About Alara Kalama

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Fortyeightvows
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Re: About Alara Kalama

Post by Fortyeightvows » Mon Dec 25, 2017 6:04 am

Stefos wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 5:09 am
P.S. It takes guts to be honest about the teaching of modern day Buddhism
It really doesn't take too much guts to post online.

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Stefos
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Re: About Alara Kalama

Post by Stefos » Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:19 am

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 6:04 am
Stefos wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 5:09 am
P.S. It takes guts to be honest about the teaching of modern day Buddhism
It really doesn't take too much guts to post online.
I understand however when a person posts views which are antithetical to current Buddhist doctrine/dogma/tradition or questions it deeply, people tend to stay away from them as is evidenced in this thread with many views but few responses.

:anjali:

Stefos

PeterC
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Re: About Alara Kalama

Post by PeterC » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:29 am

Stefos wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 5:09 am
Hi all,

This is interesting.

Alexander Wynne is the most honest scholar that I know that studied the roots of Pali Buddhism VERY deeply.
This is also the case with Alara Kalama in his study.

I will say that what, TO THE T, the Lord Buddha actually taught is unknown....even though approximations can be made.
The Pali texts reflect the school of the Theras, not the other 17-23 other schools of which only the Theravada & Sarvastivada exist!
We don't know that for sure.
Stefos wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 5:09 am
The Chinese texts mirror the Pali.
No they don't. Not even close.
Stefos wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 5:09 am
The Tibetan texts are Sarvastivada, if I"m not mistaken.

I also think that most modern Buddhist scholarship is very elitist actually........
Scholarship is generally confined to people who have spent considerable time in study. As such, it has always been an occupation of the privileged few.
Stefos wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 5:09 am
Ex. Saying the what Lord Buddha taught was his and had no precedent ever.
I don't like it actually as it causes trust issues in regards to what Lord Buddha's Buddhadharma was rather than correcting them.

Furthermore polemics are "not nice."
If Buddhist and Hindu people want to fight they can....count me out. If Buddhists want to battle one another, same deal.......I'm out.

:anjali:
Stefos

P.S. It takes guts to be honest about the teaching of modern day Buddhism
But are you being honest? Do you know that what you say is true and fair, or have you just read one or two books?

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Stefos
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Re: About Alara Kalama

Post by Stefos » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:29 pm

PeterC wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:29 am
We don't know that for sure.

No they don't. Not even close.

Scholarship is generally confined to people who have spent considerable time in study. As such, it has always been an occupation of the privileged few.

But are you being honest? Do you know that what you say is true and fair, or have you just read one or two books?
1. Yes, we do...........The earliest written complete sources of Lord Buddha's dharma is the Theravada.

Alexander Wynne did a very deep study on these things...........Find a deeper non-sectarian source and you tell me here.

2. Yes, the chinese version MIRRORS the Pali........the chinese versions do not add supernatural elements like devas, etc.
It's a stripped back version. I never stated they are exactly the same.

3. What I am saying is: Lord Buddha knew the people, places, and spiritual practices of his day.
He didn't need to reinvent the wheel where particular practices were already present and useful, relatively speaking of course.

I have done my own studies about the different branches of so-called Buddhadharma today.

There is a confusion which is irreconcilable.........I'm sure of this.

My deepest concern is:
Why are there different Buddhist schools today?
They are teaching different core things which need to be justified as to the why.

Being self deceived is a bad place to be
For example:
Once I read here that someone said basically "Accept any Buddhist teaching which works for you and THAT is the Dharma."
Is it? No, it's not.
Then what is the Dharma?

:anjali:
Stefos

PeterC
Posts: 364
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Re: About Alara Kalama

Post by PeterC » Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:35 pm

Stefos wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:29 pm
PeterC wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:29 am
We don't know that for sure.

No they don't. Not even close.

Scholarship is generally confined to people who have spent considerable time in study. As such, it has always been an occupation of the privileged few.

But are you being honest? Do you know that what you say is true and fair, or have you just read one or two books?
1. Yes, we do...........The earliest written complete sources of Lord Buddha's dharma is the Theravada.

Alexander Wynne did a very deep study on these things...........Find a deeper non-sectarian source and you tell me here.

2. Yes, the chinese version MIRRORS the Pali........the chinese versions do not add supernatural elements like devas, etc.
It's a stripped back version. I never stated they are exactly the same.

