Did Buddha categorically denied the existence of an eternal self or a separate self?

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tiltbillings
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Re: Did Buddha categorically denied the existence of an eternal self or a separate self?

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Nov 19, 2015 5:33 pm

dhammacoustic wrote: Any selfhood originates due to avijjā. I never said atmān is a conceptual self. It is just the core of experience, absolute, undying, neither material nor immaterial, soul. These of course, aren't canonical statements.
These aren't canonical statement? Goodness. So, what we are getting here is your somewhat confused conflation of things, it would seem.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: Did Buddha categorically denied the existence of an eternal self or a separate self?

Post by Pasada » Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:39 pm

dhammacoustic wrote:
Pasada wrote:I didn't say it meant intellectual knowledge.

My point was that the Arahant has comprehended Unbinding, and therefore, does not identify herself with it. This precludes the idea of the Atman, i.e. the true or essential self.
The arahant does not identify with unbinding, because he is freed from the khandhas. Do you agree with this?
The passage I quoted says that the Arahant does not identify with unbinding because he directly knows it as it is.
dhammacoustic wrote:Void, substance, lack of substance ─ I believe these are just words, and ideas, they don't mean anything, in the ultimate sense.
Maybe not, but that's still no excuse for sloppy terminology.
dhammacoustic wrote:Isn't that what modern Theravādins teach and practice? There is nothing, only the khandhas, isn't this the idea?
Maybe you should spend some time learning from modern Theravadins, rather than assuming you know what they teach.

The modern Theravadins I am learning from teach suffering and the ending of suffering. And what do you know, this is also how the Canonical Buddha described his own teaching! Not about the properties of some absolute ultimate reality with which we attain mystical union - but suffering, and the end of suffering.
dhammacoustic wrote:No wonder nobody attains nibbāna any more.
How would you know?
dhammacoustic wrote:
Ontological interpretations of Buddhist teaching are mostly unanimous in saying that "there is no self", and these interpretations are also not monist or materialist.
So what are they?
In terms of Western philosophical categories, I'd describe them as process pluralists.
dhammacoustic wrote:Okay, but I am not arguing that there is an eternal self, I am arguing that there is an absolute, which is identical to the Tathagāta.
I agree with Tilt: just be a Hindu. It would be so much easier for you; you'd have a whole set of texts and doctrines that support your worldview in a straightforward way, instead of requiring you to read a meaning against the grain of the texts themselves and 2500 years of tradition and commentary. If you like the Uppanishads, there's certainly no shortage of sects and practices which are based on the concepts described therein.

What you're trying to do is no less absurd than arguing that there is a Messiah, who is the Son of God and who is identical to the Tathagata. You're barking up the wrong tree.

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Re: Did Buddha categorically denied the existence of an eternal self or a separate self?

Post by dhammacoustic » Fri Nov 20, 2015 1:45 am

tiltbillings wrote:And that is your theory on things. If it is not an object of knowledge then the arahant doesn't know it.
Everything is theory, unless you experience it.

It is not an object of intellectual knowledge, it cannot be, because intellectual knowledge is conditional. So what are you saying, if an arahā loses his physical memory, he's not arahā any more? Is that what you're saying? Does this make sense to you?

Nibbāna is a state beyond the khandhas, or there is no Buddhism.
I see. So, this "real self" which is not the khandhas, does it feel, see, know, act, change?


No. (and I never used the term 'real/self')

Phenomenal experience means there is defilement, therefore it is samsāra.
So, you are saying that knowledge of nibbana is in fact a cognition based upon memory. Interesting and confused, but that is pretty much what one expect from a self view.


I am saying that nibbāna is beyond the body, and beyond the mind, beyond the psycho-physical.
Do you know what the Prajñāpāramitā is?
Yes, there is detailed information online.
Source for this quote, please.
You can just Google it? You know I never ask for citations, because I instantly Google a thing.
Which atta?
The one that is suffering. Where does it come from, due to what, it is suffering?
So, this "substance" is able to liberate itself, which means that it can act,
No, you act, through the wisdom or clarity it provides.

According to AN 1.52, there is the purification of mind. Which means if it is not purified enough, you will not have the necessary wisdom to practice the Path. What do you think of this word, it's from the Puggalapaññati; abhabbāgamana.
and since liberation is based upon insight, knowledge, it can know and cognize, and it must be liable to change, and all of this means that it is conditioned. Interesting soul you have there.
You don't understand, or I cannot make you understand, possibly the latter.
Tell us what sabhāva actually means in the commentaries.
In the Pāli canon, "sabhāva" is absent from what are generally considered to be the earliest texts.[a] When found in later texts (e.g., the paracanonical Milindapañha), it generically refers to state (of mind), character or truth.
─ Wikipedia
As for being free of "coming and going," could there be a different way of understanding that?
How? There is no coming, no going - means unconditionality, unconditional means absolute.
Possibly? In other words, you really have not a clue as to what Nagarjuna is talking about.
I have read the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā, and I have great respect for the man, and I believe I have some clues as to what he is talking about. Maybe you disagree, that's okay. It's all subjective.
Again, you have no idea of what is actually going on in this passage
Why?

"This ultimate reality is unmade, it will never be other than what always is."

