Emptiness and the two truths

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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby Son of Buddha » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:18 pm

"Son of Buddha"
this has nothing to do with the suttas I provided,its not commentary on the ACTUAL suttas its simply reification of one owns traditions views.
for instance he tries to claim that Enlightenment is a phenomena, this is an entirely substantialist view,Enlightenment is not a phenomena nor is it a product of this phenomena reality.

xabir
In the Pali suttas, awakening happens through transcendental dependent arising which runs by the same Principle of Dependent Origination (but it is not the same scheme as the afflictive twelve links of dependent arising). As explained here: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el277.html

your statement has nothing to do with what I posted....I simply pointed out that to view Enlightenment as a Phenomena is a substantialist view.

"Son of Buddha"
second and most importatnt the sutta itself refutes his views which is why he doesnt even try to comment on the actual sutta cause if he did he would end up with what Im about to ask you.

xabir
The sutta does not refute his view. And I have shown you suttas that explicitly reject any self-hood or a self of tathagata.

the Suttas actually reject the idea that Enlightenment is No-Self,in fact the suttas state No Self leads to suffering and is suffering.
"Son of Buddha"
based on the (SN 23.24)
4 (2)-34 (12) Subject to Mara, tc.(I wont reference the suttas again you know where to find them to reference the questions)
(1)does this sutta state that Whatever is of a Selfless nature belongs to/is subject to mara and you should abandon it??? (Yes or No)

xabir
Please quote the relevant sections.

4 (2)-34 (12) Subject to Mara, tc.

... "Radha, you should abandon desire, you should abandon lust, you should abandon desire and lust, for whatever is subject to Mara ' .. [199] ". for whatever is impermanent ... for whatever is of an impermanent nature for whatever is suffering ...
for whatever is of a painful nature for whatever is nonself ' .. for whatever is of a selfless nature ... for whatever is subject to destruction ... for whatever is subject to vanishing ... for what¬ever is subject to arising ... for whatever is subject to cessation. And what, Radha, is subject to cessation? Form is subject to ces¬sation. Feeling ... Perception ... Volitional formations ... Consciousness is subject to cessation. Seein thus ' .. He understands:
there is no more for this state of being.''

as you can see you are supposed to abandon the Idea of No-Self,seeing as No self is what belongs to Mara, No Self was actually used by the Buddha to describe what was NOT Enlightenment.

SN 22.68 "Bhikkhu you should abandon desire for whatever is non self"

"Son of Buddha"(2)so if Enlightenment is without self nature then it belongs to mara and should be abandoned correct? (Yes or No)

xabir
There is nothing wrong with abandoning. Enlightenment is not something to be "picked up", "grasped on", "held to". Picking up is bondage, attachment is bondage. It is precisely because even enlightenment is empty that it is liberating.

your not getting what I am trying to say. the sutta is saying you are to abandon anything that is without Self nature cause it is what belongs to mara,IF Enlightenment was without Self nature then it would also need to be abandoned by you cause it would be suffering also.
in this sutta NO SELF IS an affliction

xabir
Diamond Sutra: "Tell me, Subhuti. Does a Buddha say to himself, 'I have obtained Perfect Enlightenment.'?"
"No, lord. There is no such thing as Perfect Enlightenment to obtain. If a Perfectly Enlightened Buddha were to say to himself, 'I am enlightened' he would be admitting there is an individual person, a separate self and personality, and would therefore not be a Perfectly Enlightened Buddha.""
Buddha: "I truly attained nothing from complete, unexcelled enlightenment, and that is why it is called complete, unexcelled enlightenment."


the True Self isn't an individual personality,this is talking about the "self and the world" or "the Self the size of the thumb" which were the views of self of the non buddhists.

"Son of Buddha"
Based on SN 22.59
Anatta-lakkhana Sutta:
(3)does this sutta not state that No self leads to suffering? (Yes or No)

xabir
This sutta says that because there is no self, affliction can occur. It explains that because there is no self, no agent, no controller, things do not go the way we want them to. Example: because your loved one is not yours, you cannot control it to not die. Because your body is not you or yours, you cannot make it immortal by controlling it. If your sadness were self, you could think "sadness stop" and it would stop, but it does not stop by your control because it is not you or yours.
At the same time, it is the ending of any conceit of "I Am" or any I-making, that is the end of suffering. There is no contradiction. That complete end of I-making is liberation, is freedom from bondage, is freedom from identification and clinging.


this sutta makes it very clear that the reason the 5 aggregates lead to suffering is BECAUSE they ARE NO SELF.
O monks, since form is not-self, therefore form leads to suffering
in fact if the 5 aggregates were Self they would not lead to suffering.
this entire sutta is actually claiming that Not Self is the reason for the suffering


next you mention that IT IS NOT YOURS.....okay so what is yours???????

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nypo.html
Not Yours[44]
40. "Therefore, monks, give up whatever is not yours.[45] Your giving it up will for a long time bring you welfare and happiness. What is it that is not yours? Corporeality is not yours. Give it up! Your giving it up will for a long time bring you welfare and happiness. Feeling is not yours. Give it up! Your giving it up will for a long bring you welfare and happiness. Perception is not yours. Give it up! Your giving it up will for a long time bring you welfare and happiness. Mental formations are not yours. Give them up! Your giving them up will for a long time bring you welfare and happiness. Consciousness is not yours. Give it up! Your giving it up will for a long time bring you welfare and happiness.[46]

41. "What do you think, monks: if people were to carry away the grass, sticks, branches and leaves in this Jeta Grove, or burnt them or did with them what they pleased, would you think: These people carry us away, or burn us, or do with us as they please?" — "No, Lord." — "Why not?" Because, Lord, that is neither our self nor the property of our self." "So, too, monks, give up what is not yours! Your giving it up will for a long time bring you welfare and happiness. What is it that is not yours? Corporeality... feeling... perception... mental formations... consciousness are not yours. Give them up! Your giving them up will for a long time bring you welfare and happiness."

SN:22.69 "Bhikkhu,you should abandon desire for whatever does not belong to self."

"Son of Buddha"
(4) does this sutta state that IF the 5 aggregates WERE SELF they would not lead to suffering? (Yes or No)

xabir
Yes this is the case. However by discerning that the aggregates were empty of self, one would not suffer as a result.

NO what you are saying is exactly the OPPOSITE of what the sutta is actually teaching,
the very FACT the 5 aggregates are Empty of a self(no self) is the reason they lead to suffering.
"SN 22.59
O monks, since form is not-self, therefore form leads to suffering
"
your trying to reverse what it is actually teaching


"Son of Buddha"
(5) if Enlightenment has NO Self then it would lead to suffering correct? (Yes or No)

xabir
The Buddha said this: ""Bhikkhus, form is not-self. Were form self, then this form would not lead to affliction, and one could have it of form: 'Let my form be thus, let my form be not thus.' And since form is not-self, so it leads to affliction, and none can have it of form: 'Let my form be thus, let my form be not thus.'"

Note that he does not say "everything that is not-self must lead to affliction" He is only saying that in reference to the five aggregates, that the aggregates lead to affliction when they are not-self.


actually that is exactly what it is saying in fact the REASON the 5 aggregates lead to suffering is because they are No self.
' And since form is not-self, so it leads to affliction,


xabir
Enlightenment is not-self,

thats not true, the reason the 5 aggregates lead to suffering is BECAUSE they are no self,also no self is stated to belong to mara,and is stated to be suffering.

