佛學講座 - 佛學問答(English) - Where does the Mahayana spirit lie?
Where does the Mahayana spirit lie?

 

The Mahayana Buddhism aims at the deliverance of all living beings

with emphasis on initiation of mind irrespective of personal ability.

Da-zhi du lun (Mahaprajna Paramita Sastra) has this to say:

‘A bodhisattva, mind initiated, delivers not self but, first, another.’

That means yielding self for the attainment of another. Somehow, the

same sastra proceeds in saying:

‘Without delivering self, how to deliver another?’

That means, in the absence of ability, teaching and guiding another

is impossible. Ability has to be attained from learning.

The six papamitas in the Mahayana Buddhism are giving, holding to

the precepts, patience, pure progress, samadhi, and prajna. These

comprise the karma generated via body, mouth, and thought manifest

in the form of the Mahayana practitioner' s moral conduct together with

the purifying, innocence, and sublimation of character in the form of

self-discipline and social consciousness. The Mahayana Buddhism

resembles a gigantic carriage with passengers and loads travelling

long distances. The Buddha urged all to initiate the Mahayana mind—

the supreme Mahayana mind to be exact. Surangama Sutra states:

‘Vow to obtain the fruit of deeds, to become the King of Treasures,

To return to deliver beings as numerous as sands of the Ganges.’

A Buddhist practitioner, with enlightening self, enlightening another, and

enlightening process complete wholly attained, will become a Buddha in

future and then come back to deliver living beings as countless as the

sands of the Ganges.

Also:

‘May this profound mind be offered to lands as many as dust particles.

Such is aptly called reciprocating the grace of the Buddha.’

The Buddha taught disciples to give body and mind to all living beings

and the world, to be there for everyone and for everything, to deliver self

as well as another.

Buddhism also teaches dual practice of blessedness and wisdom, the

former of which is affinity, connecting with all living beings. There are

living beings who are family, like parents, teachers, husband and wife

and children, siblings and relatives, there are those who are friends,

like community and society, and there are even those hailing from

distant worlds. Having so much affinity to encounter so many living

beings through the past, present, and future lifetimes, we need to

continue generating positive bondage in accordance with great

compassion, great pity. For affinity aplenty affirms blessedness and

virtue. So, sow good seeds in a field of blessedness, tend to their

growth, and harvest well; take care of the mind in the growth of a

human being, return to the original wisdom within, rid all bad seeds

like greed, anger, ignorance, arrogance, erroneous view, and doubt

about the truth, and practice prajna and samadhi to realize the

suchness of existents. Just as well, connect, do public good, and be

equipped with blessedness and wisdom at the same time. Such are

the basic qualifications of a Mahayana bodhisattva.