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POPULAR BUDDHISM

(Phật Học Phổ Thông)

Ven Thích Thiện Hoa

 

Fifth Course

(Khóa Thứ Năm)

 

The History of Buddhism & The Buddhist Schools

(Lịch Sử và Các Tông Phái Phật Giáo)

 

History of Buddhism (Lịch Sử Phật Giáo)

Lesson 1

History of Buddhism in India (Lịch Sử Phật Giáo Ấn Độ)

 Lesson 1: History of Buddhism in India, explained by Minh-Quang Nguyễn Lê Đức on Sunday April 20, 2008, at 10am, at Chùa Hải-Đức, Jacksonville, Florida. mp3 stereo, 26MB, 56 min.

 

Summary

 

A- Introduction: History learning helps bringing out mistakes for correction. Disdain of history prevents further progress. We’ll learn Buddhist history from India to China then Vietnam. 

B- Main Subject:

1- Apparition of Founder Sakyamuni: India had worse cast system 2,500 years ago.

1- Bad social system & complex thoughts in India: 4 main casts: Brahman (Bà La Môn), Kastrya (Sát Đệ Lỵ), Vaisya (Phệ Xá), Sudra (Thủ Đà La). Outcast is Pariah. Large difference in benefits. Hundreds of philosophical & religious schools add to confusion.

2- Sakyamuni Buddha, Master of Wisdom & Compassion: born 624 BC from king Sudhodana (Tịnh Phạn) & queen Maha Maya (Ma Gia) in Kapilavastu (Ca Tỳ La Vệ) at Lumbini (Lâm Tỳ Ni). Prince Siddharta has 32 good marks & 80 good signs, predicted to become Buddha, had good education, married to Yasodhara (Da Du Đà La), had son Rahula (La Hầu La). At 29 y.o., ran away with different masters, lastly sat alone under the pippala tree for 7 weeks, got enlightenment. Taught & practiced for 45 yrs, entered Nirvana 554 BC at Kusinagara (Câu Thi Na).

5- History of Buddhist Propagation in India:

1- Four Councils:

1- Rajagrika (Vương Xá) 4 mos after Nirvana, under Mahakasyapa.

2- Vaisaly (Tỳ Xá Ly) 100 yrs after Nirvana under Revala (à Sthaviravada), and Vajji under Vajjiputra (à Mahasanghika) changing 10 precepts.

3- Pataliputra (Hoa Thị) 2 centuries after Nirvana, under Mogaliputra Tissa (Mục Kiền Liên Tu Đế), by order of Asoka (A Dục). Recorded in writing.

4- Kashmir (Ca Thấp Di La) 600 yrs after Nirvana, under Parsva (Hiếp tôn giả) & Vasumitra (Thế Hữu), by order of Kaniska. Recorded in writing.

2- Northern & Southern Buddhism: Sanskrit/Mahayana (N), Pali/Hinayana (S).

3- Development of Mahayana & Hinayana: originally, all Hinayanists; Mahayana was later development.

1- Transformation of Hinayanist sects: from 2nd council, difference in rules divided Hinayana in:

1- Mahāsanghika (Đại chúng bộ大眾部), around 380 BC, which divided further in 8 more sects:

2- Ekavyahārika (Nhất thuyết bộ一說部), under Asoka.

3- Lokottaravāda (Thuyết xuất thế bộ說出世部).

4- Kaukkutika (Kê dẫn bộ雞胤部). These 3 were first division.

5- Bahussrutiya (Đa văn b多聞部) which came on at 2nd division.

6- Prajñaptivāda (Thuyết giả bộ  說假部), late 3rd century BC.

7- Caitika (Chế đa sơn bộ制多山部), mid 1st century BC.

8- Aparasaila (Tây sơn trú b西山住部).

9- Uttarasaila (Bắc sơn trú bộ北山住部).

Sthaviravāda (Thượng tọa bộ上座部) split into 11 sects:

10- Sarvastivāda (Thuyết nhất thiết hữu bộ說一切有部).

11- Haimavata (Tuyết sơn bộ雪山部).

12- Vatsiputriya (Độc tử bộ犢子部).

13- Dharmottara (Pháp thượng bộ法上部).

14- Bhadrayaniya (Hiền trụ bộ賢冑部).

15- Sammitiya (Chánh lượng bộ正量部).

16- Channagirika (Mật lâm sơn bộ密林山部).

17- Mahisasaka (Hóa địa b化地部), 3rd century BC.

18- Dharmaguptaka (Pháp tạng bộ法藏部).

19- Kasyapiya (Ẩm quang bộ飲光部).

20- Sautrantika (Kinh lượng bộ經量部), first century AD.

2- Development of Mahayana: although first teachings had Mahayanist elements, Mahayanist thoughts started sprouting from 1st century BC with Asvaghosa (Mă Minh) converted by 10th patriarch Pārsva (Hiếp tôn giả) & helped by Kaniska. 1 century later, Nāgārjuna, 13th patriarch, developed further with disciples Nāgabodhi (Long Trí) & Deva (Đề Bà) 14th pattriarch Mādhyamaka school. In 4th century AD, Asanga (Vô Trước) & Vasubandhu (Thiên Thân) developed Yogacara school.

4- The Fall of Buddhism in India: 20 centuries after Buddha, his teachings almost disappeared from India, mainly from 3 reasons:

1- Brahmanism, which adapted & assimilated Buddhism.

2- Islam, which destroyed monasteries & killed monks.

3- Intrinsic reasons: decadence of the Sangha, lack of education & practice. 

C- Conclusion: Buddha taught: “whatever was born will die, whatever was built up will decay”. Indian Buddhism, after 15 centuries of success, fell gradually into decay, like anything in this world controlled by the law of Impermanence.

Also with the law of Impermanence, the Buddhism which died out in India has migrated to other places, first to East Asia, China, then to the whole world.

Fifth Course

(Khóa Thứ Năm)

The History of Buddhism & The Buddhist Schools

(Lịch Sử và Các Tông Phái Phật Giáo)

Lesson 2

History of Buddhism in China (Lịch Sử Phật Giáo Trung Hoa)

 Lesson 1: History of Buddhism in China, explained by Minh-Quang Nguyễn Lê Đức on Sunday April 27, 2008, at 10am, at Chùa Hải-Đức, Jacksonville, Florida. mp3 stereo, 23MB, 50 min.

 

Summary

 

A- Introduction: After division of Indian Buddhism into Northern/Mahayana and Southern/Hinayana, the biggest & most important country nurturing & spreading Mahayana is China. 

B- Main Subject:

1- Beginning Period: Chinese in the West have practiced Buddhism before long; historically though, Han Ming-ti (漢明帝 Hán Minh Đế) in 67 BC sent emissaries to Yuezhi (月氏 Nguyệt Chi = Tocharians) bringing back Dharmaraksa (Trúc Pháp Lan) & Kasyapa Matanga (Ca Diếp Ma Đằng) along with 16 sutras & Sutra of 42 sections, lodged in White Horse temple (白馬寺 Bạch Mă Tự) at Luoyang (Lạc Dương) capital. In 148 BC, An Shih Kao (安世高 An Thế Cao) from Parthia (Iran) established in Luoyang a translation bureau translating 35 texts from different Buddhist schools.

