Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Mkoll
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by Mkoll » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:20 am

Coëmgenu wrote:I think Ven Buddhadasa's interpretations don't actually contradict normal understandings of rebirth.
From what I've seen, some of his adherents or those who've been inspired by his teachings use them as an excuse to reject or be agnostic about rebirth as it is traditionally understood and taught in the suttas. And if someone wants to hold that view, that's their prerogative. But when they say that the Buddha didn't teach that kind of rebirth in the suttas, it's a misrepresentation. One needs to read enough suttas to clarify this, but few people do.
Coëmgenu wrote:The two applications of the teaching can exist side-by-side without contradiction or incoherency.
Perhaps, though I've never seen it done.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Aloka
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by Aloka » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:21 am

Mkoll wrote: Sure, you can use the idea of deva realms, etc. as psychological states as a pedagogical tool in the context of speaking at the Buddhadasa Archives. But that's not how they're used in the suttas. Nor, AFAIK, by any Theravada commentators up until Ven. Buddhadasa.
Have you checked "loka" in the Nyanatiloka dictionary ?

https://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bu ... dic3_l.htm

Loka: 'world', denotes the 3 spheres of existence comprising the whole universe, i.e. 1 the sense-world kāma-loka or the world of the 5 senses; 2 the fine-material world rūpa-loka corresponding to the 4 fine-material absorptions see: jhāna 1-4; 3 the immaterial world arūpa-loka corresponding to the 4 immaterial absorptions see: jhāna 5-8.

The sense-world comprises the hells niraya the animal kingdom tiracchāna-yoni the ghost-realm peta-loka the demon world asura-nikāya the human world manussa-loka and the 6 lower celestial worlds see: deva I. In the fine-material world see: deva II still exist the abilities of seeing and hearing, which, together with the other sense abilities, are temporarily suspended in the 4 absorptions. In the immaterial world see: deva III there is no materiality whatsoever, only the four mental groups see: khandha exist there.

Though the term loka is not applied in the Suttas to those 3 worlds, but only the term bhava 'existence' e.g. M. 43, there is no doubt that the teaching about the 3 worlds belongs to the earliest, i.e. sutta-period, of the Buddhist scriptures, as many relevant passages show.

Loka-dhamma: 'worldly conditions': 'Eight things are called worldly conditions, since they arise in connection with worldly life, namely: gain and loss, fame and anonymity, happiness and misery, praise and blame' Vis.M XXII. Cf. also A. VIII, 5.

Lokiya: 'mundane', are all those states of consciousness and mental properties - arising in the worldling, as well as in the Noble One - which are not associated with the supra-mundane lokuttara see: the foll. paths and fruitions of sotāpatti etc. See ariya-puggala A.

Lokuttara: 'supra-mundane', is a term for the 4 paths and 4 fruitions of sotāpatti etc. see: ariya-puggala with Nibbāna as ninth. Hence one speaks of '9 supra-mundane things' nava-lokuttara-dhamma. Cf. prec.
:anjali:
Last edited by Aloka on Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Mkoll
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by Mkoll » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:25 am

Aloka wrote:
Mkoll wrote: Sure, you can use the idea of deva realms, etc. as psychological states as a pedagogical tool in the context of speaking at the Buddhadasa Archives. But that's not how they're used in the suttas. Nor, AFAIK, by any Theravada commentators up until Ven. Buddhadasa.
Have you checked "loka" in the Nyanatiloka dictionary ?

https://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bu ... dic3_l.htm


:anjali:
Yes.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

Bakmoon
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by Bakmoon » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:18 am

CecilN wrote:
Bakmoon wrote:
CecilN wrote:Unlike craving, earth element cannot vanish. Its destruction cannot be observed. That is possibly why they are called The Four Great Elements.
Do you mean to say that the earth element is permanent?
Do the Pali suttas explicitly say anywhere the earth element is impermanent? Or do they only say the form (rupa) derived from the four great elements is impermanent?
It is a fundamental teaching of Buddhism that all conditioned phenomena are impermanent. Nibbana alone is unconditioned, so all other phenomena, including the four great elements, are of course impermanent.
CecilN wrote:Obviously, any element or atom of earth element is impermanent, since it will be subject to erosion. But how far can an atom of earth element be broken down until it ceases without remainder?
What does this question mean? What do you mean by breaking an atom of earth down until it ceases without remainder?
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.

