Absolute teaching

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Absolute teaching

Postby Sönam » Sat Aug 03, 2013 10:52 am

I am surprized that one can doubt about the 4 NT being the absolute teaching of the Buddha. 4 NT is the dharma. This very first teaching of Buddha Shakyamuni is the one of the Perfect, it's a direct introduction teaching, it gives all what is necessary to realize Liberation, buddhahood.
All other teachings are only to comment, explain, lead to the realization of 4 NT. All yanas, schools, traditons, in all their complexities have only one goal, to realize the 4 NT.
If one only contemplate this teaching, all along one life, certainly one will realize buddhahood.

Sönam
By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
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Re: Absolute teaching

Postby porpoise » Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:42 pm

Sönam wrote:If one only contemplate this teaching, all along one life, certainly one will realize buddhahood.


Actually I agree, but again I have to ask, why bother with all those other teachings and practices if the 4NT are sufficient? Why not just concentrate on the 4NT?
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Re: Absolute teaching

Postby Sönam » Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:00 pm

porpoise wrote:
Sönam wrote:If one only contemplate this teaching, all along one life, certainly one will realize buddhahood.


Actually I agree, but again I have to ask, why bother with all those other teachings and practices if the 4NT are sufficient? Why not just concentrate on the 4NT?


If you do not get it from the beginning, then you have to learn to meditate, contemplate, to elliminate you many concepts and so on, and for that you have many practices, many schools, yanas and so on. It is a question of capacity, that is commitment.

Sönam
By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
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Re: Absolute teaching

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:29 pm

The teachings and practices are the fourth Noble Truth.
"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: Absolute teaching

Postby Koji » Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:22 pm

Sönam wrote:I am surprized that one can doubt about the 4 NT being the absolute teaching of the Buddha. 4 NT is the dharma. This very first teaching of Buddha Shakyamuni is the one of the Perfect, it's a direct introduction teaching, it gives all what is necessary to realize Liberation, buddhahood.
All other teachings are only to comment, explain, lead to the realization of 4 NT. All yanas, schools, traditons, in all their complexities have only one goal, to realize the 4 NT.
If one only contemplate this teaching, all along one life, certainly one will realize buddhahood.

Sönam


So what is suffering?
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Re: Absolute teaching

Postby Poorbitch » Sat Aug 03, 2013 8:50 pm

Sönam wrote:I am surprized that one can doubt about the 4 NT being the absolute teaching of the Buddha. 4 NT is the dharma. This very first teaching of Buddha Shakyamuni is the one of the Perfect, it's a direct introduction teaching, it gives all what is necessary to realize Liberation, buddhahood.


Sönam wrote:If you do not get it from the beginning, then you have to learn to meditate, contemplate, to elliminate you many concepts and so on, and for that you have many practices, many schools, yanas and so on. It is a question of capacity, that is commitment.


http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=13517&p=176533#p176533

What else ? :coffee:
bla bla bla
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Re: Absolute teaching

Postby Astus » Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:14 pm

As the Srimala Devi Sutra says, there is only one truth that is the ultimate among the four, the truth of extinction.

“The one noble truth, namely, ‘the extinction of suffering,’ is separate from the conditioned. What is ‘separate from the conditioned’ is permanent. What is ‘permanent’ is not false and deceptive in nature. What is ‘not false and deceptive in nature’ is true, permanent, and a refuge. Therefore, the noble truth of the extinction [of suffering] is the supreme truth.” (tr. Diana Y. Paul)
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Absolute teaching

Postby Sönam » Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:34 pm

Poorbitch wrote:
Sönam wrote:I am surprized that one can doubt about the 4 NT being the absolute teaching of the Buddha. 4 NT is the dharma. This very first teaching of Buddha Shakyamuni is the one of the Perfect, it's a direct introduction teaching, it gives all what is necessary to realize Liberation, buddhahood.


Sönam wrote:If you do not get it from the beginning, then you have to learn to meditate, contemplate, to elliminate you many concepts and so on, and for that you have many practices, many schools, yanas and so on. It is a question of capacity, that is commitment.


http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=13517&p=176533#p176533

What else ? :coffee:


If you mean there is contradiction, there is none ...