3. What I am saying is: Lord Buddha knew the people, places, and spiritual practices of his day.
He didn't need to reinvent the wheel where particular practices were already present and useful, relatively speaking of course.

I have done my own studies about the different branches of so-called Buddhadharma today.

There is a confusion which is irreconcilable.........I'm sure of this.

My deepest concern is:
Why are there different Buddhist schools today?
They are teaching different core things which need to be justified as to the why.

Being self deceived is a bad place to be
For example:
Once I read here that someone said basically "Accept any Buddhist teaching which works for you and THAT is the Dharma."
Is it? No, it's not.
Then what is the Dharma?

:anjali:
Stefos

Have you actually read any of the 大藏经? How familiar are you with the contents and how it was composed? The Chinese canon contains multiple Vinayas that aren't in the Pali canon; a lot of the two Abidharmapitakas are also different; and then there are the Mahayana sutras. The agamas and nikayas are of course comparable, though they arrived in Chinese via Sanskrit, but there is suttapitaka material in the Pali canon that's not in the Chinese canon.

You describe the Chinese canon as "a stripped back version" that "does not add supernatural elements". Not sure what you mean here either, that is not a position a Theravedan would take on the Mahayana sutras.

Hence I would question the reliability of your research on this topic. You may also want to google "Gandharan buddhist texts". The oldest extant texts are, as is well known, not the Pali canon. This doesn't mean that they predate the Pali canon in composition. But this is exactly my point: we don't know the dates of composition, all we have is the traditions of each lineage and accumulated scholarship around the texts themselves. However that scholarship isn't particularly helpful from a practice perspective. You have to accept the axioms of the lineage in which you practice. Then, you actually can practice and may get somewhere. Otherwise it's an academic exercise only.

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Coëmgenu
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Re: About Alara Kalama

Post by Coëmgenu » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:48 pm

Stefos wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:29 pm
2. Yes, the chinese version MIRRORS the Pali........the chinese versions do not add supernatural elements like devas, etc.
It's a stripped back version.
This is the nikāya recension of the Fire Sermon, from the Pāli:

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Gaya, at Gaya’s Head, together with a thousand bhikkhus. There the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus: “Bhikkhus, all is burning. And what, bhikkhus, is the all that is burning? The eye is burning, forms are burning, eye-consciousness is burning, eye-contact is burning, and whatever feeling arises with eye-contact as condition—whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant—that too is burning. Burning with what? Burning with the fire of lust, with the fire of hatred, with the fire of delusion; burning with birth, aging, and death; with sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair, I say. The ear is burning … The mind is burning … and whatever feeling arises with mind-contact as condition—whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant—that too is burning. Burning with what? Burning with the fire of lust, with the fire of hatred, with the fire of delusion; burning with birth, aging, and death; with sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair, I say. Seeing thus, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple experiences revulsion towards the eye, towards forms, towards eye-consciousness, towards eye-contact, towards whatever feeling arises with eye-contact as condition—whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant; experiences revulsion towards the ear … towards the mind … towards whatever feeling arises with mind-contact as condition…. Experiencing revulsion, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion his mind is liberated. When it is liberated there comes the knowledge: ‘It’s liberated.’ He understands: ‘Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being.’”

This is what the Blessed One said. Elated, those bhikkhus delighted in the Blessed One’s statement. And while this discourse was being spoken, the minds of the thousand bhikkhus were liberated from the taints by nonclinging.


This is the āgama recension of the Fire Sermon, from the Chinese:

Like this I heard: One day, the Buddha dwelt on his travels with monks at the Gayāsīsa stupa, and one thousand there were, by that time on the hill gathered, all of them former tangled-haired Brahmīṇi. At that time, the Bhagavān, for these thousand monks, established to happen three kinds of miraculous manifestations for their conversion. Which three? A psychic power manifestation, an "other mind" [telepathy] manifestation, and a persuasion manifestation. This was the miraculous manifestation of psychic power that the Buddha caused to happen:

The Bhagavān, right where he was in that moment, thus manifested the entering into the cessation-of-sensations-meditation, rose into the sky toward the east, and performed the four comportments, he walked, he was still, he sat, he lay down, and entered fire-samādhi, issued varieties of fire and light: green, yellow, red, and white, in crystalline form, water and fire appeared both together, among these miraculous occurrences, the lower body issued forth fire, the upper body issued forth water, the upper body issued forth fire, the lower body issued forth water, all-circularly, in all four directions, just like that.

