Nirvana - Unborn or Created

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Re: Nirvana - Unborn or Created

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:05 pm

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Apologies to Jerry Maguire! :smile:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Nirvana - Unborn or Created

Postby songhill » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:25 pm

One has completely missed Buddhism if they are making a case for conditioned reality only which is never other than samsaric. Where in the canon does it say that nirvana is conditioned, is something born, impermanent and suffering?
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Re: Nirvana - Unborn or Created

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:35 pm

Bzzzzzztt!!! The crowd groans in disbelief! The competitor has one final chance. The audience is poised on the edge of their seats... Will the competitor be able to rise to the challenge?
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Nirvana - Unborn or Created

Postby futerko » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:36 pm

songhill wrote:Do you think that it is illusions all the way down?
The illusion lies in believing that there are discrete independent phenomena which are percieved by a discrete independent observer. The truth of this is that they are not in fact discrete entities but in fact their relationship is fluid. There is no single fixed point of reference, neither on the side of the object perceived, nor on the side of the perceiving subject.

The expression "all the way down" makes little sense to me in this context, as it would seem to presuppose some alternate dimension which is acting "behind the scenes", and which would serve to anchor the orientation, or give it some kind of solid, substantial basis.

The fact that "reality" is fluid is not in-and-of-itself an illusion, although it may be said to have a "dream-like" ungraspable quality, so in terms of this life and this practice, one can either be aware of this or not.

If you are trying to grasp that which occurs beyond the dream state of this reality and this life, then you're a braver (and/or possibly more foolish?) man than Shakyamuni.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Nirvana - Unborn or Created

Postby songhill » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:50 pm

futerko wrote:
songhill wrote:Do you think that it is illusions all the way down?
The illusion lies in believing that there are discrete independent phenomena which are percieved by a discrete independent observer. The truth of this is that they are not in fact discrete entities but in fact their relationship is fluid. There is no single fixed point of reference, neither on the side of the object perceived, nor on the side of the perceiving subject.

The expression "all the way down" makes little sense to me in this context, as it would seem to presuppose some alternate dimension which is acting "behind the scenes", and which would serve to anchor the orientation, or give it some kind of solid, substantial basis.

The fact that "reality" is fluid is not in-and-of-itself an illusion, although it may be said to have a "dream-like" ungraspable quality, so in terms of this life and this practice, one can either be aware of this or not.

If you are trying to grasp that which occurs beyond the dream state of this reality and this life, then you're a braver (and/or possibly more foolish?) man than Shakyamuni.


A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: "What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise." The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, "What is the tortoise standing on?" "You're very clever, young man, very clever," said the old lady. "But it's turtles all the way down!"
—Hawking, 1988, source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turtles_all_the_way_down


To put it differently, what I understand you to mean is that its conditioned reality all the way down.
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Re: Nirvana - Unborn or Created

Postby futerko » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:57 pm

songhill wrote:To put it differently, what I understand you to mean is that its conditioned reality all the way down.
Interesting, because what I'm actually saying is that it is utterly unconditioned, and that what is called "conditioned reality" is a description of a subjective rather than objective state.
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Re: Nirvana - Unborn or Created

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:58 pm

I think you will find it is just reality in all the ten directions.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Advaitin vs. Buddhist takes on awareness/reality

Postby deepbluehum » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:05 pm

Son of Buddha wrote:
Astus wrote:
Jeff wrote:Advaita teaches "oneness" which can be described as interdependence.


Oneness means that everything has the same substance. Buddhism teaches that everything is without substance (nihsvabhava = empty) and dependently originated.



So everything is without substance it is empty and dependently originated.

Is Enlightenment empty without substance and dependently originated?

(that is your definition of empty everything that is dependently originated correct?)


How many fools does it take to opine about nirvana? According to Mahayana nirvana is beyond an idea. It neither is nor isn't dependent. Fools can't get it. Doubt it? Go ahead and read about it. Descend from Lanka, the manifold vehicle wrapping up the three yanas and the view of the tantras. This ya boy osel dorje hailing from the West Coast, the holy land where the Mahasiddhas fly in day and night giving instructions and empowerments. You better recognize. Experience. Beyond fabrications, elaborations, mental projections and verbal conjectures. Beyond beyond like nothing, you never heard nothing about it in your online lectures.
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Re: Advaitin vs. Buddhist takes on awareness/reality

Postby deepbluehum » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:30 pm

Astus wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote:So everything is without substance it is empty and dependently originated.

Is Enlightenment empty without substance and dependently originated?

(that is your definition of empty everything that is dependently originated correct?)


