The citta as a permanent self?

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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby Benjamin » Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:17 pm

kirk5a wrote:
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


In my reading of it, absolutely! "The liberation of the mind through lack of clinging" points to the four noble truths and cause/cure of suffering. "This is the deathless:" could just as easily be written out as "This is Nibbana:". It is not a way of singling out the citta as an independent thing that can exist on its own. It is just describing the way to Nibbana.

I would ask, how does Maha Bua's description:

the citta’s true nature, existing naturally alone on its own, forever independent of time and space"


differ from the Upanishadic idea of the Atman?

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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby boris » Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:39 pm

Benjamin wrote: .... "This is the deathless:" could just as easily be written out as "This is Nibbana:". It is not a way of singling out the citta as an independent thing that can exist on its own. It is just describing the way to Nibbana.

I would ask, how does Maha Bua's description:

the citta’s true nature, existing naturally alone on its own, forever independent of time and space"


differ from the Upanishadic idea of the Atman?

:anjali:


But according to you, how nibbana, asankhata element, which has no beginning, end and do not change, differ from the Upanishadic idea of the Atman?
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby kirk5a » Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:45 pm

Benjamin wrote:I would ask, how does Maha Bua's description:

the citta’s true nature, existing naturally alone on its own, forever independent of time and space"


differ from the Upanishadic idea of the Atman?

Can you provide a passage from the Upanishads to look at?
"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 7:33 pm

kirk5a wrote:
Benjamin wrote:I would ask, how does Maha Bua's description:

the citta’s true nature, existing naturally alone on its own, forever independent of time and space"


differ from the Upanishadic idea of the Atman?

Can you provide a passage from the Upanishads to look at?


Though much more developed in the later Upanishads, an earlier one like Bṛhadāraṇyaka does mention the self being Brahman (ayam ātmā brahma, or aham brahmāsmi for "I am brahman"), and state it as both transcendent and eternal. The Upanishads are much more complex than any one text within them, and contain many interpretations as I'm sure your well aware of, but Ven. Maha Bua is not outside the boundaries of some of these.

boris wrote:But according to you, how nibbana, asankhata element, which has no beginning, end and do not change, differ from the Upanishadic idea of the Atman?


Well the Upanishadic view of atman is that the nature of atman and Brahman are one, so if you want my comparison of Upanishadic Brahman with Nibbana, then sure. Brahman being the totality of existence, it is seen to manifest as all forms (including the individual selves). Thus, there is no real duality because all is Brahman and always has been. Now this is hardly my view of Nibbana, which I view less as a metaphysical state or place but more of a metaphor for how freedom is to be found in letting go.

Boris, if you don't mind me asking what is your understanding of Nibbana?
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby boris » Thu Nov 28, 2013 12:23 am

A
Benjamin wrote:Boris, if you don't mind me asking what is your understanding of Nibbana?


In my understanding there "is" something which is eternal, something which does not change with time. It is not perceivable, because it is what makes perception possible. It is beyond being and not being. Self, our daily self :) or just we as we are, receive from it perception of permanence, about what you no doubt know, it is a normal puthujjana experience. So in order to realize asankhata element, it is enough to stop projecting permanence into impermanent things by means of self-identifications.
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby Benjamin » Thu Nov 28, 2013 3:27 am

boris wrote:A
Benjamin wrote:Boris, if you don't mind me asking what is your understanding of Nibbana?


In my understanding there "is" something which is eternal, something which does not change with time. It is not perceivable, because it is what makes perception possible. It is beyond being and not being. Self, our daily self :) or just we as we are, receive from it perception of permanence, about what you no doubt know, it is a normal puthujjana experience. So in order to realize asankhata element, it is enough to stop projecting permanence into impermanent things by means of self-identifications.


Interesting, thanks for sharing! :anjali:
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby boris » Thu Nov 28, 2013 12:17 pm

boris wrote:In my understanding there "is" something which is eternal, It is beyond being and not being.
Do notice my verbal contradiction: about what I said that IS, I can't say that is beyond being and nod being :smile: [is = being]. The only safe way is to talk about asankhata in negative terms, as cessation of bhava, or cessation of ignorance and so on ... But:

Bhikkhus, there are these two views: the view of being and the view of non-being. Any recluses or brahmins who rely on the view of being, adopt the view of being, accept the view of being, are opposed to the view of non-being. Any recluses or brahmins who rely on the view of non-being, adopt the view of non-being, accept the view of non-being, are opposed to the view of being.

