Nov 14, 2019

Posted by in BUDDHISM IN OTHER LANGUAGES | 5 Comments

The 5th Counter-argument on Dr. Ven. Thich Nhat Tu’s Argument DO MANTRAS FUNCTION AS “RIGHT MINDFULNESS” TRAINING? DEFINITELY WRONG! BECAUSE A DENTIST CANNOT GIVE ADVICE TO PATIENT WITH EYE PROBLEMS! THIS IS IRREVERENCE AND LYING! (Phản bác luận điểm của thượng tọa tiến sĩ Thích Nhật Từ (lần thứ 5):CÔNG NĂNG CỦA THẦN CHÚ LÀ RÈN LUYỆN “CHÁNH NIỆM” Ư? SAI LẦM! VÌ SAO? BỞI VÌ BÁC SĨ NHA KHOA CHẲNG THỂ NÀO KHUYÊN BỆNH NHÂN ĐAU MẮT! ĐÂY LÀ SỰ LỘNG NGÔN, VỌNG NGỮ!)

Dear Dr. Ven. Thich Nhat Tu!

I’ve seen that you keep insisting in your sermons on Dao Phat Ngay Nay Channel (Buddhism Today) that “chanting, reciting or reading mantras” are nothing else but a means of “right mindfulness” training?! This is totally in contradiction to what you’ve said that “Buddhism has borrowed around 6,000 mantras from Veda in Brahmanism.” Heretical thoughts will lead to wrong view (as asserted by Flower Adornment Sutra), thus the heathen does not have right mindfulness (sammā-sati), which therefore indicates that your argument and supported proposition have gone wrong. Why is that? Because if we chant or recite mantras, which belong to Brahmanism that cannot have right mindfulness, what will the outcome be? What more, you said mantras are merely a means of obtaining right mindfulness (one of eightfold paths), then this means you are identifying Brahmanism with Buddhism?

Heretical thoughts will lead to wrong view (as asserted by Flower Adornment Sutra), thus the heathen does not have right mindfulness (sammā-sati)

The Buddhas of the past, present and future also rely on the Prajna Paramita to attain Supreme Enlightenment, therefore the Prajna Paramita is “the great mantra, the mantra of great insight, the utmost mantra, and the supreme mantra”

In addition, the Maha Prajna Paramita Hridaya Sutra said: “The Buddhas of the past, present and future also rely on the Prajna Paramita to attain Supreme Enlightenment (Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi), therefore the Prajna Paramita is “the great mantra, the mantra of great insight, the utmost mantra, and the supreme mantra”. So based on your argument, do Buddhist practitioners have to borrow mantras of Brahmanism to get enlightenment? For thousands of years, nobody has ever been able to counter-argue the Maha Prajna Paramita Hridaya Sutra, and you are not an exception though you are holding Ph.D degree and make up a so-called “OriginalBuddhism”!

 I wonder if you ever know that in “The Great Tang Dynasty Record of the Western Region” (大唐西域記), the Buddhist exegete and scholiast Xuanzang told that he could overcome countless obstacles during the dangerous trek from China to the Buddhist homeland of India and return in glory thanks to reciting the Prajna Paramita mantra: “Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, Bodhi svaha, maha prajna paramita”?  Famous masters and monks like Han-Shan Te-Ch’ing (Hám Sơn, 憨山德清), Hsu Yun (Hư Vân, 虚云), Hsuan Hua (Tuyên Hoá, 宣化)… have praised esoteric mantras. How could they disseminate Buddhist Dharma if they just attained “right mindfulness” among eightfold paths? Even Ven. Hsuan Hua affirms: “It’s really difficult to propagate Buddhism in the United States. I could overcome all of it thanks to the Great Compassion Mantra of Guan Yin” (The Teaching of Ven. Hsuan Hua). So you should ask yourself which ground of Bodhisattva you have reached before turning out such argument that goes against the teachings of Buddha and holy saints.

Dear Dr. Ven. Thich Nhat Tu!

How could you utter such lies or irreverent words that mantra is nothing else but for “right mindfulness” training only? Don’t you know that mantras are explained as “the nature of Buddhas”. Is “the nature of Buddhas” merely “right mindfulness”? You may have an aversion to Tantrayana (Vajrayana) but you should not say such false words which entirely come from your subjective mind – a big mistake of the practitioner that has been warned in the Forty Two Chapters Sutra: “Be careful not to believe your own mind; your mind is not to be believed. After you have attained Arhatship, you can believe your own mind.” From this point on, I feel your misconception is “questionable” and need reconsidering since your mind has been driven by three poisons (greed, hatred and delusion), cause I am sure and believe that you have yet attained Arhatship!

