tobes wrote:gregkavarnos wrote:Well that's more or less what happens in the Mahayana isn't it? Shakyamuni was a Buddha in some pure land and appeared on earth to "apparently" become enlightened and "apparently" teach in order to "apparently" liberate? Wasn't that the reason that the tahagatagarbha or pure land "salvation" theories had to be "invented"? The Theravadra ideal seems infinitely "simpler" in this regard: Shakyamuni was a "regular" dude (with some heavy duty positive acts in the past to back him up) that was born, grew up, practiced, gained enlightenment and taught the method of enlightenment to regular dudes that then developed into regular saints.tobes wrote:Otherwise, we're sort of playing this game where we have to pretend that there never was a historical Buddha talking to historical people - replacing that with a more mystical or abstract idea of a buddha who never has an empirical context.
Right - there's a lot at stake here, soteriologically. And it gets interesting with respect to Nagarjuna, because the difference you're pointing to is fundamentally related to whether there is or is not causal efficacy. So I actually think this is more a very foundational metaphysical issue, as opposed to competing ideals or cosmologies. Later Prasangika interpretations more or less tacitly accept the tathagatagarbha theory - but I don't necessarily think that it's there in Nagarjuna......which means that enlightenment is causally produced, not uncovered.
Can you step through why positing Shakyamuni Buddha as a Nirmanakaya entails a metaphysical position that denies causal efficacy