Avatamsaka Sutra

the way of great Compassion
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Nicholas
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Avatamsaka Sutra

Post by Nicholas » Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:21 pm

One of the most profound, influential and longest of sutras. Cleary's version is still the only full version in English, although BDK has one in the works; when it will be out...??
Good, good! Those without the faculty
of faith, those who are weary or sluggish in mind, those who have not
accumulated efforts, those whose vigor recedes, those who are satisfied with
meager virtues, those imbued with only one root of goodness, those
unskilled in carrying out practical vows, those who are not in the care of
spiritual benefactors, those who are not minded by the buddhas, cannot
know this true nature, this principle, this sphere, this abode - they are
unable to know, to fathom, to penetrate, to believe, to conceive, to know
exactly, or to attain.
Manjushri Mahasattva praises aspiring bodhisattva Sudhana in chapter 39; Cleary page 1502.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- Buddha

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Re: Avatamsaka Sutra

Post by DNS » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:08 pm

A wikipedia summary of some of the teachings:

The sutra, among the longest in the Buddhist canon, is a compilation of disparate texts on various topics such as the Bodhisattva path, the interpenetration of phenomena (dharmas), the visionary powers of meditation and the equality of things in emptiness.[15] According to Paul Demiéville, the collection is "characterized by overflowing visionary images, which multiply everything to infinity, by a type of monadology that teaches the interpenetration of the one whole and the particularized many, of spirit and matter" and by "the notion of a gradual progress towards liberation through successive stages and an obsessive preference for images of light and radiance."[16] Likewise, Alan Fox has described the sutra's worldview as "fractal", "holographic" and "psychedelic".[17]

The East Asian view of the text is that it expresses the universe as seen by a Buddha (the Dharmadhatu), who sees all phenomena as empty and thus infinitely interpenetrating, from the point of view of enlightenment.[18] This interpenetration is described in the Avatamsaka as the perception "that the fields full of assemblies, the beings and aeons which are as many as all the dust particles, are all present in every particle of dust."[19] Thus, a Buddhas view of reality is also said to be "inconceivable; no sentient being can fathom it".[20] Paul Williams notes that the sutra speaks of both Yogacara and Madhyamaka doctrines, stating that all things are empty of inherent existence and also of a "pure untainted awareness or consciousness (amalacitta) as the ground of all phenomena".[21] The Avatamsaka sutra also highlights the visionary and mystical power of attaining the spiritual wisdom which sees the nature of the world:

Endless action arises from the mind; from action arises the multifarious world. Having understood that the world's true nature is mind, you display bodies of your own in harmony with the world. Having realized that this world is like a dream, and that all Buddhas are like mere reflections, that all principles [dharma] are like an echo, you move unimpeded in the world (Trans in Gomez, 1967: lxxxi)[22]

:thumbsup:

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Re: Avatamsaka Sutra

Post by Nicholas » Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:31 pm

An Introduction to all the chapters with a little commentary on them; also a bibliography.

http://www.buddhistbooks.info/avatam/bibliography.html
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- Buddha

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Re: Avatamsaka Sutra

Post by Nicholas » Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:26 pm

Praise of this sutra from C C Chang who knew all varieties of Buddhism:
During my thirty-five years of association with Buddhism, I have always
asked this question: "Of all Buddhist Schools-Hinayana,
Mahayana and Tantra alike-which one truly holds the highest teaching
of Buddhism?" The answer is now a clear-cut one: it is the Hwa
Yen School of China. The Hwa Yen School, or Hwa Yen Tsung, was
established in the Tang period, roughly in the 7th and 8th centuries
A.D., by outstanding thinkers such as Tu Shun (557-640) and Fa
Tsang (643-712). The Chinese word Hwa Yen means "the flower decoration"
or "garland," which is originally the name of a voluminous
Mahayana text: The Garland Sūtra (The Gandhavyūha or Avatamsaka
Sūtra)
. Therefore, the teaching of this School is based mainly upon
this text and draws inspiration from it.

What does this scripture say and to whom are its messages addressed?
The Hwa Yen Sūtra has one central concern: to reveal the
Buddha-Realm of Infinity. Its messages are therefore directed to those
who appreciate the awe-inspiring Infinity of Buddhahood revealed in
Buddha's Enlightenment experience, which is described briefly in the
first chapter. There is no other Buddhist scripture, to the best of my
knowledge, that is superior to Hwa Yen in revealing the highest spiritual
inspiration and the most profound mystery of Buddhahood. This
opinion is shared, I believe, by the majority of Chinese and Japanese
Buddhist scholars. It is small wonder that Hwa Yen has been regarded
as the "crown" of all Buddhist teachings, and as representing the consummation
of Buddhist insight and thought.
From Preface to Buddhist Teaching of Totality.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- Buddha

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Re: Avatamsaka Sutra

Post by Nicholas » Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:53 pm

What is a Buddha? Chapter 37 on the Appearance or Manifestation of a Buddha expounds on the body, voice, mind, actions etc. of a buddha. Here is a bit on the body:
Third, Buddha-Sons, the sun rises in Jambudvīpa and benefits all sentient
beings in countless ways, such as dispelling darkness, removing coldness and
wetness, nurturing trees and grass, ripening grains and crops, lighting the open
sky, opening flowers, enabling travelers to see their way, and inhabitants to do
their work. Why? Because the sun emits immeasurable radiance.

Buddha-Sons, likewise a Tathāgata, a wisdom sun, appears in the world and benefits all
sentient beings in countless ways, such as ending their evil to produce good,
changing their stupidity into wisdom, rescuing and protecting them with great
lovingkindness, delivering them with great compassion, expanding their
capacities, strengths, and aspirations for bodhi. He enables them to elicit
profound belief and discard the muddled mind, to see and hear [the Dharma]
without destroying causes and conditions, to acquire the god-eye to see the
places of their births and deaths, to acquire the hindrance-free mind without
damaging their roots of goodness, to develop wisdom and open the flower of
enlightenment, and to activate the bodhi mind to complete all Bodhisattva
actions. Why? Because a Tathāgata’s body is a vast wisdom sun, which emits
immeasurable radiance to illuminate all. Buddha-Sons, this is the third
characteristic of a Tathāgata’s body. In this way a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva
should see His body.
From Rulu's book of translations, Two Holy Grounds, page 216.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- Buddha

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Re: Avatamsaka Sutra

Post by Nicholas » Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:05 pm

The Tathāgata’s wisdom is measureless, unimpeded, and universally able to benefit all beings. It resides in complete abundance within the persons of all beings. It is solely because of all foolish common people’s false conceptions and attachments that they fail to know this, fail to realize this, and fail to acquire its benefits.
Then, the Tathāgata, using his unimpeded pure wisdom eye, universally contemplates all beings throughout the Dharma realm and utters these words: “It is strange. It is strange. It is so strange indeed. How could it be that all of these beings completely possess the Tathāgata’s wisdom, yet, because of their stupidity and delusions, they fail to realize this, even fail to perceive this. I should instruct them in the path of the Sages and cause them to forever abandon false conceptions and attachments. Then they will succeed in seeing that, within their very own persons, they possess vast wisdom of the Tathāgata that is no different from that of the Buddha himself."
Famous passage from chapter 37, the "Manifestation of the Buddha".
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- Buddha

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Re: Avatamsaka Sutra

Post by Nicholas » Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:58 pm

Rulu has just added, from one of her books, an excellent short survey of the Huayan corpus, lineage & teachings:

http://www.sutrasmantras.info/introbook5.html

Also has hot links to Glossary.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- Buddha

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