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Bodhisattvic Job-Security (or Not)

Bodhisattvic Job-Security (or Not)

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:01 pm

We know that in "original Buddhism", the Arhat, or Arahat is the paragon, the ideal figure, the model-practitioner, who has taken the Path to a culmination of natural fruits and results of practice, or to a consummation that the Buddha calls "Nirvana".

In Mahayana Buddhism, the Bodhisattva is the ideal figure.

Now, to remain as a Bodhisattva, and not to retire from the job early, it would seem that the Bodhisattva must avoid practicing to the point of "falling into Nirvana", because, then, one might no longer see beings in need of saving, and thus would save none. So, "what's a Bodhisattva to do?"

Granted, as has been noted elsewhere, Awakening(s) is/are not permanent. But, in the awakened condition, a Bodhisattva can most securely save beings, because in awakening, prajna and karuna can finally and freely arise, and the Bodhisattva, informed and empowered by these, does not make a lot of mistakes, and cause suffering, but instead apprehends reality clearly. Perhaps the temporary lifetime of awakening is what keeps a Bodhisattva "earth-bound", and prevents him or her from joining the vaprous Samadhi-clouds circulating above the Buddha's head, as seen in paintings of the Buddha's meetings with his various Assemblies.

But, now, even the Buddha did not disappear from the sphere of beings. Instead, as Tathagatha, he is given to have come to teach and liberate them.

At the end of his life, the Buddha was set to enter what's called his "Final Pari-Nirvana". So, it would seem too that "Nirvana" admits of degrees of connection with or separation from the world of form, or of thoroughness of participation in the world of form.

Hmm-m, this is getting serious. Maybe I should not have posted in "Fun and Games". ;)

--Joe
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Re: Bodhisattvic Job-Security (or Not)

Postby Linda Anderson on Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:40 pm

no Joe, rest assured that you put it in the right section
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Re: Bodhisattvic Job-Security (or Not)

Postby Anders on Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:45 pm

I am reminded of a passage from the prajnaparamita sutra

    "That a bodhisattva can course in prajñāpāramitā and yet not realize the reality limit (ie parinirvana) , that is not too difficult. If a bodhisattva, for the sake of immeasurable, boundless living beings, puts forth the great adornment, even though living beings are ultimately not apprehended, those who can be led to nirvāṇa are not apprehended, and yet they are able to aspire their minds – ‘I shall lead them to nirvāṇa!’ – that is difficult!" (prajnaparamita sutra)
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"
--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: Bodhisattvic Job-Security (or Not)

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:53 pm

Linda Anderson wrote:no Joe, rest assured that you put it in the right section

Thanks, I'm tickled! :tongueincheek:

--Joe
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Re: Bodhisattvic Job-Security (or Not)

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:57 pm

Thanks, Anders! This is a wonderful passage.
I was worried that I'd (we'd... ) have to take-up smoking, or something, to keep from practicing "too well". :lol2:

:Namaste:,

--Joe

p.s. Anders, would you please cite a way that I can find this passage in the sutra? (provided that there's a uniform chapter- or section-numbering system adopted by most translators). I ask because I'd like to include mention of this passage in a meeting of a Zen Buddhist Sangha here in a few weeks while the Sensei is away on travel, for whom I've been asked to "sit-in", and present a talk, or something; I've been working-up some topics to lead into discussion by those attending. Thanks again!

Anders wrote:I am reminded of a passage from the prajnaparamita sutra

    "That a bodhisattva can course in prajñāpāramitā and yet not realize the reality limit (ie parinirvana) , that is not too difficult. If a bodhisattva, for the sake of immeasurable, boundless living beings, puts forth the great adornment, even though living beings are ultimately not apprehended, those who can be led to nirvāṇa are not apprehended, and yet they are able to aspire their minds – ‘I shall lead them to nirvāṇa!’ – that is difficult!" (prajnaparamita sutra)
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Re: Bodhisattvic Job-Security (or Not)

Postby Avisitor on Sat Feb 20, 2016 5:40 am

Joe, are you looking for job-security?

It is said that build a better mouse trap and the world will beat a path to your door
It is also said that if one does build a better mouse trap but doesn't let anyone know ....??
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Re: Bodhisattvic Job-Security (or Not)

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Feb 20, 2016 3:18 pm

Av,

So, let's see, though: what about the Bodhisattva?

How does the Bodhisattva keep from going "POOF!"?

