12 September 2012

Surangama Study Questions, part 6

Back to the heart of the matter...

Surangama Sutra, part 6:  "Twenty-Five Sages," pages 205-259

*This section opens with another of Ananda's particularities.  What is Ananda after here; what is he trying for?  How does the Buddha respond?

*Once again, Buddha Shakyamuni adjusts his teaching method to suit the needs of his students.  What does he do in this chapter?

*There is a certain symmetry or correspondence  between Part 6 and Part 3, "The Matrix of the Thus-Come One."  How does this later section develop, or reinforce, or recontextualize (choose the verb you like) that earlier section's teachings?

*What are the unique capacities and practices of "the Bodhisattva who Hears the Cries of the World," Avalokiteshvara (also known as Kanzeon, Kannon, Guan Yin, Kwanseum)?  Why does Manjushri recommend this path for Ananda, and for beings in "the Dharma's ending-time"?

*We will discuss what is meant by the Dharma-ending age, and its relevance to this Sutra and our tradition of Buddhism, Tuesday evening.

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