In which sutta does the Buddha explain what no self means?

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mddrill
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In which sutta does the Buddha explain what no self means?

Post by mddrill » Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:33 am

I would like to understand whether the typical Western understanding of no self is the same as the traditional understanding. Does anyone have suggestions for which texts I can begin with to understand what is traditionally meant by no self?

SarathW
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Re: In which sutta does the Buddha explain what no self means?

Post by SarathW » Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:00 am

Let's clarify what Soul means in other religions.
Can someone give this info first?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Dhammanando
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Re: In which sutta does the Buddha explain what no self means?

Post by Dhammanando » Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:32 am

SarathW wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:00 am
Let's clarify what Soul means in other religions.
Can someone give this info first?
As this is tangential to what the OP is enquiring about it would be better to raise your question in the Connections to Other Paths forum.
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

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Dhammanando
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Re: In which sutta does the Buddha explain what no self means?

Post by Dhammanando » Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:38 am

mddrill wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:33 am
Does anyone have suggestions for which texts I can begin with to understand what is traditionally meant by no self?
Perhaps best to start with the Buddha's second sermon, the Anattalakhaṇa Sutta, SN 22:59
The Characteristic of Nonself

Thus have i heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Baraṇasi in the Deer Park at Isipatana. There the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus of the group of five thus: “Bhikkhus!”

“Venerable sir!” those bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One said this:

“Bhikkhus, form is nonself. For if, bhikkhus, form were self, this form would not lead to affliction, and it would be possible to have it of form: ‘Let my form be thus; let my form not be thus.’ But because form is nonself, form leads to affliction, and it is not possible to have it of form: ‘Let my form be thus; let my form not be thus.’

“Feeling is nonself…. … Perception is nonself…. Volitional formations are nonself…. Consciousness is nonself. For if, bhikkhus, consciousness were self, this consciousness would not lead to affliction, and it would be possible to have it of consciousness: ‘Let my consciousness be thus; let my consciousness not be thus.’ But because consciousness is nonself, consciousness leads to affliction, and it is not possible to have it of consciousness: ‘Let my consciousness be thus; let my consciousness not be thus.’

“What do you think, bhikkhus, is form permanent or impermanent?”—“Impermanent, venerable sir.”—“Is what is impermanent suffering or happiness?”—“Suffering, venerable sir.”—“Is what is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change fit to be regarded thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self’?”—“No, venerable sir.”

“Is feeling permanent or impermanent?… Is perception permanent or impermanent?… Are volitional formations permanent or impermanent?… Is consciousness permanent or impermanent?”—“Impermanent, venerable sir.”—“Is what is impermanent suffering or happiness?”— “Suffering, venerable sir.”—“Is what is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change fit to be regarded thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self’?”—“No, venerable sir.”

“Therefore, bhikkhus, any kind of form whatsoever, whether past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near, all form should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’

“Any kind of feeling whatsoever … Any kind of perception whatsoever … Any kind of volitional formations whatsoever … Any kind of consciousness whatsoever, whether past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near, all consciousness should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’

“Seeing thus, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple experiences revulsion towards form, revulsion towards feeling, revulsion towards perception, revulsion towards volitional formations, revulsion towards consciousness. Experiencing revulsion, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion his mind is liberated. When it is liberated there comes the knowledge: ‘It’s liberated.’ He understands: ‘Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being.’”

That is what the Blessed One said. Elated, those bhikkhus delighted in the Blessed One’s statement. And while this discourse was being spoken, the minds of the bhikkhus of the group of five were liberated from the taints by non-clinging.

(Bhikkhu Bodhi tr.)
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

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Dhammanando
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Re: In which sutta does the Buddha explain what no self means?

Post by Dhammanando » Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:48 am

Bhikkhu Bodhi's endnote to his translation:
The sutta offers two “arguments” for the anattā thesis. The first demonstrates the selfless nature of the five aggregates on the ground that they are insusceptible to the exercise of mastery (avasavattitā). If anything is to count as our “self” it must be subject to our volitional control; since, however, we cannot bend the five aggregates to our will, they are all subject to affliction and therefore cannot be our self. For a fuller presentation of this argument, see MN I 230-33. The second argument for anattā is introduced just below, beginning with the words “What do you think?…” This argument demonstrates the characteristic of nonself on the basis of the other two characteristics, impermanence and suffering, taken conjointly.
His MN reference is to the argument in the Cūḷasaccaka Sutta

http://www.suttas.com/mn-35-culasaccaka ... ccaka.html
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

char101
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Re: In which sutta does the Buddha explain what no self means?