Indeed, as Greg said. Just look at the four noble truths. The first two tells about samsara and its cause, the second two about nirvana and its cause. Very simple.


This is Mahayana, son. That prat for the brats don't matter here, son,and that's just that, Son. Why these dudes want to fit a square peg in a round hole for? Derelict students orphaned from the lineage spinning yarns about the Great liberation. Better to keep the finger still isn't it? Cuz That cause n effect is massive. Dolling out mad combinations of concepts like you the shit. Don't end up floating belly up in a river of it. Cause that's what you gonna get playing with big boys who ain't playing they playing for keeps, they playing in your dreams like who dem dakinis? The moment you asleep they appear faster and faster, but that's the emanations of the Master. Way beyond the oddest signs like climbing on a snow mountain or taking a shower with goddesses or demons scooping diarrhea out of your esophagus. Ha ha.
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Re: Nirvana - Unborn or Created

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:15 pm

Call us back when you're feeling better! :tongue:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Nirvana - Unborn or Created

Postby songhill » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:43 pm

futerko wrote:If you are trying to grasp that which occurs beyond the dream state of this reality and this life, then you're a braver (and/or possibly more foolish?) man than Shakyamuni.


Okay, I finally got it. It's a "dream state" all the way down, since there is zilch beyond the dream.
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Re: Nirvana - Unborn or Created

Postby futerko » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:08 pm

songhill wrote:
futerko wrote:If you are trying to grasp that which occurs beyond the dream state of this reality and this life, then you're a braver (and/or possibly more foolish?) man than Shakyamuni.


Okay, I finally got it. It's a "dream state" all the way down, since there is zilch beyond the dream.
Yes, by which I mean, nothing in our actual experience attains absolute existence nor non-existence. As to whether the horizon of this experiencing gives us anything solid to "push off from" is a moot point, because as soon as we do that, we are right back where we started.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Nirvana - Unborn or Created

Postby futerko » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:43 pm

futerko wrote:
songhill wrote:
futerko wrote:If you are trying to grasp that which occurs beyond the dream state of this reality and this life, then you're a braver (and/or possibly more foolish?) man than Shakyamuni.


Okay, I finally got it. It's a "dream state" all the way down, since there is zilch beyond the dream.
Yes, by which I mean, nothing in our actual experience attains absolute existence nor non-existence. As to whether the horizon of this experiencing gives us anything solid to "push off from" is a moot point, because as soon as we do that, we are right back where we started.
Actually, maybe I should add something to that in case it gives the idea it is totalizing... There is also the sleep without dreams, which may appear as just an inky blackness, or as "clear light".
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Re: Nirvana - Unborn or Created

Postby songhill » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:58 pm

futerko wrote:
songhill wrote:
futerko wrote:If you are trying to grasp that which occurs beyond the dream state of this reality and this life, then you're a braver (and/or possibly more foolish?) man than Shakyamuni.


Okay, I finally got it. It's a "dream state" all the way down, since there is zilch beyond the dream.
Yes, by which I mean, nothing in our actual experience attains absolute existence nor non-existence. As to whether the horizon of this experiencing gives us anything solid to "push off from" is a moot point, because as soon as we do that, we are right back where we started.


So, if we accept that it is a dream all the way down, then we don't have to do anything. I mean enlightenment, too, is a dream just as much as non-enlightenment. No need to struggle. This reminds me of the Ox-head Zen School. Everything, both profane and sacred, are declared to be illusory and dreamlike. There is no Buddha or sentient beings.
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Re: Nirvana - Unborn or Created

Postby futerko » Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:18 pm

songhill wrote:
futerko wrote:Yes, by which I mean, nothing in our actual experience attains absolute existence nor non-existence. As to whether the horizon of this experiencing gives us anything solid to "push off from" is a moot point, because as soon as we do that, we are right back where we started.


So, if we accept that it is a dream all the way down, then we don't have to do anything. I mean enlightenment, too, is a dream just as much as non-enlightenment. No need to struggle. This reminds me of the Ox-head Zen School. Everything, both profane and sacred, are declared to be illusory and dreamlike. There is no Buddha or sentient beings.
No, I think there is a very clear difference between being caught up in a dream and taking it as real, as opposed to being aware. As I said before, being aware of an illusion is not in-itself illusory - there can be truth without necessarily having an alternate "reality".
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Re: Nirvana - Unborn or Created

Postby songhill » Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:21 pm

futerko wrote:
songhill wrote:
futerko wrote:Yes, by which I mean, nothing in our actual experience attains absolute existence nor non-existence. As to whether the horizon of this experiencing gives us anything solid to "push off from" is a moot point, because as soon as we do that, we are right back where we started.