Do you agree that nibbāna is the ultimate reality? And what did I say about the non-khandhic reality? What makes you think I have no idea of what is going on in the passages? I really don't understand.
I'll be delighted to answer your question, but you answer mine first, which I have been repeatedly asking and you have been repeatedly dodging answering. Does this soul of yours feel, does, hear, does change, is it conditioned?
No, it is not conditioned, it doesn't feel, hear or change, it is a principle (sabhāva), but it also has an attribute (assuming you know the difference between principle and attribute), it is DEFILED by incoming defilements, due to its beginningless attribute known as avijjā, and you are supposed to purify it, until cetovimutti, then it is its own foundation.

What is so hard to understand?
You are obviously claiming here that it acts by turning itself it to something very different from what it was. Does your soul thingie know itself?
Not for the time being, that's why it is samsāric.
It acquires wisdom? Which is to act, and wisdom certainly implies knowing, and all of this implies change and conditioning.
No, it doesn't acquire wisdom, it is the source of wisdom, which means, you need to purify yourself in order to attain higher wisdom.
I did not say that you said that your atman was a conceptual self, but you are claiming that it is an absolute, but what is the nature of this absolute? Does it change, does it act, which what you have written certainly indicate that it does? How can an absolute have a relationship to the conditioned?
Avijjā, primordial, beginningless ignorance, which is not a principle, but an attribute, like I said.

For that matter; vijjā = nibbāna here and now. And if you do not agree with this, then you're basically saying that one cannot attain nibbāna in the here and now, since physical body is something conditional.

So this is my question to you: are you saying that there is no absolute state, beyond the khandhas, that an arahā is in?
Uppādā vā tathagātanaṃ anuppādā vā tathagātanaṃ, ṭhitāva sā dhātu dhammaṭṭhitatā dhammaniyāmatā idappaccayatā. Taṃ tathagāto abhisam­buj­jhati abhisameti. Abhisam­bujjhitvā abhisametvā ācikkhati deseti paññāpeti paṭṭhapeti vivarati vibhajati uttānīkaroti. ‘Passathā’ti cāha; ‘avijjāpaccayā, bhikkhave, saṅkhārā’. Iti kho, bhikkhave, yā tatra tathatā avitathatā anaññathatā idappaccayatā-ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, paṭiccasamup­pādo.
:heart: namō tassa bhagavatō, arahatō, sammā sambuddhassā

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Re: Did Buddha categorically denied the existence of an eternal self or a separate self?

Post by dhammacoustic » Fri Nov 20, 2015 1:52 am

tiltbillings wrote:These aren't canonical statement? Goodness. So, what we are getting here is your somewhat confused conflation of things, it would seem.
Deathless (amata) is canonical.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

And some others. Other than that, I am putting forth my own thoughts, to stimulate discussion, so please, show me my mistakes.
Uppādā vā tathagātanaṃ anuppādā vā tathagātanaṃ, ṭhitāva sā dhātu dhammaṭṭhitatā dhammaniyāmatā idappaccayatā. Taṃ tathagāto abhisam­buj­jhati abhisameti. Abhisam­bujjhitvā abhisametvā ācikkhati deseti paññāpeti paṭṭhapeti vivarati vibhajati uttānīkaroti. ‘Passathā’ti cāha; ‘avijjāpaccayā, bhikkhave, saṅkhārā’. Iti kho, bhikkhave, yā tatra tathatā avitathatā anaññathatā idappaccayatā-ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, paṭiccasamup­pādo.
:heart: namō tassa bhagavatō, arahatō, sammā sambuddhassā

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Re: Did Buddha categorically denied the existence of an eternal self or a separate self?

Post by dhammacoustic » Fri Nov 20, 2015 2:08 am

Pasada wrote:The passage I quoted says that the Arahant does not identify with unbinding because he directly knows it as it is.
You didn't really answer my question.
Maybe you should spend some time learning from modern Theravadins, rather than assuming you know what they teach.
I don't assume anything. I am just having a discussion, that's all.
The modern Theravadins I am learning from teach suffering and the ending of suffering. And what do you know, this is also how the Canonical Buddha described his own teaching! Not about the properties of some absolute ultimate reality with which we attain mystical union - but suffering, and the end of suffering.
So, could you end it?
How would you know?
I don't know, I sense it somehow.
In terms of Western philosophical categories, I'd describe them as process pluralists.
Okay, and my arguments are in line with both, so what seems to be the problem?
I agree with Tilt: just be a Hindu.
Pasada, I do not identify with religions, I am interested in wisdom, and practice, that's all. Thanks for your concern anyway.
What you're trying to do is no less absurd than arguing that there is a Messiah, who is the Son of God and who is identical to the Tathagata.
I have no idea what you are talking about.
You're barking up the wrong tree.
If you say so.
Uppādā vā tathagātanaṃ anuppādā vā tathagātanaṃ, ṭhitāva sā dhātu dhammaṭṭhitatā dhammaniyāmatā idappaccayatā. Taṃ tathagāto abhisam­buj­jhati abhisameti. Abhisam­bujjhitvā abhisametvā ācikkhati deseti paññāpeti paṭṭhapeti vivarati vibhajati uttānīkaroti. ‘Passathā’ti cāha; ‘avijjāpaccayā, bhikkhave, saṅkhārā’. Iti kho, bhikkhave, yā tatra tathatā avitathatā anaññathatā idappaccayatā-ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, paṭiccasamup­pādo.
:heart: namō tassa bhagavatō, arahatō, sammā sambuddhassā

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Re: Did Buddha categorically denied the existence of an eternal self or a separate self?

