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Intro to Buddhism TOPIC: Mahâyâna Buddhism “Great Vehicle” Intro to Buddhism TOPIC: Mahâyâna Buddhism “Great Vehicle”

Buddha—Dharma—Sangha: Monasticism still supported, yet the bodhisattva ideal supports laity more Buddha: More metaphysical Buddha—Dharma—Sangha: Monasticism still supported, yet the bodhisattva ideal supports laity more Buddha: More metaphysical and cosmological conceptualization…

Mahayana Buddha Conception… CONTINUITIES WITH ALL SCHOOLS * Existence of Other Buddhas Dipankara and Mahayana Buddha Conception… CONTINUITIES WITH ALL SCHOOLS * Existence of Other Buddhas Dipankara and Maitreya * Bodhisattvas (jātakas) * Buddha teaching to his Audiences * Compassionate Decision to Teach

Future Shakyamuni makes vow before previous Buddha, Dipankara Future Shakyamuni makes vow before previous Buddha, Dipankara

Compassionate Decision to Teach the Dharma Compassionate Decision to Teach the Dharma

Metaphysical Buddhology “Buddha-verse” Metaphysical Buddhology “Buddha-verse”

THREE “BODIES” OF THE BUDDHAVERSE: Dharma-kaya Sambhoga-kaya Nirmana-kaya THREE “BODIES” OF THE BUDDHAVERSE: Dharma-kaya Sambhoga-kaya Nirmana-kaya

MAHAYANA COSMOS EXPRESSED IN STUPAS Gyantse, Tibet MAHAYANA COSMOS EXPRESSED IN STUPAS Gyantse, Tibet

Lotus Sutra • Past Buddhas teach universal doctrine • “welling up from the earth Lotus Sutra • Past Buddhas teach universal doctrine • “welling up from the earth of stupas”

Textual drama of “stupas emerging from the earth…” … and a Buddha Prabhutaratna sitting Textual drama of “stupas emerging from the earth…” … and a Buddha Prabhutaratna sitting next to Shakyamuni, fulfilling a vow of certifying the proper teaching of the Lotus Sutra.

Did the Buddha Lie? “Burning House” Parable Buddha as “Rain Cloud” that nourishes individuals Did the Buddha Lie? “Burning House” Parable Buddha as “Rain Cloud” that nourishes individuals at all levels using his “skillful means” (upaya)

Buddha as physician: “Dies” at spiritual charade to encourage beings to take their mortality Buddha as physician: “Dies” at spiritual charade to encourage beings to take their mortality seriously

Kathmandu, Nepal Kathmandu, Nepal

Borobodur Borobodur

Mahāyāna Scholastic Dharma: Many Developments, vast textual scholarship Elite Mahāyāna Philosophies: 1. Doctrine of Mahāyāna Scholastic Dharma: Many Developments, vast textual scholarship Elite Mahāyāna Philosophies: 1. Doctrine of Madhyamaka School Shunyatā and Two/3 -Truths 2. Yogācāra School 3. Buddha Nature Theory School Mahāyāna Practice: Visualization Meditation

1. Doctrines of Madhyamaka School Opposed to the Nikaya Schools’ Scholastic Abhidharma analysis of 1. Doctrines of Madhyamaka School Opposed to the Nikaya Schools’ Scholastic Abhidharma analysis of reality in terms of “dharma” vs. Prajñā-paramita Shunyatā and Two/3 -Truths

TEXTS: 1. अ Prajñā-paramita Sutra 2. Prajñā-paramita Heart Sutra 3. Vajrachedika Prajñā-paramita Sutra 4. TEXTS: 1. अ Prajñā-paramita Sutra 2. Prajñā-paramita Heart Sutra 3. Vajrachedika Prajñā-paramita Sutra 4. 1008 Verse Prajñā-paramita Sutra

Madhyamaka NEW “MIDDLE WAY”: nihilists vs. Real (of Abhidharmists) WORDS ARE “SAMSARIC” THE BEST Madhyamaka NEW “MIDDLE WAY”: nihilists vs. Real (of Abhidharmists) WORDS ARE “SAMSARIC” THE BEST WE CAN SAY, if we must speak (and we must) is that REALITY has “Tathata” [SUCHNESS] “Silence of the Buddha” as key teaching YES: Conventional Truth vs. Ultimate Truth NAGARJUNA is a brave De-Construtivist who reduced all asserted “truths” to ultimate falsity…depending on the “web of assumptions and conventions” UP vs. DOWN INSIDE vs. OUTSIDE …. even vs. Buddhist formulations… SUCH AS NIRVANA vs SAMSARA All Utterance is falsity; based on conceptual assumptions

