The Idea of the Historical Buddha

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 4501
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: The Idea of the Historical Buddha

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:22 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:47 am
I think I understand what you are saying but would not agree that the search for certainty in the present or future is at all possible, but it does go on. The concept of certainty is introduced from the past, our inherited 'Mind', and is so completely believed that it extends its thinking into the present and future. Since certainty is a myth, the creation of time is also a myth where the search exists. All of this, is a misunderstanding and a misinterpretation. Logic is only based on the past knowledge we have of things and the future is a projection of this past knowledge. Wouldn't you agree?
Blimey, there's a lot in there to deal with all at once, and I don't want to go too far off topic. New thread for some of them?

I'm not sure how much everything is dependent upon the past and an inherited mind; the desire for certainty might be eternally present. I'm also not sure whether certainty is a myth; I have come to believe that some types of search for certainty are fruitless, but I hope and believe that one can become certain about aspects of the dhamma. For example, accounts of stream-entry and enlightenment seem to delineate a different type of incontrovertible and apodictic realisation.

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

Re: The Idea of the Historical Buddha

Post by Saengnapha » Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:01 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:22 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:47 am
I think I understand what you are saying but would not agree that the search for certainty in the present or future is at all possible, but it does go on. The concept of certainty is introduced from the past, our inherited 'Mind', and is so completely believed that it extends its thinking into the present and future. Since certainty is a myth, the creation of time is also a myth where the search exists. All of this, is a misunderstanding and a misinterpretation. Logic is only based on the past knowledge we have of things and the future is a projection of this past knowledge. Wouldn't you agree?
Blimey, there's a lot in there to deal with all at once, and I don't want to go too far off topic. New thread for some of them?

I'm not sure how much everything is dependent upon the past and an inherited mind; the desire for certainty might be eternally present. I'm also not sure whether certainty is a myth; I have come to believe that some types of search for certainty are fruitless, but I hope and believe that one can become certain about aspects of the dhamma. For example, accounts of stream-entry and enlightenment seem to delineate a different type of incontrovertible and apodictic realisation.
How can the desire for certainty be eternal? Ultimately, it is a desire like others and all impermanent according to the Buddha. What you are speaking of are states of mind. They in themselves are not free of conditioned ways of thinking. These are exactly the ideas that need to be 'seen' with the light of attention. You can't have your cake and eat it. All these desires are a form of grasping, even the desire for enlightenment. The Buddha wasn't a Buddhist. He was free of all this papanca.

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 4501
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: The Idea of the Historical Buddha

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:46 pm

Saengnapha wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:01 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:22 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:47 am
I think I understand what you are saying but would not agree that the search for certainty in the present or future is at all possible, but it does go on. The concept of certainty is introduced from the past, our inherited 'Mind', and is so completely believed that it extends its thinking into the present and future. Since certainty is a myth, the creation of time is also a myth where the search exists. All of this, is a misunderstanding and a misinterpretation. Logic is only based on the past knowledge we have of things and the future is a projection of this past knowledge. Wouldn't you agree?
Blimey, there's a lot in there to deal with all at once, and I don't want to go too far off topic. New thread for some of them?

I'm not sure how much everything is dependent upon the past and an inherited mind; the desire for certainty might be eternally present. I'm also not sure whether certainty is a myth; I have come to believe that some types of search for certainty are fruitless, but I hope and believe that one can become certain about aspects of the dhamma. For example, accounts of stream-entry and enlightenment seem to delineate a different type of incontrovertible and apodictic realisation.
How can the desire for certainty be eternal? Ultimately, it is a desire like others and all impermanent according to the Buddha. What you are speaking of are states of mind. They in themselves are not free of conditioned ways of thinking. These are exactly the ideas that need to be 'seen' with the light of attention. You can't have your cake and eat it. All these desires are a form of grasping, even the desire for enlightenment. The Buddha wasn't a Buddhist. He was free of all this papanca.
Time for you to start a new thread, please, or to PM me about these undoubtedly important topics. This thread is about historicity, and I don't want to derail it any more...

:focus:

User avatar
egon
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 1:15 pm
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Re: The Idea of the Historical Buddha

Post by egon » Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:57 pm

OK so I understand that many, or most, Buddhists will consider the "historical accuracy" of the Buddha to be unimportant to their practice. Also, that if this is true, the question I'm about to ask is irrelevant and if we go by the Pali Canon may not have even been awarded anything but a blank stare by the Buddha himself.