2- The Expanding Periods: 4

1- First period, from the 3 Kingdoms to Western Jin: 3rd – 4th centuries AD, K’ang-Seng-Hui  (康僧會 Khương Tăng Hội) in Wu ( Ngô), Dharmakala  in Wei ( Ngụy), Chu Shih Hsing (朱士行 Chu Sĩ Hàng) in Shu ( Thục). Later, Kumarajiva in Jin ( Tấn).

2- Second Period, Southern & Northern Dynasties: (南北朝Nam Bắc Triều) 5th & 6th centuries. Bodhidharma, Liang Wu Ti…

3- Third Period, Tang dynasty: (Đường) 7th to 9th centuries. Xuan Zang (玄奘 Huyền Trang) translated 1500 books, I Ching (義淨 Nghĩa Tịnh) brought 400 translated texts, empress Wu…

4- Fourth Period, Ming dynasty: ( Minh) 14th to 17th centuries. Zhu Yuanzhang (朱元璋 Chu Nguyên Chương) founder was Buddhist novice, promoted & regulated Buddhist organization.. Later, Qing ( Thanh) also Buddhist but more superstitious & lamaist.

3- The Periods of Persecution: also 4 (“three Wu, one Chu” tam Vơ nhất Chu)

1- First period, Wu Ti of Wei: 446, exterminated monks, destroyed temples.

2- Second Period, Wu Ti of Zhou: 574, monks disrobed, temples transformed into offices.

3- Third Period, Wu Zong (武宗 Vơ Tôn) of Tang: 845, followed Taoism, disrobed > 265,000 monks, melted copper bell to make money.

4- Fourth Period, Shi Zong (世宗 Thế Tông) of Later Zhou (Hậu Chu): 954-959, destryed 30,000 temples, burned sutras, melted bells/statues.

4- Six Chinese Patriarchs of Zen: Bodhidharma (菩提達磨 Bồ Đề Đạt Ma 470-543), Húkě (慧可Huệ Khả 487-593), Sēngcàn (僧璨 Tăng Xán ?-606), Dàox́n (道信Đạo Tín 580-651), Húnéng (慧能 Huệ Năng 638-713) promoted Zen Buddhism. 

C- Conclusion: foreign to China, Buddhism spread due to adaptation; rised & fallen with impermanence, although intrinsic reasons were important.

 

 

Fifth Course

(Khóa Thứ Năm)

The History of Buddhism & The Buddhist Schools

(Lịch Sử và Các Tông Phái Phật Giáo)

Lesson 3

History of Buddhism in Vietnam, part 1 (Lịch Sử Phật Giáo Việt Nam, phần 1)

 Lesson 3: History of Buddhism in Viet Nam, until Lư dynasty, explained by Minh-Quang Nguyễn Lê Đức on Sunday May 4, 2008, at 10am, at Chùa Hải-Đức, Jacksonville, Florida. mp3 stereo, 25MB, 55 min.

 

Summary

 

A- Introduction: Buddhism has been present in Viet Nam nearly as long as in China; in fact, it has also moved up & down with secular history, although never been eradicated completely.

B- Main Subject:

1- Buddhism Started to Enter Viet Nam:

1- Roads of entrance: crossroad of India & China. From the South Sea Mahajivaka (Ma Ha Kỳ Vực摩羅耆域), Sanghapala (Khương Tăng Hội康僧會), Kalaruci (Chi Cương Lương [Tiếp] 支僵良). From China, Mâu Bác牟博 wrote Lư-hoặc-luận 理惑論. Later, mostly North.

2- First Period of Entrance: Mâu Bác during Hán was first, then Khương Tăng Hội, lastly Ma Ha Kỳ Vực & Chi Cương Lương in 3rd century.

3- Schools admitted: all Chinese schools, although Thiền (Zen) was the first & strongest school admitted by Vinitaruci (Tỳ Ni Đa Lưu Chi), disciple of 3rd Chinese patriarch Tăng Xán (Sēngcàn僧璨) in 580. During Tang (820), Vô Ngôn Thông (無言通) transmitted the wall gazing method; then Thảo Đường, Tào Động, Lâm Tế… progressively.

2- Buddhism under Lư Nam Đế (571-602) & First Occupation (603-939): flourishing

1- First period: Pháp Hiển, disciple of Vinitaruci spread Buddhism into the mass.

2- Second Period, influence of 3 missionaries: during Tang

1- Minh Viễn, Huệ Mạnh & Vô Hành, from China.

2- Đàm Nhuận, Trí Hoàng from China, Tăng Già Bạt Ma (Sanghavarman) from India.

3- Pilgrims from Viet Nam to India: Vân Kỳ, Mộc Xoa Đề Bà, Khuy Sung, Huệ Diệm, Trí Hành, Đại Thặng Đăng.

3- Third Period, Vô Ngôn Thông (?-826): from Quảng Châu (Guǎngzhōu 廣州), learned with Bách Trượng (bǎizhàng 百丈), went to VN 820 Kiến Sơ temple at Phù Đổng (Bắc Ninh), sitting facing wall. Disciple Cảm Thành, then Thiện Hội…

3- Buddhism under Đinh & Lê (968-1009):

1- Overview: most prosperous period for Buddhism. Ngô Chân Lưu (吳真流) became Buddhist Pope Khuông Việt (匡越 933-1011). During Lê, appropiation of Đại Tạng Kinh (Tripitaka) from China.

2- Khuông Việt Supreme Master: 4th patriarch of Vô Ngôn Thông, disciple of Vân Phong, stayed at Phật Đà temple. At 40 yo, summoned by Đinh Tiên Hoàng, bestowed Pope title; next year, granted Khuông Việt Supreme Master title. Under Lê, he was also respected, died after transmission to Đa Bảo.

3- Đỗ Thuận: unknown origin, disciple of Long Thọ Phù Tŕ, called Master Đỗ by king Lê Đại Hành, was his advisor. Died at 76 yo, he was the 10th patriarch of Vinitaruci branch.

4- General Observation: Buddhism under Đinh & Lê was prosperous because the monks were learned scholars (to read sutras) as well as virtuous, respected by all.

4- Buddhism under Lư dynasty (1010-1225):

1- Under Lư Thái Tổ:

1- Buddhism under his reign: born Lư Công Uẩn, adopted by monk Lư Khánh Vân from Cổ Pháp temple, studied with Vạn Hạnh monk. Being Buddhist, he favored Buddhism, sent emissaries to China for sutras. Most notable monks: Vạn Hạnh, Đa Bảo, Sùng Phạm, all belonged to Vinitaruci & Vô Ngôn Thông branches.

2- Vạn Hạnh master: family name Nguyễn, from Cổ Pháp village, took vows of monkhood at 20 yo with Thiền Ông, of Vinitaruci lineage, specialized in Dharani Samadhi. His poems were taken as predictions. He died in 1018 without disease.