Maybe by practicing only six days a week, taking Sunday off as "a Day of Rest"?

tnx,

--Joe
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Re: Bodhisattvic Job-Security (or Not)

Postby Anders on Sat Feb 20, 2016 3:45 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:Thanks, Anders! This is a wonderful passage.
I was worried that I'd (we'd... ) have to take-up smoking, or something, to keep from practicing "too well". :lol2:

:Namaste:,

--Joe

p.s. Anders, would you please cite a way that I can find this passage in the sutra? (provided that there's a uniform chapter- or section-numbering system adopted by most translators). I ask because I'd like to include mention of this passage in a meeting of a Zen Buddhist Sangha here in a few weeks while the Sensei is away on travel, for whom I've been asked to "sit-in", and present a talk, or something; I've been working-up some topics to lead into discussion by those attending. Thanks again!

Anders wrote:I am reminded of a passage from the prajnaparamita sutra

    "That a bodhisattva can course in prajñāpāramitā and yet not realize the reality limit (ie parinirvana) , that is not too difficult. If a bodhisattva, for the sake of immeasurable, boundless living beings, puts forth the great adornment, even though living beings are ultimately not apprehended, those who can be led to nirvāṇa are not apprehended, and yet they are able to aspire their minds – ‘I shall lead them to nirvāṇa!’ – that is difficult!" (prajnaparamita sutra)


I quoted from a draft translation which I don't think I am at liberty to share. Here is conze's gloss (from XXVII:1 in his translation):

    Thereupon this occurred to many thousands of Gods of the realm of sense-desire: Homage is due to those beings who raise their thoughts to, and who consummate their thoughts in full enlightenment, who course in this deep perfection of wisdom, and who, when they course thus, do not realize the reality-limit, be it on the level of a Disciple or that of a Pratyekabuddha. In this way also should the Bodhisattvas be known as doers of what is hard, when they course in the true nature of dharma, but do not realize it.

    Subhuti read their thoughts, and said to them: Not that is hard for those Bodhisattvas that they do not realize the reality-limit. This, however, is hard for them, this is most hard for them, (445) that they put on the armour of the resolution to lead countless beings to Nirvana, when absolutely those beings do not exist. And since they do not exist, they cannot be got at.


Conze did great work, but he did have a flair for convoluted sentences.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"
--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: Bodhisattvic Job-Security (or Not)

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:09 pm

Thanks!, Anders.

I'll refer in my talk to the Conze, since it's publicly available.

Very kind of you. Much appreciated.

:Namaste:,

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Re: Bodhisattvic Job-Security (or Not)

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:15 pm

Avisitor wrote:It is also said that if one does build a better mouse trap but doesn't let anyone know ....??

It's said that a tree fell in the forest, and no one heard it.

But the LIGO gravity-wave detectors in Louisiana and Washington state sensed it, and filtered its seismic noise out.

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Re: Bodhisattvic Job-Security (or Not)

Postby Avisitor on Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:33 am

desert_woodworker wrote:Av,

So, let's see, though: what about the Bodhisattva?

How does the Bodhisattva keep from going "POOF!"?

Maybe by practicing only six days a week, taking Sunday off as "a Day of Rest"?

tnx,

--Joe

No, no, he goes and have a talk with Colin for five minutes a day ... hahahaha :coffee:

desert_woodworker wrote:the LIGO gravity-wave detectors in Louisiana and Washington state sensed it, and filtered its seismic noise out.
--Joe


What does LIGO know, it takes two huge massive black holes to crash into one another in order to see any thing nearing a gravity wave.
Meanwhile, a baby just lets go of the Cheerios and can see gravity at work .... hahaha :)X
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Re: Bodhisattvic Job-Security (or Not)

Postby fukasetsu on Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:54 am

Joe, I consider them archetypical representations of things that are not, well at least not what we think them to be.

Just another dream experience, poof or no poof depends on what was ordered in the restaurant,
got to finish your meal, pay the bill and do the dishes. Since there is nothing personal (or non-personal) about a Bodhisattva,
it really doesn't matter who dines. Or dreams about dining.

To say it 'new-agy' perhaps (I can't judge what is or is not new-agy) the Universe teaches itself and we're just props on the stage,
saints, sinners, Bodhi's, Bodhi notties, Bodhi soon to be(e)s, as my Mom once said no bee has ever entered Nirvana :tongueincheek:

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Re: Bodhisattvic Job-Security (or Not)

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:09 am

fukasetsu wrote:Joe, I consider them archetypical representations of things that are not, well at least not what we think them to be.

