Nibbana vs Brahman

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Saengnapha
Posts: 1350
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by Saengnapha » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:58 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:20 am
No_Mind wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:58 am
Brahman connotes the highest Universal Principle, the ultimate reality in the universe. In major schools of Hindu philosophy, it is the material, efficient, formal and final cause of all that exists. It is the pervasive, genderless, infinite, eternal truth and bliss which does not change, yet is the cause of all changes. Brahman as a metaphysical concept is the single binding unity behind diversity in all that exists in the universe.
Agreed, but this doesn't sound much like Nibbana.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dha ... bbana.html
Especially the way he is explaining Brahman. But, otoh, the same problems exist explaining Nibbana. :shrug:

User avatar
No_Mind
Posts: 1911
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:12 pm
Location: India

Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by No_Mind » Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:18 am

James Tan wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:16 am
No_Mind wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:01 am
James Tan wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:11 am
Bhikkhu Bodhi: There is one that comes in the Majjihima Nikaya that is in the end of sutta 51 where he is speaking about the progressive development of the disciple where he goes on through the different stages of mediation and insight and at the end he becomes an arahat. A liberated one and he says he dwells, atma bhutto brahma vihara. He dwells with a self that has become Brahma. So it seems almost to be echoing the Upanishads formula of the self that has become Brahma.(Brahman)
What is the source? The Brahman at end .. did you insert it?

:namaste:
Yes , I inserted . Please see below.


Bhikkhu Bodhi: Yes, in this particular grammatical form Brahma Bhutto, one can’t determine whether Brahma here represents Brahman or Brahma; the impersonal absolute or Brahma as the supreme deity. And then the word Brahma in the sense of holy or supreme occurs in numerous compounds in the Pali cannon. What’s called the spiritual life or the holy life is brahmacharya. Literally it’s the course or path to the holy or to the divine, the divine life. And then the Buddha himself is said to be Brahma bhutto, one who has become Brahma which is understood to mean, become the Holy, become the supreme. But there’s not an explicit statement or an explicit formulation that uses Brahma clearly in the sense of the impersonal divine absolute.
What is the source .. the link ..

e.g.
When you see things in the world like banana peels that have no great value for you, then you're free to walk in the world without being moved, without being bothered, without being hurt in any way by all of the various kinds of things that come and pass away, whether pleasant or unpleasant. This is the path that leads you to freedom. - Ajahn Chah

http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/tree-forest.pdf
:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

James Tan
Posts: 834
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:26 pm

Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by James Tan » Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:24 am

No_Mind wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:18 am
James Tan wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:16 am
No_Mind wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:01 am


What is the source? The Brahman at end .. did you insert it?

:namaste:
Yes , I inserted . Please see below.


Bhikkhu Bodhi: Yes, in this particular grammatical form Brahma Bhutto, one can’t determine whether Brahma here represents Brahman or Brahma; the impersonal absolute or Brahma as the supreme deity. And then the word Brahma in the sense of holy or supreme occurs in numerous compounds in the Pali cannon. What’s called the spiritual life or the holy life is brahmacharya. Literally it’s the course or path to the holy or to the divine, the divine life. And then the Buddha himself is said to be Brahma bhutto, one who has become Brahma which is understood to mean, become the Holy, become the supreme. But there’s not an explicit statement or an explicit formulation that uses Brahma clearly in the sense of the impersonal divine absolute.
What is the source .. the link ..

e.g.
When you see things in the world like banana peels that have no great value for you, then you're free to walk in the world without being moved, without being bothered, without being hurt in any way by all of the various kinds of things that come and pass away, whether pleasant or unpleasant. This is the path that leads you to freedom. - Ajahn Chah

http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/tree-forest.pdf
:namaste:

https://m.facebook.com/100017760575189/ ... d%3D&mdf=1
Last edited by James Tan on Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

Dinsdale
Posts: 5920
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: Andromeda looks nice

Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by Dinsdale » Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:39 pm

