I'm really trying your POV, but I'm just not getting it.Aemilius wrote:Please consider the koan: " A woman split her soul, which one is the real one?" You could apply this same question to Venerable Shuan Hua's story about multiple mosquitoes: Which one of the mosquitoes is the real You?Yudron wrote:
So, you are calling one's karmic trajectory "Atman, [soul]"?
If I were to accept this POV of your tradition, the Chinese Dharma teacher above goes one to say that one's atman can be split into numerous atmans. Do you concur with him on this as well? I have never read this in the sutrayana.
Do You see the point?
There is a Rddhi or magic power of multiplying one's body (or one's self), it exists in the Mahayana and in the Sravakayana too, it is explained in Buddhaghosha's Path of Purification. There are other Rddhis like transforming oneself into water and fire etc,.. Are we now quilty of the atman view because of these Rddhis in the sutras? Rddhis in the Mahayana are explained in Har Dayal's Boddhisattva Doctrine in Buddhist Sanskrit Literature, it is interesting reading.
It is a negative tendency to latch onto one greatly dreaded word Atman/soul or self. This word acts like trigger for immature behaviour, and I don't call one's karmic trajectory "Atman". We can express the same thing by saying that one identifies with the earlier moments in one's karmic continuum, one feels that "they are my past", or "my present existence is produced by the earlier moments in a consciousness series (citta-santana)", and in a common parlance: "I was this and that in a previous life". Buddha himself uses this last mode of expression. Is He also quilty of the atman view?
The concept of mere I or nominal self doesn't exist in the sutras, but the Buddha speaks in the mode of mere I or nominal self for example when He is telling about His past ascetic practices, his youth, about his self and his life in general. Buddha isn't afraid of this much dreaded word.
There is a sutrayana teaching of creating multiple manifestations of oneself on the bodhisattva bhumis.
If one enters the Bodhisattva bhumis, there are many emanations for the benefit of beings--that is the point of Mahayana practice. I have never heard of ordinary beings sentient beings having multiple rebirths concurrently. It doesn't sound like you have heard and scriptural evidence for this either.
I honestly don't know--when the Buddha talked about his past deeds, did he refer to himself as Atman? That would be different than my understanding of the word. It sounds like you are using atman to describe this nominal self, and you view this nominal self also as being well described by the English word "soul." Am I understanding you correctly?