Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

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

Postby Coëmgenu » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:43 am

CecilN wrote:'Birth' ('jati') reads literally as the birth of the convention or view of a "being" (satta). If not, you would have to provide evidence it refers to physical birth from a woman.
That is Ven Buddhadasa's view, that there is no literal rebirth, no continuation between lives, yes.

CecilN wrote:who or what is Nāgārjuna negating?
Most people believe he was negating Sarvāstivāda Abhidhammika heretics.
Bhagavā arahaṃ sammasāmbuddho:
Svākkhāto yena bhagavatā dhammo / Supaṭipanno yassa bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho
Tammayaṃ bhagavantaṃ sadhammaṃ sasaṅghaṃ / Imehi sakkārehi yathārahaṃ āropitehi abhipūjayāma.
(Dedication of Offerings)
此等諸法,法住、法空、法如、法爾,法不離如,法不異如,審諦真實、不顛倒。These many dharmāḥ, the residence of these dharmāḥ, the emptiness of these dharmāḥ, these dharmāḥ self-explain, these dharmāḥ are thus, these dharmāḥ do not depart from their self-explaining, these dharmāḥ are not different than their self-explaining, judged as truly real, not delusional. (SA 296, 因緣法)
揭諦揭諦,波羅揭諦,波羅僧揭諦,菩提薩婆訶

CecilN
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Postby CecilN » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:47 am

Bakmoon wrote:That doesn't prove anything at all. What does the experience of the earth element have anything to do with whether or not the earth element is inherently existent?

To say the earth element does not inherently exist cannot come from direct experience but only from inferred conjecture. If I observe the decomposing of a corpse, all that can be observed is the change in the earth element but not the disappearance of the earth element.

Where does Nagarjuna say that Nibbana or the Dhamma Niyama arise dependently?

N's logic sounds like:

Emptiness = DO
DO = Emptiness
Nirvana = Emptiness
Nirvana = DO.

CecilN
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Postby CecilN » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:53 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
CecilN wrote:'Birth' ('jati') reads literally as the birth of the convention or view of a "being" (satta). If not, you would have to provide evidence it refers to physical birth from a woman.

That is Ven Buddhadasa's view, that there is no literal rebirth, no continuation between lives, yes.

Maybe. But Buddhadasa never used the suttas to explain his view. Buddhadasa only idiosyncratically taught 'jati' is the birth is self-view as though it was his own personal insight. There is a difference between personal idiosyncratic views and what is literally written in the Pali suttas. Your task is to provide evidence that 'jati' in SN 12.2 refers to physical birth from a woman's vagina & continuation between lives.

Most people believe he was negating Sarvāstivāda Abhidhammika heretics.

Thanks. Never heard of Sarvāstivāda Abhidhammika. All I know is Nāgārjuna wrote lots of complex words that is difficult to read.
Last edited by CecilN on Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:03 am, edited 2 times in total.

Bakmoon
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Postby Bakmoon » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:55 am

CecilN wrote:To say the earth element does not inherently exist cannot come from direct experience but only from inferred conjecture. If I observe the decomposing of a corpse, all that can be observed is the change in the earth element but not the disappearance of the earth element.

The earth element changes form, so what? How does it follow from this that the earth element is inherently real?
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

Postby CecilN » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:58 am

Bakmoon wrote: The earth element changes form, so what? How does it follow from this that the earth element is inherently real?

It does not. But it also does not prove earth element is inherently unreal. I doubt the Buddha concerned himself with such matters. In DN 11 it is said the question about "where does the earth element cease without remainder" is invalid.

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SDC
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Postby SDC » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:07 am

CecilN wrote:
Bakmoon wrote: The earth element changes form, so what? How does it follow from this that the earth element is inherently real?

It does not. But it also does not prove earth element is inherently unreal. I doubt the Buddha concerned himself with such matters. In DN 11 it is said the question about "where does the earth element cease without remainder" is invalid.


