What are some "must have" books?

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Huifeng
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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Huifeng » Sat Oct 01, 2011 2:30 am



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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Huifeng » Sat Oct 01, 2011 2:32 am



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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Jnana » Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:09 am


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Huifeng
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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Huifeng » Sat Oct 01, 2011 6:38 am

Well, in non-Mahayana terms, it's canonical or paracanonical, and seems to date from around the time of the early core Abhidhamma / Abhidharma sastras. Though my personal take is that it comes from a time when the Sthaviras had not yet split out formally into the NW group (later the Sarvastivadins) and the SE group (at the Mahavihara), when the Sthavira material becomes centered around the dhammavada / dharmavada position. So, this is why it runs around Agama / Nikaya texts, but doesn't conform exactly to the later Sthavira Abhidharma schools POV.

The idea that because it talks about sunnata in some detail, and also sabhava, therefore it must have some Prajnaparamita or Nagarjuna influence, is in my opinion largely from the way in which modern Buddhist scholarship has looked at these two connected ideas. We've gone back through time, rather than forwards. For example, we first decided that somehow sunyata was really mainly a Mahayana thing, formed in the Prajnaparamita and then systematized by Nagarjuna. Therefore, anything that talks about this must be influenced by one or both of these two.

But looking closer at the Nikayas and Agamas, especially those sutras which later came to be called the "mahasutras" (not found in the Pali); and also looking at the early Abhidharma sastras (note: the so-called Sarvastivada early on called themselves the "Sunyatavadins"); we've missed too much material, and formed hasty conclusions.

Off hand, I can't recall if it's the Psm or the Nettiprakarana, but the actually statement on "sabhava-sunnata" is deceptive: it can be read in a number of ways (it is, after all, a compound, but what sort of compound?) The later commentators had a couple of opinions, but two strike out: either empty of own being; or, emptiness is it's own being. The distinction is worth noting, even though later systems managed to merge these two together, eg. later Prajnaparamita style "it's own nature is that it is empty of own nature".

~~ Huifeng


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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Jnana » Sat Oct 01, 2011 10:00 am


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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Virgo » Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:05 pm


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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Jnana » Sat Oct 01, 2011 6:46 pm


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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby maybay » Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:45 pm

People will know nothing and everything
Remember nothing and everything
Think nothing and everything
Do nothing and everything
- Machig Labdron

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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Jnana » Sat Oct 01, 2011 8:07 pm


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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby tobes » Sat Oct 01, 2011 11:46 pm

I really admire and respect your perspective Jnana.

So well informed and nuanced.

:anjali:

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Malcolm
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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Malcolm » Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:03 am





འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Free of hope and fear, relax.
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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Jnana » Sun Oct 02, 2011 3:02 am


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Huifeng
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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Huifeng » Sun Oct 02, 2011 3:10 am

Actually, the more strict way to interpret "sabhāvena suñña" would be "empty by way of own nature", not "empty of own nature", after all, the sabhāvena is an instrumental. Though the instrumental sense of "in terms of ..." is also not uncommon.

From something I wrote a year or two ago:

In his translation of the Pṭs, Ñāṇamoli (1982b: xvii, 362 n1) adds from Mahānāma’s commentary on the phrase “sabhāvena suññaṃ”, which he translates as “devoid of individual essence”, giving three possible renderings. 1. Empty of essence or arising of, or by, itself. This means that it has essence or arises, but this is due to other conditions, relating it to dependent origination. 2. Empty of essences other than itself, it has it’s own essence (sabhāva) but not other essence (parabhāva), as per “X is empty of non-X” (see below in Pṭk). 3. Empty as it has emptiness for it’s own essence. This brings in the abstraction of suññatā rather than just adjectival suñña, though also does tend to reify that abstraction as the very nature of dhammas. Ronkin (2005: 93f, 100) shows that Mahānāma’s oscillation between definitions shows his difficulty in reading commentarial tradition ideas of sabhāva into this earlier text, and the ambiguity in Pṭs in the first place. However, as Warder points out, it is really only Mahānāma’s third explanation which is convincing (cf. Ñāṇamoli 1982b: xviii).

The first explanation is the "empty of own nature", but it is the third that actual makes sense in the text, as Warder points out.

As Geoff says: "The Paṭisambhidāmagga wasn't composed at the Mahāvihāra." But, the Xuanzang stuff is far too late to make much influence on the issue here, probably about 800 years earlier.

"Which Hinayana texts teach the emptiness of all phenomena?"

"For example, the Satyasiddhiśāstra. If more Mahāsaṅghika texts had survived, we would likely have many more examples."

Yes, the Mahāsāṅghika had many groups that upheld this position. The status of the *Satyasiddhiśāstra is in dispute: Some Chinese took it as Mahāyāna, but it doesn't posit any Bodhisattva path, and the layout in four truths is straight out of the same book as the Sarvāstivādins, really. The author was originally a Sautrāntika, but later took up Mahāsāṅghika positions. So, it is halfway between these.

As Namdrol says, "it is not a representative of general Mahāsaṅghika", and the author probably had some Mahāyāna influence. Hard to attribute it to any specific school, but just see influences here and there. And I think that is the correct way to look at a number of systems around this time.

But, as I mentioned earlier, check out the so called Mahāsūtras (cf. Skillings). These are Sautrāntika sūtras that have some definition "all dharmas are empty" type teachings. They are not present in the Pali, and even some of them have been lost. Vasu quotes them a fair bit in the Kosa, too. And, check out the Mahāsaṅghika commentary to the Ekottarāgama in Chinese, as well. Also the Mahāsaṅghika school Lokānuvartana Sūtra 《佛說內藏百寶經》, which is heavy on the emptiness thing.

~~ Huifeng


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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Huifeng » Sun Oct 02, 2011 3:13 am



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Malcolm
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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Malcolm » Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:37 pm





འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Free of hope and fear, relax.
Human life spent in
a state of great spaciousness is enjoyable.


— Kunzang Dechen Lingpa

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Malcolm
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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Malcolm » Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:39 pm





འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Free of hope and fear, relax.
Human life spent in
a state of great spaciousness is enjoyable.


— Kunzang Dechen Lingpa

Jnana
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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Jnana » Sun Oct 02, 2011 1:28 pm


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maybay
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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby maybay » Sun Oct 02, 2011 3:52 pm

People will know nothing and everything
Remember nothing and everything
Think nothing and everything
Do nothing and everything
- Machig Labdron

Jnana
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Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:58 pm

Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Jnana » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:01 pm


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Re: What are some "must have" books?

Postby Jnana » Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:33 pm



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