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Questions tagged [mahayana]

One of the two major vehicles of Buddhism.

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Of the two extremes (eternalism vs nihilism) the latter is more harmful. Reference?

A common teaching in Mahayana is that of the two extremes it is better to fall into eternalism rather than nihilism. This advice is given by many Mahayana or Middle Way teachers. I'm looking for Sutra ...
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Bodhisattva wisdom vs. Arhat Wisdom

This answer says that: in terms of wisdom, a Hinayana arhat is more powerful than a bodhisattva before the 8th bhumi, because he abandoned afflictive obscurations while the bodhisattva abandons ...
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Too much Dhamma in modern age

Ajahn Brahm’s quite interesting position on "too much Dharma" and studying Abhidharma might be conveyed in this citation: I think of our modern age is that too much Dhamma. So much Dhamma that ...
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Mahayana doctrine about dreams and illusions

Is there some standard Mahayana doctrine about dreams and illusions? How is the doctrine meant to be used -- assuming it's a view, how is it meant to be effective? I ask because of this answer: ...
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Is Scientific Realism/Materialism and/or Historicity compatible with Mahayana?

In my estimation the answer is decidely no, but I am interested to hear what others think from a Mahayana or Madhyamaka perspective. First, to try and clarify terms I am using scientific realism/...
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Mahayana view on why Theravada's anatta is insufficient to uproot ignorance?

A Mahayana-practising member wrote this comment: With respect, the Theravada generally has a much more coarse understanding of emptiness and anatta and is confused as to the object of negation. ...
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Difference between Theravada's self and Mahayana's intrinsic essence

With reference to this comment: An intrinsic nature, essence or characteristic that is unique to some phenomena that can be described as that phenomena's self. The self of chair would be that ...
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The Philosophy of Zen

How can the Zen school of thought distinguished from the Chan school of thought? Both spring from Mahayana, true; but what are the basic differences?
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Does Mahayana Buddhism worship the Buddha as a God and, if so, why?

The Buddha always held that he was a simple man, one among us, not a God. In fact, Buddhism is principally an agnostic philosophy. Then why does Mahayana Buddhism practice the worship of the Buddha?
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Does the absence of the son of a barren woman truly exist?

In Je Tsongkhapa's, Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path Volume 3 pages 343-344 we have this: Therefore, as I explained before, the sword of reasoning cuts through phenomena, revealing that ...
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Does truth of emptiness imply that nothing existent ever ends?

Can emptiness be understood as a conservation law? In other words, is it true that to posit a true end to any existent is to necessarily presuppose that it truly existed before it ended? Another way ...
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Describe the Mahayana path

This comment writes, reasonably enough: Worth mentioning regarding Tantra and Vajrayana that Vajrayana is not a path of renunciation So I was wondering what it is, if it isn't that. I remembered ...
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Can you criticise or improve Ven. Bodhi's description of Mahayana

Here I summarised, and here I referenced, this little essay by Bhikkhu Bodhi: Dhamma and Non-duality (the first four paragraphs seem to be about Advaita Vedanta, the remainder about "Mahayana Buddhism"...
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Are there any recollections of past lives in the more grievous realms?

While "animal" past lives seem to get a fair amount of attention I can't seem to find any about people recalling being in the hell realm or that of hungry ghosts. Aside from Mahamogallana's ...
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Favourite Mahayana inspirational texts/treaties

I would like to ask the community here what are your favourite treaties or texts in Mahayana tradition that did personally make great impact on your practice in the way that it cut through illusion or ...
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Can knowledge of suchness or emptiness be achieved through cessation of conceptualization?

Inspired by this comment and this answer I wonder, can the first bhumi be gained via the complete cessation of conceptualization? ie, if one achieves the complete cessation of all concepts is this ...
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Buddhist views on transgender issues [duplicate]

The Buddha or the scriptures do not state specifically if an individual being a transgender is right or wrong. So how would a Buddhist interpret this in a modern light and why?
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Conscience in Buddhism

Conscience is described as being the moral sense in which an individual makes decisions. Do Buddhists believe there is a conscience? If so how is it defined
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Under what conditions should Buddhists proselytize other Buddhist traditions? [duplicate]

Under what conditions is it proper for Buddhists of one tradition to try and proselytize Buddhists from another tradition? Under what conditions is it improper? What harm can be done? What fruits can ...
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Is there a difference between the 32 physical characteristics and the the 32 physical marks?

Why does the Buddha ask the same question twice, and why does Subhuti answer it two different ways? In Diamond Sutra Chapter 13 “Subhuti, what do you think? Can the Buddha be perceived by means of ...
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How do Buddhists reconcile “Anatta” with Buddha supporting the existence of the Self in the Mahayana Mahaparininirvana Sutra?

In the third chapter of the Mahayana Mahaparininirvana Sutra, Buddha calls the Self real and permanent: Then the Buddha said to all the bhiksus: "Do not say this. I now leave all the unsurpassed ...
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Any living teachers claim to be able to attain vajrasamadhi?

Are there any living teachers who claim to be able to attain vajrasamadhi? Apologies if looking for a guru questions are off-topic here. Is there any way to verify if they have done so, according to ...
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Devotion in Buddhism

What is the purpose or significance of devotion in Buddhism? Are there differences in acts of devotion in Mahayana and Theravada tradition?
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Does Nirvana have svabhava in Madhyamaka?

As suggested in this comment, we shall try to look more closely into this. Does Nirvana have svabhāva in Madhyamaka? Here, svabhāva is as defined in Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka, and commonly translated ...
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What exactly is svabhava?

