The Lokayata Discourses

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Re: The Lokayata Discourses

Postby chownah » Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:58 am

vinasp wrote: How can anyone cling to experience? It is not possible. What people are
clinging to is a mind-fabricated representation of some experience. In
this sense it is indeed an object. All clinging is clinging to something.
There must be an object.

More to follow, regards, Vincent.

I think that experience here is comprised of the clinging aggregates or encompasses the clinging aggregates and so would indeed be subject to clinging.....
My views only....
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Re: The Lokayata Discourses

Postby vinasp » Thu Feb 02, 2012 5:50 am

Hi chownah,

Quote: I think that experience here is comprised of the clinging aggregates or encompasses the clinging aggregates and so would indeed be subject to clinging...

What has to be given up, is everything that we are clinging to. This is,
of course, the five clinging aggregates. But, for me, these five clinging
aggregates have nothing to do with sense experience.

I suspect that my understanding of the aggregates is very different to
your understanding. This is a large and complex topic, which I would
prefer not to go into on this thread.

If you are interested in discussing them, I will be pleased to participate
on another thread.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: The Lokayata Discourses

Postby vinasp » Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:02 am

Hi kirk5a,

Quote: Awake, not clinging to notions of any sort. A.k.a. "living the holy life"

Just show me any discourse where the Buddha instructs his monks
to "... not cling to notions of any sort."

It looks more like the teaching of Nagarjuna, originating about
500 years after the Buddha.

Regards, Vincent.
Last edited by vinasp on Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Lokayata Discourses

Postby vinasp » Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:21 am

Hi everyone,

What is this "world" that ceases?

1. World - loka.
2. Suffering - dukkha.
3. "Death" - mara.
4. A being - satta.
5. The five aggregates of clinging.
6. "Identity" - sakkaya.

These are all the same thing, and represent what has ceased when
the noble eightfold path has been completed.

The six-spheres (salayatana) have also ceased. The understanding of
the six-spheres as being the actual senses is not wrong. But there is
an alternative way to understand them. In this alternative, all twelve
spheres (six "internal" and six "external") have ceased. So one is not
required to understand the six spheres as being the actual six senses.

Therefore, this "world" has nothing to do with sense experience, and
sense experience continues after this "world" ceases.

What is the simplest way to understand this "world"? It is everything
that we are clinging to. Where these "things" are mind-fabricated
objects. Think of them as just being misunderstandings of things.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: The Lokayata Discourses

Postby chownah » Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:15 am

vinasp wrote:Hi chownah,

Quote: I think that experience here is comprised of the clinging aggregates or encompasses the clinging aggregates and so would indeed be subject to clinging...

What has to be given up, is everything that we are clinging to. This is,
of course, the five clinging aggregates. But, for me, these five clinging
aggregates have nothing to do with sense experience.

I suspect that my understanding of the aggregates is very different to
your understanding. This is a large and complex topic, which I would
prefer not to go into on this thread.

If you are interested in discussing them, I will be pleased to participate
on another thread.

Regards, Vincent.

vinasp,
I think that not only do our views on aggregates are very different but also our views on experience are very different. Thanks for the offer to discuss the aggregates but I'm pretty satisfied with my present understanding in that my present understanding allows me to make sense of many of the things you are questioning.
You say, "What has to be given up, is everything that we are clinging to", to me the idea "the relinquishment of all experience" means we need to give up experience and so from what you say it must be something that we are clinging to or else why would the Buddha say to give it up?...put another way, the Buddha says to give up experience; you say what has to be given up is what we cling to....therefore experience must be something we cling to....I guess.....the only disconnect I see here is you inability to see experience as something that can be clung to.....for me it is obvious that experience is something that can be clung to. Do people cling to life?....from your viewpoint is that impossible just like clinging to experience is impossible?
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Re: The Lokayata Discourses

Postby vinasp » Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:30 am

Hi everyone,

Ajahn Buddhadasa wrote an interesting essay called: "Everyday
Language and Dhamma Language." It can be found in many books
which include a selection of his writings.

It is also available on-line from many sites, for example:

http://www.theravada-dhamma.org/blog/?p=8185

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: The Lokayata Discourses

Postby kirk5a » Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:24 pm

vinasp wrote:Hi kirk5a,

Quote: Awake, not clinging to notions of any sort. A.k.a. "living the holy life"

Just show me any discourse where the Buddha instructs his monks
to "... not cling to notions of any sort."

It looks more like the teaching of Nagarjuna, originating about
500 years after the Buddha.

Regards, Vincent.

That was not a verbatim quote from somewhere. The Buddha certainly taught wakefulness (sati) and non-clinging to what is seen, heard, sensed or cognized. That includes not clinging to mental notions such as "there is no self."

But as for quotations, how about this one?

