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Cappuccino Club – discussion on the Bodhisattva Ideal — 1 Comment

  1. From Ched:
    This is a brave and wonderfully interesting theme. (Unfortunately, I would be away!)

    “Mahayana presents Theravada as being a selfish pursuit of ones own liberation without concern for world beings.”

    It is a statement that is worth putting out there in the open and considering as a sangha. I am a lay vajrayana-mahayana practitioner. It is part of the Bodhisattva vows to understand that listed among the 14 Root Downfall of Bodhisattva are “9. To cause the Shravaka to abandon their practice of self-liberation and practice Mahayana without special purpose. 10. To hold the view that the Shravaka vehicle will not completely purify defilements and cause others to hold the same view.”

    When we take refuge in the Triple Gems, we take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. ALL Sangha.

    In the intention of helping our analysis, I share the following instruction from a highly-respected teacher,

    “Be respectful to others: Without Theravada and Mahayana as foundation, there would be no Vajrayana. It would be completely foolish of Vajrayana practitioners to look down on or show disdain towards Theravada and Mahayana. If you think attacking other buddhists will improve Buddhism, do a service for Buddhism, take aim at your own ego and biasedness instead.” Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, 17 Jan 2013

    In Tibetan, bodhisattva is “djangtchoub sempa”. The term « pa » can have two meanings, it can be just a nominative form of a word, “he who has bodhicitta, who has developed this awakened attitude”. But the term “pa” written differently, which is in fact used to translate this term, means “courage”. Thus, that which characterises the bodhisattva is “Courage”.
    So when we hear for example, when one speaks of big vehicle “maha-yana”, small vehicle “hina-yana”, like a kind of distinction, one says: “yes, the bodhisattva, that’s the one with an altruistic intention, whereas in the small vehicle, they don’t have altruistic intention. This is completely untrue. (Cela est tout à fait faux.) All Buddhist teaching is founded on an altruistic attitude, founded on non-violence, all practise the same. But that which distinguishes the mahayana, is the courage. Why? Because the shravaka, the pratyékabouddha, a certain number of great disciples of the Buddha did not have the courage to renounce to attain enlightenment for themselves, for the good of all sentient beings. They thought it was too immense a project to want to liberate all beings without exception. This does not mean that they did not have Love and Compassion. They did, and in a universal way, but they did not have the courage to engage in working entirely for sentient beings. So this is the notion of the word “sempa”. There is a sutra where the Buddha distinguishes the motivation of the shravaka from that of the bodhisattva.”…[extract translated from the original, from his teachings on the Bodhisattva Vows by Karma Trinley Tulku Rinpoche, 20 May 2012]

    May this be of some use. Sharing from best intentions and my quick translation, please bear with any faults.

    Ched