Well, maybe not YOU, then, but let's see... .

Bodhisattva Buddhist practitioners, how do you prevent yourself from sliding all the way off the table, to Nirvana? It would be a breech of contract... .

You don't -- you really don't -- want to join the Arahats and Pratyekabuddhas, after all, do you? Tempting, maybe. But, no.

What do you do to hold yourself in abeyance? How do you de-potentiate your practice to keep "yourself" available in Samsara to those you've vowed to liberate? What's yer safety-valve?

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Re: Bodhisattvic Job-Security (or Not)

Postby fukasetsu on Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:02 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:You don't -- you really don't -- want to join the Arahats and Pratyekabuddhas, after all, do you? Tempting, maybe. But, no.


That's out of my hands, I just finish a contract, and then start a new one, or not, or offer contracts, who's to say what (de)position is in store.

What do you do to hold yourself in abeyance? How do you de-potentiate your practice to keep "yourself" available in Samsara to those you've vowed to liberate? What's yer safety-valve?

Nothing, no strategy like that, again it's out of my hands. Whatever is needed wherever I will do the bidding, no problem. I'd take any job.
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Re: Bodhisattvic Job-Security (or Not)

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:11 am

Well, the key element that just may allow the Bodhisattva career to continue, and keep Bodhisattvas from going "poof" into Nirvana, is the transfer of merit.

As plausible or as obvious as that seems, is that in fact what you Bodhisattvas rely upon? To keep yourselves from "falling into Nirvana"?

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Re: Bodhisattvic Job-Security (or Not)

Postby Linda Anderson on Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:26 am

Joe, there is no such thing ag falling into Nirvana.... puff! We needn't worry.... anybody who thinks that should take their shoes off. The very thought of it is ridiculous.... some ppl may soften and see the light... and some ppl may go the distance with such foolishness.

Why are you reifying the ridiculous?

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Re: Bodhisattvic Job-Security (or Not)

Postby fukasetsu on Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:50 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:Well, the key element that just may allow the Bodhisattva career to continue, and keep Bodhisattvas from going "poof" into Nirvana, is the transfer of merit.

As plausible or as obvious as that seems, is that in fact what you Bodhisattvas rely upon? To keep yourselves from "falling into Nirvana"?

--Joe


Eventhough the experiencer is temporary, experience itself is endless.
I witness transfer of merit on a daily basis so I think it's all alright as far as I can see.
But as far as the job (career) goes I have no access to the bigger or total picture of it,
and even when one does, that too is temporary, so it's all good.

I'm comfortable or at peace in knowing it is beyond my knowledge or experience, yet I am the source of it.
But as I said, this awareness is also temporary, and that's the beauty of this cosmic theatre.
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Re: Bodhisattvic Job-Security (or Not)

Postby fukasetsu on Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:56 pm

Linda Anderson wrote:Joe, there is no such thing ag falling into Nirvana....


It's terminology and nothing literal, but karmically there's a validity to dreams and so it's worth considering,
so I wouldn't call it ridiculous that easy, it's just too vague for me to make a logical statement about it,
nevertheless intuitively there are moments where I can see the relation.
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Re: Bodhisattvic Job-Security (or Not)

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:14 am

No dream about it, Fuki, and Linda, darlings.

If you think otherwise, then you deny the efficacy and actuality of Original Buddhist, or Theravada practice.

Do you want that on your record?

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Re: Bodhisattvic Job-Security (or Not)

Postby fukasetsu on Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:35 am

I would not deny its efficacy ofcourse since it occurs and is observed, but I would deny it's actuality since only the actual has the mark of reality, which does not compute with expedient tales of karmic (Bodhisattvic) careers, hence I pick the word "dream" for that due to it's manifest relativity. Everything that ever was and never was must go, the finish line, the road, the road warrior, the whole grand gadzooks! In this way, nothing happens. When nothing happens, things and compound beings are spontaneously returned to their natural state of quiescent extinction without adjective or footnote. Nevertheless the "no-computing" is no contradiction at all, yet it is transient knowledge, meaning it requires a temporary vessel. So again it's out of my hands eventhough I could say otherwise, but I feel I would be lying, I'm fine with not being sure despite whatever recorded expedients appear before me.
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