Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

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

Post by CecilN » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:03 am

Coëmgenu wrote:And this subforum on it is called "Connections to Other Paths".
OK. I am sorry. Unlike some, I am not an expert into cultural-Marxist bureaucracies.
And I'll stick with the Dhamma, suttas included, thank you.
OK..please do, i..e, please quote from them rather than post 'folk buddhism'.
If you think there was once Nibbána and that it pre-existed samsara, then the onus is on you to try to cobble together a coherent worldview where samsara "starts" out of Nibbána for whatever reason. Good luck.
I did not explicitly say there was a Nibbana pre-existing samsara. I only said it is possible.

If all minds (citta) ended the delusion of "being" ('atta'/'satta'), all would attain Nibbana. Thus samsara would end. This shows how Nibbana can exist when samsara does not exist. :)
Please delete this misrepresentation. I absolutely never said that "ignorance arises without any causal condition from which to arise". That is a lie.
You did not follow what I posted.

You posted:
How would samsara be arisen by causal condition with no causal condition from which to arise?
I replied:
In AN 10.61, it is said: Ignorance is arisen by with no causal condition from which to arise.
Since samsara is comprised of ignorance, your view was opposite to that of AN 10.61. AN 10.61 states ignorance, and thus samsara, arises without knowable cause (hetu).

AN 10.61 always catches out the dogmatists.

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by Coëmgenu » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:19 am

CecilN wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:And this subforum on it is called "Connections to Other Paths".
OK. I am sorry. Unlike some, I am not an expert into cultural-Marxist bureaucracies.
Accusations of Marxism is the American equivalent of reducio ad hitlerum.
CecilN wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:And I'll stick with the Dhamma, suttas included, thank you.
OK..please do, i..e, please quote from them rather than post 'folk buddhism'.
If folk buddhism is posted, point it out, otherwise this is more unsubstantiated accusations from you.
CecilN wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:If you think there was once Nibbána and that it pre-existed samsara, then the onus is on you to try to cobble together a coherent worldview where samsara "starts" out of Nibbána for whatever reason. Good luck.
I did not explicitly say there was a Nibbana pre-existing samsara. I only said it is possible.

If all minds (citta) ended the delusion of "being" ('atta'/'satta'), all would attain Nibbana. Thus samsara would end. This shows how Nibbana can exist when samsara does not exist.
Possibilities? I guess it's also possible that God created the world in 7 days, but that is just as groundless and unsubstantiated a claim as "original Nibbána". I could list other similarly unsubstantiated "things that are possible in theory" but that doesn't make them any truer.
Coëmgenu wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:Please delete this misrepresentation. I absolutely never said that "ignorance arises without any causal condition from which to arise". That is a lie.
You did not follow what I posted.

You posted:
How would samsara be arisen by causal condition with no causal condition from which to arise?
I replied:
In AN 10.61, it is said: Ignorance is arisen by with no causal condition from which to arise.
Since samsara is comprised of ignorance, your view was opposite to that of AN 10.61. AN 10.61 states ignorance, and thus samsara, arises without knowable cause (hetu).

AN 10.61 always catches out the dogmatists.
Fair enough, I've removed my own unsubstantiated accusation of misinformation. Yet I fail to see how this establishes the likelihood of "original Nibbána". If anything, it simply establishes the begininglessness of ignorance/samsara, which has no cause to "start" it, making "original Nibbána" all the more unlikely, because it is established in the Buddhavacana that there is no such possible cause that would "start" samsara in the "original Nibbána" state allegedly possible "before" samsara.
神足示現者,
世尊隨其所應,而示現入禪定正受,陵虛至東方,作四威儀,
行、住、坐、臥,入火三昧,出種種火光,青、黃、赤、白、
紅、頗梨色,水火俱現, 或身下出火,身上出水,身上出火,
身下出水,周圓四方亦復如是。

CecilN
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by CecilN » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:28 am

Coëmgenu wrote:... it is established in the Buddhavacana...
You seem to be imagining things about 'authority' again.

I am the poster posting Buddhavacana & you are the poster posting unsubstantiated imaginings or folk stories.

Please post the Buddhavacana being referred to support your position.

Just make a post of sutta, without personal commentary. Thanks

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by Coëmgenu » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:32 am

CecilN wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:... it is established in the Buddhavacana...
You seem to be imagining things again.

I am the poster posting Buddhavacana & you are the poster posting unsubstantiated imaginings or folk stories.