Post by char101 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:07 am

As written in the anattalakkhana sutta, anatta means not-self instead of no-self. No-self means no soul while atta does not mean soul in Buddhism.

pegembara
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Re: In which sutta does the Buddha explain what no self means?

Post by pegembara » Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:40 am

Self means dukkha. You can work out from this what liberation from dukkha means.
Hint- The complete absence of self views. No I, me or mine stories.
"This is how he attends inappropriately: 'Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?' Or else he is inwardly perplexed about the immediate present: 'Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?'
"As he attends inappropriately in this way, one of six kinds of view arises in him: The view I have a self arises in him as true & established, or the view I have no self... or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive self... or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive not-self... or the view It is precisely by means of not-self that I perceive self arises in him as true & established, or else he has a view like this: This very self of mine — the knower that is sensitive here & there to the ripening of good & bad actions — is the self of mine that is constant, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change, and will stay just as it is for eternity. This is called a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. Bound by a fetter of views, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is not freed from birth, aging, & death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. He is not freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
"'He has been stilled where the currents of construing do not flow. And when the currents of construing do not flow, he is said to be a sage at peace.' Thus was it said. With reference to what was it said? 'I am' is a construing. 'I am this' is a construing. 'I shall be' is a construing. 'I shall not be'... 'I shall be possessed of form'... 'I shall not be possessed of form'... 'I shall be percipient'... 'I shall not be percipient'... 'I shall be neither percipient nor non-percipient' is a construing. Construing is a disease, construing is a cancer, construing is an arrow. By going beyond all construing, he is said to be a sage at peace.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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Re: In which sutta does the Buddha explain what no self means?

Post by salayatananirodha » Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:20 pm

mddrill wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:33 am
I would like to understand whether the typical Western understanding of no self is the same as the traditional understanding. Does anyone have suggestions for which texts I can begin with to understand what is traditionally meant by no self?
categorical 'no self' i have not heard the buddha declare. the world is empty of a self https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
buddha did not answer 'is there self' nor 'is there no self?' https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/wp-conte ... _Heart.pdf
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

cookiemonster
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Re: In which sutta does the Buddha explain what no self means?

Post by cookiemonster » Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:52 pm

mddrill wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:33 am
I would like to understand whether the typical Western understanding of no self is the same as the traditional understanding. Does anyone have suggestions for which texts I can begin with to understand what is traditionally meant by no self?
anatta = "not self" = a perspective & approach towards life on how nothing can be identified as "self"
"no self" = an omniscient, categorical assertion that there is absolutely no self

Two different issues.

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dhammacoustic
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Re: In which sutta does the Buddha explain what no self means?

Post by dhammacoustic » Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:33 pm

“no-self” was NEVER declared by the buddha , it is an interpretation of the doctrine.

anatta means not-self (or without self) according to nikaya buddhism. in many suttas the buddha teaches that the five khandhas (rupa—forms, vedana—sensations/feelings, sanna—perceptions, sankhara—combinations/tendencies, vinnana—cognitions) are not to be regarded as “myself”.
At one time in Sāvatthi, Venerable Radhā went to the Blessed One, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting, he said to the Blessed One: “Not-self, not-self, I hear said Venerable. What pray tell does not-self mean?”

“Just this Radhā; form is not-self, sensations are not-self, perceptions are not-self, formations are not-self, consciousness is not-self. The instructed noble disciple, Radhā, sees thus, and turns away from form, from sensations, from perceptions, from formations, from consciousness. Turning away, he loses passion, losing passion, he is released. With release, there is the knowledge; 'RELEASED'; birth is destroyed, the holy life has been fulfilled, what must be done has been done, there is no beyond after this world.”
─ SN 23.17
"Kiɱ nu kho bho Gotama, atthattā ti? (well then dear gotama, is there self?)
Evaɱ vutte Bhagavā tuṇhi ahosi. (when this was said the bhagava was silent)
"Kim pana bho Gotama, natthattā" ti? (.. no self then?)
Dutiyam pi kho Bhagavā tuṇhi ahosi.(a second time the bhagava was silent)

(...)