2- Under Lư Thái Tôn (1028-1054):

1- Buddhism under his reign: fervent Buddhist, he built 95 temples, received Tripitaka from Sung emissaries, studied with Thiền Lăo, calling himself disciple of 7th generation of Vô Ngôn Thông. Many renowed masters: Huệ Linh, Định Lương, Thiền Lăo…

2- Huệ Linh master: born Lâm Khu from Đông Phù Liệt (Hà Đông), fluenced in both Buddhism & Confucianism. At 70 yo, learned with Định Huệ master, then practiced Thiền, called “living Buddha” by the public. Advised to king & officials. Died 1063.

3- Thiền Lăo master: disciple of Đa Bảo, stayed at Trùng Minh temple in Tiên Du. Later, stayed at Từ Sơn, taught thousands of disciples.

3- Under Lư Thánh Tôn (1054-1075):

1- Buddhism under his reign: fervent Buddhist, changed country name to Đại Việt, built temple with a 12,000 lbs bronze bell at Báo Thiên (Hà Nội). Thảo Đường branch started under him, which was the 3rd Thiền branch in Viet Nam.

2- Thảo Đường branch: Thảo Đường was a Chinese monk, disciple of Tuyết Đậu (xuěḍu 雪竇 980-1052), went to Champa, was taken prisoner by VN soldiers. Allowed to start the Thảo Đường branch.

4- Under Lư Nhân Tôn (1072-1127):

1- Buddhism under his reign: also a fervent Buddhist, he appointed Khô Đầu master as National Teacher. The queen was also active in supporting, building more tham 100 temples. There were great masters like Viên Chiếu, Ngộ Ân authoring many books.

2- Viên Chiếu master: born Mai Trực from Long Đàm, nephew of Thái Tôn queen. Disciple of Định Hương; later went to stay at a temple in east bank of Thăng Long, taught many people. Died in 1090 at 92 yo.

5- Under Lư Thần Tôn (1128-1138): nephew of Lư Nhân Tôn (without descendant), he was sick, cured by Minh Không so appointed him National Teacher and built Linh Cảm temple. There were many renowed monks like Minh Không, Thông Biện, Bảo Giám, and especially Diệu Nhân nun, disciple of Chân Không master, being first nun of Vinitaruci lineage.

6- Under the latter kings:

1- Lư Anh Tôn (1138-1175): disciple of Thảo Đường lineage. Most renowed monks: Trí Thuyền, Am Trí, Bảo Giám, and Viên Thông who was appointed National Teacher in 1143.

2- Lư Cao Tôn (1176-1210): enthroned at 3 yo, controlled by Hồ Hiến Hành. He studied with Trương Tam Tạng master of Thảo Đường lineage. In decadence with political power.

3- Lư Huệ Tôn (1211-1226): usurped by Trần Thủ Độ, abdicated to 7 yo daughter Lư Chiêu Hoàng for monkhood at Chân Giáo temple in 1224 calling himself Huệ Quang master; forced to suicide by hanging in 1226.

7- General View of Buddhism under Lư dynasty:

If Buddhism had the most prosperous time during the Tang dynasty in China, it also had the same under Lư dynasty in Viet Nam. For more than 200 years, Buddhism had the utmost position in every aspects: moral, literature, politic due to support from government & presence of great monks.

 

 

Fifth Course

(Khóa Thứ Năm)

The History of Buddhism & The Buddhist Schools

(Lịch Sử và Các Tông Phái Phật Giáo)

Lesson 4

History of Buddhism in Vietnam, part 2 (Lịch Sử Phật Giáo Việt Nam, phần 2)

  Lesson 4: History of Buddhism in Viet Nam, from Trần to Nguyễn dynasty, explained by Minh-Quang Nguyễn Lê Đức on Sunday May 18, 2008, at 10am, at Chùa Hải-Đức, Jacksonville, Florida. mp3 stereo, 23MB, 50 min.

 

Summary

 

 

5- Buddhism under Trần dynasty (1225-1400):

1- Overview of Buddhism during Trần dynasty: Inheriting advances under Lư dynasty, the first Trần kings, being learned & practicing Buddhists, helped further development of Buddhism during first 50 so years, then stopped & pushed back, 2 reasons: 1- competition of Confucianists & resulting laicization of Buddhists. 2- decadence due to esotericism & formation of monk-soldier during Phế Đế (1381).

2- Most influential Trần kings in Buddhist propagation:

1- Trần Thái Tôn (1225-1258): born Trần Cảnh, fervent Buddhist, built temples, wrote some books, esp Thiền Tông Chỉ Nam (Vade Maecum for Dhyana) & Khóa Hư Lục (Instruction on Emptiness).

2- Trần Nhân Tôn (1278-1293): 3rd Trần king, abdicated after defeating Mongols, went to Yên Tử mountain, founder of Trúc Lâm school, built temples, gave Dharma talks & medicine, trasmitted to Pháp Loa, died at Ngọc Vân temple.

3- Trần Anh Tôn (1293-1314): 4th Trần king, disciple of Pháp Loa, fervent Buddhist like his father, brought Tripitaka from China, organized ceremonies & food distribution.

3- Trúc Lâm Yên Tử & its monks:

1- Tuệ Trung Thượng Sĩ: born Trần Quốc Toản, son of Hưng Đạo Vương Trần Quốc Tuấn, fought against Mongols, then retired as disciple of Tiêu Giáo, last patriarch of Vô Ngôn Thông. Respected by Thánh Tôn who entrusted Nhân Tôn to him.

2- Trần Nhân Tôn, 1st patriarch of Trúc Lâm, aka Điều Ngự Giác Hoàng.

3- Pháp Loa master: 2nd patriarch, from Hải Dương. At 21, met Nhân Tôn, became disciple. At 25, gave talk at Siêu Loại temple, then was bestowed Yên Tử temple & its sangha. Built 1,300 statues, 5 stupas, 200 monasteries, certified 15,000 monks, wrote 2 books.

4- Huyền Quang master: 3rd patriarch, born in Bắc Giang, ugly, but smart, became official through exam; retired, became disciple of Pháp Loa; gave talks, built temples.

6- Buddhism under Hồ (1400-1407) & Later Lê (1428-1527) dynasties: darkest period of VN Buddhism due to progressive decline from last Trần kings throught later Lê. After short reign of Hồ, the Chinese Minh invaded, destroyed books & temples, promoted Taoism, esoteric Buddhism & Confucianism, which were picked up during later Lê.

7- Buddhism during the North & South division (1528-1802): later Lê queen Chiêu Hoàng was usurped by Mạc family. The Lê ran South for protection of Trịnh overlords who chased Nguyễn overlords further South. When relatively settled, these overlords both took Buddhism as official religion & competed for monks & building new temples. In the meantime, China was also in turmoil, many monks left & came settle in VN.

