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11887Re: Twelve long years

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  • holderlin66
    Nov 15, 2006
      "Buddha Sakyamuni's life, chosen here to exemplify the meaning of
      the term `supreme nirmanakaya', is not unique. The twelve deeds are
      typical of the activity of such supreme nirmanakaya throughout the
      universe. Whenever worlds are ready to receive them, those already
      enlightened in sublime spheres demonstrate these twelve deeds, which
      establish the universal truths of dharma in the very best and most
      lasting way. It is the supreme dialogue between truth and ignorance,
      between the pure and the impure, that will continue for as long as
      worlds exist."

      holderlin wrote:

      "Hercules has gone and battled through each of the twelve signs of
      the zodiac, just as the Jupiter forces of Wisdom in the organism,
      Jupiter, the little sun, the little Hercules engine of the I AM
      works on those twelve labors and resets and calibrates the human
      physical system, adjusted to the specific user, who makes the model
      that he was given, slowly into his own unique vehicle. Twelve labors
      of Hercules represents not only the 12 hour cycle of the blood but
      also the 12 year cycle of penetrating with the baby i am the model
      we borrowed from our family. It is our job to modify, reject and
      build or refuse what was given as useful or useless. Parents don't
      understand this, not a wit. Hardly a wit do they understand this
      process, which reveals another layer of malfunctioning education in
      adults."

      http://www.samye.org/muni2.htm

      Buddha's life on Earth, included the twelve deeds, properly
      speaking, as they did not take place in our world. The twelve deeds
      are:

      1. Knowing, through this vision, that the time had come, he left
      Tushita and came to our world, Jambudvipa. This is the dharmakaya's
      compassionate response to the hopes and prayers of good beings in
      the world. It is the arrival of the great light which illuminates
      the path to happiness and liberation, which shows the value of
      virtue and which accomplishes its work with a limitless love and
      totally fearless resolution.

      221.descends from the `Realm of Great Joy', enters the royal womb
      and is nobly born in Jambudvipa.
      Perfectly skilled in each science and art,

      2. His teachings of dharma would later point out the limitations
      of worldly wealth, status and achievement. It would be very
      necessary that these worldly goals be removed from their pedestal
      and given their proper place by someone who had known them to the
      full. The words of a social failure, denouncing gain and fame, may
      just be dismissed as `sour grapes', as personal rancour. His future
      father, King Suddhodhana, was a respected and wealthy monarch. His
      mother, Mahamaya, was a beautiful queen, capable of bearing him.
      Therefore, he entered the royal womb. His mother dreamed of a white,
      six-tusked elephant entering her womb, as though it were a beautiful
      palace. There was celestial music and many other miraculous signs.

      3. He was born painlessly from her right side in a grove in
      Lumbini, presently near the Indo-Nepalese frontier. To those
      present, he was seen simply to emerge on a beam of light. When his
      feet touched the ground, lotus flowers of light sprung up. He took
      seven steps in each of the cardinal directions and `was heard to
      declare' (i.e. everyone knew spontaneously) himself to be the
      Enlightened One, Lord of the World. The major gods of the planet
      came and prostrated before him. However, of equal importance with
      these miracles was the fact that, to most other people, he was later
      thought of as having been born `ordinarily' as a human being. This
      was crucial for his teaching. People would think that an ordinary
      human being like themselves, and not a celestial one, had achieved
      enlightenment and that they could therefore do likewise.

      4. As he grew up, he exhibited matchless prowess in every field
      of learning. His beautiful athletic body surpassed all others in
      sports such as wrestling, archery and so on. He mastered sixty
      different dialects and soon outclassed his teachers in the various
      domains of academic study and artistic expression. As we see so
      clearly these days, people can value highly—perhaps overvalue—
      scientific understanding, art or physical prowess. In order for the
      Buddha's teaching to show the transience and limitations of such
      worldly prowess, compared with the true science of mind and
      existence itself, it was indeed helpful that he had known them and
      excelled in each of them more than anyone of his day. It is said
      that his fame as an athlete and scholar spread far beyond his own
      kingdom. He was a legend long before his enlightenment: the wisest,
      most gifted youth that humankind had ever seen.

