- This topic has 18 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 3 years, 3 months ago by Lal.
February 18, 2020 at 1:54 am #27007sumbodhiParticipant
I’ve stumbled upon a program called “The Story of God” hosted by Morgan Freeman. In the part that I’ve watched he spoke with a Vajrayāna Buddhist monk. The monk has explained that their kind of Buddhism (Vajrayāna) is basically the “best” as it’s a “fast track” to enlightenment. He’s also mentioned stuff about secret mantras etc. He said that the Buddha explained about the “fast track to enlightenment” only to selected few people, that he didn’t teach it to the “masses”.
Is this true? Is there anything about it in the Tipitaka and/or any early commentaries?
Also, I have another question, after the Vajrayāna Buddhist the program continued with information on Jainism. Related to it I have a question:
It’s said that the Buddha took a lot in his teachings from Mahavira which explains why Jainism is so similar (in some regards) to Buddhism. Again: Is there anything about it in the Tipitaka?
Of course the idea of such “hidden society” kind of knowledge sounds ridiculous and not at all in line with Buddhism. I don’t want to discuss Vajrayāna or its followers (I can only wish them to reach nibbāna), but am more interested in any written evidence of their claims.
February 18, 2020 at 6:11 am #27008
I have, until now, not found any evidence for socalled hidden teachings in the Tipitaka.
Ofcourse the Buddha must have taught specific teachings to specific persons, matching there gati and qualities, just as any teachers always looks at the capabilities of the pupil.
But, any evidence for a predicted Mahāyāna or vajrayana or secret mantra’s or secret teachings, i have not seen. On the contrary, in the Pali sutta’s it is said that the Buddha did not have a closed fist regarding his teaching of the Dhamma. He taught things openly.
Zen people refer to a teaching in which the Buddha only held up a flower and I belief only Kassapa knew what this meant. It is claimed by Zen that this moment started the non-oral direct transmission of the Dhamma. I have not yet found a Pali sutta in which this happens.
Probably this also refers to a Mahāyāna sutta?
Other than theravada buddhist often refer to Mahāyāna texts for such types of claims, is my experience.
In the sutta’s there is a lot of debate about views of other guru’s with big sangha’s. One of them is Nigantha Nataputta which seems to refer to the Jain founder. Some texts in which the Jain doctrine is described is: MN14, MN101, MN56, SN41.8, SN42.8.
In those sutta’s the differences are described.
All those views of other guru’s are always critisised. What is wrong about it is shown.
They are the views of Makkhali Gosala, Ajita Kesakambali, Purana Kassapa, Pudhaka Kaccayana, Sanjaya Belatthiputta, and Nigantha Nataputta.
Kesakambali is said to be a materialist and the views he had are the ten wrong views the Buddha taught.
February 18, 2020 at 6:29 am #27009ChristianParticipant
There is no such thing as “Varjayana buddhism” neither is fast track to enlightenment. It’s scam like MLM type stuff of marketing or “get rich quick scams”. Vajrayana is just hinduism under “buddhist label”. I’m long time Varjayana practitioner (Dzogchen/Nyingma/Bon) and there are practices that have supernatural outcome, can lead to some states or samadhis and create certain experiences but those are all anariya experiences that does not lead to Nibbana. Those people do not understand what Nibbana or enlightenment is, it’s just playground for people who refused to grow up.
February 18, 2020 at 6:33 am #27010
I agree with Sybe07’s and Christian’s comments.
A Buddha (Sammasambuddha) discovers the true nature to help others to be free of suffering. He would not have any “secret teachings.” That is an absurd idea in some Mahāyāna books too.
Thee is more information specifically at, “Preservation of the Buddha Dhamma”
– One can also find more information at, “Historical Background.”
February 18, 2020 at 6:51 am #27013
FastEST track ‘Buddhism’ is Zen. The master hits you on the head and, hey presto, you ‘see’, you are enligntened.!! It is just as Christain says, as far as I can see.
The ‘non-oral transmission’ that Sybe mentions refers to Bodhidharma, who introduced ‘buddhism’ when he travelled to China. That in time gave rise to the various Mahāyāna schools in China, Korea and Japan.
Have devas ever been known to come and listen to Mahavira? Were Vens. Moggallana and Sariputta formely not his disciples?
