Is there a Soul in Buddhism?

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: Is there a Soul in Buddhism?

Postby Malcolm » Tue May 03, 2011 4:38 am

Pero wrote:
conebeckham wrote:When you light a new candle from a burning candle stub, by holding the the flame of the burning soon-to-be-burned-out stub next to the wick of the new candle, just as the stub goes out, is the flame of the new candle the same as the flame of the old candle?

We can say there is a "cause and effect" relationship at work here, but we cannot point to anything in the nature of the flame, or in either candle, that is unchanging and uniquely defining. Nonetheless, there is some continuum of energy or heat which was "passed" from the stub to the new candle....though that energy or heat can't be isolated.

Rebirth is the same.

Thanks! How would you make an example for Hindu reincarnation?


The Hindus have a very strange idea of reincarnation from a Buddhist point of view. They believe that when you die, your atman ascends a kind of vapor which travels to the moon. There, you hang out for a while and eventually, you descend into the clouds, where your soul, mixing with the water vapor in the clouds, is rained down onto earth where your soul become embodied in plants, eventually climbing through the animal kingdom, etc.

N
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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Re: Is there a Soul in Buddhism?

Postby Keshin » Tue May 03, 2011 7:33 am

Namdrol wrote:The Hindus have a very strange idea of reincarnation from a Buddhist point of view. They believe that when you die, your atman ascends a kind of vapor which travels to the moon. There, you hang out for a while and eventually, you descend into the clouds, where your soul, mixing with the water vapor in the clouds, is rained down onto earth where your soul become embodied in plants, eventually climbing through the animal kingdom, etc.

N

No offence, but this is completely wrong.
I don't know from what kind of Hindus you have learnt this, but it ain't the same ones as I have.

I have NEVER, EVER heard this view, and I visit mandir regularly and have a lot of Hindu friends. You are taking the Vedas at face value to claim this, which is not the case, especially now.

Maybe they believed this in 2500BCE, but they certainly don't now.
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Re: Is there a Soul in Buddhism?

Postby Malcolm » Tue May 03, 2011 4:05 pm

Keshin wrote:
Namdrol wrote:The Hindus have a very strange idea of reincarnation from a Buddhist point of view. They believe that when you die, your atman ascends a kind of vapor which travels to the moon. There, you hang out for a while and eventually, you descend into the clouds, where your soul, mixing with the water vapor in the clouds, is rained down onto earth where your soul become embodied in plants, eventually climbing through the animal kingdom, etc.

N

No offence, but this is completely wrong.
I don't know from what kind of Hindus you have learnt this, but it ain't the same ones as I have.

I have NEVER, EVER heard this view, and I visit mandir regularly and have a lot of Hindu friends. You are taking the Vedas at face value to claim this, which is not the case, especially now.

Maybe they believed this in 2500BCE, but they certainly don't now.


Actually, this what Shankaracarya writes about rebirth and I have seen it reproduced more or less verbatim by neo-Hindus like David Frawley.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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Re: New to this

Postby Dechen Norbu » Tue May 03, 2011 4:18 pm

Keshin, you can't acknowledge the three marks of existence and still believe in a God in the Christian sense. They are mutually exclusive.
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Re: New to this

Postby Keshin » Tue May 03, 2011 4:19 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:Keshin, you can't acknowledge the three marks of existence and still believe in a God in the Christian sense. They are mutually exclusive.

It's a good job I don't then, isn't it?
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Re: Is there a Soul in Buddhism?

Postby Keshin » Tue May 03, 2011 4:27 pm

Namdrol wrote:Actually, this what Shankaracarya writes about rebirth and I have seen it reproduced more or less verbatim by neo-Hindus like David Frawley.

Sounds like you're missing the metaphors of things and taking them literally if that is the case.

I've heard no Hindus who believe this is what happens. Considering I visit mandir on a regular basis and chat with a lot of Hindus, why is this the first time I've actually heard of it? Can you give some sources for this?
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Re: Is there a Soul in Buddhism?

Postby Malcolm » Tue May 03, 2011 4:46 pm

Keshin wrote:
Namdrol wrote:Actually, this what Shankaracarya writes about rebirth and I have seen it reproduced more or less verbatim by neo-Hindus like David Frawley.

Sounds like you're missing the metaphors of things and taking them literally if that is the case.

I've heard no Hindus who believe this is what happens. Considering I visit mandir on a regular basis and chat with a lot of Hindus, why is this the first time I've actually heard of it? Can you give some sources for this?



