.e. wrote:Dear tilt,
The khandhas were a teaching to deconstruct personality view.
The reach of the khandhas is much further than that.
The Self or Awareness of Advaita is not the consciousness aggregate of Buddhist personhood.
To try to limit what the Buddha taught is nothing more than an attempt at trying to side step the issue.
Monks, whatever contemplatives or priests who assume in various ways when assuming a self, all assume the five clinging-aggregates, or a certain one of them.
SN III 46
So, is the Advaita atman aware? Does it act? Does it change? Does it feel?
We can grind away at the scriptures and look for differences and/or or we can attempt to see what they are talking about from within their own context.
The Buddha’s context is broad enough. As refined and as subtle as it is, as it may be, the Advaita self is still nothing more than an assumption of a self
. Does the Advaita atman act, does it feel?
Again, the question you ignored. What is the “all” for Advaita and what is the “all” for the Buddha?
Ramana and Nis did not think of Self in the way Brahma was thought to exist in the Pali scriptures i.e. as a real nice benevolent god in the highest heaven you can relate too and have tea with.
Brahma is nothing more, as is obvious from the Brhadaranyaka Upanisad, than a personification of the monistic notion of Brahman.
They thought of Brahma in the same way “I am” is cast off like that of the arahant. Now Buddha did not describe what that was like in a positivistic way…which is great…that resonates with my deepest understanding and is philosophically more elegant to my taste.
The Buddha went far further than your Advaitans, seeing that any self thingie is a problem. And let us not forget your statement: ”If you remove the ontology and see Brahma as the only real unconditioned “thing” aka Nibbana, then there really is no difference if the self sense is dissolved in moksha.”
It is not Brahma; it is Brahman, and the ontology of being
of Brahman is the point of Shankara’s statement. Nibbana is not an ontology of being. Basically, your approach is trying to turn the Buddha into an Advaitan by missing what it is that the Buddha actually taught.
But that does not make Ramana or Nis “wrong” in their understanding.
Wrong? They were fine teachers of Advaita, showing the limits of how far the self notion can be refined and pushed, but they were not near the level of the Buddha.
A friend felt that Advaita and Buddhism are like 2 different languages more than ways to posit truth.
That is nice, but carries no weight.
So in the first sentence of the Zen verse there is ontology i.e. the mountain. It is only in the 2nd that it is gone and in the 3rd rendered transparent.
The teaching of the Zen verse is grounded on emptiness, which admits no self ontology, however refined and subtle. It is grounded in the very khandhas themselves, in paticcasamuppada. It is a radical insight that does not need to preserve a self by making it more than it really is.
It is similar in Sankara’s refrain. The personal ontology disappears.
The lower levels of self are suppressed, as happens with highly refined jhana/samadhi, even without insight (vipassana), giving one a sense of oneness and which can be colored by one’s beliefs.
I would say it is the reader that reifies the ontology of Brahma more than the writer. If the world is illusory and Brahma is the world, what then of the ontology of Brahma? That is, Real/Illusion loose their dualistic meaning and without that what then of ontology? Do you see?
Basically, you are positing an ontology of a monistic being. Tat tvam asi
and Om tat sat
and Sat chit ananda
. Not the teachings of the Buddha or the likes of Nagarjuna. Again, I refer you to the first msg (and the second msg) that open this thread.