Buddhism - Lesson 7

The Mahayana Sutras

The Mahayana Sutras include the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras, Lotus Sutra, Heart Sutra, Vimalakirti Sutra and the Lankavatara Sutra.

Lesson 7
Watching Now
The Mahayana Sutras

The Emergence of the “Great Vehicle”

Part 2

II. The Mahayana Sutras

A. The Perfection of Wisdom Sutras

1. A new goal

2. New philosophical insights

3. Forerunner of Madhyamika school as espoused by Nagarjuna

B. Heart Sutra

1. Wisdom of perfected enlightenment – no distinctions

2. Everything is empty of ‘own-being’

C. Vimalakirti Sutra

1. Wisdom of perfected enlightenment – no distinctions

2. Powerful anti-monastic / clergy dissent

D. Lankavatara Sutra

1. Mediation for perfected enlightenment

2. Mind only – forerunner of Yogacara

3. Storehouse of consciousness

E. Lotus Sutra

1. Traditional Mahayana teaching

2. Unique insight into multiple ‘vehicles’

a. Monastic vehicle

b. Messianic vehicle

c. Solitary vehicle

Terms to Know from this lecture:

avalokitesvara (male/female bodhisattva in Heart Sutra)
storehouse of consciousness
tathagata-garbha (Womb or Embryo of Enlightenment)


In this course, you will gain an in-depth understanding of Buddhism, including its historical background, key concepts, and major branches. You will explore the life and teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, and learn about the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Additionally, you will examine the differences between the major branches of Buddhism, such as Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana, and learn about various Buddhist practices and beliefs, including meditation, karma, rebirth, and the role of the Sangha. Lastly, you will study how Christians can bring hope to Buddhists by sharing the truths of God's character and the salvation of His Son. 


Dr. Timothy Tennent
The Mahayana Sutras
Lesson Transcript


Well, good morning. We want to continue our look at the Mahayana principles. But this at this point, looking at some of the text that have espoused some of the doctrines of Mahayana. And if you recall last time we looked at three basic strands of ways that Mahayana have expanded the basic vision of the way of the elders or ted of order Buddhism. And we saw how the way of the elders was challenged at three points. One was the area of secret teachings. The Mahayana believe that there are secret teachings. We discussed that. And so we'll look at some of these documents which they claim form part of the corpus of Buddhist material. Secondly, they believe in the body sought for ideal as opposed to the hot ideal and the body, so that the ideal is going to be also expounded as we look today was called The Journey of the Body Saatva. So we'll kind of explore what that journey looks like. And then thirdly, the whole nature of the Buddha, the expansion of the Buddha to really espouse much more than the historical person of the Buddha, but the actual dharma that make up the Buddha's teaching becomes expand into a lot of new possibilities philosophically. So we're actually going to be following up on each of these three parts of the Mahayana vision and try to give you a little taste for what actually happened historically and textually in the Mahayana tradition. So I believe that if I have it with me here. But I believe your current handout. Yes. If you look at the lecture of A for this is where we're actually at this point, we still haven't yet finished that lecture should be Roman or seven, by the way. It's a it's a misprint because number six is the the emergence the great vehicle Roman and Will seven the Mahayana sutras.


The Maya said that everyone has a copy of that outline. So what we're going to do is we're going to look at each of these areas. So the first area is this whole thing of secret truths. In order to do that, when you look at several of the texts that are part of that, the first is called the Perfection of Wisdom sutras. This is a whole I haven't actually given you the in the back the what this is actually call this called the price parameter sutras. And the price now parameter sutras means the perfection of wisdom. Sutras. You remember the word price now means means wisdom. So this perfection of wisdom sutras is probably the earliest body of Mahayana literature. And this probably dates to the time of Christ. So when you think about the emergence of Mahayana Buddhism, you need to think of it roughly in terms of this is going on contemporary with Christ and the documents of the New Testament, because this is the time frame when Mahayana is emerging, we're going to be looking at a number of these texts, some of which you have in your text to read. So we're looking over a number of these. And once you have the Krishna Parametric sutras, Perfection of Wisdom, sutras, these also this is a kind of a voluminous bit of material. So what happens is they get condensed into summary form sometimes with some sectarian kind of influence, because if you summarize as someone tells you to summarize the Old Testament, there is some influence involved and what you pick out as most important. So you have some various summaries of the original parameter sutras that have become, I think, actually more famous than the actual documents, because the original documents because the summaries become what's actually used and so forth are the two most famous are the Diamond Sutra and the Heart Sutra.


In this class, you're actually going to be reading as part of your text, the Lotus Sutro, which is something also different. But the Diamond Sutro and the Heart Sutro are actually condensation of the present parameter sutures. Some students get confused on this point because they think that somehow, no, these are all different documents, but these are actually what we call presentations or summaries of documents. So just just picture if you can. The primitive sutras represents like a bit of material like the Old Testament. And then these smaller works are summary condensed, like Reader's Digest, condensed versions kind of thing of these that are much easier to read and much more. Therefore they became more popular. So most, many average Buddhist, when you go get a discussion about the Bible and you say, Well. Have you ever read the Bible? And they say, No, you ought to read the Bible. And you may have some difficulty explaining Old Testament, New Testament, as you know, two parts to our Bible. But it's relatively simple compared to the Buddhist context, because in the Buddhist context, you have many, many, many text. So when you ask the Buddhist, well, what is your Bible and what is the comparable document to our Bible, then you know, you just need to kind of keep a notebook out to see what is said to you, because some might very well say the Diamond Sutra and you need to know, okay, etc. is a condensed version of the the president parameter sitters. Therefore the guys in Mahayana, I mean, you can make a lot of conclusions when you hear the text that they mention, but there's not any one single kind of controlling text that all Buddhist everywhere acknowledge. Well, I'll look at some of the other things that are accepted later.


But this is a kind of a general point well worth remembering. So keep that in mind when you look at these or hear these text. Okay. Well, what is the. Any questions about that or comments about the whole textual thing before we look at any of these passages? Yes. Dan? Yeah. I should write it down for you because it might be a little. Okay. Krishna is the word for wisdom is not parameter sutras or text. This is the word for perfection or maturity of wisdom. Text. I've actually tried to shield you from all of these terms somewhat. So you're quite well, You're welcome just to learn it as the perfection of wisdom suits. The problem is you're not going to find anybody anywhere. I shouldn't say. You should never say never. It's not a good point, because in Buddhism, anything is possible at any moment, But it's unlikely that someone will say to you, Oh, yeah, we found the perfection of wisdom soldiers, you know, because that's a it's an English translation of it. And it's generally it goes by price, not parameter. So you at least be able to recognize that term. But I haven't asked you to actually learn it as one of your terms. And the other, of course, the two I mentioned, you look at the diamond, those are also and the heart see through. Those are also translations, but much more straightforward. Obviously, diamond suits are hard to see through. And you do hear those used by the English title. Okay. So what I want to do is basically try to summarize for you, okay, this is not my diamond or heart suit. This is the Tenet Sutra. This is the Tenet summary of the original parameter. This is to give you a little feel for what is in this text.


