Buddhism - Lesson 8
The Journey of the Bodhisattva
A bodhisattva is an enlightened one who, out of compassion, forgoes nirvana in order to save others.
The Journey of the Bodhisattva
The Emergence of the “Great Vehicle”
III. The Journey of the Bodhisattva
B. Charting the Course of the Journey
1. Six Perfections
a. giving (dāna)
b. morality (śīla)
c. patience (kşānti)
d. vigor (vīrya)
e. meditation (dhyāna)
f. wisdom (prajñā)
added later to correspond to the Ten Stages:
g. skillful means
j. omniscient knowledge
2. The Ten Stages
e. difficult to conquer
g. going far
i. good insight
j. Dharma cloud
3. Celestial Bodhisattvas
i. Future Buddha
ii. Bodhisattva of power
iii. marks of identification
i. Prince of Dharma
ii. Bodhisattva of wisdom
iii. marks of identification
i. Enlightened eye
ii. marks of identification
iii. Bodhisattva of compassion
Terms to know from this lecture:
Definition of Buddhism and a description of how it began and its present status as a world religion.
Experiences in Siddhartha Gautama's life, and how they led the teachings that resulted in the formation of Buddhism.
The First Sermon of Buddha
Description of the five aggregates and the foundational doctrine of Buddhism.
Therevada emerged as the preserver of the Way of the Elders. The three jewels of the Therevada are the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.
The three insights of Mahayana Buddhism are that Buddha taught secret truths, the Buddha was a divine being and a dharmic concept, not just an earthly figure, and Gautama was not the only Buddha.
The Mahayana Sutras include the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras, Lotus Sutra, Heart Sutra, Vimalakirti Sutra and the Lankavatara Sutra.
A bodhisattva is an enlightened one who, out of compassion, forgoes nirvana in order to save others.
In Buddhism, actual objects of worship and adoration are ultimately illusory and superseded by true enlightenment. (This lecture begins in the outline, point IX. The Rise of Buddhist Philosophy, point D, #2. The lecture covering IX, points A, B, C and D #1 is not available, but Dr. Tennent is planning to record it.)
Two invocational Mahayana Buddhist Schools are Chinese “Pure Land” Buddhism and Japanese “Pure Land” Buddhism.
Chinese and Japanese Meditative Buddhism includes Zen Buddhism.
Buddhist mudras are hand gestures which have physical and spiritual significance. Family ties in a shame-based culture may often place significant social pressures on a person considering converting from Buddhism to Christianity.
The incarnation means that Jesus is both fully God and fully man and came to earth as God in the flesh.
The doctrines of transmigration and reincarnation are central to Buddhism and provide no assurance for Buddhists of their ultimate spiritual destination.
Buddhism and Christianity have fundamental theological differences.
Guest lecturer, Todd Johnson, Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, founder of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity.
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 Journey of the Bodhisattva
Let's now move to the journey of the body side foot. And if you recall, we said that we're going to look at three aspects of the way this is expanded. Textually at the very beginning of the lecture, I said that we will look, first of all, at the the expansion of the textual side where these secret truths get played out. The second level was the body sort for level, which becomes this new goal. And that is what we'll look at at this point. And so we're going to discuss the journey of the body smartphone and actually look at some of the IV slides. I've chosen three celestial bodies such as that you need to know, and they are on the back of your handout here. And this will hopefully give you some sense of, again, popular Buddhism. And now we're going to come face to face with the actual bodhisattvas that people go and bow down before and burn incense before. All across the East, the Southeast Asia. And so you'll see finally where they fit into this whole picture. So I'm going to pass out from a numeral eight, the journey of the Bodhisattva. Now, if you haven't already discovered this, you will. Now that the Buddhist love to number three, the three, this is the three that the six, there's the ten. That's the you know, that's just part of Buddhism. It's filled with this. I have actually basically dispensed from asking you to learning of this, you know, the fundamental truths. You learn a few things like that. Some of the few these may kind of major less, but these are actually really important list. But why memorize them? You can pluck it out of your files, but these are really important because they're talking about the journey of the Buddhist site.
Four And just to kind of chart this out, again, reminding you that this is a metaphorical kind of discussion because the idea of a path or a journey is really, really critical to Buddhist thought. You have the eightfold path, you have the wheel of some sorrow, which implies some kind of journey on this wheel. And so if the Buddha himself is said to have traveled eons of lifetimes to the point of enlightenment and stepping off the wheel of some sort, so how does someone become a body smartphone? How does this happen? How do you go from to this point of great enlightenment? Well, the way they originally eventually developed this was bringing out what they call the six perfections. These are six areas which a body suffer must become perfected. Then I'll just briefly mention each of these again, you don't need to know any of these terms that are on this list, but they basically correspond to giving morality patients vigor and meditation and wisdom. Giving here means the giver of material things, giving to the needy and all that is part of giving the idea ultimately, as the giver realizes oneness with the receiver. Morality, Sheila involves remember the 1010 precepts, ten actions that are you're to avoid. And they eventually developed ten things that every Buddhist should avoid. Like do not kill, do not steal, no illicit sex, no lie, no harsh words, no provocative words, no idle talk, no greed, no anger, no wrong views. Now I mention those only because reading this as a Christian, I'm actually quite amazed at looking carefully at these moral actions that the Buddhist are trying to say are a problem that need to be rectified. Because what they're doing when they give all these list this like the inverse form of the fruit of the spirit, okay, so they are looking at negatively things that corrupt and damage the human person.