"Son of Buddha"
Based on SN 22.46 Impermanent (2) pg 885
(7)does this sutta state that No self is Suffering?(Yes or No)

xabir
No, the sutta does not state that no self is suffering. It states that what is suffering is not self. What is not suffering (nirvana) is also not self.


you do realize that whether you say "suffering is not self" or "Not Self is suffering" that it is saying the same exact thing just written backwards.
what does the sutta say?? that what is suffering IS Not Self.

(9)"Son of Buddha"
isn't Nirvana the end of suffering or are the 4 noble truth a lie?(Yes or No)

xabir
Nirvana is the termination of craving as defined in the 4 noble truths sutta. It is not a self.

the 4 noble truths is the termination of suffering,and no self is suffering.

xabir
Thus a real understanding of the Buddha's doctrine of kamma and
rebirth is possible only to one who has caught a glimpse of the
egoless nature, or //anattata//, and of the conditionality, or
//idappaccayata//, of all phenomena of existence. Therefore it is said
in the //Visuddhimagga// (Chap. XIX):

you do realise this is a list of everything Enlightenment is not correct?

P.S. visuddhimagga quotes are not definite also they contradict the Self Doer teachings found in the AN

Lastly ill add this
The Buddhas teach that emptiness
Removes, without fail, all clinging to views,
But those who cling to the view of emptiness
Are said to be incorrigible.
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby Son of Buddha » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:32 pm

"xabir"]
"Yes. In the first turning of the dharma wheel, Buddha taught the four noble truth and the lack of inherent existence of the self. In the second turnings, it was taught that all dharma lack inherent existence. To prevent over negation, the third turning was preached. Even in the third turning of the wheel, the Samdhinirmocana sutra of Yogacara, we also see the careful use of the word ‘Self’ and the clarification of the flow of perceptions without an enduring element. Similar emphasis can also be found in the Mahamudra teaching (some say that it is fourth turning), the emphasis of emptiness is pretty clear. What we witness is in each of the turnings, is the refinement on the idea of impermanence and prevention of people from falling into the nihilistic view that nothing exists but never the claim of the permanence of Buddha-Nature. As the great Zen master Dogen puts it, impermanence is Buddha’s Nature.


you do realise the Samdhinirmocana sutra states that the 1st and 2nd turnings are provisional and only the 3rd turning is definite right?
so those 3rd turning True Self teaching are considered the definite teaching by this sutra you mention.

next Dogen's quote is literally the opposite of what is actually taught in the Buddha Nature sutras.

Nevertheless, any possible reasons why Mahaparinirvana Sutra and Tathagatagarbha sutras assertion for this ‘about-turn’?

Lastly, why is this emphasis of impermanence crucial and what has our pristine awareness got to do with it? "


there is no about turn...........I have already posted suttas from the Pali Canon that show that No Self was never considered a good thing and in fact was only to taught to show people what was not enlightenment (this is not my self nor what belongs to my self= Buddha concerning the no self teachings)

also impermenance was put in the same catogory as No self both Impermenance ands No Self were considered suffering.

With regards to the bold assertion of certain tathagatagarbha sutras, some scholars ascribed the Hindu influence during the Gupta period where we see strong pressure of traditional Hindu culture. Another possible condition for the emergence of the tathagatagarbha sutras might be the result of over negation in certain practices that eventually led people to mistake Buddhism as nihilistic (On the surface, it is not uncommon that many misunderstood that Buddhism is nihilistic) and a positive language about Nirvana is needed for non-buddhist ascetics as well as buddhist-practitioners.

I could of swore they came about because the traditional schools held similar views on the subject
http://www.iep.utm.edu/pudgalav/

true Self Buddhism is not a new occurance,its been around since the beggining
SN:22.69 "Bhikkhu,you should abandon desire for whatever does not belong to self."
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby Son of Buddha » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:49 pm

xabir wrote:p.s. upon closer look, I do not agree with the statement of Nirvana as some form of 'ultimate reality'. Many Theravadins have a slightly eternalistic interpretation of the suttas that is not founded/based on the suttas. But even they do not go on to assert Nirvana as Self.


actually many Thervadins do claim Nirvana is Self.

Even the great Theravadan, Ajahn Maha Boowa, who teaches from direct experience from his meditation, teaches this:
Quote
As we are practising at this time and have been continually practising, proceeding in the path of avoiding all harms by stages, until the attainment of the great treasure of our hope (i.e., Nirvana).

- From that it is possible to call 'niccam' because there is nothing involved that will trouble or disturb the mind.
- It is not wrong to call it 'paramam sukham'.
- Calling it atta wouldn't be wrong because it is the true self that is the self of the natural principle.
There is no conventionality, however great or small or even minute, involved in the mind. But it does not mean the atta that is together with anatta that is another stage of conventionality which is still the path to nibbana.
Source: Achariya Maha Boowa Nanasampanno, 'Kwan Tai Pen Thammada' ('Death is Normal'), Tham Chud Triam (Dhamma Collection for Preparation), 1976.

name ONE credibleThervadan who would dare say Ajahn Maha Boowa is incorrect
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajahn_Maha_Bua (his info)

then you have one of the original schools who held true Self views
http://www.iep.utm.edu/pudgalav/

and also Phra Dhammachayo
and Wat Phra Dhammakaya which is taking over Thai Buddhism is also True Self Buddhists.
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby asunthatneversets » Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:34 pm

Son of Buddha wrote:you do realise the Samdhinirmocana sutra states that the 1st and 2nd turnings are provisional and only the 3rd turning is definite right?
so those 3rd turning True Self teaching are considered the definite teaching by this sutra you mention.


Third turning (Vajrayāna) does not teach that there is a 'True Self', as Longchenpa states here:

"The final [turning] for the sake of those who had reached fulfillment and who were of sharpest capacity taught the nature of all that is knowable, as it really is. As such, it bears to similarity to the Self of the Hindu heretics because these people in their ignorance speak of a 'Self' that does not actually exist, being a mere imputation superimposed on reality."
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby Son of Buddha » Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:53 pm

asunthatneversets wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote:you do realise the Samdhinirmocana sutra states that the 1st and 2nd turnings are provisional and only the 3rd turning is definite right?
so those 3rd turning True Self teaching are considered the definite teaching by this sutra you mention.


Third turning (Vajrayāna) does not teach that there is a 'True Self', as Longchenpa states here:

"The final [turning] for the sake of those who had reached fulfillment and who were of sharpest capacity taught the nature of all that is knowable, as it really is. As such, it bears to similarity to the Self of the Hindu heretics because these people in their ignorance speak of a 'Self' that does not actually exist, being a mere imputation superimposed on reality."


your post has nothing to do with what is actually taught in the Third Turning Sutras or Tantra's.
http://www.sutrasmantras.info/sutra19.html
The Buddha told Kāśyapa, “I explain the meaning of no self to destroy the worldly view of self.