Now, why are we looking at the text? Just to be clear, we're looking at the text because we're trying to demonstrate that the Mahayana represent the idea of secret teachings or more advanced teachings of the Buddha. So you have the travertine kind of canon with the closed basket, some of the three baskets that are closed now, the basket have been opened up and they're saying there's other things that are for the more advanced, more mature. I think Carl used the expression Gnostic. This these are kind of that Gnostic level that we're getting into here. Okay. So the first is that there is this new goal now that is clearly taught in the present pentameter sutras that there is a new goal. It very clearly lays out that the goal of our hot hood has been surpassed by these greater insights. This is why, by the way, I take a little issue with Paul Williams, though. He's a great scholar and, you know, we're humbled by his knowledge, but he does downplay, I think, overly, the idea of a lay dissent against the monastic order. I think we mentioned it before, But here's an example where you cannot ignore this. You cannot ignore the fact this is an anti monastic dissent. When they say that we have an insight this greater than your insight and your insight is that the greatest goal is to become a monk. And our insight is that you have to abandon that goal for something greater and it can be achieved. As a layperson, that is a dissent against monastic clerical kind of ideas of superiority. So they say you should give up on the goal of our heart, should or a monk could in the pursuit of Nirvana. And instead you should develop this attitude of trust in the body.


Saatva Now this is opening up all kinds of new possibilities in terms of, I think, concessions toward a more Christian worldview. The idea that we cannot save ourselves, we need help. That's a basic Christian perspective that we can build on a bit. When you're talking to a Buddhist, because here you have an open acknowledgment within their tradition we cannot do it on our own. You cannot just hunker down, become a monk and get yourself, you know, work your way through the eightfold path. Now there's this help there. So this first goal is to renounce the hot hood. Open yourself up to the body's sort for goal. But then ultimately another answer to this is that you have to also renounce Nirvana itself. And this was the secret teaching that they claimed the Buddha gave to them. That and I think actually Esau was the one that brought this up, whereas he saw, Yeah, there you are, You've moved locations. I can't find you more. All right. And now say this is now on the tape. Therefore, Esau, you become famous. People all over the world will wonder who's he saw. He saw is the one who's taping this course. And we give him high commendations for his good job. All right. Esau made the comment a week or two ago about, wait a minute, how can you have this desire for Nirvana when the whole point of the four fold truth is to extinguish all desire? You never say in that can. Now we're coming back to that point. They may had the same insight you had. So you're already in Mahayana. You didn't know it. See, when we first entered his in Theravada introducing these Mahayana insights, they all hold up, you guys. You guys are way ahead of me because that's actually where we are at this point.


They said, Wait a minute. At the same point Esau made, if, if desires be extinguished, how can somebody get Nirvana by desiring Nirvana? So you have to It isn't, by the way, a denial of Nirvana, but that you have to give up on the pursuit of Nirvana. So essentially, you have to remember the little chart we gave early on. We had the kind of the progression from our heart to Nirvana. And the Bodhisattva ideals actually can challenge both of these because they both involve desires. You have to give up on your desire to be a monk and your desire to follow the eightfold path and your desire to become enter into some state of nirvana. So you have to renounce the monastic ideal. You have to renounce Nirvana itself, because the even the desire toward Nirvana keeps the flame burning. Remember that word Tannhauser in the Four Noble Truths. He said that all of life is Duka. Duka is caused by Tannhauser, by this desire. So only by extension desire can be freed from Duka. So they're trying to get back to this root of the whole thing. So if your self gets fully extinguished and there's no place for some self that's traveling along the road to Nirvana as a monk or otherwise. So this is why the very sort of path is often called the messianic path, because you have a bodhisattvas that will save you when you renounce all of your own selfishness, your own desires and so forth. So the minute you create this new goal, which is essentially to surrender yourself to the mercy and compassion of the bodhisattvas, rather than to seek either monk could or even seek nirvana, then you have these infusion of these two major principles in Mahayana Buddhism, which from a Christian point of view, are extremely significant.


And one, the idea of vicarious suffering and vicarious suffering means that somebody can do something on your behalf. And that's, again, a fundamental Christian point that at some point has to be communicated. If you're sharing the gospel with somebody that Jesus Christ died for your sins, that's a very basic kind of assumption which presupposes that something that Jesus Christ did 2000 years ago can have some effect on you today. Now I have in my files a wonderful little article. I cut out the newspaper and many, many years ago in Delhi, I went with one of the National Indian papers where and you have to kind of get a feel for Indian newspapers. They're not like papers here because they bring together kind of religious and political and social, kind of all kind of get pushed together into a paper. These are major papers. It's not any sectarian religious papers. So it's not unusual to read major articles discussing religious thought, Hinduism, various things. And then people who write in like letters to the editor or write in frequently asked questions or discuss religious things. So you don't have the kind of separation of religion and life that you have off in the West. So this guy wrote in to the paper and he said, These Christians really baffle me. I hear that Christians talk about Jesus, you know, the famous Sunday school joke, maybe you heard us if you went to school growing up, that whatever question your teacher asked you, the answer is always, Jesus, this guy. I kind of had heard that, you know, these Christians are totally consumed with this guy, Jesus. And he said, What amazes me is that they really believe that something that Jesus did 2000 years ago could have possibly faked them today.


Mean, this is incredulous to him that we could believe this. Now he says, I believe that Jesus was a great teacher and I believe he is obviously a wonderful person and he's inspired many. People. But I don't believe that his death on the cross can in any way have any influence on my life today. Now, that is classic karmic perspective, because karma is always, you know, your act and your deed, you know, you alone. So what your loan reap. So this was a fundamental problem within the Hindu worldview. There was no place for other areas. So I told the story last time about the night, about the guy who gets the shot of forgetfulness. I told that story in Hinduism, but not in Buddhism class. Okay, well, it's well worth the story because it's a little bit of an excursion, but it does underscore the thing of karma. In my my studies, I was looking at this figure and he was talking about karma. And this is a convert from pre-menopausal Hinduism, high caste Hinduism. And he was trying to explain why karma is so ridiculous. And he makes the point, he said the karma is like a schoolboy that gets caught by doing some misdeed in school. And so what happens is the schoolmaster and this is a 19th century guy, right? And so he has the whole British context of a schoolmaster and kids in the kind of whole British school system. So this schoolboy gets brought out for doing some misdeed. He broke some rule, and so he has to be paddled. And so he calls the boy forward and to be paddled for his misdeed. And before he paddles the boy, someone tells us, Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop. And they give the boy a little shot.


It makes him forget anything he's ever done. So he has no idea what he's done. And now they're ready to spank him. And also, they know thumbs up and they give a shot to the master and really gives got to everybody. So everybody gets a little injection that makes them forget ever at all what has been done. So this guy now proceeds to spank this Zen boy. This young boy has no idea why he's been spanked. The schoolmaster has no idea why he spanking why. And he raises the question, is this just because nobody knows if you have children? I mean, how many of you here have children? We have a few of you have children. Okay. When you come time, when you spank your children. I know it's a rare event, but occasionally has to happen. So you you sit down. You don't just take your child, you know, I mean, people do this, but you shouldn't just grab your child and start wailing away at them. Instead, the Christian thing to do is sit the child down and say, Sweetheart, your mother and dad love you so much, but you did this. We talked about it and this is wrong. And so you're going to receive a spanking for this. You understand why? Yes, I do. Or some other possible response. And then you administer the loving discipline. All right. Ever understand that there's justice in that? You know, if you got a notice from the school that said you're being expelled immediately, you're like, Whoa, what did I do wrong? And so you go down to Kaiser and he says, I have no idea what you did wrong, but I just know that we're told we should expel you. You have no idea why.


