Two Truths in Mahayana

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Queequeg
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Re: Two Truths in Mahayana

Post by Queequeg »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:40 pm “Absolute” truth and “relative” truth are probably not very good terms.
Relatively speaking, absolutely.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
Arnold3000
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Re: Two Truths in Mahayana

Post by Arnold3000 »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:43 pm
Ok, let me give you one last example:
For example, two Buddhists have learned the absolute truth: And one Buddhist tells another that he has a headache, and another tells him that according to the absolute truth there is no pain, so you pretend that you have a headache.
I tried that with a bad toothache once.
It didn’t work.
That is, an enlightened Buddhist will still feel pain, hunger, joy?
That is, he will be happy when I bring him something to eat?
And he will also think about what to do so that I don't have a headache.
And he also will help me and other people sort out their thoughts?
Last edited by Arnold3000 on Thu Apr 08, 2021 3:58 pm, edited 9 times in total.
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LastLegend
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Re: Two Truths in Mahayana

Post by LastLegend »

Arnold3000 wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:41 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:34 pm
Arnold3000 wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:25 amThat is, it is correct to say that according to the Ultimate Truth: Every person is composed of the five aggregates, or skandhas: matter, sensation, perception, mental formations and consciousness which are constantly changing and form an illusion of self for each person?
Well, kind of.
But see, in your question you are asking about a ‘every person’ being ‘an illusion’. If it’s clear to you, then that’s fine.

The thing that you want to to avoid is starting with “person” as something that truly ultimately exists, that then you have to deconstruct into aggregates. You don’t want to go with “there’s a real person, but the person isn’t real”. Sorting things out that way will make you bonkers.

What merely arises is an experience of a self or person. But right from the start, what is experienced is illusion, a mental construct of “me”. So then, you look at “what are the things that are occurring, from which this illusion is constructed?” And then you can list the skandhas as factors. “Well, there’s this physical body, and there’s perception, and sensations...” and so on.

So, it’s not like ‘Build-A-Bear’ at the mall, where you assemble the outer shape, the stuffing, the eyes or whatever, and you end up with an ‘actual’ stuffed toy animal. The skhandas are basically the supports for a perpetually occurring illusion.
Ok, let me give you one last example:
For example, two Buddhists have learned the absolute truth: And one Buddhist tells another that he has a headache, and another tells him that according to the absolute truth there is no pain, so you pretend that you have a headache.
If we are able to enter Samadhi of Noble Wisdom, yes.

I’d suggest intro-examine your mind...which is awareness (means that which knows), which is the act of intent? The act of intent is what draws thoughts. Thoughts come in form of images. Like we try to understand how something works, we imagine or picture it. Thoughts arise as a way to link or gather information to make sense of something.

For example, when you like a woman, you want to hit it, that’s the mental act of intent. Then you have all sort of thoughts about her. If the act of intent doesn’t arise, you remain in your awareness. Basically that’s how karma works. Or you like to eat goat meat, instantly you know the taste of it because you had it before and want more 😄. Instantly knows the taste means it draws from memory (Alaya consciousness). That’s it. Simply right. Previous experiences can arise from memories whether pleasant and unpleasant. Then when we have act of intent, then a thought followed, then another act of intent, then more more thoughts and more more acts of intent...we are deluded, all mixed together. Ever had stress and anxiety?
It’s eye blinking.
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LastLegend
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Re: Two Truths in Mahayana

Post by LastLegend »

The act of intent has a purpose...like desire that’s because we intend to get...women :lol:. To know the act of intent and awareness, you would have to know them yourself in your own experience.
It’s eye blinking.
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Aemilius
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Re: Two Truths in Mahayana

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PadmaVonSamba wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:43 am
Arnold3000 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:22 pm There are Two Truths: Conventional Truth and Absolute Truth. This counts as two sides of the same coin. But I cannot understand how it is possible to simultaneously believe in both conventional and absolute truth? Could we give examples. thanks
We say the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening. And that’s absolutely true, but it is only relative truth.