And there is always Mūlapariyāya (MN 1):

[Commoner]From earth he has a percept of earth; having had from earth a percept of earth, he conceives (that to be) earth, he conceives (that to be) in earth, he conceives (that to be apart) from earth, he conceives earth to be ‘Mine’, he relishes earth. Why is that? He has not fully diagnosed it, I say...

[Arahant]From earth he has direct-knowledge of earth; having had from earth direct-knowledge of earth, he does not conceive (that to be) earth, he does not conceive (that to be) in earth, he does not conceive (that to be apart) from earth, he does not conceive earth to be ‘Mine’, he does not relish earth. Why is that? Because of delusionlessness with the exhaustion of delusion.


In the very least - since "from earth" is the same for both commoner and arahant - earth is there. Exist or not exist, real or unreal seems to be secondary to its being there --- seems to be the "conceiving" of the commoner in the above verse.

CecilN
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Postby CecilN » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:20 am

SDC wrote:And there is always Mūlapariyāya (MN 1):

seems to be the "conceiving" of the commoner in the above verse.

Yes. Thank you. The "conceiving" here sounds like it refers to conceiving (maññati) as "self" rather than conceiving as "earth". Note: I do not agree with the translation provided.

In MN 140, maññati is as follows:
'I am' is a construing. 'I am this' is a construing. 'I shall be' is a construing. 'I shall not be'... 'I shall be possessed of form'... 'I shall not be possessed of form'... 'I shall be percipient'... 'I shall not be percipient'... 'I shall be neither percipient nor non-percipient' is a construing. Construing is a disease, construing is a cancer, construing is an arrow. By going beyond all construing, he is said to be a sage at peace.

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SDC
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Postby SDC » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:26 am

CecilN wrote:Note: I do not agree with the translation provided.


Ven. Ñāṇamoli Thera for the record.

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Mkoll
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Postby Mkoll » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:30 am

:popcorn:

:coffee:
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

CecilN
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Postby CecilN » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:31 am

SDC wrote:Ven. Ñāṇamoli Thera for the record.

I don't agree with the bracketed part, here: "he does not conceive (that to be) earth". However, I cannot offer an alternate translation due to lack of expertise. I incline to agree with BB.
Having perceived earth as earth, he conceives himself as earth, he conceives himself in earth, he conceives himself apart from earth, he conceives earth to be ‘mine,’ he delights in earth. Why is that? Because he has not fully understood it, I say. Bodhi

Perceiving earth as earth, he conceives [things] about earth, he conceives [things] in earth, he conceives [things] coming out of earth, he conceives earth as 'mine,' he delights in earth. Why is that? Because he has not comprehended it, I tell you. Thanissaro

It depends on the meaning of maññita & maññati, which generally imply 'conceit' I assume.

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Twilight
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Postby Twilight » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:12 am

Wow wow wow take it easy everybody. First of all, that first sutta from MN is considered one of the most difficult suttas of the Pali Canon and it is recomanded to first read the whole pali canon and only then try to undertand it.

Second, you can not murder such a subtle and difficult to understand sutta like that with such a translation to make a case for constructivism:
he conceives (that to be) earth, he conceives (that to be) in earth, he conceives (that to be apart) from earth,


When I first got familiar with the doctrine of dependent origination, I became aware of the 1 life interpretation that exist. I was never an adept of believing something just because it is held by tradition so I decided to give a chance to both translation. Despite not knowing Pali, I have spent 3 days reading all I could about the words used in that first sutta about DO. To my delight, I found that all words from that important sutta have pages dedicated to them on wikipedia and the pali dictionary. After doing the translation myself, the conclusion was very clear: Nanavira simply murdered the translation to make a case for his constructivism. So I am not surprised to see such gruesome translations from Nanavira. I suggest all to do the translation for themselves to see who murdered it to make a case for his views.