Please post the Buddhavacana being referred to support your position. Thanks
AN 10.61, you just quoted it. If you were accurate, it establishes ignorance as without cause, hence ignorance cannot have arisen out of "original Nibbána" because there is no principal cause (AN 10.61?) for the arising of ignorance.

According to the apparent content of the Buddhavacana (AN 10.61) it is not possible for ignorance to arise out of "original Nibbána" because that would required a "cause" for ignorance/samsara.
神足示現者,
世尊隨其所應,而示現入禪定正受,陵虛至東方,作四威儀,
行、住、坐、臥,入火三昧,出種種火光,青、黃、赤、白、
紅、頗梨色,水火俱現, 或身下出火,身上出水,身上出火,
身下出水,周圓四方亦復如是。

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aflatun
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by aflatun » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:36 am

Coëmgenu wrote:

The way that we talk about existence in English in these conversations that deal with odd questions like "Is a rock arisen due to ignorance?" is in a de facto ontological sense, which, when paired with notions such as "Cars exist independent of a perciever", indicate that "existence" is being framed in a cosmological manner.

Cosmology is refuted via the fourfold negation, in SN 12.48, but it is not refuted on the grounds that reality/cosmos does not exist, or that cosmology "doesn't exist" in any ways, it is refuted because extreme cosmological positions are unrelated to the teaching ("Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathágata teaches the Dhamma via the middle").

Nágárjuna is not a cosmologer. When Madhyamika philosophy negates "inherent existence" they are negating the heretical notion that any reality, real or perceived, is unconditioned, save for Nibbána, views about which, themselves, are conditioned. Arguing against "inherent existence" is arguing that Nibbána and complete perfect realization thereof (samyaksambodhi) is the only thing that is unconditioned. All else lacks "inherency", including form, which is arisen from causal conditions. Note that this does not mean that all form is arisen via dependent origination, it simply means that forms (any forms) are arisen by causal conditions.

Existence is de facto established on metaphysical grounds by statements like "There is, monks, an unborn" (Ud 8.3) as well as numerous other times the Buddha establishes something as existing, and neither Theraváda nor Madhyamika are interested in refuting that.

The notion that anything is uncaused and unconditioned save for Nibbána, like for instance "form", is a very ancient heresy in Buddhist and no contemporary schools of Buddhism (arguably) subscribe to svabháva theories of dharmas other than svabháva of Nibbána.

Yet the Múlamadhyamakakáriká and Nágárjuna's work discrediting the svabháva heresy is still relevant in modern Buddhism because there are still people who claim to be Buddhists who believe that things other than Nibbána are stable, permanent, and unchanging, whether due to reconstructionist arrogance or simply being poorly informed as to the Buddhavacava.

The Múlamadhyamakakáriká is designed to be a litmus test of the alleged permanence of anything other than Nibbána, including most views of/about Nibbána. Everything is denied the status of unconditioned save for Nibbána itself.


I'm taking the liberty of quoting you here, Twilight, rather than in the thread "No Creator in Buddhism", where this quote is from, because I think it is relevant to some misconceptions about "inherent existence" that have been voiced in response to the statements that negate "inherent existence", not necessarily because I think or don't think that you hold such misconceptions:
Twilight wrote:The 5 aggregates that constitute what we conventionally call "a being" exist since forever.
No one is disputing that the 5 aggregates exist, or that they constitute what is called a "being". This is a common criticism leveled at teachings that negate "inherent existence", because it is common to see these Buddhist discourses as nihilistic, or negating existence on a metaphysical level.

The aggregates, though beginingless (but not uncaused), are arisen due to causal conditions and are therefore conditioned, and being conditioned they lack "inherent existence", what they have is a dependent existence, dependent on their conditions.

Like Javi said earlier, if a given Buddhist is informed as to the Buddhavacana and does not ascribe unchanging permanence to anything other than Nibbána, then the Múlamadhyamakakáriká is an unnecessary and possibly redundant text, which merely goes over what is already in the Buddhavacana via the suttas and rearranges the material into a new presentation designed to refute unconditioned existences aside from Nibbána, which was a contemporary heresy of Nágárjuna's time, which was not believed by Buddhists before then, hence why the svabháva heresy is not explicitly mentioned or condemned in the Buddhavacana.

However if a given Buddhist subscribes unchanging permanence to anything other than Nibbána than the Múlamadhyamakakáriká is designed to refute their notions.

