the ability of concentration, he in every respect is considered as a body-witness kāya-sakkhī.

4: He who after reaching the absorptions of the formless sphere has attained the highest fruition of Nobility, he is a both-ways-liberated one ubhato-bhāga-vimutta.

5: He who is filled with understanding and, in considering the constructions as no-self anattā, gains the ability of understanding, he is at the moment of Stream-winning A1 a Dhamma-devotee dhammānusārī,

6: At the later stages A2-A7 a vision-attainer ditthippatta,

7: At the highest stage A8 a understanding-liberated one paññā-vimutta. 

Further details about the body-witness => kāya-sakkhī, the both-ways-liberated one => ubhato-bhāga-vimutta and the understanding-liberated one => paññā-vimutta Cf. also M. 70; A. IX, 44; see: XII, 70; Pts.M. II, p. 33, PTS.

Again,  I am not familiar with the denotations and classifications within the Mahayana.  I will leave it to others to share this information with you as they wish.

I have seen other classifications of Buddhas in The Theravada, but this is all I have time for this morning.  Have been dethatching my lawns for the last week and need to get to work before the coming rainy season (Mid-April).

Best to all.

_/\_Ron



What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline IdleChater

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Re: is buddhahood impermanent?
« Reply #43 on: May 13, 2017, 07:12:07 pm »
Hi guys. I'm a bit confused. I was taught that since we are in a Buddhafield, within the influence of a Buddha, that people can't be a Buddha simply because a Buddha is one who becomes enlightened at a time when there is no Buddha or Buddhism. It doesn't stop people becoming enlightened, just that they can't have the label 'Buddha' in the sense that we know it.

There are 3 kinds of Buddha.

One is the "Sravakabuddha" .  THis one who has attained Buddhahood via the teachings of a Samyaksambuddha, such as Shakyamuni.

The next is a "Pratyekabuddha" is one who attains Buddhahood by him/herself, but does not turn the Wheel of Dharma.

Then we have the "Samyaksambuddha"  who achieves Buddhahood without a teacher of the complete Path and also turns the Wheel of Dharma.  Shakyamuni is one such Buddha.

There is, as I understand it, a difference between an Arhant and a Buddha.  I don't recall the differences.  One is that the Arhant does not turn the Wheel of Dharma.

The goal of Mahayana in Buddhahood, not just individual Enlightenment.  The goal of Vajrayana is Buddhahood in a lifetime.

According to the Mahayana tradition there has been at least one Buddha since the time of Shakyamuni.  This was the man called Padmasambhava, who brought Tantra to Tibet and is considered the founder of the Nyingma lineage.



Offline Pixie

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Re: is buddhahood impermanent?
« Reply #44 on: May 14, 2017, 01:55:52 am »

According to the Mahayana tradition there has been at least one Buddha since the time of Shakyamuni.  This was the man called Padmasambhava, who brought Tantra to Tibet and is considered the founder of the Nyingma lineage.


As well as being important in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism, Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) is also very important to the Kagyu school  - and there are seven-line prayers and pujas dedicated to him by both schools.

 http://kagyuoffice.org/tag/guru-rinpoche/


_/|\_
« Last Edit: May 14, 2017, 02:00:03 am by Pixie »
May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May they all be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May they never be deprived of true happiness devoid of any suffering.
May they abide in great impartiality, free from attachment to loved ones and aversion to others.

 


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