And what you'll notice in the list is that a number of them have to do at least four of them have to do specifically with the tongue. Now that's amazing. Four out of ten relate in some way with a tongue. You have harsh words, but also no provocative words. I mean, these are nuanced in the original language, but the different kinds of ways that our speech can hurt people. No idle talk, things like this, this anger that you express towards someone, all of these things are related to the tongue. The Bible says that the tongue is this unruly instrument that just as a great ship is charted by a small rudder so the body can be charted through this tongue. And what a great whole forest is set a flame through the one spark of your tongue and you think about. How easy it is to hurt somebody with your tongue. One thing in the moment you say something, you can't take it back. I mean, people often will say something. You hear children say this, you know, you're a snot head and that tell us how to take it back. Take it back. But the problem is, you can't take it back. And so the old thing about, you know, sticks and stones are bones. Words never hurt me. Your parents teach you that? Everybody knows it's not true because words hurt a lot worse than sticks or stones. And so here the Bible makes this observation that we as humans, we are incapable of controlling our tongues apart from the redemption in the Gospel. So here is the Buddhist observing the same again, the Buddhist are strong on describing. They're so weak on prescription, they can't they don't know a way out of it.
To me, through this Achilles heel, this is to me, the entrance way into Buddhism, because Buddhism recognizes the human predicament. They just don't know how to get out of it. So it's like a trapped animal. This caught in a web of sin. And they have the courage to say we are in trouble. This is not like a secular humanist who walks around on this illusion. Everything is okay. I'm okay. You're okay. This is not. I'm okay. You're okay. Well, this is a world. This says I'm not okay and you're not okay. And that's actually an advantage to us. I have found this to be help. And I granted, I talk mainly to Tibetans, but nevertheless, I find this helpful to Buddhist in general. So that comes out in the morality quite a bit. Patience, the enduring of hardships, forgiving those who harm us. We'll see. I could see easily preaching through all of this to show how the gospel addresses all of this, the because what greater example of forgiveness than in the cross. So here are the Buddhist who in their own documents, it's not our documents. Their documents are saying there's no greater morality than the ability to forgive those who harm you as the ultimate. We find in Christ the ability to overcome unwholesome thoughts and attitudes. Again, the thought life. Another thing that so often point out in Scripture, the forces of the mind taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, or here the Buddhist are saying that great effort is required to overcome unwholesome thoughts. Thoughts of lust are particularly prevalent in their writings. How can someone control the thoughts of lust? Well, this is exactly what Jesus addresses. He says, You think it's you know, you're safe because you haven't committed adultery, you have broken the Ten Commandments.
But when you look at the one with lust in your heart, you've already committed adultery. Jesus is upping the ante. He's saying, you don't realize the real battleground is in your thoughts. You think it's what food you eat, this food or that food, it makes you unwholesome. That's Islam, Jesus. It's what comes out of you that makes you that makes you filthy. It's the evil thoughts and murder and lust and all of that is are the Buddhist are saying the Buddhist actually understand that basic point. It is not what comes in to you because they're the middle way. They're trying to take a more middle of the road attitude toward, you know, absence of food and all that, which becomes a huge in Hinduism and Islam, both that become such a focus, all these outward things, the Buddhist much more than Hinduism or Islam or identifying human problems, that they don't know how to deal with it. You have meditation, Diana. This concentration, samadhi, the importance of meditation and all that, of course becomes important in the meditative schools of Buddhism. And finally, wisdom. Krishna They realize the true dependent nature of all things this last to get into their, you know, their solution, meditation and wisdom. And you'll notice that three of these we told you that how Buddhism largely revolves around once they identify the problem, we can't seem to achieve these things, especially these things here, that their solution is through either morality, through meditation. And I use the word samadhi in our discussions. Some are just means concentration. Another word for Diana meditation and Krishna. And then, of course, acts of compassion. I use the general word Sheela, which means morality and giving is an example of that is a subset of that.
So you can see how in this whole thing, morality, which I think we involve both of these and meditation wisdom, they'll have different emphasis in their schools of thought, but it's showing you that they're trying to to tackle this problem of the human predicament. And that's what the glorious gospel of our Lord does in a way that they'll never understand, apart from the Holy Spirit, open their heart. So once they charted the perfections, then of course. Course, they have different ways in which you get to this point, which they call the ten stages of the voting sort for. And you see here on this again, a list of ten things you don't need to know. These ten. I think I may have put on the handout. Did I? Where's my handouts here? Yeah. What they did once the ten stages were in place, some very insightful Buddhist decided that it was really helpful if the six perfections could be tied in to the ten stages so that each stage would correspond to a particular perfection. So that meant expanding the ten stages to include four more skillful means, vows, power and omniscient knowledge. So what you're basically find is that each of these ten, if you start with one on the stage, it corresponds with one on the perfection and all the way down. So these are definitely linked together in Buddhist thought so that in order to get to the really effectively ten perfections, you have to go through the ten stages. So you know, the joy which comes when you achieve what they call this body cheater. If you call, that's the attitude of wanting to be enlightenment. The purity is what gives you the morality, the sheila, the luminosity burns away attachment and therefore it corresponds to patience.
