Mahāyāna Dogmas

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    • #15638


      I read the following recently on Facebook, wrote by a”dakini”-chinese yogacara branch(…):

      • “…the Arahant has to take rebirth in either the desire or form realms in order to cultivate the mind toward bodhi, ultimately he will attained nirvana without residue, but the option of non-abiding nirvana is beyond his capability…”

      Does someone here knows what she means by non-abiding nirvana ?

      She posted her explanation afterwards, but i don’t agree with it… here is:

      “he nirvana without residue is state of non-analytical cessation, whereas the cessation of arahant is of analytical cessation, the latter is maintained by meditation, the former is the result of abiding in the mulajnana. Non-abiding nirvana is the result of abiding in the subsequent jnana which enable the consciousness to be occupied with ‘impure’ and pure dharma at the same time, where the ‘impure dharma’ enable the function for non-abiding nirvana, in activity of compassion, equipped with the pure body and klesas.”


    • #15641

      Hi brothers and sisters:-)

      I have encountered this too. At the end of the book “the words of my perfect teacher” by Patrul Rinpoche there is a glossary. There it is explained this way: “complete enlightment, beyond both samsara and nibbana, in non of them abiding” (i translated this from my Dutch book so maybe in English version it is a bit different).

      This is also the core of dzogchen. The idea is, with real liberation, complete enlightment, mind does not abide anywhere, not in samsara, and not in nibbana. These Mahāyāna schools seem to think that for an arahant mind does abide in Nibbana, i.e. abide in some bounded fashion to peace.

      One says this is not the case with the non-abiding nibbana of Mahāyāna.

      Also Gampopa (tibetan kagyu school), refers to this one-sided nibbanic peace of the arahant, in chapter 17, the perfection of wisdom, The Jewel ornament of Liberation.

      There it is said, to reach the ultimate goal, non-abiding nibbana, one must combine method with wisdom. One must committ oneself to perfecting the paramita’s like generosity, ethical behaviour, patience etc. and not alone focus on perfecting wisdom.

      Well that’s what we do right? That’s what people did who became arahants. So, i do not really see what is the problem.

      If one focusses alone on perfecting wisdom, so is the idea, one will become bound to nibbana, bound to a state of peace. As a result one will be bound to samsara for 84.000 kalpa’s.

      I talked to a dzogchen practioner too and he also speaks constantly about going beyond nibbana…i tell him, i belief that is not correct because there is no beyond nibbana. To think one can go beyond nibbana one must have a incorrect understanding of Nibbana. That’s my opinion. Curious what you think.

      When we talk about nibbana, how can there be any attachement, any bonding?
      If there would be a bonding to peace, how can that be called nibbana? I think they do not understand the concept of Nibbana.

      Those dzogchen practioners, and mabye other mahaynist to, also treat nibbana and samsara as a duality and they teach the non-dualistisch path. I think they do not know what nibbana means.

      I respect all schools of buddhism but i belief nibbana is not understood correctly here.

      Hope this is of use.


      • #15643

        It will be of concise, definitive and brief use indeed, for i’m against prolonging debates,there is already too much “fire” out there…

        Thanks again Siebe

        P.S. – I believe that there are interesting things in every branch of Buddhism but their subversive (kind of) attitude it’s really… weird ? At least…

    • #15650

      In general,

      What can we tell about other practises which are not mentioned in de Pali Canon? Can we be sure the Buddha would reject them, disprove of them? I think we must be careful to Judge.

      The Budddha knew according sutta much more then he taught. For example, i am quit sure the Buddha must have been familiar with the subtle energetic body and energies which are described in a system of chakra’s, nadi’s, bindu’s etc.
      I am quit sure the Buddha knew this from own experience too.

      Some vajrayana techniques involve direct working on this level. I cannot imagine the Budddha did not knew these techniques. Would he reject such practises? And are we sure we must reject them as non-buddhist methods? Only because they are not mentioned in de Canon?

      I belief, we cannot really say that only what is mentioned in the Canon has buddha’s approval.


    • #15651

      Siebe said: “I belief, we cannot really say that only what is mentioned in the Canon has buddha’s approval.”

      That is NOT correct. The Buddha taught for 45 years, and literally ALL he taught was remembered by Ven. Ananda (and he made sure to get approval of that material from the Buddha) and they were all incorporated to the Tipitaka.

      So, it is safe to say that the Pali Canon, Tipitaka, would not have anything significant missing.

    • #15653

      As far as I know Tantric-Energetic practices are posterior to Tipitaka’s.

      The subject is too vast, one could write here pages and pages.
      So i’ll try to sum up as follows : you don’t need to directly focus on the chakras to activate / stimulate / open them, i.e. by improving your gati you’re working on the chakras mostly muladhara and swadisthana- which are fundamental to awake Kundalini.
      Also anarya jhana by focusing on the air through nostrils can open sushumna.

      There are so many techniques to work on the chakras, perhaps even too much… it’s partly a matter of pure creativity/ intuition.

    • #15654

      The best evaluation of practices which are not mentioned in the Pali Canon is, i belief, if they are conducive to the goal of reaching Nibbana.

      I think the Buddha would agree with this kind of evaluation.

      The Buddha himself seemed to be creative in inventing practices which were conducive to the goal. For example, the Budddha once taught a very stingy man to first give something with his right hand to his left hand. The man could hardly bare this, but he did. He practised it. He then made other steps to deal with the stinginess. As a result he came to a point where he could really enjoy givings things away to others. I do not know the sutta anymore.