He has no idea why you're just being expelled. I mean, the whole thing with smacks of injustice because you had the right to know what infraction you did based on what standard. Okay, So karma does never allows for that. Karma. You cannot know you're born as a baby and you know you have leukemia. You have no idea. And oh, well, that's because it sends in your past life what sins when? What life, What? What did I do? I don't know. Nobody knows. So karma is a huge, huge trap. So for the Buddhist to come along and recognize that and say this, we need some broadening of this is actually a tremendous development. And so you now have the possibility that I can do something for on your behalf. I can assist you, I can help you. You know, the body shop at least can help your sister. That's a pretty important development. And that, of course, creates the possibility of ethics, because that was largely lacking in the Hindu worldview. Because why would you do something for somebody who is been justly punished for whatever they're experiencing? There was no category for an ethical act of compassion in Hinduism. So now in Buddhism, you have both of these things brought in and somebody who actually denies their moksha, denies their liberation, will samsara their nirvana and they come back on the will of samsara. To help you is an act of vicarious suffering and an act of ethical, you know, rescue from at least in their point of view. I again, I have my own problems with it. But in a final sense, I think at least provisionally, this is a quite a remarkable development in Buddhism. So you have a new goal. And this new goal is trusting in the merits of another, trusting in the compassion of another, and renouncing your desire for nirvana or our hot hood.


Okay. Questions or comments about this new goal that's taught in the of parameter sutras. The perfection of wisdom Sutras. Yes. I think you mentioned somewhere in the media that there may be some important Christianity. Early. Did you get it all straight away? I think the early development of this starts out kind of on its own, but I think at some point especially is that it gets to China. I think you do have Christian influence on this to some degree. I think vindicating that Christian influence, I mean, if you mean by Christian influenced textual influence, I don't think much of that's there. But in terms of being exposed to basic Christian theology, Christian ideas, I think ultimately does have an influence in the way this is shaped and developed, especially as the condensed versions come out because they are influenced by how Christians have talked about things because the gospel hits China by the sixth century. So this material is in development. All through that period. The Gospel just traveled on the Silk Road, just like this is traveling from India out all the way to China as well. So there is some whether or not it's significant, it's hard to tell. Yes. All right. So I just need to point out by our affiliate suffers in place of the case of a person who would be helping receive the effects of that person. Is that karma or is it more vague? Is not quite as explicit as that. But effectively, if you earn extra merit and you use your extra merit to help your deficiencies, that part of that piece is there and balanced on the scales. So it's still a karmic we're still talking about karma, but actually take on your sufferings only in a sense that the body sort for can project himself into the world as a phenomenological being that may come around and help you, or even as a dog or whatever.


And that sense they take on suffering. But I don't think it's quite as Christian as that. But I do think that you have clearly the idea of transferring merit is there in the idea that they have delayed their nirvana on your behalf. Both of those aspects were there. And yes. And so you're still your own saying, just with the help of. They're still working for him. But again, that isn't what you mean by a work. If some of these staffers will say you'll be saved only if you call upon their name, if you just recite their name. Okay. So what's called invocation of Buddhism, We haven't looked at some of these practices yet, but you get to the invocation of Buddhism where if you just invoke the name of Amitabh and choose three whoever, then you can be saved. Is that a work or an act of faith? But well, then about Nirvana pronounced Nirvana in the sense that it doesn't actually exist or and if so, where? And I'm not aware, but in what state is Buddha? And I guess I'm just confused. Like, are they are they repressing it and saying, don't really see Nirvana is the best? That's a good thing to be confused about. It's going to take a little time to develop that point because you have to actually get into the philosophical discussions about it to find out what they really mean by this. So the short answer to your question is that there are two basic ideas about that. And there are those who believe that it is something that can be realized and others who believe ultimately there's nothing in there to be realized. And that is the realization. I mean, that's the whole thing. I mean, that's you know, I mean, the big insight is we'll see how the day is out by the my dynamic of Nagarjuna is samsara is nirvana.


Wow. Okay, we're not there yet. So. So there are different ideas about what Nirvana is. Other questions they actually use the term say. Are we just so. Some say the word saved is used in a very limited way. The more typical words are words like being released or liberated or enlightened or more typical words to be used. But the word save does fall in vocabulary. But I'd say it's a minor kind of expression, so don't carry the Christian kind of conception, save from sin and all that. Yes, but. That's right. ACTOR The idea being transferred. How can it be transferred? That's the whole point. That's that is one of the big breakthroughs of Mahayana, because you're right, in traditional Hindu thought, deeds cannot be transferred in any way. Your deeds or your deeds. But in my Yona develops the idea that some people, because of innumerable lifetimes, have developed more good deeds than they need. They there are good karma always, or bad karma, in other words. And because of that, they're allowed to transfer some of their good deeds to you. Profound thought. I can tell. Does that make sense? It's like, okay, it's like this. They would not talk about these two and what they would say is, okay, you're going on a journey. We're both on this journey and we've got to get from here to Hamilton. All right. You have a £50 pack to carry. I've already been to Hamilton many times, and I've already delivered everything I need there. I don't need to carry anything to Hamilton. So what I'll say to you. I'll tell you what. If you just trust in me, give me your pack. I'll carry it for you to Hamilton. And not easier for you to get there.


So you entrust. You give your backpack to me. I carry your backpack to Hamilton. We get to Hamilton together. I may come back to help somebody else, but you get there with your pack delivered. Hamilton. Okay. And I've helped carry your your burden there. That's more the mentality here. They actually believe that these body Sophists can help you to accelerate your ability to work through the eightfold path. There is no. That's true. But that's something we have to deal with later. That's part of the whole problem with this, because you have to ultimately the realization is that there is no traveler on this path. So part of the development of philosophy in the end of the day, I say, but it's all illusion and we all have this is no person that actually gains extramarital to get you more right. The way they get around that is by their analogy is that the is the raft analogy, very famous analogy but doesn't explain that point. They say, okay, you're right, There is no traveler ultimately in an ultimate ultimate sense capital. You there are nobody suffers either. Okay. Because there's nothing I mean, that's Buddhism, right? There's no ultimate ontology, right? So there can't be any foundation, anything. So what they're saying is that all of this are provisional realities, little realities in order to bring you to the distant shore. And they say that this whole provision of the Mahayana insights is like a raft which gets you through because you're still caught in this web and therefore you can't think any of the terms before you need this assistance to get across the big river. Once you get across the river, the raft is discarded, which is the point you're making. But they're saying you still need the raft to get across the river.


Once you cross the river, you discard the raft and which is I take on the task at that point I book because I think ultimately this creates a problem for ethics when you ultimately say ethics has to be discarded. But I think to be fair, you have to keep that sequence in mind, distinguish between an ultimate criticism and a criticism on the way, because they are saying they're agreeing with you ultimately by saying provisionally, you have to have this. I mean, give an example of the story. They tell it as my book and also in our own readings otherwise. But the story of the burning house, you remember in the story, the burning house where the father calls up to his children and he tells them that the house is on fire, the house is burning down. He realizes kids are going to be destroyed. He can't tell them come out of the house, the house on fire because they are too small. They understand what that is. They have no frame of reference for that. That is dangerous. So instead, he says to them, he promises each of them different kinds of toys. If you come in immediately, I'll give you the speaker toy that he knows will be a toy that that particular child likes. And it says in this way, he rescued all of his children. Now, the whole point is he didn't have any toys to give his children. The whole thing was fabricated, but it was fabricated to achieve the goal. So Mahayana and Terrible are about achieving the goal. And the idea of the the nature of this kind of illusion or the nature of this kind of provisional props or raft you use to get across this illusion is allowed for in Buddhist thought.