To me, this topic is starting to look a little funny. We have a contructivist (Cogemenu with Nagarjuna) debating with another constructivist (Celin with his Buddhadasa) and now we even have another constructivist, Nanavira thrown into the mix. Is this a constructivist party or something ? Am I the only therevadian person in this topic, trying to make a case for Buddha views ?
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.
----------
Consciousness and no-self explained in drawings: link
How stream entry is achieved. Mahasi / Zen understanding vs Sutta understanding: link

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Postby Coëmgenu » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:32 am

Twilight wrote:After doing the translation myself, the conclusion was very clear: Nanavira simply murdered the translation to make a case for his constructivism. So I am not surprised to see such gruesome translations from Nanavira. I suggest all to do the translation for themselves to see who murdered it to make a case for his views.
[...]
To me, this topic is starting to look a little funny. We have a contructivist (Cogemenu with Nagarjuna) debating with another constructivist (Celin with his Buddhadasa) and now we even have another constructivist, Nanavira thrown into the mix. Is this a constructivist party or something ? Am I the only therevadian person in this topic, trying to make a case for Buddha views ?
Now I have a little better understanding of what you are trying to say, and what/where your position comes from that causes you to accuse everything and everyone of supposed "constructivism", for which you give an extremely vague definition that involves arriving at things via inference rather than simply directly knowing from "directly" reading the text.

You are basically a post-Protestant in your hermeneutic. You think that you have a special "objective" "neutral" "true reading of the suttas just-as-they-are with no biases", and anything that disagrees with your "true reading" is "constructivist" because it is "inferring" things that you cannot see as directly written into the text. This is a Reform Protestant hermeneutic designed for reading Biblical literalism into the Bible. Now whether or not your are an American, Englishman, or Australian (the three nexuses of this form of Protestant hermeneutics), this hermeneutic has spread through the human population beyond its original genesis in Reform Christianity. It fundamentally transforms how religious texts are read, and this hermeneutic is now practiced by a great deal of secular "nonreligious people" in addition to fundamentalist Christians.

There are many such people here on this forum, and they generally like to say things like "the Dhamma is straightforward, open, and easy" versus the Dhamma being "subtle, deep, and profound".
Bhagavā arahaṃ sammasāmbuddho:
Svākkhāto yena bhagavatā dhammo / Supaṭipanno yassa bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho
Tammayaṃ bhagavantaṃ sadhammaṃ sasaṅghaṃ / Imehi sakkārehi yathārahaṃ āropitehi abhipūjayāma.
(Dedication of Offerings)
此等諸法,法住、法空、法如、法爾,法不離如,法不異如,審諦真實、不顛倒。These many dharmāḥ, the residence of these dharmāḥ, the emptiness of these dharmāḥ, these dharmāḥ self-explain, these dharmāḥ are thus, these dharmāḥ do not depart from their self-explaining, these dharmāḥ are not different than their self-explaining, judged as truly real, not delusional. (SA 296, 因緣法)
揭諦揭諦,波羅揭諦,波羅僧揭諦,菩提薩婆訶

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Twilight
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Postby Twilight » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:38 am

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.
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.
----------
Consciousness and no-self explained in drawings: link
How stream entry is achieved. Mahasi / Zen understanding vs Sutta understanding: link

Bakmoon
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Postby Bakmoon » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:41 am

CecilN wrote:
Bakmoon wrote: The earth element changes form, so what? How does it follow from this that the earth element is inherently real?

It does not. But it also does not prove earth element is inherently unreal. I doubt the Buddha concerned himself with such matters. In DN 11 it is said the question about "where does the earth element cease without remainder" is invalid.

But you presented it as an argument that the earth element is inherently real. All I did is point out your argument fails.
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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Twilight
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Postby Twilight » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:46 am

I've never heard Buddha debate weather the earth element is inherently real or not. Honestly I don't even understand too much what "inherently" is supposed to mean. Buddha view about the earth element and everything else is like this:

1) They have no substance, but they do exist.

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.

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.

