Material Attachments

Discussion in 'Eastern Religions and Philosophies' started by Chronicles, Jan 27, 2004.

  1. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2003
    Messages:
    828
    Likes Received:
    1
    Burning and bombing oneself for religion

    Do you observe, Zenmonk, that Muslim suicide bombers might do a better job of protest if they were to burn themselves than self-bombing. Burning oneself is slow agony compared to blowing up oneself. No, I am not encouraging either.

    People who want to make statements should use their imagination to think up other ways and means to do so, without such macabre acts, and certainly without injury and death to others. But I will take my hat off to burning monks in terms of the quality of their guts and the extreme standard of their dedication.

    Are you aware that Buddhist monks resorted to this fiery drama to demonstrate their objections against the dominancy of the newer religious faction in the block, the Vietnamese Catholic clergy. Top echelons in the South Vietnamese government then were Catholic, and the archbishop of Saigon was the brother of then President Diem.

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  2. zenmonk_genryu

    zenmonk_genryu New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0


    They were protesting the US backed governments support for a regime that tortured, imprisoned and supressed Buddhists in South Vietnam, and to draw the attention of the world to the war there, not because of any other religion.
     
  3. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Messages:
    3,786
    Likes Received:
    43
    Namaste su,

    sorry, my friend, i shall not restrain any being that tries to put into practice their religious ideals :)

    in point of fact, i actively encourage anyone that is engaged in a valid moral and ethical practice.

    blowing things up and killing babies may be something that is unique to the Semetic faiths.. i really can't say... what i can say, however, is that those practices are not endorsed by the mainstream adherents of these traditions.

    one can always find exceptions to such things, though, can't they?

    though i must confess that i'm at a loss to see how this is related to the OP.
     
  4. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Messages:
    2,526
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with Vajradhara when he says that this thread has veered from its original intention. Let's take a look back at the original posting.

    Samabudhi responded with the implication that the Dali Lama is a Bodhisattva:

    I agree with this, although Vajradhara disputes it on a technicality:

    I don't think I am as learned of a Buddhist scholar as Vajradhara, and I have to admit that I get turned around and lost with this whole idea of "Bodhisattva" and "Buddha." I do agree with the general sentiment of Samabudhi's post. To me, what he is saying is that it is one thing to sit and meditate and seek enlightenment, but there is more to the process than just that. After a person becomes "enlightened," the natural thing for them to do is to seek to guide others along a spiritual path; they want to share their salvation with the world. Indeed, this is an inevitable step in spiritual progress. If someone reaches samadhi and feels "enlightened," it doesn't end there. They have to go on developing themselves, and part of how that is done is by guiding others, which is the Bodhisattva path. I'm not sure, but I think "Bodhisattva" is part of the journey to "Buddhahood." It gets a little sticky, to my mind. After all, if "Buddha" means enlightened one, and "Bodhisattva" is one who guides others along to enlightenment, and therefore must be enlightened him- or herself, then does it not logically follow that a "Bodhisattva" is a "Buddha?" Perhaps Vajradhara can clear this up.

    At any rate, to address the original post: I think that it is possible to live in the material world and utilize the materials of the world in a non-attached way. When all the materials in the world are used with non-attachment, for the welfare and spiritual progress of others, basically no karma is generated. And this is the Bodhisattva path. Looking at it this way, the Dali Lama's 'fear for' and 'attachment to' his life are not really that, since he is not living for his own sake and salvation, but for others'. To put it another way, he has gone beyond; that is, he is not seeking "enlightenment" or "Nirvana" or what-have-you, because he is already in that state. This idea that one can have human form but already be "liberated" may be surprising to some people, but I don't believe it's so uncommon; all the great spiritual teachers of humanity have been "Bodhisattvas" in this way.
     
  5. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Messages:
    3,786
    Likes Received:
    43
    Bodhisattva

    Namaste Pathless,

    thank you for the post.

    please bear in mind that my explanations are typically very generalized though, in this case, i shall present the information as it is understood in my school.

    this can get a bit techincal and dry, so i'll try to eliminate most of that stuff and get to the "eye of the work" as they say in China.

    There is a text called Bodhichayavaratara which is translated into enligsh as "The Way of the Bodhisattva" and it is from this text, written by Shantideva, that i shall base my answers.

    there are two primary methods that one can use to cross to the other shore, that of the Arhat and that of the Bodhisattva, i shall leave aside Solitary Realizers for the purpose of this discussion.

    an Arhat is known as a Foe Destroyer, in that the 3 Foes (greed, lust and anger) have been destroyed. the Arhat seeks enlightenment for himself alone and has a profound understanding of emptiness.

    the Bodhisattva, on the other hand, vows not to attain final enlightenment until all other sentient beings in the multiverse have attained enlightenment. the Bodhisattva also has a profound understanding of emptiness and interdependent co-arising. the Arhat and Bodhisattva are equal in the profoundness of their underestanding of emptiness, yet they differ in their understanding of interdependent co-arising.

    generally speaking, the main difference between these is one of stages... i.e. as the Arhat practices they inevitably end up on the Bodhisattva path.... just as the Bodhisattva will eventually end up as a Buddha. there is a difference of opinion on the time scales involved, however, that's an academic discussion that has little bearing here, in my opinion.

    i'm afraid that i shall have to get a bit technical here so that i can more accurately explain the differences.

    in our school, Vajrayana, we say that there are ten bhumis or levels of meditive states that can be attained. when one attains the first bhumi, they are then an Arhat, having destroyed the foes of greed, lust and anger. from bhumi 2-9 one is considered to be a Bodhisattva and at bhumi 10 one is a Buddha at the Effect Stage. in essence, the differences are ones of subtley of perception, understanding and concentration.

    as for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, he is considered to be an emmanation of the Bodhisattva Chenrezig (Tibetan) or Avelokiteshavara (Sanskrit).

    i have more to say on this particular topic, however, i must leave work and head home before the ice storm gets here! hopefully, i will be able to elaborate on this a bit further when i get home this evening.
     