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Nov 20, 2015 4:28 am

dhammacoustic wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:These aren't canonical statement? Goodness. So, what we are getting here is your somewhat confused conflation of things, it would seem.
Deathless (amata) is canonical.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

And some others. Other than that, I am putting forth my own thoughts, to stimulate discussion, so please, show me my mistakes.
"Deathless" is a bad translation.

As for your mistakes, they have been pointed out, and far better understanding of things have been presented in this thread. I think some humility is in order for you in your approaching of this subject.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: Did Buddha categorically denied the existence of an eternal self or a separate self?

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Nov 20, 2015 5:31 am

dhammacoustic wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:And that is your theory on things. If it is not an object of knowledge then the arahant doesn't know it.
Everything is theory, unless you experience it.
So, this is just your "self" theory, and as we have seen above, the Buddha had something to say about self theories.
It is not an object of intellectual knowledge, it cannot be, because intellectual knowledge is conditional. So what are you saying, if an arahā loses his physical memory, he's not arahā any more? Is that what you're saying? Does this make sense to you?
"arahā" is an adjective. Then you don't know, or you are claiming to be an arahant.
Nibbāna is a state beyond the khandhas, or there is no Buddhism.
It is a bit more complicated than just that.
I see. So, this "real self" which is not the khandhas, does it feel, see, know, act, change?


No. (and I never used the term 'real/self')
So, this atman does not change, but you have repeatedly characterized it as changing and acting. Also, if this atman cannot know, what is the point of it? None that you have shown.
Phenomenal experience means there is defilement, therefore it is samsāra.
"Phenomenal experience" characterized by greed, hatred, and delusion is samsara. Let me ask you, if there were no awakened individual, is there still nibbana existing out there somewhere?
So, you are saying that knowledge of nibbana is in fact a cognition based upon memory. Interesting and confused, but that is pretty much what one expect from a self view.


I am saying that nibbāna is beyond the body, and beyond the mind, beyond the psycho-physical.
So, nibbana cannot be experienced. Interesting. I wonder what the point of it is.
Do you know what the Prajñāpāramitā is?
Yes, there is detailed information online.
That doesn't really answer the question.
Source for this quote, please.
You can just Google it? You know I never ask for citations, because I instantly Google a thing.
The expectation is, according to the TOS, that if you quote a text, you cite it appropriately.
Which atta?
The one that is suffering. Where does it come from, due to what, it is suffering?
That has already been answered in this thread in terms of what the Buddha taught. There is what the Buddha taught and there is what dhammacoustic is concocting based upon his self notions.
So, this "substance" is able to liberate itself, which means that it can act,
No, you act, through the wisdom or clarity it provides.
Again, you are making no coherent sense here.
According to AN 1.52, there is the purification of mind. Which means if it is not purified enough, you will not have the necessary wisdom to practice the Path. What do you think of this word, it's from the Puggalapaññati; abhabbāgamana.
And in this there is no need for an atman as you describe it.
and since liberation is based upon insight, knowledge, it can know and cognize, and it must be liable to change, and all of this means that it is conditioned. Interesting soul you have there.
You don't understand, or I cannot make you understand, possibly the latter.
I understand clearly, you are offering a very confused point of view that is not grounded in the Buddha's teachings.
Tell us what sabhāva actually means in the commentaries.
In the Pāli canon, "sabhāva" is absent from what are generally considered to be the earliest texts.[a] When found in later texts (e.g., the paracanonical Milindapañha), it generically refers to state (of mind), character or truth.
─ Wikipedia
Wikipedia is not always the goto for understanding things. Basically, you really have no idea of how "sabhāva" is used in the commentarial tradition of Theravada, and you certainly have no idea of how its Sanskrit cognate is used By Nagarjuna.
As for being free of "coming and going," could there be a different way of understanding that?
How? There is no coming, no going - means unconditionality, unconditional means absolute.
You have been shown in this thread how "unconditioned" is clearly defined by the Buddha. No need for an "absolute."
Possibly? In other words, you really have not a clue as to what Nagarjuna is talking about.
I have read the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā, and I have great respect for the man, and I believe I have some clues as to what he is talking about. Maybe you disagree, that's okay. It's all subjective.
If you actually read the Mula, you certainly did not understand it. I'll be more than happy to give you a short reading list on the subject.
Do you agree that nibbāna is the ultimate reality?
The question is wrongly put, in that you are assuming a state of being that is absolute.
I'll be delighted to answer your question, but you answer mine first, which I have been repeatedly asking and you have been repeatedly dodging answering. Does this soul of yours feel, does, hear, does change, is it conditioned?
No, it is not conditioned, it doesn't feel, hear or change, it is a principle (sabhāva), but it also has an attribute (assuming you know the difference between principle and attribute), it is DEFILED by incoming defilements, due to its beginningless attribute known as avijjā, and you are supposed to purify it, until cetovimutti, then it is its own foundation.
If it cannot change, it cannot be defiled. Interesting to see you shift things here a bit: "you are supposed to purify it." You have been saying a bit differently about what the atman does.
What is so hard to understand?
Obviously for you, it is the Buddha's teachings. What you have been presenting here is a confused Hinduized Buddhism.
You are obviously claiming here that it acts by turning itself it to something very different from what it was. Does your soul thingie know itself?
Not for the time being, that's why it is samsāric.
But you just got done saying that the atman does not act.
It acquires wisdom? Which is to act, and wisdom certainly implies knowing, and all of this implies change and conditioning.
No, it doesn't acquire wisdom, it is the source of wisdom, which means, you need to purify yourself in order to attain higher wisdom.
"it [the atman] turns onto itself, which is known as; paññāvimutti." That is the atman acting on its own, but then it cannot act; rather, the conditioned "samsaric" self acts and purifies the defiled unchanging atman.
So this is my question to you: are you saying that there is no absolute state, beyond the khandhas, that an arahā is in?
I am saying that Dhamma is far more interesting and far richer that this Hinduized confusion that you are presenting here. As I said, you may be better off just going the Hindu route rather than trying cram the Dhamma into a Hinduized box.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: Did Buddha categorically denied the existence of an eternal self or a separate self?