Sönam
By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
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Re: Absolute teaching

Postby anjali » Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:36 pm

I've always likes this formulation of the 4NTs from Gifts He Left Behind: The Dhamma legacy of Phra Ajaan Dune Atulo,

A senior monk of the meditation tradition came to pay his respects to Luang Pu on the first day of the Rains Retreat in 1956. After giving him instruction and a number of teachings on profound matters, Luang Pu summarized the four noble truths as follows:

"The mind sent outside
is the origination of suffering.

The result of the mind sent outside
is suffering.

The mind seeing the mind
is the path.

The result of the mind seeing the mind
is the cessation of suffering."
  • The object of the game is to go on playing it. --John Von Neumann
  • All activities are like the games children play. If started, they can never be finished. They are only completed once you let them be, like castles made of sand. --Khenpo Nyoshul Rinpoche
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Re: Absolute teaching

Postby Koji » Sat Aug 03, 2013 10:40 pm

According to the Buddha :reading: the abandonment of desire and lust for five skandha-s affected by clinging is the cessation of suffering. Sweet! :heart:
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Re: Absolute teaching

Postby Ramon1920 » Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:21 pm

The Four Noble Truths contains the 8 Fold Path, and that contains even more subsections of teachings.

Astus wrote:As the Srimala Devi Sutra says, there is only one truth that is the ultimate among the four, the truth of extinction.

“The one noble truth, namely, ‘the extinction of suffering,’ is separate from the conditioned. What is ‘separate from the conditioned’ is permanent. What is ‘permanent’ is not false and deceptive in nature. What is ‘not false and deceptive in nature’ is true, permanent, and a refuge. Therefore, the noble truth of the extinction [of suffering] is the supreme truth.” (tr. Diana Y. Paul)


That looks like either a gross mistranslation, a passage taken out of context, or a misconstruction of the meaning.

What is meant by "ultimate" and "supreme" here?
Does it mean that the statement "extinction of suffering" is better than the other 3?
Does it mean nirvana itself is ultimate, if so, why mention the Noble Truths which are teaching statements(also called dharma) or a practice (also called dharma).
Does it mean that the nirvana as a state or the nirvana as a teaching (nirvana as a practice does not exist), is a superior alternative to the 4 Noble truths?
All of these possible meanings are nonsensical.

What is meant by truth here?
If the word in the sutra is "dharma" and the dharma in question is nirvana, then "truth" is a wrong translation.
If dharma here is in regards to the activity of extinguishing suffering, then "truth" is a wrong translation.
If "dharma" here is referring to the Noble Truth statement, "the extinction of suffering", then it is not permanent, but rather a collection of words or a concept and the statement in the sutra is clearly flawed.


What point were you trying to get across by that quote Astus?
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Re: Absolute teaching

Postby Sönam » Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:38 am

Sönam wrote:
Poorbitch wrote:
Sönam wrote:I am surprized that one can doubt about the 4 NT being the absolute teaching of the Buddha. 4 NT is the dharma. This very first teaching of Buddha Shakyamuni is the one of the Perfect, it's a direct introduction teaching, it gives all what is necessary to realize Liberation, buddhahood.


Sönam wrote:If you do not get it from the beginning, then you have to learn to meditate, contemplate, to elliminate you many concepts and so on, and for that you have many practices, many schools, yanas and so on. It is a question of capacity, that is commitment.


http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=13517&p=176533#p176533

What else ? :coffee:


If you mean there is contradiction, there is none ...

Sönam


To clarify ...

Once Buddha Shakyamuni realized unlightenment he gave a direct introduction, an ultimate teaching ... why could it have been otherwise?
Some realized. Many did'nt, so he taught the 8 fold path, starting from the beginning (for the beginners). This was the first Turn of the Wheel. Shravakas considere it's the only teaching, for historical reasons.
After which he turned two more times the Dharma Wheel ... who lead to the different Mahayana paths.

Sönam
By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
- Longchen Rabjam -
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Location: France

Re: Absolute teaching

Postby porpoise » Sun Aug 04, 2013 2:42 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:The teachings and practices are the fourth Noble Truth.


Yes, I suppose so.
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Re: Absolute teaching

Postby Astus » Sun Aug 04, 2013 5:24 pm

Ramon1920 wrote:What point were you trying to get across by that quote Astus?


