Value of interfaith studies

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
TetrisMK
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Re: Value of interfaith studies

Post by TetrisMK » Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:27 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:22 am
Leeuwenhoek2 wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:27 pm
His dialogs as they come down to us show a thinker who is well versed in several philosophies. His explanations often anticipate the reasoning or ideas of other philosophies.
Such as? Please provide some examples? Thanks
The Digha Nikaya has a lot of this, often mentioning contemporary teachers and brahmins by name, or simply going through lists of other commonly believed philosophies and refuting them. Samaññaphala Sutta, Brahmajāla Sutta, Tevijja sutta come to mind.

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Will
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Re: Value of interfaith studies

Post by Will » Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:48 pm

Ideal virtues listed from chapter 16:1-3 of the Bhagavad Gita:
Valor, cleanness of heart, steadfast union with illumination,
generous giving, control, sacrifice, study, fervor, righteousness,
Gentleness, truth, freedom from anger, detachment, peace, loyalty, pity for all
beings, an unlascivious mind, mildness, modesty, steadfastness,
Fire, patience, firmness, purity, good-will, absence of conceit, these belong to
him who is born to the godlike portion...
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

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Will
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Re: Yoga Vasishta

Post by Will » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:36 pm

A huge, ancient text, which has intellectual flavors from varied traditions. The main portion is the Rishi Vasistha teaching the young Rama, the Avatar.

A readable online version, also available from Lulu as one volume book ($50 or so) or free Mobi or PDF formats:

http://yogavasishta.org/introduction.html
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

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Will
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Re: Value of interfaith studies

Post by Will » Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:58 am

A small sample:
1 Vishwamitra said:— Rama, now it is appropriate that you have your mind properly purified from its doubts, as it was done with Shuka, the son of Vyasa.
2 You see, O great sages, how perfectly the knowable is known to Rama, whose good understanding has learnt to feel a distaste for worldly enjoyments as if they were diseases to him.
3 You well know that the fixed principle in the mind of one knowing the knowable is to have an aversion to all the enjoyments of life.
4 The desire of results chains a man to the earth. Knowledge of the frailties here serves to dispel his darkness.
5 Rama knows that curtailing desires is what the wise call liberty, and the attachment of our desires to earthly objects is our confinement here.
6 Spiritual knowledge is easily obtainable by most men, but a distaste for (pleasurable) objects is hard to be had.
7 He who fully comprehends a thing is said to know it, and whoso knows what is knowable is called a learned man. No earthly enjoyment can be delectable to such high minded men.
8 The mind that has no zest for earthly pleasures, except the glory of disinterested deeds, is said to be liberated even in the present life.
Excerpt From: Valmiki. Yoga Vasishta of Valmiki. II, 2:1-8
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: Value of interfaith studies

Post by Lucas Oliveira » Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:29 pm

:namaste:
I participate in this forum using Google Translator. http://translate.google.com.br

http://www.acessoaoinsight.net/

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Will
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Re: Value of interfaith studies

Post by Will » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:53 pm

A summary of the philosophy & metaphysics of Yoga Vasistha by B.L. Atreya - the last 3 lectures in particular.

https://archive.org/details/Yogavasisth ... phy_201709
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

Upeksha
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Re: Value of interfaith studies

Post by Upeksha » Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:01 pm

Someone earlier in the thread mentioned that the Buddha himself was versed in other doctrines - which is of course undoubtedly true. I think it's also true that his own doctrine is nonsensical without the broader Vedic and Upanishadic context of his times (and this implies critique of those systems as much as adoption of certain features of them).

Beyond the Buddha, I think we need to consider the unfolding of Buddhism per se, as a distinct tradition in India. This was an overwhelmingly dialectical unfolding, as Buddhist thinkers explained and clarified their positions in relation to other Buddhist schools and non-Buddhist schools.

So, the value seems unmissable: it's how Buddhism becomes Buddhism. i.e. the very premise of an isolated Buddha-dharma is incoherent.

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Re: Value of interfaith studies

Post by chownah » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:36 am

Upeksha wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:01 pm
Someone earlier in the thread mentioned that the Buddha himself was versed in other doctrines - which is of course undoubtedly true. I think it's also true that his own doctrine is nonsensical without the broader Vedic and Upanishadic context of his times (and this implies critique of those systems as much as adoption of certain features of them).