Prajna sees Shunyā quality of all reality “Reality Beyond Categories” NO-THING-NESS (SHUNYĀ) EMPTINESS : Prajna sees Shunyā quality of all reality “Reality Beyond Categories” NO-THING-NESS (SHUNYĀ) EMPTINESS : Seeing Reality clearly cannot be “thing-based” Purpose of Philosophy: Demonstrate the need for complete NON-ATTACHMENT, even to our thoughts (legitimating meditation as only possible means of seeking truth beyond conceptualization) All Utterance is falsity; based on conceptual assumptions

TWO OR 3 Levels of Truth: • Conventional Discourse (for self and world) • TWO OR 3 Levels of Truth: • Conventional Discourse (for self and world) • Ultimate Discourse (skillful, undoing attachment) E. g HEART SUTRA • [Silence] AKA “ “

Nagarjuna: As students read the alphabet, So the Buddha taught his disciples The doctrines Nagarjuna: As students read the alphabet, So the Buddha taught his disciples The doctrines they could comprehend: To some he taught the doctrine to turn away from doing evil…. To some he taught The teaching of acquiring merit. Provisional doctrines based upon duality. But to some he taught doctrines based upon non-duality Though to some who are timid this is frightening To others it is profound: Having the essence of emptiness and compassion The true method for achieving enlightenment.

Earliest Texts: Prajna-paramita PERFECTION OF PRAJNA / INSIGHT HEART SUTRA is ONE OF THE Earliest Texts: Prajna-paramita PERFECTION OF PRAJNA / INSIGHT HEART SUTRA is ONE OF THE SHORTEST

Points: • Deconstructive Process of Mind is goal of zero-based critique (shunyata) • Language Points: • Deconstructive Process of Mind is goal of zero-based critique (shunyata) • Language is “samsaric”, encoding desire, ignorance of the world; nothing stands alone, independent of other “things” for meaning • True spiritual advance is made when we stop relying on the mediation of any symbols between “us” and “world” • Philosophy demonstrates the superiority of silence; mastering reality without mediation • How? ? ?

Consider: Nowhere Consider: Nowhere

Consider: Nothingness Consider: Nothingness

Read the Heart Sutra Read the Heart Sutra

HEART SUTRA HEART SUTRA

GATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA GATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA

NOTE: Mantra Recitation • ALSO in the LOTUS SUTRA • Indian theory of sacred NOTE: Mantra Recitation • ALSO in the LOTUS SUTRA • Indian theory of sacred sound as primordial, connective with reality, transformative • Recitation rituals as useful/effective • Mundane and Supramundane uses: key to Mahayana popularity and meditation across northern Asia

Mind Creates the World Mind Creates the World

Mahayana School II: Cittamatra (“Consciousness Only”) • Karma and karmic fruition is all in Mahayana School II: Cittamatra (“Consciousness Only”) • Karma and karmic fruition is all in consciousness • “Idealism”: only thought is real; material universe is all unreal • Mind/consciousness as inherently zestful, creative, loving, wise… but… “poisoned” by ignorance and desire

Nine Forms of Consciousness in Cittamatra Theory Nine Forms of Consciousness in Cittamatra Theory

Yogācāra • Other name for school, “Yoga-acāra, ” points to school’s re-emphasis on yoga Yogācāra • Other name for school, “Yoga-acāra, ” points to school’s re-emphasis on yoga practices as key to purifying the mind • great exponent was Asanga (350 CE)

Mahayana School III: Buddha-Nature School (“Tathagata-garbha”) If Nirvana=Samsara, then nirvana pervades samsara All beings Mahayana School III: Buddha-Nature School (“Tathagata-garbha”) If Nirvana=Samsara, then nirvana pervades samsara All beings and points in the universe are connected and buddha-suffused

Bodhisattva Ideal: Vow to postpone one’s own final parinirvana until all other beings are Bodhisattva Ideal: Vow to postpone one’s own final parinirvana until all other beings are established on the path To reach Buddhahood should be the goal of all beings Bodhisattvas as human or divinity

Manjushri Manjushri

Celestial Bodhisattvas Avalokiteshvara (China: Kwan Yin) (Japan: Kannon) Buddha on forehead Celestial Bodhisattvas Avalokiteshvara (China: Kwan Yin) (Japan: Kannon) Buddha on forehead

1008 -arm Kwan Yin/Kannon 1008 -arm Kwan Yin/Kannon

in East Asia: Mi-lo Fo [Fu-ture Buddha] in East Asia: Mi-lo Fo [Fu-ture Buddha]

Maitreya, the Next Human Buddha Maitreya, the Next Human Buddha

Mahayana Meditation • Visualization and Mantra Recitation used to train and transform the mind Mahayana Meditation • Visualization and Mantra Recitation used to train and transform the mind • “Buddha nature” in all things, most potently in forms of bodhisattvas

Avalokiteshvara Identification with Body/Speech/Mind of an Enlightened being leads to one’s own spiritual transformation Avalokiteshvara Identification with Body/Speech/Mind of an Enlightened being leads to one’s own spiritual transformation Mantra: “Om Mani Padme Hum”