Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

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

Re: Sogyal Rinpoche

Postby adinatha » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:32 am

Namdrol wrote:
Most importantly, that Buddha was omniscient with miracle powers is basically required belief to be a Buddhist.


The conclusion you are drawing from your premise is erroneous.

The fact that Buddha claimed omniscience for himself in some Pali text does not prove he personally taught even one Mahayāna text.

My approach to this is to toss out authorship as a valid criterion for judging the validity of a given Buddhist text. Instead I look at the text itself, rather than its putative author. In other words, judge the text by what it says, not by who supposedly said it.

N


I'm not saying it proves he taught Mahayana. I'm saying you cannot disprove it. If you cannot disprove it, it's not false. If it's not false or true, then you just don't know. My premise is there is no historical fact that proves Gautama taught only sravakaya, other than mere supposition and theory.
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:33 am

adinatha wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
Actually, it comes from Yoga tantra.

N


Not all say the same thing.


Samantabhadra as dharmakāya makes his first appearance in the Sarvatathāgata Tattvasaṃgraha,the root tantras of Yoga Tantra. This is just a fact, there is nothing to argue about. He makes his next appearance as Dharmakāya in the Guhyasamaja. Again, fact, nothing to dispute.

In this I prefer to follow the Sakya school's point of view, i.e., the definitive rūpakāya is Sambhogakāya. And in reality, there is only one teacher, the Dharmakāya Samantabhadra, since dharmakāya is the mind of all buddhas.

Gorampa points out that the relationship of the Sambhogakāya to the nirmanakāya is that of an illusionist to an illusion.
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Re: Sogyal Rinpoche

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:38 am

adinatha wrote:
I'm not saying it proves he taught Mahayana. I'm saying you cannot disprove it. If you cannot disprove it, it's not false.



This is specious reasoning, as you know.
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby adinatha » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:42 am

Namdrol wrote:
adinatha wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
Actually, it comes from Yoga tantra.

N


Not all say the same thing.


Samantabhadra as dharmakāya makes his first appearance in the Sarvatathāgata Tattvasaṃgraha,the root tantras of Yoga Tantra. This is just a fact, there is nothing to argue about. He makes his next appearance as Dharmakāya in the Guhyasamaja. Again, fact, nothing to dispute.

In this I prefer to follow the Sakya school's point of view, i.e., the definitive rūpakāya is Sambhogakāya. And in reality, there is only one teacher, the Dharmakāya Samantabhadra, since dharmakāya is the mind of all buddhas.

Gorampa points out that the relationship of the Sambhogakāya to the nirmanakāya is that of an illusionist to an illusion.


It goes different in Chakrasamvara. Vajradhara is dharmakaya.
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Re: Sogyal Rinpoche

Postby adinatha » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:47 am

Namdrol wrote:
adinatha wrote:
I'm not saying it proves he taught Mahayana. I'm saying you cannot disprove it. If you cannot disprove it, it's not false.



This is specious reasoning, as you know.


No it's not. It is the foundation of scientific method, that nothing is ever proved true. There are theories, and then experimentation to test those theories. If the theory is falsified then it is definitively untrue. If it is not, then one cannot say the theory is definitively true or false. It is a workable theory that could still possibly be disproven. Rational skepticism is the foundation of Western thought.

The reasoning that claims something is true or untrue based on suppositions is specious reasoning. There is no evidence possible to show definitively either way with regard to Buddhist history. That's a fact.

All this theorizing about what was really said or not by the Buddha is totally specious bullshit.
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:50 am

But tell me adinatha, do you have anything against what Namdrol said, regarding giving credit to a text for its content instead of its authorship?
Edit: I mean, is it important for you that the tantras or mahayana sutras were actually spoken by Gautama? If so, why? This is not any sort of trick question. I just want to understand your POV. :smile:
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Enochian » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:59 am

Namdrol wrote:And in reality, there is only one teacher, the Dharmakāya Samantabhadra, since dharmakāya is the mind of all buddhas.



How is this not monism?
There is an ever-present freedom from grasping the mind.