Kāśyapa asked the Buddha, “World-Honored One, if there is a [true] self in one, why is it covered up by one’s afflictions, which are like dirt?”
The Buddha told Kāśyapa, “Very good! Very good! You should ask the Tathāgata this question. As an analogy, a goldsmith perceives the purity of gold. He thinks about why such pure gold is mixed with dirt and seeks the origin of the dirt. Will he find its origin?”
Kāśyapa replied, “No, World-Honored One.”
The Buddha told Kāśyapa, “If he spends his entire lifetime thinking about the initial cause of the dirt since time without a beginning, will he find the original state? He will acquire neither gold nor the origin of dirt. However, if he diligently uses skillful means to remove the dirt mixed with the gold, he will acquire the gold.”
The Buddha told Kāśyapa, “Thus [one’s true] self is covered up by one’s afflictions, like dirt. If a person who wants to see his [true] self thinks: ‘I should search for this self and the origin of afflictions,’ will that person find the origin?”
Kāśyapa replied to the Buddha, “No, World-Honored One.”
The Buddha told Kāśyapa, “If one diligently uses skillful means to remove one’s afflictions, which are like dirt, one will realize one’s [true] self. If one, having heard this sūtra, with profound faith and delight, uses skillful means, neither leisurely nor rushed, to do good karmas with one’s body, voice, and mind, through these causes and conditions, one will realize one’s [true] self.”
Kāśyapa asked the Buddha, “If there is true self, why it is not seen?”
The Buddha told Kāśyapa, “I will now give you an analogy. For example, a beginning student is learning the five letters [five sets of five consonants], which are used to compose stanzas of verses. If one wants to know the meanings [of the verses] before learning [the letters], can one know them? One should first learn [the letters], then one will know [the meanings]. Having learned [the letters], one needs to be taught by the teacher, who uses examples to indicate the meanings of verses composed of words. If one can listen to and accept the teacher, one will acquire understanding of the meanings of the verses, and believe and appreciate them. The [true] self is now covered up by the store of afflictions. If someone says, ‘Good man, the Tathāgata store is such and such,’ then the hearer immediately wants to see it. Is he able to see it?”
Kāśyapa replied, “No, World-Honored One.”
The Buddha told Kāśyapa, “For example, the student who does not know the meanings of the verses should follow the teacher on faith. Kāśyapa, know that the Tathāgata is the speaker of truthful words. He truthfully describes the existence of sentient beings. You will know later, like that student who has learned [from his teacher]. I now explain to you the realm of sentient beings by four veiled analogies. These four are the eye blinded by a disease, the moon covered by heavy clouds, the water in a well to be dug, and the flame of a lamp inside a container. Know that these four analogies involve the causes and conditions for realizing one’s Buddha nature. All sentient beings have Buddha nature with immeasurable excellent appearance, majesty, and radiance. Because of Buddha nature, all sentient beings can attain parinirvāṇa. For example, the disease of the eye can be cured. Before one has encountered a good physician, one’s eye is sightless. Once a good physician appears, one will quickly perceive sights. Indeed, the immeasurable store of afflictions covers and obstructs one’s Tathāgata nature. Unless one encounters Buddhas, [holy] voice-hearers, or Pratyekabuddha, one mistakes no self for self, and non-self for belongings of self. After encountering Buddhas, [holy] voice-hearers, or Pratyekabuddhas, one then knows about one’s true self. As if cured of a disease, one’s eye opens and sees clearly.
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby asunthatneversets » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:14 am

And then you get teachings like this... clearly denigrating notions of a self of any kind, including your alleged Universal Self.

The Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra:

"Moreover, these sentient beings must have also discarded all arbitrary ideas relating to the conceptions of a personal self, other personalities, living beings and a Universal Self (True Self), because if they had not, their minds would inevitably grasp after such relative ideas. Further, these sentient beings must have already discarded all arbitrary ideas relating to the conception of the non-existence of a personal self, other personalities, living beings and a Universal Self. If they had not, their minds would still be grasping after such ideas. Therefore, every disciple who is seeking Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi should discard, not only conceptions of one's own selfhood, other selves, living beings and a Universal Selfhood, but should discard, also, all ideas about such conceptions and all ideas about the non-existence of such conceptions."

and

"Such a person will be able to awaken pure faith because they have ceased to cherish any arbitrary notions of their own selfhood, other selves, living beings, or a universal self. Why? Because if they continue to hold onto arbitrary conceptions as to their own selfhood, they will be holding onto something that is non-existent. It is the same with all arbitrary conceptions of other selves, living beings, or a universal self. These are all expressions of non-existent things. Buddhas are Buddhas because they have been able to discard all arbitrary conceptions of form and phenomena, they have transcended all perceptions, and have penetrated the illusion of all forms."

and

"If a disciple cherishes the idea of a self, a person, a living being or a universal self, then that person is not an authentic disciple. Why? Because in fact there is no independently existing object of mind called the highest, most fulfilled, and awakened mind."

and

"A true disciple knows that there is no such thing as a self, a person, a living being, or a universal self. A true disciple knows that all things are devoid of selfhood"
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby Son of Buddha » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:37 am

asunthatneversets wrote:And then you get teachings like this... clearly denigrating notions of a self of any kind, including your alleged Universal Self.

The Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra:

"Moreover, these sentient beings must have also discarded all arbitrary ideas relating to the conceptions of a personal self, other personalities, living beings and a Universal Self (True Self), because if they had not, their minds would inevitably grasp after such relative ideas. Further, these sentient beings must have already discarded all arbitrary ideas relating to the conception of the non-existence of a personal self, other personalities, living beings and a Universal Self. If they had not, their minds would still be grasping after such ideas. Therefore, every disciple who is seeking Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi should discard, not only conceptions of one's own selfhood, other selves, living beings and a Universal Selfhood, but should discard, also, all ideas about such conceptions and all ideas about the non-existence of such conceptions."

and

"Such a person will be able to awaken pure faith because they have ceased to cherish any arbitrary notions of their own selfhood, other selves, living beings, or a universal self. Why? Because if they continue to hold onto arbitrary conceptions as to their own selfhood, they will be holding onto something that is non-existent. It is the same with all arbitrary conceptions of other selves, living beings, or a universal self. These are all expressions of non-existent things. Buddhas are Buddhas because they have been able to discard all arbitrary conceptions of form and phenomena, they have transcended all perceptions, and have penetrated the illusion of all forms."

and

"If a disciple cherishes the idea of a self, a person, a living being or a universal self, then that person is not an authentic disciple. Why? Because in fact there is no independently existing object of mind called the highest, most fulfilled, and awakened mind."

and

"A true disciple knows that there is no such thing as a self, a person, a living being, or a universal self. A true disciple knows that all things are devoid of selfhood"

your post has nothing to do with what is actually taught in the Third Turning Sutras or Tantra's.
This is from the second Turning not the 3rd turning.
as I said the Third Turning teaches True Self.

(also the Samdhi-nirmochana Sutra places your quote in the provisional Dharma while stating the Third Turning to be definite)
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby asunthatneversets » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:43 am

Son of Buddha wrote:Lastly ill add this
The Buddhas teach that emptiness
Removes, without fail, all clinging to views,
But those who cling to the view of emptiness
Are said to be incorrigible.

Also, this quote is irrelevant to this discussion. It is stating that emptiness is the pacification of views, because it is the pacification of the ignorance which grasps and clings. Ergo; grasping and clinging to the means or principle (emptiness) which removes views, is turning the means into a view itself, thereby negating emptiness. This isn't saying that emptiness is wrong, it's saying that objectifying emptiness in the relative mind is not the meaning of emptiness. Emptiness pacifies views, if you make emptiness into a view then you've failed to pacify views.
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby asunthatneversets » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:51 am

Son of Buddha wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:And then you get teachings like this... clearly denigrating notions of a self of any kind, including your alleged Universal Self.

The Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra:

"Moreover, these sentient beings must have also discarded all arbitrary ideas relating to the conceptions of a personal self, other personalities, living beings and a Universal Self (True Self), because if they had not, their minds would inevitably grasp after such relative ideas. Further, these sentient beings must have already discarded all arbitrary ideas relating to the conception of the non-existence of a personal self, other personalities, living beings and a Universal Self. If they had not, their minds would still be grasping after such ideas. Therefore, every disciple who is seeking Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi should discard, not only conceptions of one's own selfhood, other selves, living beings and a Universal Selfhood, but should discard, also, all ideas about such conceptions and all ideas about the non-existence of such conceptions."

and

"Such a person will be able to awaken pure faith because they have ceased to cherish any arbitrary notions of their own selfhood, other selves, living beings, or a universal self. Why? Because if they continue to hold onto arbitrary conceptions as to their own selfhood, they will be holding onto something that is non-existent. It is the same with all arbitrary conceptions of other selves, living beings, or a universal self. These are all expressions of non-existent things. Buddhas are Buddhas because they have been able to discard all arbitrary conceptions of form and phenomena, they have transcended all perceptions, and have penetrated the illusion of all forms."

and

"If a disciple cherishes the idea of a self, a person, a living being or a universal self, then that person is not an authentic disciple. Why? Because in fact there is no independently existing object of mind called the highest, most fulfilled, and awakened mind."

and

"A true disciple knows that there is no such thing as a self, a person, a living being, or a universal self. A true disciple knows that all things are devoid of selfhood"

your post has nothing to do with what is actually taught in the Third Turning Sutras or Tantra's.
This is from the second Turning not the 3rd turning.
as I said the Third Turning teaches True Self.

(also the Samdhi-nirmochana Sutra places your quote in the provisional Dharma while stating the Third Turning to be definite)

And Dzogchen, for example, states that the third turning is provisional while itself is definitive. It all depends on the teaching. Dzogpa Chenpo upholds a freedom from extremes, thoroughly negating a True Self, and when referencing the yānas and other systems; considers early Indian Prasangika Madhyamaka to be a definitive view (because it likewise upholds a freedom from extremes).

So your 'definitive' is provisional as well. Context is everything.
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby Son of Buddha » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:03 am

asunthatneversets wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:And then you get teachings like this... clearly denigrating notions of a self of any kind, including your alleged Universal Self.

The Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra:

"Moreover, these sentient beings must have also discarded all arbitrary ideas relating to the conceptions of a personal self, other personalities, living beings and a Universal Self (True Self), because if they had not, their minds would inevitably grasp after such relative ideas. Further, these sentient beings must have already discarded all arbitrary ideas relating to the conception of the non-existence of a personal self, other personalities, living beings and a Universal Self. If they had not, their minds would still be grasping after such ideas. Therefore, every disciple who is seeking Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi should discard, not only conceptions of one's own selfhood, other selves, living beings and a Universal Selfhood, but should discard, also, all ideas about such conceptions and all ideas about the non-existence of such conceptions."

and

"Such a person will be able to awaken pure faith because they have ceased to cherish any arbitrary notions of their own selfhood, other selves, living beings, or a universal self. Why? Because if they continue to hold onto arbitrary conceptions as to their own selfhood, they will be holding onto something that is non-existent. It is the same with all arbitrary conceptions of other selves, living beings, or a universal self. These are all expressions of non-existent things. Buddhas are Buddhas because they have been able to discard all arbitrary conceptions of form and phenomena, they have transcended all perceptions, and have penetrated the illusion of all forms."

and

"If a disciple cherishes the idea of a self, a person, a living being or a universal self, then that person is not an authentic disciple. Why? Because in fact there is no independently existing object of mind called the highest, most fulfilled, and awakened mind."

and

"A true disciple knows that there is no such thing as a self, a person, a living being, or a universal self. A true disciple knows that all things are devoid of selfhood"

your post has nothing to do with what is actually taught in the Third Turning Sutras or Tantra's.
This is from the second Turning not the 3rd turning.
as I said the Third Turning teaches True Self.

(also the Samdhi-nirmochana Sutra places your quote in the provisional Dharma while stating the Third Turning to be definite)

And Dzogchen, for example, states that the third turning is provisional while itself is definitive. It all depends on the teaching. Dzogpa Chenpo upholds a freedom from extremes, thoroughly negating a True Self, and when referencing the yānas and other systems; considers early Indian Prasangika Madhyamaka to be a definitive view (because it likewise upholds a freedom from extremes).

So your 'definitive' is provisional as well. Context is everything.

yes context is everything and Dzogchen is not derived from a Sutra or a Tantra :mrgreen:
but like I said Third Turning is stated to be definite teachings in the Samdhi-nirmochana Sutra
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby asunthatneversets » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:25 am

Still, this doesn't mean third turning asserts the existence of a True Self. My Kagyu lama, who is a Mahāmudrā master, rejects this notion outright. He states that the 'vajra' in Vajrayāna means emptiness, and those who claim Vajrayāna states something other than the other two yānas in regards to selfhood, are sadly misinformed.
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby futerko » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:37 am

asunthatneversets wrote:Still, this doesn't mean third turning asserts the existence of a True Self. My Kagyu lama, who is a Mahāmudrā master, rejects this notion outright. He states that the 'vajra' in Vajrayāna means emptiness, and those who claim Vajrayāna states something other than the other two yānas in regards to selfhood, are sadly misinformed.


As does the site which posts those same sutras, http://www.sutrasmantras.info/glossary.html#such

"true suchness (bhūta-tathātā, 真如). The changeless true reality of all dharmas, the absolute truth that dharmas have neither birth nor death. It has other names, including emptiness, true emptiness, ultimate emptiness, one appearance, one flavor, ultimate reality (bhūta-koṭi), true reality, true state, primal state, Buddha mind, true mind, inherent pure mind, the Thus-Come One (Tathāgata), the thus-come store (Tathāgata-garbha), vajra store, dharma-kāya, Buddha nature, dharma nature, dharma realm, the one true dharma realm, the highest truth (paramārtha), the great seal, and the great perfection."


http://www.sutrasmantras.info/glossary.html#empty18
"eighteen emptinesses (十八空). Given in the Mahā-prajñā-pāramitā Sūtra... (6) the highest truth [nirvāṇa]"
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby xabir » Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:08 am

Son of Buddha wrote:your statement has nothing to do with what I posted....I simply pointed out that to view Enlightenment as a Phenomena is a substantialist view.
Everything including Nirvana is a phenomena, however, Nirvana is an unconditioned phenomena/unconditioned dharma, while the aggregates and so forth are conditioned dharmas/phenomena.

Substantialist view does not lie in describing the dharmas/phenomena on a conventional level. Substantialist view lies in establishing the svabhava, or intrinsic essence, of these dharmas/phenomena. Substantialist view also lies in establishing a self, including the True Self that you promulgate. To state that Nirvana is more than empty phenomena or that it is a substantially existing True Self is to fall into a substantialist view.

To clearly comprehend that even Nirvana is empty and illusory*, is to be free from substantialist views.

* "Nirvāṇa is an illusion. Even if there is anything greater than Nirvāṇa, that too will be only an illusion." ~ Aṣṭasāhasrikāprajñapāramitā Sutra
the Suttas actually reject the idea that Enlightenment is No-Self,in fact the suttas state No Self leads to suffering and is suffering.

First of all, I never said that enlightenment is no-self, as no-self or anatman is the nature of dharmas, it is always already the case. If anatman were enlightenment, then everyone in the world would have been enlightened, because every person's mind, every dharma, that anyone has experienced is by nature already anatman.

Awakening is not anatman *but the direct realization or knowledge of anatman*. That knowledge is also by nature anatman, but it is a specific knowledge that must manifest from one's practice and contemplation, otherwise one remains deluded and under bondage of the false views and conceit of self/I Am.

You are completely misunderstanding the suttas. The suttas simply states a very factual observance: 1) the aggregates are subject to suffering: birth, ageing, sickness, death, pain (be it physical and mental), etc. 2) because these aggregates are not self, not I or mine, there is no control or agency involved that could stop these suffering.

