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OfflineKremlin
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Eastern Religions II: Early Mahayana Buddhism
    #2068765 - 11/03/03 09:58 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Refer to This Post for my Easter Religions Part I: Early Indian Buddhism as a backgorund to this one:

Mahayana Buddhism:

around 300 BCE in India, there were growing problems with Therravada buddhism in the peoples' eyes.

1)Too Abstract and hard to grasp. The idea of an-atman or "no self" is a very hard concept, and the buddha, while giving good metaphores, doesnt offer too much help in understanding it.

2)No middle path, you are either a monk or a layperson.

Mahayana buddhism wants to:

1)Adopt local practices to gain favor with locals
2)more democratic meetings and gatherings that arent closed off to all but monks
3)Wanted the Buddha recognized as a supernatural being who appeared as a man to teach us.
4)Human images of the buddha (Before all images just showed footprints dissapearing into nothingness)
5)New Sutras (texts)
6)Idea of Buddha Nature -- nature of the buddha is in us all (idea of an atman or self creeping back in)

Mahayana won over, and Therravada buddhism shrunk and basically dissapeared in India. It took on the name Hinayama or "small vehicle"

Mahayana became known as the "great vehicle" school, since Mahayana literally means that.

~150bce, Mahayana seperates and becomes its own form of buddhism.

The new sutras were written in Sanscrit, not traditional Pali for buddhism, and claimed to be the teachings of the Buddha, and they endorse Mahayana.

Many new practices were introduced as well, erasing the line between laypeople and monks

Bodhi Sattva Path
Therravada Buddhism made you achieve enlightenment in this lifetime, or you were out of luck. Mahayana responded by adding a new idea, the Bodhi Sattva path.

The buddha was one of a long line of Buddhas, and each one of these were external personifications of the Buddha Nature. You can work your way up to the edge of nirvana, and stay there to help others achieve the same progress. THis is a key difference between Therravada & Mahayana, Therravada you do it alone, Mahayana you help everyone else, "The Great Vehicle".

These bodhisattvas can control their rebirth, and they feel only compassion and self-sacrifice, the buddha nature. This path takes (i believe) 3 incalculable eons to complete, so there's no rush, you can live your normal life, and you can pursue your religious ideals.

Madhyamaka
One of Mahayanas schools was the Madhyamaka school, or "Middle Way". They focused on Prajna or "Wisdom". Nagarjuna was one of the critics of the Therravada's concept of Abidharma or "pure particulars", saying the true way of the world is Sunyata or "emptiness".

It's a kind of Ontological Nihilism, enlightened point of view we cant understand. Ultimate truths are that there are no karma, no samsara, because samsara = nirvana. There is no suffering.

Conventional truths states that there is karma, samsara, and they are not equal. THis is because the Buddha believed that you should use "skillfull means" in teaching, tell people what they need to hear, even if its a white lie, to get them to the conclusion.
This is also the explanation for why Mahayana suddenly finds new sutras that were supposedly hidden until we were ready to see them.

Prajna is a sudden process, and with all these religions we will see a tension between sudden and gradual.

Yoga Cara
Yoga Cara is a samadhi or "Practice" based school. It is gradual, unlike the Madhyamaka.

This school adds more levels of consciousness to the skadha system described in the therravada post.

Submliminal Consciousness - unifies the other 5, organizes what you "see and hear"

Alaya Consciousness - "storehouse", fundamental root of consciousness, karma produced in 1-5, stored here in the Alaya as a seed, it "grows" back up to the other levels.

This explains how karma can transfer from person to person even though we flash in and out of existence.

Thats all for that, i'll be back with more later

--Kremlin


--------------------
"Human suffering has been caused because all too many of us cannot grasp that words are only tools for our use, and that the mere presence of a word in the dictionary does not mean it necessarily refers to something definitive in the real world"
--Richard Dawkins, "The Selfish Gene"

"It is the mind which creates the world about us, and even though we stand side by side in the same meadow, my eyes will never see what is beheld by yours."
-George Gissing

"Without a firm idea of himself and the purpose of his life, man cannot live, and would sooner destroy himself than remain on earth, even if he was surrounded by bread."
--Fyodor Dostoevsky


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Offlinemonoamine
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Re: Eastern Religions II: Early Mahayana Buddhism [Re: Kremlin]
    #2071843 - 11/05/03 02:06 AM (13 years, 1 month ago)

These posts are bad ass. :thumbup:

I've tried to understand these concepts using goofy metaphors,but they never really clicked in my ultra logical mind. This really cleared things up for me. 