“O Bhikkhus, Be careful not to believe your own mind; your mind is not to be believed. After you have attained Arhatship, you can believe your own mind.”

Your statement indicates your prejudiced mind, not to mention the serious breaking of the 32nd among 46 secondary Bodhisattva vows and the 12nd among 18 root vows (I need not write in detail cause I believe a Ph.D and Venerable like you will know much more about precepts and vows than I do). So based on the teaching in the Forty Two Chapters Sutra and relying on the wisdom and power of the Avalokiteshvara, I will reason about mantras to prove that they are not just a means of “right mindfulness” training as you misread:

1/ The Great vow of Avalokiteshvara says: “Chanting the six-syllable mantra unceasingly, that’s enough”

“Chanting the six-syllable mantra unceasingly, that’s enough”

2/ The Mahā-karuṇikacitta dhāraṇī Suttaasserts that in his 12thgreat vow, the Avalokiteshvara says: “Anyone who recites my mantra, visualizes me, takes a bow or chants my holy name… I will fulfill any wishes of them; I will escort them to the Pure Land of Dewachen at the time of death”. Nonetheless, in case that you are not convinced by this sutra, citing that I am protecting a “fake sutra” like the way Ven. Thich Hanh Binh and Thich Chuc Phu do with the Chineseapocrypha“Ullambana”, I will quote other teachings of eminentand highly respected monks who hold doctorate degree on Buddhism.

“Anyone who recites my mantra, visualizes me, takes a bow or chants my holy name… I will fulfill any wishes of them; I will escort them to the Pure Land of Dewachen at the time of death”

3/ After masteringthepracticeof “utmost mantra”, the practitioner goes into the prajna (wisdom) as his own house which is therefore called “supreme mantra” (unequalled). A proficient practice of the unequalled mantra will help them enter the house of Prajna as their own house, thus call “unequalled mantra” (incomparable). During this stage, practitioners gradually penetrate into paramita prajna, of which seven kinds of wisdoms will grow, including great wisdom, omniscient wisdom, exquisite wisdom, Dharma wisdom, unimpeded eloquence wisdom and recapitulative wisdom (“Ocean of Indivisible Method and Wisdom” – Geshe Achaya Thubten Loden). The fifth wisdom, also called “ability to eloquate” or “Four unimpededeloquences” includes:

During this stage, practitioners gradually penetrate into paramita prajna, of which seven kinds of wisdoms will grow, including great wisdom, omniscient wisdom, exquisite wisdom, Dharma wisdom, unimpeded eloquence wisdom and recapitulative wisdom (“Ocean of Indivisible Method and Wisdom” – Geshe Achaya Thubten Loden).

  1. Understanding of Dharma: able to expound the Dharma clearly and profoundly. A moral philosophy can be developed into limitless philosophies and in return put them into the only/sole one.
  2. Interpretation of meanings: able to demonstrate all meanings of Dharma transparently and thoroughly without any hindrance.
  3. Forms of expression: able to speak and use language fluently, expertly and in line with moral standard.
  4. Eloquence in witty way: able to give Dharma delight to listeners by rejoicing and witty eloquence without impediment.

The achievement of those seven wisdoms will bring practitioners into five Dhyani (Buddha) wisdoms, consisting of wisdoms of profound insight (Pratyaveksana-jnana), wisdom of reflection of all things (Adarsana-jnana), wisdom of equality (Samata-jnana), all-accomplishing wisdom (Krtyanusthana-jnana), and wisdom of the embodied nature of dharmadhatu (Dharmadhatu-prakrti-jnana). Then practitioners attain unsurpassable or perfect enlightenment (Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi) of the Buddha.

4/ On the path of Bodhisattva, Buddhist followers must go through five ways called “five paths”, equivalent to 51 stages of practice. However, method of mantra chanting in Vajrayana will help practitioners naturally cross those lamrims. This argument comes from Tibet’s Estoric Ven Geshe Tultsim Gyaltsen from Ganden Monastery who found Thubten Dhargye LingCenter in Long Beach, California, USA. He has likened “the great mantra” to the path of accumulation (saṃbhāra-mārga),“the mantra of great insight” to the path of preparation (prayoga-mārga), “the utmost mantra” to the path of seeing (darśana-mārga), and “the unequalled mantra” to the path of meditation (bhāvanā-mārga). Now we can see the unsurpassed value of Mani mantra.

Dear Dr. Ven. Thich Nhat Tu!