Beyond the Buddha, I think we need to consider the unfolding of Buddhism per se, as a distinct tradition in India. This was an overwhelmingly dialectical unfolding, as Buddhist thinkers explained and clarified their positions in relation to other Buddhist schools and non-Buddhist schools.

So, the value seems unmissable: it's how Buddhism becomes Buddhism. i.e. the very premise of an isolated Buddha-dharma is incoherent.
I have no understanding of the vedic or upanishaic anything.....I guess then my understanding of buddhist doctrine must be garabage.....is that right?
chownah

Upeksha
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Re: Value of interfaith studies

Post by Upeksha » Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:36 am

chownah wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:36 am
Upeksha wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:01 pm
Someone earlier in the thread mentioned that the Buddha himself was versed in other doctrines - which is of course undoubtedly true. I think it's also true that his own doctrine is nonsensical without the broader Vedic and Upanishadic context of his times (and this implies critique of those systems as much as adoption of certain features of them).

Beyond the Buddha, I think we need to consider the unfolding of Buddhism per se, as a distinct tradition in India. This was an overwhelmingly dialectical unfolding, as Buddhist thinkers explained and clarified their positions in relation to other Buddhist schools and non-Buddhist schools.

So, the value seems unmissable: it's how Buddhism becomes Buddhism. i.e. the very premise of an isolated Buddha-dharma is incoherent.
I have no understanding of the vedic or upanishaic anything.....I guess then my understanding of buddhist doctrine must be garabage.....is that right?
chownah
That's not what I'm saying.

I'm saying, the Buddha's doctrine is non-sensical without reference to the pre-Buddhistic (i.e. Vedic) context in which it arose. i.e. Concepts such as "samsara" "karma" "moksha" etc were existent before the Buddha was born. So if you have an understanding of Buddhist doctrine, you automatically pick up this context.

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DooDoot
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Re: Value of interfaith studies

Post by DooDoot » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:05 am

Upeksha wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:36 am
I'm saying, the Buddha's doctrine is non-sensical without reference to the pre-Buddhistic (i.e. Vedic) context in which it arose. i.e. Concepts such as "samsara" "karma" "moksha" etc were existent before the Buddha was born. So if you have an understanding of Buddhist doctrine, you automatically pick up this context.
Hi Upeksha

The Pali suttas only mention the Four Vedas (and not the Upanishads). I think you would need to study the Vedas thoroughly to see if they had any systematic doctrines about "samsara" "karma" "moksha" etc. Extensive discussion about these matters between the Buddha & Brahmans are not found in the Pali suttas. Generally, the Pali suttas depict the Brahmans as concerned with being the Superior Caste ("Chosen People") and going to heaven. Generally, its the Buddha who lectures the Brahmans about kamma & morality and declares a person is noble due to kamma rather than due to caste birth.

Kind regards

Upeksha
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Re: Value of interfaith studies

Post by Upeksha » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:39 am

DooDoot wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:05 am
Upeksha wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:36 am
I'm saying, the Buddha's doctrine is non-sensical without reference to the pre-Buddhistic (i.e. Vedic) context in which it arose. i.e. Concepts such as "samsara" "karma" "moksha" etc were existent before the Buddha was born. So if you have an understanding of Buddhist doctrine, you automatically pick up this context.
Hi Upeksha

The Pali suttas only mention the Four Vedas (and not the Upanishads). I think you would need to study the Vedas thoroughly to see if they had any systematic doctrines about "samsara" "karma" "moksha" etc. Extensive discussion about these matters between the Buddha & Brahmans are not found in the Pali suttas. Generally, the Pali suttas depict the Brahmans as concerned with being the Superior Caste ("Chosen People") and going to heaven. Generally, its the Buddha who lectures the Brahmans about kamma & morality and declares a person is noble due to kamma rather than due to caste birth.

Kind regards
Hello DooDoot,

Are you suggesting that there was no influence of Vedic ideas on the Buddha?