Mind being defined as the thing always on the Three Times.
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:12 am

Monism posits something as ultimately existent. Dharmakāya Samantabhadra is not the same as the Hindu Brahman. Come on Enochian, this is Madhyamika 101. I don't know why you've been harping on this point for so long.
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Enochian » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:23 am

Dechen Norbu wrote:Monism posits something as ultimately real. Dharmakāya Samantabhadra is not the same as the Hindu Brahman. Come on Enochian, this is Madhyamika 101. I don't know why you've been harping on this point for so long.



I like to know how to defend buddhism.

I am NOT a monist in any sense.

And you are confusing an uncaused self established reality with monism. Who the hell is talking about Brahman? I wasn't even thinking about that shit.
There is an ever-present freedom from grasping the mind.

Mind being defined as the thing always on the Three Times.
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:28 am

I know you aren't. You've said that already.
Give them Nagarjuna's tetralema. They may well not accept it, but at least they will see that Buddhist philosophy is generally quite suspicious of defining any ontology. Considering ultimate existence always ends resulting in absurd consequences, according to Nagarjuna.
Monism comes in many shapes and colors. :smile: What kind of monism do you have in mind? Afaik, there's always an existent substance of sorts being posited as existent, whatever monism you decide to choose.
Last edited by Dechen Norbu on Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Enochian » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:30 am

Dechen Norbu wrote:I know you aren't. You've said that already.
Give them Nagarjuna's tetralema. They may well not accept it, but at least they will see that Buddhist philosophy is generally quite suspicious of defining any ontology. Considering ultimate existence always ends resulting in absurd consequences, according to Nagarjuna.


Actually thinking more about what you are saying, you are correct :cheers:
There is an ever-present freedom from grasping the mind.

Mind being defined as the thing always on the Three Times.
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Mr. G » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:33 am

fragrant herbs wrote:I really don't care if I am banned from this site, mainly because after the closing of two Tantra threads and one Sogyal thread that was deleted I have learned enough.


As Kirt said, posts that were off topic were merged with this thread. The Sogyal thread will be restored tomorrow because it was under review. And the "Was Tantra a Christian Practice" thread was locked because there were too many personal attacks which were off topic. IMHO, it was just a silly thread to begin with. However, if there is some relevant information that pertains to that thread that has some backing by respected scholars in their fields of study, we will re-open the thread for further discussion.
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:37 am

I just don't see why you keep banging the same drum :lol: . For outsiders emptiness as the ultimate nature may look like some sort of monism, if they forget the emptiness of emptiness, but we know such is not so. Shentong may also look like a monism of sorts, but it is not. However I doubt you'll find someone hairsplitting these ideas outside Buddhist circles. Buddhism has points much easier to attack than mistaking it for monism. You go straight to the heart of the tetralema and deem it useless! :lol: Pretty much like Aristotle did. But that's a whole different subject that doesn't fit the scope of this thread.
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Enochian » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:42 am

Dechen Norbu wrote:I just don't see why you keep banging the same drum :lol: . For outsiders emptiness as the ultimate nature may look like some sort of monism, if they forget the emptiness of emptiness, but we know such is not so. Shentong may also look like a monism of sorts, but it is not. However I doubt you'll find someone hairsplitting these ideas outside Buddhist circles. Buddhism has points much easier to attack than mistaking it for monism. You go straight to the heart of the tetralema and deem it useless! :lol: Pretty much like Aristotle did. But that's a whole different subject that doesn't fit the scope of this thread.



Look if I'm boring you just say it.

I would rather have these discussions than frak Christian tantra
There is an ever-present freedom from grasping the mind.

Mind being defined as the thing always on the Three Times.
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:46 am

No, by any means. It's just that I prefer not having either, at least in this thread. :smile:
I was really hoping to get adinatha's opinion on my question, but probably he left already... so I'll have to wait until tomorrow I guess.
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Tenzin1 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:03 am

adinatha wrote:
Gampopa affirmed he was this bodhisattva disciple. So this would mean that he was present when Gautama taught Mahayana.