Yes, I'm confused about the relationship between moving around the wheel of samsara sorry, through karma and escaping. Samsara through eliminating desire and enlightenment. Are they the same thing? Yes, it is. The fact that I am making the show in this journey kind of as a as a line obscures the fact that this is actually part of it's a micro segment of this huge wheel. So its time is in a circle that your particular path is so tiny on this wheel because the wheel is so big that it takes millions of years for this. Well, we all to cycle one time. So a given lifetime is very, very tiny little slice of that. So it appears as a linear point for you, but in fact, it's part of this much larger turning of the wheel. That's just an imagery they use. I mean, the wheel of Samsara is just an image. It's just a metaphor. There is no actual wheel turning, but it's just an image of cyclical time. How is the elimination of desires related to good days and bad days? Okay. I say the elimination of desire is one way in which one reduces your karmic in crustaceans that will build up and keep you embedded in the wheel of samsara. So by eliminating desire, you eliminate the possibility of bad karma. So the two are very much related. The overall, the set is karma, bad karma, good karma. But the subset is that these desires and so forth are what keep fueling this and you keep building up karma because that forced you to do things that you shouldn't do. It forces you to presuppose a self and all these things that Buddhism is trying to extinguish. So the two ideas of karma and extinguishing desire tanha are all very much related to each other.


This is all part of the same basic Hindu Buddhist worldview. Does that help a little bit? Andrea. Okay, back on the wheel. It just doesn't make sense. How can you have infinity past? You know, but never a first cause arising. But then you break out of that. It's either infinite or it's finite. Is that. Is that true? I mean, it just seems to my mind that you can't have existed forever. And then I was talking to one. Well, yeah, that's why I said when we originally showed you that we lost. I'm sorry that you still have to get away from the idea of getting off the wheel. I mean, that's a metaphor we're using just for, you know, conversational purposes to help us understand it. But once the chain is broken, remember how he said there are 12 links to them apart? Once you break that particular link, that of desire and of ignorance, once that's broken, then the whole thing collapses into nothingness and just Juniata. So it's not so much that you get off and there's still a wheel there for you. When you break through that, the whole thing dissolves in the nothingness. So the distance of the wheel that you leave behind is only the perspective of those who are still trapped on it, not the person who's off of it. Yes, we're using it to basically the same. I mean, that's a philosophical quibbling. And I think it's something that my field of battle, the fight, you know, the other side is fighting for. But we are not again, you know, we are fighting, but fighting is not be able to fight for their life with the fight to go like fight. So, yes, Carl, this whole thing is so esoteric out there.


Hard for your mind. For the easiest thing about the Arab street just, you know, tries to make it through the ceremony in the temple and just focus on those sort of things because it's just so hard to grasp the rest of it. Why there's a big gap between popular Buddhism and I don't. By the way, we are really avoiding this class. I know it's hard for you to believe, but we are really avoiding serious diving into philosophical Buddhism. We're actually just giving you basically this. Now is true that a popular Buddhist is going to be worshiping various bodhisattvas. We're going to look at those for the days out. I think it's important. I come back to the basic point, though, that it's very important to understand the foundation behind whatever is done, even in popular Buddhism is always popular Christianity, popular of Islam, whatever, because it helps you understand what lies at the root of the whole thing. One of the things I do in my book is I criticize this very point. The fact that the average Buddhist is worshiping tangible objects of adoration that they find in temples, and whether that person realizes that this doesn't exist is not something I think the typical Buddhist will recognize. And therefore there is a huge gap between the daily religion of a Buddhist in given acts and what the religion actually teaches. Now, that's important to be aware of because on one hand you have to understand what this particular Buddhist experiences, what he believes, what he thinks, but yet also realize what the religion teach it and how these two are related to each other is an important consideration. But you have to do both, and we'll be doing both. In this class, especially we get into the practice of Buddhism.


I mean, look at the invocation. Oh, look at the meditative and even political expressions of Buddhism. You're going to see very practically how this works out in modern day Buddhism. But I think it's important to at least survey these text and be clear on what these texts are saying. Okay, let's move on. We discussed this new goal and now we want to highlight some of the philosophical insights. And again, we keep this very, very brief. They are going to introduce for the first time some of we've already discussed a lot, and that is the concept of emptiness. And what is the relationship between emptiness and nonbeing? What is emptiness? One of the big debates in Buddhism is how to translate the words to not the are Suna, because this word has been translated as everything from emptiness to nothingness. Now, the minute you use the word nothingness, you're going to get some Buddhist really, really upset because this is a matter of a lot of energy and tension within Buddhist communities. How to translate Sujatha in a English context. But this is actually raised in this text in the past instead of meta sutras, because it says that everything in the universe is Sunita, which it describes as. Let me just write this down because it's maybe a little bit of a this is how these texts describe in English Sonata that everything the universe is empty, which we get the word emptiness from emptiness of empty. Our own being is how they describe it. Now, that's a matter of a lot of debate. What that means, what it seems to indicate is that everything in the universe is in its truest nature. Empty emptiness is the true nature of all things, and nothing has its own existence, its own being that it can own and have and build around.


That's the nature of the whole jetsam. Apart of that, there is no first cause ontological core around which everything exist. So what is the will of samsara? The will of samsara, according to the automated sutras, is when we superimpose on to our lives a reality that does not truly exist. We fail to recognize the emptiness of everything, and instead we try to infuse it with all kinds of meaning and existence and our own being. And on the rest, take it again that the inside of the present permeated sutras. Is that the problem with life? The reason we are on the will of some signs we have imposed or superimpose what they use on it, superimposed onto the world around us a reality that it does not have. So the true nature of reality is emptiness. We have imposed our existence, we've imposed our selfhood, we've imposed various desires in order to give meaning to the world and structure and order to the world. All this is false. All this is a mistake. And the true nature of things is shown here. They are empty of own beings. Which means they are empty of any sense that they have any core ontological core around which things exist. So even Nirvana is not some independent state separate from the ordinary state of existence that we have now. It isn't like, well, I'm now in the state of samsara and someday I want to have the set of Nirvana. Everything is empty. This eventually will give rise to the the School of Modern dynamic as espoused by Nagarjuna, which we'll look at if we have time today, not next time. So this is the. Just to summarize, we have the new goal, which is to renounce our godhood and Nirvana, accept the compassion of the body Saatva.


But then that has to be backed up philosophically. They do that by saying the new insight is that the only nature of anything is emptiness. That is the nature of the universe, including nirvana, samsara, everything else is empty of any kind of being, any kind of ontological essence, which is essentially consistent at least with debts. And the part of what is surprising is the extension of it to include Nirvana, because it further exemplifies the fact that there is no separate state out there that we're trying to get to, but that that state is the realization everything is that way. That is nirvana. So ultimately, because samsara is empty and Nirvana is empty. So the old thing of A equals B and be equals C than a equal C. So if A if nirvana equals emptiness and samsara equals emptiness, there's no difference between Nirvana and samsara. So that's going to be a big point that the modern MCA make in their thinking. Is your mind blown yet? Yes. So let me give a sense then, that trying to. Escape. Escape. That's where I tried to go away with you throughout the world. If you are in, is nothing courageous like becoming a Buddha or something, trying to manage to do that. But. It is realizing that this isn't real. It is here. Well, there's no you that's here or disappearing, so I can't really describe it. Good to know. But this is not. It's not. You have to realize that you're not. And it is not. It doesn't go anywhere because there are people like Nirvana. Now you get in there, they're not. You is getting there, which is not. There is no cycle of love. And it is like realizing that ultimately there's no cycle of life.