Concerning the seen, the heard and the cognized he does not form the least notion. That brahmana[2] who does not grasp at a view, with what could he be identified in the world?

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .irel.html
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: The Lokayata Discourses

Postby vinasp » Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:10 am

Hi kirk5a,

Your original statement was:

"Awake, not clinging to notions of any sort. A.k.a. "living the holy life"

My response was:

"Just show me any discourse where the Buddha instructs his monks
to "... not cling to notions of any sort."

That was a bad response by me. The Buddha does certainly say that nothing
should be clung to, and that includes ideas or notions.

If we could stop clinging to the idea of self - just like that - Then
we would be enlightened. But it is not that easy, because the clinging
is a deep-rooted habit. It takes the entire noble eightfold path to
remove this view of self.

The question really, is - What is right view for those on the path?

My opinion is that right view is the view - "there is no self", which
is used to remove the view of self.

If anyone thinks that the view "there is no self" is a wrong view,
and should be given up, then they will never enter the noble
eightfold path, and never become enlightened.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: The Lokayata Discourses

Postby vinasp » Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:13 pm

Hi everyone,

If anyone holds any of the following views, then there is no living of
the holy life (ie. no entry into the noble eightfold path.) - MN 63.6

1. The cosmos (loka) is eternal.
2. The cosmos is not eternal.
3. The cosmos is finite.
4. The cosmos is infinite.
5. The soul is the same as the body.
6. The soul is one thing, the body is another.
7. After death a tathagata exists.
8. After death a tathagata does not exist.
9. ... both exists and does not exist.
10. ... neither exists nor does not exist.

Note: I think "cosmos" is better than "world" as a translation of loka.
The cosmos here means all three "realms", kama, rupa and arupa.

Now, why would holding the view that the cosmos is eternal prevent
anyone from entering the noble eightfold path?

The only explanation that I can think of, at present, is that everyone
at the time understood "cosmos" to be the same as self/soul.

In other words, they had a completely different understanding of
"self" than we do today.

Also, a true entry into the noble eightfold path, requires an
understanding that it's purpose is to bring about the cessation
of self/cosmos, which is not real, but only a
mind-fabricated construction.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: The Lokayata Discourses

Postby chownah » Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:27 pm

vinasp wrote: Note: I think "cosmos" is better than "world" as a translation of loka.
The cosmos here means all three "realms", kama, rupa and arupa.

I think the best way to understand the meaning of "cosmos" is to read the Loka Suttas.....there are more than one and they each give meanings for "loka" which can be taken as "world" or "universe" or "cosmos" I think. Also to gain further understanding combine the reading of the Loka Suttas with the Sabba Sutta which is The All Sutta. I don't think that your definition is the same as what will be found in these suttas but maybe you will be able to understand these suttas as pertaining to the three "realms"...I don't know but I have never understood them that way but I can be very sloppy in my scholarship sometimes....
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Re: The Lokayata Discourses

Postby acinteyyo » Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:57 pm

Hi Vincent,

although I agree to most of what you posted here, I need to comment on this.

I think the view "there is no self" is not appropriate to abandon any view of self because it still circles around a view of self and easily entangles one in a thicket of views bound to the extremes of existence and non-existence. One oversimplifies the issue by adopting that view and establishes a hindrance in understanding DO for oneself. It is a view which has to be abandoned too if you ask me. If there really isn't something, like for example a "jweponguopapoydtru", which apart from the letters I randomly put together doesn't have any significance at all, we really don't need to keep ourselves busy with it.

What must be known and seen as they are is the five aggregates — their nature, their arising, and their passing away. Dependen Origination is what describes it, avoiding the extremes of existence and non-existence. The view "there is a self" and the view "there is no self" become obvious as being delusion, their illusoriness become clear by understanding DO. It is not by removing one view through another by which one gains insight, enters the path and becomes enlightened, it is by seeing things as they are!
vinasp wrote:My opinion is that right view is the view - "there is no self", which
is used to remove the view of self.

If anyone thinks that the view "there is no self" is a wrong view,
and should be given up, then they will never enter the noble
eightfold path, and never become enlightened.

May opinion is that it is good that this is just your opinion and not what the Buddha taught when you ask me.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

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Re: The Lokayata Discourses

Postby vinasp » Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:29 pm

Hi acinteyyo,

Perhaps I should have made it clear that I regard right view as
"knowing and seeing things as they really are." It is,therefore,
quite a different thing from wrong views - which are delusions
and obsessions.

Your post is interesting and I would like to explore some of the
things which you say. This short reply is just to make sure that
we are both understanding views in the same way.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: The Lokayata Discourses

Postby vinasp » Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:36 am

Hi acinteyyo,

From your post:

"I think the view "there is no self" is not appropriate to abandon any view of self because it still circles around a view of self and easily entangles one in a thicket of views bound to the extremes of existence and non-existence. One oversimplifies the issue by adopting that view and establishes a hindrance in understanding DO for oneself. It is a view which has to be abandoned too if you ask me."