The Buddha never said that No Self leads to suffering, he is saying that because there is no Self, suffering could occur and are not under the control of a Self. Or as Buddhaghosa said, "Suffering is, no sufferer". If there were a Self/Controller, then suffering will not be occurring because you can control them anytime and they will stop. This is not the case. Suffering arise due to causal conditions based on Ignorance.

Selfhood involves: 1) agency/control, and are 2) permanent, and 3) independent, and 4) separate. If anything fulfills such criterias, we could say that a Self can be established. But such a self cannot be found and is a mere delusion. Aggregates happen by causality and not self-agency, aggregates are impermanent (and there is also no permanent self behind or observing them), everything is dependently originating and there is no separate self distinct from these aggregates.

By the ending of Ignorance via penetrating the deep profound truths of no-self, dependent origination and emptiness, there is release from the entire afflictive causal chain that leads to suffering.
4 (2)-34 (12) Subject to Mara, tc.

... "Radha, you should abandon desire, you should abandon lust, you should abandon desire and lust, for whatever is subject to Mara ' .. [199] ". for whatever is impermanent ... for whatever is of an impermanent nature for whatever is suffering ...
for whatever is of a painful nature for whatever is nonself ' .. for whatever is of a selfless nature ... for whatever is subject to destruction ... for whatever is subject to vanishing ... for what¬ever is subject to arising ... for whatever is subject to cessation. And what, Radha, is subject to cessation? Form is subject to ces¬sation. Feeling ... Perception ... Volitional formations ... Consciousness is subject to cessation. Seein thus ' .. He understands:
there is no more for this state of being.''

as you can see you are supposed to abandon the Idea of No-Self,seeing as No self is what belongs to Mara, No Self was actually used by the Buddha to describe what was NOT Enlightenment.
You are misinterpreting the suttas. It does not say "you must abandon the idea of No-Self". It says you must abandon lust and desire for what is not self. This is of course true, if you still have the slightest desire or lust for anything at all then you have not accomplished total Nirvana.

Furthermore the suttas say: Blissful is passionlessness in the world, The overcoming of sensual desires; But the abolition of the conceit "I am" — That is truly the supreme bliss

In Bahiya Sutta and Malunkyaputta Sutta it is taught: "Then, Bāhiya, you should train yourself thus: In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bāhiya, there is no you in connection with that. When there is no you in connection with that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress."

The suttas also say that the perception and recognition of anatta should be cultivated, and that it leads to liberation: SN 46.73 Anatta Sutta (abridged):

Here monks, a monk develops the awakening factor of mindfulness accompanied by the recognition of selflessness in what is unsatisfactory, dependent upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops the awakening factor of dhamma-investigation accompanied by the recognition of selflessness in what is unsatisfactory, dependent upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops the awakening factor of energy accompanied by the recognition of selflessness in what is unsatisfactory, dependent upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops the awakening factor of joy accompanied by the recognition of selflessness in what is unsatisfactory, dependent upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops the awakening factor of tranquility accompanied by the recognition of selflessness in what is unsatisfactory, dependent upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops the awakening factor of meditative composure accompanied by the recognition of selflessness in what is unsatisfactory, dependent upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops the awakening factor of equanimity accompanied by the recognition of selflessness in what is unsatisfactory, dependent upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, resulting in letting go.

It is in this way that the recognition of selflessness in what is unsatisfactory is developed and cultivated so that it is of great fruit and benefit. It is in this way that the recognition of selflessness in what is unsatisfactory is developed and cultivated so that one of two fruits is to be expected: either final gnosis in this very life or, if there is a residue of clinging, the state of nonreturning. It is in this way that the recognition of selflessness in what is unsatisfactory is developed and cultivated so that it leads to great good. It is in this way that the recognition of selflessness in what is unsatisfactory is developed and cultivated so that it leads to great security from bondage. It is in this way that the recognition of selflessness in what is unsatisfactory is developed and cultivated so that it leads to a great sense of urgency. It is in this way that the recognition of selflessness in what is unsatisfactory is developed and cultivated so that it leads to dwelling in great comfort.


"Son of Buddha"(2)so if Enlightenment is without self nature then it belongs to mara and should be abandoned correct? (Yes or No)
This is a wrong question. First of all, Buddha never say "what is without self nature is Mara". The Buddha said there that forms, feelings, volition, perception and consciousness are Mara. He is describing "the mara of the aggregate factors of experience". Nirvana is not-self but it is not the five aggregates* - it is the cessation of afflictions (passion, aggression and delusion) therefore it is not Mara. Awakening does not lead to attachment to Mara but rather it leads to the release of bondage (clinging to) of Mara.

According to the Buddhism's term, there are four types of Mara (the sutta you quoted is talking about number 3), namely:

1. the mara of death (the Lord of Death),
2. the mara of disturbing emotions and attitudes,
3.the mara of the aggregate factors of experience (the five aggregates),
4. the Mara who is the son of the gods. (Devaputta Mara)


*Note: Nirvana does not fall under the scheme of the Five Aggregates that classify conditioned dharmas, however it falls under the scheme of the Twelve Ayatanas and Eighteen Dhatus which covers all conditioned and unconditioned dharmas.

"The 'meritorious qualities' (gunas) and the bodies and lands of the Tathagatas are comprised in the Skandhas, Ayatanas, and Dhatus, as it is fitting that they should be so comprised; but the Skandhas, etc., may be pure (anasrava) or impure (sasrava). ... It is certain that the qualities, bodies, etc., of the Buddha are comprised in the Dhatus. - Why? Because, according to the texts, all Samskrtas (conditioned dharmas) are comprised in the five Skandhas, all dharmas are comprised in the eighteen Dhatus and the twelve Ayatanas ; there is no nineteenth Dhatu (Vimalakirti). ... Let us therefore conclude that the eighteen Dhatus are found in the body of the Buddha but are absolutely pure (anasrava)." (Ch'eng Wei-Shih Lun, p 787-789, tr. Wei Tat)

Malcolm: The Sabbasutta is just a description of the twelve āyatanas. The twelve āyatanas contain all conditioned and unconditioned phenomena, including the supreme Dharma, nirvana.

The twelve āyatanas: eye | form ear | sound nose | scent tongue | tastes body | tactiles mind | dharmas

That is it. There are no phenomena taught in any buddhist teachings that can go beyond this list. The dharma āyatana contains the aggregates of sensation, ideation and formations (vedanasamjñā̄saṃskaraskandha), as well as space and the two kinds of cessation. When the twelve āyatanas are broken out in to the eighteen dhātus, the dharma āyatana changes its name to the dharmadhātu. Mano āyatana, the mind ayatanā is the aggregate of consciousness, vijñāna skandha, and the ten material āyatanas, eye, form, etc, are the rūpaskandha.

your not getting what I am trying to say. the sutta is saying you are to abandon anything that is without Self nature cause it is what belongs to mara,IF Enlightenment was without Self nature then it would also need to be abandoned by you cause it would be suffering also.

Every dharma including Nirvana is not self and are not meant to be clung to. The Buddha stated in Mulaparipaya Sutta that the Buddha does not delight in Nirvana nor conceive of Nirvana in terms of self. However, there is no need for him to abandon Nirvana, because abandoning only applies when there is clinging in the first place. If you do not even cling to anything (by definition that is Nirvana) what need is there for abandonment?

Venerable Rahula:

https://sites.google.com/site/rahulawha ... of-no-soul

Those who want to find a ‘Self’ in Buddhism argue as follows: It is true that the Buddha analyses being into matter, sensation, perception, mental formations, and consciousness, and says that none of these things is self. But he does not say that there is no self at all in man or anywhere else, apart from these aggregates.