  6. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2003
    Messages:
    828
    Likes Received:
    1
    Sensu exclusivo?

    I will let you have the last word, just to remind you nonetheless that there were many motivations as with any human behavior in groups. Still I am more inclined that they were quite alarmed by the new religious power-faction in the block.

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  7. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Messages:
    3,786
    Likes Received:
    43
    to continue

    with our discussion thus far...


    A Bodhisattva is different from a Buddha in the ways mentioned above... there is another, very significant difference as well.

    A Bodhisattva still has conceptual thought, whereas a Buddha does not.

    this is a profound point and it needs to be properly understood to really get a grasp of what we are talking about.

    as we talked about, there are 10 meditive states that one can realize, otherwise called bhumis.

    now.. it certainly appears as if conceptions are always arising in the mind so the question becomes "how can one meditate so as to liberate the mind from concepts?"

    i shall let His Holiness the Dalai Lama answer this one as i think his explanation is much more thorough than any i could provide.

    HH the Dalai Lama:

    " As regards the cessation of concepts, when the mind is settled in single-pointed equipoise on an object, at that time, certain kinds of concepts or misconceptions cease. They are prohibited from arising. But this does nothing more than to close the door on the conceptions, for as soon as we come out of this state, the conceptions come racing back into the mind. The conceptions are just waiting outside the door, and when we open it, they come running back. It is at most a temporary relief. It's like taking asprin for a headache. To bring an end to misconceptions from the root, i.e. totally, the method consists of the cultivation of wisdom. This refers specifically to perceiving emptiness; it means meditating on emptiness.

    Even though they have completely eliminated all afflictive emotions, or Klesas, Sravaka and Pratyekabuddha Arhats have dualistic misconceptions. Likewise, even in the Mahayana, the eighth, ninth and tenth-stage Bodhisattvas have also rid themselves of the afflictive emotions. Nonetheless, they still have conceptions. So until one attains Buddhahood, except for the times when one is engaged in single-pointed equipoise on emptiness, at all other times, dualistic conceptions exist. Until one attains Buddhahood, one is under the influence of the obscurations to knowledge, and this refers specifically to the obscuration of seeing the Two Truths as being of different natures. This is the explanation according to the Sutra System.

    If one explains it according to the Tantras, specifically, if one explains it according to the Guhyasamaja Tantra, until one attains the subtlest clear light, until that point, one still continues to suffer from dualistic appearances. But when one abides in the subtlest clear light, at that point things cease to appear as dual. When one brings and end to the obscurations to knowledge, i.e. to those things which block our knowing all phenomena, then one brings and end to the appearance that the Two Truths are of different natures. And when this stain which apprehends the Two Truths to be of different natures ceases, then, without having to perceive the subject (a chair, for instance), that subject's reality, or nature, i.e. emptiness, can be perceived. It can be perceived directly. We can see that in such an equipoise on emptiness the subject is itself directly perceived. So from this point on, the stain of dualistic appearances is destroyed from the root and one can say that all conceptions cease beyond this point. In such an equipoise on emptiness, conventional phenomena are perceived directly. That very mind which directly perceives emptiness itself directly perceives conventional phenomena. Hence, at that time there is no conceptual thought. This is a very difficult point.

    The word "conception" in Tibetan (rtog pa) can have many different meanings. For example, there are mistaken conceptions (log rtog), there are misconceptions which apprehend existence (bden 'dzin gyi rtog pa), etc. These are things which are to be eliminated, which harm the individual. However, there is a sense of the word "conception" which is not negative. The appearance of conventional phenomena is a good example. Conceptions in regard to conventional phenomena are not things which harm us. They are not interferences. So we have to be aware that there are different connotations of the word "conception". "
     
  8. samabudhi

    samabudhi New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Messages:
    417
    Likes Received:
    0
    Must be some hectic herbs bru.
    Not your average grind and mellow! :D
     
  9. tom

    tom New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2004
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    material attachment

    HI all,
    actually human beings are quite attached to materialistic things and
    this is always undeniable whether you are monk or normal layman unless
    you were born in the jungle.so the answer still lie on the environment
    itself.so human greed is always there unless if you have learn the true nature
    wisdom which i dont write publicity as this philosophy will take quite a long
    time to understand and believe in it.you can always write to me and discuss
    from time to time.so be more realistic a bit and dont say that you are not
    attached to material unless you posses the great nature wisdom .

    wisdom preacher
     
  10. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Messages:
    3,786
    Likes Received:
    43
    Namaste tom,


    thank you for the post.

    i don't believe that anyone claimed that they were immune to material influence or attachment.

    the fact that we are all using this medium to communicate would pretty much belie any statement like that, from a Buddhist point of view, wouldn't you agree?

    now.. i should say, from the Buddhist point of view, all sentient beings posess the "great wisdom nature" which we call 'Buddhanature' perhpas this isn't the case in your tradition?

    by the way... which tradition do you practice?
     

Share This Page