That the essential message of the Buddha is not in any specific doctrine but the experience of liberation. One can emphasise the four noble truths (sravaka), dependent origination (pratyekabuddha), six paramitas (bodhisattva), four samadhis (Tiantai), four dharmadhatus (Huayan), wordless transmission (Chan), empowerments (Tantra), or any other aspect, even without mentioning anything else, as long as it results in liberation, it is the "absolute teaching". This is the meaning of the one vehicle teaching expounded in the Srimala Devi and other similar sutras.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Absolute teaching

Postby Koji » Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:38 pm

And just exactly what is suffering?

"And what, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of suffering? It should be said: the five aggregates subject to clinging" SN 56:13.


The implications of this are eye-popping. :shock:
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Re: Absolute teaching

Postby Sönam » Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:17 pm

Astus wrote:One can emphasise the four noble truths (sravaka)


My point, precisely, deferes on that. What I highlight in that thread is that 4 NT IS, after elightenment, the direct introduction, ultimate teaching of Buddha Shakyamuni ... then 8 fold path is sravakas and so on as you explain.

Sönam
By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
- Longchen Rabjam -
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Posts: 1867
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Location: France

Re: Absolute teaching

Postby kirtu » Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:24 pm

Sönam wrote:If one only contemplate this teaching, all along one life, certainly one will realize buddhahood.


I'm a little surprised Sonam - the 4NT is of course excellent but can only lead by itself to the Arhat attainment. Thus it cannot lead one by itself to Buddhahood. It may well be true however, that as one become progressively purified by following the 4NT's one will develop universal compassion and then take that as one's motivation.

One serious problem with the 4NT's is that people do not recognize that their constant momentary experience and the constant momentary experience of all sentient beings is suffering. Thus true renunciation almost never arises.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
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Re: Absolute teaching

Postby Astus » Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:43 pm

Sönam wrote:My point, precisely, deferes on that. What I highlight in that thread is that 4 NT IS, after elightenment, the direct introduction, ultimate teaching of Buddha Shakyamuni ... then 8 fold path is sravakas and so on as you explain.


In general Mahayana texts assign the four noble truths as the primary teaching of sravakas. It means that those with the so called sravaka attitude - because in Mahayana it is simply a wrong approach, not a specific school or teaching - focus only on eliminating suffering, removing themselves from this world, and abiding in nirvana, because they don't understand how both samsara and nirvana are empty, and that is represented by the four noble truths.

The eightfold path is the fourth truth, and the first of the eightfold path is the four noble truths. You can't really take them apart as they mutually include each other.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Absolute teaching

Postby Sönam » Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:32 am

kirtu wrote:
Sönam wrote:If one only contemplate this teaching, all along one life, certainly one will realize buddhahood.


I'm a little surprised Sonam - the 4NT is of course excellent but can only lead by itself to the Arhat attainment. Thus it cannot lead one by itself to Buddhahood. It may well be true however, that as one become progressively purified by following the 4NT's one will develop universal compassion and then take that as one's motivation.

One serious problem with the 4NT's is that people do not recognize that their constant momentary experience and the constant momentary experience of all sentient beings is suffering. Thus true renunciation almost never arises.

Kirt


I don't think 4NT can ONLY lead to Arhat Attainment ... it's then incomplete, so understood suffering has not been eradicated. If one still mark difference between oneself and "others" it's incomplete, if it remains suffering of "others", it's not complete realization of it.

Sönam
By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
- Longchen Rabjam -
Sönam
 
Posts: 1867
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Location: France

Re: Absolute teaching

Postby Astus » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:55 am

Sönam wrote:I don't think 4NT can ONLY lead to Arhat Attainment


This means that there is only one kind of attainment and distinguishing arhats, pratyekabuddhas and buddhas have no relevance. The prevailing Mahayana interpretation is that the sravaka attainments are only skilful means, temporary, and what everyone eventually reaches is buddhahood. This is the One Vehicle concept. Theravada (and some Yogacara) says that while in terms of liberation arhats and buddhas are equal, there is a qualitative difference in terms of the buddhas ability to restart the wheel of Dharma and other supernatural things.

Not that I'm against this interpretation that there is only one sort of liberation and everything else are just skilful means. But it should be clear that this contravenes all the many schools' statements about their superiority (which I believe is a good thing, sectarianism is quite a bad illness).
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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