This group discusses the practical applications of the theosophical philosophy and the therapeutics of the wisdom of the ages.
The art of living study group intends to discuss the relevance and connection of theosophical ideas to the challenges and hurdles of daily life. This group will focus on the ethical issues, psychological challenges and artistic applications of theosophy to the daily round and the common task. While the other three groups freely move back and forth between the universal and the particular, the theoretical and the practical, this group will make an attempt to stay focused on the practical side of the art of living equation.
Weekly Theme for Contemplation: The Buddha Vow
May 20, 2017 at 6:56 pm #5683
Weekly Theme for Contemplation: The Buddha Vow
“The Buddha Vow is holy because it is a vow taken on behalf of all. ” — Aquarian Almanac
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Weekly Theme for Contemplation: The Buddha Vow
ModeratorTN May 20, 2017 at 7:10 pm #5687
May 21, 2017 Theme for Contemplation: The Buddha Vow
The Self-shining witness of all is ever revealed in the vesture of wisdom. Make
this thy goal which stands apart from the unreal. — SHANKARACHARYA
I would not let one cry whom I could save. — SIR EDWIN ARNOLD
Gerry KiffeModeratorGerry Kiffe May 22, 2017 at 8:37 pm #5702
I think you might be right about that. A footnote in the Voice of the Silence says “This is an allusion to a well-known belief in the East that every additional Buddha or Saint is a new soldier in the army of those who work for the liberation or salvation of mankind.” And Shankaracharya talks about ” The Great and Peaceful ones live regenerating the world…”.
Pavel Axentiev May 23, 2017 at 1:56 am #5706
The Bodhisattva vow is the vow taken by Mahayana Buddhists to attain complete enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings. One who has taken the vow is nominally known as a Bodhisattva. Whereas the Prātimokṣa vows (taken at the ordainment of Buddhist monks – P.A.) cease at death, the Bodhisattva vow extends into future lives. There are two traditions of the Bodhisattva vow, one originating from Asanga and the other from Nagarjuna.
A Bodhisattva vow is found at the end of the Avatamsaka Sutra by Samantabhadra. In the Bodhisattvacaryāvatāra, Shantideva explains that the Bodhisattva vow is taken with the following famous two verses from Sutra:
Just as all the previous Sugatas, the Buddhas
Generated the mind of enlightenment
And accomplished all the stages
Of the Bodhisattva training,
So will I too, for the sake of all beings,
Generate the mind of enlightenment
And accomplish all the stages
Of the Bodhisattva training.
In Mahayana Buddhism, the bodhisattva vows to work for the relief and liberation (nirvana) of all sentient beings as long as samsara persists.
This can be done by venerating all Buddhas and by cultivating supreme moral and spiritual perfection, to be placed in the service of others. In particular, Bodhisattvas promise to practice the six perfections of giving, moral discipline, patience, effort, concentration and wisdom in order to fulfill their bodhicitta aim of attaining enlightenment for the sake of all beings.
In Tibetan Buddhism there are two lineages of the bodhisattva vow. The first is associated with the Cittamatra movement of Indian Buddhism, and is said to have originated with the bodhisattva Maitreya, and to have been propagated by Asanga. The second is associated with the Madhyamaka movement, and is said to have originated with the bodhisttva Manjusri and to have been propagated by Nagarjuna, and later by Shantideva. The main difference between these two lineages of the bodhisattva vow is that in the Cittamatra lineage the vow cannot be received by one who has not previously received the pratimokṣa vows.
Kirk MarzuloParticipantKirk Marzulo May 21, 2017 at 2:24 pm #5691
In book three and four in The Light of Asia, Sir Edwin Arnold memorably articulates the motivation and resolve of the Buddha Vow:
“…The veil is rent
Which blinded me! I am as all these men
Who cry upon their gods and are not heard
Or are not heeded–yet there must be aid!
For them and me and all there must be help!
Perchance the gods have need of help themselves
Being so feeble that when sad lips cry
They cannot save! I would not let one cry
Whom I could save!”
“…Oh, summoning stars! Oh, mournful earth
For thee and thine I lay aside my youth,
My throne, my joys, my golden days, my nights,
My happy palace–and thine arms, sweet Queen!
Harder to put aside than all the rest!
Yet thee, too, I shall save, saving this earth;
And that which stirs within thy tender womb,
My child, the hidden blossom of our loves,
Whom if I wait to bless my mind will fail.
Wife! child! father! and people! ye must share
A little while the anguish of this hour
That light may break and all flesh learn the Law.
Now am I fixed, and now I will depart,
Never to come again till what I seek
Be found–if fervent search and strife avail.”
- This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by Kirk Marzulo.
