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Weekly Theme for Contemplation: The Buddha Vow

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    Profile photo of ModeratorTN
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    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

  • Profile photo of ModeratorTN
    ModeratorTN
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    Profile photo of ModeratorTNModeratorTN

    May 20, 2017 Weekly Theme for Contemplation: The Buddha Vow

    Empty the boat, O bhikkhu; when emptied it will go lightly. — BUDDHA

    Only when you drink from the river of silence
    shall you indeed sing. — KAHLIL GIBRAN

  • Profile photo of ModeratorTN
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    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

  • Profile photo of Pavel Axentiev
    Pavel Axentiev
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    Profile photo of Pavel AxentievPavel Axentiev

    What is the Buddha vow? Is it the same as the bodhisattva vow?

    • Profile photo of Gerry Kiffe
      Gerry Kiffe
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      Profile photo of Gerry KiffeGerry Kiffe

      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…”.

      • Profile photo of Pavel Axentiev
        Pavel Axentiev
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        Profile photo of Pavel AxentievPavel Axentiev

        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.

        – Wikipedia

  • Profile photo of Kirk Marzulo
    Kirk Marzulo
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    Profile photo of Kirk MarzuloKirk Marzulo

    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 6 months, 3 weeks ago by Profile photo of Kirk Marzulo Kirk Marzulo.
    • Profile photo of Gerry Kiffe
      Gerry Kiffe
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      Profile photo of Gerry KiffeGerry Kiffe

      You can see why the Light of Asia is so much loved in theosophical circles. Thank you for sharing.

  • Profile photo of ModeratorTN
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    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

  • Profile photo of Kirk Marzulo
    Kirk Marzulo
    Participant
    Profile photo of Kirk MarzuloKirk Marzulo

    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 6 months, 3 weeks ago by Profile photo of Kirk Marzulo Kirk Marzulo.
    • Profile photo of Ramprakash ML
      Ramprakash ML
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      Profile photo of Ramprakash MLRamprakash ML

      “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.

      • Profile photo of Pavel Axentiev
        Pavel Axentiev
        Participant
        Profile photo of Pavel AxentievPavel Axentiev

        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.

        • Profile photo of Ramprakash ML
          Ramprakash ML
          Participant
          Profile photo of Ramprakash MLRamprakash ML

          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.

          • Profile photo of Pavel Axentiev
            Pavel Axentiev
            Participant
            Profile photo of Pavel AxentievPavel Axentiev

            Yes, I see Raja Yoga as the equivalent of Occult Science in our discussion. One only has to take one’s own inner experiences as facts – as much as any kind of purely sensory input – to start on this journey of self-exploration.

    • Profile photo of Pavel Axentiev
      Pavel Axentiev
      Participant
      Profile photo of Pavel AxentievPavel Axentiev

      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.

  • Profile photo of ModeratorTN
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    Profile photo of ModeratorTNModeratorTN

    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

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    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

  • Profile photo of ModeratorTN
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    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

  • Profile photo of ModeratorTN
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    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.
    — JESUS

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