About a nihilistic adrift of Buddhadharma

Discuss and learn about the traditional Mahayana scriptures, without assuming that any one school ‘owns’ the only correct interpretation.
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Druniel
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About a nihilistic adrift of Buddhadharma

Post by Druniel » Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:16 am

Hi
In my intuition and throu Pâli and Samskrit sûtra
I rekon that Buddha never spoke of no-self.
I see that some scholars also see like that, a minority. I see Buddha teaching using a Via Negativa kind of way, (which He say was often misunderstood for a nichilistic one by peoples in His times) keeping silent about some questions without describing any truth in details, but speaking some rare times, about a supreme state of bliss ,Nirvana , which is the end of soffering. I observe a sort of nichilistic adrift during the centuries due, among others, to a certain attitude of the Theravada school insisting on the anatta as if it was a Theory, which never was, that we easily know from the Sūtta, where Buddha say that all theories are not correct and that His Dharma is beyond logic and intellectual understanding. Is there anybody here who agree on this?

Ps;. In a quite sophisticated way some scholars use to say that Buddha simply doesn't deny the self because He doesn't pose one in first instance, but that would be just nihilism anyway, and Buddha clearly states that He is not a nichilist teacher, nor a philosopher.

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Ayu
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Re: About a nihilistic adrift of Buddhadharma

Post by Ayu » Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:46 am

In Mahayana you have to include and consider the teachings of Nagarjuna who relied strictly on Buddha's teachings.
You have to consider the Tathagatagarbha Sutra as well.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tathāgatagarbha_Sūtra
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:

SteRo
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Re: About a nihilistic adrift of Buddhadharma

Post by SteRo » Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:30 pm

Druniel wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:16 am
Hi
In my intuition and throu Pâli and Samskrit sûtra
I rekon that Buddha never spoke of no-self.
In the Pali suttas Buddha mentions all that is neither self nor belongs to a self and that is all that may be experienced. But he also teaches that self is like an illusion and that the conceit 'I am' is to be abandoned.
Last edited by SteRo on Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

smcj
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Re: About a nihilistic adrift of Buddhadharma

Post by smcj » Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:33 pm

...we easily know from the Sūtta, where Buddha say that all theories are not correct and that His Dharma is beyond logic and intellectual understanding.
In which Sutta does he say this?
https://soundcloud.com/user-730689343/chenrezig-puja
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

Sādhaka
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Re: About a nihilistic adrift of Buddhadharma

Post by Sādhaka » Sun Feb 02, 2020 2:07 pm

I found the following, that Chögyal Namkhai Norbu has mentioned a few times:


Malcolm wrote:
Fri Sep 02, 2016 4:56 pm
The first words of the Buddha after awakening are reported in the Lalitavistara Sūtra:

  • The ambrosial Dharma I obtained is
    profound, immaculate, luminous, and unconditioned.
    Even if I explain it, no one will understand.
    I think I shall remain silent in the forest.
    That which is free from words cannot be understood through words,
    likewise, the nature of phenomena is like space,
    totally free of the movements of mind and intellect.

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well wisher
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Re: About a nihilistic adrift of Buddhadharma

Post by well wisher » Sun Feb 02, 2020 2:34 pm

SteRo wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:30 pm
Druniel wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:16 am
Hi
In my intuition and throu Pâli and Samskrit sûtra
I rekon that Buddha never spoke of no-self.
In the Pali suttas Buddha mentions all that is neither self nor belongs to a self and that is all that may be experienced. But he also teaches that self is like an illusion and that the conceit 'I am' is to be abandoned.
Correct. This statmenet "I rekon that Buddha never spoke of no-self." is false and an unfortunate inaccurate misunderstanding. There are many proofs and sutras that the Buddha has actually teach the core-concept about no-self: these are highly recommended readings as excellent antidotes against excessive pride and clinging and greed - which leads to harm and suffering if done recklessly.

Sample sutras in which the Buddha teaches about the no-self concept:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatta
In Buddhism, the term anattā (Pali) or anātman (Sanskrit) refers to the doctrine of "non-self", that there is no unchanging, permanent self, soul or essence in phenomena.[1][2] It is one of the seven beneficial perceptions in Buddhism,[3] and one of the three marks of existence along with dukkha (suffering) and anicca (impermanence).[1][4]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anattalak ... %87a_Sutta
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .nymo.html
Anatta-lakkhana Sutta: The Discourse on the Not-self Characteristic
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamond_Sutra
The Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā Sutra contains the discourse of the Buddha to a senior monk, Subhuti.[17] Its major themes are anatman (not-self), the emptiness of all phenomena (though the term 'śūnyatā' itself does not appear in the text),[18] the liberation of all beings without attachment and the importance of spreading and teaching the Diamond sutra itself. In his commentary on the Diamond Sūtra, Hsing Yun describes the four main points from the sūtra as giving without attachment to self, liberating beings without notions of self and other, living without attachment, and cultivating without attainment.[19] According to Shigenori Nagamoto the major goal of the Diamond sutra is: "an existential project aiming at achieving and embodying a non-discriminatory basis for knowledge" or "the emancipation from the fundamental ignorance of not knowing how to experience reality as it is."
------------
Buddhism is not nihilism, because for many schools & branches, it accepts and works upon conventional observable reality - while exposing the ultimate truth that is different from it, and it accept Karma and benevolent deeds as basis for obtaining desirable birth conditions (however temporary or unreliable the lives in Samsara might be).
Plus there are many transcendental parts of the Buddhist teachings that liberates sentient beings away from Samsara and sufferings completely, without resorting to full-empty nihilism: examples such as many Buddha purelands filled with Buddhas/Boddhisattavs/Arahants noble beings.

