"Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Cafael Dust
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Re: Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Post by Cafael Dust » Sun Dec 27, 2009 12:48 pm

Manapa:
Hi All,
there are three forms of conciet
better than
worse than
same as.
Good point but you must be annoying at dinner parties :tongue: .

Tilt, we'll have to agree to differ; I've always seen Buddha Nature as convenient shorthand rather than a reference to a separate self. To me it means what we're like when we realise no-self, paradoxically. Saying 'we all have Buddha nature' doesn't mean there's this bright glowing thing deep inside, it means we can all achieve nibbana, which is only covered up by ignorance.

So BN is nibbana and Inner Light is nibbana. Essentially it's all nibbana, and I think that, taking the view that the nibbana element is real, the burden of proof is then on those who say that different traditions don't realise the same thing, because it seems ridiculous that they don't. E.g. different people living underground who describe the sun as 'warm', 'golden' etc, are obviously speaking of the same thing - or it seems obvious to us that they are, but that's only because we have seen and felt the sun.
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Re: Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Post by Cafael Dust » Sun Dec 27, 2009 12:50 pm

Just a question, because I'm losing all sense of the thread, which was in essence, (eventually) a question on the compatibility and possibility of continuing to practice Buddhism whilst courting a person of Islamic faith....

The answer's no.
Simple.
Fede, I'm sorry but that's a rather patrician way of responding that doesn't really help much IMHO.
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Fede
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Re: Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Post by Fede » Sun Dec 27, 2009 12:57 pm

Doesn't help you, perhaps.
But this thread isn't about you.
It's about the OPs dilemma in being in love with an Islamic woman.

The situation is simple.
Open and broad-minded as Buddhists may be, Islam doesn't work that way.

Islam considers itself to be the true and only religion, and anybody moving away from Islam is considered to commit a sin punishable by death.
Anyone wishing to involve themselves with someone from Islam, and has the intention of committing to a full term relationship, has to convert to Islam and follow Islam as their one and only religion.

What the heck is 'patrician' about it?
It's a fact. It's Islamic law, and as such has to be accepted as such.
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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Cafael Dust
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Re: Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Post by Cafael Dust » Sun Dec 27, 2009 1:26 pm

There is no Islam, there are only people who practice Islam as a set of teachings, as part of a society, as culture, Koran etc. The sentence 'Islam considers' is meaningless.

The religion has no centralised authority in the same way as, say, Catholicism. But I know people are going to trot out the same tired stereotypes and see their mental images of scimitar-wielding, turban wearing fanatics and suicide bombers. I was reading an account by some Christians in... where was it? Syria or some Muslim country, and they'd converted to Christianity from Islam thirty years ago or so, and they were saying 'I don't understand, we converted and there was no bad word spoken against us?'.

Agreed, it's punishable by death in several countries, but that doesn't mean said law represents the whole of Islam, any more than you can say all Buddhists believe that this age is too corrupt for people to be enlightened in, or that women can't teach, or another of the oddball notions.
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Re: Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Post by Fede » Sun Dec 27, 2009 2:02 pm

Cafael Dust wrote:There is no Islam, there are only people who practice Islam as a set of teachings, as part of a society, as culture, Koran etc. The sentence 'Islam considers' is meaningless.

So you say.
Try telling a Moslem that....
The religion has no centralised authority in the same way as, say, Catholicism.
Your point being?
But I know people are going to trot out the same tired stereotypes and see their mental images of scimitar-wielding, turban wearing fanatics and suicide bombers.
Again, what's your point?
Where has anyone done that?
You're inserting irelevant prejudices here....
I was reading an account by some Christians in... where was it? Syria or some Muslim country, and they'd converted to Christianity from Islam thirty years ago or so, and they were saying 'I don't understand, we converted and there was no bad word spoken against us?'.
Find it. We'll discuss it.
Until then, this is unfounded hearsay, and of no relevance to this discourse....
Agreed, it's punishable by death in several countries, but that doesn't mean said law represents the whole of Islam,
I'm afraid I think you'll find it does, certainly on an ever-increasing scale.....
The acid test of pluralism is conversion — the freedom to join a religious community or leave it. Yet across the Islamic world Muslims are either nervous about conversion or adamantly opposed to it.