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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by CecilN » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:53 am

Bakmoon wrote:What does this question mean? What do you mean by breaking an atom of earth down until it ceases without remainder?
This thread is about Nāgārjuna & I am pointing to what is practical versus creating a dogma. The Buddha practically taught the physical body is impermanent because it is something the mind attaches to as 'self', which creates suffering. But once we enter into dogmatic views such as the element of earth has 'no inherent existence', we come to problems such as proving the element of earth ceases to have the sabhava of 'earthiness'. Earth will always be earthy, just as consciousness will always cognise, just as Nibbana will always be peaceful. These inherent qualities of these things is their 'sabhava' (own nature). The element of earth can only have no inherent existence when it loses its earthiness or ceases without remainder; just as the illusory 'self' concept can cease without remainder. But the element of earth, unlike the hallucinatory self-concept, cannot cease without remainder. The earth element appears to always exist as earth element, regardless of its transformation into food, trees, flesh, sand, dust, atoms, etc.

CecilN
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by CecilN » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:14 am

Coëmgenu wrote:Ven Buddhadasa makes good insights, but sometimes he or his commentators seems to be prone to supercessionist rhetoric regarding how these teachings allegedly "replace" the already-existing transmissions of Buddhavacana-interpretation.
You were unable to prove your views were correct, where I was able to make a strong case that Buddhadasa's views accord with the original Pali suttas. Based on my case & your silence on the issue, it would seem what you call the "already-existing transmissions of Buddhavacana-interpretation" have replaced the original teachings of the Buddha. It is your task to prove 'sankhara' are 'volitional formations', consciousness is 're-linking consciousness' and 'birth' is physical birth from a new rebirth.
Ven Buddhadasa gives an explanation that is focused and related to practice in the here-and-now in this life and it is particularly open and inviting to modern scientific peoples who would have otherwise not been open to any Dhamma at all.
The Buddha-Dhamma was explicitly defined by the Lord Buddha as related to practice in the here-and-now. Please refer to MN 38.
I think Ven Buddhadasa's interpretations don't actually contradict normal understandings of rebirth. The two applications of the teaching can exist side-by-side without contradiction or incoherency.
But they do contradict ordinary (not 'normal') speculative theory (not 'understandings') of rebirth. Buddhadasa is referring to a mental rebirth of self-view, which can be known or understood. Where as the ordinary theory can merely speculate about a physical rebirth. The two applications of the teaching cannot exist side-by-side without contradiction or incoherency.

chownah
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by chownah » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:33 am

The element of earth is a concept and it can cease without remainder just like the self concept can cease without remainder.
chownah

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Aloka
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by Aloka » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:48 am

Coemgenu wrote: Ven Buddhadasa gives an explanation that is focused and related to practice in the here-and-now in this life and it is particularly open and inviting to modern scientific peoples who would have otherwise not been open to any Dhamma at all.

To see what the Buddha said about practice in the here and now, please read suttas MN131, SN1.10, and AN 6.47.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nana.html

https://suttacentral.net/en/sn1.10

https://suttacentral.net/en/an6.47


:anjali:

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:06 pm

CecilN wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:Ven Buddhadasa makes good insights, but sometimes he or his commentators seems to be prone to supercessionist rhetoric regarding how these teachings allegedly "replace" the already-existing transmissions of Buddhavacana-interpretation.
You were unable to prove your views were correct, where I was able to make a strong case that Buddhadasa's views accord with the original Pali suttas. Based on my case & your silence on the issue, it would seem what you call the "already-existing transmissions of Buddhavacana-interpretation" have replaced the original teachings of the Buddha. It is your task to prove 'sankhara' are 'volitional formations', consciousness is 're-linking consciousness' and 'birth' is physical birth from a new rebirth.
Ven Buddhadasa gives an explanation that is focused and related to practice in the here-and-now in this life and it is particularly open and inviting to modern scientific peoples who would have otherwise not been open to any Dhamma at all.
The Buddha-Dhamma was explicitly defined by the Lord Buddha as related to practice in the here-and-now. Please refer to MN 38.
I think Ven Buddhadasa's interpretations don't actually contradict normal understandings of rebirth. The two applications of the teaching can exist side-by-side without contradiction or incoherency.
But they do contradict ordinary (not 'normal') speculative theory (not 'understandings') of rebirth. Buddhadasa is referring to a mental rebirth of self-view, which can be known or understood. Where as the ordinary theory can merely speculate about a physical rebirth. The two applications of the teaching cannot exist side-by-side without contradiction or incoherency.
I have no responcibility to prove anything to you regarding Buddhism, I have no such task to engage in further off-topic chatter on this issue. If you want to talk about Nágárjuna and Theraváda please come back more informed about the subject material and not basing your arguments on quickly-scanned wikipedia pages which offer little context.