      222.Delighting in his royal consorts' company, then renouncing,
      practising the path of hardship and difficulty,
      going to the place called `Enlightenment's Very Heart',
      he vanquishes the hosts of evil,

      5. In order to fulfil his duty to his parents and provide an heir
      to the throne (he was their only child), he married and enjoyed the
      company of his royal consorts. The quest for a happy marriage,
      sexual satisfaction, parenthood and companionship is something which
      dominates peoples' lives in societies everywhere. Given the strength
      of human beings' illusions, their hopes and their biological drives,
      it would not be easy, later on, for the Buddha to point out the
      futility of the time and energy spent in this quest, and its high
      price. There would be more chance of his audience heeding someone
      who, as was his case, had married and satisfied three of the most
      beautiful brides in the land and who had enjoyed the company of the
      many young consorts in his royal harem. Of these, the beautiful
      Yasodhara, a princess in her own right, was his main bride and the
      mother to his only official child, Rahula.

      6. Having established his excellence in all these domains in the
      eyes of the world and fulfilled his duty to his parents by providing
      an heir, at the age of twenty-nine he renounced worldliness. The
      details of his fourfold vision of ageing, sickness, death and a
      renunciate, and the story of the feast on his last day at the
      palace, when Rahula was born, are poignant indeed and told in many
      of his life stories. The common version of the renunciation is that
      he had his servant, whom he had sworn to secrecy, bring him his
      horse, Katanka, late that same evening. Cutting off his long hair—
      the symbol of his royalty—with his own sword, he rode off into the
      jungle to follow the religious life. The mahayana version is that
      the Buddhas of the past, present and future emanated, gave him the
      vows of monastic ordination, his robes and hair-cutting, and that he
      set off on the eternal way of the monk. To teach others
      renunciation, he had himself to show the courage and ability to
      leave behind all the wonders and joys of his temporal life, in order
      to seek ageless wisdom.

      7. It would be necessary for him to teach effectively not only
      the inadequacies of worldly life but also those of self-
      mortification. Who could do this better than one who had been the
      most rigid of ascetics? For six years, much of it spent in the
      company of five other ascetics, he practised meditation and
      asceticism. He trained under the finest meditation teachers of his
      day, but soon exhausted what they had to teach him. He then devoted
      himself to austerities. He ate less, endured the burning sun more
      and practised hardships more stringently than anyone had ever done.
      Much of this occurred in the area of the river Neranjara. Often, he
      meditated for many days, without eating or moving, beneath the tall
      trees on its banks, with a rock for a cushion. At the end, he was
      such a skeletal bag of bones that his spine could be seen protruding
      through the skin of his abdomen. His brilliant aura and special
      marks had disappeared. This severe self-denial would not only serve
      as a proper basis for dismissing asceticism as the main way to
      truth, but would also demonstrate his own mastery of diligence and
      show his teaching to be not just an intellectual conclusion but the
      fruit of powerful personal experience. His ascetic period ended with
      him receiving the offering of a special bowl of rice gruel. Someone
      who had made a deep commitment to Sakyamuni, in a previous life when
      he was a bodhisattva, was reborn as a young milkmaid. She fed ten of
      her best cows with the milk of a hundred cows. Then she milked the
      ten cows and fed that milk to the best cow of all. Its milk she
      mixed with honey and the finest rice. Taking this in a golden bowl,
      she approached Sakyamuni and offered it to him. As he drank it, his
      special marks and halo returned in an instant and he cast the bowl
      into the river saying, "If I am to find enlightenment, may this bowl
      float upstream." It did.