----------

Basically, the entire text is an essay against hypostatization/reification/objectification of any and all things, including Nibbána. Nibbána is uncaused, yet the conceptual framing of Nibbána as "opposite" of samsara is itself arisen via causal conditions, specifically the causal condition of samsara itself, thus hypostatizations/"mental proliferations" of Nibbána in relation to samsara are conditioned and are not, themselves, Nibbána. This is the context of the saying
There is no distinction whatsoever between saṃsāra and nirvāṇa.
There is no distinction whatsoever between nirvāṇa and saṃsāra.

What is the limit of nirvāṇa, that is the limit of saṃsāra.
There is not even the finest gap to be found between the two.

The views concerning what is beyond cessation, the end of the world, and the eternality of the world are dependent [respectively] on nirvāṇa, the future life, and the past life.
(Mūlamadhyamakakārikā XXV, Nirvānaparīkṣā section)

It is talking about views/hypostatizations of Nibbána. Hypostatizations of Nibbána are identical, it argues, to hypostatizations of samsara, they are both mere hypostatizations. As hypostatizations arisen via causal conditions, they are dependant on Nibbána, the uncaused/unconditioned, but those hypostatizations are themselves not unconditioned, in fact, they are implied, by Nágárjuna, to also be conditioned by pernicious self-view (What will I be in the future? What was my past self?) ("The views concerning what is beyond cessation, the end of the world, and the eternality of the world are dependent [respectively] on nirvāṇa, the future life, and the past life"). Nágárjuna labels such views as samsaric.

Great posts, thank you for the lucid explanations. Despite all of that, isn't it true that Nagarjuna does not ascribe inherency or existence to Nirvana?


EDIT: I can't make sense of a view of what is beyond cessation being conditioned by Nirvana, unless it means the view is conditioned by one's ideas, reifications, etc, of Nirvana, not Nirvana itself, if you'll permit that way of putting it (which is problematic!)
Last edited by aflatun on Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

CecilN
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by CecilN » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:41 am

Coëmgenu wrote:AN 10.61, you just quoted it. If you were accurate, it establishes ignorance as without cause, hence ignorance cannot have arisen out of "original Nibbána" because there is no principal cause (AN 10.61?) for the arising of ignorance.

According to the apparent content of the Buddhavacana (AN 10.61) it is not possible for ignorance to arise out of "original Nibbána" because that would required a "cause" for ignorance/samsara.
I do not recall posting anywhere that ignorance arises out of Nibbana. All I recall positing is Nibbana could co-exist as an element (dhatu) in nature with ignorance.

Since MN 115 defines Nibbana as the unconditioned element (asankhata dhatu), how could Nibbana come to be at a later time; that is; not be there eternally?
There is, bhikkhus, a not-born, a not-brought-to-being, a not-made, a not-conditioned. If, bhikkhus, there were no not-born, not-brought-to-being, not-made, not-conditioned, no escape would be discerned from what is born, brought-to-being, made, conditioned. But since there is a not-born, a not-brought-to-being, a not-made, a not-conditioned, therefore an escape is discerned from what is born, brought-to-being, made, conditioned. Ud 8.3
"It is just as if a man, traveling along a wilderness track, were to see an ancient path, an ancient road, traveled by people of former times. He would follow it. Following it, he would see an ancient city, an ancient capital inhabited by people of former times, complete with parks, groves, & ponds, walled, delightful. He would go to address the king or the king's minister, saying, 'Sire, you should know that while traveling along a wilderness track I saw an ancient path... I followed it... I saw an ancient city, an ancient capital... complete with parks, groves, & ponds, walled, delightful. Sire, rebuild that city!' The king or king's minister would rebuild the city, so that at a later date the city would become powerful, rich, & well-populated, fully grown & prosperous. SN 12.65

CecilN
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by CecilN » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:44 am

aflatun wrote:Great posts, thank you for the lucid explanations. Despite all of that, isn't it true that Nagarjuna does not ascribe inherency or existence to Nirvana?
:popcorn:

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by Coëmgenu » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:49 am

CecilN wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:AN 10.61, you just quoted it. If you were accurate, it establishes ignorance as without cause, hence ignorance cannot have arisen out of "original Nibbána" because there is no principal cause (AN 10.61?) for the arising of ignorance.