1- Buddhism under Trịnh overlords:

Under Lê Thế tôn (1573-1599), Chinese monk Thông Giác Thuỷ Nguyệt (1636-1704) learned from Nhất Cú Tri Giáo transmitted Tào Động (cáo-ḍng 曹洞) school to Ḥe Nhai temple. Under Lê Hy Tôn (1676-1705), Chinese monks Lâm Giác & Nguyệt Quang transmitted the Lâm Tế (ínj́ 臨濟) to Liên Phái & Kiến An.

Trịnh overlords also requested Chinese Tripitaka, built temples, also welcomed Hương Hải master who was big master in Southern Nguyễn overlord country but left for North due to Nguyễn suspicion.

2- Buddhism under Nguyễn overlords:

Fervent Buddhists, Nguyễn overlords favored Buddhist monks, built temples, statues. Many monks were welcomed, especially Chinese.

Nguyên Thiều master, born in Quảng Đông (Canton), took vows at 19 yo, practiced at Bảo Tự temple. In 1665, arrived in B́nh Định, built Thập Tháp Di Đà temple, taught disciples, then went to Thuận Hóa building Hà Trung temple, and Huế building Quốc Ân temple. By order of Nguyễn Phúc Tráng (1687-1691), he returned to Canton, brought back Thạch Liêm masters & other monks, many sutras, statues, instruments…

Liễu Quán master, named Lê, from Phú Yên, was orphan of mother at 6 yo, given as disciple of Chinese monk Tế Viên. 7 yrs later, his master died, he went to Bảo Quốc temple in Huế, learned with Chinese Giác Phong master, then Thạch Liêm master. He participated in many precepts platforms, laterly came to Thiên Thai, built Thiền Tôn temple to practice. He died in 1742.

7- Buddhism during the first Nguyễn kings.

During the Tây Sơn, although the kings had reunited the country, they have destroyed many temples, burned sutras, melted statues & bells making weapons.

The first Nguyễn kings tried to revive some temples, but Buddhist influence in the mass has eroded under the invasion of occidental civilization and decadence of monkhood by materialism. Master Thích Mật Thể wrote: “The Sangha in the North still kept relatively the order & precepts; while in the Center many monks got married openly; and the South was worse… most monks only longed for fame, asking for certifications, knowing only to pray, to write amulets, to be servants to officials, wealthy families. Another type was the ones who got detached from society, enjoyed pastime calling it deliverance… So, the temples in the country became individual families, holding nothing of religious communion…” 

C- Conclusion: Buddhism has been present in Viet Nam nearly twenty centuries. During this time, it had rises and falls, mostly parallel to the country. It also stimulated the growth of intelligent & virtuous rulers, and inevitably sank the ruthless & inhuman ones.

Thus, virtuous & tolerant rulers are a blessing for the country.

 

Fifth Course

(Khóa Thứ Năm)

The History of Buddhism & The Buddhist Schools

(Lịch Sử và Các Tông Phái Phật Giáo)

History of Buddhism (Lịch Sử Phật Giáo)

Lesson 5

Buddhist Revival Movement

Lesson 5: Buddhist Revival Movement, explained by Minh-Quang Nguyễn Lê Đức on Sunday June 1, 2008, at 10am, at Chùa Hải-Đức, Jacksonville, Florida. mp3 stereo, 29MB, 1hr 3 min.

 

Summary

A- Introduction: In 18th & 19th cent., Buddhist practice, esp in Asia, fell in decadence, withering out in contact with Occidental civilizations. Asian countries neglected spiritual heritage for the benefit of material wealth. After a while, Asians found flaws in Occidental civilizations, returned to study their own heritage, starting an universal revival movement

B- Main Subject:

1- Revival Movement in India & Surrounding Countries:

1- Indian Buddhism: birth place of Buddhism, India shone only until 10th cent, CE, leaving place to Islam & Hinduism. In 18th cent., English occupants & Indian scholars revived Buddhism by exploring further. Rājendralāla Mitra wrote "Sanskrit Buddhist Literature in Nepal" basing on 144 Nepalese sutras. In 1890, Sarat Chandra Das published "Journey to Lhasa & Central Tibet" after being kept secret, and a Tibetan-English Dictionary. Anagarica Dharmapala founded the mahabodhi Society in 1891.

2- Burmese Buddhism: Buddhism is national religion in Myanmar. Government built numerous Buddhist Institutes, organized many conventions, esp the 1954 6th Council with more than 2,500 monks from all nations to rectify the Pali canon.

3- Ceylanese Buddhism: Buddhists are majority. In 1950, Colombo organized the 1st meeting of World Buddhist Fellowship Organization with 26 contries member, adopting the Buddhist flag & the Vesak, under Malalasekera.

4- Thai Buddhism: like Myanmar, Buddhism is national religion of Thais, who has more than 200,000 monks (no nun) in 20,000 temples. Government promotes research and study/practice for farang (foreigners).

5- Cambodian Buddhism: like Thailand, Buddhism is also national religion of Khmers, who have custom to enter temples for a while before becoming mature. Cambodia also organized 6th World Buddhist Fellowship Convention.

2- Revival Movement in China & Surrounding Countries:

1- Chinese Buddhism: during Qing dynasty, Buddhism has decayed by superstitions; monks & Buddhists were regarded as cultists, dangerous to national existence. Influence of Occidental civilizations arised a national antisuperstition movement which wiped out many temples & their monks. After the democratic revolution of 1912, Buddhist study & practice resurfaced without superstition & with more nationalist feelings. Buddhist Institutes & magazines developed, dharma talks became regular meetings.

2- Japanese Buddhism: having a long history, Buddhism was omniscient in Japan, developed its own schools (Nichiren & Soka Gakkai), while expounding others (Zen). Recently, it suffered from manipulation by government, forcing marriage to monks, making Shinto national religion while spreading their idea of Great Orient.

3- Korean Buddhism: having a longer history than Japanese, Korean Buddhism had seen glorious days, printed Korean Tripitaka, built many ancient temples. In 20th century, Buddhism suffered hardest blow in Asia: Korean Buddhism has sustained Japanese invasion which forced many Buddhist monks to disavow by marrying & appointed their head monks; then after the war, communist North eradicated Buddhism as reactionary, while capitalist South suffered from internal division between married (owning temples) and true (poor) monks, as well as aggressive proselytization by Christians.

3- Diffusion of Buddhism in the World: after research/study of Buddhism for political & religious reasons, many scholars started to ponder on that ancient religion of Buddhism, then embraced at last (Olcott, Blavatsky, Rhys-Davis…). Many Europeans became ordained (Nanamoli, Bodhi Bikkhu, Kornfield, Robert Aitken, Tenzin Palmo, John Loori…) spreading Buddhism back in their countries. Presence of Occidental Buddhists in every international Buddhist convention. Adaptation into vegetarianism, veganism, New Age, holistic view…

4- International Buddhist Conventions: tentation of unification.

