Astika Buddhism?

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Coëmgenu
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Astika Buddhism?

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:14 am

According to wikipedia, Venerable Asanga considered Yogācāra Buddhism to be 'astika', and Madhyamaka to be 'nastika', what is the context for this?
नस्वातो नापिपरतो नद्वाभ्यां नाप्यहेतुतः उत्पन्ना जातु विद्यन्ते भावाः क्वचन केचन
There absolutely are no things, nowhere and none, that arise anew, neither out of themselves, nor out of non-self, nor out of both, nor at random.
सर्वं तथ्यं न वा तथ्यं तथ्यं चातथ्यम् एव च नैवातथ्यं नैव तथ्यम् एतद् बुद्धानुशासनम्
All is so, or all is not so, both so and not so, neither so nor not so. This is the Buddha's teaching.

一切實非實亦實亦非實
非實非非實是名諸佛法

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Astika Buddhism?

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:58 am


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Coëmgenu
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Re: Astika Buddhism?

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:56 pm

I am wondering what this would have meant for his proto-Hindu co-religionists. What was the strategy in labelling Yogācāra as orthodox and Madhyamaka as heterodox, I wonder?
नस्वातो नापिपरतो नद्वाभ्यां नाप्यहेतुतः उत्पन्ना जातु विद्यन्ते भावाः क्वचन केचन
There absolutely are no things, nowhere and none, that arise anew, neither out of themselves, nor out of non-self, nor out of both, nor at random.
सर्वं तथ्यं न वा तथ्यं तथ्यं चातथ्यम् एव च नैवातथ्यं नैव तथ्यम् एतद् बुद्धानुशासनम्
All is so, or all is not so, both so and not so, neither so nor not so. This is the Buddha's teaching.

一切實非實亦實亦非實
非實非非實是名諸佛法

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Queequeg
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Re: Astika Buddhism?

Post by Queequeg » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:27 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:56 pm
I am wondering what this would have meant for his proto-Hindu co-religionists. What was the strategy in labelling Yogācāra as orthodox and Madhyamaka as heterodox, I wonder?
What do you mean by "proto-Hindu co-religionists"?

Based on that link above, I don't think he was making an orthodox/heterodox distinction, not exactly. He seems to have been accusing Madhyamika proponents of being nihilists. You see that sentiment voiced around these boards from time to time.
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, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Astika Buddhism?

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:39 pm

I mean that he must have said this for a reason.

At the time when he was writing, a lot of people were defining "astika" and "nastika" based on criteria that references the Vedas and the existence/nonexistence of ishvara.

I can't help but think he is making a strategic delineation in his society.
नस्वातो नापिपरतो नद्वाभ्यां नाप्यहेतुतः उत्पन्ना जातु विद्यन्ते भावाः क्वचन केचन
There absolutely are no things, nowhere and none, that arise anew, neither out of themselves, nor out of non-self, nor out of both, nor at random.
सर्वं तथ्यं न वा तथ्यं तथ्यं चातथ्यम् एव च नैवातथ्यं नैव तथ्यम् एतद् बुद्धानुशासनम्
All is so, or all is not so, both so and not so, neither so nor not so. This is the Buddha's teaching.

一切實非實亦實亦非實
非實非非實是名諸佛法

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Queequeg
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Re: Astika Buddhism?

Post by Queequeg » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:55 pm

From the Wiki article Kim linked:

"To Asanga, nastika are those who say "nothing whatsoever exists", and the worst kind of nastika are those who deny all designation and reality. Astika are those who accept merit in and practice a religious life."

It sounds like it didn't have anything to do with Theist/Atheist distinction. Asanga seems to have been calling some fellow Buddhists nihilists. That he's directing that at Madhyamikans makes sense - that's a standard slur directed at Madhyamikans.
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, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Astika Buddhism?

Post by Coëmgenu » Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:25 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:55 pm
From the Wiki article Kim linked:

"To Asanga, nastika are those who say "nothing whatsoever exists", and the worst kind of nastika are those who deny all designation and reality. Astika are those who accept merit in and practice a religious life."

It sounds like it didn't have anything to do with Theist/Atheist distinction. Asanga seems to have been calling some fellow Buddhists nihilists. That he's directing that at Madhyamikans makes sense - that's a standard slur directed at Madhyamikans.
I don't mean to unduly over-question or reject the wikipedia article, but it smells like Buddhist exceptionalism to me.

I think Ven Asanga would have known some of the religious vocabulary of his most proliferous rival sects/religions. It just makes sense, doesn't it?
नस्वातो नापिपरतो नद्वाभ्यां नाप्यहेतुतः उत्पन्ना जातु विद्यन्ते भावाः क्वचन केचन
There absolutely are no things, nowhere and none, that arise anew, neither out of themselves, nor out of non-self, nor out of both, nor at random.
सर्वं तथ्यं न वा तथ्यं तथ्यं चातथ्यम् एव च नैवातथ्यं नैव तथ्यम् एतद् बुद्धानुशासनम्
All is so, or all is not so, both so and not so, neither so nor not so. This is the Buddha's teaching.

一切實非實亦實亦非實
非實非非實是名諸佛法

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Queequeg
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Re: Astika Buddhism?

