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4 Seals and 5 Wisdoms - How about 5 Noble Truths?

To: talk.religion.buddhism,alt.philosophy.zen,alt.religion.buddhism.tibetan,alt.consciousness,alt.zen
From: "Ned Ludd" 
Subject: 4 Seals and 5 Wisdoms - How about 5 Noble Truths? (was: It's still ok...)
Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2001 16:38:54 -0500

Namdrol  wrote in message
news:tP407.45$NT6.994@burlma1-snr2...

Dar:
>> is that the three seals that are four seals to tibetans cuz they
>> like to think they're special, which is the special addition,
>> and can any of them balance a ball on their nose

Namdrol:
>> Nah it is not just a Tibetan thing, Dar, all the Mahaayaana schools
>> summerize the four seals as follows:
>> All conditioned things are impermanent.
>> All defiled things are suffering.
>> All things are not-self.
>> Nirvana is peace. <--- this is the fourth one
>> I do not think that seal training is included in the monastic
>> curriculum-- so no, no ball balancing.

Ned:
> No, it is a Tibetan addition to the Trilakshana (Pali: tilakkhana -
> the "three marks"):
> - Impermanence
> - Suffering
> - No-self
> And the idea that one of them is defiled, is a Namdrol/Tibetan addition.

Namdrol:
> Ned--
> This the manner in which it is taught in Mahyaana suutras, for example,
> the Lalitavistara suutra. Therefor, it is a Indian Buddhist idea is not
> a Tibetan innovation, nor one of mine.
> All defiled things are suffering. Not all conditioned things are
> defiled--notable exceptions are the dharmas associated with the path.
> These are "conditioned undefiled" as the abhidharmikas classify them.
> For more info on this please see Professor Joe Wison's page
> http://www.uncwil.edu/people/wilsonj/2001/bsm/mdharma/mdharma_intro.html.
>

  Yes, well he asserts it just like you.  But doesn't mention the
"Lalitavistara" sutra or reference it:

From the site:
-----
All composed phenomena are impermanent.
  Anything produced from causes and conditions, anything made of parts
  is impermanent -- subject to change.
All contaminated phenomena are suffering.
  "Contaminated" rules out wisdom and spiritual practices motivated by
  it. All of the things in our normal worldly existence are contaminated
  by the three poisons (desire, hatred, and ignorance) and are therefore
  unsatisfactory.
All phenomena -- everything that exists -- lack a "self": they are
  "no-self."  Nothing whatsoever exists in the manner in which it appears
  to exist.  This is an area in which various schools of Buddhism differed,
  sometimes contentiously. The Middle Way school of Mahayana Buddhism
  identified 'self' as self-sufficient and inherent existence; by extension,
  'no-self' means that nothing exists self-sufficiently and inherently.
  Things and people do exist, but not as much as we think they exist.
Nirvana is peace.
---

  And all this does is add "Nirvana is peace" to the 3 marks of the
trilakshana, which is: "all things are characterized by impermanence,
suffering and no-self".

  The Tibetans and later Mahayanists also did this to the four wisdoms
(and eight consciousnesses).  They added a "fifth" wisdom and a "ninth
consciousness".  As late as the year 1100, there were FOUR wisdoms and
eight consciousnesses.  The four wisdoms represented the transformation
of the 5th through 8th consciousnesses as follows: The first five
consciousnesses (the five senses) become the Wisdom of Accomplishment.
The sixth consciousness becomes Wondrous Observing Wisdom, the seventh
becomes the Wisdom of the Equality of All Things, and the eighth
consciousness becomes Great Perfect Mirror Wisdom.

  But sometime later, following the inexorable law of scripture - which
is Accretion, constant unavoidable addition (by forgery) to scripture
through time - a ninth consciousness (Tathagata-womb consciousness) is
added, which transforms into the Wisdom of Buddhahood (Wisdom of
Totality).

  Adding "Wisdom of Totality" to a series that previously culminated
with "Great Perfect Mirror Wisdom", serves mostly, imo, to muck it up.
Very much the way adding "Nirvana is Peace", to a list that originally
purported to describe the shared attributes of all aspects of reality
as impermanence, suffering and no-self.

                                                            Ned





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