Radiance corresponds to vigor and so forth. This fifth one, difficult to conquer means it is difficult to conquer that true insight into the formidable truths. So they call this that This is the stage where you finally come to fully understand the problem of truths. Face to face refers to the devotee coming face to face with emptiness, with Juniata, where you finally come face to face with realizing that nothing has been. This is what we tried to get you face to face with today. And many of you were not experiencing joy or luminosity or radiance when I tell it to you. Seven going far, this is again the body's half ideal, completing the idea of using skillful means to help other people. You see, it corresponds up there with the number seven, the skillful means, and you often will use that expression. And a certain body sort has developed a whole box of skillful means which he can help you. So you begin to develop these insights into how to use skillful means immovable. This means that you are completely established in the Dharma practice. It becomes effortless. And if you remember some number of lectures ago, we talked about a person who is a stream winner. Do you remember that there were someone who was a stream winner and then I never return? Are people that once they get into the eightfold path, eventually they will never turn back again. This stream winner is part of this stage that you at that point, you're never going to come back to a price more encrusted with karma than you are now. You may have seven or eight more lifetimes, but you are in the stream toward enlightenment. Good insight. This means you have insight into the path.
You begin to see how other people are entangled in the web of samsara. So then how the Buddha, when he had these diagnosed and then the six super knowledges that kind of came down, he began to look and see how people he saw all these lives. And he had a map in his brain. Of all the ways people were entrapped by samsara, you begin to see that. And finally the 10th is what's called the Dharma Cloud. This is where you have mastered the body, sought for knowledge. You have omniscient knowledge. Once you reach the Dharma Cloud, you will return one more time to recreate the life of the Buddha. And then you create your own Buddha realm that someday you'll die and you'll dwell in. And from there you can be help other people or whatever that you may do. So that's just to give you a little feel for the fact that this idea of being a body sort for is not just a nebulous concept, it becomes charted out. That's one of the things that we have seen as a general observation about Mahayana. Buddha has this idea about the chambers of samsara. Suddenly the moment might come on a map, the whole thing out into thousands of chambers and different bodhisattvas, celestial bodies, cyphers Celestial Buddhas that inhabit these various. Chambers. They take the everything gets filled out in the same way. The body sucker ideal gradually gets filled out more and more and more so that you have a very remarkable journey that's laid out in their text about how one proceeds along the path. And therefore they have some way of marking where people may be in this pursuit toward becoming a bodhisattvas. Okay. Thoughts? Yes. Then afterwards, Page ten They aren't necessarily people who are Buddha and are.
I mean. But the stuff that is going on is basically a bodhisattvas. Is someone on the verge of being a full Buddha? A bodhisattva is an enlightened being, but they have delayed their Buddha hard to help other people. So that's why it's a messianic figure. But once the bodies suffer, comes back for one more lifetime, then they can go into Buddha hood or they can choose to come back multiple times. Basically, a bodhisattva is not a Buddha for Buddha yet. Technically speaking, there's one more like little step there before they come to full Buddha head. So most of these figures that they worship, that we call Buddha is like, if you go into a temple in Southeast Asia, people will very may say, Oh, look at all these Buddha statues, but most of the statues are actually statues of bodhisattvas. And those bodhisattvas, presuming may now be Buddhas or they may be delayed back and on the verge of being Buddhas as a member. It's a small technicality, but that would be fair to say. Yes, because of that statement. I'm sorry. I'm not I'm not following you. Oh, I've done Avatar. I'm ready now. So I went and kept the word avatar that I love. Well, yeah. So it's a similar body type. Well, that's what I hope your papers will answer for me. The terms are different. I mean, in Hinduism, an avatar is much more like a incarnation figure comes to Earth. So you have figures that are born into the human race and live and form for all kinds of exploits. And many Hindus will compare that to the incarnation, I think falsely. And I demonstrate that in my book. I go through all my objections to that. But in the Buddhist concept, the word avatar is a little more nebulous because the bodhisattvas don't actually come to Earth in the way that the Hindu avatars did, like Rama and Krishna came to Earth.
