Is there no contradiction here?

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Viach
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Is there no contradiction here?

Post by Viach » Sat Dec 22, 2018 6:55 am

On the one hand, after enlightenment, Buddha doubted for several weeks whether to preach the dharma(Four Noble Truths) comprehended by him, calling it deep. And then he preached it to the five cool yogis, his fellow yoga practitioners. On the other hand, today FNT is set out by modern teachers at the very first introductory lessons for beginners. Is there no contradiction here?

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passel
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Re: Is there no contradiction here?

Post by passel » Sat Dec 22, 2018 7:59 am

"He let a few words escape his golden lips, and ever since, the world has been filled with entangling briars."
-Daito Kokushi (?)
"I have made a heap of all that I have met"- Svetonious

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seeker242
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Re: Is there no contradiction here?

Post by seeker242 » Sat Dec 22, 2018 1:01 pm

Viach wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 6:55 am
And then he preached it to the five cool yogis, his fellow yoga practitioners.
And then to everyone else for the next 40 years. 4NT being taught to whoever, is just a continuation of that. There's no contradiction.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!

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Sherab
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Re: Is there no contradiction here?

Post by Sherab » Sat Dec 22, 2018 2:28 pm

Viach wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 6:55 am
On the one hand, after enlightenment, Buddha doubted for several weeks whether to preach the dharma(Four Noble Truths) comprehended by him, calling it deep. And then he preached it to the five cool yogis, his fellow yoga practitioners. On the other hand, today FNT is set out by modern teachers at the very first introductory lessons for beginners. Is there no contradiction here?
The FNT is called "Noble" ("Aryan") because only a being on the path of seeing and beyond can truly know them. And there are very few practitioners who are on the path of seeing and beyond. Despite that, it can still be intellectually understood. The Buddha has to start somewhere in his mission of liberation and the FNT is the logical starting point. So no, there is no contradiction.

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KathyLauren
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Re: Is there no contradiction here?

Post by KathyLauren » Sat Dec 22, 2018 2:31 pm

Viach wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 6:55 am
On the one hand, after enlightenment, Buddha doubted for several weeks whether to preach the dharma(Four Noble Truths) comprehended by him, calling it deep. And then he preached it to the five cool yogis, his fellow yoga practitioners. On the other hand, today FNT is set out by modern teachers at the very first introductory lessons for beginners. Is there no contradiction here?
The Buddha resolved his doubts. Where is the contradiction?

Om mani padme hum
Kathy

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Queequeg
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Re: Is there no contradiction here?

Post by Queequeg » Sat Dec 22, 2018 3:36 pm

This was the nature of the Buddha's doubt (Ayacanna Sutta):

"This Dhamma that I have attained is deep, hard to see, hard to realize, peaceful, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise. But this generation delights in attachment, is excited by attachment, enjoys attachment. For a generation delighting in attachment, excited by attachment, enjoying attachment, this/that conditionality and dependent co-arising are hard to see. This state, too, is hard to see: the resolution of all fabrications, the relinquishment of all acquisitions, the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding. And if I were to teach the Dhamma and if others would not understand me, that would be tiresome for me, troublesome for me."

The Buddha inclined to just bliss out until parinirvana. Brahma heard him.

"The world is lost! The world is destroyed! The mind of the Tathagata, the Arahant, the Rightly Self-awakened One inclines to dwelling at ease, not to teaching the Dhamma!" Then, just as a strong man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm, Brahma Sahampati disappeared from the Brahma-world and reappeared in front of the Blessed One. Arranging his upper robe over one shoulder, he knelt down with his right knee on the ground, saluted the Blessed One with his hands before his heart, and said to him: "Lord, let the Blessed One teach the Dhamma! Let the One-Well-Gone teach the Dhamma! 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."

The Buddha responded:

Then the Blessed One, having understood Brahma's invitation, out of compassion for beings, surveyed the world with the eye of an Awakened One. As he did so, he saw beings with little dust in their eyes and those with much, those with keen faculties and those with dull, those with good attributes and those with bad, those easy to teach and those hard, some of them seeing disgrace and danger in the other world. Just as in a pond of blue or red or white lotuses, some lotuses — born and growing in the water — might flourish while immersed in the water, without rising up from the water; some might stand at an even level with the water; while some might rise up from the water and stand without being smeared by the water — so too, surveying the world with the eye of an Awakened One, the Blessed One saw beings with little dust in their eyes and those with much, those with keen faculties and those with dull, those with good attributes and those with bad, those easy to teach and those hard, some of them seeing disgrace and danger in the other world.

Having seen this, he answered Brahma Sahampati in verse:


Open are the doors to the Deathless
to those with ears.
Let them show their conviction.
Perceiving trouble, O Brahma,
I did not tell people the refined,
sublime Dhamma.

The Buddha is compared to someone who lays out and builds a road. Is it the road builders fault if people get lost? What is vastly more critical than concerns that people will not understand is the immeasurable compassion and kindness in causing the Dharma to be heard.