Post by reflection » Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:10 am

Hi dear friends,

Nice to be back! Just hopping by. Sorry, I know I'm repeating some things others already have written, but here's some of my thoughts.


The Buddha DID categorically deny any self because 'sabbe dhamma anatta' means 'everything is without a self' (I.e. there is no self in anything.) instead of 'all phenomena are non-self'.

Why so?

First, 'an-atta' means 'without a self', as the PTS dictionary suggests. The prefix 'a(n)' expresses absence, it means 'without', just as 'a-soka' means 'sorrowless', or 'without sorrow', not 'non-sorrow'. [1] There are hundreds of similar examples where “non-” makes no sense, so why use it with anatta?' That it means 'without a self' you can also see in SN22.95 or SN35.85 where it is explained by 'empty of a self', ‘void’, ‘without essence’.

Second, 'sabbe dhamma' means 'all things', as Bhikkhu Bodhi also translates it in MN35 and elsewhere. 'All phenomena' is vague, we don't really say this in English. The word 'dhamma' is extremely general in nature, and nowehere is it really defined to be just the five aggregates, anything philosophic like phenomena, or anything specific at all. The dictionary suggests 'things' as well. And 'every' for sabba. [2] 'All things', or 'everything' is therefore a very proper translation for 'sabbe dhamma'.

And 'sabbe dhamma na' (literally 'all things not') Bhikkhu Bodhi simply translates with 'nothing' (e.g. MN37), so he is aware of all this. So why the weird 'all phenomena are non-' when it comes to 'atta'? 'Atta' is just a word like any other. Just replace 'self' in the sentence with any other term and it makes no sense at all: 'all phenomena are non-sugar'... Try it out with any word! Be honest, would the Buddha have taught like that if he spoke English? 'Everything is without sugar' is better... (unless you love sugar of course!). Just so, 'everything is without a self' actually means something, and that is on top of being more literal!

About the Vocchagotta sutta, SN44.10: the question (n-atthi atta?) is not 'is there no self?' but 'does the self not exist?' If the Buddha would then answer 'the self, it does not exist,' that would be like saying 'Mike? I don't know Mike'. By that response you sort of agree that there actually is a Mike.

In Pali it becomes more clear. Although 'there is no self' is not wrong theoretically, 'atthi' is an emphatic statement of what exists, so it is best translated as 'it exists'. [3] 'Atta' here means a specific self or 'the self', such as the Brahmin idea consciousness as a Self which was a common view at the time. [4] The question 'n-atthi atta?' would therefore become something like 'does the self not exist?' [5]

This is also why the Buddha was very careful to say 'sabbe dhamma anatta' instead of 'n-atthi atta', because the latter could have been misunderstood as 'the self, it does not exist' instead of 'there is no self'. Or perhaps even as 'the self, it won't exist', because the present tense in Pali can convey future/general truth as well. [6] Like in English 'there is no tea at lunch' means 'there will be no tea at lunch'. In Pali this way of using the present tense is more common than in English, though. It's hard to capture that all in translation, though. But this is why I personally think the statement would be siding with the anihilationists. And for 'siding with' the Pali is actually more like "if I would say ... that would be together with ...", i.e. that would be saying the same.

For more info on all of this, see any good Pali book, like the go-to book by AK Warder. I am not making things up... All I said is mentioned there, and elsewhere. I even double checked so I don't look like a fool. ;) Here are the references:
[1] Warder: "a-daṇdena, 'without force' (negative prefix a-)"
"[other prefixes] they express mere negation or absence, 'without', and are synonymous with a-"

[2] PTS dictionary for sabba: "whole, entire; all, every"
for dhamma: "phenomenon, thing, 'world'"
for atta: "anattā (n. and predicative adj.) not a soul, [/i]without a soul.[/i]"

[3] Warder: "The verb as (atthi), 'to be', asserts with emphasis the existence of something or somebody. (On the other hand hoti is not emphatic and is used also to state attributes...)"

[4] PTS dictionary for atta: "1. The soul as postulated in the animistic theories held in N India ... A 'soul' according to general belief was some thing permanent, unchangeable. ... 2. Oneself, himself, yourself"

[5] Warder: "n' atthi: it is not, it doesn't exist", and does not suggest 'there is no'

[6] Warder: "The present tense is used to express present time, the limits of which are somewhat vague, or indefinite time (timeless statements such as 'eternal truths'), sometimes the immediate future ..."

