If there were a self beyond the aggregates, one could not touch it, feel it, think of it, or experience it in any way, because those are all within the aggregates. Something beyond the aggregates is beyond perception, beyond reality, therefore unreal and only a mental fabrication, an idea only. Realisation of such a self would also be impossible, as such a permanent self would either be already realised or never realised, since realisation is change and experience. A self beyond the aggregates has no function, therefore no existence.
as the sutras/suttas say the self is not the 5 aggregates,as you say "such a permenant self would already be realised" the self(mind) is already realised the "I" is the defilment that is on top of the mind(self)
"you" the "I" cannot realise the self "you" will never find the self,"you" will NEVER be enlightened,"you" cannot touch,feel,preceive or experience Nirvana "you" and "I" are the defilement and this defilement "I" will never be enlightened,if this "I" was "enlightened" then that would be saying the 5 Aggregates is the True self(enlightenment)
the "I" cannot be enlightenement for ONLY enlightenment is Enlightenment(hence already realised) but under the cover of "you" "I"(defilement)(and i apologise if "I" confuse)
i]"If the aggregates were self, it would be possessed of arising and decaying. If it were other than the aggregates, it would not have the characteristics of the aggregates."[/i]
(Nagarjuna: MMK 18.1
yes the aggregates are not the self they arise and decay,the "I" of the 5 aggregates is changing every nano second the True Self is Permenant.
Commentary from the Zhonglun:
"If the soul existed apart from the five skandhas, the soul would not have the characteristics of the five skandhas. As it says in the verse: 'if the soul is different from the five skandhas, then it will not have the characteristics of the five skandhas'. Yet no other dharma exists apart from the five skandhas. If there were any such dharma apart from the five skandhas, by virtue of what characteristics, or what dharmas, would it exist?"
First of all Nirvana sutra "Depend Upon Sutras not upon persons" commentary does not trump sutras,also (no disrespect) but Zhonglun is incorrect Majjhima Nikaya Culamalunkya sutta 63 i429
"the soul is the same as the body'the soul is one thing and the body anouther" the Tathagata leaves undeclared,the Buddha never said the soul didnt exist,he stated he would not declare where the soul is located.If i told you that I would not tell you where the CAR is,would you go around telling people I said the CAR doesnt exist?or would you think i'm implying the CAR exists,and that Im just leaving out where it is located?kinda like when the Buddha says this is NOT MY SELF,this is NOT the SELF,is the Buddha saying there is no self?or saying these things(5 aggreagates) are NOT THE SELF?implying a self exists and these things are not it.thats kinda like me saying this is NOT MY CAR,by saying this am I saying a CAR doesnt exist or simply THIS is NOT MY "car"
Commentary from the Prasannapada:
"And so, in the first place, the Self is not the aggregates; but it is also not reasonable for the Self to be different from the aggregates. For if the Self were something other than the aggregates, then the aggregates would not be its defining characteristics. For example, a horse, which is different from a cow, does not have a cow as its defining characteristic. In the same manner, the Self, when it is conceived as different from the aggregates, would not have the aggregates as its defining characteristics. Here, because they are conditioned (saṃskṛta), the aggregates arise from causes and conditions and their defining characteristics are occurrence, perdurance and decay. Therefore, if the Self does not have the aggregates as its defining characteristics, as you maintain, then the Self would not have occurrence, perdurance and decay as its defining characteristics. And in that case, the Self would either be like a sky flower, because it does not exist, or it would be like nirvāṇa, because it is unconditioned. As such, it would not be called the “Self,” nor would it be reasonable for it to be the object of the habitual sense of ‘I.’ Therefore, it is also not reasonable for the Self to be different from the aggregates.
I likey....tell me does the Buddha not have the Dharmakaya Body?or the 3 bodies?1."form"2."sensation" perception"mental formations"consciousness" does the Buddha not think or is it a zombie?