“Soft” Muslim countries still have some pretty hard laws. For instance, tolerant Dubai has its limits in this respect: non-Muslims are free to pray as they wish, to build churches and temples, but trying to convert Muslims is a criminal offence. In Malaysia, changing religion used to be a formality, just requiring registration; now Sharia courts intervene to stop anybody from leaving Islam

any more than you can say all Buddhists believe that this age is too corrupt for people to be enlightened in, or that women can't teach, or another of the oddball notions.
Well, nobody here has ever said that, so this is pure trivia and not relevant.
Grasping at straws will get you nowhere....
Last edited by Fede on Sun Dec 27, 2009 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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Re: Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Post by tiltbillings » Sun Dec 27, 2009 2:31 pm

Cafael Dust wrote:
Tilt, we'll have to agree to differ; I've always seen Buddha Nature as convenient shorthand rather than a reference to a separate self. To me it means what we're like when we realise no-self, paradoxically. Saying 'we all have Buddha nature' doesn't mean there's this bright glowing thing deep inside, it means we can all achieve nibbana, which is only covered up by ignorance.

So BN is nibbana and Inner Light is nibbana. Essentially it's all nibbana, and I think that, taking the view that the nibbana element is real, the burden of proof is then on those who say that different traditions don't realise the same thing, because it seems ridiculous that they don't. E.g. different people living underground who describe the sun as 'warm', 'golden' etc, are obviously speaking of the same thing - or it seems obvious to us that they are, but that's only because we have seen and felt the sun.
You make my point. This has no connexion to any real tradition, which means you are essentially making it up as you go along. Seeing no value in that and that it does no justice to any tradition, I guess we will have to disagree.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Post by Cittasanto » Sun Dec 27, 2009 3:23 pm

Cafael Dust wrote:Manapa:
Hi All,
there are three forms of conciet
better than
worse than
same as.
Good point but you must be annoying at dinner parties :tongue: .

Tilt, we'll have to agree to differ; I've always seen Buddha Nature as convenient shorthand rather than a reference to a separate self. To me it means what we're like when we realise no-self, paradoxically. Saying 'we all have Buddha nature' doesn't mean there's this bright glowing thing deep inside, it means we can all achieve nibbana, which is only covered up by ignorance.

So BN is nibbana and Inner Light is nibbana. Essentially it's all nibbana, and I think that, taking the view that the nibbana element is real, the burden of proof is then on those who say that different traditions don't realise the same thing, because it seems ridiculous that they don't. E.g. different people living underground who describe the sun as 'warm', 'golden' etc, are obviously speaking of the same thing - or it seems obvious to us that they are, but that's only because we have seen and felt the sun.
seams to be a contradiction here!
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

Cafael Dust
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Re: "Luminous, monks, is the mind."

Post by Cafael Dust » Sun Dec 27, 2009 4:01 pm

I'm not making it up as I go along, because I've held the same views for several years and I've based them on practice and the sutras, which agree with my practice. If I didn't have corroboration from the Sutras, I'd still be practicing but not debating. As I do have corroboration, I have something useful to add to debates.
This has no connexion to any real tradition
Statement 1. We can all achieve nibbana, it's just covered up with ignorance.

Statement 2. Nibbana is everything (viewed without ignorance).
"Luminous, monks, is the mind.1 And it is defiled by incoming defilements." {I,v,9}

"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements." {I,v,10}

"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is defiled by incoming defilements. The uninstructed run-of-the-mill person doesn't discern that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person — there is no development of the mind." {I,vi,1}

"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements. The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones discerns that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones — there is development of the mind." {I,vi,2}
Pabhassara Sutta: Luminous
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Re: "Luminous, monks, is the mind."

Post by Cittasanto » Sun Dec 27, 2009 4:13 pm

Hi Cafael,
what you have put doesn't make every tradition the same, or your interpretation of a traditions means of expressing their concepts the same as a similar but distinctly different expression from another tradition, nor your interpretation the same as that traditions.
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: "Luminous, monks, is the mind."

Post by Cafael Dust » Sun Dec 27, 2009 5:28 pm

The quote explains the Buddha taught the mind is inherently luminous (nibbana) but covered with defilements (ignorance). Which is what I wrote previously - I think these are very basic Buddhist concepts held by pretty much all traditions. I don't think they're contentious assertions or that they don't make sense in the ideology of any tradition.
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Re: "Luminous, monks, is the mind."

Post by Ben » Sun Dec 27, 2009 8:43 pm

Thanks Jechbi
Jechbi wrote:

SN Goenka wrote:Observing oneself is a path of self-realization, truth-realization; one can even say "God-realization," because after all, truth is God. What else is God? The law is God, nature is God.
Goenkaji is DA MAN!!
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Re: "Luminous, monks, is the mind."