At that time, the time that the Bhagavān executed myriad numerous miraculous transformations, afterwards, amongst them, the monks, he again sat, this was the manifestation of psychic power.

For the other-mind [telepathic] manifestation, the Bhagavān demonstrated knowledge in accordance with that other mind, in accordance with that other intention, in accordance with that other consciousness, that other should do as such notions, should not do as such notions, these notions as such are abandoned, that other should do as such to embody adhigama (realization) dwelling, that was called the other mind manifestation.

The persuasion manifestation was thus, so the Bhagavān spoke:

"Myriad monks! All is burning as such. To speak of what all that is burning so? Monks, all is on fire. What is all on fire? To say the eye burns so, as appearances, as eye consciousness, as the eye contact, the eyes' contact's causal origination, the development of that, if bitter or if pleasurable, if neither bitter nor pleasurable, that also burns so. Thus so it is definitively, the nose, the tongue, the body, the idea burns so, dharmāḥ, manovijñāna, the idea's contact, the idea's contact's causal origination's development of feelings, if bitter, if pleasurable, neither bitter nor pleasurable, that also burns so, because of what does it burn so, because of greed fires burn so, because of rage fires burn so, because of delusion fires burn so, it is on fire with the flames of delusion, and it is on fire with the flames of birth, because of age, sickness, death, worry, sorrow, anger, bitterness, fires burn so."

At that time, the thousand monks heard the Buddha say this, without constructing myriad outflows, their minds attained understanding of liberation, Buddhavacana this sūtra was thereafter, many monks heard the Buddha teach it, joyfully they practiced it.


I wouldn't say that the āgamāḥ are "stripped back" necessarily, or even anti-supernatural.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.

吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

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Stefos
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Re: About Alara Kalama

Post by Stefos » Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:19 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:48 pm
Stefos wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:29 pm
2. Yes, the chinese version MIRRORS the Pali........the chinese versions do not add supernatural elements like devas, etc.
It's a stripped back version.
This is the nikāya recension of the Fire Sermon, from the Pāli:

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Gaya, at Gaya’s Head, together with a thousand bhikkhus. There the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus: “Bhikkhus, all is burning. And what, bhikkhus, is the all that is burning? The eye is burning, forms are burning, eye-consciousness is burning, eye-contact is burning, and whatever feeling arises with eye-contact as condition—whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant—that too is burning. Burning with what? Burning with the fire of lust, with the fire of hatred, with the fire of delusion; burning with birth, aging, and death; with sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair, I say. The ear is burning … The mind is burning … and whatever feeling arises with mind-contact as condition—whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant—that too is burning. Burning with what? Burning with the fire of lust, with the fire of hatred, with the fire of delusion; burning with birth, aging, and death; with sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair, I say. Seeing thus, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple experiences revulsion towards the eye, towards forms, towards eye-consciousness, towards eye-contact, towards whatever feeling arises with eye-contact as condition—whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant; experiences revulsion towards the ear … towards the mind … towards whatever feeling arises with mind-contact as condition…. Experiencing revulsion, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion his mind is liberated. When it is liberated there comes the knowledge: ‘It’s liberated.’ He understands: ‘Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being.’”

This is what the Blessed One said. Elated, those bhikkhus delighted in the Blessed One’s statement. And while this discourse was being spoken, the minds of the thousand bhikkhus were liberated from the taints by nonclinging.


This is the āgama recension of the Fire Sermon, from the Chinese:

Like this I heard: One day, the Buddha dwelt on his travels with monks at the Gayāsīsa stupa, and one thousand there were, by that time on the hill gathered, all of them former tangled-haired Brahmīṇi. At that time, the Bhagavān, for these thousand monks, established to happen three kinds of miraculous manifestations for their conversion. Which three? A psychic power manifestation, an "other mind" [telepathy] manifestation, and a persuasion manifestation. This was the miraculous manifestation of psychic power that the Buddha caused to happen:

The Bhagavān, right where he was in that moment, thus manifested the entering into the cessation-of-sensations-meditation, rose into the sky toward the east, and performed the four comportments, he walked, he was still, he sat, he lay down, and entered fire-samādhi, issued varieties of fire and light: green, yellow, red, and white, in crystalline form, water and fire appeared both together, among these miraculous occurrences, the lower body issued forth fire, the upper body issued forth water, the upper body issued forth fire, the lower body issued forth water, all-circularly, in all four directions, just like that.