You are welcome to be a Buddhadasist. Truth be told I am not interested in further conversation with you, especially profoundly off-topic conversation with someone deeply entrenched in fundamentalism toward a particular idiosyncratic interpretation and who is prone to framing things exclusively on terms of conflict, winners and losers. Your post above this one just shows to me we cannot have any sort of communication at all because we are simply too different and have completely different approaches to... basically everything? And will probably never meet on any equal ground on account of this entreanchedness. So I'm throwing in the towel simply because I have no interest in responding to what you just wrote above this post. You haven't established what you have claimed to establish. Maybe start your own "there is no actual rebirth" thread? Just kindly stop side-tracking this one.

I'm not really interested in more unsubstantiated accusations of ad hominems, etc, simply for pointing out that you are critically uninformed on the issues pertinent to this thread.
Last edited by Coëmgenu on Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:46 pm, edited 3 times in total.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.

吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by Twilight » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:22 pm

@Cellin: All the suttas in the "Elements" section of SN say the earth element is impermanent. I will quote just one:
“Bhikkhus, the arising, continuation, production, and manifestation of the earth element is the arising of suffering, the continuation of disease, the manifestation of aging-and death. The arising, continuation, production, and manifestation of the water element … the heat element … the air element is the arising of suffering, the continuation of disease, the manifestation of aging-and-death.
“The cessation, subsiding, and passing away of the earth element … the air element is the cessation of suffering, the subsiding of disease, the passing away of aging-and-death.”
“Then, bhikkhus, it occurred to me: ‘The pleasure and joy that arise in dependence on the earth element: this is the gratification in the earth element. That the earth element is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change: this is the danger in the earth element. The removal and abandonment of desire and lust for the earth element: this is the escape from the earth element.
@cownah: The earth element is not a mental concept. It refers to the property of solidity that exists in this world. For example the solidity found in a random building in Israel that you have never seen in your life does exist despite Cownah never seen that building himself. Also, the earth element is something that exist and will cease. The self never existed to begin with.

@Aloka: As Mkoll has said, they can be used as a pedagogical tool in that way. But to say Buddha did not teach different realms of existence and did not teach rebirth is another story.

@cogemenu: One who has read the pali canon may or may not interpret it wrong based on hermeneutic lens. One who has not read it but only read famous bhikkhus will be guaranteed to understand it through those bhikkhus hermeneutic lens. He does not even have a chance to understand it without hermeneutic lens. At least the one who read it does have this chance.
You'll have a better chance finding a moderate rebel in Ildib than finding a buddhist who ever changed his views. Views are there to be clung to. They are there to be defended with all one's might. Whatever clinging one will removed in regards to sense pleasures by practicing the path - that should be compensated with increased clinging to views. This is the fundamental balance of the noble 8thfold path. The yin and yang.
----------
Consciousness and no-self explained in drawings: link
How stream entry is achieved. Mahasi / Zen understanding vs Sutta understanding: link

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:36 pm

Twilight wrote:@cogemenu: One who has read the pali canon may or may not interpret it wrong based on hermeneutic lens. One who has not read it but only read famous bhikkhus will be guaranteed to understand it through those bhikkhus hermeneutic lens. He does not even have a chance to understand it without hermeneutic lens. At least the one who read it does have this chance.
A side-product of the post-Protestant hermeneutic I described earlier is that those who use it do not conceive of themselves as having a hermeneutic interpretive lens at all. Because they conceive of their hermeneutics as "objective, without bias, and just-the-text, as-it-is, without inferences".

You mentioned that by reading the canon, one may have a chance to see the true objective text "without a hermeneutic lens", but I don't think hermeneutics can be escaped so easily. It is my personal suspicion that only the Buddha's are exempt from hermeneutics, but to each their own, thank you for your civility, just because people find themselves momentarily disagreeing on a given issue doesn't mean it can't be done with dispassion.

The abandoning of hermeneutics, which are predicated on biases, preconceptions, views, conceptualizations, intellectual hypostatizations, and in short, on samsara, is part of the path anyways. I wish you well on your continuing journey, as I hope you wish me likewise.

If you are interested in exploring the role of interpretation and hermeneutics in the Pāli scriptures, there is a thread here for it, but it is sorely underdeveloped (on my part at least, some commentators on the thread have some interesting insights) because I suddenly found myself with much less free time after starting it.

:anjali:
-Caoimhghín
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.

吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

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SDC
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by SDC » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:09 pm

Bakmoon wrote:
CecilN wrote:Obviously, any element or atom of earth element is impermanent, since it will be subject to erosion. But how far can an atom of earth element be broken down until it ceases without remainder?
What does this question mean? What do you mean by breaking an atom of earth down until it ceases without remainder?
I know Ven. Ñāṇavīra is not everyone's cup of tea, but he had some interesting thoughts on the subject.
In the Kevaddhasutta (Dīgha i,11 <D.i,223>), it is said that the question 'Where do the four mahābhūtā finally cease?' is wrongly asked, and that the question should be 'Where do [the four mahābhūtā] get no footing? Where do nāma and rūpa finally cease?' Matter or substance (rūpa) is essentially inertia or resistance (see Dīgha ii,2 <D.ii,62>---[9]), or as the four mahābhūtā it can be regarded as four kinds of behaviour (i.e. the four primary patterns of inertia—see NĀMA)...

...In itself, purely as inertia or behaviour, matter cannot be said to exist. (Cf. Heidegger, op. cit., p. 212.) And if it cannot be said to exist it cannot be said to cease. Thus the question 'Where do the four mahābhūtā finally cease?' is improper. (The question will have been asked with the notion in mind of an existing general material world common to all. Such a general world could only exist—and cease—if there were a general consciousness common to all. But this is a contradiction, since consciousness and individuality [see SAKKĀYA] are one.) But behaviour can get a footing in existence by being present in some form. As rūpa in nāmarūpa, the four mahābhūtā get a borrowed existence as the behaviour of appearance (just as feeling, perception, and intentions, get a borrowed substance as the appearance of behaviour). And nāmarūpa is the condition for viññāna as viññāna is for nāmarūpa. When viññāna (q.v.) is anidassana it is said to have ceased (since avijjā has ceased). Thus, with cessation of viññāna there is cessation of nāmarūpa, and the four mahābhūtā no longer get a footing in existence. (The passage at Salāyatana Samyutta xix,8 <S.iv,192>, ...bhikkhu catunnam mahābhūtānam samudayañ ca atthagamañ ca yathābhūtam pajānāti, ('...a monk understands as they really are the arising and ceasing of the four great entities') is to be understood in this sense.) - Ven. Ñāṇavīra, Shorter Note on Rūpa
(emphasis added)

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Twilight
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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by Twilight » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:45 pm

You mentioned that by reading the canon, one may have a chance to see the true objective text "without a hermeneutic lens", but I don't think hermeneutics can be escaped so easily. It is my personal suspicion that only the Buddha's are exempt from hermeneutics, but to each their own, thank you for your civility, just because people find themselves momentarily disagreeing on a given issue doesn't mean it can't be done with dispassion.

The abandoning of hermeneutics, which are predicated on biases, preconceptions, views, conceptualizations, intellectual hypostatizations, and in short, on samsara, is part of the path anyways. I wish you well on your continuing journey, as I hope you wish me likewise.
Thanks for your compliments and I do wish you the same. I also wish you will one day give Buddha a change just like you have gave Nagarjuna and others a chance by reading their books.

About Nanavira:
.In itself, purely as inertia or behaviour, matter cannot be said to exist. (Cf. Heidegger, op. cit., p. 212.) And if it cannot be said to exist it cannot be said to cease.
This claim that form does not exist and the endless speculations about existence that follow are why I consider him a constructivist. He has not read this sutta quoted by me recently:
“Bhikkhus, the arising, continuation, production, and manifestation of the earth element is the arising of suffering, the continuation of disease, the manifestation of aging-and death. The arising, continuation, production, and manifestation of the water element … the heat element … the air element is the arising of suffering, the continuation of disease, the manifestation of aging-and-death.
“The cessation, subsiding, and passing away of the earth element … the air element is the cessation of suffering, the subsiding of disease, the passing away of aging-and-death.”
Buddha has voiced only 2 opinions about existence. Buddha was a realist not a constructivist. If one can find any more opinions except these 2, please provide sutta:
I've never heard Buddha debate weather the earth element is inherently real or not. Honestly I don't even understand too much what "inherently" is supposed to mean. Buddha view about the earth element and everything else is like this:

1) They have no substance, but they do exist.

Form has as much substance in it as consciousness or volition. That is how it should be seen. But it does exist just like consciousness or volition do exist.

2) That who sees their cessation can not say they exist because they cease. Those who see their arising can not say they don't exist because they do arise.


This is not meant to be understood in some constructivist, relativist way. It should be understood pretty simple. Think about it. There is a banana. The banana will disappear at one point and will be no more. Nobody will even remember it. It will be like it never was. So it can not be said that it really exists from this point of view. On the other hand, the banana has arisen and does exist at the moment. So nobody can say the banana does not exist. Things exist but they are impermanent so at one point they cease to exist. Pretty simple and straightforward, no need for endless philosophical debates.
As for the Kevatta sutta, the reason the question was phrased wrongly is because the answer would imply "the four great elements cease without reminder in nibbana" - witch would make nibbana a place or a thing that exists. It would make it a "thing" that has properties, such as the property of the 4 great elements not existing in it.

By asking where they would get no footing, the answer would be "the four great elements get no footing in nibbana" because of the absence of consciousness. When there is no consciousness or anything whatsoever, how could the four great elements or anything else be distinguished ?

It should be noted that this is a strangely worded sutta witch was twisted around by some such as Thanissaro to make a case for eternal consciousness in nibanna, in complete disregard for what is said in innumerable other suttas about nibbana. Also it was translated in a controversial way by Thanissaro (witch is quoted here by Nanavira) no make a case for his eternal consciousness thai forest views about Nibbana.

PS: It should also be noted that this sutta comes from DN, a small 600 page book that was meant for propaganda. The book containing the fundamental doctrine where all is explained in better detail is SN. Things are very clear there. It is very probable that such poetic verses from DN were written not to scare more idealist newcomers away. In any case, it is not in the small and poetic propaganda book for newcomers that one should look for difficult answers. It is in SN where one should look to clarify such questions. Also, DN is known to have possibly been corrupted. But this is unimportant anyway since it was meant for propaganda and not for gaining real knowledge.
Last edited by Twilight on Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
You'll have a better chance finding a moderate rebel in Ildib than finding a buddhist who ever changed his views. Views are there to be clung to. They are there to be defended with all one's might. Whatever clinging one will removed in regards to sense pleasures by practicing the path - that should be compensated with increased clinging to views. This is the fundamental balance of the noble 8thfold path. The yin and yang.
----------
Consciousness and no-self explained in drawings: link
How stream entry is achieved. Mahasi / Zen understanding vs Sutta understanding: link

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Re: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by aflatun » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:50 pm

SDC wrote:
Bakmoon wrote:
CecilN wrote:Obviously, any element or atom of earth element is impermanent, since it will be subject to erosion. But how far can an atom of earth element be broken down until it ceases without remainder?
What does this question mean? What do you mean by breaking an atom of earth down until it ceases without remainder?
I know Ven. Ñāṇavīra is not everyone's cup of tea, but he had some interesting thoughts on the subject.
In the Kevaddhasutta (Dīgha i,11 <D.i,223>), it is said that the question 'Where do the four mahābhūtā finally cease?' is wrongly asked, and that the question should be 'Where do [the four mahābhūtā] get no footing? Where do nāma and rūpa finally cease?' Matter or substance (rūpa) is essentially inertia or resistance (see Dīgha ii,2 <D.ii,62>---[9]), or as the four mahābhūtā it can be regarded as four kinds of behaviour (i.e. the four primary patterns of inertia—see NĀMA)...

