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by Indrajala
Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:54 pm
Forum: Academic Discussion
Topic: Forbidden Archeology
Replies: 114
Views: 8412

Re: Forbidden Archeology

First of all, the Meru cosmology is fundamentally a moral cosmology. No, it isn't. It was clearly believed by Buddhist writers in India to be a physical world atop which the sun and moon as discs circuited around. Did you read my blog post? As you are probably aware, E. Henning disputes the notion ...
by Indrajala
Mon Aug 17, 2015 2:05 pm
Forum: Academic Discussion
Topic: Forbidden Archeology
Replies: 114
Views: 8412

Re: Forbidden Archeology

The extremely small chunk of the population who possess the siddhi which would enable them to perceive devas, would not normally report contact. For a monk to report contact to a lay person, even if they possess the siddhi, would be a breakage of precepts. Monks never follow all their precepts, so ...
by Indrajala
Mon Aug 17, 2015 2:02 pm
Forum: Academic Discussion
Topic: Forbidden Archeology
Replies: 114
Views: 8412

Re: Forbidden Archeology

When we see water, pretas see only pus and devas see amrita. What we perceive is completely due to our karma, not to any objective reality. We collectively actually perceive spherical earth. If we all went into space we'd see it with our own eyes. That should be informative about the nature of our ...
by Indrajala
Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:13 am
Forum: Academic Discussion
Topic: Forbidden Archeology
Replies: 114
Views: 8412

Re: Forbidden Archeology

So because we don't see pretas and devas, believing in them is also "wrong"? Where did I say that? Having logical proofs and evidence (satellite photos) of a spherical earth disproves Buddhism's flat earth cosmology. Devas are not normally seen walking around talking to people, but nevertheless a g...
by Indrajala
Mon Aug 17, 2015 2:31 am
Forum: Academic Discussion
Topic: Forbidden Archeology
Replies: 114
Views: 8412

Re: Forbidden Archeology

It's a biased distinction, and also misplaced. The so-called "etic" approach arrogates to itself a scientific veneer when it fact it is nothing of the kind. It merely replaces the biases of the researcher/research community for the lore and traditions of the person/group under study. No, not at all...
by Indrajala
Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:50 am
Forum: Academic Discussion
Topic: Forbidden Archeology
Replies: 114
Views: 8412

Re: Forbidden Archeology

To be clear, I don't think following the evidence leads to materialism. I agree with John Michael Greer that if you follow the evidence, you actually will come to the conclusion, for example, that there is much evidence for metempsychosis. Around the world people often experience disembodied conscio...
by Indrajala
Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:41 am
Forum: Academic Discussion
Topic: Forbidden Archeology
Replies: 114
Views: 8412

Re: Forbidden Archeology

Urgyen Dorje wrote: This is a fault as a Buddhist as one is grasping at one representation as realer than any other representation, instead of accepting that all representations of conventional reality are equally unreal, or equally confusion.
Okay, but some representations are less confused than others.
by Indrajala
Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:37 am
Forum: Academic Discussion
Topic: Forbidden Archeology
Replies: 114
Views: 8412

Re: Forbidden Archeology

They are all just different levels of conventional truth. None of them are "realer" than the others from the ultimate. Buddhists used to propound a physical universe comprised of Mt. Meru and the four continents. They had explanations for why the sun seems to rise and fall (it goes around a circuit...
by Indrajala
Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:30 am
Forum: Academic Discussion
Topic: Forbidden Archeology
Replies: 114
Views: 8412

Re: Forbidden Archeology

Urgyen Dorje wrote: What ideas, values, symbols, experiences come along with these narratives of people flying?
It is much simpler to just make a distinction between the emic and etic. The former is what insiders believe and feel, the latter is what the researcher has to say on the matter.

