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On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings - Page 14 - Dhamma Wheel

On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
danieLion
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

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danieLion
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

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danieLion
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

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acinteyyo
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby acinteyyo » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:17 am

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

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Judai
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

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Alex123
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Alex123 » Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:33 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

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Alex123
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Alex123 » Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:48 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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reflection
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby reflection » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:21 pm

The aggregates encompass all. To those who think there is some room for a self/soul outside of aggregates, outside of the six senses - try to define it, or find it in your own experience. You'll find you can't, because such a thing does not exit. So by saying there is no self/soul in the aggregates, the Buddha said there is no self/soul at all. To take the aggregate that is the most clear: What sort of self/soul could exist without consciousness? Without consciousness you can't speak of such things.

I know Thanissaro defines some sort of consciousness outside of the aggregates, but in my eyes that is just being evasive. The suttas say all types of consciousness whatever fall under the aggregate. If there was something outside, surely the Buddha would make it exceptionally clear every time he taught anatta, but he didn't.

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acinteyyo
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby acinteyyo » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:28 pm

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

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Gaoxing
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Gaoxing » Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:02 am

Equating impermanence with suffering and no-self is for kindergarten classes where the illusion of a self, which does exist and is not denied by the Buddha, is very prominent. The Buddha does not deny the existence of illusions, he does not deny Zeus, the tooth fairy nor Father Christmas.

Impermanence is only an occasion to suffering and not the cause of suffering and is suffering when there still is a self present. This is ignorance and ignorance is the illusion of a self. The self is to be lost in order to find the relief from suffering. The Bikkhus the Buddha spoke with were still delusional therefore context is important but practice is much more important. Having a fundamentalists illusion can not eradicate suffering.

What seems to lack is the very basics of meditation practice. With a self present there is birth and death i.e. suffering, Samsara.

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Alex123
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Alex123 » Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:20 am

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Alex123
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Alex123 » Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:24 am

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Gaoxing
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Gaoxing » Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:19 am

Context is very important.



1.
“Natthi attakāro, natthi parakāro.” Some people might have expected the Buddha to have approved highly of this naïve negative doctrine. The fact that he very succinctly and effectively refutes it is extremely instructive and of great significance for gaining a better understanding of the depth, subtlety, and holism of the Buddha’s actual teaching. Although the Buddha taught that there is no permanent, eternal, immutable, independently-existing core “self” (attā), he also taught that there is “action” or “doing”, and that it is therefore meaningful to speak of one who intends, initiates, sustains and completes actions and deeds, and who is therefore an ethically responsible and culpable being. It should be quite clear from its usage in this sutta, and from the argument of this sutta, that kāra in atta-kāra must be an agent noun, “doer, maker”: this is strongly entailed, for example, by the Buddha’s statement: “ārabbhavanto sattā paññāyanti, ayaṃ sattānaṃ attakāro ayaṃ parakāro”, “initiating beings are clearly discerned: of (such) beings, this is the self-doer, this, the other-doer” (AN iii.338). (This is perhaps even clearer than the term hāra in bhāra-hāra meaning “bearer” (“burden-bearer”) in SN 22.22 (Bhāra Sutta: The Burden; PTS SN iii.25). SN 22.22, which describes the “bearer” of the “burden” of the “five clung-to aggregates” (pañc-upādāna-kkhandhā) as the “person” (puggala), is arguably very closely related to AN 6.38 in meaning and implications. See SN 22.22 and also SN 12.61, note 1.) Atta-kāra could mean that one motivates oneself, or that one acts upon oneself; para-kāra could refer to the atta-kāra as seen from a third-person perspective, or to one who acts upon another being or thing. In each one of these cases, there is necessarily an all-important moment of initiation of action (see also footnotes 2 and 3, below). As for the form of the term atta-kārī, which occurs in the title of this sutta, compare the expression: “yathā-vādī tathā-kārī”, “one who speaks thus, one who does thus”; or, in other words, “he does as he says”, “he practises what he preaches” (compare, for example, PTS DN iii.135, AN ii.24, Sn 359).
2.
Sayaṃ abhikkamanto: “moving forward by oneself”; sayaṃ paṭikkamanto: “moving backward by oneself”. Sayaṃ means “self; by oneself”. The example seems to suggest the action of someone who intentionally takes a step forward, and then intentionally takes a step back again. This example leads directly to the next statement, and thus emphasises the idea of initiating an action (see [3] below): when someone takes a step forward or backward, the origin and impetus of this action must, so to speak, come from “somewhere” or “something”. In other words, it really is an intentionally initiated action (kiriya, kriyā), and not merely the arbitrary mechanical “effect” of some prior mechanical “cause” in a deterministic chain of mechanical push-and-pull. The sense, here, can be better understood if one also consults AN 2.33 (Aññataro Brāhmaṇo: A Certain Brahmin; PTS AN i.62), where the Buddha describes himself thus: “I am one who asserts that which ought to be done... and one who asserts that which ought not to be done.” (“Kiriyavādī cāhaṃ... akiriyavādī cā'ti.”) There, it is made very clear that doing and non-doing are morally significant and morally effective. Similarly, in several other suttas, such as in MN 95 (Caṅkī Sutta; PTS MN ii.164), the Buddha is described thus: “The venerable recluse Gotama is truly one who asserts the doctrine of kamma, one who asserts the doctrine of what ought to be done. . .” (“Samaṇo khalu bho gotamo kammavādī kiriyavādī. . .” (MN ii.167).) Again, in MN 71 (Tevijjavacchagotta Sutta; PTS MN i.481), the Buddha humorously recounts that in the last ninety-one aeons, no ājivaka, or “fatalist” who denies the power of volitional acts, has ever gone to heaven, except one, who happened to follow the doctrine of kamma and of morally effective deeds (“sopāsi kammavādī kiriyavādī”, MN i.483).
3.
Ārabbha-dhātū. Dhātū can mean “constituent element, property, natural condition, state, root principle”. Ārabbha (also spelt ārambha) has the primary meaning of “beginning, undertaking”. In Sanskrit, the verbal root ā-rabh means “to take hold of; gain a footing; undertake, begin”; and in both Sanskrit and Pali ārambha has the meaning of “beginning, origin, commencement; inception of energy”; it can also mean “effort, exertion”. The commentary glosses ārambha-dhātū with “ārabhanavasena pavattavīriyaṃ”, “the energy of setting something in motion by means of the power of beginning or initiating it” (PTS Mp iii.366).
4.
Ārabbhavanto sattā. This phrase is in the plural.
5.
The sense here would seem to be as follows: We clearly discern initiated actions (in ourselves and in others); so we clearly discern that there are initiating beings who initiate those actions; and the “self-doer” and “other-doer” are just particular beings amongst that set of beings (who may be described, for example, from a subjective or objective perspective, respectively).
6.
Nikkama-dhātu. This term, and the four terms that follow, could be translated with a wide variety of different nuances; yet, the overall integrity of sense that is implied would remain quite clear and consistent throughout. Together with the already discussed ārabbha-dhātu, they make a set of six inter-related terms. What is in question here, most essentially, is the intentional attitude and effort of conscious, volitional beings.
7.
Parakkama-dhātu.
8.
Thāma-dhātu.
9.
Ṭhiti-dhātu.
10.
Upakkama-dhātu.

binocular
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

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