Does the advaita conception of anatta precede Buddhism?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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DooDoot
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Re: Does the advaita conception of anatta precede Buddhism?

Post by DooDoot »

SarathW wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:35 am
Theravada does not believe Parinibbana as an objective reality.
Really. Where do the suttas say this? :shrug:
mikenz66 wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:36 am
For anyone interested in Patrick Kearney's comments, he has a series of three talks here:
Hi MikeNZ. Why don't you post your favourite choice excerpts from these talks? Thanks :smile:
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati

SarathW
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Re: Does the advaita conception of anatta precede Buddhism?

Post by SarathW »

DooDoot wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:37 am
SarathW wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:35 am
Theravada does not believe Parinibbana as an objective reality.
Really. Where do the suttas say this? :shrug:
========
"He perceives Unbinding as Unbinding.[7] Perceiving Unbinding as Unbinding, he conceives things about Unbinding, he conceives things in Unbinding, he conceives things coming out of Unbinding, he conceives Unbinding as 'mine,' he delights in Unbinding. Why is that? Because he has not comprehended it, I tell you.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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mikenz66
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Re: Does the advaita conception of anatta precede Buddhism?

Post by mikenz66 »

DooDoot wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:37 am
mikenz66 wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:36 am
For anyone interested in Patrick Kearney's comments, he has a series of three talks here:
Hi MikeNZ. Why don't you post your favourite choice excerpts from these talks? Thanks :smile:
I already provided a summary of some key points earlier in the thread, and I have provided clear instructions of where to listen.

:heart:
Mike
Last edited by mikenz66 on Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

rolling_boulder
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Re: Does the advaita conception of anatta precede Buddhism?

Post by rolling_boulder »

mikenz66 wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:36 am
For anyone interested in Patrick Kearney's comments,
Mikenz,
Who's Patrick Kearney?

Is he an authority on such matters?

I googled him and was shocked at what I found... :tongue:
The world is swept away. It does not endure...
The world is without shelter, without protector...
The world is without ownership. One has to pass on, leaving everything behind...
The world is insufficient, insatiable, a slave to craving.

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mikenz66
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Re: Does the advaita conception of anatta precede Buddhism?

Post by mikenz66 »

rolling_boulder wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:45 am
Who's Patrick Kearney?
The particular Patrick Kearney I'm referring to is an Australian teacher who spent a few years in Myanmar as a bhikkhu:
http://www.dharmasalon.net/home.html

:heart:
Mike
Last edited by mikenz66 on Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

rolling_boulder
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Re: Does the advaita conception of anatta precede Buddhism?

Post by rolling_boulder »

mikenz66 wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:49 am
rolling_boulder wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:45 am
Who's Patrick Kearney?
The particular Patrick Kearney I'm referring to is a teacher who spent a few years in Myanmar as a bhikkhu:
http://www.dharmasalon.net/home.html

:heart:
Mike
Thanks

I'll try to find some time and energy to listen to the talks

RB
The world is swept away. It does not endure...
The world is without shelter, without protector...
The world is without ownership. One has to pass on, leaving everything behind...
The world is insufficient, insatiable, a slave to craving.

rolling_boulder
Posts: 290
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:01 am

Re: Does the advaita conception of anatta precede Buddhism?

Post by rolling_boulder »

mikenz66 wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:49 am
:heart:
Mike
Dear Mr Mikenz

I'm listening to the third talk and i agree with the conception of anatta expressed therein but i dont see how he's addressing the issue of the background mind or knower being Nibbana or not.

Edit; ah, think i see now, in the second talk he explains about the preceding Upanishadic thought. Now I can see why youve linked these talks.

Rb
The world is swept away. It does not endure...
The world is without shelter, without protector...
The world is without ownership. One has to pass on, leaving everything behind...
The world is insufficient, insatiable, a slave to craving.

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DooDoot
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Re: Does the advaita conception of anatta precede Buddhism?

Post by DooDoot »

SarathW wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:43 am
"He perceives Unbinding as Unbinding.[7] Perceiving Unbinding as Unbinding, he conceives things about Unbinding, he conceives things in Unbinding, he conceives things coming out of Unbinding, he conceives Unbinding as 'mine,' he delights in Unbinding. Why is that? Because he has not comprehended it, I tell you.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Faulty translation, Faulty interpretation. What is the point of Nibbana if it is not an objective reality? :shrug:
His release, being founded on truth, does not fluctuate, for whatever is deceptive is false; Unbinding — the undeceptive — is true :thumbsup: . Thus a monk so endowed is endowed with the highest determination for truth, for this — Unbinding, the undeceptive — is the highest noble truth.

MN 140
:smile:
mikenz66 wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:49 am
The particular Patrick Kearney I'm referring to is an Australian teacher who spent a few years in Myanmar as a bhikkhu:
A few years or was it a few months?
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati

SarathW
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Re: Does the advaita conception of anatta precede Buddhism?

Post by SarathW »

DooDoot wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 7:21 am
SarathW wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:43 am
"He perceives Unbinding as Unbinding.[7] Perceiving Unbinding as Unbinding, he conceives things about Unbinding, he conceives things in Unbinding, he conceives things coming out of Unbinding, he conceives Unbinding as 'mine,' he delights in Unbinding. Why is that? Because he has not comprehended it, I tell you.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Faulty translation, Faulty interpretation. What is the point of Nibbana if it is not an objective reality? :shrug:
His release, being founded on truth, does not fluctuate, for whatever is deceptive is false; Unbinding — the undeceptive — is true :thumbsup: . Thus a monk so endowed is endowed with the highest determination for truth, for this — Unbinding, the undeceptive — is the highest noble truth.