So what you do is they are only there in the celestial realm. They are there in the in a transcendent realm. And the way they kind of become avatars is only when they extend their consciousness into some figure they can come to earth through their consciousness in some way. They can project themselves on the earth like a movie projector. And so they that movie is showing you can see a figure in front of you. And these bodhisattvas appear to be all the time you're in dreams. They appear to people. They say they have visions of these bodhisattvas, so they're all the time projecting themselves onto the earth. And that's like a avatar. But it's a little more nebulous. But in Tibetan Buddhism, they are actually living Buddhas. The Dalai Lama is the incarnation of one of these body surfers, and therefore, that's he's like an incarnation, an avatar. I distinguish between incarnation Avatar because I don't think the two are compatible because incarnations, a one time event, the Avatars are a multiple event. That's a big difference. The incarnation of Christ is a full incarnation. The fullness of the deity is present in Christ. The Avatars never have that. The Avatar. It's also always a partial, with the exception maybe of the Tibetan discussion. That's a matter of some dispute about that, whether he has omniscient knowledge and all that in certain states. But you know that there's just differences and so you have to reflect on that theologically before you make that jump. Is all the same concept. But in that case, I would go with using the word incarnation in my right man at the appropriate time, as opposed to what word incarnation of that. Because that war is what comes out of the system and the people.
And you were all right. But I agree, I don't use the word avatar, but you have to use some word to describe the word incarnation means, in flesh the enforcement of God. So in what way? You cannot just preach the Christian gospel, obviously, without proclaiming that God became flesh. You can't avoid it. So how do you teach that and avoid the word avatar? That's the challenge that we have to be very careful with our daughter, the community. I think for the big world and for me in the world, I think that will make people understand. I don't know what I find yet. Use that word and you will also be appropriate. I presume then that would mean that people would come back to that. Right. Another big difference is actually looking at theologically is the incarnation is two natures united in one person. That's the key. Also, down in formula for 51 A.D., we do not believe that the human nature and the divine nature are mixed. They remain distinct, though they're united in one person. That's the mystery of the incarnation. Jesus, not 50% man, 3% God or some kind of shuffling of cards. It's a fully man, fully God, united in one person in a mystery. Now, you will never find any avatar in Hinduism or Buddhism that actually expresses that. There is no distinction between person and nature. And so the idea of that you have examples of the divine nature becoming a human nature. You have the example of human natures that become divine. You have all kinds of variations of it, but never that never the Christian position where neither is violated. And in Hinduism, Buddhism, everything is always violated. You have some way of either you compromise on his humanity or he's not fully God.
The only exception Hinduism in some circles is Krishna Krishna. There are some people who believe that Krishna is a full incarnation of God. But even that C is not fully man, though he's just fully God. So there's just simply no way to use the word avatar without encountering big difficulties theologically down the road. So what people often will say, because Buddhism has this idea of people coming to Earth and all that, that that can be a big help to us. It may not be a big help to us. I mean, we're still getting ahead of us a little bit because we need to later on in the course to do more serious reflection on Christian interaction. But we need to know already this is a potential problem. And many of you may have begun to reflect on this in your papers. So someone asked me, is it okay to turn a paper today? That was the lecture negated the paper. And the answer is yes, because, see, you're on the the journey of the Buddhist side. And last week you're on stage three. Now you're in stage four. So this is a ten part class. When you get to the 10th class, you enter into the Dharma cloud and everything will be okay. And omniscient knowledge. That's right. It's all going to happen. Yes. So on the ground, you don't even need the resources can project themselves into. It was a dog to animals with inanimate objects. But they don't ever believe that there's a human being that is walking and breathing. That's. Not in the permanent state. There may be some examples of teachers that they believe. I mean, the most important one actually is this was often called the Laughing Buddha in the West.
You know, the big Bluto, the big buddy with a big stomach, big smile. Supposedly was this fat guy who walked around getting hit with a bag, giving presents to kids like a Santa Claus figure. And then he died all real while he was a projection of a body Santa. So you have some of that. But it's temporary. Not like the Tibetan where he's born. And they had growth of meditation to turn which child is born into and all that. And they find the child. Okay. Let's take a little bit of a break here by moving to looking at some of these celestial body solvers. And what we're going to do is we're going to look at three of them. And I have chosen out of the great pantheon of bodhisattvas to focus on at this point, three celestial bodies, ciphers that I consider to be a must know in your knowledge, because these are so critical. But let me just clarify the questions about whether it's obvious whether or not they were Buddha was that person is an historical person. Buddha. I wondered why. It needs to be the people who start the day. They are on the way to do that. But wonder why. Why are they going through the stages of the motorcycle and going straight over to those that got it past the doors that has helped them? Yeah. It's all because of compassion. I mean, obviously, this was never in the mind of the Buddha, this whole conception of body Santa, because the original Buddhist teachings, the first two sermons, and even in the first council where they canonized the Buddhist teaching, there's no mention of bodhisattva. So this is a development of Mahayana that is not contemplated by the Buddha, from my point of view.