Absolute truth is that the Earth rotates, creating the illusion of the Sun appearing on one horizon and disappearing on the other.
It is not absolute truth, it is a view that depends on an observer stationed in space. You can equally well construct a geometry where earth is stationary and the universe of visible stars rotates around it. Movement is relative, you should remember; either the train moves, or the train is stationary and the landscape moves.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
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Aemilius
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Re: Two Truths in Mahayana

Post by Aemilius »

Arnold3000 wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:46 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:53 pm
Arnold3000 wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:50 pm

But when, for example, I and all people see the absolute truth, people will not stop thinking about me or other people, thinking about where to make money, they will be happy when they see something good (for example, children), they will want to eat, drink, they will have a headache time from time to time. The absolute truth simply tells us that everything depends on the reasons and conditions. Is that correct?
Absolute truth does not negate relative truth..that's kind of of the whole point. Seeing the actual nature of relative truth is absolute truth.
Thanks you
I know that I have already tortured everyone with my question.
Can not understand:
If you look at the Amazon River from conventional Truth, it is a river.
But from the point of view of the Absolute Truth, it is just a stream of water.
OK I understood.
But for example:
Recently I met a grandmother who said that she was very hungry and she had a headache and she was thinking about where to get money for food and medicine. I gave her some money and she was happy and said that she was ashamed that she didn’t have her own money.
This is in terms of conventional truth.
And the absolute truth:
This grandmother is composed of five skandhas, and I am also composed of five skandhas. And it turns out that one five skandhas (I) gave money for food and medicine to the other five skandhas (grandmother)?
You could continue the analysis, e.g.: your collection of skandhas gave pieces of metal and/or paper to which value was attributed by the consciousness aggregate of your and the recipient's skandhas.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
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Re: Two Truths in Mahayana

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Aemilius wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:53 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:43 am We say the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening. And that’s absolutely true, but it is only relative truth.

Absolute truth is that the Earth rotates, creating the illusion of the Sun appearing on one horizon and disappearing on the other.
It is not absolute truth, it is a view that depends on an observer stationed in space. You can equally well construct a geometry where earth is stationary and the universe of visible stars rotates around it. Movement is relative, you should remember; either the train moves, or the train is stationary and the landscape moves.
It was happening that way long before we had observers in space. Copernicus realized this truth.
Anyway, it was just an analogy.
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
Arnold3000
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Re: Two Truths in Mahayana

Post by Arnold3000 »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:14 pm
Aemilius wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:53 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:43 am We say the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening. And that’s absolutely true, but it is only relative truth.

Absolute truth is that the Earth rotates, creating the illusion of the Sun appearing on one horizon and disappearing on the other.
It is not absolute truth, it is a view that depends on an observer stationed in space. You can equally well construct a geometry where earth is stationary and the universe of visible stars rotates around it. Movement is relative, you should remember; either the train moves, or the train is stationary and the landscape moves.
It was happening that way long before we had observers in space. Copernicus realized this truth.
Anyway, it was just an analogy.
Let me ask? That is, as I understood according to the absolute truth, everything should be considered as a constant stream of dharmas. That is, the answer to my question: According to the Absolute Truth, every person is a constantly changing stream of dharmas. Thus, nothing has changed, every person will still want to eat and will experience suffering and stress. But the understanding of things has simply changed, now everything must be viewed as a stream of constantly changing dharmas. Is that right?
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Re: Two Truths in Mahayana

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Arnold3000 wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:22 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:14 pm
Aemilius wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:53 pm

It is not absolute truth, it is a view that depends on an observer stationed in space. You can equally well construct a geometry where earth is stationary and the universe of visible stars rotates around it. Movement is relative, you should remember; either the train moves, or the train is stationary and the landscape moves.
It was happening that way long before we had observers in space. Copernicus realized this truth.
Anyway, it was just an analogy.
Let me ask? That is, as I understood according to the absolute truth, everything should be considered as a constant stream of dharmas. That is, the answer to my question: According to the Absolute Truth, every person is a constantly changing stream of dharmas. Thus, nothing has changed, every person will still want to eat and will experience suffering and stress. But the understanding of things has simply changed, now everything must be viewed as a stream of constantly changing dharmas. Is that right?
Knowing the two truths doesn’t make one a Buddha.
However, the whole purpose for understanding the two truths is so that you let go of grasping and clinging to things as “real” in ways that cause suffering. It’s important to see this in terms of practical application and not just as a hypothetical exercise.

