No Contradictions from Buddha

the way of great Compassion
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Nicholas
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No Contradictions from Buddha

Post by Nicholas »

Every teaching from Buddha benefits certain people, with certain minds at certain time in our many lifetimes. What I do not understand means that teaching is not for me (now at least), but it is just great for that certain someone else.

As Je Tsongkhapa put it, in part (Great Treatise, vol. 1:
Thus the teachings are what the Conqueror explained well. Here,
[in the context of the Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment] to know
that all the teachings are free of contradiction means to understand
that they are the path by which one person becomes a buddha. Some
are the main points of the path; some are the various branches of
the path.
Or saying much the same thing, (Essence of Refined Gold) the Third Dalai Lama:
1. It [Stages of Path] reveals how all the various doctrines of Buddha are non-contradictory. If you rely upon the
Lamrim teaching, all the words of Buddha will be effectively comprehensible. You will see
that there are root practices and branch practices, and that there are direct and indirect
teachings, all of which aim at creating helpful circumstances along the stages of spiritual
development for a practitioner like yourself.
Or to change to the healing metaphor, as used by Bodhisattva Hsuan Hua:
Buddha spoke Dharma and taught people according to their needs, he was like a physician dispensing the right medicine to each patient. Therefore, one cannot say of any part of his teachings that they are right or wrong per se.
So discuss, argue, discern, but do not become attached to any view so much that you disparage or devalue another of Buddha's paths.
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Nicholas
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Re: No Contradictions from Buddha

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From the Sutra of Infinite Meaning:
O you of good intent! By virtue of sitting upright and properly for
six years at the place of the Way beneath the bodhi tree, I realized and
achieved the full dynamic of ultimate enlightenment. With the insight
of a buddha I perceived that not everything should be explained. What
is the reason for this? It is that the conditioned desires of all living
beings are not the same. Since conditioned desires differ, ways of
expounding the Dharma are many and various...

O you of good intent! The Dharma is like water that can wash
away dirt and grime. Whether coming from a well or a pond, a stream
or a river, a valley or a ditch, or an ocean, the water contained in all
of these can effectively wash all kinds of dirt and grime away. So it is
also with the water of the Dharma: it can cleanse living beings of the
dirt of all delusive worldly passions.

O you of good intent! The character of the water is the
same even though streams, rivers, wells, ponds, valleys,
ditches, and oceans are each different and distinct. So it is also
with the character of the Dharma: it removes and washes away the dirt
of delusive passions equally and without discrimination...

O you of good intent! Although the water from all of these places
is cleansing, a well is not a pond, a pond is neither a stream nor a river,
and valleys and ditches are not oceans. The Tathāgata—Hero of the
World, in total command of the Dharma—has expounded various
teachings that are also like this. The initial-period discourses, the middle-
period discourses, and the latter-period discourses are all able to
remove and wash away delusive worldly passions of living beings.
But the initial-period discourses are not the middle ones, and the middle-
period discourses are not the latter ones. The initial-, middle-, and
latter-period discourses express the same thing, yet they differ from
each other in meaning.
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Brahma Das
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Re: No Contradictions from Buddha

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The Same passage from the Lotus Sutra is applicable here, that all Buddhas possess a resolute and non-contradictory mind!
I have for their sake established expedient means,
preaching the way that ends all suffering.
And showing them nirvana.
But although I preach nirvana,
this is not a true extinction.
All phenomena from the very first
have of themselves constantly borne the marks of
tranquil extinction.
Once the sons of the Buddha have carried out this path,
then in a future existence they will be able to become Buddhas.
I have employed the power of expedient means
to unfold and demonstrate this doctrine of three vehicles,
but the World-Honored Ones, every one of them,
all preach the single vehicle way.
Now before this great assembly
I must clear away all doubts and perplexities.
There is no discrepancy in the words of the Buddhas,
there is only the one vehicle, not two.

