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Thread: "contemplating emptiness" video

  1. #31
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    to understand, tangibly, how ignorance & the impulses it stirs up is related to consciousness & mind-body, the following sutta is another good example:

    Well, Brahman, when a man dwells with his heart possessed and overwhelmed by sense-desires, and does not know, as it really is, the way of escape from sense-desires that have arisen, then he cannot know or see, as it really is, what is to his own profit, nor can he know and see what is to the profit of others, or of both himself and others. Then even sacred words he has long studied are not clear to him, not to mention those he has not studied.

    Imagine, Brahman, a bowl of water mixed with lac, turmeric, dark green or crimson dye. If a man with good eyesight were to look at the reflection of his own face in it, he would not know or see it as it really was. In the same way, Brahman, when a man dwells with his heart possessed and overwhelmed by sense-desires... then he cannot know or see, as it really is, what is to his own profit, to the profit of others, to the profit of both. Then even sacred words he has long studied are not clear to him, not to mention those he has not studied.

    Again, Brahman, when a man dwells with his heart possessed and overwhelmed with ill-will... then he cannot know or see...

    Imagine a bowl of water, heated on a fire, boiling up and bubbling over. If a man with good eyesight were to look at the reflection of his own face in it, he would not know or see it as it really was...

    Again, Brahman, when a man dwells with his heart possessed and overwhelmed by sloth-and-torpor... then he cannot know or see...

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipit....055.wlsh.html
    compare to the following:

    There are three taints: the taint of sensual desire, the taint of being and the taint of ignorance. With the arising of ignorance there is the arising of the taints.

    Not knowing about suffering, not knowing about the origin of suffering, not knowing about the cessation of suffering, not knowing about the way leading to the cessation of suffering — this is called ignorance. With the arising of the taints there is the arising of ignorance.

    There are these three kinds of formations: bodily formations, verbal formations, the mental formations. With the arising of ignorance there is the arising of formations.

    With the arising of formations there is the arising [stimulation & colouring] of consciousness.

    With the arising of consciousness there is the arising [stimulation & colouring] of mentality-materiality.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipit....009.ntbb.html

  2. #32
    Forums Member SeeknShinjin's Avatar
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    Element you are correct, thanks for pointing that out.
    I have leaned a lot from these past days of discussion. Thank you all for sharing.

    With deep Gassho,

    SS,

  3. #33
    The "contemplating emptiness" video continues with part 2:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6C9Vb8l5OM

  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Element
    My understanding is Nagarjuna was inspired by the Kaccayanagotta Sutta
    He refers to it directly in v.7 of Ch 15 "Examination of Essence" (I had made a note about SN 12.15 in the book)


    The Victorious One, through knowledge
    Of reality and unreality,
    In the Discourse to Katyayana,
    Refuted both "it is" and "it is not."

    (Garfield translation)
    'Katyayana' is another word for Kaccayanagotta

    Nāgārjuna cites the a text which he calls kātyāyanavavāda, or advice to Kātyāyana, in his Mūlamadhyamakakārika (15.7). The text he cites appears to have been a Sanskrit version of the Pāli Kaccānagotta Sutta (Saṃyutta Nikāya ii.16-17). This has given rise to the idea that Nāgarjuna might not have been a Mahāyānist.[2]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katyayana_(Buddhist)

  5. #35
    The understanding of the teaching on DO was thought to be simple by Ananda but the Buddha told him that was not the case. Nagarjura set out to help us understand the DO better by his teachings on emptiness. These teachings not only teach that DO is the same as emptiness but also that the five clusters of clinging in the DO are also empty of inherent existence. This means they do not exist from their own side but exist interdependently.

    The emptiness of the five clusters of clinging is also referred to in the Dhammapada, verse 113:

    Better than a hundred years of life of a person, who does not perceive the arising
    and the dissolving of the five clusters of clinging (khandhas), is a day of life of one who perceives
    the continuous arising and dissolving of the five clusters of clinging.

    http://what-buddha-said.net/Canon/Su..._113.story.htm

    When we meditate we we can see the arising and dissolving of appearances of the mind. This is because both the mind's appearances and the mind itself is empty - that is it is interdependent. Our thoughts, emotions, etc. arise from emptiness and dissolve back into emptiness - there is no abiding self.

  6. #36
    Hi londonerabroad

    When you are quoting could you make use of the quoting facility or use speech marks please, because I often find it difficult to tell which are you own words in your posts.