Saengnapha wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:58 am
Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:20 am
No_Mind wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:58 am
Brahman connotes the highest Universal Principle, the ultimate reality in the universe. In major schools of Hindu philosophy, it is the material, efficient, formal and final cause of all that exists. It is the pervasive, genderless, infinite, eternal truth and bliss which does not change, yet is the cause of all changes. Brahman as a metaphysical concept is the single binding unity behind diversity in all that exists in the universe.
Agreed, but this doesn't sound much like Nibbana.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dha ... bbana.html
Especially the way he is explaining Brahman. But, otoh, the same problems exist explaining Nibbana. :shrug:
I think it's correct to describe Brahman as the underlying reality or "ground of being". Describing Nibbana in those terms is problematic.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

Saengnapha
Posts: 1350
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by Saengnapha » Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:22 pm

Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:39 pm
Saengnapha wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:58 am
Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:20 am


Agreed, but this doesn't sound much like Nibbana.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dha ... bbana.html
Especially the way he is explaining Brahman. But, otoh, the same problems exist explaining Nibbana. :shrug:
I think it's correct to describe Brahman as the underlying reality or "ground of being". Describing Nibbana in those terms is problematic.
Where have you seen Brahman described as the ground of being?

Saengnapha
Posts: 1350
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by Saengnapha » Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:05 pm

Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:39 pm
Saengnapha wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:58 am
Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:20 am


Agreed, but this doesn't sound much like Nibbana.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dha ... bbana.html
Especially the way he is explaining Brahman. But, otoh, the same problems exist explaining Nibbana. :shrug:
I think it's correct to describe Brahman as the underlying reality or "ground of being". Describing Nibbana in those terms is problematic.
I did some checking and I did find reference to Brahman as 'ground of being'. I'm wondering if this is a description of Buddhism defining Brahman as 'ground of being' is a particularly Mahayana phrase, especially in Yogacara and Vajrayana schools. Ground of Being is problematic as a description of Nibbana, agreed.

Upeksha
Posts: 119
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:23 am

Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by Upeksha » Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:11 am

Within the context of Buddhism - Yogacara/Vajrayana etc - 'ground of Being' would also be a problematic characterization. A phrase like 'ultimate nature of mind' might be used, but that does not imply Being. It explicitly denies both Being and Non-Being.

Saengnapha
Posts: 1350
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by Saengnapha » Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:12 am

Upeksha wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:11 am
Within the context of Buddhism - Yogacara/Vajrayana etc - 'ground of Being' would also be a problematic characterization. A phrase like 'ultimate nature of mind' might be used, but that does not imply Being. It explicitly denies both Being and Non-Being.
I think we already agreed on 'ground of being' not being a suitable descriptor for Nibbana. Ground of Being is a specific term used to denote alaya-vijnana, the storehouse consciousness which is a conditioned appearance as all appearances are. To me, this would correspond to the 2nd chain of causation after ignorance which are sanhkaras.

User avatar
Pondera
Posts: 767
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:02 pm

Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by Pondera » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:55 am

Upeksha wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:54 am
Pondera wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:31 am
I believe the “Brahma viharas” are secondary to nibanna. In suttas, the Buddha speaks of monks who aim for such spheres as those who aim for a lesser objective.

And, earlier it was mentioned that infinite consciousness equates to “being one with Brahman”. I believe this is true. The Brahma viharas are infinite spheres. In my experience, the sphere of loving kindness, for example, is embodied by none other than the Personage of the Christ Himself.
I don't think that squares with the quote, because the Brahma metaphor was a simile for becoming an arahat. Whereas the 4 Brahma viharas are more like the moral virtues or attributes that Brahma has.
“Brahma vihara” appears in the literal Pali rendering of the passage. It literally means “abodes of Brahma” - not attitudes...well attitudes and spheres of existence at the same time.