This is not meant to be understood in some constructivist, relativist way. It should be understood pretty simple. Think about it. There is a banana. The banana will disappear at one point and will be no more. Nobody will even remember it. It will be like it never was. So it can not be said that it really exists from this point of view. On the other hand, the banana has arisen and does exist at the moment. So nobody can say the banana does not exist. Things exist but they are impermanent so at one point they cease to exist. Pretty simple and straightforward, no need for endless philosophical debates.
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.
----------
Consciousness and no-self explained in drawings: link
How stream entry is achieved. Mahasi / Zen understanding vs Sutta understanding: link

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SDC
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Postby SDC » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:53 am

Twilight wrote: After doing the translation myself, the conclusion was very clear: Nanavira simply murdered the translation to make a case for his constructivism. So I am not surprised to see such gruesome translations from Nanavira. I suggest all to do the translation for themselves to see who murdered it to make a case for his views.

To me, this topic is starting to look a little funny. We have a contructivist (Cogemenu with Nagarjuna) debating with another constructivist (Celin with his Buddhadasa) and now we even have another constructivist, Nanavira thrown into the mix. Is this a constructivist party or something ? Am I the only therevadian person in this topic, trying to make a case for Buddha views ?


Like I said: it was Ñāṇamoli Thera's translation...not Ñāṇavira's. His translation of the Majjhima is quite well respected.

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Twilight
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Postby Twilight » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:07 am

I am not familiar with Nanamoli but the translation:
he conceives (that to be) earth

Leads one to thinking earth is not really earth but there is some hidden reality behind it or it does not exist at all. Not to mention that sutta is one of the most subtle and difficult ones and a whole read of the canon is recommended in order to understand it. Translating it like that takes away all that the sutta was trying to say.

This is what made me believe this is constructivism too. If he is not trying to say that but only translated it in a bad way then I accused him wrongly and am sorry for that. If he is trying to say that earth does not really exist then he is a constructivist and not in line with what Buddha taught.
Last edited by Twilight on Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:18 am, edited 1 time 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.
----------
Consciousness and no-self explained in drawings: link
How stream entry is achieved. Mahasi / Zen understanding vs Sutta understanding: link

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SDC
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Postby SDC » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:17 am

Twilight wrote:I am not familiar with Nanamoli but the translation:
he conceives (that to be) earth

Leads one to thinking earth is not really earth but there is some hidden reality behind it or it does not exist at all. Not to mention that sutta is one of the most subtle and difficult ones and a whole read of the canon is recommended in order to understand it. Translating it like that takes away all that the sutta was trying to say.


From earth he has a percept of earth; having had from earth a percept of earth, he conceives (that to be) earth, he conceives (that to be) in earth, he conceives (that to be apart) from earth, he conceives earth to be ‘Mine’, he relishes earth. Why is that? He has not fully diagnosed it, I say...


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.

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Twilight
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Postby Twilight » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:25 am

I have read it again and do not really understand what he is trying to say.
[Commoner]From earth he has a percept of earth; having had from earth a percept of earth, he conceives (that to be) earth, he conceives (that to be) in earth, he conceives (that to be apart) from earth,
[...]
[Arahant]From earth he has direct-knowledge of earth; having had from earth direct-knowledge of earth, he does not conceive (that to be) earth, he .

What does the puthijhana "conceives to be in earth" ? A self ? Then why not translate it like B.Bhodi: "he conceives himself to be in earth" witch is in line with : "he conceives earth to be mine"
And I don't really understand what "conceives that to be earth" is supposed to mean. This makes the reader think earth does not really exist. If he want's to say the same thing as B.Bhodi, then why not translate it like him: "He conceives himself in earth", "he conceives himself apart from earth", "he conceives earth to be mine" ?

Is he trying to say the same thing with bad choice of words or is he trying to say something different than the normal translation ? What is that "that" from "he concieves that to be earth" ?
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.
----------
Consciousness and no-self explained in drawings: link
How stream entry is achieved. Mahasi / Zen understanding vs Sutta understanding: link

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SDC
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Postby SDC » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:39 am

"Earth" and "percept of earth" are separate things. "That to be" is referring that percept of earth as standing for earth. But it is the percept of earth not just earth. So the percept of it cannot stand for it - that would be conceiving. As would assuming that percept to be in earth or apart from it.

I'm not trying stake a claim here. Just putting it out there.


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