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Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Posted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 1:56 pm
by vinasp
Hi everyone,
Here is an outline of the key section of M. 58 taken from :

Author : K. N. Jayatilleke.
Title : Early Buddhist Theory Of Knowledge.
Publisher : Motilal Banarsidass - Delhi Original 1963 Reprinted 1980.

Jayatilleke gives a good overview of the Abhayarajakumara Sutta - in truth table form as follows :

1. True Useful Pleasant YES
2. True Useful Unpleasant YES
3. True Useless Pleasant NO
4. True Useless Unpleasant NO
5. False Useful Pleasant
6. False Useful Unpleasant
7. False Useless Pleasant NO
8. False Useless Unpleasant NO

The true or false in the first collum is based on a correspondence theory of truth ie conforming to what is factually the case.
I would prefer that the Pali terms translated here as Useful / Useless in collum 2 be replaced with Beneficial / Detrimental.
The last collum shows whether the Buddha would make such a statement.

Jayatilleke gives his tranlation of the relevant passage and says: "We may observe that possibilities 5 and 6 are ommited".

Conclusion : The Buddha does not want to say whether or not he would make false - beneficial statements. Why is this ?

Regards, Vincent.

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Posted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 2:28 pm
by mikenz66
vinasp wrote: Conclusion : The Buddha does not want to say whether or not he would make false - beneficial statements. Why is this ?
Presumably because anything that is untrue is also unbeneficial.

In other places it is said that that anyone with any attainments (stream entry and above) can not lie, kill, etc.
e.g. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Metta
Mike

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Posted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 3:28 pm
by Jechbi
vinasp wrote: Or can we have a calm rational enquiry here ? Please tell me what you think.
Vincent, where has there been a lack of calm? Who has been going bananas, as you put it?

This perceived turbulence comes from within, don't you think? If you hold the viewpoint that the Buddha was a liar, then that's your choice. At some point in the future if you take refuge in the Buddha, then you may hold a different viewpoint. But these are all viewpoints. I don't see the point of arguing them back and forth.

You're probably familiar with the Cula-hatthipadopama Sutta.
"Sir, suppose an elephant hunter were to enter an elephant forest and were to see there a large elephant footprint, long in extent and broad in width. He would come to the conclusion, 'What a big bull elephant!' In the same way, when I saw four footprints in Gotama the contemplative, I came to the conclusion, 'The Blessed One is rightly self-awakened, the Dhamma is well-taught by the Blessed One, the Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples has practiced rightly.'
Metta

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Posted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 3:40 pm
by Mawkish1983
Jechbi wrote:You're probably familiar with the Cula-hatthipadopama Sutta.
"Sir, suppose an elephant hunter were to enter an elephant forest and were to see there a large elephant footprint, long in extent and broad in width. He would come to the conclusion, 'What a big bull elephant!' In the same way, when I saw four footprints in Gotama the contemplative, I came to the conclusion, 'The Blessed One is rightly self-awakened, the Dhamma is well-taught by the Blessed One, the Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples has practiced rightly.'
Metta
At the risk of using a smiley when words would suffice: :thumbsup: :heart: :clap: :jumping: :bow:

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Posted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 4:10 pm
by vinasp
Hi everyone,

I think that some of the problems that people are having in understanding what I am saying here are due to the following :

Many people here in the West seem to think that a lie is always wrong. But is it ? Most of the lies that we see are wrong but it does not follow that all lies are wrong.
If I lie to you in order to steal money from you then I have done harm to you by means of the lie. The act of the lie is wrong because of its consequence - the harm done to you. It does not follow that every lie is - in itself - wrong.
A lie which benefits someone else thus becomes a good lie. Do we need a new category in the West - the good lie ?

Does anyone here have any observations about how these things are understood in other cultures and times ?
Regards, Vincent.

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Posted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 5:40 pm
by Jechbi
I think that would fall under the category of the Mahayana understanding of upaya, at least as it sometimes is presented.

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Posted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 6:43 pm
by genkaku
As a small footnote, the Vedanta Hindu (does it matter if it was the convenience store clerk?) Swami Vivekananda once observed, "The mind (he meant intellect) is a good servant and a poor master." Any practicing Buddhist can attest to the usefulness of this remark.

Logic and parsing and thinking are wonderful tools. They persuade and guide. But it is well to remember that what persuades and guides and encourages is not the same as the actualized truth of matters.

So, for example, we do our best not to lie. Then, when we catch ourselves in our lies, we do our best either to correct ourselves or not repeat our mistakes. We can parse and dissect "lies" and "the truth" until the cows come home ... but still the question remains, of what truth is such argumentation an example; who is the master; and how can we expect to find a truth that is untroubled by thinkers large and small?

The Eightfold Path encourages "right (complete) meditation" among other things. I vote for that.

I may be lying, but as the old saying goes, "It takes a thief to catch a thief."

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Posted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 7:38 pm
by Ben
Just for a bit of clarification:
Five keys to right speech
"Monks, a statement endowed with five factors is well-spoken, not ill-spoken. It is blameless & unfaulted by knowledgeable people. Which five?

"It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will."

— AN 5.198

The danger in lying
"For the person who transgresses in one thing, I tell you, there is no evil deed that is not to be done. Which one thing? This: telling a deliberate lie."

The person who lies,
who transgress in this one thing,
transcending concern for the world beyond:
there's no evil
he might not do.
— Iti 25

The criteria for deciding what is worth saying
[1] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be
unfactual, untrue
, unbeneficial (or: not connected with the goal), unendearing & disagreeable to others,
he does not say them.


