Malcolm wrote: ↑
Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:59 pm
Coëmgenu wrote: ↑
Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:14 am
krodha wrote: ↑
Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:01 am
And Candrakīrti isn't suggesting one break down the chariot, rather he is challenging you to locate the chariot in general.
By having us look at the suggested chariot at the level of its constituents rather than at the level of the suggested compounded object.
Quite literally deconstructing the suggestion.
The question is, where is the chariot?
That may be how Ven Candrakīrti frames it, but, in the Nāgasenabhikṣusūtra, Nāgasenabhikṣu inquires how Milindarāja came be where it is. By chariot, is the responce.
Nāgasenabhikṣu asks: And what is that?
He gives Milindarāja a list of proposals only somewhat similar to Ven Candrakīrti's seven propositions outlined earlier, similar mostly only because there are seven:
1. The chariot is the axle.
2. The chariot is the wheels.
3-5. The chariot is the chassis/reins/yoke.
6. The chariot is the sum of its parts.
7. The chariot is other than its parts.
All of these are negated. Milindarāja proposes that "it is because it has all these parts that it comes under the term chariot
" (from the Pāli parallel trans. Bhikkhu Bodhi)
and Nāgasenabhikṣu commends Milindarāja, saying that he is correct.
He is not, however, quite correct, but perhaps it is understandable that Nāgasenabhikṣu would say "correct", given that Nāgasenabhikṣu is giving a simple introductory lesson to a non-Buddhist. Nāgasenabhikṣu goes on to clarify that the dialogue is like when *Śailabhikṣuṇī (Shíshì the mendicant, 石室比丘, *Selābhikkhunī after Marcus Bingenheimer, Vajirābhikkhunī in the Pāli parallel)
speaks to the evil one Māra:
「眾魔生邪見， 謂有眾生想，假空以聚會， 都無有眾生。 譬如因眾緣， 和合有車用， 陰界入亦爾， [...] 」
"You Māra live with demonic view, speaking of the existence of all sentient beings and believing it, the conventional is empty as well as compounded, ultimately there are no sentient beings. It is like how causes and myriad conditions, fuse and there is "chariot-function" (車用)***, the five skandhāḥ the eighteen dhātavaḥ and the twelve āyatanāni are also thus so like this[...]"
***alternatively, Marcus Bingenheimer renders this as "causes and various conditions converge and yield the use of a ‘chariot’"
(Shorter Saṃyuktāgama 別譯雜阿含經 T100 Scroll 12 454c24)
In the Pāli parallel, Vajirābhikkhunī is more direct about the non-existence of the "parts" that the chariot/self is broken down into: "Suddhasaṅkhārapuñjoyaṃ, nayidha sattupalabbhati. [...] Dukkhameva hi sambhoti, dukkhaṃ tiṭṭhati veti ca; nāññatra dukkhā sambhoti, nāññaṃ dukkhā nirujjhatī”ti." ("This is a mere pile of conditions, you wont find a sentient being here. [... it is] only suffering that comes to be, lasts a while, then disappears, naught but suffering comes to be, naught but suffering ceases.", Translation Ven Sujato. Jayarava's Raves has suddhasaṅkhārapuñjoyaṃ rendered as "a mere heap of fabrication.")
As I see it: "where is the chariot" is an instruction to "define the location
of the chariot", and "what is the chariot" is a more general instruction, as in, "define
Before I end this post it should be also clarified that the āgama above is Sarvāstivāda śrāvaka literature. Furthermore, the aforementioned Nāgasenabhikṣusūtra is also śrāvaka literature, preserved in two recenions: Sarvāstivāda & Theravāda.
This śrāvaka literature is interesting and compelling Buddhavacana in its right, but is generally neyartha from the POV of the Mahāyāna.
@Malcolm, @krodha, or anyone else, if you are so inclined, for the sake of a shared inquiry into this simile, shared as it is by the śrāvakāḥ & the bodhisattvāḥ with differing interpretations and presentations, how does Ven Candrakirtī build on these earlier accounts of the chariot simile? How does the framing of the question on terms of "where
is X" (regardless of if 'X' is a chariot, the self, or the 'scent of a flower')
instead of "what is X" change the question & the answer?