So, if we accept that it is a dream all the way down, then we don't have to do anything. I mean enlightenment, too, is a dream just as much as non-enlightenment. No need to struggle. This reminds me of the Ox-head Zen School. Everything, both profane and sacred, are declared to be illusory and dreamlike. There is no Buddha or sentient beings.
No, I think there is a very clear difference between being caught up in a dream and taking it as real, as opposed to being aware. As I said before, being aware of an illusion is not in-itself illusory - there can be truth without necessarily having an alternate "reality".


Awareness or consciousness of a dream is still to be in the dream with no discernible escape. Being aware of being burned alive doesn't stop the burning or the pain. Logically, to end the dream one would have to awaken to a non-dream state.
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Re: Nirvana - Unborn or Created

Postby futerko » Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:09 am

songhill wrote:
futerko wrote:No, I think there is a very clear difference between being caught up in a dream and taking it as real, as opposed to being aware. As I said before, being aware of an illusion is not in-itself illusory - there can be truth without necessarily having an alternate "reality".


Awareness or consciousness of a dream is still to be in the dream with no discernible escape. Being aware of being burned alive doesn't stop the burning or the pain. Logically, to end the dream one would have to awaken to a non-dream state.
Absolutely, however, very little can be said about that state, and the risk of doing so from our current one runs the risk of grasping onto exactly that which has to be let go of in order to get there. That's why 99.99% of what is said in Buddhism is about becoming aware of that and ending the dream state rather than about what may or may not subequently occur. The Buddha differentiates annihiation (which is impossible) from cessation (of the dream and the dreamer), but says very little else about it. Clearly it is neither viewed as nothingness, nor as an awakening to another dream-like "reality".
In terms of the dream state - the conditioned view divides phenomena into discrete entities which then interact as cause and effect. The unconditioned view sees all as already interdependent and already interacting aggregates, so in terms of a dream, the fire, the burning and the pain are in fact just the same "fabric" of the dream, just as the Khandhasamyutta likens rupa to froth, we are already immersed in the unconditioned and unborn.
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Re: Nirvana - Unborn or Created

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:11 am

Awareness or consciousness of a dream is still to be in the dream with no discernible escape. Being aware of being burned alive doesn't stop the burning or the pain. Logically, to end the dream one would have to awaken to a non-dream state.
You are getting lost in the metaphor. The dream is that everything has a really existing essence. Waking up (awakening) is seeing (realising) the emptiness of all phenomena. That is liberation. Even though phenomena continue to manifest you move beyond dualistic attachement and aversion. This frees you from suffering. Being aware may not stop the burning or pain but it stops the suffering that we associate with the burning and pain. The Buddha says in SN 36.6 PTS: S iv 207 CDB ii 1263
Sallatha Sutta: The Arrow
The discerning person, learned,
doesn't sense a (mental) feeling of pleasure or pain:
This is the difference in skillfulness
between the sage & the person run-of-the-mill.

For a learned person
who has fathomed the Dhamma,
clearly seeing this world & the next,
desirable things don't charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His acceptance
& rejection are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.

Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Nirvana - Unborn or Created

Postby Jnana » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:31 am

songhill wrote:This might be helpful in the discussion. There is a huge difference between samskrta reality and asamskrita reality. In this passage there is to be made a clear distinction between conditioned genesis/dependent origination and nirvana.

“I teach to monks this Dharma: the noble, the supramundane, connected with emptiness, according to the dharma of conditioned genesis. … Profound is this, namely conditioned genesis; even more profound, more difficult to see is this, namely the renunciation of all attachments, the extinction of craving, fading away of desire, cessation: nirvana. These two dharmas are namely the compounded (Skt. samskrta, P. samkhata, i.e., conditioned genesis) and uncompounded (Skt. asamskrit, P. asmakhata, i.e. nirvana). The compounded is arising, persisting, changing, passing away. The uncompounded is not arising, not persisting, not changing, not passing away. ~ SA 293, from The Notion of Emptiness in Early Buddhism by Mun-keat Choong, pages 20-21


That passage is using conventional designations based on the way things appear in order to teach the śrāvaka vehicle.

songhill wrote:Do you think that it is illusions all the way down?

It is. The Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra:

    Like a magical illusion are those beings, like a dream. For not two different things are magical illusion and beings, are dreams and beings. All objective facts also are like a magical illusion, like a dream. The various classes of noble ones, from streamwinner to buddhahood, also are like a magical illusion, like a dream. Even nirvāṇa, I say, is like a magical illusion, is like a dream. How much more so anything else! Even if perchance there could be anything more distinguished, of that too I would say that it is like an illusion, like a dream. For not two different things are illusion and nirvāṇa, are dreams and nirvāṇa.

songhill wrote:So, if we accept that it is a dream all the way down, then we don't have to do anything. I mean enlightenment, too, is a dream just as much as non-enlightenment.