After 1950 Colombo Convention, many follow through conventions have been organized: 1952 in Tokyo (unification), 1954 in Rangoon (Council on Pali canon), 1956 in Kathmandu (Buddhist civilization), 1958 in Bangkok (review of Organization by-laws), 1961 in Phnom Penh (establish an Asian Buddhist Institute)…

Tentation of unification stumbled due to nature of Buddhism which was individual enlightenment, favoring multiplicity of practice and utmost freedom.

Conventions became more regional while multiplying to great extense.

5- Revival Movement in Viet Nam: although rooted long before independence, Buddhism in Viet Nam has also suffered discrimination & proselytization after French occupation.

Revival started in 1920 with support from nationalistic officials to organize Buddhist Institutes; then the Buddhist organizations were allowed to form in all 3 regions, which published different magazines. It was cut short by the wars.

On May 6, 1951, 51 delegates from 6 main organizations met at Từ Đàm temple (Huế) to form The General Association of Vietnamese Buddhism (Tổng Hội Phật Giáo Việt Nam).

In 1954, communist North closed down most temples, drafted monks; Buddhism in the South was more developed, built temples, printed sutras, even got involved in political turmoil.

C- Conclusion: after 25 centuries, Buddha’s teachings still shine everywhere in the world, without coercion, with full respect for individual intelligence & freedom, not found in any other organized religion. No wonder it will keep on shining, further & further, as a source for consolation & compassion indispensable to this world.

 

Fifth Course

(Khóa Thứ Năm)

The History of Buddhism & The Buddhist Schools

(Lịch Sử và Các Tông Phái Phật Giáo)

Schools of Buddhism (Các Tông Phái Phật Giáo)

Lesson 6

Vinaya School, Pure Land, Zen (Luật tông, Tịnh Độ tông, Thiền tông)

 

Lesson 6: Buddhist Schools: Vinaya, Pure Land, Zen, explained by Minh-Quang Nguyễn Lê Đức on Sunday June 8, 2008, at 10am, at Chùa Hải-Đức, Jacksonville, Florida. mp3 stereo, 27MB, 59 min.

Summary

 

With development, Buddhism divided in different schools, with characteristics with dharma.

In China, 10 large schools: Hinayana (Kosa Câu Xá, Satyasiddhi Thành Thật), Mahayana (Pure Land Tịnh Độ, Yogacara Pháp Tướng, Mantrayana Mật, Tiantai Thiên Thai, Avatamsaka Hoa Nghiêm, Madhyamika Tam Luận), both (Vinaya Luật, Zen Thiền).   

1- Vinaya School: rather basics for practice, not real school.

1- Formation of School: based on Vinaya (Precepts basket), recited by Upali 80 times. Development into Dharmaguptaka vinaya (luật Tứ Phần) 250/348 rules in China, Japan, Korea, Viet Nam,  Mūlasarvāstivāda vinaya (luật Thập Tụng) 253/364 rules in Tibet, Mongolia, Mahisasaka vinaya (luật Ngũ Phần), Mahasāmghika vinaya (luật Tăng Kỳ) 227/311 in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Camodia, Laos.

2- Characteristics: collection of precepts vowed to be kept by practitioners, prevention of ill doing, helping settling mind, beneficial to all.

3- Types of Precepts: hinayana for self deliverance (95, 8, 10, 250, 348), mahayana for helping sentient beings (Bodhisattva). Prohibition (chỉ tŕ) to stop evil, eg killing/stealing… , encouragement (tác tŕ) to promote good, eg practice/retreat…

4- Definitions: name danh (of each precept), type chủng (group of precepts), nature tánh (natural avoidance), appearance tướng (action). Permission khai, prohibition giá, compliance tŕ, infraction phạm. Natural evil tánh tội (by nature: killing, stealing…), conditioned evil giá tội (from learning).

5- Conclusion: not a school by itself, vinaya is basis for practice of all Buddhists. 

 

2- Pure Land School: Mahayana, easy.

1- Formation of School: based on Amitābha sūtra (kinh A Di Đà), Sukhāvatī-vyūha sūtra (kinh Vô Lượng Thọ), Amitāyurdhyāna sūtra (kinh Quán Vô Lượng Thọ), Pratyutpāsamādhi sūtra (kinh Bát Chu Tam Muội). First Chinese patriarch Huệ Viễn (慧遠), 334~416.

2- Four Pure Lands:

- Realm of eternal rest & light (Thường Tịch Quang Tịnh Độ), abode of Buddhas.

- Realm of real incarnated adornment (Thật Báo Trang Nghiêm Tịnh Độ) of Bodhisattvas.

- Realm of expedient liberation (Phương Tiện Hữu Dư Tịnh Độ) of arhats.

- Realm of commoners & saints cohabitation (Phàm Thánh Đồng Cư Tịnh Độ) of Amita. This is the Western Paradise of most Pure Land practitioners.

3- Three Indispensable Elements to Get Reborn in Pure Land:

- Faith (tín), in Buddha, Dharma, self deliverance.

- Vow (nguyện), to be reborn in Amita’s Pure Land.

- Action (hành), to practice Buddha contemplation by recitation or meditation.

4- Methods of Practice:

- Name recitation (tŕ danh niệm Phật), saying Amita name, vowing to pass to Sukhavati.

- Meditation recitation (tham cứu niệm Phật), meditating on come/go of recitation.

- Observation of Buddha (quán tướng niệm Phật), observing good characters of Buddha.

- Meditation on Buddha (quán tưởng niệm Phật), seeing Amita Buddha standing in front.

- Realization recitation (thật tướng niệm Phật), realizing true nature.

5- Benefits of Recitation Practice:

- avoid troubles by concentrating on name recitation.

- avoid evil thinking by concentrating on name recitation.

- avoid most diseases by calming nerves, regulating breathing.

- increase intelligence with concentration. Be reborn in Western Paradise.

6- Conclusion: if found good, start to practice right away.

 

3- Zen school:

1- Introduction: based on meditation, from dhyana, both mahayanist & hinayanist. Practiced by Buddha himself. Different methods of meditation (compassion, impurity, causation, breathing, no self, koan …)

2- Types of Meditation:

- non-Buddhist meditation (ngoại đạo thiền), to get miracles, supernatural power, hypnosis, regulating chi, becoming immortal, controlling animals/beings…

- commoner meditation (phàm phu thiền), not transcending 3 realms.

- hinayanist meditation (nhị thừa thiền), for arhat & pratyekabuddha, transcend 3 realms, but progressive, slow, through meditation of five mind steadfasting observation (ngũ đ́nh tâm quán), of nine imaginations (cửu tưởng quán), of four immeasurable minds (tứ vô lượng tâm), of sixteen supreme methods (thập lục đặc thắng), of six wonderful methods (lục diệu pháp môn)

- mahayanist meditation (đại thừa thiền), 2 large groups:

- Buddha meditation (Như Lai thiền), taught from sutras, usually called samadhi (tam muội): Surangama, Lotus, Recitation, Pratyutpa…

- Patriarch meditation (tổ sư thiền), transmitting from teacher to student through mind seal (tâm ấn) by use of koan or unusual behavior. Lineage from India. Bodhidharma. Five houses: lin-chi (臨濟 Lâm Tế), guī-yǎng (Quy Ngưỡng, combining guīshān 潙山 Quy Sơn & yǎngshān 仰山 Ngưỡng Sơn), cáo-ḍng (Tào Động, combining ḍngshān 洞山Động Sơn & cáoshān 曹山 Tào Sơn), yúnmén (雲門 Vân Môn), fǎyǎn (法眼 Pháp Nhăn). In VietNam: Vinitarucci, Vô Ngôn, Thảo Đường, Trúc Lâm, Lâm Tế, Liễu Quán.

