RE: Mindless quotes
Jan 11, 1999 11:49 AM
by Bazzer (Paul)
As far as one is aware. . . .
Nowhere in "The Secret Doctrine" is Pratyeka Buddha ever mentioned. Not
<<> Pratyekabuddhas are considered higher than Arhats,
> Or, by reverse logic, Arhats are considered lower than Pratyeka Buddhas.
> Yes? Well, no. This is complete nonsense.
> From "The Voice of the Silence".
> Concerning Pratyeka-Buddha (Glossary to Part II):
> "Caring nothing for the woes of mankind or to help it, but only for their
> own *bliss*, they enter Nirvana and - disappear from the sight and hearts
> of men. In Northern Buddhism a 'Pratyeka Buddha' is a synonym of spiritual
> Selfishness" (Glossary to Part II).
> Further, (Glossary to Part III):
> "(32). In the Northern Buddhist phraseology all the great Arhats, Adepts
> and Saints are called Buddhas.
> (33). A *Bodhisattva* is, in the hierarchy, less than a "perfect Buddha."
> In the exoteric parlance these two are very much confused. Yet the innate
> and right popular perception, owing to that self-sacrifice, has placed a
> Bodhisattva higher in its reverence than a Buddha."
> (34). This same popular reverence calls "Buddhas of Compassion" those
> *Bodhisattvas* who, having reached the rank of an Arhat (i.e., have
> completed the *fourth* or *seventh* Path), refuse to pass into
> the Nirvanic
> state or 'don the *Dharmakaya* robe and cross to the other shore,' as it
> would then become beyond their power to assist men even so little as Karma
> permits. . . . . .>>
> Paul! You can quote well, but you have really confused all the
> above terms.
> And your quotes, out of context, actually confuse matters more,
> because you
> haven't read any Buddhism, you only have HPB's scattered
> definitions. You are
> content to parrot HPB word-for-word, and then throw down the
> gauntlet as if
> you've proven your point. Quotes from HPB, however, really only
> prove that
> you own her books and can read them.
> Here's a different, "overview" method, and you will see both the
> skill and the
> idiosyncrasy of HPB. This is my paraphrasing of Buddhist
> definitions, and I
> invite other students of Buddhism to back me up or show that I am wrong:
> (1) Arhats are graduates of the Hinayana (small vehicle) path. They are
> considered "freed from impurities" and thus freed from the wheel
> of rebirth.
> They are free to go on to Nirvana. "Arhat" literally means "one
> who has slain
> the enemies." Arhats are NOT enlightened, not omniscient, only "free."
> (2) Pratyekabuddhas *are* considered higher adepts, by *BUDDHISM*
> (which is
> what I wrote, if you bothered to check). These beings are considered
> enlightened (meaning far-seeing and wise) as well as free from bondage
> karmically. Their name means literally "prati-eka" (by oneself) "buddha"
> (enlightened). But they did not put in the lifetimes of
> compassion to develop
> the higher virtues of skill-in-means and compassion to be able to
> help others.
> Thus, in a spiritual sense, they are wise but selfish. Not in
> the sense of
> selfish as in "hurting others" but in the sense of "leaving them to their
> fate" and proceeding on to Nirvana. No one in Buddhism, southern
> or northern,
> worships the Pratyekabuddhas, though both traditions mention them
> as existing.
> (3) Bodhisattva. A "wisdom-being," one who has taken a vow to become a
> Buddha, and is variously progressed along that path. Many of us
> on this list
> have taken the vow, but I suspect we are more "embryonic bodhisattvas."
> Still, our heart is in the right place. Certain mythological
> bodhisattvas are
> worshipped by the masses, because they are considered to be *just
> about* to
> become Buddhas (like Maitreya), or because they have been
> bodhisattvas so long
> they have developed tremendous powers, nearly equal to a full Buddha
> (Manjushri, Avalokiteshvara).
> (4) A Buddha, a *samyak-sambuddha*, a "fully enlightened Master"
> is the only
> one who, having freed himself, has the ability to free others in whatever
> their condition, language, culture, race, or psychological
> problems. These
> beings are worshipped. These beings are rare, and are said to
> incarnate very
> seldom, perhaps once a kalpa. And a kalpa, by anyone's defition,
> is a long,
> long time. Because they are so precious, their writings are
> preserved very
> carefully, because that may be all we have for a long time to
> come. HPB calls
> the recent Buddha "the highest adept ever to appear on the planet."
> What I have written above is all from BUDDHIST points of view, not
> Theosophical. Now, having gotten some authentic Buddhism, we
> compare to HPB's
> quotes provided by Paul, and see that in some cases she is
> talking loosely.
> When HPB speaks of "the great Arhats," she is not referring to all Arhats,
> only the great ones. These are Buddhas. But you couldn't know
> that unless
> you had read some Buddhism outside of HPB.
> Next quote: HPB first says bodhisattvas are lower than Buddhas, but the
> exoteric masses rightly put them above Buddhas. This is wrong, in theory,
> according to HPB, but both beings a masters of compassion and
> Therefore, in this paragraph, HPB is emphasizing that fact. She still
> believes Buddhas are higher than bodhisattvas. She says so.
> The final quote also shows that Arhats are lower, then those who
> "pass on" are
> bodhisattvas, and those who complete the goal are Buddhas. It
> doesn't mention
> pratyekabuddhas at all. So it's not a terribly helpful quote.
> I state again that HPB is not making up these terms, she is borrowing them
> from source material, which 99% of Theosophists haven't bothered
> to read for
> themselves. It causes a great deal of confusion, and embarrasses us to
> inquirers who have studied other traditions. Because all we can
> say is "we
> have faith in HPB" and we can't prove why. One reason we know she's
> authentic, however, is because we see HPB time and again using
> technical terms
> "correctly," the way the native traditions use them. Then she
> adds more, the
> esoteric side.
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