'Natthattā' ti? (no self?)
puṭṭho samāno (being asked thus)
'Natthattā' ti (no self!)
vyākareyyaɱ (if i speculated)
ye te Ānanda samaṇa-brāhmaṇā uccheda-vādā (with those bramins of the doctrine of annihilationism, ananda)
tesame taɱ laddhi abhavissa. (i would have been siding with)


http://obo.genaud.net/dhamma-vinaya/pal ... ali.bd.htm

confusedlayman
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Re: In which sutta does the Buddha explain what no self means?

Post by confusedlayman » Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:56 am

dhammacoustic wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:33 pm
“no-self” was NEVER declared by the buddha , it is an interpretation of the doctrine.

anatta means not-self (or without self) according to nikaya buddhism. in many suttas the buddha teaches that the five khandhas (rupa—forms, vedana—sensations/feelings, sanna—perceptions, sankhara—combinations/tendencies, vinnana—cognitions) are not to be regarded as “myself”.
At one time in Sāvatthi, Venerable Radhā went to the Blessed One, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting, he said to the Blessed One: “Not-self, not-self, I hear said Venerable. What pray tell does not-self mean?”

“Just this Radhā; form is not-self, sensations are not-self, perceptions are not-self, formations are not-self, consciousness is not-self. The instructed noble disciple, Radhā, sees thus, and turns away from form, from sensations, from perceptions, from formations, from consciousness. Turning away, he loses passion, losing passion, he is released. With release, there is the knowledge; 'RELEASED'; birth is destroyed, the holy life has been fulfilled, what must be done has been done, there is no beyond after this world.”
─ SN 23.17
"Kiɱ nu kho bho Gotama, atthattā ti? (well then dear gotama, is there self?)
Evaɱ vutte Bhagavā tuṇhi ahosi. (when this was said the bhagava was silent)
"Kim pana bho Gotama, natthattā" ti? (.. no self then?)
Dutiyam pi kho Bhagavā tuṇhi ahosi.(a second time the bhagava was silent)

(...)

'Natthattā' ti? (no self?)
puṭṭho samāno (being asked thus)
'Natthattā' ti (no self!)
vyākareyyaɱ (if i speculated)
ye te Ānanda samaṇa-brāhmaṇā uccheda-vādā (with those bramins of the doctrine of annihilationism, ananda)
tesame taɱ laddhi abhavissa. (i would have been siding with)


http://obo.genaud.net/dhamma-vinaya/pal ... ali.bd.htm
those who believed there is self to those he might have said no soul. to those who don't believe in soul in first place he said dependent origination tat goes beyond physical death.
non-agitation is highest peace
living unaffected by other cause and condition to suffering is true bliss
not associating with stupid people is immediate peace
- CL (confused layman)

confusedlayman
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Re: In which sutta does the Buddha explain what no self means?

Post by confusedlayman » Thu Nov 28, 2019 7:34 pm

dhammacoustic wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:33 pm
“no-self” was NEVER declared by the buddha , it is an interpretation of the doctrine.

anatta means not-self (or without self) according to nikaya buddhism. in many suttas the buddha teaches that the five khandhas (rupa—forms, vedana—sensations/feelings, sanna—perceptions, sankhara—combinations/tendencies, vinnana—cognitions) are not to be regarded as “myself”.
At one time in Sāvatthi, Venerable Radhā went to the Blessed One, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting, he said to the Blessed One: “Not-self, not-self, I hear said Venerable. What pray tell does not-self mean?”

“Just this Radhā; form is not-self, sensations are not-self, perceptions are not-self, formations are not-self, consciousness is not-self. The instructed noble disciple, Radhā, sees thus, and turns away from form, from sensations, from perceptions, from formations, from consciousness. Turning away, he loses passion, losing passion, he is released. With release, there is the knowledge; 'RELEASED'; birth is destroyed, the holy life has been fulfilled, what must be done has been done, there is no beyond after this world.”
─ SN 23.17
"Kiɱ nu kho bho Gotama, atthattā ti? (well then dear gotama, is there self?)
Evaɱ vutte Bhagavā tuṇhi ahosi. (when this was said the bhagava was silent)
"Kim pana bho Gotama, natthattā" ti? (.. no self then?)
Dutiyam pi kho Bhagavā tuṇhi ahosi.(a second time the bhagava was silent)

(...)

