The Bodhisattva Doctrine in Buddhism by Edited and Introduced By: Leslie S. Kawamura

By Edited and Introduced By: Leslie S. Kawamura

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By Edited and Introduced By: Leslie S. Kawamura

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Sample text

They are not remote figures in some exotic heaven, to which we might go in the next life, if there is one. They are named forces active now. They are intermediate links between the Buddha Nature of the philosophers and the Buddha Body SZater/Relevance (Inaugural) 9 of the priests, on the one hand, and the daily trials and tribulations of ordinary people, o~ the other hand. They are positive grounds for hope in this changing world. Among the Chinese, Avalokitesvara typically appears in female form.

21 Basham/Evolution (India) the more obvious manifestations of that all-embracing vice. The Mahayanists, in their polemics against the sravakas, seem to overlook the fact that in order to achieve his goal of becoming an arhat the Hlnayanist must perform immense acts of self-sacrifice for the welfare of others, as a perusal of the Jataka stories will soon show. l~,~volution of the Bodhisattva : . -:' ,', ideal and the vows or resolves accompanying it. lowe much to the work of earlier scholars, in particular D~ Har Daya1 4 and Dr.

6 Since tradition tells us that he attained his goal, the conclusion is that his condition has been met. Consequently, even the dullest and most irresolute among us has some hope. We may not share the full Buddhist vision now. But we have only to aspire to share in this Buddha's glorious illuminati9n and we shall be sure of success. The basic character of resolving to offset evil has already been acted on and has become part of our spiritual environment. We have only to make the much less demanding decision to transpose ourselves into the Buddha's domain, and we shall eventually be free.

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