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:32 am

Cafael Dust wrote:The quote explains the Buddha taught the mind is inherently luminous (nibbana) but covered with defilements (ignorance). Which is what I wrote previously - I think these are very basic Buddhist concepts held by pretty much all traditions. I don't think they're contentious assertions or that they don't make sense in the ideology of any tradition.

if it makes sense to another tradition it would be out of the context of the original, in other words as Tilt said no real conextion to the real tradition.

have a look at the endnote to that sutta.
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:37 am

"Luminous, monks, is the mind.1 And it is defiled by incoming defilements." AN 1.49-52.

Here are a couple more texts that give an idea of the nature of the mind (citta).
It would be better, bhikkhus, for the uninstructed worlding to take as self this body… rather than the mind. For what reason? The body … is seen standing for one year, for two years, for three, four, five, or ten years, for twenty, thirty, forty, or fifty, for a hundred years, or even longer. But that which is called 'mind [citta],' 'mentality [mano],' or 'consciousness [vi~n~naana]' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey roaming through a forest grabs hold of one branch, lets that go and grabs another, then lets that go and grabs still another, so too that which is called 'mind [citta],' 'mentality [mano],' or 'consciousness [vi~n~naana]' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Therein, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple attends closely and carefully to dependent origination itself thus: ‘When this exists, that comes to be; with the arising of this that arises…. SN II 94-5
Always frightened is this mind [citta.m],
The mind [mano] is always agitated.
SN I 53
It is a mishap for me … that lust has infested my mind SN I 185
"Then, having known thus, having seen thus, do you know the awareness of other beings, other individuals, having encompassed it with your own awareness? Do you discern a mind with passion as a mind with passion, and a mind without passion as a mind without passion; a mind with aversion as a mind with aversion, and a mind without aversion as a mind without aversion; a mind with delusion as a mind with delusion, and a mind without delusion as a mind without delusion; a restricted mind as a restricted mind, and a scattered mind as a scattered mind; an enlarged mind as an enlarged mind, and an unenlarged mind as an unenlarged mind; an excelled mind [one that is not on the most excellent level] as an excelled mind, and an unexcelled mind as an unexcelled mind; a concentrated mind as a concentrated mind, and an unconcentrated mind as an unconcentrated mind; a released mind as a released mind, and an unreleased mind as an unreleased mind?" SN II 121 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/su ... 2-070.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
SN 11 226 Praise and blame obsessing the mind
"Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will put aside any gains, offerings, & fame that have arisen; and we will not let any gains, offerings, & fame that have arisen keep our minds consumed.' That's how you should train yourselves."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/su ... 7-005.html
SN II 271 “He sees a woman there lightly clad or lightly attrired and lust invades his mind.”
SN II 273 “Steady your mind in noble silence, unify your mind in noble silence concentrate your mind in noble silence.
SN V 184 Bhikkhus, I will teach the origination and passing away of the four establishments of mindfulness. Listen to that.

And what, bhikkhus, is the origination of the body? With the origination of nutriment there is origination of the body. With the cessation of nutriment there is the passing away of the body.

With the origination of contact there is origination of feeling. With the cessation of contact there is the passing away of feeling.

With the origination of name-and-form there is origination of mind [citta]. With the cessation of name-and-form there is passing away of mind.

With the origination of attention there is origination of phenomena [dhamma]. With the cessation of attention there is passing away of phenomena.
Dhp 13. Just as rain breaks through an ill-thatched house, so passion penetrates an undeveloped mind.

14. Just as rain does not break through a well-thatched house, so passion never penetrates a well-developed mind.

33. Just as a fletcher straightens an arrow shaft, even so the discerning man straightens his mind -- so fickle and unsteady, so difficult to guard.

34. As a fish when pulled out of water and cast on land throbs and quivers, even so is this mind agitated. Hence should one abandon the realm of Mara

35. Wonderful, indeed, it is to subdue the mind, so difficult to subdue, ever swift, and seizing whatever it desires. A tamed mind brings happiness.

36. Let the discerning man guard the mind, so difficult to detect and extremely subtle, seizing whatever it desires. A guarded mind brings happiness.

37. Dwelling in the cave (of the heart), the mind, without form, wanders far and alone. Those who subdue this mind are liberated from the bonds of Mara.