How then - just as one example - would you interpret the Buddha studying with Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta, finding their respective meditative realisations lacking and thus moving on to an ascetic path, before rejecting that?

Are you proposing that these other systems - the very fact that it was possible to be a yogi of some kind, aspiring to liberation of some kind - had no bearing on the Buddha's life and subsequent teachings?

I find such a proposition so difficult to countenance. And I suppose the point is that the Pali suttas do not - cannot - occur in a historical vacuum. I am simply gesturing at this history.

:anjali:

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DooDoot
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Re: Value of interfaith studies

Post by DooDoot » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:50 am

Upeksha wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:39 am
Are you suggesting that there was no influence of Vedic ideas on the Buddha?
Based on the higher teachings, such as the Four Noble Truths (1st sermon), Three Characteristics (2nd Sermon) & Three Defilements Affecting Six Sense Spheres (3rd Sermon) and Nibbana, yes, I would say there is no influence, otherwise the Buddha could not be the Self-Enlightened-Buddha. In his 1st sermon, the Buddha said the Four Noble Truths were ideas he had never heard before.

However, as for the lower teachings for laypeople, these include Brahmanistic doctrines, such as: "this world & the other world".
How then - just as one example - would you interpret the Buddha studying with Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta, finding their respective meditative realisations lacking and thus moving on to an ascetic path, before rejecting that?
The fact that Gotama rejected their doctrine & used the 4th jhana shows he was not positively influenced by them.
Are you proposing that these other systems - the very fact that it was possible to be a yogi of some kind, aspiring to liberation of some kind - had no bearing on the Buddha's life and subsequent teachings?
Sure. But Gotama did not follow Brahmanism (later called Hinduism) but followed the Samana wandering tradition, which obviously did not have any systematic doctrines.
I find such a proposition so difficult to countenance.
Sure. Gotama has influences but his final realisation was original; according to Buddhist doctrine.

Kind regards

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Pseudobabble
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Re: Value of interfaith studies

Post by Pseudobabble » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:02 am

DooDoot wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:05 am
Upeksha wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:36 am
I'm saying, the Buddha's doctrine is non-sensical without reference to the pre-Buddhistic (i.e. Vedic) context in which it arose. i.e. Concepts such as "samsara" "karma" "moksha" etc were existent before the Buddha was born. So if you have an understanding of Buddhist doctrine, you automatically pick up this context.
Hi Upeksha

The Pali suttas only mention the Four Vedas (and not the Upanishads). I think you would need to study the Vedas thoroughly to see if they had any systematic doctrines about "samsara" "karma" "moksha" etc. Extensive discussion about these matters between the Buddha & Brahmans are not found in the Pali suttas. Generally, the Pali suttas depict the Brahmans as concerned with being the Superior Caste ("Chosen People") and going to heaven. Generally, its the Buddha who lectures the Brahmans about kamma & morality and declares a person is noble due to kamma rather than due to caste birth.

Kind regards
Have a look at What the Buddha Thought by Richard Gombrich - he shows very well that the Buddha was taking account of Vedic and Upanisadic thought, particularly the BrhadAranyaka and Chandogya Upanisads, as well as standard Vedic Brahminism.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

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DooDoot
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Re: Value of interfaith studies

Post by DooDoot » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:07 am

Pseudobabble wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:02 am
Have a look at What the Buddha Thought by Richard Gombrich - he shows very well that the Buddha was taking account of Vedic and Upanisadic thought, particularly the BrhadAranyaka and Chandogya Upanisads, as well as standard Vedic Brahminism.
Thanks but whatever I have read from Gombrich shows he is very confused about Dependent Origination (and many other matters). Regards

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Pseudobabble
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Re: Value of interfaith studies

Post by Pseudobabble » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:26 am

DooDoot wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:07 am
Pseudobabble wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:02 am
Have a look at What the Buddha Thought by Richard Gombrich - he shows very well that the Buddha was taking account of Vedic and Upanisadic thought, particularly the BrhadAranyaka and Chandogya Upanisads, as well as standard Vedic Brahminism.
Thanks but whatever I have read from Gombrich shows he is very confused about Dependent Origination (and many other matters). Regards
Assuming you are correct about DO, and other matters.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

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