At that time, the time that the Bhagavān executed myriad numerous miraculous transformations, afterwards, amongst them, the monks, he again sat, this was the manifestation of psychic power.

For the other-mind [telepathic] manifestation, the Bhagavān demonstrated knowledge in accordance with that other mind, in accordance with that other intention, in accordance with that other consciousness, that other should do as such notions, should not do as such notions, these notions as such are abandoned, that other should do as such to embody adhigama (realization) dwelling, that was called the other mind manifestation.

The persuasion manifestation was thus, so the Bhagavān spoke:

"Myriad monks! All is burning as such. To speak of what all that is burning so? Monks, all is on fire. What is all on fire? To say the eye burns so, as appearances, as eye consciousness, as the eye contact, the eyes' contact's causal origination, the development of that, if bitter or if pleasurable, if neither bitter nor pleasurable, that also burns so. Thus so it is definitively, the nose, the tongue, the body, the idea burns so, dharmāḥ, manovijñāna, the idea's contact, the idea's contact's causal origination's development of feelings, if bitter, if pleasurable, neither bitter nor pleasurable, that also burns so, because of what does it burn so, because of greed fires burn so, because of rage fires burn so, because of delusion fires burn so, it is on fire with the flames of delusion, and it is on fire with the flames of birth, because of age, sickness, death, worry, sorrow, anger, bitterness, fires burn so."

At that time, the thousand monks heard the Buddha say this, without constructing myriad outflows, their minds attained understanding of liberation, Buddhavacana this sūtra was thereafter, many monks heard the Buddha teach it, joyfully they practiced it.


I wouldn't say that the āgamāḥ are "stripped back" necessarily, or even anti-supernatural.
In short, "stripped back" doesn't mean neutered..........It means it's not as "embellished" as the Pali.

Thank you
:anjali:
Stefos

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Stefos
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Re: About Alara Kalama

Post by Stefos » Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:25 am

PeterC wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:35 pm
Have you actually read any of the 大藏经? How familiar are you with the contents and how it was composed? The Chinese canon contains multiple Vinayas that aren't in the Pali canon; a lot of the two Abidharmapitakas are also different; and then there are the Mahayana sutras. The agamas and nikayas are of course comparable, though they arrived in Chinese via Sanskrit, but there is suttapitaka material in the Pali canon that's not in the Chinese canon.

You describe the Chinese canon as "a stripped back version" that "does not add supernatural elements". Not sure what you mean here either, that is not a position a Theravedan would take on the Mahayana sutras.

Hence I would question the reliability of your research on this topic. You may also want to google "Gandharan buddhist texts". The oldest extant texts are, as is well known, not the Pali canon. This doesn't mean that they predate the Pali canon in composition. But this is exactly my point: we don't know the dates of composition, all we have is the traditions of each lineage and accumulated scholarship around the texts themselves. However that scholarship isn't particularly helpful from a practice perspective. You have to accept the axioms of the lineage in which you practice. Then, you actually can practice and may get somewhere. Otherwise it's an academic exercise only.
I never stated the Pali canon was the oldest canon......I stated it is the oldest COMPLETE canon.

Also, I understand about accepting the axioms of the lineage in which I practice...obviously.

What I asked for was "What was Lord Buddha Sakyamuni's first teaching....HIS Buddhadharma?

Not modern Buddhism because modern Buddhism has groups which take from 3/4 different lineages and make a new Buddhist sect out of it.
Is this not so or what? Are you not aware of this phenomenon?

So as I stated and state again, Any act of the will to change is modification and not real change and will NEVER be.
This is why I only trust the Bare attention of the Pali text (not the Theravadas) along with the Mahamudra aka. Ganges Mahamudra
and Dzogchen teachings......Tantric methods are valid provided they have Mahamudra/Dzogchen as the goal.

Thanks

:anjali:

Stefos

PeterC
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Re: About Alara Kalama

Post by PeterC » Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:05 am

Stefos wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:25 am
What I asked for was "What was Lord Buddha Sakyamuni's first teaching....HIS Buddhadharma?

