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Zen and Taoism

To: alt.zen
From: "David Oller" 
Subject: Re: Zen and Taoism
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 11:24:07 -0800

LD,

You misunderstand the Bodhisattva Vows, so everything you construct on top
of them is a Fairy Tale.

How many sentient beings are there to be saved?

        3.   The Buddha said to Subhuti:"All the Bodhisattva-  Mahasattvas
should thus keep their thoughts under control.   All kinds of beings such as
the egg-born, the womb-born, the  moisture born, the miraculously-born,
those with form, those  without form, those with consciousness, those
without  consciousness, those with no-consciousness and those without
no-consciousness - they are all led by me to enter Nirvana  that leaves
nothing behind and to attain final emancipation.   Though thus beings
immeasurable, innumerable, and unlimited  are emancipated, there are in
reality no beings that are ever  emancipated.  Why, Subhuti?  If a
Bodhisattva retains the  thought of an ego, a person, a being, or a soul, he
is no more  a Bodhisattva.
        4.   "Again, Subhuti, when a Bodhisattva practices  charity he
should not be cherishing any idea, that is to say,  he is not to cherish the
idea of a form when practising  charity, nor is he to cherish the idea of a
sound, an odour, a  touch, or a quality. Subhuti, a Bodhisattva should thus
 practice charity without cherishing any idea of form, his  merit will be
beyond conception.  Subhuti, what do you think?
 Can you have the conception of space extending eastward?"
        "No, World-honoured One, I cannot."
        Subhuti, can you have the conception of space extending  towards the
south, or west, or north, or above, or below?"
        "No, World-honoured One, I cannot."
        "Subhuti, so it is with the merit of a Bodhisattva who  practices
charity without cherishing any idea of form; it is  beyond conception.
Subhuti, a Bodhisattva should cherish only  that which is taught to him.
        5.   "Subhuti, what do you think?  Is the Tathagata to be
recognised after a body-form?"
        "No, World-honoured One, he is not to be recognised after  a
body-form.  Why?  According to the Tathagata, a body-form is  not a
body-form."
        The Buddha said to Subhuti, "All that has a form is an  illusive
existence.  When it is perceived that all form is  no-form, the Tathagata is
recognised."
        6.   Subhuti said to the Buddha:  "World-honoured One, if  beings
hear such words and statements, would they have a true  faith in them?"
        The Buddha said to Subhuti:  "Do not talk that way. In  the last
five hundred years after the passing of the  Tathagata, there may be beings
who, having practised rules of  morality and, being thus possessed of merit,
happen to hear of  these statements and rouse a true faith in them.  Such
beings,  you must know, are those who have planted their root of merit  not
only under one, two, three, four, or five Buddhas, but  already under
thousands of myriads of asamkhyeyas of Buddhas  have they planted their root
of merit of all kinds. Those who  hearing these statements rouse even one
thought of pure faith,  Subhuti, are all known to the Tathagata, and
recognised by him  as having acquired such an immeasurable amount of merit.
Why?
 Because all these beings are free from the idea of an ego, a  person, a
being, or a soul; they are free from the idea of a  dharma as well as from
that of a no-dharma.  Why?  Because if  they cherish in their minds the idea
of a form, they are  attached to an ego, a person, a being, or a soul.  If
they  cherish the idea of a dharma, they are attached to an ego, a  person,
a being, or a soul.  Why?  If they cherish the idea of  a no-dharma, they
are attached to an ego, a person, a being,  or a soul.  Therefore, do not
cherish the idea of a dharma,  nor that of a no-dharma.  For this reason,
the Tathagata  always preaches thus:  `O you Bhikshus, know that my teaching
 is to be likened unto a raft.  Even a dharma is cast aside,  much more a
no-dharma.' --Diamond Sutra


David



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