That's right. Ultimately, there's only emptiness. So the only realization of reality is the realization that all is empty. All is yes, But there is the river. There's a river between you and this real and emptiness that you get across. And right now we're all caught in the river. And that river is very real. That's a good point. Yes. Why is. I mean, why? Why this really? Why does every. Do you think that we all have the same. If by Sam you mean identical? No, but by same meaning. Generally speaking, all of life is Duka, which is the original noble truth. First of all, truth. And yes, they believe the human existence, by definition, is caught in the web of samsara, because the fact that you are human means that you have the perception that you have a being, you have an existence, you have a self that you call I that is fundamental to the human problem, they would argue. So therefore, there is no such thing as a human being that does not have that some sort of condition. That's the nature of human beings. So in that sense we're all in called in that river where you are, in that realization where you are, I mean how distant the shore is for you and me, you'll be different. Some of you were caught in the middle of the whole raging stream. Others are closer to the shore than others. Some are on the raft, some are not. Even then, you know there is a raft. So you have people at different spots in the rescue attempt of the bodhisattvas. But the basic problem is they are commonly among human the human race. Well, no, the human race exists because of the 12 constituent elements.


And the 12 constituent elements have given rise to the five aggregates which represent what you call yourself. So they believe that the whole human race arises out of this 12 point cycle that we've looked at in the Quartet. Yet some apart of that is the cause of the human race, and they believe they have an insight into breaking that cycle and causing the cessation of this. We all in the river. Okay. I guess the point in passing at least that this whole discussion about the nature of existence is the forerunner of a school of thought called Mud Jamaica. You will need to understand the basic teachings of Anamika because there are many schools of Hindu for art and abuse philosophy, but these two are the most important. My yarmulke and yoga. Cara It is absolutely Buddhism one on one to be at least conversant basically with my Dharma because that ties in everything. So this particular discussion in the present parameter sutras becomes the anchor, which gives rise to my dynamic philosophy. And by the way, this just simply means the middle way school, the school of the middle way. And you already know how important it is to Buddhism. And this particular teacher, Nagarjuna, is the this like the Nagarjuna and you Akhara are like the Aristotle and Plato of Buddhist thoughts. Now, again, back to Carl's observation, I keep coming back to this. I want to be clear about what I am saying. If you were to go down to Fenway in Boston and you were to pluck out 15 people at random and you were to quiz them very carefully about Plato and Aristotle, you may come out striking goose eggs. You may not have any substantive, substantive comments or insight or knowledge of Plato, Aristotle, but you can bet yourself that those people have been influenced by platonic and Aristotelian thought.


It runs through their blood like a river. They just don't realize it because they're members of a Western civilization and they have certain perspectives on things. I mean, presuming that you grab two people that are from Western civilization, so therefore there they have all kinds of presuppositions, aren't even aware of that are being influenced by the whole developed our intellectual history of our culture. So I keep defending the fact that even though you may stop a bit on the street and say, Do you follow my yarmulke, you akhara they may not have ever heard of these guys or not know much about them. Like you may not know Plato, Aristotle, but you can bet yourself that that perspective, this worldview, runs through their blood like a river. It's the same in Hinduism. Was Shankara and Ramanujan. I've worked in India for years, and I'm telling you, even though you can stop Hindus on the street who've never heard of Shankara, who never heard of Ramanujan, the meant the world view of Shankar monitor is in Indian blood. It's even in the Christian Indian blood. I can tell you that without any fear of contradiction. It's even in the Christian worldview of Indians. And so part of what you have to do when you minister in India is to find ways to either redeem or redirect or in some cases exercise mentalities, that they have presuppositions they carry around with them because they're born in India and they just carry certain kinds of prepositions. It's the same thing with us. We have enlightenment, presuppositions running through our blood. We don't realize how we've imposed that onto the church we've imposed. Is that on how we understand Christianity, how we talk about Christianity, how we understand reality.


And so part of what we have to do is we have to negotiate this relationship. Is this a positive thing? I think there's some good things about it, but there's some things that we have to expunge, and it's just part of what it means to be a Christian in any culture. So these are the cultural, philosophical building blocks of Southeast Asia. In what way are ways does it affect people on the ground or sometimes it takes a long time to begin to perceive that and to identify that? We're not trying to overstate this case, but you cannot understand it. Okay. Thoughts, comments. Before we look at the Heart Sutra and make a little comment about this summary text. Okay. I want to mention a little bit about the Heart Sutra, because as I mentioned, the Heart Sutra is a summary of this project, how to make the sutras. So this is a very famous, much more famous summary, the one I just gave you, which is my own kind of summary. The Heart Sutra is a distillation of it, and as I said, this distillation of the portion of the sutro's is important because it shows the sectarian nature of how this has been interpreted. As I said earlier, when you take the Old Testament and you summarize it, it may bring out what you think is really important and therefore it will shape how people understand the main text, especially when the summary becomes more important than the text. It's like reading Scofield notes or something. You know, the Scofield notes can sway and affect how you read the document itself. This what's happened with the Heart Sutra. So what they do is they review the basic 13 seminal teachings of the Buddha, which you would call to the animal truths, the three characteristics, the five aggregates, and the one seminal doctrine put into them, and Pada.


Now they say, okay, that's kind of the essence of knowledge, which must be learned, adjusted and so forth. But then they have in this particular document, they have this particular bodhisattva who has unique insight, has the eye of wisdom in this. And I believe on the back of your sheet, if you look down at number 11, if you see a Balochi ish Vira, you see number 11, this male slash female body soft in the Heart Sutra, this figure is extremely important. This figure is the body staff that is given this particular insight and wisdom into the nature of reality. So what? This is the figure according to the heart Sugiura, who is transcended and lifted above all of the Buddha's teachings, these 13 teachings, and realizes that they are all empty, or that this is the figure that has this insight. So we talked about in the general summary that they have the philosophical insight that everything is empty. Well, now we have this kind of fleshing out of it, this particular kind of experience. Let me just actually give you right from the text itself to give you a feel for this. It begins and this is interesting because we haven't discussed this yet, so many things that pop up that you may not know yet because you haven't had Hinduism, but it starts out ohm. What does that mean? What is ohm? Okay, Andrea, I'm looking for you to tell us what is ohm. The unstressed is the strong sound. And what is the instructions out the instruct sound. All right, tell us. I mean, it's the sound that's resonating in the universe that always has been that select. Hindu Brahmin priests could tap into and hear the chants of their chants, which then produced the body of literature is kind of the transliteration of this.


This sounds okay. Right. That's good. That's good. Zachary Right. You pass. So basically, it's a very famous mantra, and you see it everywhere in India. You see it in popular literature of Hinduism. So here we have this Buddhist bodhisattva who begins with a very, you know, issuing a Hindu mantra. It's very just shows you the kind of the overlap between Hindus and Buddhism at this point, because in all of this literature, you always begin by saying, Oh, it's pronounced a human with a kind of a depth on our own. All right. Now, it's not Ohm, even though it's spelled like that. I had a big debate with Baker Press over this point because when they in my book, I make reference to this and I spelled it. I had the word on and I had parentheses a u M as the pronunciation of it. And they changed it in the proofs and it came back o with a line over it like long o m ohm rather than ohm. So I wrote back and said, Why did you changes? Well, we looked up in the standard Oxford Dictionary of blah, blah, blah, and they had the pronunciation of this word as o o long o m And I wrote back and said, I'm sorry, but that dictionary is wrong because I know it's a dip song, it's a sliding sound. So they restored it to that original thing. Anyway, so here it is. Ohm praise to the blessed and noble perfection of wisdom. Okay, here we are. This text. The noble outlook is Vara. And by the way, again, in Hinduism you were say you know that their word for God is is Vara or Lord. The word for Lord is is Vara. This is a this is the Lord who looks down with this literally means the Lord who looks down.