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Taikor.Taikun
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Re: About a nihilistic adrift of Buddhadharma

Post by Taikor.Taikun » Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:23 am

Can we say it actually meant non-self; not no self. No self is largely interpreted as no soul while non-self is being selfless in nature without attachment.

Some people argued that anatta mean no soul. This concept belied the other concept of samsara. And the Buddha encouraged us to be reborn in Sukhavati. The souls in different realms and world depending on its state of being. We can be in union with the universe but we cannot say there is no soul

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well wisher
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Re: About a nihilistic adrift of Buddhadharma

Post by well wisher » Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:28 am

https://www.budsas.org/ebud/whatbudbeliev/115.htm
The Soul Theory
With regard to the soul theory, there are three kinds of teachers in the world:
- The first teacher teaches the existence of an eternal ego-entity that outlasts death: He is the eternalist.
- The second teacher teaches a temporary ego-entity which becomes annihilated at death: He is the materialist.
- The third teacher teaches neither an eternal nor a temporary ego-entity: He is the Buddha.

The Buddha teaches that what we call ego, self, soul, personality, etc., are merely conventional terms that do not refer to any real, independent entity.
......
https://www.lionsroar.com/do-buddhists- ... in-a-soul/
Do Buddhists believe in a soul?
The short answer is no. In fact, this is the defining premise of Buddhism and one of the main things that differentiates it from other religions. In ancient Hinduism, the soul was called the atman and the basic Buddhist view was described as anatman—no soul.
....

smcj
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Re: About a nihilistic adrift of Buddhadharma

Post by smcj » Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:49 pm

Can we say it actually meant non-self; not no self. No self is largely interpreted as no soul while non-self is being selfless in nature without attachment.
I like that way of putting it.
https://soundcloud.com/user-730689343/chenrezig-puja
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

Malcolm
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Re: About a nihilistic adrift of Buddhadharma

Post by Malcolm » Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:30 pm

Taikor.Taikun wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:23 am
Can we say it actually meant non-self; not no self. No self is largely interpreted as no soul while non-self is being selfless in nature without attachment.

Some people argued that anatta mean no soul. This concept belied the other concept of samsara. And the Buddha encouraged us to be reborn in Sukhavati. The souls in different realms and world depending on its state of being. We can be in union with the universe but we cannot say there is no soul
Oh, we definitely can say there is no “soul.” We can can also say there is no sentient being, no creature, no person, no living being, etc.

smcj
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Re: About a nihilistic adrift of Buddhadharma

Post by smcj » Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:25 pm

We can can also say there is no sentient being, no creature, no person, no living being, etc.
Tell ya what. If you can stick a needle through your hand without saying “ouch” you’ll have some credibility when you say that. Not 100% credibility, but some.

If I can put a needle through my hand, you get 50% credibility.

If I can put a needle through my daughter’s hand, I’ll believe you. (Especially since I don’t have a daughter.)
https://soundcloud.com/user-730689343/chenrezig-puja
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

Simon E.
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Re: About a nihilistic adrift of Buddhadharma

Post by Simon E. » Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:38 pm

smcj wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:25 pm
We can can also say there is no sentient being, no creature, no person, no living being, etc.
Tell ya what. If you can stick a needle through your hand without saying “ouch” you’ll have some credibility when you say that. Not 100% credibility, but some.
But that just proves that sensation exists and that contact exists...not that there is an unchanging discrete entity.
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

Norwegian
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Re: About a nihilistic adrift of Buddhadharma

Post by Norwegian » Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:40 pm

smcj wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:25 pm
We can can also say there is no sentient being, no creature, no person, no living being, etc.
Tell ya what. If you can stick a needle through your hand without saying “ouch” you’ll have some credibility when you say that. Not 100% credibility, but some.
Have you ever received teachings on the Prajnaparamita?
"The Guru is the Buddha, the Guru is the Dharma,
The Guru is the Sangha too,
The Guru is Śrī Heruka.
The All-Creating King is the Guru."

-- The Secret Assembly Tantra

Norwegian
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Re: About a nihilistic adrift of Buddhadharma

Post by Norwegian » Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:25 pm

smcj wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:25 pm
We can can also say there is no sentient being, no creature, no person, no living being, etc.
Tell ya what. If you can stick a needle through your hand without saying “ouch” you’ll have some credibility when you say that. Not 100% credibility, but some.

If I can put a needle through my hand, you get 50% credibility.