Enough about translations. More general, apart from also including the end of suffering, anatta is treated exactly like suffering and impermanence. It should for example 'be seen as it really is with right wisdom' and if you realize it 'you see clearly', it is a 'law of nature (of dhamma) the Tathagata has realised' (AN 3.136). Even the Vocchagotta calls anatta 'a knowledge'. This is clearly no method or so. It is an aspect of reality, all things being without a self.

Also notice that the 'unwise attention' (e.g. MN2) mentions things like 'was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past?' etc 'I have a self, I have no self'. But this section on unwise attention does not mention 'there is no self' anywhere. The unwise thing is the 'I' which occurs in each sentence, not the Yes or No of a self. That is on fact a wise and important question, says I.

On top of that, there is SN22.47, which says that if someone assumes a self, it's always in the five aggregates. This makes sense because they usually assume it to be in control (the will is sankhara) or to be conscious. And if you'd take anything as a self, it's better to take as your self the body (SN12.61) than the mind. This is all clearly said to deny the ideas of an existing self, not to point out a method, and also not to leave any space for a self outside of the aggregates.

So, SUMMARY: there is no self. Don't be afraid to say this, the Buddha said the same with 'sabbe dhamma anatta', 'everything is without a self'. He was not asked 'is there no self?' but 'does the self not exist?' to which he didn't respond because the answer would have sounded like annihilation of the very self already assumed in the question. So 'anatta', everything being without any self, is just as much a reality as suffering and impermanence. That is why 'there is no self' is not mentioned as a form of unwise attention.

Sorry if this all sounded a bit rough, but I do not have the time now to put this into more considerate words. :) I'm too passionate about this topic just to ignore it, though. That's why I went a bit overboard! It's a bit unfortunate that this had to go so deep into the Pali. That's because most people can only read translations (many of which I don't consider to be very good when it comes to anatta), not the Pali itself. But translations always reflect the views and opinions of the translators, that simply can't be helped. Is course it's the same for my translations: they will always just be translations, not literally what the Buddha said. But at least I hope my suggestions will make more sense to some than some of the vague idea that are out there...

Comments are more than welcome, but it may take me a long time to respond if at all possible. :anjali:


May all phenomena be happy and at ease! :D

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Re: Did Buddha categorically denied the existence of an eternal self or a separate self?

Post by dhammacoustic » Sat Nov 21, 2015 12:28 am

tiltbillings wrote:"Deathless" is a bad translation.
How so?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amrita" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
tiltbillings wrote:So, this is just your "self" theory, and as we have seen above, the Buddha had something to say about self theories.
It is an understanding, I am not clinging to it, and I am open to whatever the truth is. So hopefully you or somebody will convince me of my fallacies.
"arahā" is an adjective. Then you don't know, or you are claiming to be an arahant.
Please tell me exactly what arahantship means.
It is a bit more complicated than just that.


It might be so, but it is still true.
So, this atman does not change, but you have repeatedly characterized it as changing and acting. Also, if this atman cannot know, what is the point of it? None that you have shown.


Tilt, it doesn't change, it is defiled. Like a white ball covered with mud (volitional formations); the khandhic entity is built on it.

Image

How does this contradict the Buddha's teaching?
"Phenomenal experience" characterized by greed, hatred, and delusion is samsara. Let me ask you, if there were no awakened individual, is there still nibbana existing out there somewhere?


Not out there, nibbāna and samsāra are two sides of the same coin. What matters is whether vijjā is attained, then, external phenomena cease to exist. You don't agree with this?
So, nibbana cannot be experienced. Interesting. I wonder what the point of it is.
Are you saying that the state of an arahā is dependent on the khandhas?
Again, you are making no coherent sense here.
Why? Tell me, how does a khandhic entity attain wisdom? How come some are a wise, and others are not?
And in this there is no need for an atman as you describe it.
A khandhic entity is unable to progress ─ due to what?
I understand clearly, you are offering a very confused point of view that is not grounded in the Buddha's teachings.
I am offering a confused pov that is "not grounded in the Buddha's teachings" ─ according to you, some other DW members, western secular Buddhists. Not according to, say, George Grimm, the author of the 'Doctrine of the Buddha', have you read it?
Wikipedia is not always the goto for understanding things. Basically, you really have no idea of how "sabhāva" is used in the commentarial tradition of Theravada, and you certainly have no idea of how its Sanskrit cognate is used By Nagarjuna.
http://ocbs.org/the-rise-of-the-concept ... hidamagga/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
You have been shown in this thread how "unconditioned" is clearly defined by the Buddha. No need for an "absolute."
No idea what that means. Unconditioned means absolute, free from externality.
If you actually read the Mula, you certainly did not understand it. I'll be more than happy to give you a short reading list on the subject.


Please, thank you.
The question is wrongly put, in that you are assuming a state of being that is absolute.
So nibbāna is temporal?
If it cannot change, it cannot be defiled.
It doesn't change, defilement is external, see the figure above.
Interesting to see you shift things here a bit: "you are supposed to purify it." You have been saying a bit differently about what the atman does.
You are supposed to purify what is originated, you cannot purify what is its own foundation, you are supposed to become it, by destroying what is originated, through the wisdom which is provided by it, eventually, paññāvimutti takes place. Isn't it very simple?
Obviously for you, it is the Buddha's teachings. What you have been presenting here is a confused Hinduized Buddhism.
The Buddha's Dhamma is the best and the most effective Dhamma among the eastern ontologies, that is how I see it. I am not Hinduizing anything. I have firm faith that the Buddha was awakened. But like I said, I don't see a categorigal denial of ātman in his teachings. If he actually denied it, why would such discussions as this arise? You could just cite me a passage; “bhikkhave, there is no soul” ─ end of story.