Dig around, you will find it.
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" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

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Re: Is there a Soul in Buddhism?

Postby Keshin » Tue May 03, 2011 4:48 pm

Namdrol wrote:Dig around, you will find it.

I've had a dig around for a while on Google, but can't find anything on it. If you come across it, please let me know.
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Re: Is there a Soul in Buddhism?

Postby adinatha » Tue May 03, 2011 6:27 pm

746. The ego (atma) characterised with purity is the state of self-realisation; this is the Tathagata's womb (garbha) which does not belong to the realm of the theorisers.

Lankavatara Sutra
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Re: Is there a Soul in Buddhism?

Postby Malcolm » Tue May 03, 2011 9:20 pm

adinatha wrote:
746. The ego (atma) characterised with purity is the state of self-realisation; this is the Tathagata's womb (garbha) which does not belong to the realm of the theorisers.

Lankavatara Sutra



Lankavatara:

27. An ego-soul is a truth belonging to thought-construction, in which there is no real reality; the self-nature of the Skandhas is also a thought-construction, as there is no reality in it.

121. [According to the Buddha,] there is nothing in the world but the Mind itself, and all that is of duality has its rise from the Mind and is seen as perceived and perceiving; an ego-soul and what belongs to it—they exist not.

(211)...Mahamati, at the eighth stage the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas, Sravakas, and Pratyekabuddhas cease cherishing discriminative ideas that arise from the Citta, Mana and Manovijnana. From the first stage up to the sixth, they perceive that the triple world is no more than the Citta. Manas, and Manovijnana, that as it is born of a discriminating mind there is no ego-soul and what belongs to it, and that there is no falling into the multitudinousness of external objects except through [the discrimination of] the Mind itself.

(220)...The Blessed One said this to him: Mahamati, the Tathagata-garbha holds within it the cause for both good and evil, and by it all the forms of existence are produced. Like an actor it takes on a variety of forms, and [in itself] is devoid of an ego-soul and what belongs to it.

(225)...Said the Blessed One: Mahamati, the ignorant cling to names, ideas, and signs; their minds move along [these channels]. As thus they move along, they feed on multiplicities of objects, and fall into the notion of an ego-soul and what belongs to it, and cling to salutary appearances. As thus they cling, there is a reversion to ignorance, and they become tainted, karma born of greed, anger, and folly is accumulated. As karma is accumulated again and again, their minds become swathed in the cocoon of discrimination as the silk-worm; and, transmigrating in the ocean of birth-and-death (gati), they are unable, like the water-drawing wheel, to move forward. And because of folly, they do not understand that all things are like Maya, a mirage, the moon in water, and have no self-substance to be imagined as an ego-soul and its belongings; that things rise from their false discrimination; that they are devoid of qualified and qualifying; and have nothing to do with the course of birth, abiding, and destruction; that they are born of the discrimination of what is only seen of the Mind itself; and assert1 that they are born of Isvara, time, atoms, or a supreme spirit, for they follow names and appearances. Mahamati, the ignorant move along with appearances.

281. There are no Skandhas in Nirvana, nor is there an ego-soul, nor any individual signs; (302) by entering into the Mind-only, one escapes from becoming attached to emancipation.

739. Those theorisers who are without knowledge are frightened at eternalism and nihilism; (357) the ignorant are unable to distinguish between the Samskrita, the Asamskrita, and the ego-soul.

851. The ego-soul is not, and the mind is born; how does this evolving come about? Is it not said that its appearing is like a river, a lamp, and a seed?

Obviously, the treatment of Atman in the Lanka is complicated and cannot be neatly summarized in one sentence.

N
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Is there a Soul in Buddhism?

Postby adinatha » Tue May 03, 2011 11:09 pm

Namdrol wrote:
adinatha wrote:
746. The ego (atma) characterised with purity is the state of self-realisation; this is the Tathagata's womb (garbha) which does not belong to the realm of the theorisers.

Lankavatara Sutra



Lankavatara:

27. An ego-soul is a truth belonging to thought-construction, in which there is no real reality; the self-nature of the Skandhas is also a thought-construction, as there is no reality in it.

121. [According to the Buddha,] there is nothing in the world but the Mind itself, and all that is of duality has its rise from the Mind and is seen as perceived and perceiving; an ego-soul and what belongs to it—they exist not.