If I can put a needle through my daughter’s hand, I’ll believe you. (Especially since I don’t have a daughter.)
Well, seeing as you're not answering my question above, let me help you:

Here is a key text on this topic, that is celebrated throughout common and uncommon Mahayana. Read Malcolm's post, then read the following, and read it well:

The Heart of the Transcendent Perfection of Wisdom
In the language of India: bhagavatī prajñāpāramitā hṛdaya
In the language of Tibet: bcom ldan 'das ma shes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa'i snying po
In the English language: The Blessed Mother, the Heart of the Transcendent Perfection of Wisdom.

In a single segment.

Homage to the Bhagavatī Prajñāpāramitā!

Thus have I heard. At one time the Blessed One was dwelling in Rājgṛha at Vulture Peak mountain, together with a great community of monks and a great community of bodhisattvas.

At that time, the Blessed One entered an absorption on categories of phenomena called ‘perception of the profound’. At the same time, noble Avalokiteśvara, the bodhisattva and great being, beheld the practice of the the profound perfection of wisdom, and saw that the five aggregates are empty of nature. Then, through the Buddha's power, venerable Śāriputra said to noble Avalokiteśvara, the bodhisattva and great being: “How should a child of noble family who wishes to practise the profound perfection of wisdom train?”

This is what he said, and the noble Avalokiteśvara, the bodhisattva and great being, replied to venerable Śāriputra as follows: “O Śāriputra, a son of noble family or daughter of noble family who wishes to practise the profound perfection of wisdom should regard things in this way: they should see the five aggregates to be empty of nature. Form is empty; emptiness is form. Emptiness is not other than form; form is not other than emptiness. In the same way, sensation, recognition, conditioning factors, and consciousness are emptiness. Therefore, Śāriputra, all dharmas are emptiness; they are without characteristics; they are unarisen and unceasing; they are not tainted and not untainted; they are not deficient and not complete. Therefore, Śāriputra, in emptiness, there is no form, no sensation, no recognition, no conditioning factors, no consciousness; no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind; no visible form, no sound, no odour, no taste, no texture and no mental objects; there is no eye element up to no mind element and as far as no mental consciousness element; there is no ignorance, no extinction of ignorance up to no old age and death, no extinction of old age and death. Likewise, there is no suffering, no origin, no cessation and no path, no wisdom, no attainment, and no non-attainment. Therefore, Śāriputra, since bodhisattvas have no attainment, they rely on and abide by the perfection of wisdom. Since their minds are unobscured, they have no fear. They completely transcend error and reach the ultimate nirvāṇa. All the buddhas throughout the three times fully awaken to unsurpassed, genuine and complete enlightenment by means of the perfection of wisdom. Therefore, the mantra of the perfection of wisdom—the mantra of great insight, the unsurpassed mantra, the mantra that equals the unequalled, the mantra that pacifies all suffering—is not false and should thus be understood as true. The mantra of the perfection of wisdom is proclaimed as follows:

[oṃ] gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhisvāhā.

Śāriputra, a bodhisattva and great being should train in the profound perfection of wisdom in this way.”

Thereupon, the Blessed One arose from that absorption and commended Avalokiteśvara, the bodhisattva and great being: “Excellent, excellent indeed, O son of noble family, that is how it is. That is just how it is. One should practise the profound perfection of wisdom just as you have taught and then even the tathāgatas will rejoice.”

When the Blessed One had said this, venerable Śāriputra, and noble Avalokiteśvara, the bodhisattva and great being, together with the whole assembly and the world of gods, human beings, asuras and gandharvas rejoiced and praised the speech of the Blessed One.

Thus concludes the Mahāyāna Sūtra of the Blessed Mother, the Heart of the Transcendent Perfection of Wisdom.
(Translated by Adam Pearcey, 2019, Lotsawa House)


Bonus addition, from the Akshayamatinirdesha Sutra:

"If one asks what are the sutras of definitive meaning and what are the sutras of provisional meaning, those sutras which are taught in order that one might enter the path are called the provisional meaning, and those sutras which are taught in order that one might enter the result are called the definitive meaning. Those sutras which teach of self, sentient beings, life itself, creatures, individuals, personalities, personal selves, actors, subjects of sensation, explanations according to diverse terms, and of that which is not a possessor as a possessor, are called the provisional meaning. The sutras which teach of emptiness, of that which is signless, aspirationless, not manifestly conditioned, uncreated, unoriginated, insubstantial, without self, without sentient beings, without life itself, without individuals, without a possessor, and without any properties even as far as the approach to liberation, are called the definitive meaning. This text is said to rely on the sutras of definitive meaning, but not to rely on the sutras of provisional meaning."
"The Guru is the Buddha, the Guru is the Dharma,
The Guru is the Sangha too,
The Guru is Śrī Heruka.
The All-Creating King is the Guru."

-- The Secret Assembly Tantra

smcj
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Re: About a nihilistic adrift of Buddhadharma

Post by smcj » Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:42 pm

This text is said to rely on the sutras of definitive meaning, but not to rely on the sutras of provisional meaning."
Right.

So my point is that if someone presents a transcendent view like that they should either say it is just an abstract idea, or they should be able to back it up if they say it is their own view.
https://soundcloud.com/user-730689343/chenrezig-puja
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

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