Advaya (undivided)

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Saengnapha
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Advaya (undivided)

Post by Saengnapha » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:20 am

[ Divided from Nāma-rūpa is best rendered as...? ]
retrofuturist wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:28 am
Greetings,

Further to previous comments about "duality", here is Ven. Nanananda from Nibbana Sermon 30...
In other religions systems the question of reality is resolved by having recourse to unity. Oneness is supposed to be the ultimate goal.

In our analysis of the samsaric problem, we often referred to a duality or a dichotomy. Everywhere we were confronted with a duality. But to grasp the two as one, in some form of oneness, is not the way out. Instead we have here, as the final solution, atammayatā or non-identification, a clinging-free approach in the last analysis.
Metta,
Paul. :)
Advaya is not two. Not two is not oneness. It is free from the two extremes of existing and non-existing. It is a big difference between what Advaita puts forth and the Buddha's view.

DooDoot
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Re: Nāma-rūpa is best rendered as...?

Post by DooDoot » Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:12 pm

Saengnapha wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:20 am
Advaya is not two. Not two is not oneness. It is free from the two extremes of existing and non-existing. It is a big difference between what Advaita puts forth and the Buddha's view.
I looked up the word "advaya" in the suttas and found it is only used in the following context:
Bhikkhus, there are these ten kasiṇa bases. What ten? One person perceives the earth kasiṇa above, below, across, undivided, measureless. One person perceives the water kasiṇa … the fire kasiṇa … the air kasiṇa … the blue kasiṇa … the yellow kasiṇa … the red kasiṇa … the white kasiṇa … the space kasiṇa … the consciousness kasiṇa above, below, across, undivided, measureless. These are the ten kasiṇa bases. Of these ten kasiṇa bases, this is the foremost, namely, when one perceives the consciousness kasiṇa above, below, across, undivided, measureless.

https://suttacentral.net/search?query=advaya
So where exactly in the suttas is the Buddha's view about your version of "advaya" and "Avaita"? Thanks.

(In MN 1, the term "ekattaṃ" (oneness, unity) is used however clearly distinguished as not referring to Nibbana. Also, in MN 121, "ekattaṃ" is not "sunnata"/emptiness.)
Saengnapha wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:20 am
Advaya is not two. Not two is not oneness. It is free from the two extremes of existing and non-existing... the Buddha's view.
What do the words "existing and non-existing" actually mean? What are the Pali words "existing and non-existing" are derived from? Even though suttas are not real to you &, according to you cannot be used by anyone to support a view or discussion, where did the Buddha teach about two extremes of existing and non-existing? However, before answering, you should explain what the words "existing" & "non-existing" mean.
Saengnapha wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:58 am
It is a comprehensive illusion put together by your own mind powered by desire and attachment.
Is the above saying "nama-rupa" creates "illusion"? If so, how can this be so if desire & attachment put together illusion when nama-rupa occurs before desire & attachment? Also, were did the Buddha emphasis "illusion" as part of dependent origination? In the Pali terminology used to describe dependent origination, which Pali word refers to "illusion"? Thanks
Last edited by DooDoot on Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Saengnapha
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Re: Nāma-rūpa is best rendered as...?

Post by Saengnapha » Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:17 pm

DooDoot wrote:
So where exactly in the suttas is the Buddha's view about your version of "advaya" and "Avaita"? Thanks.

(In MN 1, the term "ekattaṃ" (oneness, unity) is used however clearly distinguished as not referring to Nibbana. Also, in MN 121, "ekattaṃ" is not "sunnata"/emptiness.)
Saengnapha wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:20 am
Advaya is not two. Not two is not oneness. It is free from the two extremes of existing and non-existing... the Buddha's view.
What do the words "existing and non-existing" actually mean? What are the Pali words "existing and non-existing" are derived from? Even though suttas are not real to you &, according to you cannot be used by anyone to support a view or discussion, where did the Buddha teach about two extremes of existing and non-existing? However, before answering, you should explain what the words "existing" & "non-existing" mean.
Saengnapha wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:58 am
It is a comprehensive illusion put together by your own mind powered by desire and attachment.
Is the above saying "nama-rupa" creates "illusion"? If so, how can this be so if desire & attachment put together illusion when nama-rupa occurs before desire & attachment? Also, were did the Buddha emphasis "illusion" as part of dependent origination? In the Pali terminology used to describe dependent origination, which Pali word refers to "illusion"? Thanks
Saengnapha replied:
Advaya is a term used in Mahayana teachings. There are two traditions of explaining advaya in Buddhism. One is called the Vast lineage (skt. Vaipulay parampara) of Asanga-Vasubandhu (Yogacara masters) based on the Five works of Maitreya which emphasizes subject object (skt. grahaka-grahya) duality. But unlike the various forms of Vedanta they neither merge into one nor does the grahya vanish and only the eternal grahaka remain. Here they are found to be untenable from the very beginning and what remains is emptiness. This system had many great teachers like Dingnaga-Dharmakirti.

