Posts Tagged ‘skillful means’

Towards a Psychology of the Māras, Part II

Māras in the Sutrayana  Lotus Sutra  The Lotus Sutra’s interpretation of Māra is similar to his portrayal in the Pali Canon. He is an evil deva who occupies a prominent place in the Cosmos and who seeks to wreck-havoc on those who adhere to the Buddhadharma. In Chapter XXVI of the Lotus Sutra, the Bodhisattva Samantabhadra vows to protect practitioners of the Dharma so that they will not be harmed by, "Māra the Evil One, nor the sons of Mara (Māraputrā), the angels called Mārakāyikas Read more [...]

The Hidden Elixir That Heals All Woes

Chapters 13-21 addresses the spiritual careers of bodhisattvas accompanied with prescriptions for right conduct and proper ways in which to reverence the Lotus Sutra. Chapter 16 is unique on its own since it focuses on the vast spiritual career of Śākyamuni, one that stretches across endless eons. It’s in this chapter that he declares that his supreme awakening beneath the Bodhi-Tree during this present life-cycle was not the first such instance, as the original occasion took place inconceivable Read more [...]

The pettiness of it all

The Buddha addressed the monks, saying: “Once upon a time, immeasurable, limitless, inconceivable, incalculable kalpas ago, there was a Buddha called Mahābhijnājnānābhibhū Tathāgata, an Arhat, Completely Enlightened, Perfect in Knowledge and Conduct, Well-Departed, Knower of the World, Unsurpassed, Tamer of Humans, Teacher of Devas and Humans, Buddha, Bhagavat. His land was called Susaṃbhavā in the kalpa called Mahārūpa.  “O monks, it has been an extremely long time since this Read more [...]

A Fiery Situation

Chapter 3 includes perhaps the most famous of all Buddhist Parables, The Burning House: Then the Buddha said to Śāriputra: “Did I not previously tell you that all the Buddha Bhagavats explain the Dharma with various explanations and illustrations using skillful means, all for the sake of highest, complete enlightenment!? All of these teachings are for leading and inspiring the bodhisattvas. “Moreover, Śāriputra, I will now clarify what I mean with illustrations. Those with wisdom Read more [...]

The One Vehicle

The Buddha addressed Śāriputra, saying: “The Buddha Tathāgatas lead and inspire only bodhisattvas. All the acts of a buddha are always for one purpose. The buddhas manifest their wisdom and insight solely to inspire sentient beings to enlightenment. “O Śāriputra! A Tathāgata teaches sentient beings the Dharma only through the single buddha vehicle. There is no other, neither a second nor a third. “O Śāriputra! The true nature of all the buddhas of the ten directions is exactly Read more [...]

Expedient Revelations

“O Śāriputra! After attaining buddhahood I expounded the teaching extensively with various explanations and illustrations, and with skillful means (upāya) led sentient beings to rid themselves of their attachments. Why is this? Because all the Tathāgatas have attained perfect mastery of skillful means, wisdom, and insight. “O Śāriputra! The wisdom and insight of the Tathāgatas is extensive, profound, immeasurable, and unhindered. They are possessed of power, fearlessness, meditation, Read more [...]
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