Tag Archives: Bodhisattvas

Mañjuśrī’s Monology

Both Maitreya and Mañjuśrī give wonderful monologues, both in prose and gatha (poetic) form, respectively asking and responding as to the nature of the Buddha’s Illumination. Portions from Mañjuśrī’s Monologue in prose form are as follows: read more

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Go Beyond the Beyond

“Therefore, Shariputra, because there is no attainment, Bodhisattvas abide relying on the Perfection of Wisdom, without obscuration of thought, and so they are unafraid. Transcending perverted views, they attain the end, Nirvana.” read more

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Bodhisattvahood, Part 1

These 40 days of spiritually sojourning with Vimalakirti have left an indelible imprint on my psyche. I have literally awoken daily with Vimalakirti, walked with Vimalakirti , meditated with Vimalakirti, absorbed Vimalakirti’s teaching and have received the auspicious gift of being afforded the grace to catch a tiny glimpse of just what constitutes Bodhisattvahood. The Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti has been classified as the “Crowning-Jewel” of the Mahayana; as indicated earlier, the Mahayana was originally referred to as the Bodhisattva-yana—and this auspicious Sutra certainly highlights why that was so. The Vimalakirti Sutra is a wonderful blend of the Prajñāpāramitā, Mādhyamikas and Avatamsaka traditions. One can indeed see the influences of these in their respective chapters—like when embracing the six paramitas (Prajñāpāramitā), the total re-evaluation of all values wherein the Bodhisattva is both sinner and saint and neither (Mādhyamikas) and the absolute mind-blowing stanzas that relay Vimalakirti’s miraculous powers (in sundry universes and planes of realities) and manomayakāyaic-transformations (Avatamsaka). While my heart shall always be devoted to the Lanka first and foremost, the Vimalakirti Sutra as well shall forever hold a place of undivided reverence. read more

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The Root of the Matter

Yesterday’s blog made reference to The Awakening of Faith Shastra and its revelation that all apparent interdependency is really a reflective reality and manifestation of the One Mind—Dharmadhatu. The hologram was also utilized as a metaphor of how the many becomes One and the One becomes many. This is a reflection of the Dharmakaya, whose Suchness “illuminates the entire Universe.” The following is a salient portion from the Shastra—it really pinpoints the root foundation from which many of the key terminologies utilized throughout this blog are derived; for instance, the numerous references to the Unmoving and Moving Principles are no arbitrary formulations—as you will see they are essentially procured from this seminal and foundational work within Mahayana thought. It’s interesting, no one really knows just who the original author of this work is…the main speculation is that it is most likely Paramartha—the ancient Indian translator and sage—although for those with little sand in their eyes it is without question, from the quill of a most advanced Black Dragon (one instilled with incomparable wisdom). read more

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You have Anointed Me

When a bodhisattva ascends into higher modes of advancement, the Tathagatas themselves appear to procure their progress: “Moreover, Mahamati, the tathagatas employ two kinds of powers for the support of bodhisattvas who come before them for instruction. And which two supporting powers? The power to appear in bodily form and speak to those in Samadhi and the power to anoint their foreheads.” (Red Pine, pg 130) Suzuki goes even further and refers to these as “sustaining” powers: “Further, Mahamati, there are two kinds of the sustaining power which issues from the Tathagatas who are Arhats and Fully-Enlightened Ones; and sustained by this power the Bodhisattvas would prostrate themselves at their feet and ask them questions. What is this twofold power that sustains the Bodhisattvas? The one is the power by which they are sustained to go through the Samadhis and Samapattis; while the other is the power whereby the Buddhas manifest themselves in person before the Bodhisattvas and baptize them with their own hands.” Interesting how Suzuki employs “baptism” in reference to “anointing”—almost as if this is some kind of Christian initiation, yet the terms are interchangeable. The Lanka describes a beautiful mystical transformation that occurs when the bodhisattvas reaches the tenth-stage, or dharmamegha (dharma-cloud): “As they work their way through the easy and difficult aspects of the various stages, they finally reach the dharma cloud stage, where they dwell inside a magnificent lotus flower palace seated upon a jeweled lotus flower throne surrounded by a retinue of their fellow bodhisattvas adorned with necklaces of jewels that shine like the sun or the moon or golden champaka flowers. The great victors of the ten directions then appear before their thrones in this lotus flower palace and anoint their foreheads…this is what is meant by the power to anoint the foreheads of bodhisattvas. Mahamati, this is what is meant by the two powers that support bodhisattvas. Bodhisattvas who rely on these two powers will meet the tathagatas. Otherwise, they will not.” (Red Pine, pg 131) Quite a revelation here as the Lanka portrays a mystical anointing that needs to occur for initiation into the Tathata family. read more

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And the Truth shall set you free

After inundating the Blessed One (Buddha), as well as the reader, with an incessantly long litany (108 questions) concerning literally everything under the Buddhist sun, Red Pine states that the Buddha “mercifully” (for both Mahamati and the reader) attempts to put to rest the obsessive workings of the meandering mind. It’s all “mind-stuff”—projections of an overly active cognitive apparatus (conceptual consciousness) trying to appease its voracious habit-energy since beginningless time. Rather than pursuing this futile and inadequate mind-game, one should focus on the highest reality—or paramartha: “It is by means of this…higher truth that the transcendental teachings of tathagatas are formed…by means of their wisdom eye…” This wisdom eye—the Eye of Tathata—transcends all phenomena by remaining “detached” from it; it sees Reality As It Is—Yathabhutam. In light of this, the Buddha is not concerned with “philosophical arguments as he is putting an end to suffering, which arises from projection and which ceases upon understanding the true nature of one’s perceptions.” The main cause of all dukkha (suffering) is that people, through avidya (ignorance) are constantly being led by their own “disordered beliefs”. As the Lanka states: “once the perceptions of their own minds are free of projections, they are able to dwell in the perfection of wisdom and to let go of their life and their practice and to enter the Diamond Samadhi that accompanies a tathagata’s body and that accompanies the transformation of suchness…thus transcending the mind, the will, and conceptual consciousness, these bodhisattvas gradually transform their body into the body of a tathagata.” read more

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