Of course, this was all upaya. The Buddha appears in the world for one purpose - to make all beings his equal. He appears to be born, appears to awaken, appears to pass away, all for the purpose of approaching beings and leading them on the Buddhayana. It was always going to be for the purpose of teaching and leading beings. See the Lotus Sutra.
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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javier.espinoza.t
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Re: Is there no contradiction here?

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Sat Dec 22, 2018 8:54 pm

Viach wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 6:55 am
On the one hand, after enlightenment, Buddha doubted for several weeks whether to preach the dharma(Four Noble Truths) comprehended by him, calling it deep. And then he preached it to the five cool yogis, his fellow yoga practitioners. On the other hand, today FNT is set out by modern teachers at the very first introductory lessons for beginners. Is there no contradiction here?
Imo, FNT is what he could teach given the kind of people around, no the kind of thing he would like to show.

His first followers where extremists, not great beings.

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Wayfarer
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Re: Is there no contradiction here?

Post by Wayfarer » Sat Dec 22, 2018 10:02 pm

I have an academic text, Re-thinking the Buddha, Eviatar Schulman, which claims that the present-day doctrinal formulation of the Four Noble Truths is a refined presentation of the original teaching that emerged over the course of centuries. To be honest, having ordered the book from Amazon, I couldn’t maintain interest in it, as it is, as I say, very academic. But I think the basic thesis is sound enough - that the very compact form in which the Four Aryan Truths of Buddhism are known today, was something that was developed during the course of centuries, rather than having been simply laid out in that formula from the very beginning.

In any case, I don’t see a contradiction. One point that does occur to me, though, is that the meaning of the Buddhist teachings is very easy to misunderstand. That is especially so in today’s world, where there are so many ideas, teachings, and forms of information readily available at your fingertips. It is relatively easy to read a lot, visit websites and online videos, not only about Buddhism but all kinds of subjects. And yet often they don’t really penetrate. They just become thoughts, words, and opinions. I think the Buddha’s words ‘deep, subtle, difficult to fathom, perceivable only by the wise’ should always be remembered, especially in a culture which tends towards superficiality. Even though Buddhist principles can be presented in a brief form, what is required to understand them deeply is another matter.
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Tsongkhapafan
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Re: Is there no contradiction here?

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Sat Dec 22, 2018 10:58 pm

Viach wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 6:55 am
On the one hand, after enlightenment, Buddha doubted for several weeks whether to preach the dharma(Four Noble Truths) comprehended by him, calling it deep. And then he preached it to the five cool yogis, his fellow yoga practitioners. On the other hand, today FNT is set out by modern teachers at the very first introductory lessons for beginners. Is there no contradiction here?
Buddha was right, the Four Noble Truths are incredibly profound. It's easy to understand something on a superficial level but much more difficult to gain deep experience of it. The object of the the first Noble Truth, suffering, has to be understood on a very deep level in order to develop the renunciation which opens the door to the path to liberation. The object of the second Noble Truth, self-grasping ignorance, is also very difficult to clearly understand without a lot of study and meditation. This is often simplified in many presentations as 'desire is the cause of suffering' which is very simplified and actually inaccurate (desire is not a problem, per se). The object of the wisdom that liberates, emptiness, is a subject of heated debate in Buddhism and there is little consensus between different Buddhist schools and so this object is also not easy to discern correctly and realise. Finally, the cessation of suffering is also not easy to understand - what is a true cessation? It's the ultimate truth of a mind that has attained the final cessation of any fault and is a very profound object.

In short, it's incorrect to think that the Four Noble Truths are simple and can be easily understood in all their detail by beginners. Buddha's first five disciples had merit and karma to realise the teachings and that karma was about to ripen. To be Buddha's first students means that they were far from ordinary and the fact that they easily realised the Buddha's teaching doesn't mean that it's easy for anyone to do.

9-petalled lotus
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Re: Is there no contradiction here?

Post by 9-petalled lotus » Sun Dec 23, 2018 10:07 am

What Lord Shakyamuni Buddha called "deep" may not be the Four Noble Truths.But He had to start somewhere,and chose to do so with the 4NT.Read the Shurangama Sutra.
Just my thoughts.......

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Wayfarer
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Re: Is there no contradiction here?

Post by Wayfarer » Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:53 am

I believe the Four Noble Truths of the Buddha are of great depth, and that they represent all that ever needs to be understood. We have the idea that they're something simple to understand, because they're spelled out and repeated and memorised, and so we think we understand what they mean. But the 'craving for continued existence' continues to drive us, whether we think we understand it or not. It is like a river propelling everything in its path. Really being able to rise above that, or swim against the current, as the saying goes, is a rare ability and few attain it. I think the so-called 'basic teaching of the Buddha' should be appreciated with a spirit of humility, when you consider how hard it was for the Buddha himself to realise it, and how hard it was for those around him to follow it. We shouldn't become disheartened by that, on the other hand, but not fall for the idea that they're easy to understand or practice.
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

Bundokji
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Re: Is there no contradiction here?

Post by Bundokji » Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:29 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:53 am
I believe the Four Noble Truths of the Buddha are of great depth, and that they represent all that ever needs to be understood. We have the idea that they're something simple to understand, because they're spelled out and repeated and memorised, and so we think we understand what they mean. But the 'craving for continued existence' continues to drive us, whether we think we understand it or not. It is like a river propelling everything in its path. Really being able to rise above that, or swim against the current, as the saying goes, is a rare ability and few attain it. I think the so-called 'basic teaching of the Buddha' should be appreciated with a spirit of humility, when you consider how hard it was for the Buddha himself to realise it, and how hard it was for those around him to follow it. We shouldn't become disheartened by that, on the other hand, but not fall for the idea that they're easy to understand or practice.
Thank you :namaste:

It is difficult to appreciate your post, without falling into some form of falsehood. I happened to see a lot of truth in it, without being able to go against the stream or to understand the deeper meaning of the 4NTs .
The cleverest defenders of faith are its greatest enemies: for their subtleties engender doubt and stimulate the mind. -- Will Durant

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Mantrik
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Re: Is there no contradiction here?

Post by Mantrik » Sun Dec 23, 2018 2:02 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 10:58 pm
Viach wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 6:55 am
On the one hand, after enlightenment, Buddha doubted for several weeks whether to preach the dharma(Four Noble Truths) comprehended by him, calling it deep. And then he preached it to the five cool yogis, his fellow yoga practitioners. On the other hand, today FNT is set out by modern teachers at the very first introductory lessons for beginners. Is there no contradiction here?
Buddha was right, the Four Noble Truths are incredibly profound. It's easy to understand something on a superficial level but much more difficult to gain deep experience of it. The object of the the first Noble Truth, suffering, has to be understood on a very deep level in order to develop the renunciation which opens the door to the path to liberation. The object of the second Noble Truth, self-grasping ignorance, is also very difficult to clearly understand without a lot of study and meditation. This is often simplified in many presentations as 'desire is the cause of suffering' which is very simplified and actually inaccurate (desire is not a problem, per se). The object of the wisdom that liberates, emptiness, is a subject of heated debate in Buddhism and there is little consensus between different Buddhist schools and so this object is also not easy to discern correctly and realise. Finally, the cessation of suffering is also not easy to understand - what is a true cessation? It's the ultimate truth of a mind that has attained the final cessation of any fault and is a very profound object.

In short, it's incorrect to think that the Four Noble Truths are simple and can be easily understood in all their detail by beginners. Buddha's first five disciples had merit and karma to realise the teachings and that karma was about to ripen. To be Buddha's first students means that they were far from ordinary and the fact that they easily realised the Buddha's teaching doesn't mean that it's easy for anyone to do.
That's the best short explanation I've seen. :)
http://www.khyung.com

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Malcolm
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Re: Is there no contradiction here?

Post by Malcolm » Sun Dec 23, 2018 3:25 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:53 am
I believe the Four Noble Truths of the Buddha are of great depth, and that they represent all that ever needs to be understood.
It is certainly the case that all Dharma teachings, including Dzogchen, are included in the 4NT, but the understanding of the 4NT gets more subtle and profound as one moves up through the yānas.

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Re: Is there no contradiction here?

Post by Malcolm » Sun Dec 23, 2018 3:40 pm

Viach wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 6:55 am
On the one hand, after enlightenment, Buddha doubted for several weeks whether to preach the dharma(Four Noble Truths) comprehended by him, calling it deep. And then he preached it to the five cool yogis, his fellow yoga practitioners. On the other hand, today FNT is set out by modern teachers at the very first introductory lessons for beginners. Is there no contradiction here?
No, that is not the Dharma the Buddha had doubts about teaching. What he had doubt about teaching was whether he could teach the ambrosial Dharma he had realized—profound, immaculate, luminous, and uncompounded.

Because he could not teach this directly, he taught a path whereby people could realize this for themselves.

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Queequeg
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Re: Is there no contradiction here?

Post by Queequeg » Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:32 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 3:40 pm
Viach wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 6:55 am
On the one hand, after enlightenment, Buddha doubted for several weeks whether to preach the dharma(Four Noble Truths) comprehended by him, calling it deep. And then he preached it to the five cool yogis, his fellow yoga practitioners. On the other hand, today FNT is set out by modern teachers at the very first introductory lessons for beginners. Is there no contradiction here?
No, that is not the Dharma the Buddha had doubts about teaching. What he had doubt about teaching was whether he could teach the ambrosial Dharma he had realized—profound, immaculate, luminous, and uncompounded.

Because he could not teach this directly, he taught a path whereby people could realize this for themselves.
Svaha!
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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