Not modern Buddhism because modern Buddhism has groups which take from 3/4 different lineages and make a new Buddhist sect out of it.
Is this not so or what? Are you not aware of this phenomenon?

The Buddha taught different things to different people in accordance with their capacities, as Buddhas do, and they were compiled centuries later into different collections of texts. This isn’t just doctrine, it’s common sense. Different lineages inherited different bits and pieces in accordance with their luck/merit and they uphold them as best they can in this corrupt age.

Don’t know what you mean by “modern Buddhism” here as none of the “Buddhist sects” I’ve come across are “new” in any way. They’ve been saying the same thing for a very long time now.

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Stefos
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Re: About Alara Kalama

Post by Stefos » Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:15 am

PeterC wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:05 am
The Buddha taught different things to different people in accordance with their capacities, as Buddhas do, and they were compiled centuries later into different collections of texts. This isn’t just doctrine, it’s common sense. Different lineages inherited different bits and pieces in accordance with their luck/merit and they uphold them as best they can in this corrupt age.

Don’t know what you mean by “modern Buddhism” here as none of the “Buddhist sects” I’ve come across are “new” in any way. They’ve been saying the same thing for a very long time now.
You see Peter, the problem is is that I came across various sects AFTER being introduced to the Dhamma/Dharma via a Buddhist cult believe it or not!
I don't want to use the name due to being sued or any legality.
Suffice to say this cult changed its' name but it's older literature was purged actually and now it has an "eastern" sounding name.
When I read some of its' early literature it was scathing on its' attack on Catholicicm and Christianity and promoted a "little of this and that" from the Theras, Mahayana and Vajrayana to include Tantra, but not Mahamudra and Dzogchen nor the deep understanding behind Bare Attention either.
It was weird but I was protected due to my Karma which lead me to receive oral, symbolic and direct Transmission in Dzogchen & pointing out instructions in Mahamudra as well as understanding about Bare Attention.

I believe the Lord Buddha did teach various people according to their capacity however I also believe he "shored things up" being pointing them to the Ultimate state of affairs too: Nibbana.
Since the Lord Buddha acknowledged gods and never said to rely upon them but to take refuge in the Dharma/Dhamma, I am making sure I haven't believed, per se, in a twisted version of the Dhamma/Dharma AND my experience shows me that the Bare Attention, Dzogchen and Mahamudra paths are pointing to Sunyata and Clarity, not just one or the other. I believe due to my studies that the definition of Nibbana does in fact correspond to "Emptiness/Sunyata and Clarity" which are indeed 'Unborn, Undying, Unbecoming" and "where conditioned consciousness is not."

Incidentally, "where conditioned consciousness is not or ceases to be" IS part of the Pali texts but the Theras don't accept it.
A Mahayana brother, David Loy, mentioned this in his book "Non-duality."

Do you understand my grave concern sir?
I'm not playing Dharma games by posting as I know you are not either.

There are many people probably viewing this who might have been involved with a Buddhist cult, as they do exist, and they need help understanding what the Dharma IS versus what it isn't.

Sarva Mangalam
:anjali:
Stefos

PeterC
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Re: About Alara Kalama

Post by PeterC » Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:16 am

Stefos wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:15 am
PeterC wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:05 am
The Buddha taught different things to different people in accordance with their capacities, as Buddhas do, and they were compiled centuries later into different collections of texts. This isn’t just doctrine, it’s common sense. Different lineages inherited different bits and pieces in accordance with their luck/merit and they uphold them as best they can in this corrupt age.

Don’t know what you mean by “modern Buddhism” here as none of the “Buddhist sects” I’ve come across are “new” in any way. They’ve been saying the same thing for a very long time now.
You see Peter, the problem is is that I came across various sects AFTER being introduced to the Dhamma/Dharma via a Buddhist cult believe it or not!
I don't want to use the name due to being sued or any legality.
Suffice to say this cult changed its' name but it's older literature was purged actually and now it has an "eastern" sounding name.
When I read some of its' early literature it was scathing on its' attack on Catholicicm and Christianity and promoted a "little of this and that" from the Theras, Mahayana and Vajrayana to include Tantra, but not Mahamudra and Dzogchen nor the deep understanding behind Bare Attention either.
It was weird but I was protected due to my Karma which lead me to receive oral, symbolic and direct Transmission in Dzogchen & pointing out instructions in Mahamudra as well as understanding about Bare Attention.

