The citta as a permanent self?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

The citta as a permanent self?

Postby Jon. S » Tue Nov 26, 2013 6:58 am

As I understand it, Luangta Maha Boowa teaches that the citta or heart/mind is the only thing that moves from life to life. But is this not contradicting to the teaching of anatta that includes the mind?

I'm a little confused with this point, if someone could clarify I would be very grateful. :namaste:
I was born naked.
My beloved parents
kindly gave me a name.
When I reached twenty
I thought "a name is a chain,
I want to abandon it".
Whoever I questioned
No one answers me.
When I hear the wind in the pines
I get an answer.
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby cooran » Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:16 am

Hello Jon,

This might be of interest:

Can't make sense of rebirth and no self
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=8079

With metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby manas » Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:57 am

Jon. S wrote:As I understand it, Luangta Maha Boowa teaches that the citta or heart/mind is the only thing that moves from life to life. But is this not contradicting to the teaching of anatta that includes the mind?

I'm a little confused with this point, if someone could clarify I would be very grateful. :namaste:


Hi Jon,

here's an excerpt from a short sutta on this topic:

"It would be better for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to hold to the body composed of the four great elements, rather than the mind, as the self. Why is that? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey, swinging through a forest wilderness, grabs a branch. Letting go of it, it grabs another branch. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. In the same way, what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


I'm not sure, but I think that this passage is implying that, the mind actually changes at a much faster rate than the body, it "by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another", and as such is not fitting to be regarded as 'me' or as 'mine'.

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Primum non nocere: "first, do no harm."
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby SarathW » Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:59 am

Hi Jon.s

This is a dificult subject and not possible to answer in few sentenses.
Please read the attahed book from Chapter 15 and meditate and you will get the answer.
:meditate:


http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/buddh ... gsurw6.pdf
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby Hage » Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:10 am

I remember that on his book "Samana", he says that citta, fire, water and the another elements don't die. Earth just come back to earth, water just come back to water, "citta just come back to citta". So, I think this must be considered. It seems that he is saying that when we attain Parinibbana, the difference is that the 5 aggregates and the elements don't come together anymore. But this doesn't mean that we "come back to the ocean of citta". Just "citta come back to citta".

The Buddha said that if we attain the cessation of neither perception nor non-perception, we understand that neither the Consciousness (sometimes called viññana, sometimes called citta - see Sn 47,42) is a Self, because it ceases even so the body and the contact in the first Jhana. I think Ajahn Maha Boowa talks of this as "avijja-citta".

Sn 47, 42: "From the origination of name-&-form is the origination of the mind. From the cessation of name-&-form is the cessation of the mind."

I remember that Ajahn Brahm said that the word "mind" in this case come from "citta", not "viññana". So, citta is a thing that also arise and cease.

But when Ajahn Maha Boowa say that we destroy "avijja-citta" to attain "purê-citta", I don't think that he is saying that there is a Self there. Ajahn Brahm says that when you "come back" of cessation of neither perception nor non-perception, when the mind come back to function, when consciouness come back to function, then you become Arahant or Anagami. Why some people become Anagami? Because besides they understood that citta is not a Self, they exit of this Arupa-jhana and think "I realized Nibbana".

I was searching for the Pañcattaya Sutta (Mn 102) on accesstoinsight, but I didn't find it. I read this sutta in Portuguese (I'm from Brazil) and there Buddha says that a monk go through the Jhanas perceiving the conditioned in all them. When he attains cessation and exits of it saying "I'm at Peace, I realized Nibbana". Buddha says that this monk really teaches the way to Nibbana, but he is still attached to a Self. Besides he understoodd that Body, Sensation, Perception, Thoughts and Consciouness (Citta) are formations, impermanent that we must detach, he still is attached to the formation fo a Self, he still is attached to Presumption.

So, Citta is not Self. As Ajahn Chah Always said, in Nibbana all is gone: there is no body, no sensation, noperception, no dhamma and neither citta! This is the cessation of the fourth arupa-jhana. When Maha Boowa says "the citta doesn't die", I don't think he is defending A permanente self, I think he is saying that the citta that doesn’t have the cause (Tanha and Avijja) to mix with other elements and aggregates, just come back to your “original nature” just as the water just come back to water. He says “water doesn’t die”, but it doesn’t mean that water is a Self. Sometimes he seems to do a difference between viññana and citta that is really confusing, but pag 100 of his book “The path to Arahantship”, he says “the term ‘genuine citta’ refers only to the absolute purity, the sa-upadisesa-nibbana of the Arahant”. So, this “genuine citta” is not a Self, it is genuine because it perceived that body is a thing, water is a thing, perception is a thing, citta itself is a thing and all of them are impermanent when they come together. But when they come back to their original nature, it is just as it is. Because of it that Mahayana Sutta says that there is no death. Death occurs just when the aggregates are together, but when they are separated, on their “simple nature”, there is no need of change. Besides of it, he says that genuine citta refers ONLY to the sa-upadisesa-nibbana, and what is it? Nibbana with remaining – Nibbana of an alive Arahant, not the Parinibbana. Why is it? Because in Parinibbana there is no aggregate neither elements. They just separated and will neve come together again. But it doesn’t mean that you are a Citta that will go to a place and will never have to come together to the aggregates again. Citta just come back to citta as fire just come back to fire. Just this is what I understand. What do you think?
If you really see uncertainty clearly, you will see that which is certain. The certainty is that things must inevitably be uncertain and that they cannot be otherwise. [...] If you know that all things are impermanent, all your thinking will gradually unwind and you won’t need to think too much. Whenever anything arises, all you need to say is "Oh, another one!" Just that! - Ajahn Chah
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby santa100 » Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:37 pm

It probably meant the kammic stream that carries wholesome/unwholesome kamma from one life to the next. It's like a river that keeps flowing from one point to the next. But it's not a static fixed entity but always undergoing change, like the saying: "you could not step into the same river twice"..
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby SarathW » Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:07 am

What Santa said is explain in Abhidhamma as follows:

21. Anantara and Samanantara—In meaning there is
no difference between the two terms. They differ
only in etymology. According to Buddhist philosophy
one thought-moment perishes immediately giving
birth to another. The succeeding thought-moment
inherits all the potentialities of its immediate predecessor.
The perishing preceding states causally relate
themselves to immediately following states by way of
contiguity and immediacy.

Page 419

http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/abhidhamma.pdf
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby Benjamin » Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:43 am

Relevant Ajahn Maha Bua quotes (emphasis mine):

'Being intrinsically bright and clear, the citta is always ready to make contact with everything of every nature. Although all conditioned phenomena without exception are governed by the three universal laws of anicca, dukkha, and anattã, the citta’s true nature is not subject to these laws. The citta is conditioned by anicca, dukkha, and anattã only because things that are subject to these laws come spinning in to become involved with the citta and so cause it to spin along with them. However, though it spins in unison with conditioned phenomena, the citta never disintegrates or falls apart. It spins following the influence of those forces which have the power to make it spin, but the true power of the citta’s own nature is that it knows and does not die. This deathlessness is a quality that lies beyond disintegration. Being beyond disintegration, it also lies beyond the range of anicca, dukkha, and anattã and the universal laws of nature.'

(from "A Compilation of Venerable Acariya Maha Boowa’s Dhamma Talks about His Path of Practice", translated by Bhikkhu Silaratano)


‘Our real problem, our one fundamental problem—which is also the citta’s fundamental problem—is that we lack the power needed to be our own true self. Instead, we have always taken counterfeit things to be the essence of who we really are, so that the citta’s behavior is never in harmony with its true nature. Rather, it expresses itself through the kilesas’ cunning deceits, which cause it to feel anxious and frightened of virtually everything ... As a result, the citta is forever full of worries and fears. And although fear and worry are not intrinsic to the citta, they still manage to produce apprehension there. When the citta has been cleansed so that it is absolutely pure and free of all involvement, only then will we see a citta devoid of all fear. Then, neither fear nor courage appear, only the citta’s true nature, existing naturally alone on its own, forever independent of time and space. Only that appears—nothing else. This is the genuine citta.’

(from "A Compilation of Venerable Acariya Maha Boowa’s Dhamma Talks about His Path of Practice", translated by Bhikkhu Silaratano)


I think it's worth mentioning that these statements are the Venerable's own, and not the Buddha's. From my reading of them I cannot help but think that Ven. Maha Bua had a different understanding of buddhadhamma than is mentioned within the Pali Canon, but was nevertheless a very accomplished practitioner. And frankly, that's okay that things don't line up perfectly — if you find his teachings helpful, put them to practice and look at the results. If it's not your cup of tea, no problem. There are a bunch of Ajahn's out there with less "eternalist" sounding teachings that may appeal to you more.

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"Signatures can be very misleading."
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:00 am

As I noted on another thread: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 000#p12486

Ajahn Maha Boowa does recognise that his approach and language are non-standard. At the conclusion of "Kammatthana, the path of practice" he states:
This Dhamma has been discussed partly in accordance with theory, Pariyatti, and partly in accordance with the views of Forest Dhamma. Some are probably correct, and some incorrect. This is because it has been discussed out of the understanding of Forest Dhamma that has been experienced from practice. The writer asks forgiveness from all readers, and is alway ready to listen to any logical criticism.


:anjali:
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby Mkoll » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:18 am

Here is a possible explanation of why Ven. Bua said those things. Please note this is my own speculation and therefore not to be trusted.

Looking at the way he describes the citta, one can see that the same descriptors apply to Nibbana, e.g. deathlessness and not subject to the rules of existence: anicca/dukkha/anatta. Surely he would have known that the descriptors he was using to talk about the citta were the same as those used to describe Nibbana in the Canon; his biography states that he passed the third level of Pali studies which I imagine must entail a thorough knowledge of the canon.

If he is indeed a Noble One and is speaking from personal experience, then I can only conclude that he is using the word citta as a synonym for Nibbana. Why he would use the word citta in this way could only be known by him but the venerable one has since passed on so we will never know.

Here is Appendix 1 from Ven. Bua's biography on Ajahn Mun, Acariya Mun: A Spiritual Biography, formatted by myself for readability. Good food for thought.

After his biography of Ācariya Mun first appeared, Ācariya Mahā Boowa received many inquiries and much skepticism concerning certain aspects of Ācariya Mun’s life and practice. Most notably, he encountered criticism that, in principle, some episodes appear to contradict specific long-held views about the mind’s pure essence and the existential nature of the fully-enlightened Arahant. Ācariya Mahā Boowa was quick to point out that the truth of Ācariya Mun’s profound and mysterious inner knowledge lies beyond the average person’s ability to grasp with the intellect or define in a theory. In this context, he included those students of the Pāli scriptures who, believing that the written texts comprise the sum total of all aspects of Dhamma, assert that scriptural doctrine and convention are the only legitimate criteria for authenticating all of the countless experiences known to Buddhist practitioners over the ages. In order to address this issue, Ācariya Mahā Boowa included an addendum to subsequent editions of the biography. The following is a summary of his remarks:

Ācariya Mun often told his disciples how he daily experienced such an incredible variety of Dhamma within his heart that it would be impossible to enumerate all of the things that were revealed to him. He was constantly aware of things that he could never have imagined to exist. The extent of his own experiences left him in no doubt that the aspects of Dhamma that the Lord Buddha and his Arahant disciples witnessed from the moment they attained full enlightenment until the day they passed away were simply incalculable. Obviously, they must have been numerous beyond reckoning.

Ācariya Mun stated that the Dhamma inscribed in the Pāli Canon is analogous to the amount of water in a small jar; whereas the Dhamma that is not elucidated in the scriptures is comparable to the immense volume of water contained in all the great oceans. He felt it was a shame that no one thought to formally transcribe the Buddha’s teachings until many hundreds of years after his death, and the deaths of his fully-accomplished disciples. For the most part, the nature and emphasis of the Dhamma that was eventually written down was dictated by the particular attitudes and opinions of those individuals who compiled the texts. For this reason, it remains uncertain to what extent the compilations that have been passed down to us are always an entirely accurate reflection of what the Buddha actually taught.

Ācariya Mun frequently declared to his disciples: “Personally, I feel that the Dhamma which issued directly from the Buddha’s own lips, and thus emanated from his pure heart, must have been absolutely amazing because it possessed an extraordinary power to inspire large numbers of his audience to realize the paths and fruits of his teaching with apparent ease. Such genuine, living Dhamma, whether spoken by the Buddha or by one of his Arahant disciples, had the power to transform those who listened, allowing them to clearly understand his profoundest meaning in a way that went straight to the heart. As for the Tipiṭaka, we study and memorize its contents all the time. But has anyone attained Nibbāna while learning the texts, or while listening to recitations of the suttas? By saying this, I do not mean to imply that the scriptures are without benefit. But, when compared with the Dhamma that issued directly from the Buddha’s lips, it is obvious to me which had the greater value, and the greater impact.

“Consider my words carefully, those of you who believe that I am advocating some false, ignoble truth. I myself wholeheartedly believe that Dhamma coming from the Buddha’s own lips is Dhamma that forcibly uproots every type of kilesa from the hearts of his listeners – then and there on the spot, and to their total satisfaction. This is the same Dhamma that the Lord Buddha used so effectively to root out the kilesas of living beings everywhere. It was an exceptionally powerful teaching that reverberated throughout the three worlds of existence. So, I have no intention of encouraging the Buddhist faithful to become opinionated bookworms vainly chewing at pages of scripture simply because they insist on holding tenaciously to the Dhamma they have learned by rote, and thus cannot be bothered to investigate the supreme Noble Truths that are an integral part of their very own being. I fear that they will mistakenly appropriate the great wealth of the Lord Buddha as their own personal property, believing that, because they have learned his Dhamma teaching, they are therefore sufficiently wise; even though the kilesas that are piled as high as a mountain and filling their hearts have not diminished in the least.

“You should develop mindfulness to safeguard yourselves. Don’t be useless scholars learning to no good purpose and so dying in vain because you possess no Dhamma that is truly your own to take with you. It is not my intention to in any way disparage the Dhamma teachings of the Lord Buddha. By its very nature, Dhamma is always Dhamma, whether it be the Dhamma existing within the heart or external aspects of Dhamma like the Pāli scriptures. Still, the Dhamma that the Buddha delivered directly from his heart enabled large numbers of those present to attain enlightenment every time he spoke. Now contrast that living Dhamma with the Dhamma teachings transcribed in the Pāli scriptures. We can be certain that the Dhamma in the Lord Buddha’s heart was absolutely pure. But, since the Buddha’s teachings were written down only long after he and his Arahant disciples passed into total Nibbāna, who knows, it may well be that some of the transcribers’ own concepts and theories became assimilated into the texts as well, reducing the value and sacredness of those particular aspects accordingly.”

Such was the essence of Ācariya Mun’s discourse. As to the criticism that the Pāli Canon contains no evidence to support Ācariya Mun’s assertion that deceased Arahants came to discuss Dhamma with him and demonstrate their manner of attaining total Nibbāna: If we accept that the Tipiṭaka does not hold a complete monopoly on Dhamma, then surely those who practice the Buddha’s teaching correctly are entitled to know for themselves all those aspects of Dhamma that fall within the range of their own natural abilities, regardless of whether they are mentioned in the scriptures or not. Consider the Lord Buddha and his Arahant disciples, for instance. They knew and thoroughly understood Dhamma long before the Pāli Canon appeared. If these Noble individuals are truly the genuine refuge that the world believes them to be, it is clear that they achieved that exalted status at a time when there were no scriptures to define the parameters of Dhamma. On the other hand, should their achievements thereby be deemed false, then the whole body of the Pāli Canon must perforce be false as well. So please decide for yourselves whether you prefer to take the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha as your heartfelt refuge, or whether you want to take refuge in what you chance to read and what you imagine to be true. But those who choose to be indiscriminate in what they eat should beware lest a bone get stuck in their throat...


Regardless of all this, I myself try not to cling to any words, as per the Kalama Sutta (from accesstoinsight):

Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them.
When this is, that is.
From the arising of this comes the arising of that.
When this isn't, that isn't.
From the cessation of this comes the cessation of that.
-SN 12.61

Ex nihilo nihil fit.

Peace,
James
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby kirk5a » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:54 am

183. To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.

5. Sabbapāpassa akaraṇaṃ kusalassa upasampadā183
Sacittapariyodapanaṃ etaṃ buddhāna sāsanaṃ.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .budd.html
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby Benjamin » Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:02 am

kirk5a wrote:
183. To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.

5. Sabbapāpassa akaraṇaṃ kusalassa upasampadā183
Sacittapariyodapanaṃ etaṃ buddhāna sāsanaṃ.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .budd.html


Absolutely true, and I don't think anyone here would disagree. But nowhere in there is it written: "the citta’s true nature, existing naturally alone on its own, forever independent of time and space".

Mkoll, your guess is as good as mine & not a bad one by any means. I could see how Maha Bua would use it as a synonym for Nibbana, due to Citta being a much less "otherworldly" term — maybe to inspire the individual to practice perhaps? That being said I still think the possible confusions of using Citta as a synonym for Nibbana far outweigh the benefits, especially when the canonical meaning is so different.

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"Signatures can be very misleading."
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby suriyopama » Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:40 am

Mkoll, I also share your opinion about Maha Bua using Citta referring to Nibbana.
Correct me if I am wrong, but, isn’t Nibbana a state already existing inside every one of us? I mean: it is not something that we have to go to reach outside. Therefore, whatever Nibbana is, it is revealed at the Citta.

In other words: if Nibbana is the coolness resulting from the quenching of defilements, and the defilements are on the mind, Nibbana would appear on the mind clean of defilements.
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby kirk5a » Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:35 am

Benjamin wrote:Absolutely true, and I don't think anyone here would disagree. But nowhere in there is it written: "the citta’s true nature, existing naturally alone on its own, forever independent of time and space".

Does this say something very different?
This is deathless: the liberation of the mind through lack of clinging/sustenance.'

etaṃ amataṃ yadidaṃ anupādā cittassa vimokkho.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby dagon » Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:52 am

suriyopama wrote:Mkoll, I also share your opinion about Maha Bua using Citta referring to Nibbana.
Correct me if I am wrong, but, isn’t Nibbana a state already existing inside every one of us? I mean: it is not something that we have to go to reach outside. Therefore, whatever Nibbana is, it is revealed at the Citta.

In other words: if Nibbana is the coolness resulting from the quenching of defilements, and the defilements are on the mind, Nibbana would appear on the mind clean of defilements.


This is consistent with my impression from reading some of the material - but also from discussions with some one who was fortunate enough to attend dhamma talks given by Maha Bua in Isaan language.

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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby Jon. S » Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:06 am

Benjamin wrote:Relevant Ajahn Maha Bua quotes (emphasis mine):

'Being intrinsically bright and clear, the citta is always ready to make contact with everything of every nature. Although all conditioned phenomena without exception are governed by the three universal laws of anicca, dukkha, and anattã, the citta’s true nature is not subject to these laws. The citta is conditioned by anicca, dukkha, and anattã only because things that are subject to these laws come spinning in to become involved with the citta and so cause it to spin along with them. However, though it spins in unison with conditioned phenomena, the citta never disintegrates or falls apart. It spins following the influence of those forces which have the power to make it spin, but the true power of the citta’s own nature is that it knows and does not die. This deathlessness is a quality that lies beyond disintegration. Being beyond disintegration, it also lies beyond the range of anicca, dukkha, and anattã and the universal laws of nature.'

(from "A Compilation of Venerable Acariya Maha Boowa’s Dhamma Talks about His Path of Practice", translated by Bhikkhu Silaratano)


‘Our real problem, our one fundamental problem—which is also the citta’s fundamental problem—is that we lack the power needed to be our own true self. Instead, we have always taken counterfeit things to be the essence of who we really are, so that the citta’s behavior is never in harmony with its true nature. Rather, it expresses itself through the kilesas’ cunning deceits, which cause it to feel anxious and frightened of virtually everything ... As a result, the citta is forever full of worries and fears. And although fear and worry are not intrinsic to the citta, they still manage to produce apprehension there. When the citta has been cleansed so that it is absolutely pure and free of all involvement, only then will we see a citta devoid of all fear. Then, neither fear nor courage appear, only the citta’s true nature, existing naturally alone on its own, forever independent of time and space. Only that appears—nothing else. This is the genuine citta.’

(from "A Compilation of Venerable Acariya Maha Boowa’s Dhamma Talks about His Path of Practice", translated by Bhikkhu Silaratano)


I think it's worth mentioning that these statements are the Venerable's own, and not the Buddha's. From my reading of them I cannot help but think that Ven. Maha Bua had a different understanding of buddhadhamma than is mentioned within the Pali Canon, but was nevertheless a very accomplished practitioner. And frankly, that's okay that things don't line up perfectly — if you find his teachings helpful, put them to practice and look at the results. If it's not your cup of tea, no problem. There are a bunch of Ajahn's out there with less "eternalist" sounding teachings that may appeal to you more.

:anjali:

Yes, I believe these were the quotes that I read from one of his books. So then.. could citta be used to describe the "true self", or original mind? It makes sense to think it is synonymous with nibbana, but I don't think nibbana is synonymous with the mind, or true self, unless I am mistaken.

And of course one takes into consideration that true self is ultimately referring to not-self, correct?
I was born naked.
My beloved parents
kindly gave me a name.
When I reached twenty
I thought "a name is a chain,
I want to abandon it".
Whoever I questioned
No one answers me.
When I hear the wind in the pines
I get an answer.
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby suriyopama » Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:05 am

I understand that if there is a sense of self, then there is grasping. If there is grasping, there is no Nibbanna. Therefore, it makes not sense to say that Nibbana is self.

Only the Dhammakaya cult says that there is a self waiting for you out there. But that is just a perversion to sell their “Nirvana for Money” business. From their capitalist view, if there is no-self at the end of the road, who will get the benefits of all that merits? They need their devotees to believe that their "self" will enjoy the fruits of their merits in a heavenly after-life, otherwise they would not offer all their money to the Dhammakaya temple.
Last edited by suriyopama on Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby Mkoll » Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:24 am

Jon. S wrote: So then.. could citta be used to describe the "true self", or original mind? It makes sense to think it is synonymous with nibbana, but I don't think nibbana is synonymous with the mind, or true self, unless I am mistaken.

I would agree with you and go even further: nibbana is not synonymous with anything because it is to be experienced. For example, how would one describe the taste of an orange? It's simply impossible to do without comparing it to other tastes. Regardless, no amount of description can tell you what the "taste" of an orange is until you go out and taste it. Likewise with Nibbana.

Jon. S wrote:And of course one takes into consideration that true self is ultimately referring to not-self, correct?

If Ven. Bua is indeed one who has personally tasted Nibbana, then I can only come to the conclusion that he uses words like "true self" and "citta" as synonyms for Nibbana which is experienced and therefore descriptions can only go so far.
When this is, that is.
From the arising of this comes the arising of that.
When this isn't, that isn't.
From the cessation of this comes the cessation of that.
-SN 12.61

Ex nihilo nihil fit.

Peace,
James
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby Zom » Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:28 am

Ven. Maha Bua is wrong. While the Blessed One said that citta is impermanent, he says that it is permanent. While the Blessed One said that citta breaks apart, he says that it can't break apart. This is just a mistake based on conceit and wrong views.
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby Mr Man » Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:32 pm

Zom wrote:Ven. Maha Bua is wrong. While the Blessed One said that citta is impermanent, he says that it is permanent. While the Blessed One said that citta breaks apart, he says that it can't break apart. This is just a mistake based on conceit and wrong views.


Is it a question of right or wrong? Was the Buddha's teaching metaphysical or was it just convention?
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