      It is an example of personalized instructions, personalized practice.

      I belief, the Pali Canon is not written to end all such conducive creative and intelligent skillful means. It is also not meant as an absolute and complete map of all possible skilfull means.


      • #15671


        Very well but as for tantric’s theoretically speaking it doesn’t lead to the highest nibanna, seeing that tantric’s it’s alot about identifying to what we call here Deva or above Deva (Bramas ?). Of course I’m referring to typical Hindu tantrics, not to tibetan’s, which are but disguised Shaivism under the cover of Radiant Emptiness…

    • #15656
      y not

      The matter revolves around whether the Buddha touched upon every possible aspect of a main tenet or precept. This is impossible, even for a Buddha, all the more so given the ‘short’ 45-year Ministry.

      My position is therefore in line with Lal’s “.. would not have anything significant missing.” In the sense that He may not have spoken about the case when one tells the truth regarding a particular matter, whether in its totality or partially, BUT with the intention of gaining personal advantage thereby, like politicians do. Truth is being applied in a devious way towards a selfish end. But the underlying mindset is an impure one. And it is this that counts, and THAT would not be overlooked by a Buddha.

      y not

    • #15657

      Buddha Dhamma is NOT for providing relief to pains and aches or to provide temporary physical relief (even though the practice could help in some instances). Buddha’s message was focused on providing relief from the samsaric suffering (in the rebirth process), which can be unimaginably harsh.

      This is why the Buddha banned bhikkhus from engaging in mundane activities to act as doctors, astrologers, yogis, etc. This is not to say that those are not important. But there are others who can provide such remedies: doctors can help with physical pains and illnesses, astrologers can help those who believe in such things, anariya yogis can help with breath meditations, anariya jhanas, chakras, nadis, etc, etc.

    • #15672

      When we take medicine, we do not see what changes occur in the organs. In the same way we do not see what changes occur in our system of subtle body, chakra’s, nadi’s while acting moral and immoral, mentally, verbally and bodily, but changes occur. At least that’s what i understood.

      Like we can talk about changes in the brain due to certain behaviour or kind of thinking , in the same way, traditionally, is spoken about changes that occur in the subtle system of chakra’s etc. due to our activities, way of thinking etc. I am not an expert in this but i think this kind of knowledge is special.

      Practising buddha-dhamma leads to changes on this subtle level and that is why we feel more relaxed, open, less stressed, more grounded etc.

      Cultivating metta has effects on the heart chakra, for example. Seeing tilakkhana leads to a process of grounding, becoming less dreamy, an effect of sobering up. That we sober up will probably mean our lowest chakra’s are functioning more well. We become more grounded.

      Practicing buddhism has effects on this subtle system. An expert can tell much better how this works.

      Some buddhist schools have invented special purification practices based upon the understanding of these subtle processes and how they are influenced. Would the Buddha disapprove? I do not know for sure ofcourse, but why would he if they are conducive to the goal of reaching Nibbana?

      If such practices would have the effect that a certain person does not stay a way from dasa akusala, then such a practise is useless too. But i think it can be helpfull, especially for people with blockages, trauma, intense experiences in youth which left big impression on the heart, etc. Maybe , for some person it can also be good to reach the goal of Nibbana to do some bodily work like yoga, or walking meditation or just sport.

      A main part of practising buddhim, at least for a lot of persons, is dealing with blockages, with hindrances, obstacles and overcoming them in some way of the other.


    • #15673

      Siebe said: “Cultivating metta has effects on the heart chakra, for example. Seeing tilakkhana leads to a process of grounding, becoming less dreamy, an effect of sobering up.”

      That is correct.

      Siebe said: “Some buddhist schools have invented special purification practices based upon the understanding of these subtle processes and how they are influenced.”

      That is correct too. They are deviating away from the key message and that could be distraction. It is not necessarily bad to learn about such things, but there is a danger that one could get focused on those chakras, nadis, etc and spend too much time on that.

      Siebe said: “Would the Buddha disapprove? I do not know for sure ofcourse, but why would he if they are conducive to the goal of reaching Nibbana?”

      If the Buddha thought those things are necessary, he would have taught them. Again, only a Buddha can teach about the samsaric suffering, whereas there are others who can teach such mundane things. He did not want to deviate from the key and critical message.

      The Buddha knew much more than current scientists about nuclear power, lasers, etc. Those things could be useful to a society at a mundane level. But they are not necessary (and could become distractions) in pursuing Nibbana. If one understood the true dangers of the rebirth porcess, one would not spend much time on such topics.

      However, when one is sick, one MUST seek medical advice. Without getting better, one cannot pursue the Path to Nibbana. So, we need to keep that in mind too. If one can get rid of some bodily aches by practicing yoga or just to maintain physical health, it is prudent to learn and practice yoga. I myself do yoga, but I can learn those techniques from websites/books specialized in yoga. There in no need for me teach yoga or to discuss those techniques here.

      So, let us not mix up Buddha Dhamma with yoga or chakras or nadis.

    • #15680
      y not

      ‘..If one understood the true dangers of the rebirth porcess, one would not spend much time on SUCH TOPICS.’

      I myself am extending this to include practically any activity that is superfluous, that is not necessary for survival or for the our well-being. During the past few weeks I find I am consciously limiting my time spent on following the news or sports events,for instance.

      So thank you Lal for driving this home..for the umpteenth time. One does need reminding.

      y not

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