Is classical Theravada mostly proven false by Nagarjuna?

A forum for members who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the Pali Canon and associated Commentaries, which for discussion purposes are both treated as authoritative.
zan
Posts: 793
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:57 pm

Re: Is classical Theravada mostly proven false by Nagarjuna?

Post by zan » Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:15 pm

Srilankaputra wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:30 am
zan wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:57 am
It proves nibbana and samsara are the same thing,
For those of us who don't want to read Nagarjuna, can you summarise his argument.
Unfortunately I'm not knowledgeable enough to do this confidently. Sorry.
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. First, look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Unless you can confirm their accuracy from a reliable source, treat my writings like word games, nothing more.

sentinel
Posts: 2546
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:26 pm

Re: Is classical Theravada mostly proven false by Nagarjuna?

Post by sentinel » Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:19 pm

daveblack wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:48 pm

Mahayana first rejects Individual Liberation as impossible, i.e. you can't get to Nibbana by yourself, and it rejects it dogmatically with no sound reason to do so.
Do you mind provide links to above statement ?
I never came across such notion that it is impossible for individual liberation in Mahayana teachings .
知人者智,自知者明。胜人有力,自胜者强。知足者富,强行有志。不失其所者久,死而不亡者寿。

santa100
Posts: 3856
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: Is classical Theravada mostly proven false by Nagarjuna?

Post by santa100 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:25 pm

zan wrote:Are you suggesting the Mahayana view presented by Nagarjuna is superior to the Theravada one? I disagree and have seen a huge number of reasons why this view is harmful, from inside Mahayana temples; I trained for several years in that tradition over 20 years ago. I never looked into Nagarjuna until now as I was a lot younger then and lazy. I was told to read it but never did.
Please show exactly where I suggested that Mahayana is superior to Theravada? Do tell me though, after over 20 years of training, can you say with 100% absolute certainty that you're able to observe the Five Precepts better, attain stronger meditative absorptions, or deeper wisdom and insight, than all the members of those Mahayana temples that you've attended? If not, I'd hold off on bashing this or that Buddhist school 'cuz I don't care what Mahayana, Tibetan, Theravada friends learn and do with their different doctrines, if they're better than me in terms of Sila/Samadhi/Panna, they're better Buddhists than I am, period.

zan
Posts: 793
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:57 pm

Re: Is classical Theravada mostly proven false by Nagarjuna?

Post by zan » Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:39 pm

santa100 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:25 pm
zan wrote:Are you suggesting the Mahayana view presented by Nagarjuna is superior to the Theravada one? I disagree and have seen a huge number of reasons why this view is harmful, from inside Mahayana temples; I trained for several years in that tradition over 20 years ago. I never looked into Nagarjuna until now as I was a lot younger then and lazy. I was told to read it but never did.
Please show exactly where I suggested that Mahayana is superior to Theravada? Do tell me though, after over 20 years of training, can you say with 100% absolute certainty that you're able to observe the Five Precepts better, attain stronger meditative absorptions, or deeper wisdom and insight, than all the members of those Mahayana temples that you've attended? If not, I'd hold off on bashing this or that Buddhist school 'cuz I don't care what those Mahayana, Tibetan friends learn and do with their different doctrines, if they're better than me in terms of Sila/Samadhi/Panna, they're better Buddhists than I am, period.
You compared it to a martial art that is better for one's size or whatever, which seems to imply that Mahayana thinking may be better for some than orthodox Theravada. From the strictest orthodox perspective this is incorrect and only the orthodox is best, or even valid. I am orthodox and anything that contradicts it, especially purportedly with it's own logic, is disconcerting to me.

As to how the Mahayana views were harmful at the temples I studied at:

The main teacher at one approved of drinking and using drugs because of the interpretation of the dharma that nothing exists, and so these things cannot actually be wrong. He also sad that the statement "Avoiding all evil, cultivating what's good, purifying the mind, this is the teaching of the Buddhas." Was "complete nonsense, garbage". These were said at assemblies, not privately, and they were not discouraged by any other monastics or the abott.

Another teacher at an unrelated Mahayana temple explained that karma, rebirth etc. Doesn't exist based on the same logic.
Last edited by zan on Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. First, look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Unless you can confirm their accuracy from a reliable source, treat my writings like word games, nothing more.

santa100
Posts: 3856
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: Is classical Theravada mostly proven false by Nagarjuna?