For numberless kalpas in the past
countless Buddhas who have now entered extinction,
a hundred, thousand, ten thousand, million types
in numbers incapable of calculation-
such World-Honored Ones,
using different types of causes, similes, and parables,
the power of countless expedient means,
have expounded the characteristics of teachings.
These World-Honored Ones
have all preached the doctrine of the single vehicle,
converting countless living beings
and causing them to enter the Buddha way.
And these great sage lords,
knowing what is desired deep in the minds
of the heavenly and human beings and the other living things
throughout all the worlds,
have employed still other expedient means
to help illuminate the highest truth.
If there are living beings
who have encountered these past Buddhas,
and if they have listened to their Law, presented alms,
or kept the precepts, shown forbearance,
been assiduous, practiced meditation and wisdom, and so forth,
cultivating various kinds of merit and virtue,
then persons such as these
all have attained the Buddha way.
After the Buddhas have passed into extinction,
if persons are of good and gentle mind,
then living beings such as these
have all attained the Buddha way.
-The Lotus Sutra, Chapter 2, Expedient Means.
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Nicholas
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Re: No Contradictions from Buddha

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Furthermore, Ajita, Bodhisattvas should have no fear of any dharmas, such as the dharmas of Pratyekabuddhas, voice-hearers, or ordinary beings; afflictions, ending of dharmas, or difficulty in making progress; right or wrong, act or no act, fear or fearlessness, existence or nonexistence, mind or no mind, enlightenment or no enlightenment, karma or no karma, good or bad, peace or no peace, liberation or no liberation, training or not training, dharma or non-dharma, serenity or turmoil, true or false, belief or disbelief, good thoughts or bad thoughts, abiding or not abiding. Thus Bodhisattvas do not have fear of any dharmas.
From Total Retention Sutra

This principle applies to all traditional spiritual paths: Each path is good for some people, at some time, yet not good for another or at some other time.

If we could ignore our EGO that says I or My nation or My religion or My path is best for everyone all the time and every other path is always bad for everyone at any time - then we could be content that we are progressing in the right direction and know others are also OK.
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Brahma Das
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Re: No Contradictions from Buddha

Post by Brahma Das »

Thr Lotus Sutra, Chapter 2, Expedient Means:
Shariputra, listen carefully,
for the Law which the Buddhas have attained,
through the power of countless expedient means
they preach for the benefit of living beings.
The thoughts that are in the minds of living beings,
the different types of paths they follow,
their various desires and natures,
the good and bad deeds they have done in previous existences--
all these the Buddha takes cognizance of,
and then he employs causes, similes and parables,
words that embody the power of expedient means,
in order to gladden and please them all.
Sometimes he preaches sutras,
verses, stories of the previous lives of disciples,
stories of the previous lives of the Buddha, of unheard-of things.
At other times he preaches regarding causes and conditions,
uses similes, parables, passages of poetry
or discourses.
For those of dull capacities who delight in a little Law,
who greedily cling to birth and death,
who, despite the innumerable Buddhas,
fail to practice the profound and wonderful way
but are perplexed and confused by a host of troubles--
for these I preach nirvana.
I devise these expedient means
and so cause them to enter into the Buddha wisdom.
Up to now I have never told you
that you were certain to attain the Buddha way.
The reason I never preached in that manner
was that the time to preach so had not yet come.
But now is the very time
when I must decisively preach the Great Vehicle.
I use these nine devices,
adapting them to the living beings when I preach
my basic aim being to lead them into the Great Vehicle,
and that is why I preach this sutra.
There are sons of the Buddha who minds are pure,
who are gentle and of acute capacities,
who under innumerable Buddhas
have practiced the profound and wonderful way.
For these sons of the Buddha
I preach this sutra of the Great Vehicle.
And I predict that these persons
in a future existence will attain the Buddha way.
Because deep in their minds they think of the Buddha
and practice and uphold the pure percepts,
they are assured they will attain Buddhahood,
and hearing this, their whole bodies are filled with great joy.
The Buddha knows their minds and their practices
and therefore preaches for them the Great Vehicle.
When the voice-hearers and bodhisattvas
hear this Law that I preach,
as soon as they have heard one verse
they will all without doubt be certain of attaining Buddhahood.
In the Buddha lands of the ten directions
there is only the Law of the one vehicle,
there are not two, there are not three,
except when the Buddha preaches so as an expedient means,
merely employing provisional names and terms
in order to conduct and guide living beings
and preach to them the Buddha wisdom.