According to the apparent content of the Buddhavacana (AN 10.61) it is not possible for ignorance to arise out of "original Nibbána" because that would required a "cause" for ignorance/samsara.
I do not recall posting anywhere that ignorance arises out of Nibbana. All I recall positing is Nibbana could co-exist as an element (dhatu) in nature with ignorance.
Well what you said was:
CecilN wrote:I did not explicitly say there was a Nibbana pre-existing samsara. I only said it is possible.
I don't see anything where you talked about Nibbāna as an interpenetrating dhātu inside samsara. That is the Tiāntái view, posited by Śramaṇa Zhìyǐ, and I would not disagree with it.

What I disagree with is that "it is possible" that Nibbāna pre-exists samsara, since AN 10.61 refutes that there is a cause for ignorance/samsara. If ignorance and samsara is without cause, fundamentally, that means that it cannnot be arisen out of an "original Nibbāna" because that would require just such a cause.
CecilN wrote:Since MN 115 defines Nibbana as the unconditioned element (asankhata dhatu), how could Nibbana come to be at a later time; that is; not be there eternally?
Just because there is no "original Nibbāna" that exists "before" samsara, doesn't mean that Nibbāna "starts" after it. Thats just the reverse, postulating an "original samsara" instead of "original Nibbāna".
Last edited by Coëmgenu on Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
神足示現者,
世尊隨其所應,而示現入禪定正受,陵虛至東方,作四威儀,
行、住、坐、臥,入火三昧,出種種火光,青、黃、赤、白、
紅、頗梨色,水火俱現, 或身下出火,身上出水,身上出火,
身下出水,周圓四方亦復如是。

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by Coëmgenu » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:54 am

aflatun wrote:Great posts, thank you for the lucid explanations. Despite all of that, isn't it true that Nagarjuna does not ascribe inherency or existence to Nirvana?
Nāgārjuna does not ascribe inherency to hypostatizations of Nibbāna, which includes almost all views and inferences that one can try to make about Nibbāna. Nāgārjuna does not deny the inherency or unconditionedness of Nibbāna:
That which when dependent or conditioned comes into and goes out of existence,
that, when not conditioned or dependent, is called nirvāṇa.
(Mūlamadhyamakakārikā XXV)

In short, anything that is conditioned is considered not Nibbāna in the text, including "conceptions of Nibbāna", which are mental formations, not Nibbāna itself.

aflatun wrote:EDIT: I can't make sense of a view of what is beyond cessation being conditioned by Nirvana, unless it means the view is conditioned by one's ideas, reifications, etc, of Nirvana, not Nirvana itself, if you'll permit that way of putting it (which is problematic!)
Views of what is beyond cessation are conditioned by "notions" of Nirvana, which in turn is conditioned by "Nirvana" via the Buddha, they are simply misconceptions of the Buddha's teaching, yeah, thats what is being said, at least by my reading of the text.

I'll look up some of the commentaries and see if they have different insights.
神足示現者,
世尊隨其所應,而示現入禪定正受,陵虛至東方,作四威儀,
行、住、坐、臥,入火三昧,出種種火光,青、黃、赤、白、
紅、頗梨色,水火俱現, 或身下出火,身上出水,身上出火,
身下出水,周圓四方亦復如是。

CecilN
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by CecilN » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:58 am

Coëmgenu wrote:I don't see anything where you talked about Nibbāna as an interpenetrating dhātu inside samsara.
You seem to believe the universe or the five aggregates are samsara (rather than the mental act of craving).

Nibbana occurring when the mind is conscious & the five aggregates remain:
What, bhikkhus, is the Nibbāna-element with residue left? Here a bhikkhu is an arahant, one whose taints are destroyed, the holy life fulfilled, who has done what had to be done, laid down the burden, attained the goal, destroyed the fetters of being, completely released through final knowledge. However, his five sense faculties remain unimpaired, by which he still experiences what is agreeable and disagreeable and feels pleasure and pain. It is the extinction of attachment, hate, and delusion in him that is called the Nibbāna-element with residue left. Iti 44
Samsara as the mental act of craving, clinging & wandering around:
"There comes a time when the great earth is consumed with flame, is destroyed, & does not exist. But for beings — as long as they are hindered by ignorance, fettered by craving, running around & wandering on — I don't say that there is an end of suffering & stress.

"Just as a dog, tied by a leash to a post or stake, keeps running around and circling around that very post or stake; in the same way, an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for people of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — assumes form to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form.

"He assumes feeling to be the self...

"He assumes perception to be the self...

"He assumes (mental) fabrications to be the self...

"He assumes consciousness to be the self, or the self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in the self, or the self as in consciousness.

