Buddha-nature (as Depicted in the Lankavatara-sutra)

by Nguyen Dac Sy | 2012 | 70,344 words

This page relates ‘Hindu Philosophical Systems (b) Yoga’ of the study on (the thought of) Buddha-nature as it is presented in the Lankavatara-sutra (in English). The text represents an ancient Mahayana teaching from the 3rd century CE in the form of a dialogue between the Buddha and Bodhisattva Mahamati, while discussing topics such as Yogacara, Buddha-nature, Alayavijnana (the primacy of consciousness) and the Atman (Self).

2. Hindu Philosophical Systems (b) Yoga

The term yoga derives from the root yuj literally meaning “to yoke or join”; but in more abstract meaning, it is used to mean the union of the individual spirit jīvātman) with the universal spirit (Paramātman).[1] Traditionally, Yoga is the physical and mental discipline such as a disciplined method for attaining a goal, techniques of controlling the body and the mind, etc. Here, Yoga is a name of one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy. Patañjali who lived in between the 3rd and 4th century CE, is traditionally accepted as the founder of the Yoga school.[2] The philosophical basis of Yoga is the same as Sāṃkhya, the only difference between the two is that the Sāṃkhya system pertains to the universal condition of nature, and the Yoga system pertains to the individual condition of nature. In the Yoga school, the everyday world is real. Furthermore, the highest attainment is the event of one of many individual-selves discovering itself; there is no single universal-self shared by all persons.[3]

The ultimate goal of the Yoga is to free man forever from the three kinds of pain:

(1) pain arising from his own physical weakness and wrong conduct, such as disease;

(2) pain arising from his relations with other living things, such as a tiger, thief, or the same like that;

(3) pain arising from his relations with external nature, such as the natural elements and other abstract and subtle powers.[4]

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Saṃyuttanikāya. Radhakrishnan, Indian Philosophy, Vol. II, p. 86.

[2]:

Ibid.

[3]:

Stephen H. Phillips, Classical Indian Metaphysics: Refutations of Realism and the Emergence of "new Logic";. Open Court Publishing, 1995, pages 12–13.

[4]:

Saṃyuttanikāya. Radhakrishnan, Indian Philosophy, Vol. II, p. 87.

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