So with that qualification out of the way, maybe someone will humor me: I've read that nowhere in the Pali Canon does the Buddha identify himself by name. Is this true? If so, why does just about everyone say he was Siddhartha Gautama?

User avatar
egon
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 1:15 pm
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Re: The Idea of the Historical Buddha

Post by egon » Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:38 pm

ScottPen wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:57 pm
OK so I understand that many, or most, Buddhists will consider the "historical accuracy" of the Buddha to be unimportant to their practice. Also, that if this is true, the question I'm about to ask is irrelevant and if we go by the Pali Canon may not have even been awarded anything but a blank stare by the Buddha himself.

So with that qualification out of the way, maybe someone will humor me: I've read that nowhere in the Pali Canon does the Buddha identify himself by name. Is this true? If so, why does just about everyone say he was Siddhartha Gautama?

OK so it's in the Aśvaghoṣasyabuddhacarita. Got it. Since that's a Mahayanan text, is there a consensus among Theravadans regarding the assertion that the Buddha was Siddhartha Gautama?

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 4501
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: The Idea of the Historical Buddha

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:12 pm

ScottPen wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:38 pm

OK so it's in the Aśvaghoṣasyabuddhacarita. Got it. Since that's a Mahayanan text, is there a consensus among Theravadans regarding the assertion that the Buddha was Siddhartha Gautama?
I don't think there is such a consensus. I think that the suttas give Gotama as his clan name, and Siddhatta does not feature at all. But I stand to be corrected on that one.

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

Re: The Idea of the Historical Buddha

Post by Saengnapha » Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:45 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:12 pm
ScottPen wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:38 pm

OK so it's in the Aśvaghoṣasyabuddhacarita. Got it. Since that's a Mahayanan text, is there a consensus among Theravadans regarding the assertion that the Buddha was Siddhartha Gautama?
I don't think there is such a consensus. I think that the suttas give Gotama as his clan name, and Siddhatta does not feature at all. But I stand to be corrected on that one.
Wasn't his clan name Sakya? Sakyamuni=sage of the Sakyas.

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 4501
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: The Idea of the Historical Buddha

Post by Sam Vara » Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:19 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:45 am
Wasn't his clan name Sakya? Sakyamuni=sage of the Sakyas.
Yes, that also features in the suttas. I think the difference might be between clan and a wider grouping like "race" or "people" or "tribe", but again I might be wrong.

User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 4227
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Ban Sri Pradu Rubber Forest, Phrao, Chiangmai

Re: The Idea of the Historical Buddha

Post by Dhammanando » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:03 pm

Saengnapha wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:45 am
Wasn't his clan name Sakya? Sakyamuni=sage of the Sakyas.
That wasn't originally a name, but rather an epithet based on his tribe. It's rarely used in early Buddhist texts but assumed great importance in Mahayana ones, where it became in effect the normative name for the Buddha, the earlier names and epithets being largely sidelined by it. As the pioneering Pali scholar Robert C. Childers remarked: "It is rather as if some eccentric Christian sect were to insist on Jesus being referred to in no other way than "Lion of the Tribe of Judah."

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

Re: The Idea of the Historical Buddha

Post by Saengnapha » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:53 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:03 pm
Saengnapha wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:45 am
Wasn't his clan name Sakya? Sakyamuni=sage of the Sakyas.
That wasn't originally a name, but rather an epithet based on his tribe. It's rarely used in early Buddhist texts but assumed great importance in Mahayana ones, where it became in effect the normative name for the Buddha, the earlier names and epithets being largely sidelined by it. As the pioneering Pali scholar Robert C. Childers remarked: "It is rather as if some eccentric Christian sect were to insist on Jesus being referred to in no other way than "Lion of the Tribe of Judaea."
quite so. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet..........

Laurens
Posts: 493
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:56 pm
Location: Norfolk, England

Re: The Idea of the Historical Buddha

Post by Laurens » Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:28 pm

I think it's reasonable to assume that there is a figure at the root of Buddhism.

I think it's also reasonable to assume that there have been elements of mythology that have creeped in to some of the accounts.

Ultimately if the teachings lead to their prescribed goal then the debate about what we might or might not be able to know about the historical Buddha is merely an intellectual curiosity.
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

User avatar
Pseudobabble
Posts: 734
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:11 am
Location: London

Re: The Idea of the Historical Buddha

Post by Pseudobabble » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:19 pm

Image

:rofl:
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Volovsky, Zom and 18 guests