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Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine? - Dhamma Wheel

Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Sacha G
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Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby Sacha G » Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:12 pm

Hi
In the pali canon it seems that the most profound suttas deal with:
- the Buddha not propounding a "view" (no clinging to views)
- the khandhas being empty (as in the Phena Sutta)
- the Buddha propounding a "middle way" between eternalism and annihilition
- self and not self being both views (and therefore wrong)

All this sounds more like Nagarjuna than like Abhidhamma, IMO.
What do you think?
Pali and Theravada texts:
http://dhamma.webnode.com

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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby PeterB » Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:46 pm


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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:04 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sun Jan 23, 2011 1:38 am

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby Individual » Sun Jan 23, 2011 1:52 am

The best things in life aren't things.


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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:16 am

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

PeterB
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby PeterB » Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:01 am

I think the fact that Nagarjuna is a Mahayanist is ABSOLUTELY the point.
Of course you dont agree Ven Huifeng. I mean you would'nt would you ?
Even for broadly sympatico Mahayana folk like yourself the Mahayana is still the acme by which the Theravada is judged.
I know that you would see instead that you are adopting a pan Buddhist position that has its origin in teachings that precede the schism between The Theravada and the Mahayana, but with respect, and I mean that...that is a archetypically Mahayana view.
It doesnt mean that your input is unwelcome or that your erudition is unackowledged.
It does mean that for at least one reader there is a caveat.

Akuma
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby Akuma » Sun Jan 23, 2011 12:33 pm

Maybe Joseph Walser "Nagarjuna In Context" would be an interesting read for some.

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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby Sylvester » Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:55 am


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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby Individual » Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:03 am

The best things in life aren't things.


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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:04 am

Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby Individual » Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:10 am

To elaborate, by the way...

As I said, as I see it Theravadins and Mahayanists are just like Republicans and Democrats. It doesn't matter what they're called and it's a mistake to categorically place faith in one set of people or one set of ideas; what matters is what people actually think and do with whatever ideas or words or physical bodies they go by. You can use Theravada attachment to Vinaya in order to live in a politically unstable, malaria-infested hell-hole (under the delusion that it's some kind of holy land, like Tibet, Israel, or Mecca), half-starving yourself to death and begging for food, while saying you're on the road to peace and liberation from suffering... And you can use Mahayana notions of expedient means to indulge in sensual desire and immorality while thinking you're practicing dhamma. In the end, all that matters is discernment. And Abhidhamma and Nagarjuna were both clearly very discerning at the time. Seeing either of them in the right way could bring clarity to a person's life. That is why they were both influential, because they helped.

What it comes down to is proper interpretation. The words of Gautama were not enough; people felt they needed a further exposition. But this desire could be endless. People could quibble over how to interpret Abhidhamma and how to interpret Nagarjuna.

There are always many ways to interpret things. It's subjective or relative, but that doesn't mean it should be arbitrary. When you have a choice between how to interpret things, you always choose the interpretation which results in compassion, which results in a reduction of suffering for us all.

Thinking, "Nagarjuna was right, Abhidhamma is wrong," is one-sided and results in contentious arguing. The same goes for, "Abhidhamma was right, Nagarjuna is wrong." It could be either. It could be that they're both just words and you could use them for good or bad, if you're mindful and non-attached or if you're unmindful and attached.

I like them both.
The best things in life aren't things.


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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:30 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

Individual
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby Individual » Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:35 am

The best things in life aren't things.


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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:44 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby ground » Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:37 am


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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby Individual » Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:04 am

The best things in life aren't things.


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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:22 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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ground
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby ground » Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:29 am



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