This position is untenable for two reasons:

One is that, according to the Buddha’s teaching, a being is composed only of these Five Aggregates, and nothing more. Nowhere has he said that there was anything more than these Five Aggregates in a being.

The second reason is that the Buddha denied categorically, in unequivocal terms, in more than one place, the existence of Ātman, Soul, Self, or Ego within man or without, or anywhere else in the universe. Let us take some examples.

In the Dhammapada there are three verses extremely important and essential in the Buddha’s teaching. They are nos. 5, 6 and 7 of chapter XX (or verses 277, 278, 279).
The first two verses say:

‘All conditioned things are impermanent’ (Sabbe SAṂKHĀRĀ aniccā), and ‘All conditioned things are dukkha’ (Sabbe SAṂKHĀRĀ dukkhā).

The third verse says:

‘All dhammas are without self’ (Sabbe DHAMMĀ anattā).[132]

Here it should be carefully observed that in the first two verses the word saṁkhārā ‘conditioned things’ is used. But in its place in the third verse the word dhammā is used. Why didn’t the third verse use the word saṃkhārā ‘conditioned things’ as the previous two verses, and why did it use the term dhammā instead? Here lies the crux of the whole matter.
The term saṃkhāra[133] denotes the Five Aggregates, all conditioned, interdependent, relative things and states, both physical and mental. If the third verse said: ‘All saṃkhārā (conditioned things) are without self’, then one might think that, although conditioned things are without self, yet there may be a Self outside conditioned things, outside the Five Aggregates. It is in order to avoid misunderstanding that the term dhammā is used in the third verse.

The term dhamma is much wider than saṃkhāra. There is no term in Buddhist terminology wider than dhamma. It includes not only the conditioned things and states, but also the non-conditioned, the Absolute, Nirvāṇa. There is nothing in the universe or outside, good or bad, conditioned or non-conditioned, relative or absolute, which is not included in this term. Therefore, it is quite clear that, according to this statement: ‘All dhammas are without Self’, there is no Self, no Ātman, not only in the Five Aggregates, but nowhere else too outside them or apart from them.[134]

This means, according to the Theravāda teaching, that there is no self either in the individual (puggala) or in dhammas. The Mahāyāna Buddhist philosophy maintains exactly the same position, without the slightest difference, on this point, putting emphasis on dharma-nairātmya as well as on pudgala- nairātmya.

In the Alagaddūpama-sutta of the Majjhima-nikāya, addressing his disciples, the Buddha said: ‘O bhikkhus, accept a soul-theory (Attavāda) in the acceptance of which there would not arise grief, lamentation, suffering, distress and tribulation. But, do you see, O bhikkhus, such a soul-theory in the acceptance of which there would not arise grief, lamentation, suffering, distress and tribulation?’

‘Certainly not, Sir.’

‘Good, O bhikkhus. I, too, O bhikkhus, do not see a soul-theory, in the acceptance of which there would not arise grief, lamentation, suffering, distress and tribulation.’[135]
If there had been any soul-theory which the Buddha had accepted, he would certainly have explained it here, because he asked the bhikkhus to accept that soul-theory which did not produce suffering. But in the Buddha’s view, there is no such soul theory, and any soul-theory, whatever it may be, however subtle and sublime, is false and imaginary, creating all kinds of problems, producing in its train grief, lamentation, suffering, distress, tribulation and trouble.

Continuing the discourse the Buddha said in the same sutta:

‘O bhikkhus, when neither self nor anything pertaining to self can truly and really be found, this speculative view: “The universe is that Ātman (Soul); I shall be that after death, permanent, abiding, ever-lasting, unchanging, and I shall exist as such for eternity” – is it not wholly and completely foolish?’[136]

Here the Buddha explicitly states that an Ātman, or Soul, or Self, is nowhere to be found in reality, and it is foolish to believe that there is such a thing.
Those who seek a self in the Buddha’s teaching quote a few examples which they first translate wrongly, and then misinterpret. One of them is the well-known line Attā hi attano nātho from the Dhammapada (XII, 4, or verse 160), which is translated as ‘Self is the lord of self’, and then interpreted to mean that the big Self is the lord of the small self.
First of all, this translation is incorrect. Attā here does not mean self in the sense of soul. In Pali the word attā is generally used as a reflexive or indefinite pronoun, except in a few cases where it specifically and philosophically refers to the soul-theory, as we have seen above. But in general usage, as in the XII chapter in the Dhammapada where this line occurs, and in many other places, it is used as a reflexive or indefinite pronoun meaning ‘myself’, ‘yourself’, ‘himself’, ‘one’, ‘oneself’, etc.[137]

Next, the word nātho does not mean ‘lord’, but ‘refuge’, ‘support’, ‘help’, ‘protection’.[138] Therefore, Attā hi attano nātho really means ‘One is one’s own refuge’ or ‘One is one’s own help’ or ‘support’. It has nothing to do with any metaphysical soul or self. It simply means that you have to rely on yourself, and not on others.

Another example of the attempt to introduce idea of self into the Buddha’s teaching is in the well-known words Attidīpā viharatha, attasaraṇā anaññasaraṇā, which are taken out of context in the Mahāparinibbāna-sutta.[139]This phrase literally means: ‘Dwell making yourselves your island (support), making yourselves your refuge, and not anyone else as your refuge.’[140] Those who wish to see a self in Buddhism interpret the words attadīpā and attasaraṇā ‘taking self as a lamp’, ‘taking self as a refuge’.[141]

We cannot understand the full meaning and significance of the advice of the Buddha to Ānanda, unless we take into consideration the background and the context in which these words were spoken.”

in this sutta NO SELF IS an affliction
No, the sutta never said no self is affliction. It says what is an affliction cannot be I, me, or mine, because if there were a Self the affliction could end under the control of that Self.
the True Self isn't an individual personality,this is talking about the "self and the world" or "the Self the size of the thumb" which were the views of self of the non buddhists.
Actually that translation is not good. The more accurate translation is this:

Subhuti replied, "No, World-Honored One. Why? There is no separately existing thing that can be called Arhat. If an Arhat gives rise to the thought that he has attained the fruit of Arhatship, then he is still caught up in the idea of a self, a person, a living being, and a life span. World-Honored One, you have often said that I have attained the concentration of peaceful abiding and that in the community, I am the Arhat who has most transformed need and desire. World-Honored One, if I were to think that I had attained the fruit of Arhatship, you certainly would not have said that I love to dwell in the concentration of peaceful abiding."

The "Self" here in refutation is not merely a personal ego or self, but the very idea of an "inherently existing Self", a self that has the characteristics of independence, permanence, agency, separateness.

The Self of the non-Buddhists are much closer to your idea of a True Self than you think. Read the Advaita books, all of them are not talking about an individual self but an impersonal True Self with capital S that is all-pervasive Brahman/pure consciousness. I have not yet met a Hindu who identifies the True Self as "the Self the size of the thumb".

I myself have been through this phase of realization and experience (identifying the all-pervasive Awareness or Brahman as the True Self). Fortunately with right guidance I was able to penetrate deeper with insight that allowed me to transcend the views of substantialism/Self.
this sutta makes it very clear that the reason the 5 aggregates lead to suffering is BECAUSE they ARE NO SELF.
O monks, since form is not-self, therefore form leads to suffering
in fact if the 5 aggregates were Self they would not lead to suffering.
this entire sutta is actually claiming that Not Self is the reason for the suffering
You are still not understanding what the sutta is saying. As I explained, The Buddha never said that No Self leads to suffering, he is saying that because there is no Self, suffering could occur and are not under the control of a Self. Or as Buddhaghosa said, "Suffering is, no sufferer". If there were a Self/Controller, then suffering will not be occurring because you can control them anytime and they will stop. This is not the case. Suffering arise due to causal conditions based on Ignorance.