I’ll go back and read the MN passage.
Four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, equanimity and peacehttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1G3qI6G ... sp=sharing

Dinsdale
Posts: 5920
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: Andromeda looks nice

Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by Dinsdale » Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:58 pm

Saengnapha wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:22 pm
Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:39 pm
Saengnapha wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:58 am


Especially the way he is explaining Brahman. But, otoh, the same problems exist explaining Nibbana. :shrug:
I think it's correct to describe Brahman as the underlying reality or "ground of being". Describing Nibbana in those terms is problematic.
Where have you seen Brahman described as the ground of being?
I meant it in a loose sense, as the basis for everything that exists. I should have left it at "underlying reality". ;)
Buddha save me from new-agers!

Saengnapha
Posts: 1350
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by Saengnapha » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:47 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:58 pm
Saengnapha wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:22 pm
Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:39 pm


I think it's correct to describe Brahman as the underlying reality or "ground of being". Describing Nibbana in those terms is problematic.
Where have you seen Brahman described as the ground of being?
I meant it in a loose sense, as the basis for everything that exists. I should have left it at "underlying reality". ;)
Do you think apart from all the interpretations of what Brahman is, such as 'the true self', 'the eternal reality', etc., that the ineffable state of the unconditioned, which Brahman is also thought of as, is not the same as Nibbana, just using a different set of vocabulary? There is so much 'stuff', philosophy, linguistic/dialectics that has grown over and around these terms that it makes it very difficult for anyone other than a 'realizer' to really say what is the case. It seems to me like words and phrases like 'I am That', and 'Suchness' cannot be very very apart.

James Tan
Posts: 834
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:26 pm

Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by James Tan » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:19 pm

Actually , some were saying about the Brahman was the remnants from Kasyapa Buddha .

Dinsdale
Posts: 5920
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: Andromeda looks nice

Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by Dinsdale » Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:21 pm

Saengnapha wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:47 am
Dinsdale wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:58 pm
Saengnapha wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:22 pm

Where have you seen Brahman described as the ground of being?
I meant it in a loose sense, as the basis for everything that exists. I should have left it at "underlying reality". ;)
Do you think apart from all the interpretations of what Brahman is, such as 'the true self', 'the eternal reality', etc., that the ineffable state of the unconditioned, which Brahman is also thought of as, is not the same as Nibbana, just using a different set of vocabulary? There is so much 'stuff', philosophy, linguistic/dialectics that has grown over and around these terms that it makes it very difficult for anyone other than a 'realizer' to really say what is the case. It seems to me like words and phrases like 'I am That', and 'Suchness' cannot be very very apart.
Yes, it's quite possible these are different explanations for a similar experience. I do think the explanations and assumptions are significantly different though.

As an example, I used to do "silent worship" with the Quakers. They would tend to associate the experience of inner stillness with the presence of God, whereas I wouldn't ( I didn't share their belief ). It was like we were explaining a rather similar experience in different ways.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

Saengnapha
Posts: 1350
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by Saengnapha » Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:09 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:21 pm
Saengnapha wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:47 am
Dinsdale wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:58 pm


I meant it in a loose sense, as the basis for everything that exists. I should have left it at "underlying reality". ;)
Do you think apart from all the interpretations of what Brahman is, such as 'the true self', 'the eternal reality', etc., that the ineffable state of the unconditioned, which Brahman is also thought of as, is not the same as Nibbana, just using a different set of vocabulary? There is so much 'stuff', philosophy, linguistic/dialectics that has grown over and around these terms that it makes it very difficult for anyone other than a 'realizer' to really say what is the case. It seems to me like words and phrases like 'I am That', and 'Suchness' cannot be very very apart.
Yes, it's quite possible these are different explanations for a similar experience. I do think the explanations and assumptions are significantly different though.
Yes, it seems every religion or philosophical model has a different explanation of what their view is. Since there is no common explanation shared, how can anyone measure what the actual realization of a person really is? To measure, we need some kind of standard, some kind of agreed upon referents that give certainty. Since this seems impossible, people will be left to their own chosen path for better or worse. At best, we could only surmise if there is a similarity of one model to another. If there is not, we resort to debate and the eventual higher/lower judgement of one over the other. Yet, this debate is never ending because it doesn't end in certainty although some will swear that the rhetoric is sufficient for them.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 54 guests