Anyway, I do not see any value in going this to any lenght.
February 19, 2020 at 12:25 am #27024sumbodhiParticipant
Hi everyone, thank you for your replies!
Sybe07, I will check all these suttā.
y not I think it’s of much value going this to some length, maybe not great, but to some. So that anyone into Buddhism can find this information. As a way to put down any doubts. That’s probably why those views were discussed and refuted in the suttā.
Indeed I think comparing it to MLM and “get rich quick schemes” can be very helpful.
February 19, 2020 at 2:16 am #27025
You are right there.
People starting out to explore ‘the vast expanse of Buddhism’ reading all that leads to its refutation- just as you say. Once that is done, then there in no longer any point dwelling on these alternative views. That is what I meant.
Perhaps I should have added ..from my, or from that standpoint.
February 19, 2020 at 12:39 pm #27034
I remember reading from “What The Buddha Taught” (Walpola Rahula) where the Buddha told Ananda that he did not have public teachings on the one hand and secret teachings on the other; that there is nothing witheld in “the closed fist of the teacher”.
For a number of years in the past, I’ve had my share of exposure to the “faster way to salvation” (mostly Mahāyāna), and sudden enlightenment (mostly Zen). More esoteric schools then evolved from Mahayaha, where there are public and private teachings (Tantra, Vajrayana, etc.). They are very alluring to certain types of people; and summbodhi’s analogy to MLM, although crude, is apt here.
Anyhow, we are very lucky to have ended up here instead.
February 20, 2020 at 4:39 pm #27070
Ended up here…indeed. But, lucky? Those here have earned their place, cubibobi, like yourself.
‘Ended up here’. You say more than you perhaps intended: ENDED up here. The SEARCH is ended. And we read that whoever knows that the search is ended in finding the Budddha’s Dhamma has come to right view (are diṭṭhisampannā, AN 10.63). You will conclude the Path either in this realm or after leaving it. That means you are ON the Path now.
Let us all therefore be ever grateful to Lal for setting up the Site and to all those whose have in any way contributed to it with benevolent intention.
May you attain the Deathless
February 21, 2020 at 9:20 pm #27092
Good one. I did not intend any pun, but I liked your take on it!
Indeed, the search has ended, and it was a long one — almost 30 years. Like you said, it is now about walking ON the path; the search for the path is over, and for that I am eternally grateful.
February 22, 2020 at 6:50 pm #27120ChristianParticipant
This is true fast track, I attained very quickly in days what I didn’t attain EVER. For some people it may be true fast track but if one looking for “fast track” without putting effort, understanding but just want “free drive” – it will not work like that but if you can do what Buddha said and as explained in here one will be definitely in the relative fast track.
February 23, 2020 at 1:15 pm #27127LvalioParticipant
I think Fast Track really exists, but it’s not exactly “fast track” but “INSIGHT”!
I’ll explain this below as follows. You start by reading, learning, talking about the same subject, in this case “Buddha Dhamma…”
Just as time goes by, ideas and comments sedimented and accumulating, or seeds of wisdom. Upon reaching a certain level begin to extract and suddenly a jump appears and the understanding appears. That doesn’t happen all the time, but sometimes. Probably happened to all of us several times (not many). In this case it is called insight and has already been perceived by other scientific and philosophic followings…
February 23, 2020 at 3:21 pm #27128
Seeing INwards, rather than outwards. Where there is a connection there, where the matter had been pondered before, than that is insight. At times “suddenly a jump appears and the understanding appears” Then we are on the fast track. But as to Dhamma, for many it is not so.
There is a sutta where five followers were in attendance when the Buddha was delivering a discourse. One looked up at the sky, another did something else, yet another something different; only one listened. The Buddha later gave the reasons(s) why each did what. The last one, the one who listened attentively, had heard and attended to the Dhamma before (in previous lives).
February 24, 2020 at 12:58 am #27182
My understanding is also that insight into Dhamma is gradual; at least, that’s how I think it works at the Sotapanna stage. Sotapanna magga phala happens in a thought moment (within a citta vithi), but that moment is not noticeable. Months (or perhaps years) later, a person then realizes his life has really changed, that he is no longer capable of doing any acts that may bring rebirths in the apayā.