Yes, I agree. Thanks for pointing this out. I can see from what you say here,
that I should made it clear what I meant by right view.

Right view is "knowing and seeing things as they really are", so in relation
to the apparent self, it would be knowing and seeing that there is no self
in reality, and that the apparent self is a deep-rooted delusion.

When this truth which is seen is put into words, it is - "there is no self."
Now, a view (ditthi) is just "a way of seeing" it is not right or wrong
in itself. Those who are deluded have a wrong way of seeing, while those
who are free of delusions have a right way of seeing. So view (ditthi) is
used in two very different ways.

This means that the view "there is no self" could also be a wrong view.
As you say, if someone "adopted" such a view, it would be of no help,
and might be a hindrance. It seems that there is no way to know, when
such a view is stated, whether it is right view or wrong view.

I will try to write more clearly in future!

More to follow, regards, Vincent.
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Re: The Lokayata Discourses

Postby acinteyyo » Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:55 am

Thanks for clarifying, Vincent.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

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Re: The Lokayata Discourses

Postby vinasp » Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:55 pm

Hi everyone,

An interesting description of the acquisition of right view is given
in MN 48 - not yet available on the "access to insight" website.

Here are a few selected passages - Bhikkhu Bodhi, Middle Length
Discourses, pages 421 - 423.

8."And how does this view that is noble and emancipating lead
the one who practices in accordance with it to the complete
destruction of suffering?"
"Here a bhikkhu, gone to the forest or ... considers thus:
"Is there any obsession unabandoned in myself that might
so obsess my mind that I cannot know or see things as they
actually are?"
........
"He understands thus;"There is no obsession unabandoned in
myself that might so obsess my mind that I cannot know
and see things as they actually are. My mind is well
disposed for awakening to the truths." This is the first
knowledge attained by him that is noble, supramundane, not
shared by ordinary people.

9. "Again, a noble disciple considers thus: "When I pursue,
develop, and cultivate this view, do I obtain internal
serenity, do I personally obtain stillness? (yes)

[ note the change from "bhikkhu" to "noble disciple". This sutta
goes on to describe seven of these forms of "supramundane knowledge"
and ends by saying that "... he possesses the fruit of stream-entry."
But when did he "enter the stream?"]

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: The Lokayata Discourses

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:28 pm

Hi Vincent,

There is a (rather older) translation here:
http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pit ... ta-e1.html

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Re: The Lokayata Discourses

Postby vinasp » Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:11 pm

Hi mike,

Thanks mike, that may be of use to those who don't have their own
copy of the Middle Length Discourses.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: The Lokayata Discourses

Postby vinasp » Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:17 pm

Hi everyone,

More on MN 48.

When the "bhikkhu" arrives at the point where his mind is:
"... well disposed for awakening to the truths", what happens next?

Awakening to the truths, of course. These are the four noble truths.
The Sutta is not explicit here, it does not say that the monk awakens
to the truths. Instead it shows it by referring to him as a "noble
disciple."

SN 56.17 explains that ignorance is not knowing the four truths.

"Bhikkhus, not knowing suffering, not knowing the origin of
suffering, not knowing the cessation of suffering, not knowing
the way leading to the cessation of suffering: this is called
ignorance ..."

And SN 56.18 says that "true knowledge" is knowledge of these four truths.

These four truths can also be understood as Dependent Origination.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: The Lokayata Discourses

Postby vinasp » Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:52 pm

Hi everyone,

I think that I have found the meaning of the phrase: "Without veering
towards either of these extremes the Tathagata teaches Dhamma by the middle."

It is, indeed, a rejection of the extremes of "existence" and "non-existence"
but only if existence is understood as real existence, and is applied to
"self" and (personal) "world".

What the Buddha is saying is that "self" and "world" are mind-fabricated.
Although they are apparent they are not real. What the mind has constructed
it can de-construct. These apparent things can vanish or disappear. So they
cannot be said to be the existence of something real, when they are apparent.
Nor can they be said to be the non-existence of something real when they have
vanished.

So, between the extremes of "real existence" on the one hand, and "non-
existence of something real" on the other, there is a middle where the
things which are mind-made are either "apparent" or "vanish".

Right view is exactly this view in relation to "self" and personal "world".
It sees them as mind-fabricated, as things which can vanish, and as things
which do not correspond to reality.

Dependent Origination represents this correct way of understanding "self"
and personal "world", showing how they originate and how they cease.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: The Lokayata Discourses

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:34 pm

Hi Vincent. You now seem to be agreeing with the quotes I referenced above:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=11292#p171285
is that the case?

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