I believe the Lord Buddha did teach various people according to their capacity however I also believe he "shored things up" being pointing them to the Ultimate state of affairs too: Nibbana.
Since the Lord Buddha acknowledged gods and never said to rely upon them but to take refuge in the Dharma/Dhamma, I am making sure I haven't believed, per se, in a twisted version of the Dhamma/Dharma AND my experience shows me that the Bare Attention, Dzogchen and Mahamudra paths are pointing to Sunyata and Clarity, not just one or the other. I believe due to my studies that the definition of Nibbana does in fact correspond to "Emptiness/Sunyata and Clarity" which are indeed 'Unborn, Undying, Unbecoming" and "where conditioned consciousness is not."

Incidentally, "where conditioned consciousness is not or ceases to be" IS part of the Pali texts but the Theras don't accept it.
A Mahayana brother, David Loy, mentioned this in his book "Non-duality."

Do you understand my grave concern sir?
I'm not playing Dharma games by posting as I know you are not either.

There are many people probably viewing this who might have been involved with a Buddhist cult, as they do exist, and they need help understanding what the Dharma IS versus what it isn't.

Sarva Mangalam
:anjali:
Stefos
Stefos - I do understand your concern now, and I apologize for having not fully understood it earlier. I am sorry that you had the misfortune to get involved in a cult and I am delighted that you have had the good fortune to encounter the Dharma despite that.

As to why people set up cults - the simplest explanation is probably that they are humans who suffer from obscurations.

To come back to our original discussion on the canons and your point on nibbana and shunyata. There is a good argument that you can infer the teachings on shunyata from the Pali Sutta Pitaka, e.g. in the Aggi Vacchagotta Sutta. But the Theraveda vs. Mayahana readings of that sutta are very different. The orthodox Theraveda reading is that it is an instruction not to engage in certain types of metaphysical speculation. Read with a Mahayana lens it can be seen as a lot more.

But again this is where it is best and easiest to stay within the doctrine of the lineage you practice and not try to re-interpret things for yourself. The more you try to create your own view, the more you move toward the dark side of intellectual fabrication. One's time much better spent in practice, as through that one can gain actual experience.

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Coëmgenu
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Re: About Alara Kalama

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:35 am

Stefos wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:19 am
Coëmgenu wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:48 pm
Stefos wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:29 pm
2. Yes, the chinese version MIRRORS the Pali........the chinese versions do not add supernatural elements like devas, etc.
It's a stripped back version.
This is the nikāya recension of the Fire Sermon, from the Pāli:

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Gaya, at Gaya’s Head, together with a thousand bhikkhus. There the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus: “Bhikkhus, all is burning. And what, bhikkhus, is the all that is burning? The eye is burning, forms are burning, eye-consciousness is burning, eye-contact is burning, and whatever feeling arises with eye-contact as condition—whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant—that too is burning. Burning with what? Burning with the fire of lust, with the fire of hatred, with the fire of delusion; burning with birth, aging, and death; with sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair, I say. The ear is burning … The mind is burning … and whatever feeling arises with mind-contact as condition—whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant—that too is burning. Burning with what? Burning with the fire of lust, with the fire of hatred, with the fire of delusion; burning with birth, aging, and death; with sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair, I say. Seeing thus, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple experiences revulsion towards the eye, towards forms, towards eye-consciousness, towards eye-contact, towards whatever feeling arises with eye-contact as condition—whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant; experiences revulsion towards the ear … towards the mind … towards whatever feeling arises with mind-contact as condition…. Experiencing revulsion, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion his mind is liberated. When it is liberated there comes the knowledge: ‘It’s liberated.’ He understands: ‘Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being.’”

This is what the Blessed One said. Elated, those bhikkhus delighted in the Blessed One’s statement. And while this discourse was being spoken, the minds of the thousand bhikkhus were liberated from the taints by nonclinging.