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People think that if you just say the word "hallucinations" it explains everything you want it to explain and eventually whatever it is you can't explain will just go away.It's just a word,it doesn't explain anything...
Douglas Adams


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Eastern Religions II: Early Mahayana Buddhism [Re: Kremlin]
    #2071887 - 11/05/03 02:18 AM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Too Abstract and hard to grasp. The idea of an-atman or "no self" is a very hard concept, and the buddha, while giving good metaphores, doesnt offer too much help in understanding it.



It took 5g dried cubensis for me to fully understand this concept.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflineKremlin
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Re: Eastern Religions II: Early Mahayana Buddhism [Re: silversoul7]
    #2072183 - 11/05/03 04:10 AM (13 years, 1 month ago)

I'm glad someone appreciates them :smile:

ive still got to go through:
Hinduism/brahmanism
Confucianism
Mencius
Mozi
Laozi
Zhuangzi
Xunzi
Ch'an Buddhism (chinese zen)

Comin soon :smile:

then after those i have japanese religions which i'll be learninga bout later in the semester.

--Kremlin


--------------------
"Human suffering has been caused because all too many of us cannot grasp that words are only tools for our use, and that the mere presence of a word in the dictionary does not mean it necessarily refers to something definitive in the real world"
--Richard Dawkins, "The Selfish Gene"

"It is the mind which creates the world about us, and even though we stand side by side in the same meadow, my eyes will never see what is beheld by yours."
-George Gissing

"Without a firm idea of himself and the purpose of his life, man cannot live, and would sooner destroy himself than remain on earth, even if he was surrounded by bread."
--Fyodor Dostoevsky


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OfflineKremlin
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Re: Eastern Religions II: Early Mahayana Buddhism [Re: Kremlin]
    #2074267 - 11/05/03 07:56 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Wanted to clear up the Nargajuna idea of Sunyata

Nargajuna calims that all categories of understanding are empty, and since the wolrd is in its "thusness", we cannot understand it using our categories. We cant know the world in human terms.

Think of a particle physicist. He sees a table as a series of particles and waves at the ultimate level, but if he tries to run his hand through them, it will run into it, and hurt, because he experiences the world at the conventional level.

Enlightenment is switching to the view of ultimate truths to Nargajuna (prajna approach)

think also of the matrix (like i said above)
When you realize that the world is just made up of digits (Ultimate truth) it can no longer have an effect on you...but as long as you believe it isnt (Conventional), it can harm you and affect you.

Knowing all this, that means that there is no samsara, there is no karma, there is no suffering, because the distinction between the two is in itself conventional.

Hope that helps, its kind of a tricky concept.

--Kremlin


--------------------
"Human suffering has been caused because all too many of us cannot grasp that words are only tools for our use, and that the mere presence of a word in the dictionary does not mean it necessarily refers to something definitive in the real world"
--Richard Dawkins, "The Selfish Gene"

"It is the mind which creates the world about us, and even though we stand side by side in the same meadow, my eyes will never see what is beheld by yours."
-George Gissing

"Without a firm idea of himself and the purpose of his life, man cannot live, and would sooner destroy himself than remain on earth, even if he was surrounded by bread."
--Fyodor Dostoevsky


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OfflineLiquidSmoke
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Re: Eastern Religions II: Early Mahayana Buddhism [Re: Kremlin]
    #2090613 - 11/10/03 10:23 PM (13 years, 26 days ago)

You know too much.


--------------------
"Shmokin' weed, Shmokin' wizz, doin' coke, drinkin' beers.  Drinkin' beers beers beers, rollin' fatties, smokin' blunts.  Who smokes tha blunts?  We smoke the blunts" - Jay and Silent Bob strike Back


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Offlineeve69
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Re: Eastern Religions II: Early Mahayana Buddhism [Re: LiquidSmoke]
    #2090660 - 11/10/03 10:44 PM (13 years, 26 days ago)

It's some good knowledge, but the way you express it makes it seem very unprofound and intellectual, as if Buddha taught nothing important. Like for Nagarjuna you say, "Knowing all this, that means that there is no samsara, there is no karma, there is no suffering, because the distinction between the two is in itself conventional." But this is hardly the case, as your explanation falls into nihilism, and the knowers of the absolute truth of prajna actually say that the nothingness or emptiness is not truely nothingness or emptiness but don't elaborate beyond that because words fall short. It takes the vajrayana to elaborate the void into something which is actually the clear light of pure absolute awareness, which then makes sense. It takes the vajrayana to expound the real value of meditation as having the goal of the Buddha mind. A goal which takes alot of practice and knowledge. The Buddha mind, though our natural state, is not found elsewhere than in simplicity, and since we do not sit and look within, it takes the effort of meditation to become exposed to it. I look forward to your Third Turning of the Dharma. Till then...