Hundreds of thousands of pages, dialogs, teachings, and no such thing.

“...wanderers ... regard form as self, or self as possessing form, or form as in self, or self as in form. They regard feeling as self ... perception as self ... volitional formations as self … consciousness as self, or self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in self, or self as in consciousness. Therefore, when the wanderers of other sects are asked such questions, they give such answers as: ‘The world is eternal’ ... or ‘The Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist after death.’ But, the Tathagāta, the Arahant, the Perfectly Awakened One, does not regard form as self ... or self as in consciousness. Therefore, when the Tathagāta is asked such questions, he does not give such answers.”
─ SN 44.8

What is he doing here? Is he teaching what is anattā, or is there something else that I cannot see? Please tell me how this passage is a denial of the soul. Why should we translate anattā as soullessness? And please do not quote the Sabba Sutta, since I am not arguing that the soul (or the absolute) is phenomenal.
But you just got done saying that the atman does not act.
Does not. It is either samsāric (due to incoming defilements) or it is liberated through the destruction of becoming, then it is its own foundation.
"it [the atman] turns onto itself, which is known as; paññāvimutti." That is the atman acting on its own, but then it cannot act; rather, the conditioned "samsaric" self acts and purifies the defiled unchanging atman.
I believe I've explained this above.
I am saying that Dhamma is far more interesting and far richer that this Hinduized confusion that you are presenting here. As I said, you may be better off just going the Hindu route rather than trying cram the Dhamma into a Hinduized box.
I am not doing such thing. Please just answer the question; is there an absolute state, beyond the khandhas, that an arahā is in, or not?
Uppādā vā tathagātanaṃ anuppādā vā tathagātanaṃ, ṭhitāva sā dhātu dhammaṭṭhitatā dhammaniyāmatā idappaccayatā. Taṃ tathagāto abhisam­buj­jhati abhisameti. Abhisam­bujjhitvā abhisametvā ācikkhati deseti paññāpeti paṭṭhapeti vivarati vibhajati uttānīkaroti. ‘Passathā’ti cāha; ‘avijjāpaccayā, bhikkhave, saṅkhārā’. Iti kho, bhikkhave, yā tatra tathatā avitathatā anaññathatā idappaccayatā-ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, paṭiccasamup­pādo.
:heart: namō tassa bhagavatō, arahatō, sammā sambuddhassā

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Re: Did Buddha categorically denied the existence of an eternal self or a separate self?

Post by cobwith » Sun Jan 03, 2016 9:04 pm

Buddha wrote:“Potthapada, all those wanderers are blind and have no eyes. You alone among them have eyes. I have taught and declared some teachings to be categorical, and some teachings to be non-categorical. And what are the teachings that I have taught and declared to be non-categorical? [The statement that] ‘The cosmos is eternal’ I have taught and declared to be an non-categorical teaching. [The statement that] ‘The cosmos is not eternal’ … ‘The cosmos is finite’ … ‘The cosmos is infinite’ … ‘The soul & the body are the same’ … ‘The soul is one thing and the body another’ … ‘After death a Tathagata exists’ … ‘After death a Tathagata does not exist’ … ‘After death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist’ … ‘After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist’ I have taught and declared to be an non-categorical teaching. And why have I taught and declared these teachings to be non-categorical? Because they are not conducive to the goal, are not conducive to the Dhamma, are not basic to the holy life. They don’t lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding. That’s why I have taught and declared them to be non-categorical .

“And what have I taught and declared to be categorical teachings? ..........

DN9
Sā me dhammamadesesi,
khandhāyatanadhātuyo
Thig 5.8

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Re: Did Buddha categorically denied the existence of an eternal self or a separate self?

Post by Dinsdale » Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:25 am

dhammacoustic wrote:Deathless (amata) is canonical.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
What do you think the Deathless is?
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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Re: Did Buddha categorically denied the existence of an eternal self or a separate self?

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:20 am

dhammacoustic wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:"Deathless" is a bad translation.
How so?
See: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=10569
tiltbillings wrote:So, this is just your "self" theory, and as we have seen above, the Buddha had something to say about self theories.
It is an understanding, I am not clinging to it, and I am open to whatever the truth is. So hopefully you or somebody will convince me of my fallacies.
At least you admit your positions are fallacies. That is a good start.
"arahā" is an adjective. Then you don't know, or you are claiming to be an arahant.
Please tell me exactly what arahantship means.
Since you are the one who made the intial claim about what is so about arahants, it is incumbent upon you to do the initial defing of the term.
So, this atman does not change, but you have repeatedly characterized it as changing and acting. Also, if this atman cannot know, what is the point of it? None that you have shown.


Tilt, it doesn't change, it is defiled. Like a white ball covered with mud (volitional formations); the khandhic entity is built on it.
What good is this truly true unchanging thing if it cannot know anything, experience anything, have an effect on anything, or act in any way?