3- Sutras in Use:

Lankaravata, Surangama, Complete Enlightenment, Platform, Diamond…

Collections: Blue Cliff Records, Gateless Gate, Book of Serenity…

 

 

Fifth Course

(Khóa Thứ Năm)

The History of Buddhism & The Buddhist Schools

(Lịch Sử và Các Tông Phái Phật Giáo)

Schools of Buddhism (Các Tông Phái Phật Giáo)

Lesson 7

Yogacara School, Mantrayana, Tiantai (Duy Thức tông, Mật tông, Thiên Thai tông)

 

Summary

 

4- Yogacara School: Mahayana.

1- Formation of School: self & dharmas were taken as real, hence karma was produced, leading to unending metempsychosis. Once realized self/dharmas not real, only produced by consciousness, returning chain is broken. Yogacara Du Già (self concentration) or Dharmalaksana Pháp Tướng (characteristics of dharma) or Ideation-only Duy Thức is the practical solution.

2- Definitions: study of appearances & characteristics of consciousness (psyche, mind), which creates all dharmas..

3- Sources of Yogacara: sutras: Sandhinirmocana (Giải Thâm Mật), Avatamsaka (Hoa Nghiêm), Surangama (Lăng Nghiêm), Pacala (Mật Nghiêm)… sastras: Yogacarabhumi (Du Già Sư Địa), Abidharma (A Tỳ Đạt Ma), Mahayana-samparigraha (Nhiếp Đại Thừa)… Founder Maitreya transmitted Yogacarabhumi to Asanga. Younger brother Vasubandhu systematized school as Vijnaptimatra (mere consciousness) producing existence of outer world. Xuanzang (Huyền Trang) brought to China.

4- Characteristics: universe produced by consciousness, hence self & universe not real. Realizing that, self & universe are but a dream, can be eliminated for true nature.

5- Components of Realm of Phenomena: 100 in 5 groups: 8 Mind (Tâm pháp), 51 Mental functions (Tâm sở hữu pháp), 11 Form elements (Sắc pháp), 24 Things not associated with mind (Tâm bất tương ưng hành pháp), Non-created elements (Vô vi pháp).

6- Method of Practice: aims at realizing everything coming from mind. 5 stages of meditations (ngũ trùng duy thức quán): eliminate fake keeping real (khiển hư tồn thật), eliminate contaminated keeping pure (xả lạm lưu thuần), bring tip to base (nhiếp mạt quy bổn), hide weak showing strong (ẩn liệt hiển thắng), leave appearance realizing nature (khiển tướng chứng tánh). Easiest & most practical: meditate on the inner self.

7- Consequences of Practice: Perfecting wisdom (Thành sở tác trí) from sense organs, Wonderful contemplation wisdom (Diệu quan sát trí) from consciousness, Equality wisdom (B́nh đẳng tánh trí) from self consciousness, Great perfect mirror wisdom (Đại viên cảnh trí) from store consciousness. Also Basic wisdom (Căn bản trí) & Acquired/Discriminating wisdom (Hậu đắc trí).

8- Benefits of Practice: know self, know government of self, diligence, reliance.

 

5- Mantrayana School: also Vajrayāna (Diamond vehicle). Mahayana.

1- Formation of School: secret teachings from Vairocana Buddha, who is Dharmakaya (Pháp thân Phật) transmitted to Vajra Bodhisattva, then to Nāgārjuna (Long Thọ), then to Nāgabodhi (Long Trí), then to Śubhakara (Thiện Vô Úy), then to Vajrabodhi (Kim Cương Trí). Based on Mahavairocana sutra (kinh Đại Nhật) & Vajrasekhara sutra (kinh Kim Cương Đảnh)

2- Basic Teaching:

- Six elements (lục đại) are basis of universe: earth, water, fire, wind, void, mind.

- Four mandalas (tứ mạn trà la), Four large appearances from nature of six elements: Mahamandala (đại mạn trà la, body of all beings from 10 realms), Samyamandala (tam muội da mạn trà la, peculiar characteristics of each dharma), Dharmamandala (pháp mạn trà la, all sound, voice, image, name, sign in universe), Karmamandala (yết ma mạn trà la, actions of all beings). Their existences intertwine.

3- Methods of Practice:

- Practicing three mystics (tam mật gia tŕ): body, voice, mind to reveal hidden Tathagatha.

- Three esoteric means of Yoga (tam mật du già) to dissolve into Vairocana Buddha by association of mudra, mantra & meditation.

4- Results: once realizing 3 means, will act & live like Buddha.

5- Conclusion: can be of benefit for samadhi.

 

6- Tiantai school: also called Lotus school.

1- Formation of School: by Huiwen (Huệ Văn) based on Great Wisdom Treatise, perfected by Zhiyi (Trí Giả) from Tiantai (Thiên thai) mountain, based on Lotus sutra.

2- Basic Teachings:

- “all dharmas only mind”: mind is everything, everything is mind, but not same.

- everything is real with relative (worldly) truth, everything is illusory with absolute truth.

- thus, mind has all aspects: good & bad, pure & impure, Buddha & beings.

- any realm has all 10 classes; so in any realm can we practice & realize Buddhahood.

3- Methods of Practice: according to obstacles, meditation differs:

- Meditation on Void (Không quán): standing on side of absolute truth to observe all dharmas, eliminating delusions of view (kiến hoặc).

- Meditation on Relative Truth (Giả quán): standing on side of relative truth to observe all dharmas, eliminating multitude delusions of thought (tư hoặc).

- Meditation on Middle Way (Trung quán): standing on the middle to observe dharmas, transcending all views, eliminating delusions of ignorance (vô minh hoặc).

Truth, mind & objects are all dependent, can’t exist exclusively.

4- Realizations:

- Six stages of becoming Buddha: all has Buddha nature (lư tức Phật), hear & understand Buddha potential (danh tự tức Phật), act as Buddha taught (quán hạnh tức Phật), approximate Buddhahood (tương tợ tức Phật), partly becoming Buddha (phần chơn tức Phật), eliminate all ignorance & delusions (cứu cánh tức Phật).

- Three wisdoms (tam trí): all knowing (arhat), relative (Bodhisattva), perfect (Buddha).

- Three virtues (tam đức): dharmakaya (void), prajna (relative), deliverance (middle).