Post by santa100 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:43 pm

zan wrote:You compared it to a martial art that is better for one's size or whatever, which seems to imply that Mahayana thinking may be better for some than orthodox Theravada. From the strictest orthodox perspective this is incorrect and only the orthodox is best, or even valid. I am orthodox and anything that contradicts it, especially purportedly with it's own logic, is disconcerting to me.
And how useful is that orthodox stance of yours in helping you with your progress on the Path? This is exactly why I asked you a direct question which you avoid answering. And just for the record, my martial art analogy only suggested that if you have a problem with what Nagarjuna said, then move on, find another teaching that's more suitable for you, like Theravada, which you seem to be already more comfortable with.
As to how the Mahayana views were harmful at the temples I studied at:

The main teacher at one approved of drinking and using drugs because of the interpretation of the dharma that nothing exists, and so these things cannot actually be wrong. He also sad that the statement "Avoiding all evil, cultivating what's good, purifying the mind, this is the teaching of the Buddhas." Was "complete nonsense, garbage". These were said at assemblies, not privately, and they were not discouraged by any other monastics or the abott.
To be absolutely clear, that 'teacher' is a fake one who does not represent the Mahayana teaching. And you need to be honest with yourself by saying that explicitly, instead of saying that the Mahayana advocates such harmful views. And if you still go to that temple, I'd strongly suggest you stand up and spell it out loud for everyone to hear. Afterall, that's one of the metrics to show how faithful you are to your orthodox stance, right?

User avatar
robertk
Posts: 3410
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Is classical Theravada mostly proven false by Nagarjuna?

Post by robertk » Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:03 pm

zan wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:56 pm
robertk wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:04 am
Doodoot gave a summary and one point was that , according to Nargarjuna, there was nothing that is real, no sabhava.
A rather unlikely 'truth' I would say, and in conflict with Theravada.
Exactly my point. Thank you. Glad to know I'm not alone in noticing this.

But if he used canonical reasoning, how is he wrong?
Here is a thread about sabhava.
http://www.abhidhamma.org/forums/index. ... hl=sabhava

zan
Posts: 793
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:57 pm

Re: Is classical Theravada mostly proven false by Nagarjuna?

Post by zan » Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:05 pm

santa100 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:43 pm
zan wrote:You compared it to a martial art that is better for one's size or whatever, which seems to imply that Mahayana thinking may be better for some than orthodox Theravada. From the strictest orthodox perspective this is incorrect and only the orthodox is best, or even valid. I am orthodox and anything that contradicts it, especially purportedly with it's own logic, is disconcerting to me.
And how useful is that orthodox stance of yours in helping you with your progress on the Path? This is exactly why I asked you a direct question which you avoid answering. And just for the record, my martial art analogy only suggested that if you have a problem with what Nagarjuna said, then move on, find another teaching that's more suitable for you, like Theravada, which you seem to be already more comfortable with.
As to how the Mahayana views were harmful at the temples I studied at:

The main teacher at one approved of drinking and using drugs because of the interpretation of the dharma that nothing exists, and so these things cannot actually be wrong. He also sad that the statement "Avoiding all evil, cultivating what's good, purifying the mind, this is the teaching of the Buddhas." Was "complete nonsense, garbage". These were said at assemblies, not privately, and they were not discouraged by any other monastics or the abott.
To be absolutely clear, that 'teacher' is a fake one who does not represent the Mahayana teaching. And you need to be honest with yourself by saying that explicitly, instead of saying that the Mahayana advocates such harmful views. And if you still go to that temple, I'd strongly suggest you stand up and spell it out loud for everyone to hear. Afterall, that's one of the metrics to show how faithful you are to your orthodox stance, right?


I was avoiding boasting lol! You really want me to talk myself up? Okay:
santa100 wrote: Do tell me though, after over 20 years of training, can you say with 100% absolute certainty that you're able to observe the Five Precepts better, attain stronger meditative absorptions, or deeper wisdom and insight, than all the members of those Mahayana temples that you've attended?
In Mahayana my meditation got nowhere. They didn't even teach meditation in any way that it can be equated with what it is defined as in orthodox Theravada. In Theravada it has grown by leaps and bounds, starting very early on. Everything in my life improved. Am I better at meditation than all at these temples? Impossible question since the techniques are totally unrelated. They did huatou study focused on using verbal mental questioning to create stress deliberately to build tension. No relation to jhana whatsoever.

And um, yes, I'm much better at following the precepts than my old fellows at the other temples because they didn't believe in them lol!

No, both teachers were real. These are not unheard of attitudes in Zen temples. Historically and also today.

As to the martial art thing. My mistake if I misunderstood. That's why I asked "Are you suggesting...? Rather than stating "You are suggesting...!". I wanted to word it carefully in case I misunderstood you.