I mean, obviously they say it's sacred teachings, but you're quite right. This whole idea of a journey prior to Buddha Hood is an invention of Mahayana in order to create a context of compassion and morality and ethics, which they felt was lacking because it was so absent from Hinduism that they feared that the clerical monastic order was just becoming another group of Brahmans. And so this was a lay reaction to kind of broaden things a bit and to create, I think, a social context that would work in Southeast Asia that was not working in Hinduism. But it's not. The war is not so. Well, they want to become bodhisattvas as an intermediate path because you can't get to be if you're a minor, you can't become a Buddha without experiencing the body's selfhood, because you have to first understand that compassion by renouncing everything before you can ever achieve true Buddha, the Buddha nature. So but ultimately, yeah, their goal is to become a Buddha, that is. On. Help us. There's something else that the foundation. Say that the horses are now out of work and out of. That's a good question. To me, this is a problem in Buddhism, actually, if you ask the question ultimately, what is this tomorrow? Because there is no foundation. But they would say the compassion stems out of the desire to see all suffering ceased, which is part of the Buddhist original vision that suffering Duka must cease. So because there's others suffering, you want to rescue them from suffering. That's a basic act of compassion. Just like why would you help anybody that's suffering? They would say this is same for them. They help people who are suffering. The problem is they have no way of distinguishing between what we would call a truly sufferer, like someone who is starving or homeless.
You know, if we would write down ten people that deserve our compassion, we could list out people who are homeless or needy in some way. But in Buddhism, ultimately, you can't make those distinctions. So a person who is well-fed and has a good job and has a nice home is just as worthy of compassion as someone who is destitute. And so it's a compassion toward all of sentient life. And that, I think, is a little bit of a difference worth noting. But nevertheless, that's their idea of compassion for all sufferers. So they have the sense that nine suffering is they're still suffering. They are provisional ethics because they're saying even though there is no true suffering, there is the experience of suffering. So suffering exists, but none suffer, none suffering. So even in that whole poem, we looked at the aid for particles with no travel on it, suffering exists, but no suffer. Misery exists, but none miserable. So they're still acknowledging that people, because they're caught in the world of samsara, they're experiencing suffering provisionally, even though there's no person there who's actually suffering and ultimately therefore no suffer suffering existing. In your book you mention. Is that just silly? It's not really doing something for somebody. It's just kidding. When you actually see people helping each other. Or is it just more? Like you, like it or not. Yeah, that's a hard question. I think that you have both. I mean, I think there are examples of Buddhist acts of compassion that have rooted out of this. Some of which have been influenced by Christian worldview. I wouldn't want to say absolutely never. Acts of genuine compassion for people. But I think it is a broader sometimes it comes down to almost like a pity for somebody rather than a tangible act, because this idea of everybody is in need.
If everybody's in need, that's how you distinguish between different kinds of needs. It makes more difficult. Okay, why don't we look at a couple of these? Three of these. I chose these because they are extremely important bodhisattvas and we're going to begin with this one here. Maitreya Now, this is really important because Maitreya is worshiped all across Buddhism. Now, this may surprise you, but even Theravada Now let me explain why Theravada Even to our vortex sets. Maitreya The very sort. They don't accept that nature is a bodhisattva. But I mentioned that bodhisattvas, this celestial realm, will come back as a Buddha, So even the traveler to believe, even though there's only one Buddha of all times, that of the Gautama, someday this Buddha, so that the government will return. This is the return of Buddha, as opposed to the return of Christ. Mahayana all believe in a future Buddha called Maitreya. So this is a very important eschatological figure. Now, granted, just to clarify, it won't be any just confusion over here. Eschatology here is a end of an alien, which is part of the wheel, which will be rebirth and all of that. But nevertheless, from our perspective, in this age or end or culminate in the coming back of this Buddha to brain, to enlightenment. So this is the famous future Buddha. And if you know New Age everyone has ever been involved, New Age I've met, they'll often will say to me, Oh, we know this, we know this name Maitreya, because this is the term that New Agers use for a messiah. There's kind of the New Age Messiah is Maitreya. So this has been one of the little filled trains from the East as come into effect. Even New Agers, the word Maitreya means kindly one or compassionate one, and it's a reference to this Buddha in waiting.
He's in a come at the apocalypse of this age. And they said the original Buddha had hundreds of disciples. This Buddha will have thousands of disciples. So a big, big splash until the time he comes. And we don't know when he'll come. He has a vast storage of skillful means. He dwells in a heavenly chamber, and he's waiting for the perfect moment when he's to come back and manifest himself as the true Buddha. There is a belief that Maitreya This is the example, this avatar thing I mentioned. This is the one that I mentioned in Chinese tradition. They believe there's a 10th century man name at pu tie pu tie. And this is the parallel to the Santa Claus kind of figure. This is the fat jolly guy who had a bag with toys inside candy, and he would give them to children and people in need. So because this story, this short, fat, smiling guy who did all these wonderful things when he died, it was believed that he was an elimination of kind of a future expectation of Maitreya. So it kind of entered into the culture in the East. So this has been accepted pretty popularly and on a popular level. You go into a temple, a Buddhist temple, and you see this figure. Now the way to recognize this figure is he's always pictured as very young. I'll show you several pictures of him here can see this golden skin, the youthful face, and always a crown on his head, because these pictures, he is a crown prince. So you often find that we haven't actually discussed this yet. We will. But this hand motion. So he's holding his hand in a certain way, and that must be in the other ones as well.