'Natthattā' ti? (no self?)
puṭṭho samāno (being asked thus)
'Natthattā' ti (no self!)
vyākareyyaɱ (if i speculated)
ye te Ānanda samaṇa-brāhmaṇā uccheda-vādā (with those bramins of the doctrine of annihilationism, ananda)
tesame taɱ laddhi abhavissa. (i would have been siding with)


http://obo.genaud.net/dhamma-vinaya/pal ... ali.bd.htm
It is because self or no self both comes under wrong view. If u think anything exist inherently u can say its beginning or end or it exist or it dont exist but if there is no inherent things then how will u pinpoint it and determine its nature? The question can be rephrased as is there any things or any place or any phenomena that doesnt change? Ans is blunt NO. Then what about nibbana? Understanding the changing, non self stuffs and not involving in itself maybe called nibbana. Only when u are concious of any changing phenomena and depending on the change of phenomena it createa change of expeirence in you. If u dont cognize any changing phenomena then it has no effect on u so u remain unaffected by change and sage is at peace
non-agitation is highest peace
living unaffected by other cause and condition to suffering is true bliss
not associating with stupid people is immediate peace
- CL (confused layman)

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DooDoot
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Re: In which sutta does the Buddha explain what no self means?

Post by DooDoot » Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:45 pm

dhammacoustic wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:33 pm
'Natthattā' ti? (no self?)
Natthattā may literally translate as "no self" but I sense the meaning includes an explicit belief in self, as explained in the Buddha's final comment, as follows:
“When Vacchagotta asked me whether the self does not exist absolutely, if I had answered that ‘the self does not exist absolutely’, Vacchagotta—who is already confused—would have got even more confused, thinking:

“Ahañcānanda, vacchagottassa paribbājakassa ‘natthattā’ti puṭṭho samāno ‘natthattā’ti byākareyyaṃ, sammūḷhassa, ānanda, vacchagottassa paribbājakassa bhiyyo sammohāya abhavissa:

It seems that the self that I once had no longer exists.’”
‘ahuvā me nūna pubbe attā, so etarahi natthī’”ti.

https://suttacentral.net/sn44.10/en/sujato
When it was asked: "Kim pana bho Gotama, natthattā" ti? (.. no self then?)", while not literal, it seems what was being asked as: "Am I not a self" or "does the (existent) self not exist"?.
confusedlayman wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:56 am
those who believed there is self, to those he might have said no soul.
Unlikely.
confusedlayman wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:56 am
to those who don't believe in soul in first place he said dependent origination tat goes beyond physical death.
Unlikely. Dependent origination appears to be about ending death rather than continuing after death. The suttas say:
On seeing a form with the eye, he does not lust after it if it is pleasing; he does not dislike it if it is unpleasing. He abides with mindfulness of the body established, with an immeasurable mind, and he understands as it actually is the deliverance of mind and deliverance by wisdom wherein those evil unwholesome states cease without remainder. Having thus abandoned favouring and opposing, whatever feeling he feels, whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant, he does not delight in that feeling, welcome it, or remain holding to it. As he does not do so, delight in feelings ceases in him. With the cessation of his delight comes cessation of clinging; with the cessation of clinging, cessation of being; with the cessation of being, cessation of birth; with the cessation of birth, ageing and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair cease. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.

https://suttacentral.net/mn38/en/bodhi
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.

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cappuccino
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Re: In which sutta does the Buddha explain what no self means?

Post by cappuccino » Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:52 pm

Meditating "I have no self" leads to the realm of nothingness.

Meditate on "this is not self" instead.

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DooDoot
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Re: In which sutta does the Buddha explain what no self means?

Post by DooDoot » Fri Nov 29, 2019 1:36 am

cappuccino wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:52 pm
Meditating "I have no self" leads to the realm of nothingness.

Meditate on "this is not self" instead.
:goodpost:
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.

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