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?
歸命本覺心法身常住妙法心蓮臺本來莊嚴三身徳三十七尊住心
城遠離因果法然具普門塵數諸三昧無邊徳海本圓滿還我頂禮心諸佛

In reverence for the root gnosis of the heart, the dharmakāya,
for the ever present good law of the heart, the lotus terrace,
for the inborn adornment of the trikāya, the thirty-seven sages dwelling in the heart,
for the that which is removed from seed and fruit, the upright key to the universal gate,
for all boundless concentrations, the sea of virtue, the root perfection,
I prostrate, bowing to the hearts of all Buddhas.

胎藏金剛菩提心義略問答鈔, Treatise on the teaching of the gnostic heart of the womb and the diamond, T2397.1.470c5-8

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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?
歸命本覺心法身常住妙法心蓮臺本來莊嚴三身徳三十七尊住心
城遠離因果法然具普門塵數諸三昧無邊徳海本圓滿還我頂禮心諸佛

In reverence for the root gnosis of the heart, the dharmakāya,
for the ever present good law of the heart, the lotus terrace,
for the inborn adornment of the trikāya, the thirty-seven sages dwelling in the heart,
for the that which is removed from seed and fruit, the upright key to the universal gate,
for all boundless concentrations, the sea of virtue, the root perfection,
I prostrate, bowing to the hearts of all Buddhas.

胎藏金剛菩提心義略問答鈔, Treatise on the teaching of the gnostic heart of the womb and the diamond, T2397.1.470c5-8

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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.
歸命本覺心法身常住妙法心蓮臺本來莊嚴三身徳三十七尊住心
城遠離因果法然具普門塵數諸三昧無邊徳海本圓滿還我頂禮心諸佛

In reverence for the root gnosis of the heart, the dharmakāya,
for the ever present good law of the heart, the lotus terrace,
for the inborn adornment of the trikāya, the thirty-seven sages dwelling in the heart,
for the that which is removed from seed and fruit, the upright key to the universal gate,
for all boundless concentrations, the sea of virtue, the root perfection,
I prostrate, bowing to the hearts of all Buddhas.

胎藏金剛菩提心義略問答鈔, Treatise on the teaching of the gnostic heart of the womb and the diamond, T2397.1.470c5-8

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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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Location: Whitby, Ontario

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?
歸命本覺心法身常住妙法心蓮臺本來莊嚴三身徳三十七尊住心
城遠離因果法然具普門塵數諸三昧無邊徳海本圓滿還我頂禮心諸佛

In reverence for the root gnosis of the heart, the dharmakāya,
for the ever present good law of the heart, the lotus terrace,
for the inborn adornment of the trikāya, the thirty-seven sages dwelling in the heart,
for the that which is removed from seed and fruit, the upright key to the universal gate,
for all boundless concentrations, the sea of virtue, the root perfection,
I prostrate, bowing to the hearts of all Buddhas.

胎藏金剛菩提心義略問答鈔, Treatise on the teaching of the gnostic heart of the womb and the diamond, T2397.1.470c5-8

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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
歸命本覺心法身常住妙法心蓮臺本來莊嚴三身徳三十七尊住心
城遠離因果法然具普門塵數諸三昧無邊徳海本圓滿還我頂禮心諸佛

In reverence for the root gnosis of the heart, the dharmakāya,
for the ever present good law of the heart, the lotus terrace,
for the inborn adornment of the trikāya, the thirty-seven sages dwelling in the heart,
for the that which is removed from seed and fruit, the upright key to the universal gate,
for all boundless concentrations, the sea of virtue, the root perfection,
I prostrate, bowing to the hearts of all Buddhas.

胎藏金剛菩提心義略問答鈔, Treatise on the teaching of the gnostic heart of the womb and the diamond, T2397.1.470c5-8

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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: 1824
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.
歸命本覺心法身常住妙法心蓮臺本來莊嚴三身徳三十七尊住心
城遠離因果法然具普門塵數諸三昧無邊徳海本圓滿還我頂禮心諸佛

In reverence for the root gnosis of the heart, the dharmakāya,
for the ever present good law of the heart, the lotus terrace,
for the inborn adornment of the trikāya, the thirty-seven sages dwelling in the heart,
for the that which is removed from seed and fruit, the upright key to the universal gate,
for all boundless concentrations, the sea of virtue, the root perfection,
I prostrate, bowing to the hearts of all Buddhas.

胎藏金剛菩提心義略問答鈔, Treatise on the teaching of the gnostic heart of the womb and the diamond, T2397.1.470c5-8

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