Post by Queequeg » Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:44 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:25 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:55 pm
From the Wiki article Kim linked:

"To Asanga, nastika are those who say "nothing whatsoever exists", and the worst kind of nastika are those who deny all designation and reality. Astika are those who accept merit in and practice a religious life."

It sounds like it didn't have anything to do with Theist/Atheist distinction. Asanga seems to have been calling some fellow Buddhists nihilists. That he's directing that at Madhyamikans makes sense - that's a standard slur directed at Madhyamikans.
I don't mean to unduly over-question or reject the wikipedia article, but it smells like Buddhist exceptionalism to me.

I think Ven Asanga would have known some of the religious vocabulary of his most proliferous rival sects/religions. It just makes sense, doesn't it?
Maybe. I don't know enough.

But it sounds like good old sectarianism to me. When people express that kind of stuff, they're not really speaking to others, but rather defining themselves against what they are not for their own sympathizers. Others who might read it are just incidental.

Do you think a Madhyamikan would just sit there and let that label be applied to them? Would non-Buddhists really care about an inhouse fight like that?
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, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Coëmgenu
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Location: Whitby, Ontario

Re: Astika Buddhism?

Post by Coëmgenu » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:13 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:44 pm
Coëmgenu wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:25 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:55 pm
From the Wiki article Kim linked:

"To Asanga, nastika are those who say "nothing whatsoever exists", and the worst kind of nastika are those who deny all designation and reality. Astika are those who accept merit in and practice a religious life."

It sounds like it didn't have anything to do with Theist/Atheist distinction. Asanga seems to have been calling some fellow Buddhists nihilists. That he's directing that at Madhyamikans makes sense - that's a standard slur directed at Madhyamikans.
I don't mean to unduly over-question or reject the wikipedia article, but it smells like Buddhist exceptionalism to me.

I think Ven Asanga would have known some of the religious vocabulary of his most proliferous rival sects/religions. It just makes sense, doesn't it?
Maybe. I don't know enough.

But it sounds like good old sectarianism to me. When people express that kind of stuff, they're not really speaking to others, but rather defining themselves against what they are not for their own sympathizers. Others who might read it are just incidental.

Do you think a Madhyamikan would just sit there and let that label be applied to them? Would non-Buddhists really care about an inhouse fight like that?
If the non-Buddhist crowd is trying to differentiate between "good" Buddhisms that they don't mind and that bad Buddhism they don't like, then it might be better to make one kind of Buddhism more attractive, rather than run the risk of both being branded unattractive by public consensus.

IMO
नस्वातो नापिपरतो नद्वाभ्यां नाप्यहेतुतः उत्पन्ना जातु विद्यन्ते भावाः क्वचन केचन
There absolutely are no things, nowhere and none, that arise anew, neither out of themselves, nor out of non-self, nor out of both, nor at random.
सर्वं तथ्यं न वा तथ्यं तथ्यं चातथ्यम् एव च नैवातथ्यं नैव तथ्यम् एतद् बुद्धानुशासनम्
All is so, or all is not so, both so and not so, neither so nor not so. This is the Buddha's teaching.

一切實非實亦實亦非實
非實非非實是名諸佛法

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Queequeg
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Re: Astika Buddhism?

Post by Queequeg » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:33 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:13 pm
If the non-Buddhist crowd is trying to differentiate between "good" Buddhisms that they don't mind and that bad Buddhism they don't like, then it might be better to make one kind of Buddhism more attractive, rather than run the risk of both being branded unattractive by public consensus.

IMO
I'm trying to imagine an Orthodox Jewish scholar criticizing a Reconstructionist to try and impress a Christian reader. I don't think that's happening.

Maybe.

But the explanation in the Wikipedia article seems to make the most sense without having to speculate so much.

Occam's Razor.
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, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 1752
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:35 pm
Location: Whitby, Ontario

Re: Astika Buddhism?

Post by Coëmgenu » Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:41 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:33 pm
Coëmgenu wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:13 pm
If the non-Buddhist crowd is trying to differentiate between "good" Buddhisms that they don't mind and that bad Buddhism they don't like, then it might be better to make one kind of Buddhism more attractive, rather than run the risk of both being branded unattractive by public consensus.

IMO
I'm trying to imagine an Orthodox Jewish scholar criticizing a Reconstructionist to try and impress a Christian reader. I don't think that's happening.

Maybe.

But the explanation in the Wikipedia article seems to make the most sense without having to speculate so much.

Occam's Razor.
At the same time, if I wanted to reply with another slogan: no one lives in a [cultural] vacuum.

Maybe this is just Buddhists defining terms according to their own definitions.
नस्वातो नापिपरतो नद्वाभ्यां नाप्यहेतुतः उत्पन्ना जातु विद्यन्ते भावाः क्वचन केचन
There absolutely are no things, nowhere and none, that arise anew, neither out of themselves, nor out of non-self, nor out of both, nor at random.
सर्वं तथ्यं न वा तथ्यं तथ्यं चातथ्यम् एव च नैवातथ्यं नैव तथ्यम् एतद् बुद्धानुशासनम्
All is so, or all is not so, both so and not so, neither so nor not so. This is the Buddha's teaching.

一切實非實亦實亦非實
非實非非實是名諸佛法

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