Now you're conflating the two truths. Conventionally there is still a path to be developed. Awakening requires developing all of the unerring and complete causes and conditions of omniscience. Kamalaśīla's Second Bhāvanākrama:

    Intelligent people who wish to rapidly attain omniscience should endeavor to fulfill the necessary causes and conditions which bring omniscience about. It is impossible for omniscience to arise without causes since this would entail the absurd consequence whereby everyone could be omniscient all the time. If it could arise independently, it could exist everywhere without obstructions, and again, everybody would be omniscient. Moreover, all functional things depend exclusively on causes because they only occur for certain persons at certain times. And so, because omniscience does not arise for everybody everywhere at all times, it most certainly depends upon causes and conditions.

    Also, from among those causes and conditions, one should rely on unerring and complete causes. If one engages in erroneous causes, even exerting oneself for a very long time, the desired fruition will not be obtained. For example, it would be like milking a cow's horn. Furthermore, an effect will not arise if all of its causes are not practiced. If a seed or any other cause is missing, then the result, such as a sprout, will not arise. Therefore, someone seeking a particular result should develop its unerring and complete causes and conditions.

    If it is asked, "What are the causes and conditions which result in omniscience?" I would reply that someone like myself, who is similar to a blind man, lacks the ability to explain them [based on my own realization]. However, I can express them according to the words of the Blessed One just as he spoke them to his disciples after his awakening. The Buddha said: "Lord of Secrets, omniscient gnosis has compassion as its root, bodhicitta as its cause, and reaches completion through skillful means."

    Consequently, anyone wanting to attain omniscience should cultivate these three: compassion, bodhicitta, and skillful means.
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Re: Nirvana - Unborn or Created

Postby tobes » Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:38 am

A while ago I was working on the nirvana chapter in Nagarjuna's MMK - I've pasted in a paragraph or two. Not complete, no diacritics etc, but may of help. Just to flag to avoid the inevitable two truths debate, yes, this is a Tsong Khapian interpretation......


So where does that leave the reality of samsara and nirvana, and the relationship between them?
This is given most succinctly in verses 9 & 10:

That which comes and goes
Is dependent and changing.
That, when it is not dependent and changing,
Is taught to be nirvana.

The teacher has spoken of relinquishing
Becoming and dissolution.
Therefore, it makes sense that
Nirvana is neither existent nor nonexistent.

Verse 9 articulates the reality of nirvana as contextually dependent on ‘that which comes and goes’: nirvana is that which does not come and go. This contextual relationship is precisely the relation which inheres between the two truths – the conventional reality of a given phenomena is its coming and going (its dependent and changing nature) and the ultimate reality is its emptiness. Whilst the emptiness of the phenomena does not come and go – that is why it is the phenomena’s ultimate reality – this emptiness is nonetheless dependent upon their being a conventional phenomena. That is, emptiness is not something unto itself (because it is also empty) - it is a way of apprehending something which conventionally exists. Nagarjuna is thus making the argument that samsara is associated with the dependent and changing nature of conventional reality, and nirvana with the emptiness which characterises ultimate reality – and that both inhere as two epistemic standpoints of the one ontological reality. Relinquishing the reification of conventional reality is what grants nirvana. Nirvana is thus an experience – a particular way of being-in-the-world – which depends upon their being a conventionally existing world.

The implication is that the distinction between samsara and nirvana is not an ontological one – they cannot be distinct ontological realities (for example, of the material-immaterial kind I referred to earlier). They are rather two distinct but interrelated epistemic or phenomenological standpoints of the one ontological reality. In this respect, nirvana is simply the correct apprehension of the emptiness of phenomena, and samsara is simply the reification of phenomena to be intrinsically existent. In A4 I made the argument that samvrti-satya has two senses – one a strongly reificationist sense where intrinsic existence is wrongly attributed to dependently existing entities, and the other a conventionally true sense where entities are seen as mutually dependent and contingent. With respect to the question of samsara, the distinction is still important, but both are clearly perspectives of samsara: Nagarjuna clearly asserts that so long as an entity is seen as a conventional entity (i.e. even in its dependent co-arising) it cannot be the perspective of nirvana. The experience of nirvana entails the experience or apprehension of the emptiness of the phenomena, not the phenomena as it conventionally exists.


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