    A page reference is also necessary if you quote from a text several chapters long such as P.A. Payutto's DO booklet quoted from earlier in the thread. Thanks


    Quote Originally Posted by londonerabroad
    The emptiness of the five clusters of clinging is also referred to in the Dhammapada, verse 113:

    Better than a hundred years of life of a person, who does not perceive the arising
    and the dissolving of the five clusters of clinging (khandhas), is a day of life of one who perceives
    the continuous arising and dissolving of the five clusters of clinging.

    That's a very clumsy translation for the khandas - For the benefit of newcomers reading this - "clusters of clinging" is refering to the 5 aggregates.

    I prefer Gil Fronsdal's version of that verse,from my own Dhammapada book.


    Better than one hundred years lived
    Without seeing the arising and passing of things
    Is one day lived
    Seeing their arising and passing.

  7. #37
    The quote about the Buddha correcting Ananda when he said the DO was simple is from P. A. Payutto is from page 1 - the overview of dependent origination from the study link on this site about dependent origination (P.A. Payutto)

    The following is part 3 of the series of videos on contemplating emptiness, which talks about the existence of the self dependently.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGO5mO-6phc

    About things existing in a different way than our sense organs see them - not as out there, self-standing independent things but rather as empty or dependent things.

    and part 4 of the video series "meditating on emptiness":

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8R2Z1Y-vo8

    This is about where His Holiness the Dalai Lama talks about how to use the verses from the Madhyamaka in meditation.

  8. #38
    Please see the last section of #36 about Dhammapada which I was adding when you posted #37

  9. #39
    It is precisely because the subjects - the clusters of clinging (khandhas or senses) - are dependent on the objects - things, that the two translations can said to be the same. It is because of the emptiness - the interdependence - of things (including the khandhas) that this is so and that both are dependently arising.

  10. #40
    Forums Member srivijaya's Avatar
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    There is a general misconception, that the Prasangika presentation of the two truths is a newer, or more refined presentation of reality than anything one can locate in the Pali suttas.

    The middle way philosophy was created with the purpose using logic to refute nihilism and eternalism. It does a fine job of undermining both whilst helping (some claim) to loosen attachment by considering all things to be empty of inherent existence.

    The whole subject, however, merits a closer look. A long long time ago (even pre-Buddha) scholars were preoccupied with trying to establish what exists, and what does not. They eventually came around to a cast-iron set of alternatives. Things can:

    1. exist
    2. not exist
    3. both exist and not exist
    4. neither exist nor not exist

    This covers all eventualities and we witness the wandered Vacchagotta accosting buddha with them here.

    Okay, you say, but this is just Theravadan stuff. Not so. You will need to dig really deep into the guts of the Tibetan system to find it but it's there if you are persistent. They are known as the four impossible extreme modes of existence in the Tibetan school and do get covered, just not discussed very much.

    Now, there is a big problem when we get to number 3 on our list, ie. "both exist and not exist" as this is very similar to saying that things exist conventionally but not ultimately. There is a nasty contradiction brewing and the scholars needed to do some fancy footwork to get around it. They claim that 3. represents a dichotomy, ie something impossible as two mutually exclusive statements can't occupy the same reality, whereas the two truths are not a dichotomy, they are unified (phew!!!).

    Here's how the four modes are presented on Berzin:
    The actual mode of existence of mind-itself is [nondenumerable] voidness, beyond all four impossible extremes: true existence, nonexistence, both true existence and nonexistence, or neither true existence nor nonexistence.
    And a little later:
    [The first two points, mind is not truly existent and mind is not totally nonexistent, when taken together are equivalent to the assertion that mind is neither truly existent nor totally nonexistent. That, however, cannot be the case if true existence and total nonexistence are contradictory (‘gal-ba) in the sense of constituting a dichotomy (dngos-‘gal).
    But is this fair? If point 3 had really been such a blindingly simple dichotomy, the early logicians wouldn't have got it off the ground. I contend that point 3 was deliberately left open to whatever interpretation a sect wished to transpose upon it. It was left open in order to cover all angles.

    Okay, the resultant doctrine of the two truths is a useful tool for refuting the extremes of existence and non-existence but it remains a philosophical position - upheld by logic - and one of the four on our list, however you wish to dress it up. It's worth taking note of Buddha's response to Vacchagotta in another sutta (yep, the dude was persistent):
    "Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

    "A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with.
    If you read the sutta, Vacchagotta tries everything he can to pin Buddha down but to no avail. Eventually he realises that Buddha has abandoned all categories or positions. Buddha is not positing ultimate realities or logical standpoints, he is entirely somewhere else.

    We see within the Mahayana a sometimes uncomfortable contradiction. On the one hand, the mind abiding in ultimate truth is said to be non-conceptual and boundless. But the "superiority" of the vehicle is propped up on a philosophical foundation which has nothing whatsoever to do with such states.

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