Sangharakshita - Parables, Myths and Symbols of Mahayana Buddhism in the White Lotus Sutra

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Sangharakshita - Parables, Myths and Symbols of Mahayana Buddhism in the White Lotus Sutra

Sangharakshita - Parables, Myths and Symbols of Mahayana Buddhism in the White Lotus Sutra
English | Size: 339.62 MB
Category: Buddhism




Parables, Myths and Symbols of Mahayana Buddhism in the White Lotus Sutra
A series of talks by Sangharakshita
In "Parables, Myths and Symbols of Mahayana Buddhism in the White Lotus Sutra", Sangharakshita remarks: "The White Lotus Sutra is not only a religious classic, but a masterpiece of symbolic spiritual literature." Enough said! Reference for these lectures: scripture of the Lotus Blossom of the Fine Dharma, translated by L. Hurvitz (Columbia University Press).
mselves.

1. The Universal Perspective of Mahayana Buddhism
Sangharakshita explores the contrast between Hinayana ("Little Vehicle") and Mahayana ("Great Vehicle") Buddhism. Pursuing the theme of the Mahayana, he outlines its path, its historical roots and its principal scriptures, particularly the White Lotus Sutra.
2. The Drama of Cosmic Enlightenment
After considering the Sutra's history and the meaning of its title, Sangharakshita provides a summary of its dramatic structure, with brief explanations of the significance of certain details.
3. Transcending the Human Predicament
In investigating various symbolic elements in the Parable of the Burning House, we are reminded of the importance of responding to "the call of the Divine". The general significance of the parable is then discussed under the headings of escapism, universalism and sectarianism.
4. The Myth of the Return Journey
The Parable of the Return Journey has a theme which resonates with many similar stories in world literature. Here its important elements are to the personal quest for meaning.
5. Symbols of Life and Growth
The Parables of the Rain Cloud, and the Parable of the Sun and Moon both tell us that spiritual development is an organic process of growth, and that the Dharma nourishes all impartially, though people follow different patterns of development.
6. Five Element Symbolism and the Stupa
What is "The Stupa of Abundant Treasures" in The White Lotus Sutra? Sangharakshita explains the origins of the Buddhist stupa, and its connections with the five elements and the balance of 'yin' and 'yang'.
7. The Jewel in the Lotus
The Sutra includes the story of a drunkard who is shown a jewel tied in his clothing, and also introduces us to the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, whose well-known mantra "Om Mani Padme Hum" reveals a key principle of the story and of the sutra itself.
8. The Archetype of the Divine Healer
The Divine Healer, identifiable in Egyptian and Greek myths, also appears in the White Lotus Sutra as both the Medicine Buddha and the Good Physician, in the parable of that name, who leaves his sons to cure the

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Tags: Sangharakshita, Parables, Symbols, Mahayana, Buddhism

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