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True Buddha Dharma-character Treasury - Nagarjuna Bodhisattva

2018-06-10
On Sunday, Jun. 10, 2018, 3:00pm, at at Rainbow Temple, True Buddha School Dharma King Living Buddha Lian-sheng Sheng-yen Lu will preside over a Nagarjuna Homa Ceremony, discourse Lamdre, and bestow empowerment for Nagarjuna Uncommon Practice. (Live Webcast Link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLl20r-KQlapX_5fT-N3cOw )

【Nagarjuna Mudra :】
                                                 

Open left palm facing outward. Make a circle with the thumb and the index finger. Keep other fingers straight and inclined. Open right palm facing inward. Make a circle with the thumb and the index finger. Keep the other fingers straight. Place one's hands before one's chest, then place the left hand in front of the right hand.

【Nagarjuna Seed Syllable :】

            
             Ah (white in color)

【Nagarjuna Mantra :】

「Om, Bie-zha, na-jia-zhuo-na, pu-ti-sa-duo, so-ha.」


【Nagarjuna Dharmalakṣaṇa Brief Introduction】
Nagarjuna Bodhisattva has one head, two arms, and two legs. He is white in color with a smile on his face. Just like the Buddha, he has the 32 marks and the 80 notable physical characteristics of buddha. Wearing the three monk robes, he sits on a padded cushion in full lotus position. His hands form the Turning the Dharma Wheel MudraI in front of his chest. There are seven dragons behind him. Each dragon is a different color. The dragons extend their heads above Nagarjuna's head.

Nagarjuna Bodhisattva is called ''Nagarjuna'' because he was born under an arjuna tree and later attained Buddhahood with the help of nagas. Nagarjuna was born in South India 700 years after the Buddha entered nirvana, circa 300AD. He was a disciple of Kapimala whose guru was Ashvaghosha. In terms of his background, he was the Tathagata of Wonderful Cloud Unhindered King.

Nagarjuna is considered a magnificent Buddhist master who was learned in Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana Buddhism. He was a master of Buddhist principles and practices who actively studied and penetrated deeply into Buddhism. In order to widely propagate Buddharma, he revealed to all the precious treasures of his realization in a vast quantity of amazing written works. He is therefore hailed as the Lord of a Thousand Treatises.

Nagarjuna's most representative work, The Middle Way Treatise, created an uproar in the the Buddhist community upon its publication. His unique view of the Middle Way points directly to the essence of this world and the ultimate meaning of cultivation. It also unfolded a new chapter of Buddhism thought.

Nagarjuna once entered a dragon palace and studied ten times as many Buddhist scriptures as exist in the human world. Nagarjuna is well-known for reading the three volumes of the Avatamsaka Sutra of Inconceivable Liberation, and he eventually attained enlightenment. Afterwards, Nagarjuna went to South India where opened a mysterious iron tower which had not been opened since the Buddha entered nirvana. Upon opening the iron tower, he encountered Vajrasattva, the patriarch of Vajrayana, who shone with the radiance of the sun. Vajrasattva bestowed important Vajrayana sutras on Nagarjuna, including the Mahavairocana Sutra, Vajrasekhara Sutra, Diamond Realm Sutra and Womb Realm Tantra. This initiated Nagarjuna's mission to propagate the Vajrayana teachings in the human realm.

Nagarjuna is therefore revered as the patriarch of Vajrayana. Because he is respected as the founder by the Vinaya, Three Treatises, Pure Land, Dharmalaksana, Zen, Tiantai and Huayen schools of Buddhism, Nagarjuna is also honored as the founder of the eight schools of Sutrayana and Vajrayana.

Living Buddha Lian-sheng Sheng-yen Lu Dharma Discourse - Nagarjuna Background and Key Cultivation Formula】

The mudra Nagarjuna forms is the Turning the Dharma Wheel Mudra. Nagarjuna's mantra is ''Om, Bie-zha, na-jia-zhuo-na, pu-ti-sa-duo, so-ha.'' The meaning of the mantra is ''the supreme consciousness of the universe, Nagarjuna with great wisdom, accomplished.'' ''na-jia'' [naga] means dragon, whereas ''zhuo-na'' [arjuna] refers to a type of tree in India. ''Om'' is the supreme consciousness of the universe. ''Na-jia-zhuo-na'' is the wise Nagarjuna. ''Pu-ti-sa-duo'' means bodhisattva, and ''so-ha'' is the accomplishment of everything. This is his mantra.

