Nagas -- mythological?

Forum for discussion of Tibetan Buddhism. Questions specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 27773
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Nagas -- mythological?

Post by Malcolm » Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:46 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:01 am
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:35 pm

The baseline standard for what is "true," from a Madhyamaka perspective, is that which can be conventionally known by ordinary people.
Thanks. That's a very good, succinct definition of the kind of truth Westerners usually assume, too.
Phenomena beyond such conventional knowledge can be accepted based on testimony, but it is a very thin authority.
Agreed, but do poetic truth, mythical truth, subjective truth, spiritual truth qualify as "phenomena"? Nagas might, but (e.g.) the statement that, "Truth is beauty, beauty truth," isn't. Nor is, "I am constantly amazed by the quality of the light over the Coral Sea," which is incontrovertible but can't be "conventionally known by ordinary people," as you put it.

:thinking:
Kim
Aesthetic evaluations are entirely subjective and emotive. They are supposed to be so.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

User avatar
Kim O'Hara
Former staff member
Posts: 3696
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:09 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: Nagas -- mythological?

Post by Kim O'Hara » Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:09 am

Malcolm wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:46 am
Kim O'Hara wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:01 am
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:35 pm

The baseline standard for what is "true," from a Madhyamaka perspective, is that which can be conventionally known by ordinary people.
Thanks. That's a very good, succinct definition of the kind of truth Westerners usually assume, too.
Phenomena beyond such conventional knowledge can be accepted based on testimony, but it is a very thin authority.
Agreed, but do poetic truth, mythical truth, subjective truth, spiritual truth qualify as "phenomena"? Nagas might, but (e.g.) the statement that, "Truth is beauty, beauty truth," isn't. Nor is, "I am constantly amazed by the quality of the light over the Coral Sea," which is incontrovertible but can't be "conventionally known by ordinary people," as you put it.

:thinking:
Kim
Aesthetic evaluations are entirely subjective and emotive. They are supposed to be so.
Fine, but my question was whether those statements are "true" or not, or in which way they might be "true". They are certainly not true in the way that "Paris is the capital of France" is true, but nor are they false.

:namaste:
Kim

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 27773
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Nagas -- mythological?

Post by Malcolm » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:09 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:09 am
Malcolm wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:46 am
Kim O'Hara wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:01 am

Thanks. That's a very good, succinct definition of the kind of truth Westerners usually assume, too.


Agreed, but do poetic truth, mythical truth, subjective truth, spiritual truth qualify as "phenomena"? Nagas might, but (e.g.) the statement that, "Truth is beauty, beauty truth," isn't. Nor is, "I am constantly amazed by the quality of the light over the Coral Sea," which is incontrovertible but can't be "conventionally known by ordinary people," as you put it.

:thinking:
Kim
Aesthetic evaluations are entirely subjective and emotive. They are supposed to be so.
Fine, but my question was whether those statements are "true" or not, or in which way they might be "true". They are certainly not true in the way that "Paris is the capital of France" is true, but nor are they false.

:namaste:
Kim
This is why it is important to distinguish facts from aesthetics.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

User avatar
Wayfarer
Posts: 3883
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: Nagas -- mythological?

Post by Wayfarer » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:15 am

Also if I might chip in, ‘mythological’ doesn’t equate to ‘non-existent’. Us moderns are conditioned to believe that what is real is ‘out there somewhere’ on the plane of existing stuff. But there are realms or domains of reality which humans don’t have any grasp of. Sometimes these are communicated, or communicate themselves, through what is designated as mythology or symbolic forms. So, no, I don’t think these do qualify as ‘phenomena’ although I suppose they might create a phenomenal effect sometimes (which is usually designated ‘supernatural’ when it happens.)
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki-roshi

Fortyeightvows
Posts: 1935
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:37 am

Re: Nagas -- mythological?

Post by Fortyeightvows » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:25 pm

it is also worth nothing that there are at least four different types of nagas.
Three tanslations of the same sutta:
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
http://www.buddhanet.net/bp_sut05.htm
https://suttacentral.net/en/an4.67

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 27773
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Nagas -- mythological?

Post by Malcolm » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:40 pm

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:25 pm
it is also worth nothing that there are at least four different types of nagas.
Three tanslations of the same sutta:
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
http://www.buddhanet.net/bp_sut05.htm
https://suttacentral.net/en/an4.67
There are also four castes of nāgas, the lowest caste are considered to be very stupid.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

Post Reply

Return to “Tibetan Buddhism”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Greg, Josef, Kilaya., Spelare and 76 guests