The role of truth in Buddhism?

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tkp67
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Re: The role of truth in Buddhism?

Post by tkp67 » Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:33 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:23 pm
tkp67 wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:17 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:07 pm



It might be medicine you need, it is not medicine I need.
So you can see based on even our small sampling that sentient beings need them both equally and both are deserving of respect.

I vs Us
This is thread is not about upaya, it is about truth. You lotus folks constantly conflate these two issues. Upaya only belongs to relative truth. There is only one ultimate truth.
How do you know they don't reside harmoniously in the mind of Lotus folks? How do you know the conflation isn't due ignorance regarding the lotus teachings? Which is perhaps that they conflate these things in the first place.

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LastLegend
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Re: The role of truth in Buddhism?

Post by LastLegend » Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:47 pm

Hmmm

Three Truths seem like the first two truths are conceptual descriptions (not direct experience initially) and third truth is direct experience unifying the first two conceptual truths. I don’t personally know Zhiyi’s realization but it’s what he devised to lead people. Now, if people enter by direct experience they might follow Mahaprajnaparamita path.

Ultimate truth yes it can only be described to lead people because ultimate truth is pervasive all functioning without slightest mistake. It’s not any certain way of attachment?
Last edited by LastLegend on Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Make personal vows.

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Queequeg
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Re: The role of truth in Buddhism?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:49 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 5:07 pm
so our means are not so skillful.
You can say that again!
No third truth is needed to address how the Buddha and ārya bodhisattvas act skillfully for the benefit of sentient beings.
Sure. The Two Truths teaching doesn't address it either, and we agree that's not the purpose of the teaching.

The Three Truths does. Maybe its not needed, but as you don't know the minds of others, I think its really beyond your knowledge to categorically declare that what is and what is not needed. This, like many of the things you've stated in this thread is your opinion.
Yup. When the Lotus Sūtra is referenced in Indian and Tibetan Buddhist sources, the principle themes invoked are a) one vehicle b) primordial buddhahood. Apart from that, the Lotus as a doctrinal source is not given much airtime.
Implicit in Ekayana (one vehicle) and primordial buddhahood is the teaching on upaya; upaya is extensively addressed in the Lotus. That's a very simplistic way to summarize it.
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

Malcolm
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Re: The role of truth in Buddhism?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:50 pm

tkp67 wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:33 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:23 pm
tkp67 wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:17 pm


So you can see based on even our small sampling that sentient beings need them both equally and both are deserving of respect.

I vs Us
This is thread is not about upaya, it is about truth. You lotus folks constantly conflate these two issues. Upaya only belongs to relative truth. There is only one ultimate truth.
How do you know they don't reside harmoniously in the mind of Lotus folks? How do you know the conflation isn't due ignorance regarding the lotus teachings? Which is perhaps that they conflate these things in the first place.
I can only report on what I observe in your statements. Upaya is something relative, not ultimate. Buddhas realize the ultimate, and then help sentient beings in the relative. One does not need complicated theories to understand this.

Also, one does not need to forge some link between the ultimate and relative, just as one does not need to forge a link between water and wetness, fire and heat, dharmin and dharmatā, and so on.

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Queequeg
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Re: The role of truth in Buddhism?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Mar 12, 2020 7:04 pm

LastLegend wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:47 pm
Three Truths seem like the first two truths are conceptual descriptions (not direct experience initially) and third truth is direct experience unifying the first two conceptual truth.
Direct experience is an aspect. Zhiyi was adamant that these teachings without practice miss the point. Direct experience is one way to talk about the middle way.

Other aspects are the dynamic function of Buddha in relation to beings. Again, this might be viewed as a function of experience.

Alternatively, to be conditioned is itself to be empty. Seeing emptiness does not displace the conditioned. The indivisibility is the insight of the middle.