Are you able to visualize Nagarjuna? It is simple. It's similar to the Buddha turning the dharma wheel. What's distinctive are the seven multi-colored dragons above Nagarjuna's head. The meaning of ''seven'' is ''perfection.'' The Lord of a Thousand Treatises is praise to him. He wrote an extraordinary amount and was profoundly knowledgeable. Moreover, he was patriarch of the Eight Schools of Sutrayana and Vajrayana.

With the visualization, mudra, and mantra, a sadhana is established. A lotus transformed from an expanse of ocean and Nagarjuna transformed from a sun disc and moon disc in the center of the lotus. That is, there is a ''bang'' syllable transforming into a lotus, and an ''ah'' syllable transforming into Nagarjuna. Then, after one is blessed by three rays of light, one is purified. Thereafter, one invites Nagarjuna to enter the lotus in one's heart and merge with oneself. In an instant, one transforms into Nagarjuna. Nagarjuna is one and one is Nagarjuna. One transforms into Tathagata of Wonderful Cloud Unhindered King, the patriarch of the Eight Schools.

Around the 6th century, India's Consciousness Only doctrine was flourishing. Consciousness Only also explores the Buddha-nature but from the vertical standpoint of the six ordinary consciousnesses: eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mental consciousness. There is also the intuitive consciousness and the storehouse consciousness. The storehouse consciousness is where the Buddha-nature resides.

Nagarjuna Bodhisattva, on the other hand, is horizontal, using various concepts to teach people. During that era, there were two figures, Buddhapalita and Bhaviveka. As the supporters of the Middle Way, Buddhapalita and Bhaviveka restored the doctrines of Nagarjuna and Aryadeva. The Middle Way of Buddhapalita became the Consequence School [Skt. Prasangika] whereas Bhaviveka's became Autonomous Syllogism Sect [Skt. Svatantrika.]

What is the Middle Way Consequence School? Only refuting the opposite without establishing their own idea - they believe in reliance on logic. They utilize reason, knowledge, and wisdom to demonstrate what ''emptiness'' means in the Middle Way. As for the Autonomous Syllogism Sect, it not only refutes the opposite but also has own idea - they actively explain ''emptiness,'' Buddha-nature, by the inference of Buddhist logic.

The Middle Way of Nagarjuna lies between eternalism and nihilism, hence the name Middle Way. For example, ordinary people see Grandmaster as a married man with a wife and children. They see Grandmaster as a worldly being. Spiritually, however, Grandmaster has transcended the mundane. Shakyamuni was also secular in this way. Shakyamuni's wife was Yasodhara. They had a child named Rahula. Shakyamuni was nonetheless transcendental. He became a monk and chose the supermundane path. He was able to take part in worldly life and also be transcendental. Shakyamuni returned to save worldly people. That is, after Shakyamuni transcended worldliness, he returned to the world to save sentient beings. This is the Middle Way. Why? He was above worldly affairs and had attained enlightenment, Why did he return to the world to save sentient beings? Because he did not part from existence, nor did he part from emptiness. Not parting from either existence or emptiness is called the Middle Way. It is the Doctrine of the Mean.

The example I just gave of fire generated from friction produced by a hand drill can be explained by Shakyamuni's saying that ''everything arises from causes and conditions and disappears by causes and conditions'' (phenomena arise from causes and conditions and disappear by causes and conditions.) Because dependent origination is empty in nature, by eliminating ''cause'' one becomes enlightened to empty-nature and the Buddha-nature. It's by eliminating all ''causes,'' all karmic hindrances, that one realizes one's Buddha-nature. This is the thought of Nagarjuna.


Feb. 25, 2018 Dharma Discourse - Nagarjuna Bodhisattva



!!Please be aware that before anyone can practice the above uncommon practices, it is advised and recommended that they take refuge and the respective empowerment; alternatively one must face inherent resulting cause and effect!!



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