How does this contradict the Buddha's teaching?
How is an unchanging self supported by the Buddha's teachings?
"Phenomenal experience" characterized by greed, hatred, and delusion is samsara. Let me ask you, if there were no awakened individual, is there still nibbana existing out there somewhere?


Not out there, nibbāna and samsāra are two sides of the same coin. What matters is whether vijjā is attained, then, external phenomena cease to exist. You don't agree with this?
No.
So, nibbana cannot be experienced. Interesting. I wonder what the point of it is.
Are you saying that the state of an arahā is dependent on the khandhas?
If you cannot experience nibbana, how is it known?
Again, you are making no coherent sense here.
Why? Tell me, how does a khandhic entity attain wisdom? How come some are a wise, and others are not?
So, you are arguing that there isan entity, that is unchanging, that changes by attaining wisdom?
And in this there is no need for an atman as you describe it.
A khandhic entity is unable to progress ─ due to what?
Damdifino what you mean here.
I understand clearly, you are offering a very confused point of view that is not grounded in the Buddha's teachings.
I am offering a confused pov that is "not grounded in the Buddha's teachings" ─ according to you, some other DW members, western secular Buddhists. Not according to, say, George Grimm, the author of the 'Doctrine of the Buddha', have you read it?
Read it. It is bilge water. It is another one of these books that the author claims to have gotten it right and those stupid Buddhists before him don't know know jack.
Wikipedia is not always the goto for understanding things. Basically, you really have no idea of how "sabhāva" is used in the commentarial tradition of Theravada, and you certainly have no idea of how its Sanskrit cognate is used By Nagarjuna.
http://ocbs.org/the-rise-of-the-concept ... hidamagga/
Interesting article, which only reinforces that you really have not a clue as to how Nagarjuna uses the word sabhāva.
You have been shown in this thread how "unconditioned" is clearly defined by the Buddha. No need for an "absolute."
No idea what that means. Unconditioned means absolute, free from externality.
What free from "externality mean?
If you actually read the Mula, you certainly did not understand it. I'll be more than happy to give you a short reading list on the subject.


Please, thank you.
The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way: Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamakakarika
by Nagarjuna(Author), Jay L. Garfield(Translator).
The question is wrongly put, in that you are assuming a state of being that is absolute.
So nibbāna is temporal?
The question is wrongly put.
If it cannot change, it cannot be defiled.
It doesn't change, defilement is external, see the figure above.
The figure above is meaningless. If the while ball cannot, does not change, it cannot know anything or do anything.
Interesting to see you shift things here a bit: "you are supposed to purify it." You have been saying a bit differently about what the atman does.
You are supposed to purify what is originated, you cannot purify what is its own foundation, you are supposed to become it, by destroying what is originated, through the wisdom which is provided by it, eventually, paññāvimutti takes place. Isn't it very simple?
What you are offering here is very confused.
Obviously for you, it is the Buddha's teachings. What you have been presenting here is a confused Hinduized Buddhism.
The Buddha's Dhamma is the best and the most effective Dhamma among the eastern ontologies, that is how I see it. I am not Hinduizing anything. I have firm faith that the Buddha was awakened. But like I said, I don't see a categorigal denial of ātman in his teachings. If he actually denied it, why would such discussions as this arise? You could just cite me a passage; “bhikkhave, there is no soul” ─ end of story.
Of course you are Hinduizing the Buddha's teachings.
Hundreds of thousands of pages, dialogs, teachings, and no such thing.

“...wanderers ... regard form as self, or self as possessing form, or form as in self, or self as in form. They regard feeling as self ... perception as self ... volitional formations as self … consciousness as self, or self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in self, or self as in consciousness. Therefore, when the wanderers of other sects are asked such questions, they give such answers as: ‘The world is eternal’ ... or ‘The Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist after death.’ But, the Tathagāta, the Arahant, the Perfectly Awakened One, does not regard form as self ... or self as in consciousness. Therefore, when the Tathagāta is asked such questions, he does not give such answers.”
─ SN 44.8

What is he doing here? Is he teaching what is anattā, or is there something else that I cannot see? Please tell me how this passage is a denial of the soul. Why should we translate anattā as soullessness? And please do not quote the Sabba Sutta, since I am not arguing that the soul (or the absolute) is phenomenal.
How is this passage a support for an unchanging something or other that cannot know, act, or change?
But you just got done saying that the atman does not act.
Does not. It is either samsāric (due to incoming defilements) or it is liberated through the destruction of becoming, then it is its own foundation.
If it is liberated, it changes; if it changes, it is conditioned. You do seem to have a serious problem here, don't you?
"it [the atman] turns onto itself, which is known as; paññāvimutti." That is the atman acting on its own, but then it cannot act; rather, the conditioned "samsaric" self acts and purifies the defiled unchanging atman.
I believe I've explained this above.
So, the atman does change, and it does act, but why does it act? What brings about its acting as opposed to not doing something and it then it does not act.
I am saying that Dhamma is far more interesting and far richer that this Hinduized confusion that you are presenting here. As I said, you may be better off just going the Hindu route rather than trying cram the Dhamma into a Hinduized box.
I am not doing such thing. Please just answer the question; is there an absolute state, beyond the khandhas, that an arahā is in, or not?
[/quote]The question is wrongly put.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: Did Buddha categorically denied the existence of an eternal self or a separate self?