Let me just see. You have it on here. Yeah. So this one is damaged slightly, but this hand motion, this one's broken off there. It's a it's a statue, but that's called a mudra. And we're going to discuss those later. So just put it off for now. But the hand motion. Hence, symbols are extremely important in Hinduism and Buddhism. So this is like a Dharma teaching symbol of your hand. That's a classic Maitreya thing. He simply carries a bottle in his hand. You see this bottle in his hand? That's classic Maitreya. The main thing is the youth. Very, very young, looking to be 16 years old figure. Okay, So very young and full of wisdom. And the reason this is important on a popular level is because when you go into Buddhist temples, you'll find people bowing down before this statue, this idol. You'll find them burning incense to it very regularly. And one of their prayers that they pray to this particular bodhisattva is pray that they will be reborn at a time when he appears. This is like someone praying. If you believe in multiple lifetimes, if you pray, Lord, when I come back, delay my reincarnation until the lifespan, when I can be there when Jesus comes back. Because if Jesus comes back, he's going to restore all righteousness and peace and, you know, the millennium and all that. So this is the kind of parallel thought to it. If I can just be born back when Maitreya is returning, it's a very popular prayer in Buddhism and obviously popular in the presence of Maitreya. And so this is where you're actually intersecting with very popular Buddhist kind of daily practices. Go to the temple and pray that you'll come back when he returns the next.
Oh, here's a, by the way, another Tibetan version of Maitreya. You'll notice the multiple arms that are on some of these. Actually, these don't have multiple arms. Do you have that? And frequently you'll see these in multiple arms, but not the ones I'm showing you. But Maitreya. This is a Tibetan version of it. Tibetans actually will create these scrolls that have Maitreya on it, and you can see the crown, the youthful face, you know, kind of the standard, some of the mood. This is the teaching Dharma mudra. They're in there. So it's no question it's Maitreya often on a like a bed and lotus bed like this. They have these in Tibetan Buddhism. They'll have these put on scrolls like this for meditation purposes. And they believe I meditate on this Buddha. You can gain access into all future events, and that's a Tibetan thing. We haven't discussed Tibetan Buddhism yet, but just since it's here, they believe by meditate on this particular Buddha, you can get knowledge in the future events because he's the future Buddha. So you present who knows what's going to happen. So it's part of the tantric, magical kind of stuff that you get in Tibetan Buddhism. Maitreya Here's another one. Maitreya There again, the the mother there was the crown on his head. We've seen this crown like that on virtually every one. If you go back, you can see it's a very I'm sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry. See the crown? Very similar on these now as much on this one. But this is really I think that's probably more classic. Maitreya, this particular statue, I think the kind of fits everything fairly well. You often see that particular figure looking like that. So if you see that, you can recognize that as the Maitreya, Buddha or Bodhisattva Celestial Body for the future of Buddha.
Questions about Maitreya Yes. Why did they want to come back? Or is it because they believe that it will be a time of tremendous growth, of enlightenment and knowledge, and then people will be able to receive all kinds of glorious insights, and it serves to be like a return of righteousness in the whole age, be peaceful, and then we don't have a job and babies be born happily, successfully and all that. For the people who will still be alive at that time. People since then have passed away. You mean before he comes back? I'm sorry. Say it again. I don't understand the purpose of why he's coming. Right. He's coming back to reestablish true Dharma. So right now, everyone is caught in this web of ignorance. So when he comes back, he's going to become the greatest teacher of all time. And they say the Buddha had a few hundred disciples. He'll have thousands. So they believe that many more people will become enlightened because of his coming into the world. So it's gonna be like a great it'd be like suddenly this new teacher comes. It is going to help everybody to get over their various suffering and and difficulties and give them true enlightenment. So people are caught in ignorance. They want to get out of this ignorance. And they believe that there's things they can't seem to overcome in their lives. They have problems. And so they believe this book is coming. Deliver them from that and help them. So it's like the ultimate bodhisattva. You know, this is soon as come back and going to lead us all to the Promised Land kind of thing, lead us all to enlightenment, to liberation from the wheel of samsara. For those who didn't follow through, doesn't follow him in the future, like thousands of disciples.
But what about those who didn't follow him? I think I'll continue to go on this slide. Well, the world system will collapse. But you know what? It does collapse. But when it reemerges, those people will find themselves back on realism, sorrow again. That cycle is always there. Yes. It's really when you consider this, you might be able to stop. What is up with the inmates and about our letter development? Well, that's a good question. I don't believe that the Buddha can be generally attributed to mentioned that he would have come back or there was a future Buddha. But it is now attributed that he did. It's now believed that he did say this, and they believe these texts is secret text or present in the discourses but second basket because they have added new discourses to it. So they believe that this was part of the discourse of the Buddha. But whether it actually was, I think is a matter of genuine dispute. But. Right. This is all first century to third century development aid, and the Buddha is living in fifth sixth century B.C. So this is a 500 year development after the Buddha this and projected back as part of his original teaching. The next bodhisattva is Manju Sri Manju Sri, which means sweet glory. He's called the Prince of the Dharma. Now this is another get. I'm trying to show you ones that will be very popular that you will you encounter in the Buddhist world as you travel around and go into temples. Now, the one thing you'll note at this particular body sight for is this sword, this sort of dharma here in his hand. That is classic way to recognize a Manju Sri. He is known and is important because he is very mobile.