89. Those whose minds have reached full excellence in the factors of enlightenment, who, having renounced acquisitiveness, rejoice in not clinging to things -- rid of cankers, glowing with wisdom, they have attained Nibbana in this very life.

116. Hasten to do good; restrain your mind from evil. He who is slow in doing good, his mind delights in evil.

371. Meditate, O monk! Do not be heedless. Let not your mind whirl on sensual pleasures. Heedless, do not swallow a red-hot iron ball, lest you cry when burning, "O this is painful!"
Cafael Dust wrote: Statement 1. We can all achieve nibbana, it's just covered up with ignorance.
Which is to say that nibbana is a self-existent thing, which is something neither the suttas not the Theravada tradition states.
Statement 2. Nibbana is everything (viewed without ignorance).
Nibbana is clearly not defined that way in the suttas.

As the quotes above show that the mind is also a rapidly changing process, hardly at all luminous in all situations. Ven Thanissaro footnote to the Pabhassara Sutta gives a reasonable response to the meaning of this text http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; .

The luminosity of the mind is not nibbana. It is, rather, that moment of awareness of an object before the rest khandhas kick in. It is what is cultivated by mindfulness practice. It is the tool of awareness/mindfulness that leads to insight into the interdependent rise and fall of the six things.

The equation of Buddha-nature (a non-Theravadin concept) with the inner light notion that is in the context of a god is not justified by the “luminous” text.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Post by yuuki » Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:02 am

Hey guys.

I have a friend who introduced me to Joseph Campbell, who spent time studying myth and religion around the world, finding (in my understanding of his work) that they all shared many stories and pointed to the same thing.

I think this is an important issue. If we can find equivalents to nibbana, and the path to it in other religions, then our sources for information about the path are greatly multiplied. Or, as some do, we may decide that some subset of the Buddhist path is equivalent to the entire path itself and therefore we can narrow our focus to developing just a few traits.

My answer to this question is to ask the Buddha himself. I think the Buddha is no stranger to multiple points of view, metaphor, simile, and myth. In his time there seemed to be an explosion of various views/paths/beliefs. I'd like to limit myself to a few points that I think he makes emphatically:

1) Universiality: the idea that people can practice purification unrelated to their knowledge of the Buddha's specific teachings. This point is made in a teaching to Rahula: "Rahula, all those brahmans & contemplatives in the course of the past who purified their bodily actions, verbal actions, & mental actions, did it through repeated reflection on their bodily actions, verbal actions, & mental actions in just this way." (MN 61, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) The Buddha then goes on to note that this is the case for present-day and future purifiers of mind and body. The emphasis is on the singularity of the path, explained to Rahula earlier as the development of the skillful and the abandonment of the unskillful. However I think that implicit in this formulation of the path is that it is universal and followed by Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike.

It seems that by this measure we should begin looking for nibbana in elements of Christianity and other religions, however this comparison has been done by the Buddha himself:

2) Brahmavihara: given by the Buddha as a metaphor (or the explanation of the metaphor underlying) the Brahman practices of the time. Unfortunately I don't have a translation by Thanissaro Bhikkhu of the Subha Sutta, MN 99. Here is one from vipassana.info: http://www.vipassana.info/099-subha-e1.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; . In this sutta the Buddha answers a quite combative interlocutor who tries to frame his teaching as being at odds with Brahmanism. The Buddha seems to think that the "two" paths have much in common:
‘Good Gotama, it’s good if I’m taught the path to be born in the world of Brahmaa.’

‘Then young man, listen carefully I will tell.’ The young man agreed and the Blessed One said.The bhikkhu pervades one direction with thoughts of loving kindness, so too the second, the third, the fourth, above, below, across, in every respect, in all circumstances, the entire world, he pervades with the thought of loving kindness grown great and immeasurable without anger and ill will. Young man, when the release of the mind in loving kindness, is developed thus, none of the measured actions remain. (* 1) Just as a clever drummer in no time would make known the message in the four directions. In the same manner, when the release of the mind in loving kindness, is developed thus, none of the measured actions remain. This is the method to be born with Brahmaa.. Again the bhikkhu pervades one direction with the thought of compassion,…re…. with intrinsic joy,…re… with equanimity, so too the second, the third, the fourth, above, below, across, in every respect, in all circumstances, the entire world, he pervades with equanimity grown great and immeasurable without anger and ill will. Young man, when the release of the mind in equanimity, is developed thus, none of the measured actions remain. (* 1) Just as a clever drummer in no time would make known the message in the four directions. In the same manner, when the release of the mind in equanimity is developed thus, none of the measured actions remain. This is the method to be born with Brahmaa..’
In other suttas the Buddha explains that this method does not only cause rebirth with Brahma, but brings one to these divine qualities in the here and now. It seems that the Brahmaviharas provide the link between Buddhism and religions that propose some unity with God. Of course the Buddha didn't know about Christianity and Islam, but my guess is that he would treat them in a similar way and find their ultimate expression in the cultivation of the brahmaviharas.