Not-Self is *not* the reason for suffering, the reason for suffering is craving (four noble truths), and ignorance (twelve links of dependent arising). Not-Self merely *enables* suffering to occur, because if aggregates were self, then all sufferings could be stopped by hard will and control of an agent/controller/Self. There is no such Self.


next you mention that IT IS NOT YOURS.....okay so what is yours???????
Not one dharma is I, me, or mine.

‘All dhammas are without self’ (Sabbe DHAMMĀ anattā).[132]


you do realize that whether you say "suffering is not self" or "Not Self is suffering" that it is saying the same exact thing just written backwards.
what does the sutta say?? that what is suffering IS Not Self.
There never was a self, suffering or not suffering.

“Suffering exists, but no sufferer can be found.
Actions exist, but no doer of actions is there.
Nirvana exists, but no one who enters it.
The Path exists, but no traveler can be seen.”
(Visuddimagga, 513)

the 4 noble truths is the termination of suffering,and no self is suffering.
What is suffering is empty of self. That freedom from suffering (Nirvana) is also empty of self.
P.S. visuddhimagga quotes are not definite also they contradict the Self Doer teachings found in the AN
There is no contradiction at all. You simply have to understand the distinction between conventional and ultimate truth.


Would an arahant say "I" or "mine"?

Other devas had more sophisticated queries. One deva, for example, asked the Buddha if an arahant could use words that refer to a self:

"Consummate with taints destroyed,
One who bears his final body,
Would he still say 'I speak'?
And would he say 'They speak to me'?"

This deva realized that arahantship means the end of rebirth and suffering by uprooting mental defilements; he knew that arahants have no belief in any self or soul. But he was puzzled to hear monks reputed to be arahants continuing to use such self-referential expressions.

The Buddha replied that an arahant might say "I" always aware of the merely pragmatic value of common terms:

"Skillful, knowing the world's parlance,
He uses such terms as mere expressions."

The deva, trying to grasp the Buddha's meaning, asked whether an arahant would use such expressions because he is still prone to conceit. The Buddha made it clear that the arahant has no delusions about his true nature. He has uprooted all notions of self and removed all traces of pride and conceit:

"No knots exist for one with conceit cast off;
For him all knots of conceit are consumed.
When the wise one has transcended the conceived
He might still say 'I speak,'
And he might say 'They speak to me.'
Skillful, knowing the world's parlance,
He uses such terms as mere expressions." (KS I, 21-22; SN 1:25)


- http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el414.html

Kalaka Sutta:

"Thus, monks, the Tathagata, when seeing what is to be seen, doesn't construe an [object as] seen. He doesn't construe an unseen. He doesn't construe an [object] to-be-seen. He doesn't construe a seer.

"When hearing...

"When sensing...

"When cognizing what is to be cognized, he doesn't construe an [object as] cognized. He doesn't construe an uncognized. He doesn't construe an [object] to-be-cognized. He doesn't construe a cognizer.

Thus, monks, the Tathagata — being the same with regard to all phenomena that can be seen, heard, sensed, & cognized — is 'Such.' And I tell you: There's no other 'Such' higher or more sublime.
- http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Lastly ill add this
The Buddhas teach that emptiness
Removes, without fail, all clinging to views,
But those who cling to the view of emptiness
Are said to be incorrigible.

Clinging to the view of emptiness only occurs when there is establishment of the extremes of existence and non-existence.

"The great 11th Nyingma scholar Rongzom points out that only Madhyamaka accepts that its critical methodology "harms itself", meaning that Madhyamaka uses non-affirming negations to reject the positions of opponents, but does not resort to affirming negations to support a position of its own. Since Madhyamaka, as Buddhapalita states "does not propose the non-existence of existents, but instead rejects claims for the existence of existents", there is no true Madhyamaka position since there is no existent found about which a Madhyamaka position could be formulated; likewise there is no false Madhyamaka position since there is no existent found about which a Madhyamaka position could be rejected." - Malcolm
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby xabir » Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:50 am

By the way I'm curious Son of Buddha, do you have direct realization and experience of the Self that you are saying, and if so what is it? Or are you simply taking it by faith? Have you read Advaita books (as I believe you will find them to be quite resonating with your current view)?
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby asunthatneversets » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:01 am

I'm sorry I had a typo in this Longchenpa quote (I posted earlier) above, which potentially obfuscated the meaning of the quote... Instead of 'no similarity', I had accidentally typed 'to similarity'. Here's the fixed quotation:

Third turning (Vajrayāna) does not teach that there is a 'True Self', as Longchenpa states here:

"The final [turning] for the sake of those who had reached fulfillment and who were of sharpest capacity taught the nature of all that is knowable, as it really is. As such, it bears no similarity to the Self of the Hindu heretics because these people in their ignorance speak of a 'Self' that does not actually exist, being a mere imputation superimposed on reality."
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby Wayfarer » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:21 am

A lot of that is sectarian polemics. One of the more recent Advaita Vedanta masters was Sri Ramana Maharishi. He had very good insight into Buddhist teaching and didn't seek to condemn it as heretical or incorrect.

Of course the historical situation of Buddhists was such that they had to differentiate themselves from Brahmins and it is true their philosophy is different in major respects. But they are not completely, radically different. The Buddha adapted some elements of the Upanisadic doctrines, rejected others, and created the novel element of insight into dependent origination. But the two teachings still have a symbiotic relationship in other ways and are not from 'different worlds' which you might think if you studied them solely through Buddhist Internet forums.
Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby xabir » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:38 pm

jeeprs wrote:A lot of that is sectarian polemics. One of the more recent Advaita Vedanta masters was Sri Ramana Maharishi. He had very good insight into Buddhist teaching and didn't seek to condemn it as heretical or incorrect.

Of course the historical situation of Buddhists was such that they had to differentiate themselves from Brahmins and it is true their philosophy is different in major respects. But they are not completely, radically different. The Buddha adapted some elements of the Upanisadic doctrines, rejected others, and created the novel element of insight into dependent origination. But the two teachings still have a symbiotic relationship in other ways and are not from 'different worlds' which you might think if you studied them solely through Buddhist Internet forums.
It is not just 'sectarian polemics' but very distinct kinds of realization/knowledge/experience.

If I were to select a Non-Buddhist teaching that is closest to the Buddhist understanding of Not-Self, I would say it is Actualism/Actual Freedom. They are able to clearly distinguish the 'Self' state of realization in Advaita and the state which is devoid of any sense of self/Self and is free from emotional afflictions. The founder Richard distinguishes these different states from experience.

But even their views are not really the same as the Buddhadharma, they fall into the extremes of object-reification. There is no knowledge of dependent origination.

I have been through phases where due to experiences and insights I was drawn into Advaita (traditional and neo), then other teachings including Actualism, etc. Now, the Buddha's teachings are most resonating.

You don't have to take my word for it... just keep an open mind that the traditions could actually be speaking of different realizations (rather than merely 'sectarian polemics'), and that there might actually be people who have gone through these different realizations and are able to differentiate them.

Why? This is so that you could actually comprehend what each of these teachings are saying on their own terms and not confuse one with another by trying to fit them together.

For example, as Greg Goode have said in http://www.heartofnow.com/files/emptiness.html:

For those who encounter emptiness teachings after they've become familiar with awareness teachings, it's very tempting to misread the emptiness teachings by substituting terms. That is, it's very easy to misread the emptiness teachings by seeing "emptiness" on the page and thinking to yourself, "awareness, consciousness, I know what they're talking about."