Jñāna wrote:
Enochian wrote:Who is trying to put Vajrayana in the voice of Gautama?

Vajrayana is directly from divine Mahasiddhas (humans who achieved omniscient Buddhahood)

Good. Glad we can agree on that. It's also unnecessary to attempt to put the Mahāyāna teachings in the mouth of Gautama.


The Kagyu, among others, maintain that the Buddha manifested as Vajradhara and taught tantra in that form. I don't know if that qualifies as attempting to put the Vajrayana teachings in the mouth of Gautama.

re: Gampopa, he wasn't contemporaneous with the Buddha. Gampopa is listed on the Kagyu website as being the last in the lineage beginning with Tilopa and and following Milarepa. Gampopa's arrival is said to have been prophesied by the Buddha, but he appeared over a millennium after the Buddha.

http://www.kagyuoffice.org/buddhism.kagyu.html
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:34 am

Enochian wrote:I like to know how to defend buddhism.

There's something here you must keep in mind. Although there's a strong rationale behind Buddhist doctrine, you can only defend it to a point. As it differs so much from people's everyday experience, which is highly deluded from a Buddhist perspective, it's always possible to make a case against it. Of course you can also make a very good case defending it, but you will never be able to prove it to a 3rd person (not even by having developed siddhis).

At the end of the day, without practice, Buddhism is just another set of beliefs, some of them pretty wild from an unenlightened perspective. Unless one verifies what it proposes, it's no more than a cool soteriology, like many others.

This is where the wheat gets separated from the chaff. Some will feel inspired by Buddhadharma while others won't. Some will feel inspired to a certain point while others won't be able to overcome some deluded (from a Buddhist perspective) intellectual positions. This is what defines the capacity of the practitioner. What you choose to put to the test by means of dedicated practice. I'm simplifying things a bit, but in the end it's my opinion that things are not much different from this.
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Re: Sogyal Rinpoche

Postby Jnana » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:43 am

adinatha wrote:All this theorizing about what was really said or not by the Buddha is totally specious bullshit.

I'm guessing that you probably have little interest in inter-tradition Buddhist dialogue; more comfortable in your self-confirming thought-world. That's fine. I consider the responses you're offering here to be deficient, irrational, regressive, and rigid. But if you have no interest in this subject why are you intent on posting in this thread? What should you care about contemporary text-critical analysis and related matters? Continue down your rabbit hole.
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Jnana » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:59 am

Dechen Norbu wrote:This is where the wheat gets separated from the chaff. Some will feel inspired by Buddhadharma while others won't. Some will feel inspired to a certain point while others won't be able to overcome some deluded (from a Buddhist perspective) intellectual positions. This is what defines the capacity of the practitioner. What you choose to put to the test by means of dedicated practice.

It's a pluralistic world. I sometimes find myself engaged with practitioners from various traditions. Parroting worn out vajrayāna catchphrases is completely unskillful in such contexts. A more integrated hermeneutic is needed. It's all about communication, relationship, and practice.
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Re: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana

Postby Adamantine » Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:52 am

Jñāna wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:This is where the wheat gets separated from the chaff. Some will feel inspired by Buddhadharma while others won't. Some will feel inspired to a certain point while others won't be able to overcome some deluded (from a Buddhist perspective) intellectual positions. This is what defines the capacity of the practitioner. What you choose to put to the test by means of dedicated practice.

It's a pluralistic world. I sometimes find myself engaged with practitioners from various traditions. Parroting worn out vajrayāna catchphrases is completely unskillful in such contexts. A more integrated hermeneutic is needed. It's all about communication, relationship, and practice.


Well, similarly, when in discussion with a devout Catholic or Muslim
parroting worn out Buddhist catchphrases like "Buddha attained full Awakening"
etc. will not go over well. At a certain point, not everybody is going to agree so what's required in a pluralistic world is
that everyone be respectful of the views of others, even if they don't subscribe to them.
The conversation turned sour because some people here were trying to discredit
Vajrayana view and practice regarding karmamudra, which is
a very important element of Vajrayana. In this pluralistic world, doing that was
very unskillful.
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Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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