[2] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be
factual, true,
unbeneficial, unendearing & disagreeable to others,
he does not say them.


[3] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be
factual, true,
beneficial, but unendearing & disagreeable to others,
he has a sense of the proper time for saying them.


[4] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be
unfactual, untrue
, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others,
he does not say them.


[5] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be
factual, true,
unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others,
he does not say them.


[6] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be
factual, true
, beneficial, and endearing & agreeable to others,
he has a sense of the proper time for saying them.
Why is that? Because the Tathagata has sympathy for living beings."

— MN 58
Ben

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Posted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:36 pm
by vinasp
Hi Ben,
Thank you for posting the text of the passage from M.58. I was hoping that someone would post it . I am new to this forum stuff and have not yet figured out how to do clever things like that. Kind regards, Vincent.

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Posted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:52 pm
by Ben
No problem Vincent.
You can use the controls at the top of your text editing window. The 'quote button was the one that i used to enclose the cannonical extracts in a box. Likewise the size (box that says 'normal', font colour, and bold.

I'd also like to see whether you have additional support for your contention that the Buddha did not tell the truth. And if not, whether you could quote the section from Jayatilleke so that we can discuss it.
Kind regards

Ben

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Posted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:22 pm
by vinasp
Hi Ben,
Thanks again but I must be very dim could you explain a bit more ?
a) Does this involve the "clipboard" on ones own computer ?
b) Where was the cannonical text , on this site , on another site , on your own system ?
c) Is there an instruction sheet somewhere on this site. Regards , Vincent.

Edit: found the faq - must be blind.

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Posted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:08 pm
by vinasp
Hi everyone,
Here is another angle from which to explore the question : Is everything the Buddha said true ?
If a student of the teachings believes that everything that the Buddha said is true , then what happens when / if he finds a contradiction in the teachings. Have you found contradictions ? How did you resolve the issue ?
Would you like to see a few , I have a nice one which I could point out , Regards , Vincent.

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Posted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:34 pm
by Hoja
vinasp wrote:If a student of the teachings believes that everything that the Buddha said is true , then what happens when / if he finds a contradiction in the teachings.
Very interesting question. I guess it worth it's own tread.
Metta.

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Posted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:35 pm
by BlackBird
vinasp wrote:Have you found contradictions ? How did you resolve the issue ?
One must then examine one's understanding and start from a position that one has misunderstood the teachings, a much better position to start from than assuming one peculiarity of the Dhamma is contradiction with another.

Indeed the whole Dhamma is not something one can understand simply from an intellectual perspective.


:anjali:

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Posted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:52 pm
by tiltbillings
vinasp wrote:Hi everyone,
I am not sure what to do at this point. I have just found even stronger evidence that the Buddha tells porkies.
Is anyone still following this thread ? Do you want to see this evidence ?.
Let us see your evidence.

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 12:22 am
by appicchato
vinasp wrote:I am not sure what to do at this point. I have just found even stronger evidence that the Buddha tells porkies.
Well, you're not alone in not being sure what to do...although ripping the Man will not make you too many points around here...

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 12:40 am
by retrofuturist
Greetings vinasp,
vinasp wrote:Have you found contradictions ?
I have never found any contradictions in the suttas, try as I might. This increases my confidence in them as a largely accurate record of what the Buddha taught, and in instances where they may not be word-for-word accurate, the fact they were transmitted by arahants and other noble ones who obviously "got it" means they didn't introduce any such contradictions.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 2:38 am
by appicchato
retrofuturist wrote:I have never found any contradictions in the suttas, try as I might. This increases my confidence in them as a largely accurate record of what the Buddha taught, and in instances where they may not be word-for-word accurate, the fact they were transmitted by arahants and other noble ones who obviously "got it" means they didn't introduce any such contradictions.
Well said Paul...

A line from a monk at Suan Mokh several years ago has, for some reason, stayed with me...'It's hard to find any holes in the Teachings'...hard enough, I believe, that I've yet to hear of (or seen myself) even one...and it's definitely not for the lack of people trying...

While re-birth, Devas, planes (realms) of existence, and the like are, for me (as yet) unverifiably(sp) confirmable(sp), I don't sweat it too much...all in good time as they say...and the (more) mundane, bread and butter, stuff is pretty much ALL spot on...what other endeavor that deals with life, and what goes on in our heads, can boast of such a record as this?...

Anyway, it seems as though those looking for the 'holes' are (somewhat) lacking faith in the program...here's wishing them well finding enough to concentrate on the positive aspects of the path...santi... :smile:

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 4:01 am
by cooran
vinasp wrote: Hi everyone,
I am not sure what to do at this point. I have just found even stronger evidence that the Buddha tells porkies.
Is anyone still following this thread ? Do you want to see this evidence ?
Several posters have made strong assertions of the kind : " The Buddha does not lie ". Are they just expressing their opinion, or are they telling me to shut up ? Several posters have suggested that I need to change my views . If I present this evidence are some people going to go bananas ?
Or can we have a calm rational enquiry here ? Please tell me what you think.
Hello vinasp, all,

Please present what you think is your evidence. There are quite a few of us waiting to see what it is. Nobody is going to 'go bananas' ~ we've been on internet groups for years and nothing shocks us anymore.
Please present it ... how else will you learn except through discussion and listening to those well versed in the Dhamma?

metta
Chris

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:09 am
by Dan74
Except of course, if you are simply trolling...

_/|\_