Through the above reasoning, I hope you will understand more clearly about the meaning of mantras, their function as well as the results of mantra practice in cultivation. Accordingly, anyone will know that mantras include the Eightfold paths rather than just a means of “right mindfulness” training as you have insisted because of your aversion to Vajrayana! This is not the first time butmany times you have “mocked” mantras and Vajrayana in your sermons. If you keep insisting that Mahayana Buddhism (both Paramitas and Vajrayana) has borrowed mantras from Brahmanism to use as a means, there’s nothing more to be said. I would rather not hold a Ph.D degree like you do than breaking the precept of lying which will cause bitter consequences that many practitioners (both monks and laymen) have gone through. I hope you will understand since I view Buddhism, perceive Buddhism and practice Buddhism through the prism of spiritual dialectics, under the flag of Culture, Education and Science and on the basis of Buddhist Dharma’s evidences. I may have limited knowledge and don’t dare to speak from my own mind but I’d like to send you a few words, following the teachings of Maha Prajna Paramita Hridaya Sutra. In the Anguttara Nikaya (5.198), the Buddha teaches: “The kalyanamitra must speak the truth, no fallacy, no lies”and “Words must have purpose and meaning. True words, but neither factual nor beneficial, are considered rambling and have no value”.

 

“The kalyanamitra must speak the truth, no fallacy, no lies” and “Words must have purpose and meaning. True words, but neither factual nor beneficial, are considered rambling and have no value”

May you have health to continue your work with a spiritual group in South Korea.

A rainy afternoon on the peak of Phu Van Mountain

Thinley – Nguyen Thanh


Vietnamese version: Phản bác luận điểm của thượng tọa tiến sĩ Thích Nhật Từ (lần thứ 5):CÔNG NĂNG CỦA THẦN CHÚ LÀ RÈN LUYỆN “CHÁNH NIỆM” Ư? SAI LẦM! VÌ SAO? BỞI VÌ BÁC SĨ NHA KHOA CHẲNG THỂ NÀO KHUYÊN BỆNH NHÂN ĐAU MẮT! ĐÂY LÀ SỰ LỘNG NGÔN, VỌNG NGỮ!

  1. tantra mahavita says:
    Dear Saint Guru: I bow my head to the feet of the Holy Guru. Our deepest gratitude for his Wisdom, Love and Compassion … and fundamentally tolerance … May you live many years for the benefit of all sentient beings. Long and happy life … Dear Guru … May all beings find the Nature of Buddha …. OM MANI PADME HUM
  2. Tantra Upatissa says:
    Dear Guru thanks for sharing this article.
    By reading this article I am able to understand the importance of chanting mantras. Mantras are really powerful and helpful as mentioned by earlier kings from other dynasty. We should not ignore the mantras or speak anything that creates disharmony among people.

    May Guru and his Consort live long for benefit of other beings and have good health.

    May all beings be free from suffering and get enlightened.

    Om Mani Padme Hum

  3. Mật Diệu Hằng says:
    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con xin phép được dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Mahavita sang tiếng Việt như sau:

    Kính bạch Thầy tôn quý!

    Con cúi đầu đảnh lễ dưới chân sen của Thầy tôn quý!

    Chúng con chân thành cảm tạ ơn Thầy vì bồ đề tâm, từ bi và những lời dạy trí tuệ Thầy ban cho, cũng như sự an nhẫn, khoan dung Thầy dành cho hữu tình.

    Con cầu nguyện Thầy trụ thế lâu dài vì sự lợi lạc của tất cả chúng sanh.

    Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh thành tựu hạnh phúc của Phật tánh.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

     

  4. Mật Diệu Hằng says:
    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con xin phép được dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Upatissa sang tiếng Việt như sau:

    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã cho con được đọc bài viết này.

    Đọc bài viết của Thầy, con hiểu được tầm quan trọng của việc niệm thần chú. Thần chú thực sự có nhiều công năng và mang lại lợi lạc cho hữu tình như Thầy đã trích trong kinh điển. Chúng con nên trân trọng thần chú và không nên có bất kỳ tà ngữ về thần chú, gây ra chia rẽ tăng đoàn.

    Con cầu nguyện cho sức khỏe và sự trường thọ của Thầy Cô vì lợi lạc của tất cả chúng sanh.

    Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh đoạn trừ mọi khổ đau và đạt được giác ngộ.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

     

  5. Tantra Sagovana says:
    Dear Guru,

    My name is Tantra Sagovana.

    Thank you for sharing this article.

    In this article you explain the purpose, power and significance of mantras.

    You also explain from Forty Two Chapters Sutra that we must not fully trust our own mind and thinking until we have attained Arhatship (i.e. until we are enlightened).

    May all sentient beings be healthy and well and be free from suffering.

    May Guru be healthy and live long for the benefit of all beings.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

    Tantra Sagovana (Ahmed Khan)

     

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