 

Fifth Course

(Khóa Thứ Năm)

The History of Buddhism & The Buddhist Schools

(Lịch Sử và Các Tông Phái Phật Giáo)

Schools of Buddhism (Các Tông Phái Phật Giáo)

Lesson 8

Avatamsaka, Madhyamika, Kosa, Satyasiddhi  (Hoa Nghiêm tông, Trung Luận tông, Câu Xá tông, Thành Thật tông)

 

Summary

 

7- Avatamsaka School: also called Hiền Thủ school, Mahayana.

1- Formation of School: based on Avatamsaka sutra, founded by Pháp Thuận, aka Đỗ Thuận (551-640), transmitted to Trí Nghiễm (602-668), then Pháp Tạng aka Hiền Thủ (643-712). Logical continuation of Nirvana school & Dasabhumi [Thập Địa] school (based on Vasubandhu explanation).

2- Bases of Teachings: highest teaching, perfect (viên giáo), one-vehicle. Innumerable universal causation of Dharmadhatu (trùng trùng pháp giới duyên khởi). India Divyāvadānam.

     4 Dharma Realms: Dharma Realm of Phenomena (Sự Pháp giới), Dharma Realm of Principles (Lư Pháp giới), The Dharma Realm of non-obstruction of Principles and Specifics (Lư Sự vô ngại Pháp giới), The Dharma Realm of non-obstruction of Phenomena and Phenomena (Sự Sự vô ngại Pháp giới).

      6 Characteristics: Univeral (Tổng tướng), Special (Biệt tướng), Similar (Đồng tướng), Diverse (Dị tướng), Integral (Thành tướng), Differential (Hoại tướng)

10 Profound Theories (Mười Huyền Môn): theory of co-relation (Đồng Thời Cụ Túc Tương Ưng Môn), theory of perfect freedom (Quảng Hiệp Tự Tại Vô Ngại Môn), theory of mutual penetration of dissimilar things (Nhất Đa Tương Dung Bất Đồng Môn), theory of freedom from ultimate disctinctions (Chư Pháp Tương Tức Tự Tại Môn), theory of complementarity (Ẩn Mật Hiển Liễu Câu Thành Môn), theory of construction by mutual penetration of minute and obscure matters (Vi Tế Tương Dung An Lập Môn), theory of inter-reflection as the Indra net (Nhân Đà La Vơng Cảnh Giới Môn), theory of elucidating the truth by factual illustrations (Thác Sự Hiển Pháp Sinh Giải Môn), theory of variously completing ten time-periods creating one entity (Thập Thế Cách Pháp Dị Thành Môn), theory of completion of virtues (Duy Tâm Hồi Chuyển Thiện Thành Môn).

3- Method of Practice: 3 methods of meditation on Dharmadhatu:

- meditation on emptiness, based on Realm of Principles, eradicating false views, seeing true nature.

- meditation on non-obstruction of Principles and Specifics, seeing true nature through illusory forms.

- meditation of pervasive inclusiveness, by non-obstruction of Phenomena and Phenomena.

4- Consequences of Practice: realizing that deliverance does not transcend worldly phenomenas, ie can’t get deliverance out of this world. Deliverance is here and now.

5- Conclusion: very high & difficult school, need lot of learning, but very rewarding.

 

8- Madhyamika School: also known as Three Treatises (三論Tam Luận) school)

1- Formation of School: created by Nāgārjuna & Āryadeva, called Mahayanistic Negativism, dialectical negation refuting affirmative views, developed in China through translations by Kumarajiva of Three Treatises: madhyamaka-kārikā (中觀論Contemplation on Middle), dvādaśanikāya-śāstra (十二門論Twelve Gates) & śata-śāstra (百論One Hundred).

2- Bases of Teachings: refuting all affirmations (clinging, positivism) from:

- Heretics, no causation, creativism…

- Hinayanists of Kosa school, saying no self but dharmas exist.

- Hinayanists of Satyasiddhi school, saying no self nor dharmas, and that no is real.

- Mahayanists, clinging to either no, yes, middle.

Based on the Eight Negations (八不中道  Bát Bất Trung Đạo):

- neither birth nor death (bất sanh bất diệt).

- neither permanence nor end (bất thường bất đoạn).

- neither identity nor difference (bất nhất bất dị).

- neither coming nor going (bất lai bất xuất).

3- Three Periods of Teaching: according to this school, Buddha taught in 3 periods:

- first period, at Deer Park, Buddha taught Hinayana, saying mind & dharmas are real, based on dependent origination.

- second period, Buddha taught Mahayana, showing falseness of dependent origination with Yogacara, saying dharmas are not real but mind is.

- third period, Buddha taught Ekayana, saying both dharmas and mind are not real.

4- Methods of Practice: meditation on the Eight Negations, through all four pairs, each through 5 propositions: real … real, no … nor …, falsely … falsely …, falsely no … falsely no, not … nor not no … The last 3 propositions usually called Three Middle.

5- Consequences of Practice: In Absolute Truth: none, since ignorance & enlightenment are void, sentient beings already Buddhas. In Relative Truth: 52 stages (10 Faith, 10 Dwellings, 10 Practices, 10 dedications, 10 Grounds, samyak-sambodhi, profound enlightenment).

6- Conclusion: using destruction to build up, esp all attachments. The road to enlightenment is not different from daily road, only without shadows & unreal obstacles.

 

9- Kosa School: Hinayana.

1- Formation of School: from Abhidharmakośa-śāstra (達磨舍論 A Tỳ Đạt Ma Câu Xá Luận) by Vasubandhu in Kashmir, 5th century CE. Brought to China by Xuanzang (玄奘 Huyền Trang), died out after 9th century.

2- Bases of Teachings: believes in no self but dharmas exist. Universe is viewed as 73 created dharmas, phenomenas, born & dead, transforming, and 3 uncreated dharmas, unborn, not dead, non transforming:

- 11 rupani (forms, sắc pháp): eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, form, sound, smell, taste, touch, no manifestation (vô biểu sắc).

- 1 citta (consciousness, tâm pháp).

- 46 citta-samprayukta-sanskara (concomitant mental functions, tâm sở pháp):

- perception, idea, will, touch, wish, intellect, remembrance, attention, decision, concentration.

- belief, energy, indifference, shame, bashfulness, non-greediness, non-malevolence, non-injury, confidence, exertion.

- ignorance, idleness, indolence, non-belief, somnolence, hyperactivity.

- shamelessness, non-bashfulness.

- anger, enmity, concealment, affliction, envy, parsimony, fraudulence, deceit, injury, arrogance.

- repentance, drowsiness, reflection, investigation, greediness, anger, conceit, doubt.

- 14 citta-viprayukta-sanskara (neither form nor function, tâm bất tương ưng hành pháp): acquisition, non-acquisition, communionship, fruit of thoughtless heaven, thoughtless concentration, annihilation concentration, life, birth, stability, decay, impermanence, name, sentence, letter.

- 3 asankrta-dharma (non created elements, vô vi pháp): space, extinction through intellectual power, extinction due to lack of productive cause.

Three Realms: desire, form, formless.

Beings reincarnate due to delusion, creating karmas (actions). Basic delusions: greed, anger, ignorance, conceit, doubt, false view. 10 wholesome actions (killing, stealing, fornication, lying, bragging, double tongue, cussing, greediness, anger, ignorance), 10 evil actions.