“Any recluses or brahmins who do not understand as they actually are the origin, the disappearance, the gratification, the danger, and the escape in the case of these two views are affected by lust, affected by hate, affected by delusion, affected by craving, affected by clinging, without vision, given to favouring and opposing, and they delight in and enjoy proliferation. They are not freed from birth, ageing, and death; from sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair; they are not freed from suffering, I say.
http://suttacentral.net/mn11/en/

"Just as a flame blown by the wind's force,
Upaslva," said the Blessed One,
"Goes out, and designation applies to it no more,
So too the Silent Sage, being freed from the name-body,
Goes out, and designation applies to him no more."
"Then when he has thus gone out, does he exist no more?
Or is he made immortal for eternity?
So may it please the Sage to make this plain to me,
Because it is a state that he has understood."
"There is no measuring of one who has gone out,
Upaslva,' said the Blessed One,
"And nothing of him whereby one could say aught of him;
For when all ideas have been abolished,
All ways of saying, too, have been abolished."
Sn. 5:7

Do notice that language with it logic, is the proper tool only in the case, where consciousness depends on namarupa. But nibbana is exactly cessation of this dependence ...
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby Benjamin » Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:28 pm

boris wrote:
boris wrote:In my understanding there "is" something which is eternal, It is beyond being and not being.
Do notice my verbal contradiction: about what I said that IS, I can't say that is beyond being and nod being :smile: [is = being]. The only safe way is to talk about asankhata in negative terms, as cessation of bhava, or cessation of ignorance and so on ... But:

Bhikkhus, there are these two views: the view of being and the view of non-being. Any recluses or brahmins who rely on the view of being, adopt the view of being, accept the view of being, are opposed to the view of non-being. Any recluses or brahmins who rely on the view of non-being, adopt the view of non-being, accept the view of non-being, are opposed to the view of being.

“Any recluses or brahmins who do not understand as they actually are the origin, the disappearance, the gratification, the danger, and the escape in the case of these two views are affected by lust, affected by hate, affected by delusion, affected by craving, affected by clinging, without vision, given to favouring and opposing, and they delight in and enjoy proliferation. They are not freed from birth, ageing, and death; from sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair; they are not freed from suffering, I say.
http://suttacentral.net/mn11/en/

"Just as a flame blown by the wind's force,
Upaslva," said the Blessed One,
"Goes out, and designation applies to it no more,
So too the Silent Sage, being freed from the name-body,
Goes out, and designation applies to him no more."
"Then when he has thus gone out, does he exist no more?
Or is he made immortal for eternity?
So may it please the Sage to make this plain to me,
Because it is a state that he has understood."
"There is no measuring of one who has gone out,
Upaslva,' said the Blessed One,
"And nothing of him whereby one could say aught of him;
For when all ideas have been abolished,
All ways of saying, too, have been abolished."
Sn. 5:7

Do notice that language with it logic, is the proper tool only in the case, where consciousness depends on namarupa. But nibbana is exactly cessation of this dependence ...


Sure, and I don't necessarily disagree with you on that, but the topic of the citta as a permanent self — that is a very different way of talking about NIbbana if Ve. Maha Bua is really using Citta as a synonym.
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby boris » Thu Nov 28, 2013 2:27 pm

But in which place Ven Maha Bua stated that this citta is a self? Something which is not subject to change is not necessary connected with idea of the self.
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby dagon » Thu Nov 28, 2013 7:44 pm

Ven Maha Bua said

The Dhamma of a pure citta is like this: The citta is the Dhamma, the Dhamma is the citta. We call it a citta only as long as it is still with the body and the khandhas. Only then can we call it a pure citta, the citta of a Buddha, or he citta of an Arahant, after it passes from the body and khandhas there is no conventional reality to which it can be compared, and so we can’t call it anything at all.


Straight from the heart, The Marvel of the Dhamma, pg 27
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby suriyopama » Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:49 am

Ven Maha Bua wrote:The Dhamma of a pure citta is like this: The citta is the Dhamma, the Dhamma is the citta. We call it a citta only as long as it is still with the body and the khandhas. Only then can we call it a pure citta, the citta of a Buddha, or he citta of an Arahant, after it passes from the body and khandhas there is no conventional reality to which it can be compared, and so we can’t call it anything at all.
- Straight from the heart, The Marvel of the Dhamma, pg 27


Thank You Dagon

That makes sense to me.
The mind of an Arahant is still in the body and the khandas, and he calls it pure citta. Once the Arahant passes away and the body and khandas disintegrate, we can not call it anything because there is no reference on our conventional reality in order to identify it.
Where does it say that there is a “self”?
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:14 am

suriyopama wrote:The mind of an Arahant is still in the body and the khandas, ...

