Observations placeholder

Asvaghosha - The Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana - On Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Identifier

016359

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are equivalent to gods

A description of the experience

Asvaghosha - The Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana translated by D T Suzuki

Now, there is an inherent perfuming principle in one's own being, which, embraced and protected by the love and compassion of all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, is caused to loathe the misery of birth and death, to believe in Nirvana, to cultivate their root of merit, to habituate oneself to it, and to bring it to maturity.

In consequence of this, one is enabled to see all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and, receiving instructions from them, is benefited, gladdened, induced to practise good deeds, etc., till one attain to Buddhahood and enter into Nirvana.

The Activity-Perfuming -By this is meant nothing else than the perfuming influence of the external cause over all beings. It asserts itself in innumerable ways.  Briefly speaking we may distinguish two kinds of it :  (1) individual; and (2) universal.

The Individual Cause -All beings since their first aspiration till the attainment of Buddhahood are sheltered under the guardianship of all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas who, responding to the requirements of the occasion, transform themselves and assume the actual forms of personality.

Thus for the sake of all beings, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas become sometimes their parents, sometimes their wives and children, sometimes their kinsmen, sometimes their servants, sometimes their friends, sometimes their enemies, sometimes reveal themselves as devas or in some other forms.

Again Buddhas and Bodhisattvas treat all beings sometimes with the four methods of entertainment sometimes with the six paramitas, or with some other deeds, all of which are the inducement for them to make their knowledge perfect.

Thus embracing all beings with their deep compassion, with their meek and tender heart, as well as their immense treasure of blissful wisdom, Buddhas convert them in such a way as to suit their needs and conditions; while all beings thereby are enabled to hear or to see Buddhas, and, thinking of Tathigatas or some other personages, to increase their root of merit.

The Universal Cause - With universal wisdom and universal wishes, all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas desire to achieve a universal emancipation of all beings. This desire is eternal and spontaneous on their part. And now as this wisdom and these wishes have the perfuming power over all beings, the latter are caused to think of or to recollect all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, so that sometimes hearing them, sometimes seeing them, all beings thereby acquire [spiritual] benefits. That is, entering into the samadhi of purity, they destroy hindrances wherever they are met with, and obtain all-penetrating insight, that enables one to become conscious of the absolute oneness of the universe and to see innumerable Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

The source of the experience

Acvaghosha

Concepts, symbols and science items

Symbols

Perfume

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Commonsteps

References