The second lineage called the Profound (skt. gambhira parampara) starts with Nagarajuna (Madhyamaka) through famous teachers like Arya Deva, Buddhapalita, Bhavaviveka, Chandrakirti, Shanti Deva and Atisha. There were many other famous teachers like Santarakshita, Kamakashila, who also gave synthetic interpretations of Advaya using both traditions.

Existing and non-existing views: Asanga: The view which clings to affirming the existence of non-existent individual characteristics, having essential nature through only verbal designation for a given thing. The view which denies the foundation for the sign of verbal designation, which exists in an ultimate sense owing to its inexpressible essence, saying absolutely everything is non-existent.

Perhaps you don't accept Mahayana as being Buddhism? I didn't say nama/rupa creates illusion. Ignorance creates it as we crave and grasp and don't see things as they are, which are empty and not self. Illusion is not part of dependent origination, it is a wrong view of it. D/O is the way things are and essentially pure when wisdom and clarity are present. And, where did I say that suttas are not real?

I am not well versed in EBT like yourself as my perspective is more Mahayana-like, but surely you don't dismiss all the great teachings that have come after the Buddha's lifetime. I think most of the Buddhist world makes up that majority. Great teachers and teachings affirm the Buddha's understanding and sometimes there are seeming contradictions where none really exist. One of the great zen masters said to kill the Buddha if you see him. He didn't mean it literally. Sometimes the suttas are very dry in their style. Sometimes great teachers come around and breathe some life into the words, explains them in a way that might be more meaningful for people due to the times they live in and the culture. Being a bible thumper often doesn't score a lot of points. It's often the sign of a closed mind. Personally, I'm not interested in being a cookie-cut mouthpiece repeating someone else's words. I don't believe this is what the Buddha had in mind when he said you have to work this out for yourself. There are many stories of illiterate/uneducated practitioners being great masters. Book learning is not a prerequisite for suchness.

DooDoot
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Re: Nāma-rūpa is best rendered as...?

Post by DooDoot » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:39 pm

Saengnapha wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:17 pm
Advaya is a term used in Mahayana teachings.
Oh.
There are two traditions of explaining advaya in Buddhism.
There are two traditions of explaining advaya in Mahayana?
One is called the Vast lineage (skt. Vaipulay parampara) of Asanga-Vasubandhu (Yogacara masters) based on the Five works of Maitreya which emphasizes subject object (skt. grahaka-grahya) duality.
But not nama-rupa?
But unlike the various forms of Vedanta they neither merge into one nor does the grahya vanish and only the eternal grahaka remain.
Does eternal grahaka = Eternal Brahman/Atman?
Here they are found to be untenable from the very beginning and what remains is emptiness. This system had many great teachers like Dingnaga-Dharmakirti.
In Pali, "emptiness"is "empty of self". Mind is empty of self; objects are empty of self; there is no self either internally or externally; thus the idea of "Advaya" is obviously not important.
The second lineage called the Profound (skt. gambhira parampara) starts with Nagarajuna (Madhyamaka) through famous teachers like Arya Deva, Buddhapalita, Bhavaviveka, Chandrakirti, Shanti Deva and Atisha. There were many other famous teachers like Santarakshita, Kamakashila, who also gave synthetic interpretations of Advaya using both traditions.
Oh. So even though you personally claim no one comprehends the Pali suttas, you claim you comprehend these gurus?
Existing and non-existing views: Asanga: The view which clings to affirming the existence of non-existent individual characteristics, having essential nature through only verbal designation for a given thing. The view which denies the foundation for the sign of verbal designation, which exists in an ultimate sense owing to its inexpressible essence, saying absolutely everything is non-existent.
The suttas call views of "self" (atta) or "beings" (satta - SN 5.10) or "differences among beings (MN 98) verbal designations & seem to regard this as an essential matter because such self-views lead to suffering. But I have not read anything so far in the Pali suttas were something like a door or apple or mountain is discussed in terms of verbal designations because such verbal designations obviously do not lead to suffering. It seems only ideas such as: "This apple is mine" leads to suffering. SN 22.1 may help here.