The Buddhas appear in the world
solely for this one reason, which is true;
the other two are not the truth.
Never do they use a lesser vehicle
to save living beings and ferry them across.
The Buddha himself dwells in this Great Vehicle,
and adorned with the power of meditation and wisdom
that go with the Law he has attained,
he uses it to save living beings.
He himself testifies to the unsurpassed way,
the Great Vehicle, the Law in which all things are equal.
If I used a lesser vehicle
to convert even one person,
I would be guilty of stinginess and greed,
but such a thing would be impossible.
If a person will believe and take refuge in the Buddha,
the Thus Come One will never deceive him,
nor will he ever show greed or jealousy,
for he has rooted out evil from among the phenomena.

Therefore throughout the ten directions
the Buddha alone is without fear.
I adorn my body with the special characteristics
and shine my light upon the world.
I am honored by numberless multitudes
and for them I preach the emblem of the reality of things.
Shariputra, you should know
that at the start I took a vow,
hoping to make all persons
equal to me, without any distinction between us,
and what I long ago hoped for
has now been fulfilled.
I have converted all living beings
and caused them all to enter the Buddha way.
The Ekayāna doctrine and Vehicle supports the Truth that there are no discrepancies in the words of the Buddhas, and in all of their Dharma preached, there is only One Great Vehicle. Om.
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Nicholas
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Re: No Contradictions from Buddha

Post by Nicholas »

On a similar theme is Avatamsaka Master Chengguan (738-839)
To explain why dharmas are hindrance free and in complete unity, Chengguan gives ten reasons.

(1) Dharmas are manifestations of the one mind, like waves lifted by the ocean.

(2) Dharmas have no definite nature. Manifested by the mind through conditions, large is not definitely large; small is not definitely small; one is not definitely one; many are not definitely many.

(3) The dharma realm is a great arising of interdependent dharmas. As different dharmas are mutual conditions for arising, they respond to one another.

(4) Dharma nature pervades all things. Therefore, there is no hindrance among things, as revealed by the ten abstruse doors.

(5) Dharmas are illusory. When a dreamer travels to near and far places, there is no difference between near and far. When a magician conjures many things from one thing, and one thing from many things, there is no difference between the conjured one and many things. Therefore, when a sentient being conjured by the Tathāgata store does illusory things, there is no difference between one and many illusory things he does.

(6) Dharmas are like reflections. Manifested from the mind, they are like endless mutual reflections of two mirrors facing each other.

(7) Causes of dharmas are countless. One cause has countless causes, each of which has countless causes. For example, in the past, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have taken universally worthy actions, observed dependent arising of dharmas, made great vows, transferred their merits, and created other excellent causes. Such countless causes lead to their hindrance-free attainments.

(8) A Buddha has realized the ultimate truth. He is adorned with merit and wisdom, which indicate that perfect causes have led to perfect effects.

(9) Profound samādhi enables one to experience the hindrance-free dharma realm. In the Buddha Adornment Sūtra, fascicle 40, chapter 27a, the Buddha says, “If a Bodhisattva enters these samādhis, he acquires the endless power of the dharma realm and walks across the open sky hindrance free”.

(10) All Buddhas have achieved inconceivable liberation and acquired spiritual powers. In fascicle 47, chapter 33b, Blue Lotus Flower Store Bodhisattva says, “Buddha-Bhagavāns have ten hindrance-free liberations. . . .All Buddhas can manifest in a dust particle an ineffably ineffable number of Buddhas appearing in worlds in the ten directions. . . . All Buddhas can manifest in a dust particle all past, present, and future Buddha work”.

The eighth, ninth, and tenth reasons imply that the hindrance-free dharma realm is revealed by Buddhas, who are fully enlightened and have transcended human perception, and is experienced by advanced Bodhisattvas in samādhi. They set an example for those with enough faith to enter the dharma realm through spiritual training.
From Rulu's Introduction to Two Holy Grounds, which contain major chapters 27-37 from the Avatamsaka Sutra.
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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