"suffering arises when one identifies with or clings to an aggregate. Suffering is extinguished by relinquishing attachments to aggregates".the 5 Aggregates dont cease to exist,the "I" preceives itself to exist based on clinging to the Aggregates when the mind no longer conceives itself as an "I" clung to aggreagates the defilement(false self) is removed from the Pure lumonious Mind(True Self)(as you have heard Enlightenment exists within everything but not everything exists withing enlightenement)
Alternatively, here is another meaning of the statement, “If the Self were different from the aggregates, the aggregates would not be its defining characteristics.” These are the defining characteristics of the five aggregates: (1) malleability, (2) experience, (3) the apprehension of an object’s sign, (4) conditioning, and (5) representation of an object. If, just as consciousness is asserted to be different from material form, the Self were asserted to be different from the aggregates, then the Self would be established with a distinct defining characteristic. As such, it would be apprehended as being established with a distinct defining characteristic, just as consciousness is apprehended as established with a defining characteristic distinct from material form. The Self is not, however, apprehended in that fashion; hence, there is no Self distinct from the aggregates.
yes the the distict chararistic is pure unconditioned mind(even the basic teachings in the pali canon make its clear the 5 Aggregates are not the self)the Nirvana sutra makes it even more clear on the true self.
Someone objects, «The Tīrthikas know of a Self separate from the aggregates, and they thus speak of its defining characteristics. Hence, this way of refuting the Self does not refute them. And the way that the Tīrthikas speak of a separate defining characteristic for the Self is stated in the following verse from Encountering Madhyamaka:
The Tīrthikas conceive of a Self that is by nature eternal; it is an experiencer without being an agent; it is devoid of qualities and inactive. The Tīrthikas’ system has come to be further divided in terms of this or that distinction in the qualities predicated of the Self.» (MAV 6.142)
We respond as follows. It is true that the Tīrthikas state a defining characteristic of the Self separate from the aggregates, but they do not state its defining characteristic after having perceived the Self in its actuality. Rather, through not properly understanding dependent designation, they do not realize, due to their fear, that the Self is merely nominal. Not realizing this, they depart even from conventional reality, and due to their false concepts, they become confused by what is merely spurious inference. Thus confused, they conceptually construct a Self due to their confusion, and they then state its defining characteristic. In the “Analysis of Factors in Action and their Object” (MMK 8), Nāgārjuna says that the Self and its substratum are established in mutual dependence on each other; and by saying this, he refutes the above notion of Self in even conventional terms."
guess I will have to refute Nagarjuna then....
NAGARJUNA="but they do not state its defining characteristic after having perceived the Self in its actuality. Rather, through not properly understanding dependent designation"
MY REPLY:True self is that which is not clung to the 5 aggreagates,for the "I" is what is clung to the 5 aggregates,the true self is Pure and Perfect mind not covered with defilements,it is permenant and never changing(if it was changing then this "enlightenment" could change back into that of the ordinary persons meaning it would not be the end of suffering but be anouther impermenant object itself)
also sir Dependent designation(12 links DO) is rooted in ignorance(1 of the 3 poisons)and was meant to discribe what SAMSARA consists of the Buddha is not under the 12 loinks of DO cause the Buddha is not impermenant,MN Alagaddupama sutta 22 i139 "Is what is Impermenent,SUFFERING and subject to change,FIT to be regared as thus;This is mine,this I am,THIS IS MY SELF?-----NO"(TEXT SHOWS THE OPPOSITES)(like wise what is PERMENANT,HAPPINESS/BLISS,AND NOT SUBJECT TO CHANGE IS FIT TO BE REGARDED AS THIS IS MY SELF)(note the Nirvana sutra states the same exact thing(Permenant,Bliss,Self,Purity)(purity is found in above prior messge qoute from SN 22)
so what is under Dependent designation is not FIT to be regarded as MY SELF.
how can Nagarjuna refute the notion of self when the Buddha states there is a SELF?(is he going to refute the both the pali canon and the Mahayana canon?)