Anyway, the martial arts analogy doesn't work for me, sorry. The Buddha is a religious icon and contradicting him is not equivalent to teaching fighting better than a martial arts teacher in my opinion. Rather, from the strictest orthodox positon, it is contradicting fact and must be seen as false. Not two techniques, best one wins, but fact vs everything else. Orthodox Buddhavacana vs a later monk from a different school.

I can't just pick the best one from this perspective. Regardless, I already picked Theravada.

I want to know how to get around Nagarjuna contradicting the Buddha using the Buddha's own logic.
Last edited by zan on Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. First, look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Unless you can confirm their accuracy from a reliable source, treat my writings like word games, nothing more.

santa100
Posts: 3856
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: Is classical Theravada mostly proven false by Nagarjuna?

Post by santa100 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:29 pm

zan wrote:No, both teachers were real. These are not unheard of attitudes in Zen temples. Historically and also today.
I know there's the idea of conventional/ultimate reality in Zen circles, but if what you said is true, that:
zan wrote:The main teacher at one approved of drinking and using drugs because of the interpretation of the dharma that nothing exists, and so these things cannot actually be wrong.
then, this is way out of line, and any serious teacher, Zen or non-Zen, would never ever approve/encourage such practice. By the way, did you stand up and point this out to that 'teacher' in that temple? You said you're pretty hardcore when it comes to orthodox stuff after all, right? There's really no point in bringing up Nagarjuna at a Theravada forum where you already knew folks here don't really care about what he preached. It only matters at those temples that you attend, to stand up against any wrong view advocated by fake teachers, especially if you strongly believe in the orthodox teaching as you seem to indicate.

zan
Posts: 793
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:57 pm

Re: Is classical Theravada mostly proven false by Nagarjuna?

Post by zan » Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:40 pm

santa100 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:29 pm
zan wrote:No, both teachers were real. These are not unheard of attitudes in Zen temples. Historically and also today.
I know there's the idea of conventional/ultimate reality in Zen circles, but if what you said is true, that:
zan wrote:The main teacher at one approved of drinking and using drugs because of the interpretation of the dharma that nothing exists, and so these things cannot actually be wrong.
then, this is way out of line, and any serious teacher, Zen or non-Zen would never ever approve/encourage such practice. By the way, did you stand up and point this out to that 'teacher' in that temple? You said you're pretty hardcore when it comes to orthodox stuff after all, right?
If what I said is true? If you're going to imply I may be lying then why talk to me at all?

Assuming you meant something else by that I'll continue my answer:

Google search and you'll find successful teachers accepted as Zen masters or other Mahayana or Vajrayana masters who were known alcoholics, modern and historical.

I was a teenager with zero knowledge of Theravada. So no, it was not even a possibility to stand up for my hard core orthodox views as I didn't have these views then. This was over 20 years ago.

That said, if you doubt my veracity let's just call our conversation quits. There's no reason for you to discuss anything with someone who you think is lying.
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. First, look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Unless you can confirm their accuracy from a reliable source, treat my writings like word games, nothing more.

santa100
Posts: 3856
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: Is classical Theravada mostly proven false by Nagarjuna?

Post by santa100 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:44 pm

zan wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:40 pm
If what I said is true? If you're going to imply I may be lying then why talk to me at all?

Assuming you meant something else by that I'll continue my answer:

Google search and you'll find successful teachers accepted as Zen masters or other Mahayana or Vajrayana masters who were known alcoholics, modern and historical.

I was a teenager with zero knowledge of Theravada. So no, it was not even a possibility to stand up for my hard core orthodox views as I didn't have these views then. This was over 20 years ago.

That said, if you doubt my veracity let's just call our conversation quits. There's no reason for you to discuss anything with someone who you think is lying.
So, after fast-fowarding 20 years, and you still have not stood up to what you really believe in by confronting those fake teachers, then yes, in some way, you are lying by saying that you're all for the orthodox teaching. I don't understand, why after 20 years, the best that you could do is bringing up the subject in a Theravada forum, hoping to bend the Buddha's teaching to suit a particular view of some later teacher, while not directly confronting fake teachers at your temple? After all, if there's any view to be bent, it's not the Buddha's teaching, it's those fake teachers' at those temples you're attending.
zan wrote:Google search and you'll find successful teachers accepted as Zen masters or other Mahayana or Vajrayana masters who were known alcoholics, modern and historical.
I only know of the Chogyam Trungpa and the corrupted disciples in his cult. He's no Buddhist teacher, only a poor ignorant SOB who's roasting in hell right now to repay all the naughty things he did while living.

zan
Posts: 793
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:57 pm

Re: Is classical Theravada mostly proven false by Nagarjuna?

