Dhammanando wrote: ↑
Sun Jun 12, 2016 4:05 am
identification wrote:People here should contemplate the Thai forest traditions teachings on the Primordial Citta, which is without end, is never born, never dies, and creates the five aggregates of body and mind.
For a supposed entity to possess the attribute of primordiality is possible only in a system that posits a primordium, but the Buddha doesn’t. In several suttas in the Saṃyutta Nikāya’s Ananmatavagga he says:
- “Bhikkhus, this saṃsāra is without discoverable beginning. A first point is not discerned of beings roaming and wandering on hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving.”
And in the Anguttara Nikāya:
- “A first point of ignorance, bhikkhus, is not seen such that before this there was no ignorance and afterward it came into being.”
In a system that lacks a first (primus
) beginning (ordium
) it’s incoherent to posit a “primordial” citta or a primordial anything else.
identification wrote:People here should contemplate the Thai forest traditions teachings on the Primordial Citta, which is without end, is never born, never dies
It’s a contradiction in terms to say of something primordial that it “is never born”. To be primordial is to have come into being at the beginning of time, but not to have existed before that. In Christian belief, for example, God is eternal (existing outside of time), but light is primordial; in the Genesis account light was the first thing that God created and so it came into being/was born at the primordium.
So which is your mysterious citta? Eternal or primordial?
identification wrote:“In fact, the true nature of the citta cannot be expressed in words or concepts.”
Oh come on, you can do better than this. This kind of talk from Maha Boowa and his disciples is just an intellectually lazy tactic for ensuring that the irrationalist tendencies and textually unsupported views of his tradition are quarantined from any possible criticism.
Okay I'm willing to play the forum game and open myself up to whatever criticism, but only in return for being able to send private messages.
The post initially began a question about Nibbana, this lead me to reread a simple writing by Bhikkhu Bodhi.
https://www.dhammaforeveryone.com/nibba ... bodhi.html
1)"The Buddha refers to Nibbana as a 'dhamma'. For example, he says "of all dhammas, conditioned or unconditioned, the most excellent dhamma, the supreme dhamma is, Nibbana". 'Dhamma' signifies actual realities, the existing realities as opposed to conceptual things. Dhammas are of two types, conditioned and unconditioned. A conditioned dhamma is an actuality which has come into being through causes or conditions, something which arises through the workings of various conditions. The conditioned dhammas are the five aggregates: material form, feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness. The conditioned dhammas do not remain static. They go through a ceaseless process of becoming. They arise, undergo transformation and fall away due to its conditionality."
After reading this it becomes clear why the Buddha used the words he did in Dhammapada v.277-279
sabbe saṅkhārā aniccā — "all saṅkhāras(conditioned things) are impermanent"
sabbe saṅkhārā dukkhā — "all saṅkhāras are unsatisfactory"
sabbe dhammā anattā — "all dharmas(conditioned or unconditioned things) are not self"
Maybe I'm missing something or maybe something is missing... But then again certain Disciples of the Buddha we're supposedly able to reach such high attainments with just a sliver of Dhamma. No books or manuals, no internet just a memory of what they had heard ( and said accumulation of merit ). Sometimes I wonder... could too much information possibly serve as a hindrance of development. I'm sure the answer is different for everyone at different times.
2)"Is Nibbana conditioned by its path?
Now the question is often asked: If Nibbana is attained by the practice of the path, doesn't this make it something conditioned something produced by the path? Doesn't Nibbana become an effect of the cause, which is the path? Here we have to distinguish between Nibbana itself and the attainment of Nibbana. By practising the path one doesn't bring Nibbana into existence but rather discovers something already existing, something always present."
***Nibbana is, in some currently inconceivable way, present always.
3)"The Buddha refers to Nibbana as
-a 'dhatu,' an element, the 'deathless element' (amata-dhatu).
-a 'state' (pada), as 'amatapada' - the deathless state - or ‘accutapada’, the imperishable state.
-something that can be experienced by the body "touching the deathless element with one's own body."
-As an 'ayatana'. This means realm, plane or sphere"
*** what strikes me here is the freedom of expression within his description, even though as Ven. Bodhi writes "Nibbana cannot be understood through words or expressions"&"It is a sphere where there is nothing at all that corresponds to our mundane experience".
To paint a picture, we have this element, this sphere, this deathless state always existing, timeless and able to be touched by our bodies.....but primordial citta!....come on! No, I think I'd be willing to cut some slack and give the credit to a poor choice of words or a bad translation. I have seen the expression "Primal"nature used
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_Fo ... d_glossary
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luminou ... ara_Nikaya
maybe that's a "safer" word? The mind being an essential aspect and at least coming before in time with reguard to our ability for cultivation, acting as the "Forerunner". Reminds me of the first pair of verses in the Yamakavagga, no? Possibly trying to give the benefit of the doubt here but the aim seems to be the same within the tradition.
"experiencing the Deathless (Pali: amata-dhamma): an absolute, unconditioned dimension of the mind free of inconstancy, suffering, or a sense of self."
Currently I do not hold any belief or experience on the particular topic of Nibbana but became interested in this post because I have been invited by a Thai monk from Ubon Ratchathani to travel with him to Ven. Chah's Wat Pha Nanachat, which I'm sure most of you know is part of the Thai forest tradition. Not seeing any harm in it, I agreed. After all the opinions, It can't be a bad place to study or at least observe the many aspects of monastic life for a westerner who can't yet speak the language. I suppose certain individuals could benefit from the structured nature of the place as well...Yours truly.
Wat Chonprathan Rangsarit
Simple living high thinking.