"He keeps running around and circling around that very form... that very feeling... that very perception... those very fabrications... that very consciousness. He is not set loose from form, not set loose from feeling... from perception... from fabrications... not set loose from consciousness. He is not set loose from birth, aging, & death; from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs. He is not set loose, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

SN 22.99
Last edited by CecilN on Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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aflatun
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by aflatun » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:00 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
aflatun wrote:Great posts, thank you for the lucid explanations. Despite all of that, isn't it true that Nagarjuna does not ascribe inherency or existence to Nirvana?
Nāgārjuna does not ascribe inherency to hypostatizations of Nibbāna, which includes almost all views and inferences that one can try to make about Nibbāna. Nāgārjuna does not deny the inherency or unconditionedness of Nibbāna:
That which when dependent or conditioned comes into and goes out of existence,
that, when not conditioned or dependent, is called nirvāṇa.
(Mūlamadhyamakakārikā XXV)

In short, anything that is conditioned is considered not Nibbāna in the text, including "conceptions of Nibbāna", which are mental formations, not Nibbāna itself.

aflatun wrote:EDIT: I can't make sense of a view of what is beyond cessation being conditioned by Nirvana, unless it means the view is conditioned by one's ideas, reifications, etc, of Nirvana, not Nirvana itself, if you'll permit that way of putting it (which is problematic!)
Views of what is beyond cessation are conditioned by "notions" of Nirvana, which in turn is conditioned by "Nirvana" via the Buddha, they are simply misconceptions of the Buddha's teaching, yeah, thats what is being said, at least by my reading of the text.

I'll look up some of the commentaries and see if they have different insights.
Thank you for the swift response. I'm not being a nitpicker here, just wanted to be clear. I asked about inherency specifically because I'm clear on his assertion that Nirvana is unconditioned, that's quite unambiguous. But I don't see him calling Nirvana existent or inherent (in your quote for example), and I think the distinction is important. What do you think?
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

CecilN
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by CecilN » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:03 am

Coëmgenu wrote:In short, anything that is conditioned is considered not Nibbāna in the text, including "conceptions of Nibbāna", which are mental formations, not Nibbāna itself.
So why did Nāgārjuna say samsara & Nirvana are the same.

:popcorn:

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aflatun
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by aflatun » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:05 am

aflatun wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:
aflatun wrote:Great posts, thank you for the lucid explanations. Despite all of that, isn't it true that Nagarjuna does not ascribe inherency or existence to Nirvana?
Nāgārjuna does not ascribe inherency to hypostatizations of Nibbāna, which includes almost all views and inferences that one can try to make about Nibbāna. Nāgārjuna does not deny the inherency or unconditionedness of Nibbāna:
That which when dependent or conditioned comes into and goes out of existence,
that, when not conditioned or dependent, is called nirvāṇa.
(Mūlamadhyamakakārikā XXV)

In short, anything that is conditioned is considered not Nibbāna in the text, including "conceptions of Nibbāna", which are mental formations, not Nibbāna itself.

aflatun wrote:EDIT: I can't make sense of a view of what is beyond cessation being conditioned by Nirvana, unless it means the view is conditioned by one's ideas, reifications, etc, of Nirvana, not Nirvana itself, if you'll permit that way of putting it (which is problematic!)
Views of what is beyond cessation are conditioned by "notions" of Nirvana, which in turn is conditioned by "Nirvana" via the Buddha, they are simply misconceptions of the Buddha's teaching, yeah, thats what is being said, at least by my reading of the text.

I'll look up some of the commentaries and see if they have different insights.
Thank you for the swift response. I'm not being a nitpicker here, just wanted to be clear. I asked about inherency specifically because I'm clear on his assertion that Nirvana is unconditioned, that's quite unambiguous. But I don't see him calling Nirvana existent or inherent (in your quote for example), and I think the distinction is important. What do you think?
Sorry for the double post. On the above note, he also says Nirvana is empty, though I can't produce a quotation at the moment. That would seem to negate inherency and existence?
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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aflatun
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by aflatun » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:06 am

CecilN wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:In short, anything that is conditioned is considered not Nibbāna in the text, including "conceptions of Nibbāna", which are mental formations, not Nibbāna itself.
So why did Nāgārjuna say samsara & Nirvana are the same.