MN 140
:smile:
mikenz66 wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:49 am
The particular Patrick Kearney I'm referring to is an Australian teacher who spent a few years in Myanmar as a bhikkhu:
A few years or was it a few months?
So in your opinion, the Arahant is re-born to objective reality?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Sam Vara
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Re: Does the advaita conception of anatta precede Buddhism?

Post by Sam Vara »

DooDoot wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:34 am
mikenz66 wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 4:59 am
As for the Upanishads, the early ones are said to predate the Buddha
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upanishads
Not according to the suttas, where they are not mentioned. If they predated the Buddha, the Buddha never heard of them or was influenced by them. To argue the opposite means ceasing to be a Buddhist; similar to how a bhikkhu is immediately defeated when engaged in sexual intercourse.

"A Buddha" cannot be taught his liberation dhamma by another; otherwise they are not a Buddha. The Buddha said his core teachings he "never heard before".
The Buddha may of course have known about the Upanishads without agreeing with them or even mentioning them such that they are recorded in the suttas. Gombrich, for example, in What the Buddha Thought, claims that an understanding of the Dhamma is enhanced by understanding the historical and intellectual context in which the Buddha was speaking. The Buddha used the concepts available to him in order to explain to worldlings what they would otherwise have lacked the concepts to grasp, even though he alone was in possession of the truth.

Spiny Norman
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Re: Does the advaita conception of anatta precede Buddhism?

Post by Spiny Norman »

rolling_boulder wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:26 am
Hey. I was talking to a practitioner of the Advaita vedanta school. He was telling me quite insistently that Anatta was understood in the non duality school before Buddhism ever came about.

If so, this pokes a big hole in Buddhist worldview. It's quite essential to us that this teaching is unique to Buddhas and novel in the world. But I'm skeptical..

I have also heard that hindu schools have been fond of coopting Buddhist teachings in order to retain legitimacy in the face of superior Buddhist doctrine.

Anyone with historical chops know anything about this?
It depends which scholars you believe, but my understanding is that Advaita was a later development, at least as a fully-formed system. There may have been some influences from early Mahayana, but I don't think Advaita promotes anatta or sunyata.
Generally I have the impression that early Indian thought was like a big melting pot, and so it's quite difficult to establish who influenced what, when.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

SarathW
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Re: Does the advaita conception of anatta precede Buddhism?

Post by SarathW »

By the way, how Advita describe Anatta?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Sam Vara
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Re: Does the advaita conception of anatta precede Buddhism?

Post by Sam Vara »

Dinsdale wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 9:09 am
rolling_boulder wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:26 am
Hey. I was talking to a practitioner of the Advaita vedanta school. He was telling me quite insistently that Anatta was understood in the non duality school before Buddhism ever came about.

If so, this pokes a big hole in Buddhist worldview. It's quite essential to us that this teaching is unique to Buddhas and novel in the world. But I'm skeptical..

I have also heard that hindu schools have been fond of coopting Buddhist teachings in order to retain legitimacy in the face of superior Buddhist doctrine.

Anyone with historical chops know anything about this?
It depends which scholars you believe, but my understanding is that Advaita was a later development, at least as a fully-formed system. There may have been some influences from early Mahayana, but I don't think Advaita promotes anatta or sunyata.
Generally I have the impression that early Indian thought was like a big melting pot, and so it's quite difficult to establish who influenced what, when.
Agreed. There is this earlier thread:

viewtopic.php?t=34602

It's very difficult to make sense of an area with lots of vague concepts and where people want to prove their relevance. And there was a very interesting thread recently where someone raised the point that there doesn't seem to be anywhere in the Pali canon where the doctrine of atta is clearly stated. To me, it's all a bit of a swamp, although there are doubtless some scholars who have got it all cut and dried.

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mikenz66
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Re: Does the advaita conception of anatta precede Buddhism?

Post by mikenz66 »

Dinsdale wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 9:09 am
It depends which scholars you believe, but my understanding is that Advaita was a later development, at least as a fully-formed system. ...
That's certainly true, Advaita itself is a relatively late development. However, as I said above,
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=36465#p546605
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=36465#p546624
it does appear that some who proceeded the Buddha, such as Yajnavalkya, did have the idea that anything that can be experienced is not-self.
https://www.britannica.com/biography/Yajnavalkya

:heart:
Mike

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Re: Does the advaita conception of anatta precede Buddhism?

Post by Spiny Norman »

mikenz66 wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 10:01 am
Dinsdale wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 9:09 am
It depends which scholars you believe, but my understanding is that Advaita was a later development, at least as a fully-formed system. ...
That's certainly true, Advaita itself is a relatively late development. However, as I said above,
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=36465#p546605
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=36465#p546624
it does appear that some who proceeded the Buddha, such as Yajnavalkya, did have the idea that anything that can be experienced is not-self.
https://www.britannica.com/biography/Yajnavalkya

:heart:
Mike
I suspect this idea is derived from the five "sheaths" (koshas) in the Taittiriya Upanishad. The sheaths are said to enclose the Atman, and are therefore not-Atman (though inconveniently for the Advaitans, the sheaths are said to be Brahman!).

In Buddhist terms this would be equivalent to saying that there is an Atman "beneath" the five aggregates, which doesn't appear to be what the Buddha taught - unless you argue that Nibbana is some sort of "true self". :shrug:
Last edited by Spiny Norman on Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:20 am, edited 3 times in total.
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