Does Buddha teaching has secret not reveal to others?

Recently I heard
from a monk saying
Buddha does kept
secret not reveal to
different religious people !
Is there text in EBTs that showing
any information on this matter ?

See AN3.129 Paṭicchannasuttaṃ

"Monks, there are these three things
which shine forth for all to see,
which are not hidden.
What three?
The disc of the moon
shines for all to see:
it is not hidden.
The disc of the sun
shines for all to see:
it is not hidden.
The Dhamma-Discipline of a Tathagata
shines for all to see:
it is not hidden.
These are the three things.’

–Source: https://goo.gl/mRdD7F

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Thus spoke the Venerable Ananda, but the Blessed One answered him, saying: "What more does the community of bhikkhus expect from me, Ananda? I have set forth the Dhamma without making any distinction of esoteric and exoteric doctrine; there is nothing, Ananda, with regard to the teachings that the Tathagata holds to the last with the closed fist of a teacher who keeps some things back.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.16.1-6.vaji.html

I have taught Dhamma, Ananda, making no ‘inner’ and ‘outer’: the Tathaagata has no ‘teacher’s fist’ in respect of the doctrines."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn56/sn56.031.wlsh.html

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That is a deluded and ignorant idea. Where did the monk get such an idea?

1 Like

Actually , when I heard it,
my reaction was it is
unlikely Buddha will
keep secret . But , I am in
no position to argue with him .

How many “secrets” the Buddha kept probably was directly correlated to how many people couldn’t understand key concepts in the Buddhadharma, I suspect.

[quote=“James2997”]
Recently I heard
from a monk saying
Buddha does kept
secret not reveal to
different religious people !
[/quote]Did he mean that a certain group of Buddhists have special doctrine from the Buddha? Or did he mean that the content of the Buddhadharma is a “secret” in that the fullness of it is restricted to Buddhadharma (i.e. not to be found, or “secret”, to the views of other religions)?

There are several traditions of “esoteric Buddhism” whose followers believe in a hidden tradition passed down in secret among monastic lineages, and into which one must be initiated. Here’s one version, but no doubt there are many, many others:

http://vutruhuyenbi.com/forum/download/The-Quintessence-of-Secret-Esoteric-Buddhism-Revised-Edition-2008.pdf

Sometimes “esoteric” traditions are also only “esoteric” because you need to formally join them before you can learn their practices and interpretations.

There is a documentary on the Japanese monastery at Koyasan, which is called Pilgrimage to Koyasan, I think its on either YouTube or DailyMotion or one of those video-hosting platforms. In that documentary, they talk to a Shingon priest (of some repute at least I assume), and he frames the “esotericism” in the “esoteric” teachings as being the meaning behind the outward presentation of the Dharma. In this respect, some schools of esoteric Buddhism are less like “secret-keepers” and more like idiosyncratic Abhidhammikas (with their own Abhidharma/“meaning behind the teaching”) which you need to join to learn from.

Whether or not their interpretations ring true, or are grounded in truth, of course, is a different matter, I think the Shingon school is largely based the intersection between the Mahāvairocanatantra & the Vajraśekharasūtra, which although are interesting texts might not be considered reliable by folks here, to say the least :sweat_smile:.

That might contextualize things a bit, if what is gleanable from that documentary is at all accurate to reality. Its easy to think of esoteric teachings as the Buddha describes a teacher who holds back secrets “with a jealous closed first” (paraphrase, looking for proper quote), but the usage of the term “esoteric” might be less related to keeping secrets, and more related to the general idea that there is something implicit to be realized from within the Buddhavacana that is not explicitly stated.

1 Like

Actually , FYI he was saying
that the Buddha Kept the secret teachings to his disciples only
and not reveal it to
other religions .He mentioned
the Core secret of the teaching
had been lost through the
oral transmission lineage .
He also said he will reveal
to certain disciples where
they truly appreciate
and follow the dhamma
with utmost earnest .
He seems to have very good
in depth study in the Theravada , mahayana and the vajrayana
Sutta and Abhidhamma also .
He even have had very well
trained in the practice of the
dhamma & Meditation
in different traditions as well .
He explained the 4 NT, 8 NP,
12 D. O. , the 37 factors
in depth but quite different
from the current Theravadan ,
Mahayan and Vajrayana
that being explained !

As has been well-documented above, according to several places in the EBT, the Buddha renounced professing ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ teachings, in the sense of hidden or esoteric (in the same sense used at about the same time in classical Chinese medical and philosophical/religious literature where there were “nei” (inner) teachings for the cognoscenti, and “wai” (outer) teaching for the public, so to speak).

That is not to say that for different individuals listening to his teaching, aspects of it weren’t “hidden” by their own (mental) blindness.

Or that he might not have discussed aspects with his advanced students in terms more refined and detailed, again according to the capabilities of the individual, than he may have used with other individuals or in addressing a “public”.

The gist of the EBT texts would seem to imply that he did not intentionally withhold anything.

1 Like

Did he ask for a special donation?

@DKervick

No , he is very strict on precepts ,
he doesn’t accept any kind of money
, he and his disciples don’t
sleep on mattress , and beds .
Even if you book a 5 star
hotel rooms , they will still
sleep on the floor .
I remember he did
mentioned to setup
a fund so that after
his passing away
( he’s 60 something) ,
his disciples still have
some kind of surviving means .
He worry his disciples will
not have any support as he has .