In that regard, it is transformative. You will still get hungry if you don’t eat food. You will still experience happiness, but you won’t depend on happiness. You will still experience sadness, but you won’t wallow in sadness.
A Buddha (and a bodhisattva at a high level) does directly experience emptiness (sunyata) or absolute truth directly, and not just as an intellectual approach or Dharma method.
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
Arnold3000
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Re: Two Truths in Mahayana

Post by Arnold3000 »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:17 pm
Arnold3000 wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:22 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:14 pm

It was happening that way long before we had observers in space. Copernicus realized this truth.
Anyway, it was just an analogy.
Let me ask? That is, as I understood according to the absolute truth, everything should be considered as a constant stream of dharmas. That is, the answer to my question: According to the Absolute Truth, every person is a constantly changing stream of dharmas. Thus, nothing has changed, every person will still want to eat and will experience suffering and stress. But the understanding of things has simply changed, now everything must be viewed as a stream of constantly changing dharmas. Is that right?
Knowing the two truths doesn’t make one a Buddha.
However, the whole purpose for understanding the two truths is so that you let go of grasping and clinging to things as “real” in ways that cause suffering. It’s important to see this in terms of practical application and not just as a hypothetical exercise.

In that regard, it is transformative. You will still get hungry if you don’t eat food. You will still experience happiness, but you won’t depend on happiness. You will still experience sadness, but you won’t wallow in sadness.
A Buddha (and a bodhisattva at a high level) does directly experience emptiness (sunyata) or absolute truth directly, and not just as an intellectual approach or Dharma method.
I understand!
Thank you
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Aemilius
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Re: Two Truths in Mahayana

Post by Aemilius »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:14 pm
Aemilius wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:53 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:43 am We say the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening. And that’s absolutely true, but it is only relative truth.

Absolute truth is that the Earth rotates, creating the illusion of the Sun appearing on one horizon and disappearing on the other.
It is not absolute truth, it is a view that depends on an observer stationed in space. You can equally well construct a geometry where earth is stationary and the universe of visible stars rotates around it. Movement is relative, you should remember; either the train moves, or the train is stationary and the landscape moves.
It was happening that way long before we had observers in space. Copernicus realized this truth.
Anyway, it was just an analogy.
I meant imaginary or real observers in space. If you think "earth rotates around its axis", you are imagining that you are observing earth from a point in space, are you not? This must have been the case also for Copernicus, and others before him who conceived earth as a sphere floating in space, like the mathematician Aryabhata in India:

"Aryabhata (Sanskrit: आर्यभट, ISO: Āryabhaṭa) or Aryabhata I (476–550 CE) was the first of the major mathematician-astronomers from the classical age of Indian mathematics and Indian astronomy.

Aryabhata correctly insisted that the earth rotates about its axis daily, and that the apparent movement of the stars is a relative motion caused by the rotation of the earth, contrary to the then-prevailing view, that the sky rotated. This is indicated in the first chapter of the Aryabhatiya, where he gives the number of rotations of the earth in a yuga, and made more explicit in his gola chapter:

In the same way that someone in a boat going forward sees an unmoving [object] going backward, so [someone] on the equator sees the unmoving stars going uniformly westward. The cause of rising and setting [is that] the sphere of the stars together with the planets [apparently?] turns due west at the equator, constantly pushed by the cosmic wind.

Aryabhata described a geocentric model of the solar system, in which the Sun and Moon are each carried by epicycles. They in turn revolve around the Earth. In this model, which is also found in the Paitāmahasiddhānta (c. CE 425), the motions of the planets are each governed by two epicycles, a smaller manda (slow) and a larger śīghra (fast). The order of the planets in terms of distance from earth is taken as: the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and the asterisms."

The positions and periods of the planets was calculated relative to uniformly moving points. In the case of Mercury and Venus, they move around the Earth at the same mean speed as the Sun. In the case of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, they move around the Earth at specific speeds, representing each planet's motion through the zodiac. Most historians of astronomy consider that this two-epicycle model reflects elements of pre-Ptolemaic Greek astronomy. Another element in Aryabhata's model, the śīghrocca, the basic planetary period in relation to the Sun, is seen by some historians as a sign of an underlying heliocentric model."
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
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