Post by dhammacoustic » Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:12 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:What do you think the Deathless is?
I think it is stillness, and independent of the five khandhas, which are ever-changing.
Last edited by dhammacoustic on Tue Jan 05, 2016 2:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
Uppādā vā tathagātanaṃ anuppādā vā tathagātanaṃ, ṭhitāva sā dhātu dhammaṭṭhitatā dhammaniyāmatā idappaccayatā. Taṃ tathagāto abhisam­buj­jhati abhisameti. Abhisam­bujjhitvā abhisametvā ācikkhati deseti paññāpeti paṭṭhapeti vivarati vibhajati uttānīkaroti. ‘Passathā’ti cāha; ‘avijjāpaccayā, bhikkhave, saṅkhārā’. Iti kho, bhikkhave, yā tatra tathatā avitathatā anaññathatā idappaccayatā-ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, paṭiccasamup­pādo.
:heart: namō tassa bhagavatō, arahatō, sammā sambuddhassā

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Re: Did Buddha categorically denied the existence of an eternal self or a separate self?

Post by SarathW » Mon Jan 04, 2016 10:00 pm

If you are free from attachment, aversion and ignorance, there is nothing to die or reborn.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Did Buddha categorically denied the existence of an eternal self or a separate self?

Post by dhammacoustic » Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:10 pm

tiltbillings wrote:At least you admit your positions are fallacies. That is a good start.
Thanks, but, where's the fallacy?
Since you are the one who made the intial claim about what is so about arahants, it is incumbent upon you to do the initial defing of the term.
An arahant is one who is unshakable, you cannot bring an arahant back to avijjā and dukkha through physical means. This is the truth of the reality of stillness. Most people (even Buddhists) don't seem to know about it..
What good is this truly true unchanging thing if it cannot know anything, experience anything, have an effect on anything, or act in any way?
It is not good, nor bad, it just is, ie; it is still.
How is an unchanging self supported by the Buddha's teachings?
Let's not use the term "self".

But there is surely an unchanging reality.
No.


Why?
If you cannot experience nibbana, how is it known?
It is not an object of knowledge, it is surely an experience. It's just not an idea that makes you happy.

For example, an arahant will not get an erection, and he is well aware that he has complete mastery over the fires in the body.. So this is the kind of knowledge he'll get. It's not like they go; "oh nibbāna, there you are.."

They're just aware that the state cannot be disturbed, nor destroyed, and that ─ is nibbāna.
So, you are arguing that there is an entity, that is unchanging, that changes by attaining wisdom?
No. The entity is changing, the core of that entity is still. The entity should dissolve itself (the khandhas) to reach there.
Damdifino what you mean here.
I mean that a person cannot progress due to kammic defilements. That's the reason why we are not all buddhas.
Read it. It is bilge water. It is another one of these books that the author claims to have gotten it right and those stupid Buddhists before him don't know know jack.
I take it he's wrong?
Interesting article, which only reinforces that you really have not a clue as to how Nagarjuna uses the word sabhāva.
I have a clue or two, but you don't like them.
What free from "externality mean?


All things are external; body, sensation, perception, mentality, consciousness.
The question is wrongly put, in that you are assuming a state of being that is absolute.
I am not assuming a state of 'being' that is absolute. I am just saying there is a state that is absolute.
The question is wrongly put.
In what sense? Again; is nibbāna temporal?
The figure above is meaningless. If the while ball cannot, does not change, it cannot know anything or do anything.
That's the point; it doesn't 'do' anything, so it cannot suffer, and it is absolutely still.
What you are offering here is very confused.
It's quite simple.
Of course you are Hinduizing the Buddha's teachings.
Not at all. Hindus think ātman is consciousness, I am not saying that.
How is this passage a support for an unchanging something or other that cannot know, act, or change?
The Tathagāta states that he doesn't see a self within the khandhas, which means, nibbāna is not something supported by the five khandhas.
If it is liberated, it changes; if it changes, it is conditioned. You do seem to have a serious problem here, don't you?
Not really, as I've said earlier; avijjā is a beginningless attribute of totality.

So it doesn't change, it is either samsāric (vijjā-not-attained / subject to becoming) or nibbānic (vijjā-attained / still), they are fundamentally the same thing: Image

You do understand that 'time' is merely an abstraction?
So, the atman does change, and it does act, but why does it act? What brings about its acting as opposed to not doing something and it then it does not act.
It doesn't change, it is covered with mud, due to avijjā. It is subject to becoming.
The question is wrongly put.
It is a valid question, Tilt.

You think nibbāna is some sort of a psychological state of happiness. IT IS NOT.

:anjali:
Uppādā vā tathagātanaṃ anuppādā vā tathagātanaṃ, ṭhitāva sā dhātu dhammaṭṭhitatā dhammaniyāmatā idappaccayatā. Taṃ tathagāto abhisam­buj­jhati abhisameti. Abhisam­bujjhitvā abhisametvā ācikkhati deseti paññāpeti paṭṭhapeti vivarati vibhajati uttānīkaroti. ‘Passathā’ti cāha; ‘avijjāpaccayā, bhikkhave, saṅkhārā’. Iti kho, bhikkhave, yā tatra tathatā avitathatā anaññathatā idappaccayatā-ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, paṭiccasamup­pādo.
:heart: namō tassa bhagavatō, arahatō, sammā sambuddhassā

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