In Pali, there is a sutta SN 12.15, which is very difficult to follow linguistically and is translated difficultly as "existence" & "non-existence" but appears to say it is wrong view to believe absolutely everything is non-existent.
Perhaps you don't accept Mahayana as being Buddhism?
I thought this was a Theravada forum? As for Mahayana, I think it can take many matters to an unnecessary extreme.
I didn't say nama/rupa creates illusion.
Fine. I was just asking because your posts are difficult to follow obviously because your capacity for discussion appears constrained by Mahayana linguistics.
Ignorance creates it [illusion] as we crave and grasp and don't see things as they are, which are empty and not self.
The Pali appears to concern itself with suffering as the outcome of dependent origination rather than "illusion". It is not necessary to see Mt Everest as an illusion but only necessarily to not cling to Mt Everest. The "illusion" dependent origination appears to concern itself with is creating the illusion of "self" or "beings" (satta) from the "superficial appearance or manifestation of the aggregates".
Illusion is not part of dependent origination, it is a wrong view of it. D/O is the way things are and essentially pure when wisdom and clarity are present. And, where did I say that suttas are not real?
The Pali suttas (SN 12.3) say dependent origination is "the wrong way". In his enlightenment, although Buddha observed dependent origination, this observation of dependent origination resulted in its destruction. The Buddha lived for 45 years without dependent origination not ever arising in his mind (but obviously seeing, particularly with his psychic powers, dependent origination arise in other non-enlightened minds). D/O is the way things are for minds (beings) trapped in samsara. D/O is not anything pure but something impure & deluded. Your post here is exactly why I personally reject Nargajuna.
I am not well versed in EBT like yourself as my perspective is more Mahayana-like
That is obvious.
but surely you don't dismiss all the great teachings that have come after the Buddha's lifetime.
I don't recall ever reading a necessary teaching that came after Buddha because the Buddha taught everything necessary. As I posted, I think Nargajuna using terminology different to Buddha.
Great teachers and teachings affirm the Buddha's understanding and sometimes there are seeming contradictions where none really exist.
This comment goes beyond anything I am interested in. I gave up the idea of "great gurus" long ago. You heavily criticised me in an unwarranted manner by inferring unwarrantedly I look upon Buddha with self-view but now you personally wish to assert the true existence of these Mahayana teachers?
One of the great zen masters said to kill the Buddha if you see him.
The zen master said kill the Buddha but not kill the Zen master? I say kill the great zen master when you hear him. ;)
He didn't mean it literally. Sometimes the suttas are very dry in their style.
I heard this saying around 25 years ago. Yet you speak to another like they have never heard this rather immature idea. The Pali says: "Seeing the Dhamma, seeing the Buddha". The Pali makes it clear the Buddha is not a "person" or "self" but truth. However, what the zen master is saying can lead aspirants astray.
Sometimes great teachers come around and breathe some life into the words, explains them in a way that might be more meaningful for people due to the times they live in and the culture.
I my experience, this is not true. Logically, if it was true, the original Buddha was an imperfect teacher. In my experience, the teachers after the Buddha attracted followers who were unable to comprehend the original Buddha.
Being a bible thumper often doesn't score a lot of points. It's often the sign of a closed mind.
Are you saying here thumping Mahayana gurus is not "Bible thumping"? The Pali suttas are describing what is real. Where as your Mahayana version of D/O I consider to not be true. Are you saying considering the unreal & rejecting the real is having an "open mind"? :|
Personally, I'm not interested in being a cookie-cut mouthpiece repeating someone else's words.
But you appear to be, at least to me. You seem to be Nargujana's cookie cutter cookie monster.
I don't believe this is what the Buddha had in mind when he said you have to work this out for yourself.
The Buddha didn't say this. But if the Buddha did say what you claim he said, this invalidates what you said the Buddha said because you are accepting what the Buddha said blindly.
There are many stories of illiterate/uneducated practitioners being great masters. Book learning is not a prerequisite for suchness.
"Great masters" is an illusion. There are no great masters. Everything is only selfless phenomena; merely elements (dhatu).
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Reason: Meta-discussion removed (now that topic has been moved to the Connections section)

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Javi
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Re: Advaya (undivided)