That's the whole point of this whole God or this whole Bodhisattva is that he is looking down and seeing this. Everything is empty of being okay. This look this far as Bodhisattva was moving in the deep journey of the perfection of wisdom when he looked down at the five aggregates. That's the stuff that we call self. He saw they are empty of own being. Therefore, those that are Buddha in emptiness, there is no form, sensation, perception, mental formation or consciousness, no eye, ear, nose, tongue, body or mind, no form, sounds, odors, taste, objects of touch or objects of the mind. There is neither ignorance nor cessation of ignorance and so on, up to neither old age in death nor cessation of old age and death. There is no Duka or origination of Duka, no cessation of Duca, no path to the cessation of Duca. There is no knowledge, no attainment, no non attainment. And that's that is the you're actually getting a quotation from the text itself. So there's the text. So you can see I'm not making this stuff up. There's a what is to offer is claiming that the sacred insight which is found in these new sacred text is that they have an insight that transcends the basic sense of, you know, we're on this journey to the eightfold path to Nirvana, but everything is empty. Both the Seeker, those who are not seeking the Duca, none. Duca All this is swallowed up. There is no and this seems to be almost a contradiction of the first knowable truth. You know, the nose is there. All of life. Is Duca. This is there is no Duca This is radical stuff. This is a pressing of the point to say the Buddha was speaking from logically, the people saying in your web there is Duca, but we actually know the result.


We know Duca. There is nothingness with the need to convert converting someone to this whole character. There is no one that actually is right. What is it about it? I think about the whole goal. You get off of it, there's nothing to get off. And while he's doing it, I guess it's a man and a woman. It's still going around. Can't help you. Well, basically, the answer to that without getting in rehashing all what we've said is simply to say that ultimately these body ciphers realize that until everyone recognizes the emptiness, then we're all going to be recycled again. And therefore, it's a form of ultimately the only way to be fully delivered is for everyone to be delivered. So it's an act of compassion for people who are suffering. But ultimately there's a side to it where we all need to experience this together. Yes, I would imply that our needs affect others. Does that's part of the Mahayana insights. Our deeds affect others. That's part of what's been in a breakthrough in Mahayana that would not be possible in Hinduism or in terms of order. Yes, the entire thing is based on the same suffering and the world is now being refused. So the entire. In the best. It's not I mean, as as he said, the river is still there. So we're not acknowledging that it's not there. And the phenomenon logically is not there in your experience. But they're reiterating that it is not there in the use of the word is meaning. Ultimately, there was a bottle when he was giving up, one of the trees was talking about our realization of. And then there's bodhisattvas talking about the transcendent. That's what they claim. Okay. Let's see where we are.


Okay. We've empty everything, empty of our own being. We've already discussed that. Okay. What I'm actually going to do in a little bit is show you pictures of these body survivors and you begin to understand how it actually works. In popular Buddhism. We are actually headed that direction. But let's finish up these last few text and then we will we'll finish this off and then go into that, some of that. Another sutra is the Vimal 30 Sutra. I want to just tell you a story behind this particular teaching, because in this particular sutra, there's a story of this very rich person who lives in this city known as a Charlotte. And according to their belief, now this guy is a lay person. This is just a story from this particular sutra. This is a lay person who his knowledge is greater than that of all the other. I mean, every monk, every are hot in the world. Now, again, how can you read that without interpreting as a very powerful and time monastic descent? Keep coming back to this point only because I want to just clarify that. I pointed out there are three major reasons for Mahayana, one of which was the monastic criticism. It's wrong to make that into the whole thing, but to say it doesn't exist is overstating the case. So here he is. He is a lay person who surpasses all the knowledge of the our hearts. But then he even goes farther and he begins to surpass the knowledge of many of the great bodhisattvas. So in this text, you have a layperson who is instructing bodhisattvas as to knowledge. And that's a very powerful descent document. It's basically like saying that you have a lay Catholic guys born in, you know, down in Boston somewhere.


And he becomes so knowledgeable about everything in Catholicism through various meditations that he goes through, that he is taken to Rome and he instructs the pope. This is exactly the kind of way the story would be, would feel or somebody in the light in the church knows how the Old Testament, they go into Dr. Kaiser and they start talking about the Old Testament. Now, the Kaiser, like amazed at this person's knowledge, the Old Testament. This is the kind of shock that it was. Well, a layperson is instructing the goddess, and in the course of this discussion, the bodhisattva that is instructed goes out to instruct other elders. So here you have I need the razor. Okay. So in this text, you have a layperson who, by all accounts, is at the bottom of the barrel in terms of what they should know and insist they should have layperson get so knowledgeable that he surpasses the hearts and eventually is instructing what's called celestial body ciphers. All right. So here he is, instructing at the highest level, telling them insights that they don't have. So meanwhile, the celestial body suffers because this new insight they're giving, they begin to instruct the elders. All right. These are the people that are in power. That's why I said this is a strangely powerful descent kind of document. So in the course of this whole transpiration, one of the the body suffer that comes down to instruct the are hot is a female body sativa in a female goddess type form. Now put yourself in the eastern world. It's a little humiliating in the ancient world for a group of men to be instructed by a woman. So here you have this woman in a female form instructing the elders in this text.


So the elders say that they believe that big mistake and they request the goddess or the body soften, feel for it to change herself into the of a man so they can and receive instruction from her. So he or she says, basically, why do you make these discriminations with male and female? That's part of the illusion. There is no male female, there's no light darkness, There's no Duka non duka. There is no. It goes to all of this. The same thing we've already been looking at. So the goddess ends up changing the elder into a woman and herself into a male form. So she takes a male form and turns the elder into a woman. He says, Now you ready? Listen to me. Because now you're a woman. I'm a man. This, of course, gets him all upset, but. The whole point is that ultimately there's no difference in male or female, all or one in this Buddha dharma. That's important because in China especially, you have this. The look is very, very soft, who is always in a male female form. And so when you look at this, you know, again, now we're often on the streets of any city in China. And you look at this statue of the bodhisattvas in temples, the what you always will notice is you can't tell if it's male or female. It's actually based on the story of this whole transformation to be male and female. So that's another little piece to kind of have into the pie. There are no distinctions between male, female, light, darkness, good, evil. All of these things are superimposed because everything is empty of being. And again, a powerful anti monastic clergy dissent that goes on in this text. Let's take another look at another text.