(211)...Mahamati, at the eighth stage the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas, Sravakas, and Pratyekabuddhas cease cherishing discriminative ideas that arise from the Citta, Mana and Manovijnana. From the first stage up to the sixth, they perceive that the triple world is no more than the Citta. Manas, and Manovijnana, that as it is born of a discriminating mind there is no ego-soul and what belongs to it, and that there is no falling into the multitudinousness of external objects except through [the discrimination of] the Mind itself.

(220)...The Blessed One said this to him: Mahamati, the Tathagata-garbha holds within it the cause for both good and evil, and by it all the forms of existence are produced. Like an actor it takes on a variety of forms, and [in itself] is devoid of an ego-soul and what belongs to it.

(225)...Said the Blessed One: Mahamati, the ignorant cling to names, ideas, and signs; their minds move along [these channels]. As thus they move along, they feed on multiplicities of objects, and fall into the notion of an ego-soul and what belongs to it, and cling to salutary appearances. As thus they cling, there is a reversion to ignorance, and they become tainted, karma born of greed, anger, and folly is accumulated. As karma is accumulated again and again, their minds become swathed in the cocoon of discrimination as the silk-worm; and, transmigrating in the ocean of birth-and-death (gati), they are unable, like the water-drawing wheel, to move forward. And because of folly, they do not understand that all things are like Maya, a mirage, the moon in water, and have no self-substance to be imagined as an ego-soul and its belongings; that things rise from their false discrimination; that they are devoid of qualified and qualifying; and have nothing to do with the course of birth, abiding, and destruction; that they are born of the discrimination of what is only seen of the Mind itself; and assert1 that they are born of Isvara, time, atoms, or a supreme spirit, for they follow names and appearances. Mahamati, the ignorant move along with appearances.

281. There are no Skandhas in Nirvana, nor is there an ego-soul, nor any individual signs; (302) by entering into the Mind-only, one escapes from becoming attached to emancipation.

739. Those theorisers who are without knowledge are frightened at eternalism and nihilism; (357) the ignorant are unable to distinguish between the Samskrita, the Asamskrita, and the ego-soul.

851. The ego-soul is not, and the mind is born; how does this evolving come about? Is it not said that its appearing is like a river, a lamp, and a seed?

Obviously, the treatment of Atman in the Lanka is complicated and cannot be neatly summarized in one sentence.

N


I know. I'm drawing attention to the minority of statements that turns the others upside down.

763. When there is no true ego-soul, there are no stages, no self-mastery, no psychic faculties, no highest anointing, no excellent Samadhis.
(360) 764. If a destroyer should come around and say, "If there is an ego, show it to me;" a sage would declare, "Show me your own discrimination."1
765. Those who hold the theory of non-ego are injurers of the Buddhist doctrines, they are given up to the dualistic views of being and non-being; they are to be ejected by the convocation of the Bhikshus and are never to be spoken to.1
766. The doctrine of an ego-soul shines brilliantly like the rising of the world-end fire, wiping away the faults of the philosophers, burning up the forest of egolessness.
767. Molasses, sugar-cane, sugar, and honey; sour milk, sesame oil, and ghee—each has its own taste; but one who has not tasted it will not know what it is.
768. Trying to seek in five ways for an ego-soul in the accumulation of the Skandhas, the unintelligent fail to see it, but the wise seeing it are liberated.
CAW!
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Re: Is there a Soul in Buddhism?

Postby Malcolm » Wed May 04, 2011 2:59 am

adinatha wrote:I know. I'm drawing attention to the minority of statements that turns the others upside down.


This merely points to the certain fact that these last paragraphs you cite are interpolations since they radically contradict the entire tone of sūtra up until that point. And the fact that there are passages subsequent to them that reverse their statements.
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Re: Is there a Soul in Buddhism?

Postby moksha » Wed May 04, 2011 1:10 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Pero wrote:
conebeckham wrote:When you light a new candle from a burning candle stub, by holding the the flame of the burning soon-to-be-burned-out stub next to the wick of the new candle, just as the stub goes out, is the flame of the new candle the same as the flame of the old candle?

We can say there is a "cause and effect" relationship at work here, but we cannot point to anything in the nature of the flame, or in either candle, that is unchanging and uniquely defining. Nonetheless, there is some continuum of energy or heat which was "passed" from the stub to the new candle....though that energy or heat can't be isolated.

Rebirth is the same.

Thanks! How would you make an example for Hindu reincarnation?


The Hindus have a very strange idea of reincarnation from a Buddhist point of view. They believe that when you die, your atman ascends a kind of vapor which travels to the moon. There, you hang out for a while and eventually, you descend into the clouds, where your soul, mixing with the water vapor in the clouds, is rained down onto earth where your soul become embodied in plants, eventually climbing through the animal kingdom, etc.