Post by Javi » Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:15 pm

Perhaps Bhikkhu Nananada can shed some light on this:
When eye becomes self conscious, it separates itself from forms, and these are the two ends. With these two ends as pegs, a measuring goes on which we call percepts, concepts and knowledge. But in this so-called knowledge, the duality is already implicit. There is a dichotomy between an `internal' and an `external' - between a subject and an object. That is why there is a need for a more refined way of mental-noting in order to get rid of this delusion.
Now let us take the case of a mirage. When a deer sees a mirage at a distance, it does not know. It is ignorant of the fact that it is a mirage. Thirsty as it is, it imagines the mirage to be water. Its vision is biased and unclear. It lacks the wisdom to understand the nature of the phenomenon which we call `a mirage'. It perceives and conceives water in the mirage. In the language of the deer, the mirage would be called `water'.
Just as in the world people call each other `man' or `woman', so the deer would call the mirage `water'. If we are to take seriously the duality and say: `the form is out there and I am here, the sound is out there and I am here,' we will be in a similar position. So actually what we have here is just a bit of bare experience. That too comes about by giving recognition to the two ends - the internal base and the external base. By recognizing them, by separating them, by discriminating between them, there arises a certain measuring. So the concept of two things striking together also follows as a matter of course. Given two things, there is a possibility of a contact between them. And this is `contact' as the world understands it.
Given this contact, there arise dependent on it, feeling, perception and all the rest of it. It goes as far as thinking and logic.
Now, this is the delusion. This is the ignorance. What, then, is the insight that helps one to unravel this state of affairs? It is the understanding of the conditioned nature of consciousness - that consciousness arises dependent on conditions. Even that insight emerges through a refined way of attending. That is, by accelerating the mental noting in such a way as not to get caught in the net of perception or saññà. In other words, to stop short at bare awareness. It is by such a technique that one can get an insight into the back stage workings of consciousness.
https://www.dhammatalks.net/Books10/Bhi ... tation.pdf
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā — All things decay and disappoint, it is through vigilance that you succeed — Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

Self-taught poverty is a help toward philosophy, for the things which philosophy attempts to teach by reasoning, poverty forces us to practice. — Diogenes of Sinope

I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chase after wind — Ecclesiastes 1.14

Saengnapha
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Re: Nāma-rūpa is best rendered as...?

Post by Saengnapha » Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:11 am

DooDoot wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:39 pm
Saengnapha wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:17 pm
Advaya is a term used in Mahayana teachings.
Oh.

...
:jumping: I think you will argue anything that doesn't fit in with your ideas about Buddhism and what it is or isn't. Does your brain ever take a rest from all of this? Has clinging and becoming dissolved completely from your life? You know every answer to every question. Do you ever bring the one who has all the answers into your equation, the one who is stuffed with knowledge? Great masters are an illusion. So if that be the case, you and everything else must be an illusion, which is as I've said all along, not self, not existing and not not existing. No extreme views. I'm afraid you are caught in your own net of analysis and reason which is something that Nagarjuna cautioned. Of course, only the Buddha is real. Aargh!! As the raft is only for crossing to the other shore, it is to be left behind. Is there an other shore? If there is or isn't, we are back to the same circular way of thinking that got us here in the first place. Yours is a poor argument against Mahayana, the same way Mahayanists often use poor arguments to debase Theravada. Somehow, it would follow that a Buddhist would find the common ground in both teachings.
Last edited by retrofuturist on Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Verbatim quote pared back...

DooDoot
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Re: Nāma-rūpa is best rendered as...?

Post by DooDoot » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:45 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:11 am
Has clinging and becoming dissolved completely from your life?
This comment is unnecessary. It is not related to discussing only Dhamma.
Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:11 am
You know every answer to every question.
This comment is unnecessary. It is not related to discussing only Dhamma. My posts are merely views from the Pali suttas.
Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:11 am
YDo you ever bring the one who has all the answers into your equation, the one who is stuffed with knowledge?
The mind can have knowledge. The Pali scriptures praise knowledge. "Knowledge" is unrelated to self & the causes of suffering. It is philosophies such as Taoism that appear to sometimes de-emphasise knowledge. Knowledge is not-self, which is why it can lead to liberation. In Pali Buddhism, liberation is not an absence of knowledge.
Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:11 am
As the raft is only for crossing to the other shore, it is to be left behind.
MN 22 is not about abandoning the Dhamma. It is about not clinging to the Dhamma. Discussing Dhamma is not inherently clinging. But getting "personal" is clinging. For example, to aggressively insist the "raft should be abandoned" is a form of clinging. The parable of "the raft" itself can be clung to. Ideas about "emptiness" can be dogmatically clung to.
Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:11 am
Great masters are an illusion. So if that be the case, you and everything else must be an illusion, which is as I've said all along, not self, not existing and not not existing.
The history of the relevant postings I think will show it was Saengnapha that starting getting "personal". I recall I was only discussing the Dhamma theory before the "personal" interjections of Saengnapha.

For example, NIbbana is sunnata but not dependently originated therefore sunnata cannot be dependent origination. This statement is an example of how to discuss only Dhamma.

Or, in meditation, an effect is never a cause because meditation is only ever cognisant of causes giving rise to effects, such as the opening of the eyes giving rise to visual experience. The view that "a cause is only cause because of an effect therefore an effect is a cause" is intellectual gymnastics rather than (observation) meditation. This statement is an example of how to discuss only Dhamma.

Both statements above are merely two arguments asserting Madhyamaka philosophy has errors. There is no attachment or personality in this statements. These statements are similar to arguing "pigs cannot fly". They are arguments asserting facts.

Best wishes.

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