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...or something







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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Eastern Religions II: Early Mahayana Buddhism [Re: Kremlin]
    #2090810 - 11/10/03 11:46 PM (13 years, 26 days ago)

I am writing a new comic book about Atman (the caped crusader) and Brahmin (his faithful boy wonder)...


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Eastern Religions II: Early Mahayana Buddhism [Re: Swami]
    #2090811 - 11/10/03 11:47 PM (13 years, 26 days ago)

So is Atman just a figment of Brahmin's imagination?


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Eastern Religions II: Early Mahayana Buddhism [Re: silversoul7]
    #2090820 - 11/10/03 11:52 PM (13 years, 26 days ago)

It is a mutual figmentation.

"Quick Brahmin, to the Atmobile!"


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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OfflineKremlin
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Re: Eastern Religions II: Early Mahayana Buddhism [Re: eve69]
    #2091154 - 11/11/03 02:45 AM (13 years, 26 days ago)

Quote:

eve69 said:
It's some good knowledge, but the way you express it makes it seem very unprofound and intellectual, as if Buddha taught nothing important.




I am presenting the information from an intellectual perspective, not from an insider in the religion. I am presenting the view of an outside observer watching these eastern religions grow and change. Through this view, yes the teachings seem a bit less profound....but these are the facts without the dogma (from a perspective view, once again).


Nargajuna spoke in response to the Therravada Buddhist view of Abidharma, or that everything in the world is made of pure particulars. In response to this, he talked of sunyata, or the fact that everything is empty of categories, and that when we attach categories to things, we screw it up, because in the end, there are truly no categories. There is no difference between Samsara and Nirvana because at the ultimate level, there isnt. At the Conventional level, to get us to that point, we are taught that there is a difference, based on the buddhas ideas of using whatever means necessary to convey the point.

It isnt so much nihilism as it is more of a way of looking at the metaphysics of the world.

--Kremlin


--------------------
"Human suffering has been caused because all too many of us cannot grasp that words are only tools for our use, and that the mere presence of a word in the dictionary does not mean it necessarily refers to something definitive in the real world"
--Richard Dawkins, "The Selfish Gene"

"It is the mind which creates the world about us, and even though we stand side by side in the same meadow, my eyes will never see what is beheld by yours."
-George Gissing

"Without a firm idea of himself and the purpose of his life, man cannot live, and would sooner destroy himself than remain on earth, even if he was surrounded by bread."
--Fyodor Dostoevsky


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Offlineeve69
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Re: Eastern Religions II: Early Mahayana Buddhism [Re: Kremlin]
    #2099198 - 11/12/03 11:40 PM (13 years, 24 days ago)

Buddhism cannot be taugh. It must be meditated upon. Anyone studying Buddhism without looking from the inside out is wasting their time.


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...or something







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OfflineKremlin
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Re: Eastern Religions II: Early Mahayana Buddhism [Re: eve69]
    #2100150 - 11/13/03 04:54 AM (13 years, 24 days ago)

Quote:

eve69 said:
Buddhism cannot be taugh. It must be meditated upon. Anyone studying Buddhism without looking from the inside out is wasting their time.




thats only true if you are trying to gain spiritual insight from it. I'm looking at it from an educational point of view, and as i said already a few times, thats how im presenting it. I'm studying it to gain a different perspective, thats all. I like alot of the ideas, but im not about to go become a buddhist, especially a mahayana one (cant jive with sudden apperance of lost texts..)

--Kremlin


--------------------
"Human suffering has been caused because all too many of us cannot grasp that words are only tools for our use, and that the mere presence of a word in the dictionary does not mean it necessarily refers to something definitive in the real world"
--Richard Dawkins, "The Selfish Gene"

"It is the mind which creates the world about us, and even though we stand side by side in the same meadow, my eyes will never see what is beheld by yours."
-George Gissing

"Without a firm idea of himself and the purpose of his life, man cannot live, and would sooner destroy himself than remain on earth, even if he was surrounded by bread."
--Fyodor Dostoevsky


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Offlineeve69
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Re: Eastern Religions II: Early Mahayana Buddhism [Re: Kremlin]
    #2100756 - 11/13/03 09:32 AM (13 years, 23 days ago)

One can also look at a pussy and judge it, but slipping into one will tell you what a millions words wont.


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...or something







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