      8. He then set out for Vajrasana, the place we now call Bodh
      Gaya. It is said to be the spiritual `centre of gravity' of this
      world and the place where each of the 1,002 Buddhas will manifest
      enlightenment. On the way there, he met another person with a
      special dharma connection: a young man who offered him a bundle of
      kusha grass as a meditation cushion. Arriving beneath the great
      tree, a ficus religiosus, he arranged the grass and sat in
      meditation.

      9. From an absolute point of view, Sakyamuni was already
      completely purified and realised. He had already become the
      perfection of dharmakaya. But to instil, on a relative level, an
      understanding of the need to attain total virtue and wisdom, he
      needed to show attainment of this utter purity. Having taken up his
      seat under the bodhi tree, he entered into the absorption in
      dharmakaya known as the `vajra-like samadhi'. With his manifestation
      of enlightenment imminent, the hosts of negative energies and beings
      of this world came to distract him. They produced phantasms of
      sensuality, hordes of frightening demon armies and other illusions,
      in a vain attempt to hinder his achievement. By his remaining
      unperturbed in the natural loving compassion and voidness of the
      vajra-like samadhi, the hosts of negative forces (mara) were
      defeated. The weapons they threw turned into flowers, adorning the
      Buddha's presence. It is said, in certain scriptures, that these
      evil entities were unable to affect India for many centuries
      following this: it seemed to them as though it were protected by a
      great wall of impenetrable fire. Thus the golden age of enlightened
      teachings could establish itself. The outer `evil forces' are the
      external mirror image of the internal ones. One could also consider
      the Buddha's total enlightenment as being the final elimination of
      every trace of the `four evils' (four mara): those of death, the
      defilements, the aggregates and pride.

      223.Then, perfect enlightenment, the turning of the wheel of dharma
      and passing into supreme nirvana.
      In all these places, so impure,
      the nirmanakaya shows these deeds as long as worlds endure.

      10. At dawn the next morning, the day of the full moon in the
      Vaishakha month, he manifested total enlightenment. He was thirty-
      five. After three cosmic aeons of association with this world, he at
      last appeared in it as a fully purified being, a flawless expression
      of the absolute truth and the presence of omniscience. Thus he
      became a peerless guide for all living beings for thousands of years
      to come.

      11. He did not start teaching the buddhadharma immediately but
      remained in silence for some weeks, in order to show the profundity
      of what he had realised and to give the deva of the planet the
      chance to gather virtue by requesting him to teach. They eventually
      came to him, prostrated and supplicated him to turn the wheel of
      universal truth for the welfare of beings on Earth. Something
      similar to this was happening in all the other planets that fell
      within the scope of his activity. In the deer forests near Benares
      and other places, he taught the Four Truths and 84,000 dharmas
      common to all Buddhism. At the Vulture Peak and other lesser-known
      places, he taught the special path of mahayana. To King Indrabhuti
      and others, he taught the secret teachings of vajrayana. Over a
      forty-five year period, and through the three turnings of the wheel
      of dharma, he transmitted all that needed to be known: the profound
      path to peace and everlasting happiness.

      12. Throughout all this time, the Buddha had been an expression
      of dharmakaya, which is beyond any coming or going. Yet, in order to
      instil diligence and a sense of urgency in his disciples, and in
      order to dispel the wrong notions of his having eternal, concrete
      divinity or the wrong notions of nihilism, he passed into
      parinirvana. If even the physical presence of buddha must seem to
      die, how much more so the likes of ordinary beings! His passing also
      highlighted the need for all Buddhists to assume personal
      responsibility for their own welfare, and not to be over-dependent
      upon the spiritual radiance of others. Buddha Sakyamuni's life,
      chosen here to exemplify the meaning of the term `supreme
      nirmanakaya', is not unique. The twelve deeds are typical of the
      activity of such supreme nirmanakaya throughout the universe.
      Whenever worlds are ready to receive them, those already enlightened
      in sublime spheres demonstrate these twelve deeds, which establish
      the universal truths of dharma in the very best and most lasting
      way. It is the supreme dialogue between truth and ignorance, between
      the pure and the impure, that will continue for as long as worlds
      exist.
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