tiltbillings wrote:It is important to understand that Buddhism (here meaning Theravada) is not doing science. It is not commenting on the nature of the “external” world. It is dealing with what is experienced. A “fundamental particle” of experience is hardly an unchanging, unconditioned thing. It is a way of talking about the flow of experience that our senses can give us which we can call this or that.
hardly an unchanging, unconditioned thing.
5heaps scratching his head wrote: is there more? every time i see it it always strikes me as being somewhat confused -- it confuses me.
Probably not the best choice of words on my part, but what I am getting at here is the Sarvastivadin notion of svabhava, own nature, which is what 5heaps is trying to read into the Theravada, and which is the focus of the Mahayana criticism of the idea of dharmas.
Bronkhorst wrote:”It is important to remember that for these thinkers [the Sarvastivadins], the existence of past and future dharmas is as real as that of present ones. In other words, a dharma’s own-nature (svabhava) is eternal, even though its present manifestation is only momentary.” - BUDDHIST TEACHING IN INDIA, p 99. See AKosha V p 52
In the Theravadin Abhidhamma Pitaka text, the Katthavatthu (I 6-8 pgs 115-55 in the Pali and pgs 84-104 in the translation POINTS OF CONTROVERSY), the Sarvastivadin position is directly addressed and rejected.
"Sarvastivadin realism was far from being shared by all the Buddhist schools. . . . The later Mahisasakas were the only ones to support the Sarvastivadins in their thesis that everything exists."
5heaps uncritically wrote:its straightforward abidharmakosha and all of indian buddhism 200AD onwards.
- HISTORY OF INDIAN BUDDHISM by E. Lamotte, S. Webb-Boin trans, page 599, 603.
The Sarvastivadin position of svabhava was a philosophical nightmare in which the Theravadins did not participate. For the Theravadins there is no eternal nature to the dhammas. Dhammas are empty of self. The nature of dhammas is as a result of conditioned/conditioning processes. Sarvastivadin arguments have no place here.
So, ‘A “fundamental particle” of experience is hardly an unchanging, unconditioned thing’
could be rewritten: ‘The underlying nature of a “fundamental particle” - a dhamma - of experience is hardly a eternal, existing in the past, present and future unchanged self-existing thing as is taught by the Sarvastivadin school.’
As I have pointed out that in terms of the suttas and the Abhidhamma Pitaka texts dhamma
talk is a way of talking about experience. It is not talking about really self-existing things.
5heaps, puzzled wrote:who says theyre unchanging and unconditioned? how does their lack of being unchanging and unconditioned make them nonultimates? if it doesnt, why cant they be physical ultimates?
Did I say they were not ultimates? What I said: Dhammas are "ultimate things" only as a way of talking about aspects of the relational flow of experience, not in terms of describing static realities. In other words, dhammas are empty of self:
had some sort of ultimate nature as the Sarvastivadins maintain, they would not be empty of self.
D. Kalupahana wrote:In fact, Yasomitra, commenting on the Abhidharmakosa, maintained that “by ‘own nature’ [svabha] means by the ‘self’ [atman].” That is why all the other Buddhist schools criticized the Sarvastivada teachings as heretical. . . . The Sarvastivadin admission that cause and effect are related by the way of ‘own nature’ (svabhava) implies that this ‘own nature’ is the ‘substance’ (dravya) that survives through the past present and future, and is therefore permanent and eternal. - CAUSALITY, pages: 148-9, 150-1.
And Nagarjuna nicely pointed out what a pain in the tookus the Sarvastivadin notion of svabhava is. And, again, keep in mind, the Sarvastivadin notion of the nature of dhammaa is not a notion at all shared by the Theravadins.
5heaps: why cant they be physical ultimates?
Why do they need to be and what does that mean, anyway? What matters is what we directly experience. So, here let us talk about the Theravada, sutta and Abhidhamma Pitaka point of view. There is absolutely no need to read the Sarvastivadin point of view into this discussion. This is, after all The General Theravada discussion
section for discussing things from a Theravadin point of view. 5heaps, anything about that unclear?