Posts Tagged ‘sunyata’

Nāgārjuna and the Two Truths

Nāgārjuna is perhaps the most celebrated philosopher-sage of Mahayana/Mādhyamika Buddhism. Despite the enormous popularity very little is actually known concerning his Biographical details apart from the generally-held belief that he lived during the 2nd century CE. While rooted in rich mythical soil, his name is in reference to the “Nagas” from whom he received the Prajnaparamita teachings. The Śatasāhasrikā-prajñāpāramitā, which the Buddha had especially entrusted to the Nagas Read more [...]

The Way of Negation

Apophaticism is employed as a Way of Nothingness, not in a morose and nihilistic fashion, but simply as a vehicle that points to what is ineffable. In Christian parlance it bespeaks the unknowable qualities of the Godhead; the best way to come to this understanding is to UN-know all nominal paradigms and thus come to the Absolute under Its own terms—THAT which is devoid and self-empty of all knowable constructs. In Buddhism this Way is engaged as śūnyatā, also one of self-emptying but not Read more [...]

Nothingness in Nāgārjuna and John of the Cross

Our offering for this autumn season is a series based on the Negative-Way as found in the notion of Nothingness. Two proponents of this Way are Nāgārjuna and John of the Cross. From the Mādhyamika thrust of Nāgārjuna it is considered as śūnyatā, and from the mystic-pen of the Discalced Carmelite John of the Cross it is coined as nada. Thus we have emptiness clearly exhibited in two diverse spiritual traditions yet containing a kernel of comparability, although singularly expounded in Read more [...]

Hua-Yen, or a View of Totality

Bringers of life by Alex Groseth Before engaging the Sutra it is advisable that we present a brief overview of its doctrinal foundation, which is rooted in Hua-yen Buddhism. Also translated as “Flowery Splendor” (thus the title of the Sutra), Hua-yen is an all-encompassing matrix of syncretic-connections that are inter-dependent and thus constitute a resolution of form and principle as defined in such concepts as shih (phenomena) and li (noumenon)—both of which we shall explore more fully Read more [...]

Emptiness on a Thursday Afternoon

Mahāratnakūṭa Sūtra 46. Mañjuśrī Teaches Prajñāpāramitā Translated from Taishō Tripiṭaka volume 11, number 310 Thus have I heard. At one time, the Buddha was in Śrāvastī, at the Jeta Grove, in Anāthapiṇḍada’s park, along with a great saṃgha of bhikṣus, one thousand people in all. There were ten thousand bodhisattva-mahāsattvas who were majestically adorned and all abiding upon the ground of non-regression. Their names were Maitreya Bodhisattva, Mañjuśrī Bodhisattva, Read more [...]

Taking Refuge

  Receiving the signless precepts through the recitation of the three refuges (Yampolsky) "Having finished repentance, I shall give you the formless precepts of the three refuges." The Master said: "Good friends, 'take refuge in enlightenment [the Buddha], the most honored among two-legged beings; take refuge in the truth [the Dharma], the most noble [doctrine which sets people] free from the desires; take refuge in purity [the Sangha] the most honored among sentient beings.' Read more [...]

The All-Seeing Tathatic-Eye

Eighteen: The All-Seeing Tathatic-Eye Subhuti, what do you think? Does the Tathagata possess the human eye? Yes, World-honored One, He does. Well, do you think the Tathagata possesses the divine eye? Yes, World-honored One, He does. And do you think the Tathagata possesses the gnostic eye? Yes, World-honored One, He does. And do you think the Tathagata possesses the eye of transcendent wisdom? Yes, World-honored One, He does. And do you think the Tathagata possesses Read more [...]

As Tears Go By

7.The Goddess Thereupon, Manjusri, the crown prince, addressed the Licchavi Vimalakirti: "Good sir, how should a bodhisattva regard all living beings?" Vimalakirti replied, "Manjusri, a bodhisattva should regard all livings beings as a wise man regards the reflection of the moon in water or as magicians regard men created by magic. He should regard them as being like a face in a mirror; like the water of a mirage; like the sound of an echo; like a mass of clouds in the sky; like the previous Read more [...]
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