This text, the long cover a sutra is another text that becomes really important in the other big school of philosophy to look at later. This text is really important because this begins to move away from knowledge. The role of knowledge we talked about early on in the course that Buddhism is always playing between these three poles of the role of knowledge, the role of meditation, and the role of ethics works of some kind, whether it's a prize, not Sheila Samadhi, wisdom, morality and meditation. In this particular text, you have a shift away from knowledge because all of the text we're looking at are all talking about getting proper knowledge. You think the world has existence, but actually it's empty of being. You think you have this pursuit toward becoming a monk and reaching nirvana. All of that is empty of being that nothingness. Oh, no, no. That's all about knowledge, you know, retooling your knowledge to think rightly about the nature of reality. Okay. This text is actually a shift away from that and says the way to enlightenment is through a proper emphasis on the role of meditation. Meditation can lead you to perfect or perfected enlightenment, that the only way to achieve this goal is through meditation. Now, all this is important because this is that these are the textual bases for a wide range of practical daily practices all over the Buddhist world. People who go through meditation and most the most popular ones that you know of are, for example, Zen Buddhism. We have not yet discussed Zen Buddhism in Zen, but is a Japanese form of meditative Buddhism. In China. It was called Chan Buddhism. In India, it's called Diana Buddhism. After those stages of enlightenment, Diana Chan Zen or all turned for the exact same school of Buddhism, meditative Buddhism.


We haven't gotten there yet. We'll look at that later. But that's showing you this is showing you already the beginning of the basis of that, because those schools of thought that relied upon this text, the Lanka avatar of Sutra, are tools of thought that emphasize meditation. If you turn your meditation inward into this inner field of consciousness, you'll discover the reality of your mind. Now, this is where you have the closest thing to any development of a core in Buddhist thought, though they don't actually make it there, but they get close to it because if you say everything is empty, everything is nothingness, then you completely untethered. You're just falling for a minute. You've already pointed out in the discussion we had this, this is troubling to you and this is troubling to them. So they're develop the idea in this text of what's called the storehouse of consciousness. And the idea was that in this celestial realm of the samsara, there is a storehouse of consciousness. Now, why do we wanted to have this? This is the problem they had. Okay? If you say that everything is momentary and momentary, this is one of the key doctrines of the earlier text. So you have in a race or sitting there and you look at the eraser and you see it as an eraser, that's your perception. You believe there's an eraser there. All right. So these other texts are saying that that has no being of its own right, that has no existence of its own, and there's no perceiver who perceives it. So all this is an illusion, essentially. The problem is, they say, because there's no body being of its own, this doesn't really exist. But what they said was when you took the rights away and I go about our business, I can think back and I can remember that I saw the eraser there.


Even the rice was not there. I can. Story number. It's sitting there. I can visualize the eraser sitting there. This deeply bothered the Buddhist. How can you remember in a past event and with such clarity as if it had existence, if it only has momentary existence, and even if it has momentary existence, we'll just say you say, okay, fine, that still has no momentary existence. But what about the memory of it? What about the reflection about it? Does that have an existence? Does the reflection on something have an existence? So this became a big debate in the Buddhist circles. So the result was they develop the idea that there was a storehouse of consciousness that could project into the world. The power of your mind could tap into that and you could actually reflect and see things and think about things that have this existence in this storehouse of consciousness. Now, I realize that you probably are thinking, okay, this is these people would really be bored if they sit around thinking about the nature of one's consciousness. Let me just say some others, though. Let me just jolt you into reality. So you are thinking this way. You're smiling at me. Dr. Tenet has lost his rocker. He has gone completely mad. He's making this stuff up to inflict upon us. The reason you think that is because you are Christians. You go, I accuse you all of being Christians. You guilty. All right. Now, what that means is that you have a very settled conception of reality. You know, you take it for granted. Look at this morning, whether you had your time or didn't have your time. You still have as your default that there is a God in the universe. And that is a starting point.


There is a creation, there's a beginning, there's a telos, there's an ending, and everything you do is in that category. Even this class. We're going have a break here in a few minutes. There's an end to this lecture if you think in terms of this parameters. Now, when all these rugs are pulled out on your feet and everything is pulled out and pulled out and pulled out and pulled out, and next thing you know, you're falling free and you're grasping for anything that can give you some ontology. And here's these Buddhists who are telling their people, there is nothing. There is nothing, There is nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing. Juniata Sonatas. Juniata After a while you begin to be desperate and you start having these conversations. These conversations are very, very important. So I'm telling you, this becomes the basis for another major school of Buddhist philosophy, which is the school of what's called sit the mantra or mind only that your mind is the base of all reality. What I said was to the yarmulke, they said, Wait a minute, you guys are telling me that there is no everything has no existence, Everything is emptiness. How are you coming to a conclusion? You're using your mind. You're thinking through the whole philosophy of this. You're arguing based on generally accepted rules of argumentation and logic and everything else, and you're explaining all these things. Therefore, your mind cannot be empty. Your mind must have some access to some storehouse of consciousness, which gives us at least a functional ontology. I still believe it's an ontology. It's a functional ontology so that they can exist as a religion without completely collapsing into nothingness. Okay, why don't we stop there and take a break? We do have one more text to look at before we go into the journey, but I think it is good to stop there and take a little breather and we will hopefully get back.


And the second part of this lecture is not as difficult to follow. So there was great hope for you persevere in this class. Let me just give you a few quotes from this text like we do with the other, just to kind of give you a feel for what they're saying. Again, one of the questions people often ask is how is all of this philosophy and I guess esoteric thought communicated to the average person was done through stories, the metaphors. And so we've seen the wheel, we've seen this in this case, this idea of the waves, these stories of the conversation between layperson, this goddess bodhisattva and all that. So here you have this statement as the waves in all their variety are stirred on the surface of the ocean, very famous imagery in Hinduism, constantly using references to the waves on the ocean. So in the storehouse, the variety of what is known as consciousness is produced. This envisions the idea that somewhere in a transcendent realm there is an ocean of consciousness. And as it stirs up, those waves roll over your brain. Over your mind and produce thoughts and reflections. And that's how we can have some continuity with our past and reflect on things that are momentarily and have no existence. It says this and this is a very, very famous text. This next one. Oh, the ocean of ink has been spilled on this text. The storehouse of consciousness is thus known by the name of Tathagata GABA. Now what is Tathagata GABA? Okay, you should already know what tothink that is because we've already discussed it. What is tathagata a can Theravada Buddhism. What's that? Well, it is beyond saying. But what? Who do they apply it to? Who is it? The title of the Buddha.


That's right. Graduations, like the Diet. Diet Coke is paying off the Tangata is the term for the Buddha number. How We looked at her about a three jewels of Theravada Buddhism. What are the three double jewels? The Buddha, the Dharma, the Sunnah. And in terms of Buddhism, they believe there's only one Buddha, not multiple Buddhas. There was only ever, only one Buddha. And he is known as he's known as to the Goddess. He's also known as the builder. But his title today, God. That is true. Yeah. I mean, I mean, with the title that means that it means literally means the one who has gone. Thus the one who has gone thus, but is metaphorically means the one who has been supremely enlightened has gone into supreme enlightenment, but literally just means the one who has gone thus. Now you've heard of type ATAR, you know the word title to such ness. That's a reality. Yes, such is the reality. Probably a. I kind of thought he is. He is. He's a Zen Buddhist. He's definitely tapping into this. Definitely. Let me just finish this Tathagata GABA, because you have the name of the storehouse of consciousness known by the name of Buddha, because that's what the topic author means. GABA What is GABA? GABA is the word for womb or embryo. Now what they're saying is this. That this storehouse, though. So this is part of the whole Mahayana problem or insight is that Mahayana is trying to expand the whole conception of the Buddha. So they are desperately trying to find ways to break out of the historical Buddha who lived in 563 B.C. and get into a conception of Buddha that which is more transcendent. So in order to do that, they find ways to multiply the Buddha and to various ways of expanding the concept of bearded include the Dharma.


