Ñāṇananda vs Ñāṇavīra vs Vajira on reality

Exploring modern Theravāda interpretations of the Buddha's teaching.
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mikenz66
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Ñāṇananda vs Ñāṇavīra vs Vajira on reality

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Aug 30, 2015 8:24 am

This passage from Bhikkhu Yogananda's interview with Bhikkhu Ñāṇananda has been discussed a few times. Unfortunately, it is sometimes difficult to figure out what is quoted and what is Bhikkhu Yogananda's additions. I'd like to focus on the highlighted part below. Could someone explain the difference between the interpretations of Ñāṇananda vs Ñāṇavīra vs Vajira that Yogananda refers to here?

The Heretic Sage: http://www.seeingthroughthenet.net/file ... c_sage.pdf
Yogananda (quoting Ñāṇananda) wrote:“Think of any kind of existence, and you will see that it depends on grasping. There is no ‘thing’ that exists on its own. Here again, I’m reminded of some-
thing Dr. W.S. Karunaratne said: ‘Existence has got to be relative; there is no
absolute existence.’ But the world thinks of unitary things existing on their own.
They ask, ‘why, even when I don’t look at this thing, doesn’t it continue existing’?
But really there is only a diṭṭha, a seen. There is only a suta, a heard. But the
moment we think of a seen ‘thing’, a heard ‘thing’, we are trapped. We create
things with maññanā, ideation.

“The problem with ‘things’ is solved in the Bāhiya Sutta: there are
only diṭṭha, suta, muta, viññāta, nothing else. That is the theme in the Kālakārāma
Sutta too. As long as one does maññanā about these, one would be deluded.”

Here we seem to have encountered a more thorough answer to my earlier
question about the ‘reality of things’, and it is quite clear that Bhante Ñāṇananda
has quite a different view from the standard Theravadin interpretation which is
closer to naïve realism. It is also opposed to Ven. Ñāṇavīra Thera’s explanations,
and readers who are familiar with Clearing the Pathwould notice that Bhante
Ñāṇananda’s interpretation is close to Sister Vajira’s earlier views
. It is easy to see
why Bhante is sometimes accused of being aviññāṇavādin by those who are less
willing to consider the subtleties involved.
:anjali:
Mike

pulga
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Re: Ñāṇananda vs Ñāṇavīra vs Vajira on reality

Post by pulga » Sun Aug 30, 2015 2:37 pm

Behaviour, then, in itself does not involve consciousness (as perception does), and the rūpakkhandha is not phassapaccayā (as the saññākkhandha is)—see Majjhima xi,9 <M.iii,17>. In itself, purely as inertia or behaviour, matter cannot be said to exist. (Cf. Heidegger, op. cit., p. 212.) – Ñanavira , SN Rūpa
Of course only as long as Dasein is (that is, only as long as an understanding of Being is ontically possible), ‘is there’ Being. When Dasein does not exist, ‘independence’ ‘is’ not either, nor ‘is’ the ‘in-itself’. In such a case this sort of thing can be neither understood nor not understood. In such a case even entities within-the-world can neither be discovered nor lie hidden. In such a case it cannot be said that entities are, nor can it be said that they are not. But now, as long as there is an understanding of Being and therefore an understanding of presence-at-hand, it can indeed be said that in this case entities will still continue to be. -- Heidegger, Sein und Zeit, p. 212
There is an excellent essay that reflects Ven. Ñanavira’s understanding of rūpa by way of Heidegger: Heidegger: Between Idealism and Realism by Lambert V. Stepanich. Parts of Marginalia to Being and Time are also helpful in understanding his position.
There is no autonomous in-itself, but only an in-itself-in-relation-to-human understanding. – Stepanich
Of course human understanding is founded upon intentionality (cetanā). Given the ontology implicit within the relational nature of intentionality Ven. Ñanananda’s phenomenalism is an abstraction from the more immediate, concrete, and intelligible way that the world is actually experienced, i.e. understood.

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aflatun
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Re: Ñāṇananda vs Ñāṇavīra vs Vajira on reality

Post by aflatun » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:15 am

Could someone give a summary of sister Vajira's earlier view and how it is similar to that of Ven. Nanananda?

(Is this older view of hers available in the letters published online?)
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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SDC
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Re: Ñāṇananda vs Ñāṇavīra vs Vajira on reality

Post by SDC » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:02 pm

aflatun wrote:Could someone give a summary of sister Vajira's earlier view and how it is similar to that of Ven. Nanananda?

(Is this older view of hers available in the letters published online?)
Only a select few of Sister V's letters to Ven. Nanavira are available on nanavira.org. There are however a few more letters he wrote to her dated 1961 which should include some discussion of those earlier views.

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Re: Ñāṇananda vs Ñāṇavīra vs Vajira on reality

Post by aflatun » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:04 am

SDC wrote:
aflatun wrote:Could someone give a summary of sister Vajira's earlier view and how it is similar to that of Ven. Nanananda?

(Is this older view of hers available in the letters published online?)
Only a select few of Sister V's letters to Ven. Nanavira are available on nanavira.org. There are however a few more letters he wrote to her dated 1961 which should include some discussion of those earlier views.
And those would be found in the hard copy of the Letters?

Thank you in advance birthday boy!
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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SDC
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Re: Ñāṇananda vs Ñāṇavīra vs Vajira on reality

Post by SDC » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:48 am

aflatun wrote:
SDC wrote:
aflatun wrote:Could someone give a summary of sister Vajira's earlier view and how it is similar to that of Ven. Nanananda?

(Is this older view of hers available in the letters published online?)
Only a select few of Sister V's letters to Ven. Nanavira are available on nanavira.org. There are however a few more letters he wrote to her dated 1961 which should include some discussion of those earlier views.
And those would be found in the hard copy of the Letters?

Thank you in advance birthday boy!
Sorry for the confusion: the '61 letters I mentioned are available online, there's like 3 or 4. But yes, the main bulk is only available in the hard copy.

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aflatun
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Re: Ñāṇananda vs Ñāṇavīra vs Vajira on reality

Post by aflatun » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:27 pm

SDC wrote: Sorry for the confusion: the '61 letters I mentioned are available online, there's like 3 or 4. But yes, the main bulk is only available in the hard copy.
Thank you for the clarification!
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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aflatun
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Re: Ñāṇananda vs Ñāṇavīra vs Vajira on reality

Post by aflatun » Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:29 pm

I have secured a copy of the Letters and have only skimmed so far as of last night, but will post when I have something relevant to contribute re: Sister V's ideas.

Very interesting stuff!
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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