He moves. Most of these bodhisattvas are identified in a particular realm. They've not told you how you create your own realm and you live in that realm, that transcendent realm of samsara. Okay, this one is moving around constantly. He can appear in everybody's realm. So this has the idea that, okay, this bodhisattva can move his mobile. This is again, this is where he comes into the Avatar idea a bit, because if you have a dream, they always attribute it to magistrate. If you see some kind of celestial figure in your dreams. So that becomes very important in popular Buddhism. So what happens is they believe he has this vast storehouse of wisdom. He can destroy ignorance and awaken true knowledge. So what they say he does is that when you least expect it, he will come to you and he will leave some relic behind, some Buddhist relic behind maybe of the Buddha himself or some other kind of famous relic. And people have all had all kinds of stories. They go to sleep and wake up and there's something by their bed they believe is a relic. And they attribute that to Manju Suri, who has come and then jewelry is left behind and they'll touch it and they'll hold it there, wear on their necks. This is popular Buddhism now. And they believe that by holding it, by looking at it, they will gain power and wisdom. He has so much knowledge that he can remember the past deeds of all these bodhisattvas that even Maitreya has forgotten. I told you I, Maitreya has all this knowledge of the future. Well, this story has all kinds of now to past events, and even Maitreyi has forgotten. So if you pronounce man just for his name, just pronounce his name.
Manju Sri, you can receive all kinds of merit. Now, we're yet to develop this whole school of thought. We will later on that specifically talks about in vocational Buddhism, where you invoke the name of Buddha and it can be delivered and enlightened because of that. But this is an example of where it comes up. There's a belief that if you go into a temple, okay, you see men, Jews, three you meditate on that statue in the temple. This is popular Buddhism. Now this is getting more popular than this. You walk in the temple, you see men just free there. You meditate on that statue for a few moments and you ask men, Jews to come visit you. Now, when you do that, according to their belief, Manju Suri will visit you within seven days, within one week of that visit to the temple. Now, if you are a person with very little karma, he may appear as a vision. He can, on other hand, take on the form of a poor man or an animal or an orphan to try to evoke compassion in your heart. So this we have all these stories about people who saw dogs and all this. They all this was this was Manju, right? This is all part of popular Buddhism. And this it helps to evoke compassion. If you help someone in need, you can say, because I believe that by helping this person, I may actually help him. Injury. This is the Buddhist equivalent of Jesus saying, When you've done it to the least of these, you done it to me. If you help someone in need, you're helping me. That is exactly the mentality that is in popular Buddhism about ministry. Help an orphan out or maybe help them injury and he can help you.
So you see, the kind of sword aloft is very, very prominent. He's often seated on a lion. I'll show you a picture this moment or a blue lotus flower. But the sword is really, really a very, very prominent. You'll see these are some very different concepts have made. Manju Shri. But the one way to recognize again, the youthful, very youthful like the other, but even more so youthful. But you have the sword this there and you have this blue lotus flower. And then this boy like this is a lion. They have often had many kind of wild conceptions of lions and all. But this if you see a bodhisattvas on top of an animal like this, then it's almost surely menagerie and you'll see this in the temples as well as in here is walking on lotus flowers. And he has the sword. The sword is in every one of these depictions that I'm showing you to give you a feel from injury. Here's another a couple examples of it. You have the sword, the sword, the lion, the lotus flower. This is all just classic men, just rape. And they believe that by invoking his presence that he will give you this vast wisdom of the past. And I'll give you a quote from one of their texts. Give you a little feel for this. Yes. He's always sitting. That's a good question. I don't think. I mean, we saw the other one standing off and he's sitting always. But I don't I would not say always. My injury is sitting, but probably most of the time that distinction because you have that in Hinduism, sometimes certain avatars are always silly, but not so. But the Buddhism actually it's a little more difficult to identify than in Hinduism.
Hinduism has very, very strict iconography. So in the Hinduism class, those who've had it know that we go through all the major avatars and you show what they look like and the key features of all of them. Now take the students to India or even church groups to come on, give them a kind of a crash course where they can immediately go into a Hindu temple and identify every single God or goddess that's there. Because in India, the iconography is very strict. There's certain things you have to do for it to be a Krishna or a Shiva or whatever. In Buddhism, because it goes as a wide area and spread in the Southeast Asia, China, Japan, Korea, Nepal, all over. Then the iconography is not as definite. And so I'm giving you some broad guidelines, but nevertheless, hopefully be helpful to you. Let me give you some textual stuff here. I'll give you a feel for this long ago in a far distant kalpa. Kalpa, by the way, is the term for AIDS. And they have the world's history divine of several CalPERS and these CalPERS eventually, you know, become the history of the world. Okay, In a distant kalpa, Manju Sri appeared in the city as a big shoe that's a beggar seeking alms. He was in a bowl full of hundred flavored, delightful dumplings. It's a nice little thing to eat. We like to have that right now. In the city there was a small child who followed long after him begging. He'd not immediately give anything to him. When they reached a mural depicting the Buddha, he picked up two of the dumplings with his hand and required of the child. If you are able to eat only one of the dumplings yourself while taking one of the dumplings and giving it to the Songhai, the community will give them to you.