3- Methods of Practice:  4 noble truths, 12 causations.

4- Consequences of Practice:

- 4 fruits: stream enterer (srotāpanna), once returner (sakrdagamin), non returner (anagami), saint (arahant), if practicing 4 noble truths.

- pratyekabuddha if practicing 12 dependent originations.

5- Conclusion: very representative of Hinayanist school, good for self enlightenment, but not appealing for Mahayahist countries.

 

10- Satyasiddhi School: Hinayana.

1- Formation of School: based on satyasiddhiśāstra by Harivarman, 4th century CE, translated by Kumārajiva (16 books, 202 chapters), itself originating from Indian school of Sutra studying (sautrāntika).

2- Bases of Teachings: believes no self nor dharmas really exist.

Worldy Door (Worldly Truth) considers both self & dharmas exist.

First Meaning Door (Absolute Truth) considers both self & dharmas falsely exist.

Why can universe sprout out fron nothingness? Because of ignorance, ie nature is void, no self, no dharma, then klesas breed discrimination, agitation, thus appearing universe.

Satyasiddhi school divides universe & self into 84 dharmas:

- 14 rupani (forms, sắc pháp): eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, form, sound, smell, taste, touch, earth, water, fire, wind.

- 1 citta (consciousness, tâm pháp).

- 49 citta-samprayukta-sanskara (concomitant mental functions, tâm sở pháp): as 46 in Kosa school, plus happiness, boredom, and drowsiness is divided in drowsiness and sleep.

- 17 citta-viprayukta-sanskara (neither form nor function, tâm bất tương ưng hành pháp): same as 14 in Kosa school, but merging life & communionship together, and add 4: old age, death, commoner, no manifestation (this last one moved from Kosa rupani).

- 3 asankrta-dharma (non created elements, vô vi pháp) as in Kosa.

3- Methods of Practice:

- meditation on no self, meditation on no dharmas. Inclines to nothingness.

- 3 minds & truth of extinction: false name mind to see no self, dharma mind to see no dharma, no mind to transcend the annihilation attained to True Nothingness (aka extinction).

4- Consequences of Practice: asin Kosa, but divided further into 27 stages: stream enterer (4), once returner (2), non returner (12), arahant aka non learner (9).

5- Conclusion: different from Kosa in both self & dharmas are unreal, otherwise same as Hinayanist Kosa. Emphasizes on Sutras studying to clarify doubts.

 

Fifth Course

(Khóa Thứ Năm)

The History of Buddhism & The Buddhist Schools

(Lịch Sử và Các Tông Phái Phật Giáo)

General Buddhism  (Phật Giáo tổng quan)

Lesson 9

Buddhist View of the World

 

Summary

 

A- Introduction.

“Where does the world come from?” is the most enigmatic question for humanity. Philosophers think it comes from water, air, heat, or four elements. Religious think it was created by Brahma, Jade Emperor, God … What is the Buddhist answer?

 

B- Main Subject.

1- The First Cause.  Buddhists do not believe in a sole creator, instead from causation, without a beginning. Reasons people believe in a First Cause: limitation of view (inference), limited causation (from nothing to existence). Answers of Buddhists:

- What’s real state of universe? Phenomenalism (Thật tướng luận), the world is immanent in one moment of thought.

- Is the universe large or small? Causation (Duyên khởi luận), expandable.

- Is the universe with or without end? Without.

2- Theory of Phenomenalism.

It explains real nature of universe, ungraspable through language, on the contrary of realm of phenomena.

3- Theory of Causation. It explains cause of existence of realm of phenomena. Different from shallow to deep:

1- Causation by action-influence (nghiệp cảm duyên khởi), of Hinayanists, based on Four Noble Truths & 12 Causations. Karma explains realm of phenomena. From ignorance.

2- Causation by store-consciousness (a lại da duyên khởi), base of phenomena. Mahayanist.

3- Causation by suchness (chân như duyên khởi), mind creates everything. Mahayanist.

4- Causation by six elements (lục đại duyên khởi), 5 rupani + 1 citta. Mantrayanist.

5- Causation by universal principle (pháp giới duyên khởi), Mahayanist, conceives whole universe as mutual causation, not only karma, nor store consciousness, nor even suchness. Thus, universe  is a giant action of phenomena, without beginning nor end.

4- Time & Space of Dharmadhatu: space: unfathomable; time: no beginning nor end.

 

C- Conclusion. Although universe is immense & forever expanding, beings interact & act upon all dharmas, creating causation which can influence further as well as back to causal factors, be it karma, store-consciousness or elements. Thus, universe can be changed to better or worse.

 

Fifth Course

(Khóa Thứ Năm)

The History of Buddhism & The Buddhist Schools

(Lịch Sử và Các Tông Phái Phật Giáo)

General Buddhism  (Phật Giáo tổng quan)

Lesson 10

Buddhist View of the Human Life

 

Summary

 

A- Introduction.

“Where do I come from? What is the meaning of my presence? Where will I go” are the questions forever asked by us & attempted to be answered by religious & philosophers. What is the Buddhist answer?

 

B- Main Subject.

1- Where Does Life Come From?  12 links in chain of Dependent Origination, successively: ignorance (vô minh), volition (hành), consciousness (thức), name & form (danh sắc), six entrances (lục nhập), contact (xúc), perception (thọ), desire (ái), attachment (thủ), becoming (hữu), birth (sanh), old age & death (lăo tử). Cause à Effect, unending.  

2- What Is Human Being? Knowing the origin, now views about human lifeform, different:

1- Human vehicle (nhân thừa), incarnation by volition. Body is transient, temporary; use it to accumulate good karma through observing 5 precepts.

2- Deva vehicle (thiên thừa), to become deva, we must sow the seeds of devas, cf Sutra of Ten Good Deeds (kinh Thập Thiện Nghiệp).

3- Voice Hearer vehicle (thanh văn thừa), 2 views: impure body (thân bất tịnh), growing & decaying; transient body (thân giả hợp), by combination of elements.

4- Mahayanist vehicle (đại thừa), body is fake, combined of forms & consciousness, unreal; mind conceives everything; body & universe are one, interacting, non distinct.

3- What Is Human Condition?

1- Position of Human in Universe: in realm of Desire, controlled by it, trying to satisfy it.

2- Nature of Impermanence & No-Self of Human: besides suffering from desire, human also suffers from:

- Impermanence: always changing, decaying, dragging to destruction despite fear of death.

- No Self: like anything, human exists by condition, disappears by disintegration.

3- Power of Human: so pathetic, human has nonetheless power to become Buddha, enlightened. Human may be suffering or happy entirely by self.

 

C- Conclusion. With ignorance, the human condition is pathetic; but once realizing that ignorance, human can transform condition & life. Realization happens through Buddha’s teaching. With practice, human may reverse this Saha world into the Buddha’s land.

 

 

 

       Minh-Quang posted July 4, 2008

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