Early in my own study I began with this substitution in mind. With this misreading, I found a lot in the emptiness teachings to be quite INcomprehensible! So I started again, laying aside the notion that "emptiness" and "awareness" were equivalent. I tried to let the emptiness teachings speak for themselves. I came to find that they have a subtle beauty and power, a flavor quite different from the awareness teachings. Emptiness teachings do not speak of emptiness as a true nature that underlies or supports things. Rather, it speaks of selves and things as essenceless and free.


In other words, as Bernadette Roberts said:

"That everyone has different experiences and perspectives is not a problem; rather, the problem is that when we interpret an experience outside its own paradigm, context, and stated definitions, that experience becomes lost altogether. It becomes lost because we have redefined the terms according to a totally different paradigm or perspective and thereby made it over into an experience it never was in the first place. When we force an experience into an alien paradigm, that experience becomes subsumed, interpreted away, unrecognizable, confused, or made totally indistinguishable. Thus when we impose alien definitions on the original terms of an experience, that experience becomes lost to the journey, and eventually it becomes lost to the literature as well. To keep this from happening it is necessary to draw clear lines and to make sharp, exacting distinctions. The purpose of doing so is not to criticize other paradigms, but to allow a different paradigm or perspective to stand in its own right, to have its own space in order to contribute what it can to our knowledge of man and his journey to the divine.

Distinguishing what is true or false, essential or superficial in our experience is not a matter to be taken lightly. We cannot simply define our terms and then sit back and expect perfect agreement across the board. Our spiritual-psychological journey does not work this way. We are not uniform robots with the same experiences, same definitions, same perspectives, or same anything."


http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2 ... owers.html : He (Archaya Mahayogi Shridhar Rinpoche) emphasizes that the comparison was done not in order to demean one system of teaching over another but to provide greater clarity on the essential doctrines of each system so that they could each be understood correctly, as he says, "I must reiterate that this difference in both the system is very important to fully understand both the systems properly and is not meant to demean either system." -
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby Wayfarer » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:19 pm

Xabir wrote:You don't have to take my word for it... just keep an open mind that the traditions could actually be speaking of different realizations (rather than merely 'sectarian polemics'), and that there might actually be people who have gone through these different realizations and are able to differentiate them.


I agree with that. I too have been through a lot of different phases, I'm sure that happens a lot with modern urban people, we are surrounded by books and information and resources, far more that you would have had in a traditional environment. (BTW I've seen Greg Goode speak, and also his collaborator and student Tomas Sander, on 'Emptiness and Post-Modernism' at one of the two Science and Non-Duality conferences I have been to, where the majority of the speakers were from a neo-Advaita type of background.)

I was very moved by my initial encounter with Ramana Maharishi's book, but then around the same time also got Zen Mind Beginner's Mind, (this is a long time ago now) and I thought that it was a more feasible and real teaching for me. So I embarked on reading Buddhism, took refuge and maintain a meditation practice.

But in the context of this debate, I tend to support the point of view being put forward by Son of Buddha, but I won't repeat all the arguments again. Suffice to say, it is very easy for Madhyamika to tend towards nihilism or to support nihilistic interpretations. I think the teaching of 'emptiness' is easily misrepresented as a kind of intellectual formula. I understand it in terms of paravritti, transformation of consciousness. As Tomas Sander said in his talk, in the Buddhist perspective, this is not necessarily understood as being like a dramatic mountain-top awakening, but in terms of 'joyful irony', of seeing how things are (and have always been), day to day. So I relate to that, but *not* to Stephen Bachelor's Buddhist Atheism and his 'interpretation' of emptiness. (Tomas Sander's new blog in support of his book is here.)

The key thing for me has to be compassion. Whatever practice you're doing, whatever path you're on, if it doesn't actually generate the energy of compassion, like a power-station turns out electricity, then it's not working. Early on in my path I had the good fortune to go to a talk by the renowned Lama Yeshe and that talk really turned on a light-bulb for me (not that I knew it at the time. His lecture was similar to this talk.)

I have just ordered Karl Brunnholzl's translation of and commentary on In Praise of Dharmadhatu. That is a very different side of Nagarjuna - devotional, rather than dialectical.
Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby greentara » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:48 pm

Tulku Urgyen said "Since this training is not an act of meditating, why worry if our meditation is good or not good? This is a training in not meditating, a training in naturalness, in letting be"

This is a fine description of a sage such as Ramana Maharshi who does everything without doing. It is the natural state.
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby asunthatneversets » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:27 pm

jeeprs wrote:
Xabir wrote:You don't have to take my word for it... just keep an open mind that the traditions could actually be speaking of different realizations (rather than merely 'sectarian polemics'), and that there might actually be people who have gone through these different realizations and are able to differentiate them.


I agree with that. I too have been through a lot of different phases, I'm sure that happens a lot with modern urban people, we are surrounded by books and information and resources, far more that you would have had in a traditional environment. (BTW I've seen Greg Goode speak, and also his collaborator and student Tomas Sander, on 'Emptiness and Post-Modernism' at one of the two Science and Non-Duality conferences I have been to, where the majority of the speakers were from a neo-Advaita type of background.)

I was very moved by my initial encounter with Ramana Maharishi's book, but then around the same time also got Zen Mind Beginner's Mind, (this is a long time ago now) and I thought that it was a more feasible and real teaching for me. So I embarked on reading Buddhism, took refuge and maintain a meditation practice.

But in the context of this debate, I tend to support the point of view being put forward by Son of Buddha, but I won't repeat all the arguments again. Suffice to say, it is very easy for Madhyamika to tend towards nihilism or to support nihilistic interpretations. I think the teaching of 'emptiness' is easily misrepresented as a kind of intellectual formula. I understand it in terms of paravritti, transformation of consciousness. As Tomas Sander said in his talk, in the Buddhist perspective, this is not necessarily understood as being like a dramatic mountain-top awakening, but in terms of 'joyful irony', of seeing how things are (and have always been), day to day. So I relate to that, but *not* to Stephen Bachelor's Buddhist Atheism and his 'interpretation' of emptiness. (Tomas Sander's new blog in support of his book is here.)

The key thing for me has to be compassion. Whatever practice you're doing, whatever path you're on, if it doesn't actually generate the energy of compassion, like a power-station turns out electricity, then it's not working. Early on in my path I had the good fortune to go to a talk by the renowned Lama Yeshe and that talk really turned on a light-bulb for me (not that I knew it at the time. His lecture was similar to this talk.)

I have just ordered Karl Brunnholzl's translation of and commentary on In Praise of Dharmadhatu. That is a very different side of Nagarjuna - devotional, rather than dialectical.


Madhyamaka only results in nihilism in those who don't understand it, if it's understood what Madhyamaka is pointing to then nihilism is impossible. Most label it nihilistic because they see it deconstructing the delusions of mind we've been conditioned to think are inherent aspects of experience and so they find it uncomfortable. Those who conceive of a True Self are the ones promoting nihilism, there is no being without non-being, no eternalism without nihilism, no true self without a false one (or an absence of that True Self); these are all delusions of mind.

No one's suggesting that emptiness is an intellectual endeavor, nor are I or xabir mistaking it as such.

If you lean towards Son of Buddha's view then you champion an eternalistic doctrine, which there's nothing wrong with, but I would say that is why you see nihilism elsewhere.

The Nāgārjuna who wrote 'In Praise of the Dharmadhātu' is not the same as the original Indian Nāgārjuna.
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