ModeratorTN May 22, 2017 at 7:58 pm #5701
May 22, 2017 Theme for Contemplation: The Buddha Vow
Everything is the product of one universal creative effort; the Macrocosm
and man (the Microcosm) are one. — PARACELSUS
In humility is the greatest freedom. As long as you have to defend the imaginary
self that you think is important, you lose your peace of heart. As soon as you
compare that shadow with the shadows of other people, you lose all joy, because
you have begun to trade in unrealities and there is no joy in things that do not
exist. — THOMAS MERTON
Kirk MarzuloParticipantKirk Marzulo May 23, 2017 at 3:26 pm #5712
Apparently, such a vow is a core component in transforming, purifying or elevating the desire principle.
“The passions and desires are not produced by the body, but, on the contrary, the body is caused to be by the former. It is desire and passion which caused us to be born, and will bring us to birth again and again in this body or in some other. It is by passion and desire we are made to evolve through the mansions of death called lives on earth. It was by the arising of desire in the unknown first cause, the one absolute existence, that the whole collection of worlds was manifested, and by means of the influence of desire in the now manifested world is the latter kept in existence.
This fourth principle is the balance principle of the whole seven. It stands in the middle, and from it the ways go up or down. It is the basis of action and the mover of the will. As the old Hermetists say: “Behind will stands desire.” For whether we wish to do well or ill we have to first arouse within us the desire for either course. The good man who at last becomes even a sage had at one time in his many lives to arouse the desire for the company of holy men and to keep his desire for progress alive in order to continue on his way. Even a Buddha or a Jesus had first to make a vow, which is a desire, in some life, that he would save the world or some part of it, and to persevere with the desire alive in his heart through countless lives. And equally so, on the other hand, the bad man life after life took unto himself low, selfish, wicked desires, thus debasing instead of purifying this principle. On the material and scientific side of occultism, the use of the inner hidden powers of our nature, if this principle of desire be not strong the master power of imagination cannot do its work, because though it makes a mold or matrix the will cannot act unless it is moved, directed, and kept up to pitch by desire.”
-W. Q. Judge, The Ocean of Theosophy, Chap 6
- This reply was modified 9 months ago by Kirk Marzulo.
Ramprakash MLParticipantRamprakash ML May 23, 2017 at 4:30 pm #5714
“On the material and scientific side of occultism, the use of the inner hidden powers of our nature, if this principle of desire be not strong the master power of imagination cannot do its work, because though it makes a mold or matrix the will cannot act unless it is moved, directed, and kept up to pitch by desire.”
This is the reason why science as now known and practiced cannot make progress in investigating hidden forces of nature unless it blinds itself with metaphysics of old Occult Science. Scientist has to become a Raja Yogi.
Pavel Axentiev May 23, 2017 at 5:00 pm #5716
Ramprakash, does a Raja Yog use principles of patient observation and experimentation, and does not leap to conclusions by cherry-picking the evidence? If yes, the Yogin uses the scientific method. I am calling for a broader understanding of Science, which includes Occult Science – one of the foundations of Theosophy.
Ramprakash MLParticipantRamprakash ML May 23, 2017 at 5:19 pm #5718
It is true, Pavel. Raja Yoga is far more rigorous in observations free from errors of bias and other defects of mind and heart than modern science, one difference being the latter looks outward, whereas the former searches within. At some level both meet and are complementary to each other.
Pavel Axentiev May 23, 2017 at 5:07 pm #5717
With all due respect to WQJ, I don’t think a vow is equivalent to a simple desire. A vow (if it is to be followed) is likely to come into opposition to multiple other desires, be it those of the flesh, or of the mind. A vow creates a kind of center of gravity in the person’s consciousness, which might start to dominate all other desires.
ModeratorTN May 23, 2017 at 9:40 pm #5720
May 23, 2017 Weekly Theme for Contemplation: The Buddha Vow
Once more we are lightened of our burden, through virtue become spiritual,
and move through Spiritual Wisdom to the Supreme. — PLOTINUS
I am myself and what is around me, and if I do not save
it, it shall not save me. — JOSÉ ORTEGA y GASSET
ModeratorTN May 24, 2017 at 7:29 pm #5725
May 24, 2017 Theme for Contemplation: The Buddha Vow
No great improvements in the lot of mankind are possible until a great change
takes place in the fundamental constitution of their modes of thought.
— JOHN STUART MILL
The only object of the Initiate is the enlightenment
of the human race. — BHAVANI SHANKAR
ModeratorTN May 25, 2017 at 6:13 pm #5732
May 25, 2017 Weekly Theme for Contemplation: The Buddha Vow
Fix thy Soul’s gaze upon the star whose ray thou art, the flaming star that
shines within the lightless depths of ever-being, the boundless fields of the
Unknown. — THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE
Some thoughts always find us young, and keep us so. Such a thought is the
love of the universal and eternal beauty. — RALPH WALDO EMERSON
ModeratorTN May 26, 2017 at 10:36 pm #5734
May 26, 2017 Weekly Theme for Contemplation: The Buddha Vow
Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what comparison shall
we compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the
earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth; but when it is sown, it groweth
up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches.