Rather than revisiting once in a while, posting stuff for discussion, be an active participant in this thread you have started to help shape it. I think that we on moderation team can help keep in the thread in line with what you would like to see, and if a posting is out of line, then the "report" button/function can be used. But if you want a good, productive thread, it would help to put some ongoing energy into it.SDC wrote: I will revisit once and a while and post some more of his ideas for discussion.
Good enough, and I hope it goes well.SDC wrote:That statement was misleading. I will definitely be an active part of this.
Every once in a while when the discussion quiets I will post something new is what was meant by that.
moth wrote:Recently read the introduction to Notes on Dhamma. I enjoyed his pointing out of how the Buddha put aside the existential question rather than answering it. I spent a lot of time alone recently, delving quite deeply into my thoughts, trying to find definitive answers to certain questions--specifically about the nature of my self. Eventually I gave up. I believe the Buddha called this 'the thicket of views' and warned us simply to drop it. He clearly avoided the basic logical stances: true, false, true and false, neither true nor false. Instead he introduced a new position: it depends , and called it the middle way.
ancientbuddhism wrote:Ñāṇavira (Notes/CTP p. 8) is making a common mistake (see Ṭhanissaro’s NSS) of assuming the Buddha considered the question of ‘this world with its gods…’ views on ‘self and the world’ (= Upaniṣadic ātman) to be unanswerable. The Buddha did not set aside the issue of claims of self, including the Upaniṣadic ‘Self’, where instruction to the suitable audience was deemed necessary. He even mocked the notion of a universal self and what would belong to it as a ‘doctrine of fools’ (bāladhammo) in MN.22.
piotr wrote:But setting aside, or — as Ñāṇavīra puts it — “seeing that the questions [about attā] are not valid and that to ask them is to make the mistake of assuming that they are” is quite different from asserting the existence of attā. Don't you think?
pulga wrote:I think the real litmus test of Ñanavira's views are whether they hold up to our own experience. We can argue about their validity textually and historically until we're dead in our graves, but until we are willing to grapple with the ideas he has to offer we'll never be able to really appreciate his insights. And unfortunately he came to his views not only by his reading of the Suttas, but by exploring worlds of thought that few of us are willing to devote any time to.
SDC wrote:---> His work has been available for almost fifty years, and has long been considered by some to be controversial and against the traditional interpretation of the dhamma. This is not a secret, so it would not be considered a revelation to point this out by directly quoting such differences from the suttas or related commentaries. If there is something of his you don’t understand or happen to disagree with then by all means bring it to the table, but please try to show how it conflicts with your own personal understanding and experience of the dhamma rather than someone else’s.
ancientbuddhism wrote:I agree that Ñāṇavira’s personal matters, such as ariya attainment or his suicide should be left out. But to suggest that a discussion of The Work of Venerable Ñānavīra Thera be only filtered through ones personal understanding and experience of the dhamma, and exclusive of others who have written on these matters, leaves one rather in a vacuum when The Work of Ñāṇavira includes reference to canonical sources, secular philosophy and personal letters with ‘others’. In keeping with what the title of this thread implies, any relevant material connected with his views should be reasonably considered as ‘on topic’, including Bodhi’s essay mentioned above.
Also, with reference to Bodhi’s essay, this thread would be a good place to vet its veracity, something which has been long overdue.
daverupa wrote:I would be interested in engaging with anyone's bhāvana developments, corrections, and/or refinements as a result of contact with this material. Additionally, I wonder if much is known about the specifics of Ñānavīra's bhāvana? I believe he tended to prefer walking meditation.
ancientbuddhism wrote:My understanding and appreciation of Venerable Ñāṇavīra’s work is his analysis of Dhamma. And errors notwithstanding, what I gained from it, as with Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, was an interpretation of DO in present existence, that is, without the three lifetime theory. How he arrived at that has been controversial, as is common knowledge of his work, but in the last analysis, I think he was correct.
Upādānapaccayā bhavo; bhavapaccayā jāti; jātipaccayā jarāmaranam... With holding as condition, being; with being as condition, birth; with birth as condition, ageing-&-death...
The fundamental upādāna or 'holding' is attavāda (see Majjhima ii,1 <M.i,67>), which is holding a belief in 'self'. The puthujjana takes what appears to be his 'self' at its face value; and so long as this goes on he continues to be a 'self', at least in his own eyes (and in those of others like him). This is bhava or 'being'. The puthujjana knows that people are born and die; and since he thinks 'my self exists' so he also thinks 'my self was born' and 'my self will die'. The puthujjana sees a 'self' to whom the words birth and death apply.[d] In contrast to the puthujjana, the arahat has altogether got rid of asmimāna (not to speak of attavāda—see MAMA), and does not even think 'I am'. This is bhavanirodha, cessation of being. And since he does not think 'I am' he also does not think 'I was born' or 'I shall die'. In other words, he sees no 'self' or even 'I' for the words birth and death to apply to. This is jātinirodha and jarāmarananirodha. (See, in Kosala Samy. i,3 <S.i,71>, how the words birth and death are avoided when the arahat is spoken of.
Atthi nu kho bhante jātassa aññatra jarāmaranā ti. N'atthi kho mahārāja jātassa aññatra jarāmaranā. Ye pi te mahārāja khattiyamahāsālā... brāhmanamahāsālā... gahapatimahāsālā..., tesam pi jātānam n'atthi aññatra jarāmaranā. Ye pi te mahārāja bhikkhu arahanto khīnāsavā..., tesam pāyam kāyo bhedanadhammo nikkhepanadhammo ti.)
-- For one who is born, lord, is there anything other than ageing-&-death?—For one who is born, great king, there is nothing other than ageing-&-death. Those, great king, who are wealthy warriors... wealthy divines... wealthy householders...,—for them, too, being born, there is nothing other than ageing-&-death. Those monks, great king, who are worthy ones, destroyers of the cankers...,—for them, too, it is the nature of this body to break up, to be laid down.
The puthujjana, taking his apparent 'self' at face value, does not see that he is a victim of upādāna; he does not see that 'being a self' depends upon 'holding a belief in self' (upādānapaccayā bhavo); and he does not see that birth and death depend upon his 'being a self' (bhavapaccayā jāti, and so on). The ariyasāvaka, on the other hand, does see these things, and he sees also their cessation (even though he may not yet have fully realized it); and his seeing of these things is direct. Quite clearly, the idea of re-birth is totally irrelevant here.
SDC wrote:Lets start there then. ...
Of all the times I have gone over this in my head I think this is the clearest I have have seen it and the best I have explained it. Although I am sure it could be explained far better. Please let me know what you all think.
"Only in a vertical view, straight down into the abyss of his own personal existence, is a man capable of apprehending the perilous insecurity of his situation; and only a man who does apprehend this is prepared to listen to the Buddha's Teaching." - Ñānavīra Thera
SDC wrote:Of all the times I have gone over this in my head I think this is the clearest I have have seen it and the best I have explained it. Although I am sure it could be explained far better. Please let me know what you all think.
ancientbuddhism wrote: If anyone knows more on Ñāṇavira’s contemplative practice or advice, this may be helpful to understand his interpretations.
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