:popcorn:

I'm not an expert, and I'm sure the prior explanation is more correct, but in my understanding he was saying that there is not a single existent thing that separates the two, not that they are identical.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by Coëmgenu » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:07 am

CecilN wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:In short, anything that is conditioned is considered not Nibbāna in the text, including "conceptions of Nibbāna", which are mental formations, not Nibbāna itself.
So why did Nāgārjuna say samsara & Nirvana are the same.
Because they are hypostatizations of themselves in the minds of the practitioner, which is the context of the quote in question.
神足示現者,
世尊隨其所應,而示現入禪定正受,陵虛至東方,作四威儀,
行、住、坐、臥,入火三昧,出種種火光,青、黃、赤、白、
紅、頗梨色,水火俱現, 或身下出火,身上出水,身上出火,
身下出水,周圓四方亦復如是。

CecilN
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:31 am

Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by CecilN » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:15 am

Coëmgenu wrote:Because they are hypostatizations of themselves in the minds of the practitioner.
Exactly, which is how this thread was originally responded to & why Nāgārjuna's idea of Nirvana is probably wrong.

Nibbana is the end of greed, hatred & delusion. What it actually is is 100% unrelated to its conceptual description.

Note: hypostatization is not a word found in Buddhism & is thus irrelevant to the discussion.

Nāgārjuna obviously believed each word (thought conception) the Lord Buddha spoke is non-Nibbana, i.e., spoken outside of Nibbana.

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by Coëmgenu » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:22 am

CecilN wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:Because they are hypostatizations of themselves in the minds of the practitioner.
Exactly, which is how this thread was originally responded to & why Nāgārjuna's idea of Nirvana is probably wrong.

Nibbana is the end of greed, hatred & delusion. What it actually is is 100% unrelated to its conceptual description.

Note: hypostatization is not a word found in Buddhism & is thus irrelevant to the discussion.

Nāgārjuna obviously believed each word (thought conception) the Lord Buddha spoke is non-Nibbana, i.e., spoken outside of Nibbana.
Those are all descriptions of Nibbāna. It is also the unborn, the deathless, the other shore, etc. These are all metaphors employed for Nibbāna.

Hypostatization is prapañcopaśama, which is a word (or rather a compound of multiple words) that is/are found in Buddhism.
神足示現者,
世尊隨其所應,而示現入禪定正受,陵虛至東方,作四威儀,
行、住、坐、臥,入火三昧,出種種火光,青、黃、赤、白、
紅、頗梨色,水火俱現, 或身下出火,身上出水,身上出火,
身下出水,周圓四方亦復如是。

CecilN
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:31 am

Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by CecilN » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:25 am

Coëmgenu wrote:Because they are hypostatizations of themselves in the minds of the practitioner, which is the context of the quote in question.
Let me put it another way, since the Nāgārjuna view favours Nibbana.

Samsara is always hypostatization. There can be no samsara without hypostatization.

Therefore samsara cannot be the same as Nibbana because Nibbana can be regarded as non-hypostatization where as samsara can never be regarded as non-hypostatization.

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by Coëmgenu » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:30 am

CecilN wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:Because they are hypostatizations of themselves in the minds of the practitioner, which is the context of the quote in question.
Let me put it another way, since the Nāgārjuna view favours Nibbana.

Samsara is always hypostatization. There can be no samsara without hypostatization.

Therefore samsara cannot be the same as Nibbana because Nibbana can be regarded as non-hypostatization where as samsara can never be regarded as non-hypostatization.
Nibbāna can be non-hypostatization, but it often isn't. Most conceptions of Nibbāna are hypostatizations, which is the essence of the Nāgārjuna quote about samsara and Nibbāna being the same, as hypostatizations.
神足示現者,
世尊隨其所應,而示現入禪定正受,陵虛至東方,作四威儀,
行、住、坐、臥,入火三昧,出種種火光,青、黃、赤、白、
紅、頗梨色,水火俱現, 或身下出火,身上出水,身上出火,
身下出水,周圓四方亦復如是。

Bakmoon
Posts: 637
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:14 pm

Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by Bakmoon » Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:27 am

CecilN wrote:
Bakmoon wrote:I never said they were the same. My point is that you previously made the claim that earth is permanent, and that this is a wrong understanding.
Thank you Bakmoon but possibly there is a miscommunication here. Previously, I recalled making a case for 'sabhava'; in that earth always has a permanent quality of 'earthiness' (hardness; solidity, etc); that it cannot vanish into nothing.

If earth has a permanent quality of being earth and cannot vanish into nothing, then that makes the earth element permanent. Something that cannot cease is permanent, and this is contrary to the Buddha's fundamental insight that all conditioned phenomena are to be regarded as impermanent, unsatisfying, and non-self. Saying the elements are permanent is contrary to this.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.

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