That's why you have sayings like Zen sayings. If you meet the boy on the road, you should kill him. Because what they're saying is it's not the stock of Buddha that matters. It's his mental processes. It is the dharma that he had in his brain that that is teaching that what's important. All right. So what they're trying to figure out a way is can we identify the mind, the storehouse of consciousness, at least with the Buddha, what they say is the storehouse of consciousness is thus known by the name of Tathagata GABA. Boy, that's a big that's a big breakthrough. Philosophically, what they're saying is the word GABA means womb or embryo. What they're saying is inside every single person in your consciousness is the embryo of the Buddha. And what does that mean? That means that Matthew over here thinks he's just sitting here as a student, taking this class, taking all this in. But inside his consciousness, there is the embryo of the Buddha. He is a Buddha in waiting, a Buddha waiting to emerge. And if you go through the power of meditative techniques, then you yourself can become a Buddha. Now, this is a very empowering thing. Now everybody can become a Buddha. So this is a doorway into a further expansion of the idea of the Buddha that the Buddha now is kind of like in everyone's consciousness, deep down, enlightened form, as we'll see in Zen Buddhism. Just to give you a little comic relief, the Zen Buddhist have various ideas about how to achieve this. And so what they'll do is they'll have you meditating and there's one little sub schools in Buddhism that they have what they call every moment or sudden moment enlightenment or something, or just suddenly hit you and you know, you bam, you realize your Buddha nature.


So they find ways, How can I help this guy who's over here meditating suddenly realize this. So he's Merton. He's they're like, you know, Owen, Ohm, he's thinking or whatever. And so the guy sneak up on him and he'll have these, like, pincers and he'll cut one of your fingers off. And you be surprised. The rush of enlightenment, the incredible force, will hit you when someone cut your finger off. And they're also people who they'll sneak up. You'll be there and they'll have a broom. You'll be. You'll be there. Like meditate on the floor quietly, on a cushion, even their own mom for hours, and then just whack back of your head and you're like, Boom! And those are rules is not Buddha nature. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Well, that's right. So they there's all kinds of ways that will later look at which where you find a way to find your Buddha nature. But this idea is that in your consciousness, there is this womb of the Buddha, which is there. So essentially, this is the historical Buddha was one in many series of Buddhas. So the storehouse of consciousness, like a womb or embryo, which means that everyone can become a Buddha because the embryo of the Buddha is inside everyone's consciousness. Okay, the last text will look at at this point in the course is known as the Lotus Sutra. I saw somebody had there is with him today. Here you have the Lotus Sutra. So I chose this one to have you read because this is such an important one. And I hope that what was the price of this there? $29. Okay. So the Mahayana text. This next one is the Lotus Sutra. And the reason I had you look at this one, because it's first of all, it's a little easier to read.


And secondly, it actually is helpful because it opens up the possibility of multiple paths. Now, here things are really you really getting the Mahayana experience because we talked about a little bit, you know, we have this tension between. The R hot path, which is the monastic path. We have the path of the messianic vehicle path where these bodhisattvas help you. And then there is another path which we've at least alluded to, this meditative path which doesn't rely so much on bodhisattvas, because you notice that when we had this whole discussion in this last text here, we didn't mention bodhisattvas. It's about meditation and things that you would experience. So this is often called the solitary Buddha vehicle, you know, where you're just kind of on your own becoming a Buddha through your own meditation techniques. So the Aura Sutra is actually bringing out the idea. And right now, don't worry about these vehicles because this is not the three vehicle thing we're talking about. We actually are going to be doing this one and this one and then the the Tibetan Buddhism. But the idea is here, the idea there are multiple vehicles, multiple ways to travel down the eightfold path. This is why it is not a sutra that tells the story. I've already told you about the house burning down. You'll read that story in your text because the idea was he promises this child one toy promised this child another toy. And the explanation is, is that for some people, they need their hot path. They need to become monks. That's their way. This is like the pluralistic kind of approach to Buddhism. For them, the hot way is the best way They should follow that. You should thank God for that or thank the such ness of the universe for that.


The other person is going through meditation that works for them. That's fine. It goes back to the whole original premise of Buddhism, which is the prescription is the important part. The medicine, it may vary. You want to prescribe. The problem is suffering due to TIENEN. All that is there. But how the method you achieve that is very different. Now, why is that important? Because in Christianity we actually don't accept that concept. That's what the liberal Protestants would like to portray onto the world. The Christian is one of many ways to God. But what we're trying to communicate to a Buddhist is that, okay, there is this problem with the human race. The human race is sick. We call that sickness sin. Okay? That much you can communicate to a Buddhist. There are a lot of problems when it comes down to the the solution to the problem. You either have some form of works righteousness which we don't accept, or you have problem with some kind of false messiah that has no basis of saving you like the body suffers or you have this problem, which is though there are many paths to enlightenment and you're on your path, I'm on mine. Why can't you be happy with your path? I'm happy my path. I'm traveling this way. You're traveling that way. And you'll find in the debris text that amazing passage where he says, I have no idea of this path as a work or not is the only one I know. I'm going to try it. And if I go to hell, I'll go to hell because I have no other way of knowing what to do. And there's a kind of helplessness that comes through. There's no sense of certainty. It's almost like I often will use the analogy, at least in India, because the same people in India say, Now Indians say every road leads to God.


So that's like saying every train goes to Delhi as a can you imagine going to the train station and you'll say, I need to get to Delhi. You're down, you're down in, you're in Chennai, you're in Madras, you don't get to Delhi. So you go to the train station and I need to go to Delhi. I'll just get on the train. I'll translate to Delhi. So you jump on a train, you end up in Trivandrum at the southern tip of India and all trains don't lead to Delhi and therefore you have to have proper knowledge. The gospel reveals that there is a way to God through the the blood of Christ. So this is one of the dangers of Eastern religions in general. Hinduism or Buddhism. Both fall in this category. They are extremely pluralistic and they accept the idea as fundamental to their thinking. That there are multiple ways to God, are multiple ways to enlightenment. What it is slash, whatever, liberation, whatever Moksha, Nirvana, whatever you put there, that there are many ways to this. And so you have a difficult time communicating the uniqueness and the normative nature of the Christian gospel. Okay, Yes, growth is going to be talked about. That's all. You know, I'm coming here to hear that. Well, actually, there's two things that he saw. But the first, I think we can now finally say make sense. Paul Williams, after a lifetime elect from Buddhism. He finally realized that there was no ultimately after all. So there's no ontology, there's no foundation to this. And it really bothered him that the so called ethical, which is really the strong card of Buddhism, stated Ace of Spades. They said we have ethics, that ethics involves people who don't exist and there's no giver or receiver of actions.


This is the point I'm making my book as well. He found this to be deeply troubling, and he said that in his experience, Buddhism, by trying to renounce the self, became more self-focused than any group he ever met in his life. And therefore, he said that renunciation of self means acknowledging there is no self created a crisis for him because he realized that the whole discussion ultimately was another way of affirming the self. And he saw this as just ultimately a house of cards. And he left it after many, many years. And that says by saying and so on words and ideas and heaven. And this one woman wanted to become a narcissistic founder of the amendment. And her first step was to jettison her family. And I saw the extreme selfishness that she saw her way down the equal path. It was at the expense of her family. Yeah. Like, seems like so obvious, but like the overlay. So. Yes, that's true.