Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Twilight
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by Twilight » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:41 am

I think I finally understood what you are trying to say here:
The "that to be" is referring to "percept of earth" being conceived in the sequence. The whole point of this stanza is that the commoner is understanding it wrongly through his conceiving. It is meant to describe a mistake. The later stanza from the POV of the arahant is completely different and the arahant does not conceive anything let alone that percept of earth.
For example there is the perception of earth that a person has. And that "that" from the "he percieves that to be earth" is referring to this perception that the person has. And Nanamoli is trying to say that perception is something different from earth. For example one perceives a car. And that perception is one thing and the car is another.

This is perfectly in line with what Buddha had taught and I see where he is hinting but this is not what that particular sutta is about. And this information is not exactly something a putthijhana does not know.

EDIT: Because of lack of wisdom, there arises in the putijhana the idea "this is my perception" because he has not yet understood the doctrine of dependent origination to know there is no such thing as a self. And for the arahant, the phenomenon that arises is not "this is my perception of a car". It is just "a perception of a car" that has arisen and exists dependent on the eye, eye-consciousness, eye sight and the external element of a car. In this way the arahant does not conceive himself in this perception of a car. There arises a different perception in him than in a puthijhana. Is this what he is trying to say?

This is what the sutta is actually trying to say. The way Nanamoli has translated it makes one believe that the difference between a putthijhana and an sotapanna is that the puthijana mistakes the perception of earth to be earth. Or the perception of a car (interal) to be the real car (external). I don't think there is any puthijhana having such confusions. This is why I think the translation is misleading and not leading to what the sutta is trying to say.
Last edited by Twilight on Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:12 am, edited 5 times in total.
You'll have a better chance finding a moderate rebel in Ildib than finding a buddhist who ever changed his views. Views are there to be clung to. They are there to be defended with all one's might. Whatever clinging one will removed in regards to sense pleasures by practicing the path - that should be compensated with increased clinging to views. This is the fundamental balance of the noble 8thfold path. The yin and yang.
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Consciousness and no-self explained in drawings: link
How stream entry is achieved. Mahasi / Zen understanding vs Sutta understanding: link

CecilN
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by CecilN » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:47 am

Bakmoon wrote:But you presented it as an argument that the earth element is inherently real. All I did is point out your argument fails.
All I did was point out the arguments are irrelevant however, if I had to argue, I would take the side that the earth element is inherently real, i.e., always has the sabhava (own nature) of "earthiness".

Unlike craving, earth element cannot vanish. Its destruction cannot be observed. That is possibly why they are called The Four Great Elements.

CecilN
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by CecilN » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:56 am

Twilight wrote:I've never heard Buddha debate weather the earth element is inherently real or not.
Yes. I agree. But Nāgārjuna sounds like he does. This was the point of raising the issue.
Honestly I don't even understand too much what "inherently" is supposed to mean.
Probably a Abhidhamma word, such as 'sabhava', which means the element of earth will always be earthy (solid), as in MN 62:
And what is the earth property? The earth property can be either internal or external. What is the internal earth property?} Anything internal, within oneself, that's hard, solid... MN 62
:alien:
Buddha view about the earth element and everything else is like this:

1) They have no substance, but they do exist.
The Pali is tucchaka - empty; vain, fruitless; lacking substance. Stop focusing on the English translation. Tucchaka is unrelated to non-existence.
Form has as much substance in it as consciousness or volition. That is how it should be seen. But it does exist just like consciousness or volition do exist.
Tucchaka means "fruitless". But in terms of "existence", form (rupa) is more permanent than mentality (nama), as follows:
"It would be better for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to hold to the body composed of the four great elements, rather than the mind, as the self. Why is that? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another... SN 12.61
:alien:
2) That who sees their cessation can not say they exist because they cease. Those who see their arising can not say they don't exist because they do arise.
SN 12.15 is probably about 'self-views' rather than about objects of consciousness. The two worldly views in SN 12.15 are atthitañceva & natthitañca, where each word seems to be connected with 'asmi" or "I am". The core message of SN 12.15 is right view does not regard anything as "myself". It sounds like you are reading SN 12.15 the same as Nagarjuna did & applying it to all things. You seem to be saying that because the Universe might possibly one day blow up & cease, say in 500 trillion years time in the future, the universe does not exist. :roll:

The word 'loka' generally refers to the human & godly (social) worlds. These are the worlds of 'self-identity' & dukkha (rather than the world as the planet Earth).
And this, monks, is the noble truth of the origination of stress: the craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming.