When its supposed that the Three Truths is some assertion about the way things are rather than a tool for examining and seeing, then we go down this path where the fundamentalist harps for pages about how wrong it is.
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

Malcolm
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Re: The role of truth in Buddhism?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Mar 12, 2020 7:09 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:49 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 5:07 pm
so our means are not so skillful.
You can say that again!
No third truth is needed to address how the Buddha and ārya bodhisattvas act skillfully for the benefit of sentient beings.
Sure. The Two Truths teaching doesn't address it either, and we agree that's not the purpose of the teaching.
Not so, the two truths do address it. To put another way: the basis is the two truths; the path is method and wisdom (upāya and prājña); the result is the two kāyas.
The Three Truths does. Maybe its not needed, but as you don't know the minds of others, I think its really beyond your knowledge to categorically declare that what is and what is not needed. This, like many of the things you've stated in this thread is your opinion.
The two truths indeed address address upaya, upaya is just something relative. Nothing more. This is why there are so many different upayas. Some are skillful (upāyakauśalya), some are just methods (upāya).
Implicit in Ekayana (one vehicle) and primordial buddhahood is the teaching on upaya; upaya is extensively addressed in the Lotus. That's a very simplistic way to summarize it.
Right, and when discussions on upaya are addressed, the burning house metaphor is invoked, but in general, the sūtra usually resorted to to explain upaya is the Upāyakauśalya Sūtra, which is usually relied upon more, probably because that is the source of the sea captain murdering the thief trope. But in terms of buddhological doctrine, the important points of the Lotus are not so much about upaya, because there are many sutras that address this, but rather, primordial buddhahood and ekayāna, because there are not so many sutras that address those two points.

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Re: The role of truth in Buddhism?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Mar 12, 2020 7:24 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 7:04 pm
Other aspects are the dynamic function of Buddha in relation to beings. Again, this might be viewed as a function of experience.
Which is only in the relative, again. You keep positing that some connection between the ultimate and relative is needed. It isn't.
Alternatively, to be conditioned is itself to be empty. Seeing emptiness does not displace the conditioned. The indivisibility is the insight of the middle.
There is no middle, that's the point.

The Pratyutpannebuddhasaṃmukhāvasthitasamādhi Sūtra states:

Bhadrapāla, not perceiving, conceiving, establishing, thinking of, or engaging in either of these two extremes, peace and absence of peace, is explained in mundane relative truth as as 'the middle way' as an enumeration, but these extremes and middle are not perceived in the ultimate.


The Samputa Tantra puts it this way: "Neither empty nor not empty; there is nothing to perceive in the middle."

Or to paraphrase Santideva: "When neither an entity nor a nonentity appear to the mind, there being no alternative, the mind is pacified."
Last edited by Malcolm on Thu Mar 12, 2020 7:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The role of truth in Buddhism?

Post by LastLegend » Thu Mar 12, 2020 7:39 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 7:04 pm
Direct experience is an aspect. Zhiyi was adamant that these teachings without practice miss the point. Direct experience is one way to talk about the middle way.
It’s tricky here is that without practicing Dharma we won’t get there but Dharma itself can also bind us.

Other aspects are the dynamic function of Buddha in relation to beings. Again, this might be viewed as a function of experience.
This functioning at our level is not far from the sixth faculties?
Alternatively, to be conditioned is itself to be empty. Seeing emptiness does not displace the conditioned. The indivisibility is the insight of the middle.
No it doesn’t but I am of one that doesn’t care about the union because I find it to be a dual construction.
When its supposed that the Three Truths is some assertion about the way things are rather than a tool for examining and seeing, then we go down this path where the fundamentalist harps for pages about how wrong it is.
In conventional language we said ‘ultimate truth,’ then the question is where can we find the appearance of truth?
Make personal vows.

SteRo
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Re: The role of truth in Buddhism?

Post by SteRo » Thu Mar 12, 2020 8:24 pm

To discuss about truth(s) is kind of silly.

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Caoimhghín
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Re: The role of truth in Buddhism?

Post by Caoimhghín » Thu Mar 12, 2020 8:26 pm

haha wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 2:21 pm
Threefold Truth has nothing to do with Indian model of two truths. It has its own meaning and intention; it shows Zhiyi's deeper understanding of the Dharma.
What if I told you there was 75 truths? That would logically make me greater than either venerables Zhiyi or Nichiren.
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 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

tkp67
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Re: The role of truth in Buddhism?

Post by tkp67 » Thu Mar 12, 2020 8:29 pm

Caoimhghín wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 8:26 pm
haha wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 2:21 pm
Threefold Truth has nothing to do with Indian model of two truths. It has its own meaning and intention; it shows Zhiyi's deeper understanding of the Dharma.
What if I told you there was 75 truths? That would logically make me greater than either venerables Zhiyi or Nichiren.
If you did and it enabled more people to become enlightened then you would be perfectly appropriate for the age as they where in theirs

no one who attended the assembly thought in those terms, if they did they would not be able to attend

Malcolm
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Re: The role of truth in Buddhism?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Mar 12, 2020 8:36 pm

SteRo wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 8:24 pm
To discuss about truth(s) is kind of silly.
It's entertainment.

Simon E.
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Re: The role of truth in Buddhism?

Post by Simon E. » Thu Mar 12, 2020 8:44 pm

My knowledge of Chinese Buddhist schools is virtually nil. But is seems clear that the division between it and Indo-Tibetan Buddhism is great. More than I thought. Although I have never seen evidence for the existence of a Pan-Buddhism.
It seems to me that rather than dwell on that fact or attempt some kind of triumphalism it would be better to recognise the difference while maintaining respect.
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

narhwal90
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Re: The role of truth in Buddhism?

Post by narhwal90 » Thu Mar 12, 2020 8:49 pm

Caoimhghín wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 8:26 pm
haha wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 2:21 pm
Threefold Truth has nothing to do with Indian model of two truths. It has its own meaning and intention; it shows Zhiyi's deeper understanding of the Dharma.
What if I told you there was 75 truths? That would logically make me greater than either venerables Zhiyi or Nichiren.

It only works if the knob goes to 11.

<sorry, couldnt resist 😁>

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Re: The role of truth in Buddhism?

Post by Caoimhghín » Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:08 pm

tkp67 wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 8:29 pm
Caoimhghín wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 8:26 pm
haha wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 2:21 pm
Threefold Truth has nothing to do with Indian model of two truths. It has its own meaning and intention; it shows Zhiyi's deeper understanding of the Dharma.
What if I told you there was 75 truths? That would logically make me greater than either venerables Zhiyi or Nichiren.
If you did and it enabled more people to become enlightened then you would be perfectly appropriate for the age as they where in theirs

no one who attended the assembly thought in those terms, if they did they would not be able to attend
I think the original argument was more truths = more understanding of the Dharma. The Sarvāstivādins had 75 ultimate "truths." Logically, they are greater than any of these teachers and the entirety of the Mahāyāna.
narhwal90 wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 8:49 pm
Caoimhghín wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 8:26 pm
haha wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 2:21 pm
Threefold Truth has nothing to do with Indian model of two truths. It has its own meaning and intention; it shows Zhiyi's deeper understanding of the Dharma.
What if I told you there was 75 truths? That would logically make me greater than either venerables Zhiyi or Nichiren.

It only works if the knob goes to 11.

<sorry, couldnt resist 😁>
I heard of a super secret exclusive lineage where the bhūmis go up to 22. You probably haven't heard of it -- it's underground, like the many bodhisatvas of the earth.

Bhūmis are like truths, more = more wisdom. :sage:
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 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: The role of truth in Buddhism?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:32 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 7:09 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:49 pm
Sure. The Two Truths teaching doesn't address it either, and we agree that's not the purpose of the teaching.
Not so, the two truths do address it. To put another way: the basis is the two truths; the path is method and wisdom (upāya and prājña); the result is the two kāyas.
Now you're moving goal posts. You're referring to creative extrapolation. smh
The two truths indeed address address upaya, upaya is just something relative. Nothing more. This is why there are so many different upayas. Some are skillful (upāyakauśalya), some are just methods (upāya).
still smh.
Right, and when discussions on upaya are addressed, the burning house metaphor is invoked, but in general, the sūtra usually resorted to to explain upaya is the Upāyakauśalya Sūtra, which is usually relied upon more, probably because that is the source of the sea captain murdering the thief trope. But in terms of buddhological doctrine, the important points of the Lotus are not so much about upaya, because there are many sutras that address this, but rather, primordial buddhahood and ekayāna, because there are not so many sutras that address those two points.
smh.
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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Queequeg
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Re: The role of truth in Buddhism?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:37 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 7:24 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 7:04 pm
Other aspects are the dynamic function of Buddha in relation to beings. Again, this might be viewed as a function of experience.
Which is only in the relative, again. You keep positing that some connection between the ultimate and relative is needed. It isn't.
I encourage you to go back through this thread and show me where I suggested that anything needed to be done. You'll find the only time I used that term was when I suggested you come out of your shell.

As I keep telling you, nothing is needed; some may find the Three Truths, the Mutual Possession of the Ten Worlds, the Thousand Factors, the Thought Moment imminent in Three Thousand realms helpful. That's all. You certainly use that word a lot which is suggestive of how your mind conceives of things. Your confusions are not mine.
Alternatively, to be conditioned is itself to be empty. Seeing emptiness does not displace the conditioned. The indivisibility is the insight of the middle.
There is no middle, that's the point.
Please show me where I asserted some material middle. I will readily agree with you - there is no middle.

Please, friend, all you are doing is being argumentative.
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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Queequeg
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Re: The role of truth in Buddhism?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:38 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 8:44 pm
My knowledge of Chinese Buddhist schools is virtually nil. But is seems clear that the division between it and Indo-Tibetan Buddhism is great. More than I thought. Although I have never seen evidence for the existence of a Pan-Buddhism.
It seems to me that rather than dwell on that fact or attempt some kind of triumphalism it would be better to recognise the difference while maintaining respect.
Maybe. Malcolm certainly likes that posture.
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

Malcolm
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Re: The role of truth in Buddhism?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:52 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:37 pm

I will readily agree with you - there is no middle.
Then there is no third truth.

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Re: The role of truth in Buddhism?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:55 pm

LastLegend wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 7:39 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 7:04 pm
Direct experience is an aspect. Zhiyi was adamant that these teachings without practice miss the point. Direct experience is one way to talk about the middle way.
It’s tricky here is that without practicing Dharma we won’t get there but Dharma itself can also bind us.
Agree. I believe that's why its counseled that in periods of intense practice study be set aside.
Other aspects are the dynamic function of Buddha in relation to beings. Again, this might be viewed as a function of experience.
This functioning at our level is not far from the sixth faculties?
Not quite sure what you are asking, but I don't think so. At least not directly. What is contemplated as the dynamic function of the Buddha is the Buddha responding to the conditions and capacities of beings. Its considered dynamic because beings are subject to change, and so response must be adaptive.
Alternatively, to be conditioned is itself to be empty. Seeing emptiness does not displace the conditioned. The indivisibility is the insight of the middle.
No it doesn’t but I am of one that doesn’t care about the union because I find it to be a dual construction.
Again, I don't follow.
When its supposed that the Three Truths is some assertion about the way things are rather than a tool for examining and seeing, then we go down this path where the fundamentalist harps for pages about how wrong it is.
In conventional language we said ‘ultimate truth,’ then the question is where can we find the appearance of truth?
In Vimalakirti's silence? :meditate:
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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