I used to know someone striving to quit smoking, and there maybe an analogy here. He followed a regimen such as substituting smoking with running, contemplating the bad consequences of smoking, etc. Then one day he realized that he had not smoked a cigarette for months, and he felt just fine. He couldn’t pinpoint a moment when the “giving up” of cigarettes happened.
Purifying our minds probably works the same way; it involves removing defilements (which are kind of like addictions). Over time, we may notice that certain defilements are no more, but we cannot pinpoint the magga phala thought moment that eradicates those defilements.
Interestingly, I’ve come to notice that many breath meditation practitioners (anapana to them) believe in such a “eureka” moment. They hold that when the mind becomes totally present (via the breath) then the “light bulb goes off”, bringing a flash of insight, and that’s how magga phala happens. Here, we have learned over and over that breath meditation is NOT anapana.
February 24, 2020 at 3:21 am #27186
All good comments.
Here is a post that discusses some aspects: “The Sōtapanna Stage.”
February 24, 2020 at 6:26 am #27188
Personally i do not belief that sotapanna magga stays unnoticed.
I also do not know any references for this belief in the Sutta-pitaka.
There are texts who describe that the Dhamma-eye arises or opens, or that there is some breaktrough to the Dhamma or Four Noble Truths. This is noticed.
I think that such a life-changing event can impossibly stay unnoticed.
If something has the impact to eradicate longstanding habits can it really stay unnoticed?
Anyway, if someone knows a reference for the view that sotapanna magga is not noticed i would appreciate it.
February 24, 2020 at 7:28 am #27191
Sybe07 wrote: “Personally i do not belief that sotapanna magga stays unnoticed..”
What do you mean by “stays unnoticed?”
Do you mean that there is a “significant registration” in the mind at the moment one becomes a Sotapanna Anugami?
– There is no such “registration” for an Anugami.
– One becomes a Sotapanna Anugami gradually by starting to comprehend the “wider worldview” of the Buddha (with its anicca, dukkha, anatta nature). Then, when the comprehension gets to a certain level, it registers in the mind as the Sotapanna phala citta.
– Therefore, the Sotapanna stage is attained for a Sotapanna Anugami in a moment. That is explained in Abhidhamma. See, “Citta Vithi for Attainment of Magga Phala” at the end of the post, “Citta Vithi – Processing of Sense Inputs.” For a Sotapanna Anugami, the mind gets only to the “Gotrabu” moment (change of lineage to an Ariya). I need to revise the post to add that bit of information.
– But even then, one may not realize it right then. It is not like a lightning strike!
One realizes one has attained any stage of magga phala by observing one’s own behavior and tendencies.
– The Anagami stage is the easiest to verify (by oneself), since one will lose all cravings to sensory pleasures, including sex.
February 24, 2020 at 11:25 am #27194
MN44 explains sakkaya ditthi’s. There are 20 kinds. In my own words: one regards or views rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara and vinnana to be Me, or mine, or in Me, or Me in rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara and vinnana.
So, if, for example, pain arises there also arises almost immediately the longstandig habit of regarding or viewing or assuming this pain as my pain. That is a sakkaya ditthi arising. Viewing dukkha vedana as mine. That is literally explained as sakkaya ditthi.
‘I am this’, or ‘this i am’ is the general expression of sakkaya ditthi (SN22.89).
It is said in Abhidhamma commentary that this habit can only be uprooted by the (sotapanna) magga citta. Does that mean it happens over time or at once?
And if this sotapanna magga citta arises do we not notice or experience that? Do we not experience Nibbana, which is the object of the magga citta?
In other words, does the arising of the magga citta stay unnoticed? Do we not have some kind of experience?
February 24, 2020 at 11:46 am #27195
Sybe07 asked: “In other words, does the arising of the magga citta stay unnoticed? Do we not have some kind of experience?”
One will have the experience of a “cooled mind.” One will not be perturbed as one used to.
But that happens gradually, over time, in the Sotapanna Anugami stage.
– That is why I said it does not register as a “bolt of lightning.”
I just remembered that in one sutta, a bhikkhuni asks Ven. Ananda about her experience. Then Ven. Ananda explains to her that it is the mindset of an Arahant.
– So, she did not even realize that she had attained the Arahanthood!
– If anyone knows the name of the sutta, please post it.
Anyway, I think that is enough discussion about the “phala moment.”
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