Okay. This is the Buddha's equivalent of Lay's potato chips. You can't just eat one if you can only one lighter chip. It means that you have compassion. If you only had two and you give one to somebody. Okay, so I have two life matchups. I want to give you one that proves I have compassion. The child immediately responded with a scent and then took one of the delightful dumplings and presented it to the assembled song Hi Number. This is the community in the mural. Afterwards, you obtain my Jewish phrase consent to receive the precepts and brought forth the aspiration to become a Buddha. In this fashion, the practice of giving is able to cause one to take on the precepts and bring forth the aspiration to become a Buddha. That is the expression body cheetah that we have emphasized last week and it's on your handout, is a term that really is a critical thing in Mahayana. All that you may not be able to be a monk do this, but you develop an aspiration. You want to become one. Very important. This causes the practice of giving, bringing forth Sheila parameter, the perfection of morality. So here is kind of a classic Manju SRI story which shows how this body sort of can invoke compassion in somebody either by becoming a, you know, monk becoming a dog or a child orphaned or this kind. A story that comes up. Okay, last one and then we'll be done. The last one is this. I look at each vara that we've already looked at the famous text which talked about this is the one, the Lord who looks down and we looked at the positive permeate the sutras and the distillation of that. We already saw how this particular bodhisattva was highlighted as the one who looked down in the sea.
How the figure I don't know if you can tell, but do you see a little ambivalence between whether this is male or female? You're supposed to anyway. Nowadays, of course, it's hard to tell, but this figure here clearly is a feminine type form. This is much more of a masculine form, but it's always somehow kind of in a way in between. When I was in China, I would look at a number of these statues and then we're thinking, you know, is it male or female? You really do have that feel on a popular level. She often has rays of light coming from her. This kind of this halo, Deo is kind of prominent there. The main way to recognize it is this uncertainty of male or female. I think that's probably the best way to look at it. You'll find sometimes this, you know, that she's on or he's on this bed of Lotus. See here that is also very prominent. You see Lotus here? Lotus be very, very critical in many of the depictions of Kashmera. If you're in China, this is Huanan, they call it. Or in Japan. Come on. Different terms for this bodhisattva. But this is the one who looks down and provides this enlightenment on the popular level. While he'll go to the temples to work, to worship and to venerate and to burn incense to this particular body that they believe. Well, in a general way, for the men, at least this is the one you go to to be delivered from lust. And in a foolish act, like if you're feeling, like really, really bound up with lustful feelings, you go to this body, suffer who's not a male or female, see? And he she will deliver you from this kind of what you're feeling.
But in my experience, what you really find well, in general, you'll find more women than men bowing down before idols in these cultures. But the women especially comes as bodhisattva because it is believed that if you need a child, you want a child and you're childless or having difficulty giving conception. If you go to this body softer, then he will give you a son or daughter of your choice. So that is makes it extremely popular because people will go there asking myself to give them a daughter or son. When they have the daughter son, they'll bring the child in with them and they'll offer incense to the God or to the body, soften in thankfulness to the goddess for doing that. And one more thing and I'll take questions. They also have the idea that if you're in danger, this goddess can deliver you. So people who are fearful for a journey in this custom, very popular Buddhism are afraid to travel somewhere. They will go and offer incense before they go, and it becomes very dominant kind of belief. Okay, questions of the child. They believe that they get offended by God and they believe that they know it helps in the normal process. You know, it's the life behind their. And I know that there are a lot of issues to the present crisis, that is. Coincidence or is it a cultural thing? Well, it is an eastern form of art, and it may have did come originally from other non pre-Christian art, but it certainly is a sign of wisdom to show light soon from one's head. And so you find this in a lot of eastern art in Hinduism and Buddhism. A couple more pictures here of the goddess or the body sort for there's a more classic depiction, kind of slightly unclear male female in the lotus position.
That's the legs in this position. Lotus position. Very, very popular, worshiped and acknowledged in popular Buddhism. What's that? Yes. And they the forearms. That's a very definitely Hindu influence on it. Yes. This is urging a male female have an Indian conservative. It hasn't been there because I know it is. What is that? Is there even though prevalent as yourself to start looking at some of the images that people are. But more well-endowed than it would have to happen. Yes, it is. It's it's it's actually not just because of this is because the whole Hindu iconography, because a lot of the Buddhist were trained by Hindus in making idols and in Hindu iconography showing the blurring of male female is very important that iconography. So it affected the all Buddhist things, this one more than others.