SN 56.11
"The craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming: This, friend Visakha, is the origination of self-identification described by the Blessed One."

MN 44
Yet it is just within this fathom-long body, with its perception & intellect, that I declare that there is the cosmos, the origination of the cosmos (world), the cessation of the cosmos, and the path of practice leading to the cessation of the cosmos."

AN 4.45
From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. This is the origination of the world

SN 12.44
By & large, Kaccayana, this world is supported by (takes as its object) a polarity, that of existence & non-existence. But when one sees the origination of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'non-existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one. When one sees the cessation of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one.

He is not resolved on 'my self.' He has no uncertainty or doubt that just stress, when arising, is arising; stress, when passing away, is passing away. In this, his knowledge is independent of others. It's to this extent, Kaccayana, that there is right view.

SN 12.15

Bakmoon
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by Bakmoon » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:31 am

CecilN wrote:Unlike craving, earth element cannot vanish. Its destruction cannot be observed. That is possibly why they are called The Four Great Elements.
Do you mean to say that the earth element is permanent?
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.

CecilN
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by CecilN » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:35 am

Bakmoon wrote:
CecilN wrote:Unlike craving, earth element cannot vanish. Its destruction cannot be observed. That is possibly why they are called The Four Great Elements.
Do you mean to say that the earth element is permanent?
Do the Pali suttas explicitly say anywhere the earth element is impermanent? Or do they only say the form (rupa) derived from the four great elements is impermanent?

Obviously, any element or atom of earth element is impermanent, since it will be subject to erosion. But how far can an atom of earth element be broken down until it ceases without remainder?

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:47 am

Twilight wrote:Well this is a therevadian forum. Therevada follows the teachings of the historical Buddha preserved in the pali canon. In order to know if one is interpreting the canon correctly or not, one first has to read it. You said yourself that you don't consider such a task to be important in page 2 of this topic. Without reading the pali canon, how can one possibly know witch views are in accordance with the pali canon or not ?

Again, I have no problem with the views expressed in this topic. I only have a problem with claiming these views are based on the Pali Canon.
Theraváda Buddhism is indeed based solely on the Páli Buddhavacana, based entirely on it, but you hermeneutic leads you to reject much of actual Theraváda Buddhism.

"Stupid Bhikkhu Books" is what I believe you call Theraváda discourse that goes not comply with the readings of Dhamma your hermeneutic produces from the Páli Buddhavacana, yes?

By all means reading the suttas is never a bad thing, but imported fundamentalist post-Protestant hermeneutics were not the hermeneutic with which the Páli was meant to be read, so even if they happen to produce 7 solid readings of a given sutta, they might also produce 6 flawed ones, or 20. With that hermeneutic you never really know if what you're gleaning from the Buddhavacana is authentic or if you are just reading the scriptures through your own preconceived lens of what it is "supposed" to mean.

This is why the Great Commentary (a fair amount of which is at least as old as the current written incarnation of the Páli Buddhavacana) and the monastic tradition are useful. One can't be a fundamentalist in the opposite direction, clinging to the words of monks as if they are all Buddha himself, but they preserve a very helpful system of hermeneutic interpretation that constitutes a generally highly informed, if humanly fallible, measuring post by which to judge certain things one encounters in the suttas, which can be very impenetrable at times due to their age.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.

吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

CecilN
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by CecilN » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:08 am

Coëmgenu wrote:Great Commentary...
Buddhism primarily rests on meditative verification: sanditthiko akaliko ehipassiko opanayiko paccattam veditabbo vinnuhi. Even the words of the Buddha himself spoken in the Buddha's own presence must be tested & verified. Refer to MN 38. Every appeal to authority & every ad hominem attack is pointless.
Last edited by CecilN on Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:11 am

CecilN wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:Great Commentary...
Buddhism primarily rests on meditative verification: sanditthiko akaliko ehipassiko opanayiko paccattam veditabbo vinnuhi

Even the words of the Buddha himself spoken in the Buddha's own presence must be tested & verified. Refer to MN 38.

Every appeal to authority & ad hominem attack is pointless.
What are you even talking about? Ad hominems? Appeals to authority?
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.

吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by CecilN » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:12 am

Coëmgenu wrote:What are you even talking about? Ad hominems? Appeals to authority?
Examples: refer to your posts.

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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:17 am

CecilN wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:What are you even talking about? Ad hominems? Appeals to authority?
Examples: refer to your posts.
Ok?

Why don't you find one single ad hominem on this thread coming from me?
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.

吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by Mkoll » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:05 am

CecilN wrote:The word 'loka' generally refers to the human & godly (social) worlds. These are the worlds of 'self-identity' & dukkha (rather than the world as the planet Earth).
For the benefit of those just tuning in, this is CecilN's very peculiar view, not the Theravada view.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Aloka
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by Aloka » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:26 am

Mkoll wrote:
CecilN wrote:The word 'loka' generally refers to the human & godly (social) worlds. These are the worlds of 'self-identity' & dukkha (rather than the world as the planet Earth).
For the benefit of those just tuning in, this is CecilN's very peculiar view, not the Theravada view.
Its not just CecilN's view. Ajahn Amaro discusses the different realms (worlds) of manussa loka, preta loka etc in this 5 minute video and how our minds can drift into the other realms from that of the manussa loka (human realm/world)





Please also check" loka" in this dictionary:

https://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bu ... dic3_l.htm


:anjali:
Last edited by Aloka on Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:42 am

Aloka wrote:
Mkoll wrote:
CecilN wrote:The word 'loka' generally refers to the human & godly (social) worlds. These are the worlds of 'self-identity' & dukkha (rather than the world as the planet Earth).
For the benefit of those just tuning in, this is CecilN's very peculiar view, not the Theravada view.
Its not just CecilN's view, Ajahn Amaro discusses the different realms (worlds) of manussa loka, preta loka etc in this 5 minute video and how our minds can drift into the other reams from that of the manussa loka (human realm/world)




:anjali:
This is actually almost identical to the Tiantai interpenetration of the 10 dhátu, interesting.

Ven Buddhadasa makes good insights, but sometimes he or his commentators seems to be prone to supercessionist rhetoric regarding how these teachings allegedly "replace" the already-existing transmissions of Buddhavacana-interpretation.

Ven Buddhadasa gives an explanation that is focused and related to practice in the here-and-now in this life and it is particularly open and inviting to modern scientific peoples who would have otherwise not been open to any Dhamma at all.

I think Ven Buddhadasa's interpretations don't actually contradict normal understandings of rebirth. The two applications of the teaching can exist side-by-side without contradiction or incoherency.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.

吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

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Mkoll
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by Mkoll » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:13 am

Aloka wrote:
Mkoll wrote:
CecilN wrote:The word 'loka' generally refers to the human & godly (social) worlds. These are the worlds of 'self-identity' & dukkha (rather than the world as the planet Earth).
For the benefit of those just tuning in, this is CecilN's very peculiar view, not the Theravada view.
Its not just CecilN's view. Ajahn Amaro discusses the different realms (worlds) of manussa loka, preta loka etc in this 5 minute video and how our minds can drift into the other realms from that of the manussa loka (human realm/world)
Sure, you can use the idea of deva realms, etc. as psychological states as a pedagogical tool in the context of speaking at the Buddhadasa Archives. But that's not how they're used in the suttas. Nor, AFAIK, by any Theravada commentators up until Ven. Buddhadasa.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Aloka
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by Aloka » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:13 am

Coëmgenu wrote:. The two applications of the teaching can exist side-by-side without contradiction or incoherency.
You might also like to read Ajahn Sumedho's views about rebirth in his book "Direct Realisation" in the section " An Interview with John Baxter" under the heading " Death and Rebirth" (p.203)

Excerpt:

AS: I am only interested in rebirth as something that you can witness with the mind. You can talk about a previous life or the next life,but then you are just dealing with speculation. The emphasis in the teaching though is always on the here and now rather than speculating about the past or imagining the future. When you understand what the Buddha was really teaching, then rebirth in those terms is really the process of becoming which is a mental process. You are becoming something all the time.

In heedlessness, when you are not being mindful, but just following habit and its process of becoming something, you mentally slip into role after role. For example becoming a father and a teacher, and something else and then something else, according to what you are attaching to and absorbing into on the sensual plane.

http://cdn.amaravati.org/wp-content/upl ... zation.pdf

:anjali:

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