What exactly is svabhāva in Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka? It is translated as inherent nature or inherent existence or inherent substance. But what does that really mean? Does it carry the same meaning as ...
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What did the Buddha mean by “no truth can be spoken?”

What did the Buddha mean by "no truth can be spoken" in the Diamond Sutra?
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Are either of the two truths Truths (Satya)?

Is it reasonable to call these truths, or would it be more reasonable to call them accurate statements from two different frames of reference? The truth, from the frame of reference of conditioned ...
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If no sentient being exists, for whom is there compassion? 'A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life' by Santideva

Quoted below is from 'A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life' by Santideva, Chapter IX: The Perfection of Wisdom. I'm struggling to follow the line of thought, can someone please decipher what it ...
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In Mahayana Buddhism, do they expect everyone to become a Buddha? If so how can any Buddha help anyone to attain enlightenment?

In Mahayana Buddhism, do they expect everyone to become a Buddha? If so, how can any Buddha help anyone attain enlightenment? Isn't the whole point of becoming a Buddha to help others to attain ...
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Eternalism and Mahayana Buddhism

In this Wikipedia article on Arhat in Mahayana Buddhism, it is written: Instead of aspiring for arhatship, Mahayanins are urged to instead take up the path of the bodhisattva and to not fall back ...
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Which branches of Buddhism acknowledge the Parable Sutra?

This Sutra, known in Chinese as 佛说譬喻经, has been translated into English by Charles Patton. The Sutra makes a part of Taisho Tripitaka (Takakusu Junjiro's edition). The text is known worldwide, also ...
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Is Mahāyāna Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra later creation?

I was thinking to read this big text because the chapter claims to be the teachings of Gautam Buddha while departure from the Earth. Before buying I wanted to be sure whether the text is authentic or ...
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What are the different Buddhist views on marriage?

I know that marriage is a secular event in Buddhism, but what are the different attitudes are there for or against marriage? And what type of Buddhists(Theravada, Mahayana, Sangha, Lay etc) claim ...
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How can the concept of Anicca be linked to Sunyata?

Sunyata is more commonly used to explain Anatta, but how about Anicca?
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“Monks” includes everybody?

I have often heard that in many places in the suttas where the Buddha says Bhikkave, (monks!), he really means to include the four parisā (assemblies), which includes lay male and lay female devotees. ...
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What means HRI above lotus and moon?

What does mean the syllable HRI above lotus and moon? What does mean those visualised aspect separately and together? What kind of inner feelings they should evoke?
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Why would a non-dualist mind choose the Bodhisattva path once it has stopped differentiating between suffering and non-suffering?

As I understand from what contact I've had with Mahayanist explanations, a prominent feature of the enlightened mind is that it no longer splits the world into "X and non-X" categories but sees it all ...
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Recurring Lack of Compassion

I am trying generally to follow the Mahayana path, with a union of emptiness and compassion. However, I experience clear problems with compassion. These manifest as : 1) general detachment from people ...
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Delayed speech as right speech

I was once told a story by the abbott of a monastery about how the Buddha once decided to delay his speech and said it only when it was the right time. Paraphrasing, the story is like this - Two ...
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Is nirvana a process?

I have often been told that nirvana is not a state or entity, because there are no real states or entities in Mahayana Buddhism. If so, is that nirvanisation (a word I've seen for the process of ...
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Why should Mahayana practitioners strive for anything at all?

In the Theravada tradition: There is no self in all phenomena (including the five aggregates). The five aggregates and the rest of nature and the world is always changing and not permanent (anicca). ...
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Does Krishnamurti claim of No Path, No Progress, No Goal fit with Buddhist thought?

Quoted below is an article posted on BuddhaNet Magazine relating Krishnamurti's philosophy with Buddhism. The writer relates Krishnamurti's view that there is "no "path", no procedures, no ...
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How do Bodhisattva vow takers avoid stream entry?

According to the suttas in SN13, a stream enterer (or stream winner or sotapanna) only has at most, seven remaining lifetimes, before they are permanently freed from suffering. On the other hand, ...
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“Not experiencing the effects of actions you did not do” as a characteristic of karma

Referring to the Four Characteristics of Karma (catvāri karmasvabhāva), as taught in Tibetan schools: The certainty of karma. The magnification of karma. Not experiencing the effects of actions you ...
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Who was the first buddha?

If the number of buddhas is increasing, who was the first, and how did he become buddha without the dharma or a guru?
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Is 'impermanence' skillful means?

Is 'impermanence' skillful means? Wikipedia's definition of "Skillful means" says: The implication [of skillful means] is that even if a technique, view, etc., is not ultimately "true" in the ...
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How do Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhists make sense of Maitreya's prophecy?

How do Mayahana and Vajrayana Buddhists make sense of Maiterya's prophecy? I know for a fact that some e.g. son masters claimed to have achieved anuttara samyak sambodhi, and that some Vajrayana ...
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What is the meaning of the “one mind” in the awakening of faith?

You can read that shastra here. I'm quite fond of it, though I don't have my own meditation practice. If I had to narrow the question down, I'd ask if it contains different practices, of different ...
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Is “ghost month” really a Buddhist concept?

I currently live in Taiwan, and we are currently experiencing "ghost month". The Wikipedia article for Ghost Festival starts with: The Ghost Festival, also known as the Hungry Ghost Festival, ...
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Emptiness in Theravada and Mahayana

What is the difference between the concept of emptiness (Śūnyatā in Sanskrit, or suññatā in Pali) in the Theravada tradition and the concept of emptiness in the Mahayana tradition? From my basic ...