This is the āgama recension of the Fire Sermon, from the Chinese:

Like this I heard: One day, the Buddha dwelt on his travels with monks at the Gayāsīsa stupa, and one thousand there were, by that time on the hill gathered, all of them former tangled-haired Brahmīṇi. At that time, the Bhagavān, for these thousand monks, established to happen three kinds of miraculous manifestations for their conversion. Which three? A psychic power manifestation, an "other mind" [telepathy] manifestation, and a persuasion manifestation. This was the miraculous manifestation of psychic power that the Buddha caused to happen:

The Bhagavān, right where he was in that moment, thus manifested the entering into the cessation-of-sensations-meditation, rose into the sky toward the east, and performed the four comportments, he walked, he was still, he sat, he lay down, and entered fire-samādhi, issued varieties of fire and light: green, yellow, red, and white, in crystalline form, water and fire appeared both together, among these miraculous occurrences, the lower body issued forth fire, the upper body issued forth water, the upper body issued forth fire, the lower body issued forth water, all-circularly, in all four directions, just like that.

At that time, the time that the Bhagavān executed myriad numerous miraculous transformations, afterwards, amongst them, the monks, he again sat, this was the manifestation of psychic power.

For the other-mind [telepathic] manifestation, the Bhagavān demonstrated knowledge in accordance with that other mind, in accordance with that other intention, in accordance with that other consciousness, that other should do as such notions, should not do as such notions, these notions as such are abandoned, that other should do as such to embody adhigama (realization) dwelling, that was called the other mind manifestation.

The persuasion manifestation was thus, so the Bhagavān spoke:

"Myriad monks! All is burning as such. To speak of what all that is burning so? Monks, all is on fire. What is all on fire? To say the eye burns so, as appearances, as eye consciousness, as the eye contact, the eyes' contact's causal origination, the development of that, if bitter or if pleasurable, if neither bitter nor pleasurable, that also burns so. Thus so it is definitively, the nose, the tongue, the body, the idea burns so, dharmāḥ, manovijñāna, the idea's contact, the idea's contact's causal origination's development of feelings, if bitter, if pleasurable, neither bitter nor pleasurable, that also burns so, because of what does it burn so, because of greed fires burn so, because of rage fires burn so, because of delusion fires burn so, it is on fire with the flames of delusion, and it is on fire with the flames of birth, because of age, sickness, death, worry, sorrow, anger, bitterness, fires burn so."

At that time, the thousand monks heard the Buddha say this, without constructing myriad outflows, their minds attained understanding of liberation, Buddhavacana this sūtra was thereafter, many monks heard the Buddha teach it, joyfully they practiced it.


I wouldn't say that the āgamāḥ are "stripped back" necessarily, or even anti-supernatural.
In short, "stripped back" doesn't mean neutered..........It means it's not as "embellished" as the Pali.

Thank you
:anjali:
Stefos
But the āgama, if anything, seems more embellished, does it not?

Instead of giving a discourse, the Buddha first flies around performing various miracles for some time, reads minds, then gives only half of the Fire Sermon.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.

吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

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Re: About Alara Kalama

Post by Admin_PC » Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:35 pm

Stefos wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:29 pm
2. Yes, the chinese version MIRRORS the Pali........the chinese versions do not add supernatural elements like devas, etc.
It's a stripped back version. I never stated they are exactly the same.
If you've actually read the Chinese Agamas, you would realize how silly this statement is. Devas appear in the Agamas (as mentioned by Coëmgenu). Chinese Agamas come from a few different schools:
- The Dīrgha Āgama (長阿含經) comes from the Dharmaguptaka (法藏部) school. In fact the first chapter has a huge doctrinal disagreement with the Pali, in regards to Suddhavasa heavens.
- The Madhyama Āgama (中阿含經) and the Saṃyukta Āgama (雜阿含經) come from the Sarvāstivāda school
- Ekottara Āgama (增壹阿含經) quite possibly comes from the Sarvāstivāda, Mahāsāṃghika, or the Dharmaguptaka (per AK Warder) school.

At least 50% of the Agama texts are then more consistent with what's in the Tibetan canon than what's in the Pali.
月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ
法然上人

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Re: About Alara Kalama

Post by Stefos » Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:39 pm

Thank you gentlemen for sharing

I'm done perpetuating my story here.

I need to much more clearly perceive what's going on in the various transmissions I've received.
Insofar as understanding the fine points are concerned and this is the difficult part, per se.

My part in this discussion is over.

I wish you all blessings and a Happy New Year! :)

Sarva Mangalam
:anjali:

Stefos

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