3) Brahmavihara is not Nibbana: I think this theme occurs in many places, but here I give one support. In AN 9:16 we find:
“Monks, for one whose release of awareness through good will is cultivated, developed, pursued, given a means of transport, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, and well-undertaken, eleven benefits can be expected. Which eleven?
“One sleeps easily, wakes easily, dreams no evil dreams. One is dear to human beings, dear to non-human beings. Devas protect one. Neither fire, poison, nor weapons can touch one. One’s mind gains concentration quickly. One’s complexion is bright. One dies unconfused and—if penetrating no higher—is headed for the Brahma worlds.”
Clearly here, and in many other places, nibbana is beyond the perfection of the brahmaviharas, which are tools to be used in development of the path.

My conclusion is that it's nice to make metaphorical links between religions, and I see this practice itself as an exercise of metta and good will. However, it seems that the Buddha did not believe that the path to nibbana was described in the religion of his time, and I doubt he would think that it is described in the various religions of our time. The logic is mine, but it is simple: The Dhamma is universal in some respects, yet most religion seems to be equivalent in the ideal to cultivation of the brahmaviharas, which the Buddha does not regard as nibanna nor the sole step in the path to nibbana.

On a personal level, I feel that the teachings of other religions head straight for the questions which the Buddha decided were unfit to be answered: "What am I?" "Who created the universe?" "What is the soul?"

In closing, I'm sure this passage is familiar:
"But then there is the case where a woman or man when visiting a priest or contemplative, asks: 'What is skillful, venerable sir? What is unskillful? What is blameworthy? What is blameless? What should be cultivated? What should not be cultivated? What, having been done by me, will be for my long-term harm & suffering? Or what, having been done by me, will be for my long-term welfare & happiness?' Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in a good destination... If instead he/she comes to the human state, then he/she is discerning wherever reborn. This is the way leading to discernment: when visiting a priest or contemplative, to ask: 'What is skillful?... Or what, having been done by me, will be for my long-term welfare & happiness?'" (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)
I think many of the religions fall short in answering these important questions in serious ways. They tend at best to fall second to the metaphysical questions that the Buddha avoids. I think in this sense the metaphor with other religions fails not only in the word of the Buddha, but also in the spirit of the Buddha's teachings.

Thank you for reading this long post. I'm glad there is a venue like this to post it to!

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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:19 am

tiltbillings wrote: The equation of Buddha-nature (a non-Theravadin concept) with the inner light notion that is in the context of a god is not justified by the “luminous” text.
it is strange but all the occurances to luminous mind in the Nikayas on wikipedia actually has more to do with the mahayana concept than the theravada texts
There is a clear reference in the Anguttara Nikaya to a "luminous mind" present within all people, be they corrupt or pure, whether or not it itself is stained or pure.[1] When it is "unstained," it is supremely poised for Arahantship, and so could be conceived as the "womb" of the Arahant, for which a synonym is tathagata. The Lankavatara Sutra describes the tathagatagarbha ("Arahant womb") as "by nature brightly shining and pure," and "originally pure," though "enveloped in the garments of the skhandhas, dhatus and ayatanas and soiled with the dirt of attachment, hatred, delusion and false imagining." It is said to be "naturally pure," but it appears impure as it is stained by adventitious defilements.[2] Thus the Lankavatara Sutra identifies the luminous mind of the Canon with the tathagatagarbha.[3] It also equates the tathagatagarbha (and alaya-vijnana) with nirvana, though this is concerned with the actual attainment of nirvana as opposed to nirvana as a timeless phenomenon.[3][4] The Canon does not support the identification of the "luminous mind" with nirvanic consciousness, though it plays a role in the realization of nirvana.[5][6] Upon the destruction of the fetters, according to one scholar, "the shining nibbanic consciousness flashes out of the womb of arahantship, being without object or support, so transcending all limitations."[7]
underlined is the only aplicable part to Theravada texts.
Last edited by Cittasanto on Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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