Post by zan » Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:10 pm

I should state that I know that much Mahayana and Vajrayana are beautiful, moral and useful interpretations of the dhamma.

I am addressing here only where it contradicts the Buddha in ways specific to classical Theravada to be discussed in this context, from this perspective, and how a Theravadin might find the Buddha to be correct.

I am also pointing out some lack of moral teachings I personally experienced in the past, and that are not unknown beyond my own immediate experience in these realms, but in no way intended to indicate that all Mahayana and Vajrayana are as such! I was only using these examples to point out how the teachings being spoken about here were used by certain teachers to make morality irrelevant, in order to show the relevance of countering this view.

Finally, these arguments are posited from the absolute strictest orthodox perspective and do not literally reflect every single aspect of my personal views.

Much love to Mahayana and Vajrayana ❤.

I will speak more carefully from now on, apologies if I offended anyone!!!
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. First, look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Unless you can confirm their accuracy from a reliable source, treat my writings like word games, nothing more.

User avatar
cappuccino
Posts: 3340
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:45 am

Re: Is classical Theravada mostly proven false by Nagarjuna?

Post by cappuccino » Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:14 pm

zan wrote: how a Theravadin might find the Buddha to be correct
Buddha is teacher

no one else has anything to teach

sentinel
Posts: 2546
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:26 pm

Re: Is classical Theravada mostly proven false by Nagarjuna?

Post by sentinel » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:16 pm

robertk wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:04 am
Doodoot gave a summary and one point was that , according to Nargarjuna, there was nothing that is real, no sabhava.
A rather unlikely 'truth' I would say, and in conflict with Theravada.
What does "real" refers to according to nagarjuna ? and what "truth" you meant ?
知人者智,自知者明。胜人有力,自胜者强。知足者富,强行有志。不失其所者久,死而不亡者寿。

zan
Posts: 793
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:57 pm

Re: Is classical Theravada mostly proven false by Nagarjuna?

Post by zan » Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:58 pm

santa100 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:44 pm
zan wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:40 pm
If what I said is true? If you're going to imply I may be lying then why talk to me at all?

Assuming you meant something else by that I'll continue my answer:

Google search and you'll find successful teachers accepted as Zen masters or other Mahayana or Vajrayana masters who were known alcoholics, modern and historical.

I was a teenager with zero knowledge of Theravada. So no, it was not even a possibility to stand up for my hard core orthodox views as I didn't have these views then. This was over 20 years ago.

That said, if you doubt my veracity let's just call our conversation quits. There's no reason for you to discuss anything with someone who you think is lying.
So, after fast-fowarding 20 years, and you still have not stood up to what you really believe in by confronting those fake teachers, then yes, in some way, you are lying by saying that you're all for the orthodox teaching. I don't understand, why after 20 years, the best that you could do is bringing up the subject in a Theravada forum, hoping to bend the Buddha's teaching to suit a particular view of some later teacher, while not directly confronting fake teachers at your temple? After all, if there's any view to be bent, it's not the Buddha's teaching, it's those fake teachers' at those temples you're attending.
zan wrote:Google search and you'll find successful teachers accepted as Zen masters or other Mahayana or Vajrayana masters who were known alcoholics, modern and historical.
I only know of the Chogyam Trungpa and the corrupted disciples in his cult. He's no Buddhist teacher, only a poor ignorant SOB who's roasting in hell right now to repay all the naughty things he did while living.
I haven't seen any of those teachers in 20 years nor been to those temples.

Regardless, it is totally inappropriate for you to be baselessly accusing me of lying.

You've always struck me as articulate, intelligent and very sophisticsted and reasonable and I've always valued your input. This is highly disappointing and decidedly uncharacteristic of you.
Last edited by zan on Thu Dec 05, 2019 12:01 am, edited 2 times in total.
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. First, look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Unless you can confirm their accuracy from a reliable source, treat my writings like word games, nothing more.

zan
Posts: 793
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:57 pm

Re: Is classical Theravada mostly proven false by Nagarjuna?

Post by zan » Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:59 pm

robertk wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:03 pm
zan wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:56 pm
robertk wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:04 am
Doodoot gave a summary and one point was that , according to Nargarjuna, there was nothing that is real, no sabhava.
A rather unlikely 'truth' I would say, and in conflict with Theravada.
Exactly my point. Thank you. Glad to know I'm not alone in noticing this.

But if he used canonical reasoning, how is he wrong?
Here is a thread about sabhava.
http://www.abhidhamma.org/forums/index. ... hl=sabhava
Thanks!
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. First, look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Unless you can confirm their accuracy from a reliable source, treat my writings like word games, nothing more.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests