PDA

View Full Version : Were the Buddha's views permanent?



andyrobyn
15 Oct 11, 01:41
A recent question came to my mind in another discussion in this forum and I thought it might be a good topic for discussion. Do you not believe that the Buddha’s views changed over time after his “awakening” ?

Whilst my knowledge of the Pali Canon does not allow me to have a fully informed view, my understanding has been that his
" enlightenment " allowed him to develop the concepts which he went on to develop teachings about - as such these were not views, and not what the Suttas predominately record, however did he express views and ideas as well ?

Element
15 Oct 11, 04:32
my opinion to the question is "yes"

his teachings changed, to reveal more, but his view was permanently established at enlightenment

for example, the suttas report the Buddha established Dependent Origination during his enlightenment (here (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ud.1.01.irel.html))

however, the suttas also report the Buddha did not mention Dependent Origination (in full) during his 1st three sermons (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nanamoli/wheel017.html)

regards ;D

andyrobyn
15 Oct 11, 05:05
Thanks Element. It seems his teaching changed ( over time and to different individuals/groups ) rather than his understanding which was complete . I was thinking more about his views - for example on teaching to woman ( or teaching at all, in fact ). Or, to use the same example, is it that other factors which impacted on conditions changed rather than his view?

retrofuturist
15 Oct 11, 05:08
Greetings Andy,

Are you talking about views not connected to Right (and Wrong) View?

Metta,
Retro ;D

FBM
15 Oct 11, 05:08
I'm with Element on this one. It looks like the central tenets of his teachings remained consistent throughout the suttas, with change coming in the means of expressing, explaining, exhorting, those same core tenets. The Vinaya rules he laid down changed many times, though.

He seems to have been against starting a bhikkuni line, but was convinced to change his mind by others.

andyrobyn
15 Oct 11, 05:22
Greetings Andy,

Are you talking about views not connected to Right (and Wrong) View?

Metta,
Retro ;D

Hi Retro,

Yes, I am - I am not referring to intrinsic matters of dhamma.

Given that his life would still have been a conditioned process of the five aggregates and his cognition would have continued on he may have developed different views on many aspects of experience over time, and I am asking about records of this in the Suttas.
Or is it that after " awakening " he became in a different type of “ mental state ” : where he had an unconditioned reality - but then this would suggest a different type of consciousness, would it not ?

I am a simple Aussie woman, thanks for entertaining my question - hope I am explaining it adequately.

Aloka
15 Oct 11, 06:05
Hi Andy,

Could I just clarify that you are refering to the Pali Canon in particular, rather than including the later Mahayana sutras ?

I think its worth pointing this out now to avoid possible confusion later.

with metta,

Aloka

andyrobyn
15 Oct 11, 06:46
Hi Aloka- D, yes the Pali Canon in particular, thanks everyone for your help :hug:

Element
15 Oct 11, 06:57
I was thinking more about his views - for example on teaching to woman ( or teaching at all, in fact ).
the suttas state, at this enlightenment, the Buddha resolved to establish the four-fold Sangha


42. "There was a time, Ananda, when I dwelt at Uruvela, on the bank of the Nerañjara River, at the foot of the goatherds' banyan-tree, soon after my supreme Enlightenment. And Mara, the Evil One, approached me, saying: 'Now, O Lord, let the Blessed One come to his final passing away! Let the Happy One utterly pass away! The time has come for the Parinibbana of the Lord.'

43. "Then, Ananda, I answered Mara, the Evil One, saying: 'I shall not come to my final passing away, Evil One, until my bhikkhus and bhikkhunis, laymen and laywomen, have come to be true disciples — wise, well disciplined, apt and learned, preservers of the Dhamma, living according to the Dhamma, abiding by appropriate conduct and, having learned the Master's word, are able to expound it, preach it, proclaim it, establish it, reveal it, explain it in detail, and make it clear; until, when adverse opinions arise, they shall be able to refute them thoroughly and well, and to preach this convincing and liberating Dhamma.

Maha-parinibbana Sutta (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.16.1-6.vaji.html)

Element
15 Oct 11, 07:06
I was thinking more about his views - for example on teaching to woman ( or teaching at all, in fact ).
after his enlightenment, the suttas report the Buddha resolved to not teach...however, commentators say the Buddha only did this so the character of the Buddha-Dhamma would be established, which is to only teach when requested...


'Enough now with teaching
what
only with difficulty
I reached.
This Dhamma is not easily realized
by those overcome
with aversion & passion.

What is abstruse, subtle,
deep,
hard to see,
going against the flow —
those delighting in passion,
cloaked in the mass of darkness,
won't see.'

"As I reflected thus, my mind inclined to dwelling at ease, not to teaching the Dhamma.

"Then Brahma Sahampati, having known with his own awareness the line of thinking in my awareness, thought: 'The world is lost! The world is destroyed! The mind of the Tathagata, the Arahant, the Rightly Self-awakened One inclines to dwelling at ease, not to teaching the Dhamma!' Then, just as a strong man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm, Brahma Sahampati disappeared from the Brahma-world and reappeared in front of me. Arranging his upper robe over one shoulder, he knelt down with his right knee on the ground, saluted me with his hands before his heart, and said to me: 'Lord, let the Blessed One teach the Dhamma! Let the One-Well-Gone teach the Dhamma! There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.'

MN 26 (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.026.than.html)

andyrobyn
15 Oct 11, 07:07
This is very interesting to me - it suggests that Lord Buddha's intent and understanding was always that he would teach and that it would be understood and carried on - maybe it is that rather than his views, as well as his methods of teaching, changed it was more a pragmatic point - that he knew that at times any attempts to teach Dhamma, to women and otherwise, would not be effective?

andyrobyn
15 Oct 11, 07:28
Whilst he had the ability to change his views and in that sense they were not permanent, his insight and ability to understand the truth, meant that there was no need to change his views.

Aloka
15 Oct 11, 08:03
Whilst he had the ability to change his views and in that sense they were not permanent, his insight and ability to understand the truth, meant that there was no need to change his views.

Ordinary beings operating from conditioned existence continually have different views/opinions about this and that ...but does a Buddha actually have changing personal views/opinions about dhamma ? I would imagine not.

Personally I don't think that adapting teachings to suit the capacity of the listener would come under a heading of views and opinions.

andyrobyn
15 Oct 11, 08:40
I agree, and just to clarify, I have not been suggesting that adapting teachings comes under the same heading as having different views - I think I have clearly identified that I see they are two different things.

Aloka
15 Oct 11, 08:50
I agree, and just to clarify, I have not been suggesting that adapting teachings comes under the same heading as having different views - I think I have clearly identified that I see they are two different things.

Oh I wasn't implying that you were, Andy !

andyrobyn
15 Oct 11, 09:01
Thanks again everyone.

Esho
15 Oct 11, 14:21
Hi Andy,

Views are about wrong believes, opinions or concepts -"ditthi"- as when one holds the idea of a self -"atta-ditthi". So it is imposible that Buddha could have views as holding believes or opinions but just the Noble or Right View. His doctrine is not based on speculative opinions but on the understanding of the source of suffering and its cessation. What happend during his long period of being a Noble Teacher is just that he adapted the teaching of awakening to particular case while developing for some very deep and subtle teachings and for others some that were not so because it seems there is a kind of mundane and supramundane Right View. But even that, if we pay attention, all the discourses are instructions so to abandone views and to shift them into the Right or Noble one; all of them ending in the final result of following them which is awakening.

MN9 can be a good example for this. He offers different ways of developing awareness and to abandon views, which indeed, known as "ditthi" and not having an indication of Noble -"samma"- is considered in most of the cases about holding a wrong one.


"When a noble disciple has thus understood the [unwholesome, nutriment, suffering, etc.], the root of the unwholesome, the wholesome, and the root of the wholesome, he entirely abandons the underlying tendency to lust, he abolishes the underlying tendency to aversion, he extirpates the underlying tendency to the view and conceit 'I am,' and by abandoning ignorance and arousing true knowledge he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view, whose view is straight, who has perfect confidence in the Dhamma and has arrived at this true Dhamma."

Sammaditthi Sutta (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.009.ntbb.html)



So the only view the Buddha taught was the Right or Noble View exposed in different set of instructions suitable to particular cases.

;D

Aloka
15 Oct 11, 14:40
Interestingly, I've just found a recent post from Ajahn Sujato in his blog (Sujato's Blog), which is entitled "Are the Buddha's Views Permanent"

http://sujato.wordpress.com/


.

Esho
15 Oct 11, 17:43
Thanks Dazz,

From the link you gave:


"What is likely to have happened is that the Buddha changed the way he taught. This would be quite appropriate given the rapid change and development of his following over the years. In the early times there was a small group of dedicated, attained followers, while in later years you had many less dedicated, less intelligent followers. In addition the seniors had already learnt the basics thoroughly and wanted more detailed teachings (e.g. the Mahanidana Sutta); and there was increasing specialisation in different areas like Vinaya, systematic analysis (proto-Abhidhamma), or lay teaching.

Sujato's Blog (http://sujato.wordpress.com/)



If Buddha wasn't awake, if he was not a Tataghata, he could never give the adequate teaching to the adequate person or group of people. That he could is an indication of his realized enlightenment. He taught for many years... so the chance to meet different situations was at hand. Being enlightened and holding just one and only one sort of view -Sammaditthi- is why he could accomplish such endeavour.


So to sum all this up, I think we can speak of the Awakened experience as “permanent” in a at least couple of senses. It is “permanent” in the sense that there is a permanent cessation of greed, hatred, and delusion. And it is “permanent” in the sense that it forms a view of reality that is essentially correct and does not need to change over time.

Sujato's Blog (http://sujato.wordpress.com/)



Agree.


This is a difficult question in Buddhist philosophy, which has been raised and discussed many times over the years. I hope this little post helps makes things a little clearer

Sujato's Blog (http://sujato.wordpress.com/)



Maybe because I am not skilled in philosophical entanglements I don't see the difficult to address what the teachings of Buddha are about:


"What I have revealed is: 'This is Suffering, this is the Arising of Suffering, this is the Cessation of Suffering, and this is the Path that leads to the Cessation of Suffering.' And why, monks, have I revealed it?

"Because this is related to the goal, fundamental to the holy life, conduces to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, tranquillity, higher knowledge, enlightenment and Nibbaana, therefore I have revealed it.

"Therefore, monks, your task is to learn: 'This is Suffering, this is the Arising of Suffering, this is the Cessation of Suffering, this is the Path that leads to the Cessation of Suffering.' That is your task."

Simsapa Sutta (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn56/sn56.031.wlsh.html)



Maybe the Simsapa Sutta seems simple but is the great reminder, the compass about what the Buddha taught and for its realization the unique view is the Noble one.

;D

Element
15 Oct 11, 19:13
"What is likely to have happened is that the Buddha changed the way he taught. This would be quite appropriate given the rapid change and development of his following over the years. In the early times there was a small group of dedicated, attained followers, while in later years you had many less dedicated, less intelligent followers. In addition the seniors had already learnt the basics thoroughly and wanted more detailed teachings (e.g. the Mahanidana Sutta); and there was increasing specialisation in different areas like Vinaya, systematic analysis (proto-Abhidhamma), or lay teaching.

Sujato's Blog (http://sujato.wordpress.com/)
personally, i do not regard the Mahanidana Sutta as a more detailed teaching. further, i doubt the Buddha actually spoke it because the Mahanidana Sutta simply does not conform with the rest of the suttas about Dependent Origination and therefore must be rejected as Buddhavaca following the Great Standards

many scholars consider that much of the Digha Nikaya, which includes the Mahanidana Sutta, was not spoken by the Buddha

regards

;D

andyrobyn
15 Oct 11, 21:28
Interestingly, I've just found a recent post from Ajahn Sujato in his blog (Sujato's Blog), which is entitled "Are the Buddha's Views Permanent"

http://sujato.wordpress.com/


.


Thanks Dazz, this is very timely and pertinent to my questions - thanks :hug:

Esho
15 Oct 11, 22:01
many scholars consider that much of the Digha Nikaya, which includes the Mahanidana Sutta, was not spoken by the Buddha

I didn't knew this.

Do you know, Element, which suttas from the DN can be under this case? Is this the case for DN1?

;D

daverupa
15 Oct 11, 22:15
Not to supplant Element's erudition, but it's basically DN II and DN III. DN I (Suttas 1-13) is the earlier stratum. At best, DN II + III will be combinatorial - the Mahaparinibbana Sutta is a prime example, combining very old stuff (Buddha's last words, for example) with late additions (Ananda's failure to ask the Buddha to live forever, for example).

The Mahanidana Sutta, referred to earlier, is from DN II.

Element
15 Oct 11, 23:25
Do you know, Element, which suttas from the DN can be under this case?
hi KA

i do not know the DN very well. but i think one can only compare it to other suttas

for example, the Kevaddha Sutta is quite anti-Brahmanical and its only equivalent (to my knowledge) is MN 49, which is also anti-Brahmanical. both of these suttas contain the verse: "consciousness without feature, luminous all round, etc" as a description of Nibbana. so one can draw the conclusion they may be later additions to the suttas

the Mahanidana Sutta is different to the other suttas and the definitions of consciousness & nama-rupa in the Mahanidana Sutta and the exclusion of the six sense media make a strong case for the conclusion that the Buddha did not speak it

there are dozens of suttas that describe consciousness as the sixfold consciousness and only the Mahanidana Sutta describes consciousness in the way it does. (nama-rupa is probably the same)

;D


Maha-nidana Sutta

If there were no birth at all, in any way, of anything anywhere — i.e., of devas in the state of devas, of celestials in the state of celestials, of spirits in the state of spirits, of demons in the state of demons, of human beings in the human state, of quadrupeds in the state of quadrupeds, of birds in the state of birds, of snakes in the state of snakes, or of any being in its own state

If there were no craving at all, in any way, of anything anywhere — i.e., craving for sensuality, craving for becoming, craving for no becoming

And what are the six sense media? ABSENT from sutta

And this is the way to understand how, from name-&-form as a requisite condition comes contact. If the qualities, traits, themes, & indicators by which there is a description of name-group (mental activity) were all absent, would designation-contact with regard to the form-group (the physical properties)

And this is the way to understand how from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form. If consciousness were not to descend into the mother's womb, would name-and-form take shape in the womb?" If the consciousness of the young boy or girl were to be cut off, would name-and-form ripen, grow, and reach maturity?"

And what are fabrications? ABSENT from sutta

"And what is ignorance? ABSENT from sutta


Paticca-samuppada-vibhanga Sutta and Sammaditthi Sutta

And what is birth? Whatever birth, taking birth, descent, coming-to-be, coming-forth, appearance of aggregates, & acquisition of [sense] media of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called birth.

"And what is craving? These six are classes of craving: craving for forms, craving for sounds, craving for smells, craving for tastes, craving for tactile sensations, craving for ideas. This is called craving.

And what are the six sense media? These six are sense media: the eye-medium, the ear-medium, the nose-medium, the tongue-medium, the body-medium, the intellect-medium. These are called the six sense media.

And what is name-&-form? Feeling, perception, intention, contact, & attention: This is called name. The four great elements, and the form dependent on the four great elements: This is called form. This name & this form are called name-&-form.

And what is consciousness? These six are classes of consciousness: eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, nose-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, body-consciousness, intellect-consciousness. This is called consciousness.

And what are fabrications? These three are fabrications: bodily fabrications, verbal fabrications, mental fabrications. These are called fabrications.

"And what is ignorance? Not knowing stress, not knowing the origination of stress, not knowing the cessation of stress, not knowing the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress: This is called ignorance.

andyrobyn
15 Oct 11, 23:33
As Ajahn Sujato discusses in the blog Aloka-D found, due to there not being a chronology in the structure of the Suttas,at times it is difficult to get a context of when teachings were given.

Esho
16 Oct 11, 01:50
hi KA

i do not know the DN very well. but i think one can only compare it to other suttas

Thanks Element ;)

Element and Daverupa:

From the DN, the one with which I have given a careful reading is DN1. I feel that this discourse go with the main aim of the teachings of Buddha. Do you think is the case?

;D

Element
16 Oct 11, 02:48
hi, i have never read DN 1, it is too long for me :dunce:

Esho
16 Oct 11, 03:01
hi, i have never read DN 1, it is too long for me :dunce:

Oh... well, if you read it one day Element, it would be interesting to know your understandings,

;)

andyrobyn
16 Oct 11, 06:03
hi, i have never read DN 1, it is too long for me :dunce:

?????? :dontknow:

I think those moments when I can transcend the grip of wrong or incomplete views and a have a sense of clarity and peace are what keep me going these days - and my friends and family, of course :hug:

daverupa
16 Oct 11, 14:37
From the DN, the one with which I have given a careful reading is DN1. I feel that this discourse go with the main aim of the teachings of Buddha. Do you think is the case?

DN I (including DN 1) is altogether fine, it seems to me, although as with any Sutta - but especially in the Digha - it pays to keep the audience in mind.

Much of DN 1 seems to be deconstructing "yogic intuition" as a valid means of knowledge.

Element
16 Oct 11, 21:07
Much of DN 1 seems to be deconstructing "yogic intuition" as a valid means of knowledge.
i recall Sujato wrote somewhere the DN was mostly created or used for the purpose of propagating Buddhism to Brahmins/Hindus

Karma Yeshe
16 Oct 11, 22:08
I think that the way the Buddha taught changed during his lifetime -

When he first reached enlightenment he sat for days and was not going to teach due to his concern that he would not be understood.

Then he only taught the path of self liberation as he did not think that people would be ready to take on the Suffering of all beings.

Before his death he taught about continuing on the path.

I think that his worldview iin and of itself did not change as he had reached a complete understanding of all things, but was willing and able to alter how and what he taught based on the needs of his students.

stuka
20 Oct 11, 05:06
I think that the way the Buddha taught changed during his lifetime -

When he first reached enlightenment he sat for days and was not going to teach due to his concern that he would not be understood.

Then he only taught the path of self liberation as he did not think that people would be ready to take on the Suffering of all beings.

He only taught what is derisively referred to as "the path of self-liberation" because, as he put it, one who is drowning in a cesspit cannot save another.



Before his death he taught about continuing on the path.

He never taught a "second or third turning of the wheel of dharma"; those are the later contrivances of Brahmins, tantrists and other outsiders.



I think that his worldview iin and of itself did not change as he had reached a complete understanding of all things, but was willing and able to alter how and what he taught based on the needs of his students.

But what he taught did not change.

Karma Yeshe
21 Oct 11, 01:52
He only taught what is derisively referred to as "the path of self-liberation" because, as he put it, one who is drowning in a cesspit cannot save another.



He never taught a "second or third turning of the wheel of dharma"; those are the later contrivances of Brahmins, tantrists and other outsiders.



But what he taught did not change.

I completely respect the Path of self Liberation as a valid means to work toward Enlightenment. however, I am not sure what you mean when you say "later contrivances of Brahmins, tantrists and other outsiders."

Over time as people had time to work with and expand on the Teachings of the Buddha the 3 vehicles developed in a logical and systematic way so that all humans could benifit. One of the great beauties of the Dharma Teachings it that they are able to adapt to and encompass such a with range

To me this does not make those who came latter outsiders nor does it make the Teachings any less authentic.

All the Best

Element
21 Oct 11, 03:05
I completely respect the Path of self Liberation as a valid means to work toward Enlightenment. however, I am not sure what you mean when you say "later contrivances of Brahmins, tantrists and other outsiders."
hi KY

Stuka is probably taking a position from what is reported in the Pali suttas

in the Pali suttas, it is not reported the Buddha said all beings have Buddha-Nature or all sentient beings would be saved

when asked whether all sentient beings would be saved, it is reported in the Pali the Buddha remained silent

so what Stuka seems to be inferring the Pali view differs from the Mahayana view

where as the Buddha did not take a position on these matters, by keeping silent, it seems Stuka is taking & voicing a position

regards

;D


Uttiya, having directly known it, I teach the Dhamma to my disciples for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow & lamentation, for the disappearance of pain & distress, for the attainment of the right method & for the realization of Nibbana.

And, Master Gotama, when having directly known it, you teach the Dhamma to your disciples for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow & lamentation, for the disappearance of pain & distress, for the attainment of the right method & for the realization of Nibbana, will all the [whole] world be led [to release] or a half of it or a third?

When this was said, the Blessed One was silent.

Uttiya Sutta (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an10/an10.095.than.html)

Karma Yeshe
21 Oct 11, 03:13
hi KY

Stuka is probably taking a position from what is reported in the Pali suttas

in the Pali suttas, it is not reported the Buddha said all beings have Buddha-Nature or all sentient beings would be saved

in the Pali suttas, when ask whether all sentient beings would be saved, it is reported the Buddha remained silent

so what Stuka seems to be saying the Pali view differs from the Mahayana view

regards

;D

That is very Interesting to think about. I am in the Kagyu Lineage of TB and tend to focus in that direction due to that.

Do you have and links / references that you can send?

Thanks

Element
21 Oct 11, 03:17
hi KY

i posted a reference above and post another below

regards

;D


Then, having understood Brahma's invitation, out of compassion for beings, I surveyed the world with the eye of an Awakened One. As I did so, I saw beings with little dust in their eyes and those with much, those with keen faculties and those with dull, those with good attributes and those with bad, those easy to teach and those hard, some of them seeing disgrace & danger in the other world. Just as in a pond of blue or red or white lotuses, some lotuses — born & growing in the water — might flourish while immersed in the water, without rising up from the water; some might stand at an even level with the water; while some might rise up from the water and stand without being smeared by the water — so too, surveying the world with the eye of an Awakened One, I saw beings with little dust in their eyes and those with much, those with keen faculties and those with dull, those with good attributes and those with bad, those easy to teach and those hard, some of them seeing disgrace & danger in the other world.

Ariyapariyesana Sutta (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.026.than.html)

Karma Yeshe
21 Oct 11, 03:20
hi KY

i posted a reference above and post another below

regards

;D

Thanks !

Element
21 Oct 11, 03:21
I am not sure what you mean when you say "later contrivances of Brahmins, tantrists and other outsiders."
Stuka's phraseology probably comes from the following Pali sutta


...in the course of the future there will be monks who won't listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — are being recited. They won't lend ear, won't set their hearts on knowing them, won't regard these teachings as worth grasping or mastering.

But they will listen when discourses that are literary works — the works of poets, elegant in sound, elegant in rhetoric, the work of outsiders, words of disciples — are recited. They will lend ear and set their hearts on knowing them. They will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering.

Ani Sutta (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn20/sn20.007.than.html)

tjampel
21 Oct 11, 06:09
It's been said that
He never taught a "second or third turning of the wheel of dharma"; those are the later contrivances of Brahmins, tantrists and other outsiders.. ("He" refers to Sakyamuni Buddha). Quote is from reply by Stuka.

Firstly, I'd be perfectly happy if Arya Nagarjuna personally wrote the Perfection of Wisdom and if Arya Asanga (with or without help from Lord Maitreya) penned 3rd Turning of the Wheel Sutras pertaining to wisdom instead of just commenting upon them. It has no bearing whatsoever as to whether the teachings contained in these works are sound or whether they are worth studying or not. I also think the Suttas of the Pali Canon are worth relying on and should be studied by Mahayanists; I'd like to see a greater trend in this direction; so I have no preference; I am interested in gaining correct view and in instructions that help liberate.

Secondly, I have no faith that all or most of the Pali Canon consists of the actual speech of the Buddha. Indeed the person who made this quote doesn't consider large parts of the Pali Canon to be the spoken words Buddha either (at least that's what I've read her/him say), since it's full of superstitious, yet entertaining stories about the Buddha's past lives, as well as struggles with demons, predictions, teachings in other realms, a declaration that he could have extended his life a really long time if he'd been asked, and the like.

Is it reasonable that someone in 2011 can accurately pick and choose what was totally authentic within the Pali Canon and what was just made up, and then, with the same degree of surety, declare all teachings not contained in the 3 baskets as DEFINITELY not the Buddha's words? Recently, for example, this same person decided that a particular Sutta that he didn't agree with probably wasn't spoken by the Buddha---it just didn't sound like something he'd say. That's fine, but if the Pali Canon is so filled with dubious content then why not simply examine works from all three turnings based on whether they make sense or not.
Go ahead and attack the Heart Sutra and explain why it makes no sense; this would do far more to advance debate across traditions than to merely reject all writings not from the Pali Canon as having no merit. I would enjoy debating on that basis rather than on the basis of whether the Heart Sutra is a suitable topic for debate by two different types of Buddhists (if I'm to even be considered a Buddhist---perhaps not by some here).

Now, as to the assertions in the quote above regarding the origins of the 2nd and 3rd turning:

These works have nothing to do with Tantra nor did anyone who wrote them, assuming they were written by others, practice Tantra. Read Davidson on the introduction of Tantra into Indian Buddhism (but any other scholar would say essentially the same thing; it was a process that didn't really begin until the 5th century at the earliest, more likely the 6th century). All the 2nd and 3rd turning Sutras occurred hundreds of years earlier. They had been translated and were being taught in China and many other places well before Tantra began being practiced by Buddhists. Moreover the subject matter is completely different.

Also Brahmins didn't write the 2nd or 3rd turnings. They disagreed on all the fundamental points, and, especially with regard to the 2nd Turning, which is the basis for the Middle Way schools, and is a clear refutation of all Brahmin schools extant at the time, because it rejects any basis whatsoever, any essence, any soul, any self, and also rejects nihilism completely. The only Brahmin teacher who taught anything like this, Sankhara (who co-opted much of what the Buddha taught) wasn't born until at least 450-500 years after these Sutras had been commented upon. And even Sankara couldn't get away from positing an existent of sorts (union with Brahman), which was rejected by the 2nd Turning.

There's simply no concordance between these philosophies and that of any then extant Brahmin tradition; Arya Nagarjuna spends most of his time in the Root text on the Perfection of Wisdom and the 70 Stanzas on emptiness debunking Brahmin theories of that day through showing how their arguments result in absurd consequences. He doesn't refute a single teaching of the Buddha in his works----because he was a Buddhist who accepted the teachings of the Buddha. Yet he spends most of the time dealing with a mythical opponent----yes, that's the Brahmins he's refuting

As for the tag of "outsiders",firstly, those who commented on these works were mostly scholars at Nalanda university, the largest Buddhist university in the world, and had studied the Pali Canons extensively; for most of this period both Suttas and Sutras were studied, though not necessarily with equal emphasis by all monks. To be sure, there were divisions; yet the Pali Canons have always been considered fundamental and correct teachings by the Mahayana.

To say that the works themselves, if written by others, were the works of any of those three categories is equally foolish, especially if you read the works. They refute the nihilist and eternalist arguments made by Brahmins (here I am speaking specifically of 2nd Turning works and, additionally the 3rd Turning works from which the Yogacharya tradition was born---those focusing on perfection of wisdom.

The works I've referenced all uphold the fundamental teachings of the Buddha; they basically extend the idea of selflessness of the personal self to all phenomena (the Buddha stated that things lack any essence of their own...they lack a self); there are differences between the 2nd and 3rd turning with regard to some kind of purified mind as an underlying basis (suchness) and also with regard to the idea of a storehouse consciousness (where karmic seeds are stored; Nagarjuna rejected this as a kind of eternalism); Madyamika Prasangika refuses to accept any basis at all; they prefer that we always stand in quicksand; any existent is a crutch.

These are not topics that the Buddha expressed disagreement with; he didn't express this concept in the same way in his teachings; his aim was personal liberation; analyzing the arising(s) that one calls "I", the inherently/self-sufficiently existing self, the truly existent self, whatever you want to call it is enough to achieve this state. He had no interest in proving that there were really part-less particles or truly existent atoms; those arguments were made by various schools well after the Buddha died. The Buddha also used examples from the phenomenal world not to prove the existence of material objects, but to make his teachings accessible.

tjampel
21 Oct 11, 06:21
Stuka's phraseology probably comes from the following Pali sutta

Do you then agree that the Buddha was able to know the future? There are various types of predictions in the Pali Canon. Are they just the Buddha surmising what may happen down the road, based on his knowledge of human nature, or did the Buddha have the ability to actually see future events? This is not intended as sarcasm either; I am trying to determine what parts of the Pali Canon you consider to be the actual speech of the Buddha.

BTW, I agree that those of us who study Mahayana works should also study the actual Suttas, especially now that they're so easily available. I'm actually quite grateful to you and Stuka and Aloka and others because you've kind of forced me to read some of them. I was just reading the Lesser Discourse on Emptiness---I think MN 121, for example, and realized that my own meditation teacher used this exact technique during a series of guided meditations last year. I sent him the Sutta and thanked him for teaching.

tjampel
21 Oct 11, 06:26
hi KY

i posted a reference above and post another below

regards

;D

Hi Element, to follow up on my last query, what's your take on this Sutta? I mean, I don't really believe there's a Brahma; did the Buddha? Was he speaking metaphorically here? Is this an example of a spurious Sutta? Or do you think there's really a being called Brahma who really asked the Buddha to teach, and that it was this impetus that caused him to relent from his initial reticence?

tjampel
21 Oct 11, 07:12
hi KY

Stuka is probably taking a position from what is reported in the Pali suttas

in the Pali suttas, it is not reported the Buddha said all beings have Buddha-Nature or all sentient beings would be saved

when asked whether all sentient beings would be saved, it is reported in the Pali the Buddha remained silent

so what Stuka seems to be inferring the Pali view differs from the Mahayana view

where as the Buddha did not take a position on these matters, by keeping silent, it seems Stuka is taking & voicing a position

regards

;D

I really hope we've arrived at a point where the understanding of "Buddha Nature" improves from where it clearly is today. And most misunderstanding is within the Mahayana community. When you are discussing something with no essence, something not truly existent in the sense of being able to point to "it", a term which means nothing more than the fact that mind is clear and luminous/aware, absent adventitious phenomena, conjoined with the understanding that, what arises in a mind that is clear and aware and completely undefiled by any adventitious phenomena is in accord with reality, then you see how the epithet "Buddha Nature" comes about.

If we had the ability to remove all such adventitious phenomena, all the accretions from a lifetime (or many lifetimes, take your pick) of fundamental ignorance, followed by the other 11 links, with fundamental ignorance referring to the misunderstanding phenomena and then holding to that mistaken understanding, then, with a mind that doesn't mistake this for that, with a mind that always sees that and understands it as that, sees this and understands it as this----then this is a mind that is clear and aware. This is a mind in which Buddha Nature is manifest. But even here Buddha Nature has no true existence; it's empty of Being itself.

So, based on the foregoing it's also correct to say that Buddha Nature is the nature of this mind even when it is encumbered by fundamental ignorance 24/7. Not because such a being can ever access it in her/his lifetime; rather because that's the nature of all mind, even theirs, if they were to remove all the adventitious defilements which condition how they experience phenomena, how they act, etc. If they achieve liberation they would manifest this mind. So it's a potential that can be manifested, not an existent that is manifesting in any way anywhere.

What I see as important about Buddha Nature is the sense of understanding that we're not trying to reach some far off place, obtain something from another being or a distant exotic place; we're trying to remove impediments (we call them "blockers") which cause us to engage in a constant stream of cognitive error. Frankly I think it's used mainly as a teaching tool to encourage students to realize that their own mind can be a Buddha Mind; you don't have to go get it from somewhere else.

Element
21 Oct 11, 08:15
...based on his knowledge of human nature or the ability to actually see future events?
probably the former, possibly the later or possibly a combination of both...the Pali suttas do not deny various psychic powers


...what's your take on this Sutta? I mean, I don't really believe there's a Brahma; did the Buddha? Was he speaking metaphorically here?
again, one must not deny various psychic powers in order to take Brahma Sahampati literally...Brahma Sahampati, imo, could have been a human being with various psychic powers...again, the Pali suttas do not deny those from other religions had psychic powers....

regards ;D

Element
21 Oct 11, 08:40
I really hope we've arrived at a point where the understanding of "Buddha Nature" improves from where it clearly is today. And most misunderstanding is within the Mahayana community. When you are discussing something with no essence, something not truly existent in the sense of being able to point to "it", a term which means nothing more than the fact that mind is clear and luminous/aware, absent adventitious phenomena, conjoined with the understanding that, what arises in a mind that is clear and aware and completely undefiled by any adventitious phenomena is in accord with reality, then you see how the epithet "Buddha Nature" comes about.
hi Tjampel

i suppose the Pali may say the luminous state of mind you are referring to is capable of being defiled and thus it is argueable that a mind still capable of being defiled may not represent the mind of a Buddha

for example, in his first utterance after enlightenment, the Buddha said: "My mind has entered into that state in which nothing can stir it up again"

regards ;D


This mind, O monks, is luminous, but it is defiled by adventitious defilements. The uninstructed worldling does not understand this as it really is; therefore for him there is no mental development.

This mind, O monks, is luminous, and it is freed from adventitious defilements. The instructed noble disciple understands this as it really is; therefore for him there is mental development.

AN 1:6.1–2 (http://www.bps.lk/olib/wh/wh155-p.html)

Aloka
21 Oct 11, 08:54
Ajahn Chah used the term Buddha-nature in ''A Taste of Freedom'' as follows:



"So whether standing, walking, sitting or lying we should have sati to watch over and look after the mind. When we see external things it's like seeing internals. When we see internals it's the same as seeing externals. If we understand this then we can hear the teaching of the Buddha.

If we understand this, then we can say that Buddha-nature, the 'One who knows', has been established. It knows the external. It knows the internal. It understands all things which arise. Understanding like this, then sitting at the foot of a tree we hear the Buddha's teaching. Standing, walking, sitting or lying, we hear the Buddha's teaching. Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching and thinking, we hear the Buddha's teaching.

The Buddha is just this 'One who knows' within this very mind. It knows the Dhamma, it investigates the Dhamma. It's not that the Buddha-nature, the 'one who knows', arises. The mind becomes illumined."

http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books/Ajahn_Chah_A_Taste_of_Freedom.htm



.

tjampel
21 Oct 11, 13:33
hi Tjampel

i suppose the Pali may say the luminous state of mind you are referring to is capable of being defiled and thus it is argueable that a mind still capable of being defiled may not represent the mind of a Buddha

for example, in his first utterance after enlightenment, the Buddha said: "My mind has entered into that state in which nothing can stir it up again"

regards ;D

The way I understand Buddha nature is exactly as you've quoted...from AN 1:6.1–2
It doesn't say that defilements are added or can be added; it says that mind is luminous; at the same time there are defilements. And that's how Buddha nature is taught; there are kleshas; they are not caused by luminous mind; they are obscuring what's luminous. they are not brought about by the properties of luminous mind; they are brought about by ignorance; ignorance is not a property of luminous mind; it's a defilement of it.

I have a feeling that, fundamentally we agree; the danger of teaching Buddha nature is clear. People think we're all awesome Buddhas deep inside; it's not like that; what matters is the moment to moment flux that is mind + kleshas manifesting in any moment. But take away every defilement (all the "blockers") and the Buddha's words in AN 1:6.1–2 speak for themselves.

tjampel
21 Oct 11, 13:36
Ajahn Chah used the term Buddha-nature in ''A Taste of Freedom'' as follows:



.

I really love this quote. Just saved it!

thanks :-)

Aloka
21 Oct 11, 13:42
the danger of teaching Buddha nature is clear.

This article "Freedom from Buddha Nature " by Thanissaro Bhikkhu might possibly be of some interest:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/freedomfrombuddhanature.html

tjampel
21 Oct 11, 14:16
Great article;

This is key for me---this is why it's dangerous when taught to the wrong people:


These points become especially important as you reach the subtle levels of fabrication on the more advanced stages of the path. If you're primed to look for innate natures, you'll tend to see innate natures, especially when you reach the luminous, non-dual stages of concentration called themeless, emptiness, and undirected. You'll get stuck on whichever stage matches your assumptions about what your awakened nature is. But if you're primed to look for the process of fabrication, you'll see these stages as forms of fabrication, and this will enable you to deconstruct them, to pacify them, until you encounter the peace that's not fabricated at all.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/a...dhanature.html

This is why it's far better, as my own teacher says, to simply look at all the ignorant arisings of our own obscured/defiled mind let that be the meditation object; don't look for some perfected mind hiding under all those layers; look at the layers of deception; confront them; meditate on them, apply analysis, see if they hold up; in that way you can see through the deception.

And, by all means, don't meditate on them presuming they're wrong, so as to be able to defeat them either; meditate on them as if they might be correct; as if things might really have essence, self, and all the rest; and then dig deep and examine what that would entail. It's just as bad to meditate on lack of self looking for that magical "lack of self" as it is playing "find the Buddha nature" in my mind. You can never find either. Lack of self is just that---not finding it; Buddha nature is the same....not finding defilements; arisings, which ebb and flow within awareness in accord with their dependent and ephemeral nature.

At some point you will not find any more deception. And you will discern it; the mind's final defenses breached; then you can enjoy luminous awareness (not a mind in the sense of a substantial thing) free of adventitious defilement. Until then best to ignore it; perhaps some need this encouragement; they need to know that they can do it.

srivijaya
21 Oct 11, 14:38
analysis, see if they hold up; in that way you can see through the deception.
Hi tjampel,
I may be about to offend many here but in my opinion 'analysis' alone is unable to do more than scratch the surface of the deception. This is part of the big problem I have with the prasangika philosophy of the two-truths and the 'newly-invented' and self-appointed dry-insight schools. We can deduce an absence of self, having followed a rigorous logical inquiry but it's just more of the same self-deluded dialogue. We can 'convince' ourselves that Buddha was right on every single point, but it's just an opinion and no more, regardless of how accurate our deductions seem.


Lack of self is just that---not finding it
Exactly. It was a discovery, not an ontology, philosophical position or belief. Meditative attainment is required for that insight because the truth of it manifests within that state.

Trying to reason and analyze ones way to insight, is like watching a spider try to crawl up out of the bathtub. It gets so far and slides right back down.

Namaste
Kris

stuka
21 Oct 11, 17:14
hi KY

Stuka is probably taking a position from what is reported in the Pali suttas

in the Pali suttas, it is not reported the Buddha said all beings have Buddha-Nature or all sentient beings would be saved

when asked whether all sentient beings would be saved, it is reported in the Pali the Buddha remained silent

so what Stuka seems to be inferring the Pali view differs from the Mahayana view

where as the Buddha did not take a position on these matters, by keeping silent, it seems Stuka is taking & voicing a position

regards

;D


Element. I can speak for myself, thanks.

The Buddha took a position on his teachings. He speaks in the Ani Sutta:


Staying at Savatthi. "Monks, there once was a time when the Dasarahas had a large drum called 'Summoner.' Whenever Summoner was split, the Dasarahas inserted another peg in it, until the time came when Summoner's original wooden body had disappeared and only a conglomeration of pegs remained. [1]

"In the same way, in the course of the future there will be monks who won't listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — are being recited. They won't lend ear, won't set their hearts on knowing them, won't regard these teachings as worth grasping or mastering. But they will listen when discourses that are literary works — the works of poets, elegant in sound, elegant in rhetoric, the work of outsiders, words of disciples — are recited. They will lend ear and set their hearts on knowing them. They will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering.

"In this way the disappearance of the discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — will come about.

"Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — are being recited. We will lend ear, will set our hearts on knowing them, will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering.' That's how you should train yourselves."

stuka
21 Oct 11, 17:25
I completely respect the Path of self Liberation as a valid means to work toward Enlightenment.

That would seem to be a good things, as it is the Path the Buddha taught.



however, I am not sure what you mean when you say "later contrivances of Brahmins, tantrists and other outsiders."

It means that the Buddha did not teach "three turnings of the wheel of dharma", as is claimed by the Brahmins, tantrists and outsiders who attempt to attribute these to him.[/quote]

The Buddhas teachings were not in need of embellishment or "improvement".



Over time as people had time to work with and expand on the Teachings of the Buddha the 3 vehicles developed in a logical and systematic way so that all humans could benifit.

Others added their own to his teachings and many attempted to put their own in his mouth, but "Then he only taught the path of self liberation as he did not think that people would be ready to take on the Suffering of all beings" is an unfounded statement based in "three-turnings" mythology.





One of the great beauties of the Dharma Teachings it that they are able to adapt to and encompass such a with range

The reason they are universal is because they are not based in superstition and myth.




To me this does not make those who came latter outsiders nor does it make the Teachings any less authentic.


The fact that the teachings of outsiders have adopted the universal principles of the Buddha does not make them "the Teachings" of the Buddha.

stuka
21 Oct 11, 19:23
It's been said that


He never taught a "second or third turning of the wheel of dharma"; those are the later contrivances of Brahmins, tantrists and other outsiders.

. ("He" refers to Sakyamuni Buddha). Quote is from reply by Stuka.

If you are going to address what I say, perhaps you would speak to me, rather than past me.


Firstly, I'd be perfectly happy if Arya Nagarjuna personally wrote the Perfection of Wisdom and if Arya Asanga (with or without help from Lord Maitreya) penned 3rd Turning of the Wheel Sutras pertaining to wisdom instead of just commenting upon them.
So you are at least willing to entertain the idea of possibly maybe accepting some realities over fiction. At least it's a start....


It has no bearing whatsoever as to whether the teachings contained in these works are sound or whether they are worth studying or not.
No one has claimed that it did. They are unsound on their own merits.


I also think the Suttas of the Pali Canon are worth relying on and should be studied by Mahayanists; I'd like to see a greater trend in this direction; so I have no preference; I am interested in gaining correct view and in instructions that help liberate.
Happy to hear that the teachings of the Buddha are at least "worth relying on"...


Secondly, I have no faith that all or most of the Pali Canon consists of the actual speech of the Buddha.
Let's say that none of them are. Then you are left with a body of work that accords with reality, and a body that does not. Unfortunately for your arguments, your "second and third turnings" do not.

Indeed the person who made this quote doesn't consider large parts of the Pali Canon to be the spoken words Buddha either (at least that's what I've read her/him say), since it's full of superstitious, yet entertaining stories about the Buddha's past lives, as well as struggles with demons, predictions, teachings in other realms, a declaration that he could have extended his life a really long time if he'd been asked, and the like.
If you are talking to or about me, then indicate that you are. Talking past people is cowardly.


Is it reasonable that someone in 2011 can accurately pick and choose what was totally authentic within the Pali Canon and what was just made up, and then, with the same degree of surety, declare all teachings not contained in the 3 baskets as DEFINITELY not the Buddha's words?
You misrepresent me greatly.


Recently, for example, this same person decided that a particular Sutta that he didn't agree with probably wasn't spoken by the Buddha---it just didn't sound like something he'd say.
Obviously you have not seen the Buddha's "Four Great References". Again you misrepresent me.


That's fine, but if the Pali Canon is so filled with dubious content then why not simply examine works from all three turnings based on whether they make sense or not.
I have already done that, too. But again, there were no "three turnings" of the Buddha's teachings.


Go ahead and attack the Heart Sutra and explain why it makes no sense; this would do far more to advance debate across traditions than to merely reject all writings not from the Pali Canon as having no merit.
What is does, is it does not accord with the Buddha's teachings.


I would enjoy debating on that basis rather than on the basis of whether the Heart Sutra is a suitable topic for debate by two different types of Buddhists (if I'm to even be considered a Buddhist---perhaps not by some here).
So find someone you can enjoy debating the alleged merits of the so-called heart sutra with. For me, it does not accord with the teachings of the Buddha and I have no interest in it. But knock yourself out.


Now, as to the assertions in the quote above regarding the origins of the 2nd and 3rd turning:

These works have nothing to do with Tantra blah blah blah......
You are splitting hairs and going off on a huge Roseanne Rosannadanna tangent. The point is that they are not teachings of the Buddha.


Also Brahmins didn't write the 2nd or 3rd turnings blah blah blah...
Really? Nagarjuna was a Brahmin. Asanga was a Brahmin. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhist_Brahmins


As for the tag of "outsiders",firstly, those who commented on these works were mostly scholars at Nalanda university, the largest Buddhist university in the world, and had studied the Pali Canons extensively; for most of this period both Suttas and Sutras were studied, though not necessarily with equal emphasis by all monks.
The fact that they were "studying at Buddhist universities" does not make their claims in accordance with the Buddha's teachings and it certainly does not make their claims the Buddha's teachings. There are plenty of "Buddhist" universities today the bulk of whose teachings is nonsense that has nothing at all to do with the Buddha's teachings.


To be sure, there were divisions; yet the Pali Canons have always been considered fundamental and correct teachings by the Mahayana.
They are given lip service to be sure. And then cheerfully ignored.


To say that the works themselves, if written by others, were the works of any of those three categories is equally foolish, especially if you read the works.
Love the revisionism. You call me a fool on a point on which you clearly lie on the wrong side of fact.


They refute the nihilist and eternalist arguments made by Brahmins (here I am speaking specifically of 2nd Turning works and, additionally the 3rd Turning works from which the Yogacharya tradition was born---those focusing on perfection of wisdom.

They attempted to turn the Buddha's teachings into the sort of ontological declarations the Buddha refused to indulge in. And stuff their ontological speculative views into the Buddha's mouth. And their own assumptions and assertions were eternalist as well.


The works I've referenced all uphold the fundamental teachings of the Buddha; they basically extend the idea of selflessness of the personal self to all phenomena (the Buddha stated that things lack any essence of their own...they lack a self)
And turned them into Avaita vadanta. The Buddha's expression regarding phenomena was that "this is not me, this is not mine, this is not my self". Their extensions are merely irrelevant distortions of the Buddha's teachings.


; there are differences between the 2nd and 3rd turning with regard to some kind of purified mind as an underlying basis (suchness)
More irrelevant ontological distortions and speculations.


and also with regard to the idea of a storehouse consciousness (where karmic seeds are stored; Nagarjuna rejected this as a kind of eternalism);
The Brahmin Asanga's aliyavijnana was a clear attempt to circumvent the Buddha's adamant declaration that he did not teach vinnana as a vehicle for reincarnation-superstitions. Asanga used sophistry to invent an "Atman-that-is-not-an-Atman".


Madyamika Prasangika refuses to accept any basis at all; they prefer that we always stand in quicksand; any existent is a crutch.
The Buddha declared MP's premises "a wilderness of views, a thicket of views, a canker, an arrow".


These are not topics that the Buddha expressed disagreement with;
Yes, he did.


he didn't express this concept in the same way in his teachings; his aim was personal liberation; analyzing the arising(s) that one calls "I", the inherently/self-sufficiently existing self, the truly existent self, whatever you want to call it is enough to achieve this state.
" The inherently/self-sufficiently existing self, the truly existent self.." is an attavadan assumption. The Buddha's indictment was of self-conceptualization, not some metaphysical/ontological/philosophical speculation/superstition.


He had no interest in proving that there were really part-less particles or truly existent atoms; those arguments were made by various schools well after the Buddha died. The Buddha also used examples from the phenomenal world not to prove the existence of material objects, but to make his teachings accessible.
That is true. And yet all this very same nonsense drowns out the teachings of the Buddha in the dialogue of the "Buddhist" world.

tjampel
21 Oct 11, 20:54
If you are going to address what I say, perhaps you would speak to me, rather than past me.

So you are at least willing to entertain the idea of possibly maybe accepting some realities over fiction. At least it's a start....

No one has claimed that it did. They are unsound on their own merits.

Happy to hear that the teachings of the Buddha are at least "worth relying on"...

Let's say that none of them are. Then you are left with a body of work that accords with reality, and a body that does not. Unfortunately for your arguments, your "second and third turnings" do not.

If you are talking to or about me, then indicate that you are. Talking past people is cowardly.

You misrepresent me greatly.

Obviously you have not seen the Buddha's "Four Great References". Again you misrepresent me.

I have already done that, too. But again, there were no "three turnings" of the Buddha's teachings.

What is does, is it does not accord with the Buddha's teachings.

So find someone you can enjoy debating the alleged merits of the so-called heart sutra with. For me, it does not accord with the teachings of the Buddha and I have no interest in it. But knock yourself out.

You are splitting hairs and going off on a huge Roseanne Rosannadanna tangent. The point is that they are not teachings of the Buddha.

Really? Nagarjuna was a Brahmin. Asanga was a Brahmin. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhist_Brahmins

The fact that they were "studying at Buddhist universities" does not make their claims in accordance with the Buddha's teachings and it certainly does not make their claims the Buddha's teachings. There are plenty of "Buddhist" universities today the bulk of whose teachings is nonsense that has nothing at all to do with the Buddha's teachings.

They are given lip service to be sure. And then cheerfully ignored.

Love the revisionism. You call me a fool on a point on which you clearly lie on the wrong side of fact.

They attempted to turn the Buddha's teachings into the sort of ontological declarations the Buddha refused to indulge in. And stuff their ontological speculative views into the Buddha's mouth. And their own assumptions and assertions were eternalist as well.

And turned them into Avaita vadanta. The Buddha's expression regarding phenomena was that "this is not me, this is not mine, this is not my self". Their extensions are merely irrelevant distortions of the Buddha's teachings.

More irrelevant ontological distortions and speculations.

The Brahmin Asanga's aliyavijnana was a clear attempt to circumvent the Buddha's adamant declaration that he did not teach vinnana as a vehicle for reincarnation-superstitions. Asanga used sophistry to invent an "Atman-that-is-not-an-Atman".

The Buddha declared MP's premises "a wilderness of views, a thicket of views, a canker, an arrow".

Yes, he did.

" The inherently/self-sufficiently existing self, the truly existent self.." is an attavadan assumption. The Buddha's indictment was of self-conceptualization, not some metaphysical/ontological/philosophical speculation/superstition.

That is true. And yet all this very same nonsense drowns out the teachings of the Buddha in the dialogue of the "Buddhist" world.

I identified you when I used your quote. I just decided to use it as an assertion. I think I quoted you accurately.


It's been said that
"He never taught a "second or third turning of the wheel of dharma"; those are the later contrivances of Brahmins, tantrists and other outsiders."
. ("He" refers to Sakyamuni Buddha). Quote is from reply by Stuka.

Do you wish to speak to me? Happy to do so privately. To me the Mahayana, most particularly, the work of Arya Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, and Chandrakirti is the product of Buddhist thought and is inspired by the Buddha's words. To you it's clearly worthless superstitious drivel reinforcing the ideas of Bramins. Seems to be an insurmountable divide. Do we have a reason to debate any of this publicly if we can't agree on the most basic things? If so let me know...privately, please.

I did/do thank you for getting me to read various Suttas. I do read the Sutta you quote when you reply to my posts, though I haven't been able to achieve the interpretations you have...but I read them and think about them, and, as a result have also started researching them more on my own and reading others. I just emailed my teacher the lesser discourse on emptiness (MN 121, I think) because I realized that he used it when conducting a guided meditation a year ago. I thanked him for this.

take care

TJ

stuka
21 Oct 11, 22:16
I identified you when I used your quote. I just decided to use it as an assertion. I think I quoted you accurately.

You quoted me accurately, and then you misrepresented what I said. And then you attemted to speak past me as if I were not a party to this discussion: "...the person who made this quote...".




Do you wish to speak to me?

I am already speaking to you.


Happy to do so privately.

I am speaking to you in public. When you address what I say in public, whether you address me or attempt to speak past me, I will respond in public. And I can't help but notice that you avoid addressing my responses to you. In public.



To me the Mahayana, most particularly, the work of Arya Nagarjuna,

...a Brahmin.


Aryadeva,

...a Brahmin.


and Chandrakirti

...a Brahmin.



is the product of Buddhist thought and is inspired by the Buddha's words.

More like the product of Brahmin thought with a dabbling of Buddhist influence.



To you it's clearly worthless superstitious drivel reinforcing the ideas of Bramins.

...like Nagarjuna, Arayadeva, Chandrakirti, Buddhaghosa, Asanga...



Seems to be an insurmountable divide. Do we have a reason to debate any of this publicly if we can't agree on the most basic things?

Sure we do. You address what I say here (whether directly or indirectly and passive-aggressively as you did here), and I respond here. You do not and, will never, dictate what I post publicly or privately, thanks.


If so let me know...privately, please.

I have let you know in public, thanks.

Element
21 Oct 11, 23:08
The way I understand Buddha nature is exactly as you've quoted...from AN 1:6.1–2
It doesn't say that defilements are added or can be added; it says that mind is luminous; at the same time there are defilements. And that's how Buddha nature is taught; there are kleshas; they are not caused by luminous mind; they are obscuring what's luminous. they are not brought about by the properties of luminous mind; they are brought about by ignorance; ignorance is not a property of luminous mind; it's a defilement of it.

I have a feeling that, fundamentally we agree; the danger of teaching Buddha nature is clear. People think we're all awesome Buddhas deep inside; it's not like that; what matters is the moment to moment flux that is mind + kleshas manifesting in any moment. But take away every defilement (all the "blockers") and the Buddha's words in AN 1:6.1–2 speak for themselves.
tjampel

your view still does not resonate with me. i am more inclined to correlate the nature of the Buddha with wisdom

i gave my opinion, which said the mind of a Buddha cannot be defiled

imo, a luminous mind devoid of defilement inhibiting wisdom cannot be the mind of a Buddha

to end, the Pali suttas mention both luminosity of mind & lucidity of wisdom

it seems the Buddha characterised himself as possessing lucidity of wisdom

regards

;D


Sariputta, I am now old, aged, burdened with years, advanced in life and come to the last stage: my years have turned eighty. Even if you have to carry me about on a bed, still there will be no change in the lucidity of the Tathagata's wisdom.

MN 12 (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.012.ntbb.html)

Karma Yeshe
22 Oct 11, 03:47
That would seem to be a good things, as it is the Path the Buddha taught.



It means that the Buddha did not teach "three turnings of the wheel of dharma", as is claimed by the Brahmins, tantrists and outsiders who attempt to attribute these to him

The Buddhas teachings were not in need of embellishment or "improvement".



Others added their own to his teachings and many attempted to put their own in his mouth, but "Then he only taught the path of self liberation as he did not think that people would be ready to take on the Suffering of all beings" is an unfounded statement based in "three-turnings" mythology.




The reason they are universal is because they are not based in superstition and myth.





The fact that the teachings of outsiders have adopted the universal principles of the Buddha does not make them "the Teachings" of the Buddha.

Forgive me if I am not quite getting what you are getting at but -

You seem to be concerned that the students of the Buddha were able to use his inital teachings as a way to help releave the suffering of other Beings by using the method of mind training that he taught as a springboard to bring them to the point where they would be willing to take on the pain of others in a systematic way and to help to end that pain.

In my work with people who suffer from Dementia disorders I use the Teachings of the Buddha each and every day to center myself and to disipline my mind so that I do not become overwhelmed. As a practicing Tibetan Buddhist both myself and those I work with have benifited from both the core teachings of the Buddha and from all of the Lamas of the Kagyu Lineage who maintained the teachings in an unbroken chain that extends back for thousands of years. Others from the other Tibetan/india and other lineages have been helped in the same way.

From what I have been reading in your posts it seems as though you think this is somehow disrespectful to the core teachings of the Buddha and this is where you and I would disagree.

all the Best.

tjampel
22 Oct 11, 03:59
@stuka
OK, what reason do we have to debate? As entertainment for others?

I've debated with many others here and, even though there are areas where we fundamentally disagree and will probably never agree, we're now able to have a relatively relaxed and intelligent conversation much of the time (this was admittedly not so at first with several people here). While I can't speak for any of those with whom I debate, I think it's beneficial for me; it enhances my understanding of topics that I don't know much about and provides a different perspective on topics which are generally presented from a different point of view within my tradition. So I have a reason to engage in discussion and debate with those people....and with you too, of course, if such exchanges were possible between us

I regret that it's not currently possible for us to have a productive debate; I do NOT mean that sarcastically. I simply don't find it worthwhile at this time. I'd be happy of that situation were to change.

I believe (my personal opinion only, but that's all that matters between us) that debate should lead to a better understanding of the topic(s) being discussed. It's not about merely contradiction and attempting to demonstrate superior knowledge on some topic; it's about showing that what the opponent says is inconsistent with the opponent's own view. If you can establish that common core of belief with your opponent, then you can really change their mind on a topic with great capacity to benefit, because, if you're a good debater, they are forced to accept that their debate assertion is contrary to their own beliefs. Citing a Sutta is effective where both parties can agree on what the Sutta means. If they can't it's a waste of time.

So, let's see; we don't agree on what the Suttas you cite mean. That means that you use them to support your position when I think they support mine or are neutral with respect to the issue at hand. We don't agree on the meaning of individual words in them, which makes it difficult to come to any agreement about the overarching themes and intent behind them. We don't even agree whether they are valid Suttas (just referring to the Pali Canon here).

I'm happy to debate you if it's on a topic where there's some agreement, some basis. Maybe we can debate on the First Noble Truth? Maybe we can find something we both agree upon. That's something I'd actually enjoy doing and which would be of benefit to me, at least. I'm not sure this would interest you; if so happy to give it a try.

FBM
22 Oct 11, 04:01
Element. I can speak for myself, thanks.

The Buddha took a position on his teachings. He speaks in the Ani Sutta:

Ah! Thanks, stuka! I've been trying to remember the name of that sutta. There are several suttas that describe the causes of the disappearance of the dhamma, and they keep me inspired to hold all teachers' and masters' words as of lesser import than the Pali suttas themselves.




Saddhammapatirupaka Sutta: A Counterfeit of the True Dhamma


translated from the Pali by

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

© 2005–2011

Alternate translation: Walshe



On one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Then Ven. Maha Kassapa went to the Blessed One and on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, "What is the cause, lord, what is the reason, why before there were fewer training rules and yet more monks established in final gnosis, whereas now there are more training rules and yet fewer monks established in final gnosis?"

"That's the way it is, Kassapa. When beings are degenerating and the true Dhamma is disappearing, there are more training rules and yet fewer monks established in final gnosis. There is no disappearance of the true Dhamma as long as a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has not arisen in the world, but there is the disappearance of the true Dhamma when a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has arisen in the world. Just as there is no disappearance of gold as long as a counterfeit of gold has not arisen in the world, but there is the disappearance of gold when a counterfeit of gold has arisen in the world, in the same way there is no disappearance of the true Dhamma as long as a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has not arisen in the world, but there is the disappearance of the true Dhamma when a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has arisen in the world.[1]

"It's not the earth property that makes the true Dhamma disappear. It's not the water property... the fire property... the wind property that makes the true Dhamma disappear.[2] It's worthless people who arise right here [within the Sangha] who make the true Dhamma disappear. The true Dhamma doesn't disappear the way a boat sinks all at once.

"These five downward-leading qualities tend to the confusion and disappearance of the true Dhamma. Which five? There is the case where the monks, nuns, male lay followers, & female lay followers live without respect, without deference, for the Teacher. They live without respect, without deference, for the Dhamma... for the Sangha... for the Training... for concentration. These are the five downward-leading qualities that tend to the confusion and disappearance of the true Dhamma.

"But these five qualities tend to the stability, the non-confusion, the non-disappearance of the true Dhamma. Which five? There is the case where the monks, nuns, male lay followers, & female lay followers live with respect, with deference, for the Teacher. They live with respect, with deference, for the Dhamma... for the Sangha... for the Training... for concentration. These are the five qualities that tend to the stability, the non-confusion, the non-disappearance of the true Dhamma."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn16/sn16.013.than.html

tjampel
22 Oct 11, 04:25
tjampel

your view still does not resonate with me. i am more inclined to correlate the nature of the Buddha with wisdom

i gave my opinion, which said the mind of a Buddha cannot be defiled

imo, a luminous mind devoid of defilement inhibiting wisdom cannot be the mind of a Buddha

to end, the Pali suttas mention both luminosity of mind & lucidity of wisdom

it seems the Buddha characterised himself as possessing lucidity of wisdom

regards

;D

Hi Element;

I understand what you're saying. My concern is that lucidity starts to sound like an existent thing this way, with special characteristics---superior and unique in its difference from some other thing (luminous mind)

Let me try to work through this again. And if we can't agree then happy to leave it as is.

Isn't ignorance a defilement? If there is any mind with no defilements it lacks
ignorance...;in a mind with no ignorance no fabrications arise, etc.

I see the lucidity of wisdom as mind arising without the slightest adventitious conceptualization creeping in. That is to say, seeing things directly, discerning, seeing with insight.

Without the "blockers" presents (the defilements) what is opposing this in a luminous aware mind? It is the defilements which cause the mind to misperceive what appears, and to hold to that wrong understanding (ignorance).

I guess it comes down to whether you want to posit some "value added" aspect/component of mind that isn't ordinarily there that finds its way into a Buddha's mind. I think that would add a materialist overlay to what I see as something which is merely an expression of dependent origination; what lacks a self concept can possess a special quality of lucidity that is distinct from what naturally arises as luminous and aware....which is merely phenomena arising to undefiled mind, of course.

I would try to harmonize the Sutta quote by saying that, when luminous aware mind "moves"; when it focuses on anything it does so with "lucidity of wisdom". So, when the Buddha is sleeping he is possessed of luminous mind (he always has that); when he is teaching he possesses lucidity of wisdom on his actions. And that is so because, absent any defilements, there is no ignorance affecting him.

I'm just thinking this through. I appreciate these Suttas.

Thanks

tj

stuka
22 Oct 11, 14:27
Forgive me if I am not quite getting what you are getting at but -

You seem to be concerned that the students of the Buddha were able to use his inital teachings

You seem to be making a distinction of "his initial teachings vs. "his" later ("maha/vajrya") teachings" that has no basis in fact.



as a way to help releave the suffering of other Beings by using the method of mind training that he taught as a springboard to bring them to the point where they would be willing to take on the pain of others in a systematic way and to help to end that pain.

...a later contrivance the Buddha did not teach.




In my work with people who suffer from Dementia disorders I use the Teachings of the Buddha

The teachings of the Buddha are meant to be passed on from one to another. There are other teachings as well that many use in their work -- teachings of Jesus, Mohammed, etc -- but the fact that they are beneficial does not make them teachings of the Buddha.



each and every day to center myself and to disipline my mind so that I do not become overwhelmed. As a practicing Tibetan Buddhist both myself and those I work with have benifited from both the core teachings of the Buddha and from all of the Lamas of the Kagyu Lineage

And again, religiious teachings are meant to benefit both the individual and society. There is nothing out of the ordinary about this and to claimm that the Buddha's teachings were not designed to, or do not, benefit others besides the practitioner reflects a deep misapprehension of the Buddhas teachings. And/or blatant sectarian propaganda.



who maintained the teachings in an unbroken chain that extends back for thousands of years. Others from the other Tibetan/india and other lineages have been helped in the same way.

This claim of a supposed "unbroken chain" has produced much that contradicts the Buddha's teachings. The claim itself is dubious.



From what I have been reading in your posts it seems as though you think this is somehow disrespectful to the core teachings of the Buddha and this is where you and I would disagree.


It is both factual error and blatant sectarian propaganda.

stuka
22 Oct 11, 16:51
@stuka
OK, what reason do we have to debate? As entertainment for others?

Clarification of the Dhamma. What part of ~ you addressed what I said and I responded, and that is not going to change ~ are you not getting?



I've debated with many others here and, even though there are areas where we fundamentally disagree and will probably never agree, we're now able to have a relatively relaxed and intelligent conversation much of the time (this was admittedly not so at first with several people here).

This is also a relaxed and intelligent conversation.



While I can't speak for any of those with whom I debate, I think it's beneficial for me; it enhances my understanding of topics that I don't know much about and provides a different perspective on topics which are generally presented from a different point of view within my tradition. So I have a reason to engage in discussion and debate with those people....and with you too, of course, if such exchanges were possible between us

We have been having such exchanges all along.



I regret that it's not currently possible for us to have a productive debate; I do NOT mean that sarcastically. I simply don't find it worthwhile at this time. I'd be happy of that situation were to change.

If you do not wish to discuss the Dhamma with me, then that is of course your choice. However, it is a little silly to claim that you do not wish to discuss the Dhamma with me, and turn around and address what I have said. Or to address what I have said, and then turn around and claim that you do not "wish to debate". In any case, you do not dictate whether or not I respond to any post in this form, yours or anyone else's.



I believe (my personal opinion only, but that's all that matters between us)

I can see where you would think that, but as you can see, my opinion matters quite a bit between us. This isn't about you.



that debate should lead to a better understanding of the topic(s) being discussed.

And you have already admitted that our discussions have led you to better understanding of the topic(s) being discussed.



It's not about merely contradiction and attempting to demonstrate superior knowledge on some topic;

No one has said that it is.



it's about showing that what the opponent says is inconsistent with the opponent's own view.

Did I ask for a lecture on your opinion of the purpose of debate or discussion? And really, tj, what is this "opponent" business?




If you can establish that common core of belief with your opponent, then you can really change their mind on a topic with great capacity to benefit, because, if you're a good debater, they are forced to accept that their debate assertion is contrary to their own beliefs.

The Buddha's teachings are not even about belief. And it appears that you are now espousing the very Sophist view that skill in debate trumps fact that you are errantly trying to hang on me. What you are saying sounds like something you have read out of an evangelism handbook.



Citing a Sutta is effective where both parties can agree on what the Sutta means. If they can't it's a waste of time.


If you think that the words of the Buddha are a waste of time, that is on you. Again, you do not dictatte how I or anyone else interacts in this forum. Your refusal to see what the Budha is teaching in a sutta is mere Appeal to Ignorance or Personal Incredulity.



So, let's see; we don't agree on what the Suttas you cite mean. That means that you use them to support your position when I think they support mine or are neutral with respect to the issue at hand. We don't agree on the meaning of individual words in them, which makes it difficult to come to any agreement about the overarching themes and intent behind them. We don't even agree whether they are valid Suttas (just referring to the Pali Canon here).


Sounds like you have entrenched yourself in a determination to disagree with anything I say or cite. That must be a very difficult charade to keep up.



I'm happy to debate you if it's on a topic where there's some agreement, some basis.

This isn't about you. Again, you addressed something I posted, and I responded. And you still have not addressed what I said. Instead you have pursued a long filibuster in attempt to control what I say. Not working for you, is it?


Maybe we can debate on the First Noble Truth? Maybe we can find something we both agree upon. That's something I'd actually enjoy doing and which would be of benefit to me, at least. I'm not sure this would interest you; if so happy to give it a try.

Again, you do not dictate what I post and whether I respond to your posts, including and especially those in which you refer to me or what I write. I smell serious control issues here. This is not about you or what you "want" to debate about or what you do not want to address or what you want to be able to say about me without being called on it. I would love to see you try to run this game on the debating fields of Dharmasala. Try it and let me know how that works for you.

Karma Yeshe
22 Oct 11, 17:05
You seem to be making a distinction of "his initial teachings vs. "his" later ("maha/vajrya") teachings" that has no basis in fact.



...a later contrivance the Buddha did not teach.




The teachings of the Buddha are meant to be passed on from one to another. There are other teachings as well that many use in their work -- teachings of Jesus, Mohammed, etc -- but the fact that they are beneficial does not make them teachings of the Buddha.



And again, religiious teachings are meant to benefit both the individual and society. There is nothing out of the ordinary about this and to claimm that the Buddha's teachings were not designed to, or do not, benefit others besides the practitioner reflects a deep misapprehension of the Buddhas teachings. And/or blatant sectarian propaganda.



This claim of a supposed "unbroken chain" has produced much that contradicts the Buddha's teachings. The claim itself is dubious.



It is both factual error and blatant sectarian propaganda.

Hi,

I suspect that we will continue to have a disagreement on this topic, which is Ok but I am curious about one thing...

The concept of an unbroken chain of Teachings extending back to the Historical Buddha is not simply a debate amongst those who study the history of Buddhism but has been spoken about at lenght by H. H. the Dalai Lama, the Karmapa's and other very realized Beings. I do not accept that this is simply a misunderstanding or that this is a blatent Lie that is being maintained.

With respect, How can we simply not accept the words of these teachers?

All the Best.

stuka
22 Oct 11, 17:19
Hi Element;

I understand what you're saying. My concern is that lucidity starts to sound like an existent thing this way, with special characteristics---superior and unique in its difference from some other thing (luminous mind)

Let me try to work through this again. And if we can't agree then happy to leave it as is.

Isn't ignorance a defilement? If there is any mind with no defilements it lacks
ignorance...;in a mind with no ignorance no fabrications arise, etc.


Do you think that a person who has driven out the defilements stops breathing? --stops thinking? --stops perceiving and feeling???



"Now, lady, what are fabrications?"

"These three fabrications, friend Visakha: bodily fabrications, verbal fabrications, & mental fabrications."

"But what are bodily fabrications? What are verbal fabrications? What are mental fabrications?"

"In-&-out breaths are bodily fabrications. Directed thought & evaluation are verbal fabrications. Perceptions & feelings are mental fabrications."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.044.than.html



The Buddha did not teach that sankhara stop when ignorance is quenched; this is a fundamental doctrinal distortion, misapprehension, and misrepresentation of the Buddha's teaching.



I guess it comes down to whether you want to posit some "value added" aspect/component of mind that isn't ordinarily there that finds its way into a Buddha's mind. I think that would add a materialist overlay to what I see as something which is merely an expression of dependent origination; what lacks a self concept can possess a special quality of lucidity that is distinct from what naturally arises as luminous and aware....which is merely phenomena arising to undefiled mind, of course.


Paticcasamuppada (what you are calling "dependent origination) does not take place in a liberated mind. What takes place is paticcanirodha.




So, when the Buddha is sleeping he is possessed of luminous mind (he always has that); when he is teaching he possesses lucidity of wisdom on his actions. And that is so because, absent any defilements, there is no ignorance affecting him.


What is your understanding of what "defilements" means in the Buddha's Dhamma?

stuka
22 Oct 11, 17:25
Hi,

I suspect that we will continue to have a disagreement on this topic, which is Ok but I am curious about one thing...

The concept of an unbroken chain of Teachings extending back to the Historical Buddha is not simply a debate amongst those who study the history of Buddhism but has been spoken about at lenght by H. H. the Dalai Lama, the Karmapa's and other very realized Beings. I do not accept that this is simply a misunderstanding or that this is a blatent Lie that is being maintained.

With respect, How can we simply not accept the words of these teachers?


You are asking me to indulge in a fallacious Appeal to Authority. Does the Dalai Lama still believe that the world is flat? Should we take your Karmapas' and anonymous supposed "very realized Beings" (whatever that is supposed to mesan) word on that too?

stuka
22 Oct 11, 17:31
Ah! Thanks, stuka! I've been trying to remember the name of that sutta. There are several suttas that describe the causes of the disappearance of the dhamma, and they keep me inspired to hold all teachers' and masters' words as of lesser import than the Pali suttas themselves.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn16/sn16.013.than.html


With all but a few exceptions, Google works pretty good for searching out suttas -- type in passages or phrases you can recall, and almost always it will show up. There is one notable exception I know of, one in which the Buddha is advising some general on worldly matters, and I recall the Buddha saying something about a condemned criminal should be happy that his transgressions are being atoned for (paraphrased) that seems to defy searching. Otherwise, it has worked pretty well.

Also, the Kindle versions of the MN, SN, and DN now have copy/paste functionality (as well as search). I recommend them to everyone. And there is a free PC version of the Kindle reader as well. Great learning tool.

FBM
23 Oct 11, 02:26
With all but a few exceptions, Google works pretty good for searching out suttas -- type in passages or phrases you can recall, and almost always it will show up. There is one notable exception I know of, one in which the Buddha is advising some general on worldly matters, and I recall the Buddha saying something about a condemned criminal should be happy that his transgressions are being atoned for (paraphrased) that seems to defy searching. Otherwise, it has worked pretty well.

Yeah, that's the way I usually go about it. That's how I found the one I posted, actually. When I said "trying to remember", I wasn't actually trying all that hard. ;)

But closer to the topic, having readily available suttas online and elsewhere means that the words of contemporary teachers aren't worth much to me. No offense intended to HHDL or this or that ajahn, but I get a lot more from reading the suttas themselves than listening to an exposition on one or another metaphysical concept derived from them.

andyrobyn
23 Oct 11, 02:42
Hi,

I suspect that we will continue to have a disagreement on this topic, which is Ok but I am curious about one thing...

The concept of an unbroken chain of Teachings extending back to the Historical Buddha is not simply a debate amongst those who study the history of Buddhism but has been spoken about at lenght by H. H. the Dalai Lama, the Karmapa's and other very realized Beings. I do not accept that this is simply a misunderstanding or that this is a blatent Lie that is being maintained.

With respect, How can we simply not accept the words of these teachers?

All the Best.

Hi Karma Yeshe,

We do not have to accept the words of anyone. However, we know and can have confidence in what is said and has been verified and confirmed in our own experiences.

For this reason, I gain little new information from online forum " debates " with others and much from my own experiences which includes offline TB practice with a teacher. Discussions with others who hold different views and have different beliefs is interesting though, isn't it?

Thanks again for the discussion in regards to my opening post everyone.

Aloka
23 Oct 11, 03:44
I get a lot more from reading the suttas themselves than listening to an exposition on one or another metaphysical concept derived from them.


It became important for me not to just go on having blind faith and devotion to offline teachers for the rest of my life and and to investigate for myself. The internet was a lifeline in helping me make the transition away from just believing what I had been told.

Discovering that I could read the Pali Canon suttas for myself, look at the wider picture, and also to read and hear what respected teachers from another tradition had to say as well as have other options for study and practice offline, made it possible to have renewed confidence in the Dharma.

I wouldn't have been able to do that and 'look outside of the box' without online internet interaction and discussion with people from around the world who were from other traditions or had different views to the ones I'd been familiar with.


:hands:

andyrobyn
23 Oct 11, 03:52
Agree that one of the best things about having the internet is that it has made access to information and contact with other individuals we may never have had otherwise possible.
Having access to the Pali Canon suttas in English at my fingertips, as a lay TB practitioner is something I am very grateful for.

Esho
23 Oct 11, 04:30
It became important for me not to just go on having blind faith and devotion to offline teachers for the rest of my life and and to investigate for myself. The Internet was a lifeline in helping me make the transition away from just believing what I had been told.

I am not devoted into Internet way of doing a life nor forums lifestyle, but BWB has had a very important impact in my spiritual life. Here, even when I haven't meet in person anybody, I have found very knowledgeable members form whom I have gotten in some degree inspiration and guidance.

Debates are really stimulating and open the opportunity to know other way of practices. I recently took refuge in the teachings of Buddha; it was necessary confidence through practice and to be in touch with the Nikayas. Confidence and Refuge leads us not to fear of others believes. There are the teachings of Buddha. That is all what is needed. At this moment, the advice given here has been enough. Forum interaction has had an important impact for this, mostly in a country where, unfortunately, Buddhism is not well developed and the opportunities are really limited.


Discovering that I could read the Pali Canon suttas for myself, look at the wider picture, and also to read and hear what respected teachers from another tradition had to say as well as have other options for study and practice offline, made it possible to have renewed confidence in the Dharma.

Yes, It is a blessing to have the Pali Canon available.


I wouldn't have been able to do that and 'look outside of the box' without online Internet interaction and discussion with people from around the world who were from other traditions or had different views to the ones I'd been familiar with.

I can share this same experience.

;D

stuka
23 Oct 11, 04:53
Yeah, that's the way I usually go about it. That's how I found the one I posted, actually. When I said "trying to remember", I wasn't actually trying all that hard. ;)

But closer to the topic, having readily available suttas online and elsewhere means that the words of contemporary teachers aren't worth much to me. No offense intended to HHDL or this or that ajahn, but I get a lot more from reading the suttas themselves than listening to an exposition on one or another metaphysical concept derived from them.

Indeed.

andyrobyn
23 Oct 11, 04:59
Despite what I have been told here on occasion, I have not been influenced by blind faith, brainwashed by teachers, just believed what I was told by others wanting to control me or not had the opportunity to explore other Traditions offline. I enjoy the discussions here and like the links that are shared.

tjampel
23 Oct 11, 05:05
Do you think that a person who has driven out the defilements stops breathing? --stops thinking? --stops perceiving and feeling???

no; was referring to the Buddha's use of the term
"from the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications" ...sn12


The Buddha did not teach that sankhara stop when ignorance is quenched; this is a fundamental doctrinal distortion, misapprehension, and misrepresentation of the Buddha's teaching.

by quenched you mean permanent cessation of ignorance?

If so then...for sankhara-khanda--- The Buddha teaches and converses with disciples
However, for sankhara alone
"from the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications"...sn12





Paticcasamuppada (what you are calling "dependent origination) does not take place in a liberated mind. What takes place is paticcanirodha.

I can't find the definition of this term as a single definition---only as two individual words. So not knowing what you mean, I'll try to answer. What has permanently ceased in a liberated mind is ignorance and all the negative mental factors that arise from ignorance, (and all non-virtuous behaviors/deeds), as set forth in sn12. Not sankhara-khanda; not until death or during deep absorptions (it is claimed). The Buddha listened to questions and answered them. He interacted with people. His mind changed, moment to moment during these interactions to parse other's words (or even if he could actually read minds, if you believe that) and it changed moment to moment when he formulated answers and when he spoke. If not it's miraculous.





What is your understanding of what "defilements" means in the Buddha's Dhamma?
not sure; have not studied in the Pali Canons. I could only give you the definitions I read:

Generally---

There is SN 27.1-10
which enumerates 10 types of desire/passion, which the Buddha states are defilements:

Any desire-passion with regard to the eye, forms, consciousness, contact, feeling, perception, intention, craving properties, aggregates.

Can't argue with this

Then there are the 5 hindrances set forth in SN 46.37


"Bhikkhus, there are these five obstructions, hindrances, corruptions of the mind, weakeners of wisdom. What five? Sensual desire... ill will... sloth and torpor ... restlessness and remorse... doubt" (can you provide link to full version of this?)

Then there are these other 10, labeled as "disadvantageous qualities" of the mind. But I read this is "post canonical" so no idea if these are accepted or not.

URL--- http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Buddhist.Dictionary/dic3_k.htm#kilesa

Kilesa: 'defilements', are mind-defiling, disadvantageous qualities. Vis.M XXII, 49, 65: There are 10 defilements, thus called because they are themselves defiled, and because they defile the mental properties associated with them. They are: 1 greed lobha 2 hate dosa 3 confusion moha 4 conceit māna 5 speculative views ditthi 6 skeptical doubt vicikicchā 7 mental Laziness thīna 8 restlessness uddhacca 9 shamelessness ahirika 10 lack of Fear of Wrongdoing or unconscientiousness anottappa For 1-3, see: mūla 4, s. māna 5, see: ditthi 6-8, s. nīvarana 9 and 10, see: ahirika-anottappa

These are mostly congruent with various mental factors we study.

Then there are the 7 things that need to be purified (lack of contentment, non-seclusion,entanglement, etc.)(MN 24)---the relay chariot example.

These seem to be obstacles to pursuing a spiritual path.

As for the defilements that I do know, they're stated differently but the above 10 + 10 + 7 (if one sees the 7 things to be purified as Kilesa) encompass many of them. If it's any interest to you I'd be happy to name all 26 negative mental factors (6 major and 20 secondary) as well as the 4 variable ones (5 if you include emotion, which is not considered at all), 11 virtuous ones, 5 that are always present, and 5 that are certain about their object. It's a different system. So, I doubt you have interest.

tjampel
23 Oct 11, 05:51
It became important for me not to just go on having blind faith and devotion to offline teachers for the rest of my life and and to investigate for myself. The internet was a lifeline in helping me make the transition away from just believing what I had been told.

Discovering that I could read the Pali Canon suttas for myself, look at the wider picture, and also to read and hear what respected teachers from another tradition had to say as well as have other options for study and practice offline, made it possible to have renewed confidence in the Dharma.

I wouldn't have been able to do that and 'look outside of the box' without online internet interaction and discussion with people from around the world who were from other traditions or had different views to the ones I'd been familiar with.


:hands:

If I can begin to learn and understand some of the Suttas that have been discussed here I'd like to introduce and discuss them to fellow students within my dharma community who basically exist in an environment full of anonymous Sutta and quasi-Sutta-sound-bites, where Sutta is constantly referenced as being so holy and worthy of nayutas of kotis of prostrations, and, in many cases, taught in all but name, except that the source is never revealed and the actual text is not even known, in many cases. Thus, it's more difficult to check to see how the presentation of my tradition squares with the Pali Canon presentation. I'd like to think there's a great deal of convergence on many topics that are referred to as the common path. Otherwise this is a misnomer and we, who study it should know that's that's so.

With the online publication (and free use) of vast swaths of the Pali Canon, there really no excuse any more for teachers to say "oh....it's in one of the Sutras...we don't know the exact one".

I expect this attitude to change over time and would love to be a part of that.

andyrobyn
23 Oct 11, 05:55
If I can begin to learn and understand some of the Suttas that have been discussed here I'd like to introduce and discuss them to fellow students within my dharma community who basically exist in an environment full of anonymous Sutta and quasi-Sutta-sound-bites, where Sutta is constantly referenced as being so holy and worthy of nayutas of kotis of prostrations, and, in many cases, taught in all but name, except that the source is never revealed and the actual text is not even known, in many cases. Thus, it's more difficult to check to see how the presentation of my tradition squares with the Pali Canon presentation. I'd like to think there's a great deal of convergence on many topics that are referred to as the common path. Otherwise this is a misnomer and we, who study it should know that's that's so.

With the online publication (and free use) of vast swaths of the Pali Canon, there really no excuse any more for teachers to say "oh....it's in one of the Sutras...we don't know the exact one".

I expect this attitude to change over time and would love to be a part of that.


It definately is happening and it is possible to find teachers who have the knowledge of the Pali Canon as well.

tjampel
23 Oct 11, 06:43
Despite what I have been told here on occasion, I have not been influenced by blind faith, brainwashed by teachers, just believed what I was told by others wanting to control me or not had the opportunity to explore other Traditions offline. I enjoy the discussions here and like the links that are shared.

Those who practice within the Tibetan Buddhist traditions are not seen as Buddhists in the eyes of many, who practice in other Buddhist traditions. It's not hard to understand why. Tantra is radical method that works with desire, and it operates according to methods and unique principles that are well outside of those found in the Pali Canons. We study many things that are part of the "Common Vehicle" too but, face it, Tantra is seen as pretty much going over the deep end. I certainly saw it that way for years.

We chose this path; we should accept that reality. Expect to be considered "faux-Buddhist" by some, part of a cult by others, and just plain crazy by yet others.

There are cerrtainly many wonderful people here (a majority of participants) who, even if they don't approve of our tradition, are kind and generous in discussions, in sharing information (including admin and moderators) and who are not judgmental on a personal level. That makes it worthwhile for me at least. I have no idea if anything I say is considered useful to anyone else; if so, that's a good reason to be here as well.

You definitely say things that I find useful and I thank you for that!

Finally...

I genuinely wish to learn more about Suttas and this is a great place to do it. I hope you feel the same way.

andyrobyn
23 Oct 11, 07:16
Hi tjampel,

I also understand and accept other's views of the tradition I chose to practice with ( and I was before I came here or to any online Buddhist discussion forum ).
It doesn't really matter to me what other people think, however it does matter to me and I do care how others are treated and affected by the actions of others, though I do not take responsibility for things I am not responsible for as this would not help anyone.
The thing for me is, though, that I see the differences in approach are far less important and significant than the similarites and the understandings and values which we share, and the Suttas are the basis of this.
I don't want to come online to be told in discussion and to say in discussion only " yes I agree " , and telling each other how " great we all are " - lol, like a group of obsequious sycophants ( to use a phrase Ajahn Sumedho used to describe what can happen in his online paper on The Four Noble Truths ). You and everyone else here say things which I find very useful and interesting which is what keeps me coming back - I am online today doing some work and keep checking back in as I value the discussions.

stuka
23 Oct 11, 07:39
no; was referring to the Buddha's use of the term

So am I.



...sn12

"sn12" covers a lot of territory. You might want to be a little more specific of the context.


"from the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications"

The Pali term is nirodha, which means quenching, as in putting out a fire. It is the ending of the influence of ignorance on the sankhara. One does not stop breathing


by quenched you mean permanent cessation of ignorance?

Either permanent or temporary. Either way, one does not stop feeling, perceiving, thinking, or breathing.




I can't find the definition of this term as a single definition---only as two individual words.

That does not surprise. "Maha"- and "vajrya", in their pursuit of turning paticcasamuppada into a reincarnation scheme, completely ignore it.




So not knowing what you mean, I'll try to answer.

Why bother making up as you go along? Either you know about it or you don't.



What has permanently ceased in a liberated mind is ignorance and all the negative mental factors that arise from ignorance, (and all non-virtuous behaviors/deeds), as set forth in sn12. Not sankhara-khanda; not until death or during deep absorptions (it is claimed). The Buddha listened to questions and answered them. He interacted with people. His mind changed, moment to moment during these interactions to parse other's words (or even if he could actually read minds, if you believe that) and it changed moment to moment when he formulated answers and when he spoke. If not it's miraculous.

Sankhara is sankhara-khandha. It is also part of the Six Sextets, which are the framework of the paticcasamuppada/paticcasamuppada matrix. But that doesn't fit into superstitious reincarnation schemes, and thus it is ignored in abhimahavajrya circles.



not sure; have not studied in the Pali Canons. I could only give you the definitions I read:

.

I didn't ask you to go fishing for definitions in Wikipedia or elsewhere, I asked you about your understanding, and I have gotten the answer -- and you have interchanged terms (kilesa, nivarana, asava) here as well. Typical. The point is that you have it backwards -- the defilements do not arise in a liberated mind because ignorance does not arise.

andyrobyn
23 Oct 11, 08:33
I didn't ask you to go fishing for definitions in Wikipedia or elsewhere, I asked you about your understanding, and I have gotten the answer -- and you have interchanged terms (kilesa, nivarana, asava) here as well. Typical. The point is that you have it backwards -- the defilements do not arise in a liberated mind because ignorance does not arise.


My understanding is that the mechanism can not be described in simply linear terms - ignorance is caused by defilements as it also the reason why defilements continue to occur, which is what tjampel also stated his understanding was.

Element
23 Oct 11, 08:55
I understand what you're saying. My concern is that lucidity starts to sound like an existent thing this way, with special characteristics---superior and unique in its difference from some other thing (luminous mind)
hi tjampel

for me, wisdom does have special characteristics in that it has thoroughly seen, thoroughly comprehended & thoroughly understood the characteristics of phenomena


Isn't ignorance a defilement? If there is any mind with no defilements it lacks ignorance...;in a mind with no ignorance no fabrications arise, etc.
sure, ignorance is a defilement. but luminous mind is not necessarily devoid of ignorance. i quoted the sutta which states the luminous mind can be defiled. any mind that can be defiled is not yet free from ignorance

the opposite of ignorance is wisdom or knowledge. a mind in samadhi/jhana can be luminous but still devoid of wisdom


I see the lucidity of wisdom as mind arising without the slightest adventitious conceptualization creeping in.
this is just sounds like a samadhi state to me. this non-conceptualistion is a samadhi state which the Buddha-To-Be rejected as Nibbana.


That is to say, seeing things directly, discerning, seeing with insight.
in the Pali, insight is to see the impermanence, unsatisfactoriness & selflessness of things. but the seeing you are referring to is just clear comprehension; just samadhi

if a mind just sees a tree without labelling it; this is just seeing. sure, this mere seeing has the flavour of Nibbana; it can feel as though it is free from suffering

but it is not real insight. real insight is to see the arising & passing away of that tree, with the arising & passing away of eye consciousness & the eye, to the extent that dispassion & disenchantment manifest in relation to the tree, eye & eye consciousness


Without the "blockers" presents (the defilements) what is opposing this in a luminous aware mind?
i would not say ignorance is a "blocker" in that it is removed. ignorance is replaced by wisdom or by direct knowledge

for example, i child that does not know 1 + 1 = 2 is ignorant. this ignorance is replaced by knowledge, when the child learns 1 + 1 = 2

you are mistaking ignorance with the five hindrances. the five hindrances are "blockers" that are removed. but ignorance is a defilement that must be replaced

in Pali, the word for ignorance is 'avicca', which means 'not-knowing'. not-knowing can only be removed/replaced by knowing


It is the defilements which cause the mind to misperceive what appears, and to hold to that wrong understanding (ignorance).
no

ignorance is a lack of true knowledge. only true knowledge ends ignorance


I guess it comes down to whether you want to posit some "value added" aspect/component of mind that isn't ordinarily there that finds its way into a Buddha's mind.
indeed, it does. for me, the articulation here is perfect

:flower:wisdom is a "value added" aspect/component of mind that isn't ordinarily there that finds its way into a mind:flower:

if we read the 1st sermon, the Buddha described his penetration of the 4NTs as "something never heard & known before"

when Siddharta practised the immaterial jhanas with his first two teachers, he realised but rejected the non-conceptual state of mind as Nibbana


I think that would add a materialist overlay to what I see as something which is merely an expression of dependent origination; what lacks a self concept can possess a special quality of lucidity that is distinct from what naturally arises as luminous and aware....which is merely phenomena arising to undefiled mind, of course.
the discussion is now regressing. your prior point is where we can reach agreement :cheers:

lacking self-concept is for beginners. it is starting point for the stream-enterer but not for the arahant

the quality of the arahant is their mind sees impermanence, unsatisfactoriness (worthlessness) & not-self so thoroughly, their mind becomes totally dispassionate & revulsed towards conditioned phenomena

this is contrary to a mind that is infatuated & delighted with lumunious consciousness (which is just another conditioned thing)


I would try to harmonize the Sutta quote by saying that, when luminous aware mind "moves"; when it focuses on anything it does so with "lucidity of wisdom". So, when the Buddha is sleeping he is possessed of luminous mind (he always has that); when he is teaching he possesses lucidity of wisdom on his actions. And that is so because, absent any defilements, there is no ignorance affecting him.
to me, the lucidity you have described here is simply clarity, like the shinyness of crystal glass; like a glass crystal free from dust. but crystal glass does not have any wisdom. wisdom is knowledge

for example, the mind has the knowledge the bite of a cobra is deadly, therefore one avoids cobras

similarly, the Buddha mind has the knowledge (via direct non-conceptual insight) that conditioned things are impermanent & cannot bring true happiness. therefore the enlightened mind has thoroughly abandoned any desire & craving towards conditioned things

regards :flower:

Element
23 Oct 11, 09:41
Paticcasamuppada (what you are calling "dependent origination) does not take place in a liberated mind. What takes place is paticcanirodha.
hi Stuka

it sounds like you might be referring to what the Pali calls "the wrong way"

regards ;D

http://i55.tinypic.com/33fe0cx.jpg

Element
23 Oct 11, 09:50
I guess it comes down to whether you want to posit some "value added" aspect/component of mind that isn't ordinarily there that finds its way into a Buddha's mind

:cheers:
the quote above is excellent for a discussion about what wisdom is

Jesus said: "the kingdom of heaven is like the mind of a child"

when we were children, we basically had no knowledge. for example, we did not have knowledge about the nature of fire so we reached out for the fire, only to painfully learn the fire burns

this was merely one step in the shedding of ignorance & the acquisition of knowledge

similarly, enlightenment is the same, the shedding of ignorance & the acquisition of knowledge

but possibly we agree with Jesus here, in the same way we may agree with Dogen

the Pali may not possibly conform with Dogen

personally, i do not agree that the enlightenment about the nature of fire burning, which was learned as a child, is wiped out

regards ;D


To study the Way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by all things of the universe. To be enlightened by all things of the universe is to cast off the body and mind of the self as well as those of others. Even the traces of enlightenment are wiped out and life with traceless enlightenment goes on forever and ever

Dōgen Zenji

andyrobyn
23 Oct 11, 09:55
Hi Element,

In your post *82 above it comes across to me that wisdom ( and ignorance ) can be seen as a seperate thing that we can possess ie. wisdom has thoroughly comprehended and understood the characteristics of a phenomona ( and ignorance has not ).

My understanding of ignorance ( something I have more experience of than wisdom - lol ) is that it is a state we are in rather than something that we possess - a kind of blindness, a state of not being conscious in our lives of what is really going on and moving us on a moment-to-moment level. My teacher has often said that ignorance flavours and determines what kind of speech, thoughts, or actions we actually engage in. I have also heard it described as perceiving the unsatisfactory to be satisfactory - rather than something we possess.

Element
23 Oct 11, 10:12
thanks Andy

i may not have articulated myself clearly

i am not saying wisdom is a 'possession' (like book learning may be a 'possession')

but i am saying wisdom is something that 'grows', 'blossoms' & 'accumulates' in the mind

but, yes, ignorance is certainly perceiving the unsatisfactory to be satisfactory, the impermanent to be permanent; the selfless to be 'self', etc

kind regards

element
:hands:

andyrobyn
23 Oct 11, 10:27
Thanks for the clarification Element.

My experience is that we do not agree with Jesus in the matter as you describe - and I am not at all familar with the teachings of Japanese Zen Buddhist teacher, Zenji and what is meant by " Even the traces of enlightenment are wiped out and life with traceless enlightenment goes on forever and ever ".

Agree about the quote being a good one for discussion - especially amongst us lot here.

andyrobyn
23 Oct 11, 10:42
I am familar and know this quote which has been attributed to Dōgen Zenji and says something about the getting and nature of wisdom " When we discover that the truth is already in us, we are all at once our original selves."

stuka
23 Oct 11, 13:40
hi Stuka

it sounds like you might be referring to what the Pali calls "the wrong way"

regards ;D

http://i55.tinypic.com/33fe0cx.jpg

Indeed -- the "wrong way" is what occurs in one who is under the influence of ignorance -- avijjapaccaya sankhara, etc. The influence of Ignorance leads to suffering.

The "right way" is what occurs in one who is free of ignorance. There is no influence of Ignorance, and suffering does not arise.

stuka
23 Oct 11, 13:42
My understanding is that the mechanism can not be described in simply linear terms - ignorance is caused by defilements as it also the reason why defilements continue to occur, which is what tjampel also stated his understanding was.


The Buddha described it many times in linear terms. What is your understanding of the defilements as the Buddha taught them?

stuka
23 Oct 11, 13:54
indeed, it does. for me, the articulation here is perfect

:flower:wisdom is a "value added" aspect/component of mind that isn't ordinarily there that finds its way into a mind:flower:




Indeed. We see the Buddha elaborating on this when he compares an "ordinary, untaught, run-of-the-mill person" with one who is liberated.


"Hearing a sound with the ear, smelling a smell with the nose, tasting a taste with the tongue, feeling a touch with the body, thinking a thought with the mind, he becomes greedy for a pleasant experience, or averse to a disagreeable one. He abides with mindfulness of the body not established and with a limited mind. He does not know the deliverance of mind nor the deliverance through wisdom as it really is, where unwholesome states cease completely. He follows the path of agreeing and disagreeing and experiences whatever feeling that arises - pleasant, unpleasant, or neither unpleasant nor pleasant. Delighted and pleased with those [pleasant] feelings he appropriates them. This arouses interest in those feelings. That interest for feelings is clinging. From clinging, there arises becoming, from becoming arises birth, from birth old age, sickness and death, grief, lament, unpleasantness, displeasure and distress. Thus arises the complete mass of dukkha.


...


"On seeing a form with the eye [smelling a smell with the nose, tasting a taste with the tongue, feeling a touch with the body, thinking a thought with the mind], he does not become greedy for pleasant forms, or averse to disagreeable forms. He abides with mindfulness of the body established and with a immeasurable mind. He knows the deliverance of mind and the deliverance through wisdom as it really is, where unwholesome states cease completely. Having abandoned the path of agreeing and disagreeing, he experiences whatever feeling that arises - pleasant, unpleasant, or neither unpleasant nor pleasant - just as it is. He is not delighted or pleased with those feelings and he does not appropriates them. Interest in those feelings ceases. With the cessation of interest, clinging ceases. With no clinging, there is no becoming; no becoming, no birth; with no birth, there is no old age, sickness or death, no grief, lament, unpleasantness, displeasure or distress. Thus ceases the complete mass of dukkha.

Esho
23 Oct 11, 15:10
Indeed. We see the Buddha elaborating on this when he compares an "ordinary, untaught, run-of-the-mill person" with one who is liberated.

The key aspect is "isn't ordinary". The Arhat is a Noble One not an ordinary one; and this sole aspect makes me understand that the teaching of Buddha is permanent, along all his instructions. What "changes" are the conditions where the instruction is then given so to fit. But nothing to do with "views".

;D

tjampel
23 Oct 11, 15:36
So am I.



"sn12" covers a lot of territory. You might want to be a little more specific of the context.



The Pali term is nirodha, which means quenching, as in putting out a fire. It is the ending of the influence of ignorance on the sankhara. One does not stop breathing


Either permanent or temporary. Either way, one does not stop feeling, perceiving, thinking, or breathing.




That does not surprise. "Maha"- and "vajrya", in their pursuit of turning paticcasamuppada into a reincarnation scheme, completely ignore it.




Why bother making up as you go along? Either you know about it or you don't.



Sankhara is sankhara-khandha. It is also part of the Six Sextets, which are the framework of the paticcasamuppada/paticcasamuppada matrix. But that doesn't fit into superstitious reincarnation schemes, and thus it is ignored in abhimahavajrya circles.



I didn't ask you to go fishing for definitions in Wikipedia or elsewhere, I asked you about your understanding, and I have gotten the answer -- and you have interchanged terms (kilesa, nivarana, asava) here as well. Typical. The point is that you have it backwards -- the defilements do not arise in a liberated mind because ignorance does not arise.


.

I quoted Sutta on this--- that because ignorance fabrication doesn't arise, etc. I pointed out that enlightened beings walk and talk; of course they have the qualities you list. My original point to Element was that, with the quenching of ignorance, the defilements can't arise. If the defilements can't arise they can't arise now or later. That mind where defilements can't arise is a luminous and aware mind.

The issue raised by Element was the difference between luminous aware mind and a mind of "lucidity and wisdom". Element provides a citation for this. I claim that there is not some unique and different substrate for this; it arises from mind not defiled by ignorance. That is it arises from luminous and aware mind.

A for defilements, maybe you can define it for me. My understanding of it is that they are what prevent one from experiencing what arises as self and phenomena in accord with their true nature.

FBM
23 Oct 11, 17:00
The key aspect is "isn't ordinary". The Arhat is a Noble One not an ordinary one; and this sole aspect makes me understand that the teaching of Buddha is permanent, along all his instructions. What "changes" are the conditions where the instruction is then given so to fit. But nothing to do with "views".

;D

I may be reading this wrong, but I think the ideas of Buddha Nature, Buddha Mind, etc, in the Mahayana doctrine asks us to believe that we're all somehow already Buddhas and we just need to wake up to that fact. I'm not 100% sure if this was stuka's point or not, but the Pali passages he quoted seem to discredit that doctrine by showing that the Buddha did make a distinction between an ordinary, untrained/untaught person and an arahant. I don't know of any Pali sutta that supports the Buddha Nature/Buddha Mind doctrines. Not saying that they are useless doctrines, mind you. Just that their origins don't seem to be the historical Buddha of the Pali Canon.
Whatever their source(s), if those ideas lead one towards liberation from dukkha, go for it, I'd say.

tjampel
23 Oct 11, 18:56
@ Element
similarly, the Buddha mind has the knowledge (via direct non-conceptual insight) that conditioned things are impermanent & cannot bring true happiness. therefore the enlightened mind has thoroughly abandoned any desire & craving towards conditioned things

I think this is the key. I'm glad that there's at least no terminology issues here.

In my previous comments I was referring to "the remainderless fading away and cessation of ignorance", as you quoted in another post. So, I wasn't referring to an an absorption or something else. In order to achieve that mind it's necessary to have this kind of insight, agreed?

Direct non-conceptual insight is a kind of discernment, not an accretion. It's a discernment of the true state of things.

You have to spend time listening, reading, studying, contemplating, meditating in order to have this direct non-conceptual insight, but the insight itself is not thought (as it's non-conceptual).

So, would you agree that, having achieved this direct non-conceptual insight and having "quenched" ignorance and every defilement born of ignorance, suffering will come to an end for such a being?

Maybe we can proceed that far together?

So, what's left, after one achieves this insight and eliminates all ignorance regarding the nature of conditioned things?

The mind that's luminous and aware has no desire nor any craving towards conditioned things, nor does it have a self-concept. These are all things that we agree are defilements.

You say the mind of an enlightened being is clear/luminous and aware mind + something

I say that the "+ something", the value added component, is what's left after removing the subtle obstacles to lucidity of mind, as you call it (as referenced by the Sutta you kindly cited).

For example, after one achieves the direct non-conceptual insight you're referring to, in my tradition one then meditates on the 16 aspects of the 4 noble truths until reaching the Path of No More Learning, wherein one's understanding of the 4 noble truths is perfect. This process is called the Path of Meditation. Obviously one is achieving greater knowledge here; mind is changing and being shaped by one's experience, which, at this stage, consists of returning again and again to that direct insight and deepening one's understanding over time.

If you wish to call this the "value added" component that's fine.

We call it "removing obstacles to omniscience", which I suppose is equivalent to "removing obstacles to lucidity of mind". We think that what this meditation on the 4 noble truths does is strip away more subtle defilements, not related directly to suffering, but related to knowledge.

I can see why referring to Buddha Nature is problematic at all levels through this discussion. It's better not to call it anything or just think of it as what is discerned through direct non-conceptual insight referenced above.

stuka
23 Oct 11, 19:26
I quoted Sutta on this--- that because ignorance fabrication doesn't arise, etc.

You quoted an interpretive translation of sutta which contains logical impossibilities both within and without the framework of the Buddhas teaching. Ignorance is not what causes one to breathe or think or feel or perceive.



I pointed out that enlightened beings walk and talk; of course they have the qualities you list.

Thus contradicting yourself and the Buddha's teaching.




My original point to Element was that, with the quenching of ignorance, the defilements can't arise.

That much is true. But you fail to take into account that ignorance can be quenched temporarily, and arise again later. But you are so far operating on a vague and ambiguous version of "defilements", and have so far included what the Buddha called the Hindrances, the Defilements, and the Fetters in this as well. The Buddha's definitions were not so vague, and for good reason. The Buddha did not say that the Defilements were the cause of ignorance. The Buddha said that the Asavas were the cause of ignorance. You are making statements about the kilesas, the nivaranas, the samyojanas, and who knows what else as if they all were interchangeable with the asavas in the Buddha's statement of causality.



If the defilements can't arise they can't arise now or later.

That is not the case. Again, you are using an over-broad definition of "defilements". The Buddha did not mix and match his definitions of terms willy-nilly like abhimahavajrayists do.



That mind where defilements can't arise is a luminous and aware mind.

Being either luminous or aware does not mean that defilements -- by any definition -- cannot arise at some later time. A person who is fully liberated, so that ignorance and "the defilements" never arise again is classified as such because he or she has developed habits that prevent the arising of ignorance to a point sufficient that they never arise. This is a gradual process and not sudden. A musician does not learn a piece and suddenly never make any mistakes playing it. But with practice there may come a point that he or she plays it every time without error.



The issue raised by Element was the difference between luminous aware mind and a mind of "lucidity and wisdom". Element provides a citation for this. I claim that there is not some unique and different substrate for this; it arises from mind not defiled by ignorance. That is it arises from luminous and aware mind.

And again you are basing your assertion on gross equivocations.



A for defilements, maybe you can define it for me. My understanding of it is that they are what prevent one from experiencing what arises as self and phenomena in accord with their true nature.

You are making certain assertions about "the defilements" within the Buddha's teaching and I am inquiring about those assertions and the definitions you are using within them and casting light on a great deal of equivocation that underlies your assertions. The Buddha did not assign the cause of Ignorance to the Hindrances, the Fetters, the Defilements as you claim.

stuka
23 Oct 11, 19:46
In my previous comments I was referring to "the remainderless fading away and cessation of ignorance", as you quoted in another post.

I do not think you will find "remainderless" in the Pali.



So, I wasn't referring to an an absorption or something else. In order to achieve that mind it's necessary to have this kind of insight, agreed?

Direct non-conceptual insight is a kind of discernment, not an accretion.

It is discernment, but it does not necessarily see anicca, anatta, dukkha.



It's a discernment of the true state of things.

It is mere samadhi.



You have to spend time listening, reading, studying, contemplating, meditating in order to have this direct non-conceptual insight, but the insight itself is not thought (as it's non-conceptual).

Not really. One merely has to quieten the mind.



So, would you agree that, having achieved this direct non-conceptual insight and having "quenched" ignorance and every defilement born of ignorance, suffering will come to an end for such a being?

Having momentarily quenched ignorance does not mean that it will not re-arise. Again you are equivocating with the use of the term "defilements".



Maybe we can proceed that far together?

So, what's left, after one achieves this insight and eliminates all ignorance regarding the nature of conditioned things?

The cultivation of disenchantment, dispassion, and knowledge.




The mind that's luminous and aware has no desire nor any craving towards conditioned things, nor does it have a self-concept. These are all things that we agree are defilements.

We haven't agreed on what "defilements" are at all. And again, the Buddha did not call defilements the cause if ignorance.



You say the mind of an enlightened being is clear/luminous and aware mind + something

I say that the "+ something", the value added component, is what's left after removing the subtle obstacles to lucidity of mind, as you call it (as referenced by the Sutta you kindly cited).

For example, after one achieves the direct non-conceptual insight you're referring to, in my tradition one then meditates on the 16 aspects of the 4 noble truths until reaching the Path of No More Learning, wherein one's understanding of the 4 noble truths is perfect. This process is called the Path of Meditation. Obviously one is achieving greater knowledge here; mind is changing and being shaped by one's experience, which, at this stage, consists of returning again and again to that direct insight and deepening one's understanding over time.

The assumptions are far different.



If you wish to call this the "value added" component that's fine.

We call it "removing obstacles to omniscience", which I suppose is equivalent to "removing obstacles to lucidity of mind".

What exactly is this "omniscience"?


om·nis·cient (m-nshnt)
adj.
Having total knowledge; knowing everything: an omniscient deity; the omniscient narrator.
n.
1. One having total knowledge.
2. Omniscient God. Used with the.
[Medieval Latin omniscins, omniscient- : Latin omni-, omni- + Latin scins, scient-, present participle of scre, to know; see skei- in Indo-European roots.]
om·niscience, om·niscien·cy n.
om·niscient·ly adv.


1. universal or inflnite knowledge.
2. the state of being all-knowing. Also Obsolete, omniscious. — omniscient, adj.



Gods. They think they are Gods. :bow:



We think that what this meditation on the 4 noble truths does is strip away more subtle defilements, not related directly to suffering, but related to knowledge.

And again this presumes an entire framework that uses the term "defilements" far differently than the Buddha did. And attempts to stuff it in the Buddha's mouth.



I can see why referring to Buddha Nature is problematic at all levels through this discussion. It's better not to call it anything or just think of it as what is discerned through direct non-conceptual insight referenced above.

So, just assume a "Buddha-nature-that-is-not-a-Buddha-nature", like the "Atman-that-is-not-an-Atman"? :biglol:

Lazy Eye
23 Oct 11, 20:04
I may be reading this wrong, but I think the ideas of Buddha Nature, Buddha Mind, etc, in the Mahayana doctrine asks us to believe that we're all somehow already Buddhas and we just need to wake up to that fact. I'm not 100% sure if this was stuka's point or not, but the Pali passages he quoted seem to discredit that doctrine by showing that the Buddha did make a distinction between an ordinary, untrained/untaught person and an arahant. I don't know of any Pali sutta that supports the Buddha Nature/Buddha Mind doctrines. Not saying that they are useless doctrines, mind you. Just that their origins don't seem to be the historical Buddha of the Pali Canon.
Whatever their source(s), if those ideas lead one towards liberation from dukkha, go for it, I'd say.

Hi FBM,

It may be worth considering that interpretations of Buddha Nature differ among various Mahayana and Vajrayana schools, with some interpretations more consistent with the Nikayas than others. Some see Buddha Nature as referring to our capacity for enlightenment. Without such capacity, the path would be impossible. You can't teach a grasshopper French because its brain is incapable of learning a human language. Likewise, for the third and fourth Noble Truth to be valid, we must already possess the potential -- and according to Mahayana, the inclination -- to complete the path.

But there is another, more radical version of Buddha Nature that does indeed posit that a fully enlightened Buddha exists within us, but is concealed by the defilements. One consequence of this interpretation, at least in Zen, is that practice becomes pretty much a subtractive process -- you're not trying to "attain" anything. Hence all those Zen stories which feature a master pointing out (verbally, or sometimes via non-verbal means such as a shout or a blow with a stick) that the student's thinking is still mired in this or that impediment.

The root question underlying all discussions of Buddha Nature, as I see it, has to do with the nature of enlightenment -- i.e. is it simply cessation, as some have it, or is it actually some kind of state or another, albeit one that transcends language? Can it be "experienced"?

Aloka
23 Oct 11, 20:27
I'm beginning to wonder if there should be some extra topics created as offshoots from this one, because it can becomes quite difficult to follow when different conversations start occuring across each other.

However, I'll withdraw and leave that up to the discretion of the moderators. ;)

tjampel
23 Oct 11, 22:30
In my previous comments I was referring to "the remainderless fading away and cessation of ignorance", as you quoted in another post.


I do not think you will find "remainderless" in the Pali.
OK, what word is best then?


So, I wasn't referring to an an absorption or something else. In order to achieve that mind it's necessary to have this kind of insight, agreed?

Direct non-conceptual insight is a kind of discernment, not an accretion.

It is discernment, but it does not necessarily see anicca, anatta, dukkha.

But I was referencing what Element said, namely,
"the knowledge (via direct non-conceptual insight) that conditioned things are impermanent & cannot bring true happiness"


It's a discernment of the true state of things.


It is mere samadhi.

See above



You have to spend time listening, reading, studying, contemplating, meditating in order to have this direct non-conceptual insight, but the insight itself is not thought (as it's non-conceptual).


Not really. One merely has to quieten the mind.

Plenty of beings learn to quiet their mind; they don't achieve "this insight", that is---
"the knowledge (via direct non-conceptual insight) that conditioned things are impermanent & cannot bring true happiness".




So, would you agree that, having achieved this direct non-conceptual insight and having "quenched" ignorance and every defilement born of ignorance, suffering will come to an end for such a being?
Having momentarily quenched ignorance does not mean that it will not re-arise.



Again you are equivocating with the use of the term "defilements".

As stated above I was referring to the permanent cessation of ignorance.



Maybe we can proceed that far together?

So, what's left, after one achieves this insight and eliminates all ignorance regarding the nature of conditioned things?

The cultivation of disenchantment, dispassion, and knowledge.

ok



The mind that's luminous and aware has no desire nor any craving towards conditioned things, nor does it have a self-concept. These are all things that we agree are defilements.


We haven't agreed on what "defilemtns" are at all. And again, the Buddha did not call defilements the cause if ignorance.

Defilements are not the cause of ignorance. They arise from ignorance. If ignorance is permanently removed what defilements are still present? I did present my own view of defilements. They are the obstacles that prevent a being from seeing/knowing things in accord with how they exist.


You say the mind of an enlightened being is clear/luminous and aware mind + something

I say that the "+ something", the value added component, is what's left after removing the subtle obstacles to lucidity of mind, as you call it (as referenced by the Sutta you kindly cited).

For example, after one achieves the direct non-conceptual insight you're referring to, in my tradition one then meditates on the 16 aspects of the 4 noble truths until reaching the Path of No More Learning, wherein one's understanding of the 4 noble truths is perfect. This process is called the Path of Meditation. Obviously one is achieving greater knowledge here; mind is changing and being shaped by one's experience, which, at this stage, consists of returning again and again to that direct insight and deepening one's understanding over time.

The assumptions are far different.
Fine


If you wish to call this the "value added" component that's fine.

We call it "removing obstacles to omniscience", which I suppose is equivalent to "removing obstacles to lucidity of mind".

What exactly is this "omniscience"?


In addition to possessing the knowledges from having obtained liberation, omniscience includes knowing the most effective means for teaching the dharma to those beings who may benefit from it; this means knowing their specific needs and abilities. I wouldn't extend it any further than that, because it's not necessary and speculative.


We think that what this meditation on the 4 noble truths does is strip away more subtle defilements, not related directly to suffering, but related to knowledge.

And again this presumes an entire framework that uses the term "defilements" far differently than the Buddha did. And attempts to stuff it in the Buddha's mouth.

Give me your definition of defilements then. Here it means obstacles to knowledge. The Buddha didn't provide the above presentation, nor is it attributed to him, so nothing's being stuffed into his mouth.

Esho
23 Oct 11, 23:50
[...]the Buddha did make a distinction between an ordinary, untrained/untaught person and an arahant.

Yes.

Along the very few suttas I have read, the Buddha always establishes differences between an ordinary person and the Noble Disciple.

The differences established by Buddha are very contrasting and clear. The differences are not about an ideal about humans, but by a fact about mind.

This is one more aspect that indicates that the teachings of Buddha were not subject to "view" changes, from where the teachings of Buddha are rooted in a permanent "view" understood as a Noble View.

In the Buddha's Words:


"Therefore, monks, your task is to learn: 'This is Suffering, this is the Arising of Suffering, this is the Cessation of Suffering, this is the Path that leads to the Cessation of Suffering.' That is your task."

SN 56.31 (http://http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn56/sn56.031.wlsh.html)



He is not telling to teach that we have a hidden little Buddha somewhere but to understand and realize suffering. That is the task. Nothing to do with craving toward mankind ideals, nor its doctrine shifts from this unique task.


I don't know of any Pali sutta that supports the Buddha Nature/Buddha Mind doctrines.

Seems that not.


[...] their origins don't seem to be the historical Buddha of the Pali Canon.

It is the hallmark -along with rebirth/reincarnation- of Mahayana philosophical view of mankind. It is needed to support the ideal of a Boddhisatva. It is quite common to read in Dalai Lama books the idea of people as basically good. I think people is neither good nor bad. People is people and as untaught, they react with an unawakened mind that sooner or later will lead to Dukkha.


Whatever their source(s), if those ideas lead one towards liberation from dukkha, go for it, I'd say.

Sure FBM.

;D

stuka
24 Oct 11, 01:42
OK, what word is best then?

Do you want everyone else to do the work for you?

You seem to be turning this into a presumption of permanent cessation. Even if "remainderless" were accurate to the Pali, it does not imply that the cessation is permanent at all. A room can be devoid of light, with the remainderless fading away of light, and a simple gesture of flicking a switch can change that completely.



But I was referencing what Element said, namely,

See above

All the same.





Plenty of beings learn to quiet their mind; they don't achieve "this insight", that is--- .

"the knowledge (via direct non-conceptual insight) that conditioned things are impermanent & cannot bring true happiness"

This fact that things are impermanent and cannot bring happiness is intrinsically conceptual. This lock-step slavery to "non-conceptualism" is tangential woo.





As stated above I was referring to the permanent cessation of ignorance.

That does not change that you are equivocating with the use of the term "defilements".





Defilements are not the cause of ignorance. They arise from ignorance. If ignorance is permanently removed what defilements are still present?

You claimed that ignorance takes "the defilements" as a cause:



And that is so because, absent any defilements, there is no ignorance affecting him

The Buddha held the asavas as the cause of ignorance.





I did present my own view of defilements. They are the obstacles that prevent a being from seeing/knowing things in accord with how they exist.

These are not the cause of ignorance. And the Buddha did not cast wisdom in ontological terms ("how they exist"/"things don't exist from their own side"/"all is appearance"/speculative views of nonexistence, etc).



In addition to possessing the knowledges from having obtained liberation, omniscience includes knowing the most effective means for teaching the dharma to those beings who may benefit from it; this means knowing their specific needs and abilities. I wouldn't extend it any further than that, because it's not necessary and speculative.

Nor is the ability to teach anything special, either. It hardly raises the bar to anything approaching "omniscience". Is this your own unique definition, or something your teacher told you?



Give me your definition of defilements then.

This inquiry concerns your assertions with respect to what you are designating as "defilements".



Here it means obstacles to knowledge. The Buddha didn't provide the above presentation, nor is it attributed to him, so nothing's being stuffed into his mouth.

You are overlaying your definitions of "defilements" on the Buddha's teachings as if they applied to the Buddha's teachings and were a part of the Buddha's teachings. Yes, you are very definitely attempting to stuff them in his mouth.


P.S.: You still have completely avoided addressing my responses in posts #54 and 56, for example, debunking your claims that Nagarjuna, Asanga, Aryadeva, and Chandrakirti were not Brahmins.

FBM
24 Oct 11, 05:12
I'm beginning to wonder if there should be some extra topics created as offshoots from this one, because it can becomes quite difficult to follow when different conversations start occuring across each other.

However, I'll withdraw and leave that up to the discretion of the moderators. ;)

I think I helped nudge part of the thread away from the OP with my comment about Buddha Nature/Buddha Mind not being traceable to the historical Buddha. That's about all I had to say about it, anyway, so maybe the thread will re-orient itself on the main discussion without us having to split the thread. ;)

CSEe
24 Oct 11, 05:50
Just sharing . In my current awareness , Buddhism is a search , a learning process of knowing / understanding "ownself" by being awake .

Is a continuoesly changing process of learning to free "ownself" .

Thks
CSEe

FBM
24 Oct 11, 06:11
Just sharing . In my current awareness , Buddhism is a search , a learning process of knowing / understanding "ownself" by being awake .

Is a continuoesly changing process of learning to free "ownself" .

Thks
CSEe

CSEe, welcome to BWB, first of all. However, your reply above is not related to the OP, which is about whether or not the Buddha's views changed over time. Please enjoy your time here, but also please try to keep your posts on-topic. Thanks! :)