N


What you have to realise is that there are lots of schools of Hinduism - as with Buddhism - and not just one thought process and belief structure.

The moon thing sounds, well bizarre. And something I haven't come across.

I come from the Advaita school of Hinduism. The belief there is that you work your way up through every single species, all eight million of them [or so] until you reach humanity. The pinnacle of existence. It is then your choice as to whether you become one with the Atman or whether you regress to another incarnation. If you spent your life in service of the Self and doing good to others, you will attain mokha.

In your dying moments you will think about what you spent your life doing. You may not know it, but you have devoted your life to one thing. One thing. And it is that which you will think about in your next life and which will decide on your next incarnation. If you spend your life thinking about sex, you will become a creature like a dog. If you spend your life thinking about eating, you will become something like a cow, whose sole purpose is to eat and nothing more.

The 'Atman' is not the Soul. How can it emit a 'vapour'? The Atman is the eternal, universal soul in all things. The individual soul is the jiva. Don't believe everything you read on Wikipedia.
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Re: Is there a Soul in Buddhism?

Postby catmoon » Sat May 07, 2011 2:26 am

Namdrol wrote:
caveman wrote:
Stripping everything from Buddhism and Hinduism you have the transmigration of the soul, PERIOD.


There is no soul, person, atman, sattva, jiva, you name it -- it does not exist.


Unless of course you read a lot of Bob Thurman. He uses the term "soul" quite freely.
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Re: Is there a Soul in Buddhism?

Postby Malcolm » Sat May 07, 2011 2:29 am

catmoon wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
caveman wrote:
Stripping everything from Buddhism and Hinduism you have the transmigration of the soul, PERIOD.


There is no soul, person, atman, sattva, jiva, you name it -- it does not exist.


Unless of course you read a lot of Bob Thurman. He uses the term "soul" quite freely.



He is a popularizer, and he ought to know better.
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Re: Is there a Soul in Buddhism?

Postby Indrajala » Sat May 07, 2011 3:12 am

Namdrol wrote:

He is a popularizer, and he ought to know better.



I think his reasoning is that he wants to confront the rampant materialist nihilism that he encounters, so he uses the term "soul" while explaining that while it is dependently originated it still exists. I think he wants to stress to people that rebirth is real. I've listened to his lectures and he often expresses his opinion that believing in post-mortem oblivion is one of the worst and most dangerous ways to view oneself and reality.
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Re: Is there a Soul in Buddhism?

Postby Dechen Norbu » Sat May 07, 2011 3:32 am

Humm... the best thing about Thurman is his daughter. :thumbsup:
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Re: Is there a Soul in Buddhism?

Postby Kyosan » Sat May 07, 2011 6:59 am

Dechen Norbu wrote:Humm... the best thing about Thurman is his daughter. :thumbsup:
Image

:rolling:
You're not supposed to be thinking about girls!

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Re: Is there a Soul in Buddhism?

Postby Pero » Sat May 07, 2011 11:38 am

Dechen Norbu wrote:Humm... the best thing about Thurman is his daughter.

Agreed. :lol:
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Re: Is there a Soul in Buddhism?

Postby vinodh » Sat May 07, 2011 1:12 pm

Keshin wrote:
Namdrol wrote:The Hindus have a very strange idea of reincarnation from a Buddhist point of view. They believe that when you die, your atman ascends a kind of vapor which travels to the moon. There, you hang out for a while and eventually, you descend into the clouds, where your soul, mixing with the water vapor in the clouds, is rained down onto earth where your soul become embodied in plants, eventually climbing through the animal kingdom, etc.

N

No offence, but this is completely wrong.
I don't know from what kind of Hindus you have learnt this, but it ain't the same ones as I have.

I have NEVER, EVER heard this view, and I visit mandir regularly and have a lot of Hindu friends. You are taking the Vedas at face value to claim this, which is not the case, especially now.

Maybe they believed this in 2500BCE, but they certainly don't now.


Yes It is. This process kinda described in Bhagavad Gita (if I vaguely remember. I read the Gita around few years go... )

Lets put this way. It is one of the "valid" beliefs of the Hindus. Hinduism can by itself have multiple contradictory views all of which are "valid" for a lay person.

Lay Hindus are generally unaware of their own textual traditions. (Believe me I know better :tongue: ). Those Hindus who learn their Bhagavad Gita, the Shankara Bhashyas (Let alone the Veda-s !) are a microscopic minority .

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