...In itself, purely as inertia or behaviour, matter cannot be said to exist. (Cf. Heidegger, op. cit., p. 212.) And if it cannot be said to exist it cannot be said to cease. Thus the question 'Where do the four mahābhūtā finally cease?' is improper. (The question will have been asked with the notion in mind of an existing general material world common to all. Such a general world could only exist—and cease—if there were a general consciousness common to all. But this is a contradiction, since consciousness and individuality [see SAKKĀYA] are one.) But behaviour can get a footing in existence by being present in some form. As rūpa in nāmarūpa, the four mahābhūtā get a borrowed existence as the behaviour of appearance (just as feeling, perception, and intentions, get a borrowed substance as the appearance of behaviour). And nāmarūpa is the condition for viññāna as viññāna is for nāmarūpa. When viññāna (q.v.) is anidassana it is said to have ceased (since avijjā has ceased). Thus, with cessation of viññāna there is cessation of nāmarūpa, and the four mahābhūtā no longer get a footing in existence. (The passage at Salāyatana Samyutta xix,8 <S.iv,192>, ...bhikkhu catunnam mahābhūtānam samudayañ ca atthagamañ ca yathābhūtam pajānāti, ('...a monk understands as they really are the arising and ceasing of the four great entities') is to be understood in this sense.) - Ven. Ñāṇavīra, Shorter Note on Rūpa
(emphasis added)
This is a wonderful passage, thank you for sharing.

(As far as Ñāṇavīra and one's "cup of tea" I am attracted to his writings, partly because I have a philosophy background/interest, and feel that he has something very deep to convey, however I find his writing style often bordering on incomprehensible and needlessly vague, which often leaves me frustrated and ready to throw in the towel :toilet: Perhaps I should post specific questions in the Modern Interpretations forum when they come up? )

Anyway, a passage comes to mind from some of my current readings:
But in YṢ 34 Nāgārjuna declares he believes the physical-material objective
reality to be dependent on consciousness:

Things spoken of, the great elements and so forth, are enclosed in
consciousness. When this is understood, they dissolve. Indeed, they
are a mistaken construction.


The elements are “checked by” or “enclosed in consciousness” (vijñāne samavarudhyate, rnam par shes su yang dag ’du).They can
be dissolved when this is understood, and hence are not objectively real but depend on consciousness for their being. They are further defined as a mistaken mental construction (mithyā vikalpitam, log pas rnam brtags).

When we realize that Nāgārjuna understood things to rise out of ignorance, we can better understand his intention in describing them as being similar to illusions, dreams, phantoms, cities of gandharvas, and the like. This is a central feature of Nāgārjuna’s thought, which he expresses in diff erent verses and contexts.51 A good example is ŚS 66:

Conditioned things are like a city of gandharvas, an illusion, a phantom,
hairs (seen by a person suffering from a cataract), a bubble in the stream,
a magical display, a dream and a whirling fire-brand.
Eviatar Shulman, Creative Ignorance: Nagarjuna on the Ontological Significance of Consciousness
"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: Theravāda & Nāgārjuna

Post by SDC » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:54 pm

Twilight wrote:It should be noted that this is a strangely worded sutta witch was twisted around by some such as Thanissaro to make a case for eternal consciousness in nibanna, in complete disregard for what is said in innumerable other suttas about nibbana. Also it was translated in a controversial way by Thanissaro (witch is quoted here by Nanavira) no make a case for his eternal consciousness thai forest views about Nibbana.
Ven. Ñāṇavīra wrote Notes on Dhamma in the early 1960's. Ven. Thanissaro was around 11 years old when it was published. If you are insinuating something else that I am not understanding, my apologies for misunderstanding you.

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