Problem is solved.
by Indrajala
Sun Aug 16, 2015 2:01 am
Forum: Academic Discussion
Topic: Forbidden Archeology
Replies: 114
Views: 8412

Re: Forbidden Archeology

We know quite well that Buddhist monks are forbidden from engaging in prognostic disciplines (which are not confined to astrology), but for what reason can we believe that the laity would refrain from their exercise? Doesn't make sense. Evidence suggests they did, which is why it is prohibited in e...
by Indrajala
Sat Aug 15, 2015 11:36 pm
Forum: Academic Discussion
Topic: Forbidden Archeology
Replies: 114
Views: 8412

Re: Forbidden Archeology

Buddhist monks may have rejected astrology as a way of making a living, but Buddhist lay people never did — why would they? It's too important scheduling rituals, calendars and so on. There's a difference between astrology (either the nakṣatra system or Hellenistic horoscopy) and making a calendar....
by Indrajala
Sat Aug 15, 2015 3:04 pm
Forum: Academic Discussion
Topic: Forbidden Archeology
Replies: 114
Views: 8412

Re: Forbidden Archeology

That's always been the sticking point for me - what use are the secular academic findings (regarding Buddhism) to my practice? Maybe Jeff and other people who are interested in the academic studies of Buddhism can share their perspectives. If your goal is liberation from saṃsāra, then maybe not so ...
by Indrajala
Sat Aug 15, 2015 2:59 pm
Forum: Academic Discussion
Topic: Forbidden Archeology
Replies: 114
Views: 8412

Re: Forbidden Archeology

Yes, Jeff. Conventional reality is fuzzy, shaped by deluded perceptions and definitions constructed on the basis of those deluded perceptions. Those conventional realities are by definition rooted in subjective delusions. You are making the basic error of assuming that conventional = real. Where di...
by Indrajala
Sat Aug 15, 2015 2:33 pm
Forum: Academic Discussion
Topic: Forbidden Archeology
Replies: 114
Views: 8412

Re: Forbidden Archeology

As I said, "a conventional reality shared by a certain segment of western educated men and women who agree to a certain number of facts [which often shift or are revised]." All you did was restate my basic statement. No, Malcolm, the conventional reality as we understand it is generally shared with...
by Indrajala
Sat Aug 15, 2015 2:29 pm
Forum: Academic Discussion
Topic: Forbidden Archeology
Replies: 114
Views: 8412

Re: Forbidden Archeology

That said, it's never been clear to me why the study of Buddhist texts is limited to approaches that seem primarily historical and linguistic. I don't think this is the case. Garfield's study of the MMK for example, by his own admission, looks at the text with modern philosophers in mind while draw...
by Indrajala
Sat Aug 15, 2015 1:13 pm
Forum: Academic Discussion
Topic: Forbidden Archeology
Replies: 114
Views: 8412

Re: Forbidden Archeology

What you really mean is the conventional reality shared by a certain segment of western educated men and women who agree to a certain number of facts and proceed to offer analysis of past events based on those agreed upon facts [which often shift or are revised]. No, it is actually a lot more defin...
by Indrajala
Sat Aug 15, 2015 2:09 am
Forum: Academic Discussion
Topic: Forbidden Archeology
Replies: 114
Views: 8412

Re: Forbidden Archeology

In other words, the mere fact that a sutra or a tantra starts with evam maya śrutam ekasmin is sufficient for us to know that we are now in Buddhatime. We don't have worry about anything else. Okay, but let's just be clear that the academy works from a secular perspective, which is basically conven...
by Indrajala
Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:53 pm
Forum: Academic Discussion
Topic: Forbidden Archeology
Replies: 114
Views: 8412

Re: Forbidden Archeology

Looking at this from the vantage point of a vajrayana practitioner, as Thinley Norbu has said in his commentary on the Dudjom Tersar Ngondro, human history and it's interpretations are based on confusion, while the dharma is not. That's a convenient way to avoid or outright silence hard questions a...
by Indrajala
Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:12 am
Forum: Academic Discussion
Topic: Forbidden Archeology
Replies: 114
Views: 8412

Re: Forbidden Archeology

Serenity509 wrote: Is there a scholarly book today that more or less accepts the Five Periods theory on the Mahayana sutras or something similar to it?
Anything academic and published as such will come from a secular angle.
by Indrajala
Wed Aug 12, 2015 10:35 pm
Forum: Academic Discussion
Topic: The Very Idea of Buddhist History
Replies: 311
Views: 32701

Re: The Very Idea of Buddhist History

This ignores that in practice that Mahāyāna practitioners in India often memorized large portions of Mahāyāna sutra. That may have been the case as it often is today, but the scriptures are organized in chapters and read like they were systematized, which indicates editorial revision and organizati...