This statement implies (perhaps not intentionally) that the khandhas are some sort of building blocks. The standard Theravada interpretation is that they are ways of talking about experience.

See, for example: http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... tm#khandha
Khandha: the 5 'groups of existence' or 'groups of clinging' upādānakhandha alternative renderings: aggregates or clusters, categories of clinging's objects. These are the 5 aspects in which the Buddha has summed up all the physical and mental phenomena of existence, and which appear to the ignorant man as his ego, or personality, to wit:
...
Some writers on Buddhism who have not understood that the five khandha are just classificatory groupings, have conceived them as compact entities 'heaps', 'bundles', while actually, as stated above, the groups never exist as such, i.e. they never occur in a simultaneous totality of all their constituents. Also those single constituents of a group which are present in any given body-and-mind process, are of an evanescent nature, and so also their varying combinations. Feeling, perception and mental constructions are only different aspects and functions of a single unit of consciousness. They are to consciousness what redness, softness, sweetness, etc. are to an apple and have as little separate existence as those qualities.
...

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

Postby SarathW » Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:26 am

Can I say living Buddha and Arahant still consist of five aggregate?
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:54 am

SarathW wrote:Can I say living Buddha and Arahant still consist of five aggregate?

I don't think it's quite right to say that something "consists" of aggregates, as I tried to illustrate with my last post.

If you look at the suttas you find statements like:
"Whatever form is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: That is called the form aggregate.
"Whatever feeling ...
"Whatever perception ...
"Whatever (mental) fabrications...
"Whatever consciousness ...
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

It's saying, I think, that what we experience can be classified as form, feeling, etc, not that we are made of those things. We don't have little chunks of feeling and perception bolted together...

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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby SarathW » Fri Nov 29, 2013 4:12 am

Looks like you also gave me the answer to my other post.
55 kind of Aggregate!!!
5*11=55
Am I correct?
:D
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby pegembara » Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:04 am

"What gains total release from the five khandhas?"

"The heart, of course, & the heart alone.
It doesn't grasp or get entangled.
No more poison of possessiveness,
no more delusion,
it stands alone.
No saññas can fool it into following along
behind them."

Ajahn Mun
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/mun/ballad.html


This awareness, sati-sampajanna, intuitive awareness, is not something that I can claim personally. If my personality started claiming it, it would just be more self-view, sakkaya-ditthi again. If I started saying 'I'm a very wise person,' then it would be self-view claiming to be wise. So when you understand that, how could you claim to be anything at all? Of course, on a conventional level I'm willing to play the game. So, when they say 'Ajahn Sumedho' I say 'Yes'. There's nothing wrong with conventional reality either. The problem is in the attachment to it out of ignorance.

Avijja is the Pali word for spiritual ignorance. It means not knowing the Four Noble Truths. In the investigation of the Four Noble Truths, avijja ceases. Awareness, the awakened state, takes you out of ignorance immediately, if you'll trust it. As soon as you are aware, ignorance is gone. So then, when ignorance arises, you can be aware of it as something coming and going, rather than taking it personally or assuming that you're always ignorant until you become enlightened.

We all have these primordial drives as human beings. They are common to all of us. They are not a personal identity. Our refuge is in awareness rather than in judging these energies that we're experiencing. Of course, our religious form is celibate, so when sexual energies arise, we're aware of them, and don't act on them. They arise and cease just like everything else. Anger and hatred arise and cease. When the conditions for anger arise, it's like this; likewise fear, the primal emotion of the animal realm. But the awareness of lust and greed, the awareness of anger, the awareness of hatred and fear, that is your refuge. Your refuge is in the awareness.

Ajahn Sumedho
http://www.fsnewsletter.amaravati.org/html/67/67.htm
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby Benjamin » Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:26 pm

SarathW wrote:Can I say living Buddha and Arahant still consist of five aggregate?


I wouldn't define the Buddha or Arahant at all, especially in terms of the five aggregates of clinging.

Some sutta references:

(SN III 118-9) wrote:"Since a tathagata, even when actually present, is incomprehensible, it is inept to say of him – of the Uttermost Person, the Supernal Person, the Attainer of the Supernal – that after death the tathagata is, or is not, or both is and is not, or neither is nor is not"


(MN i 130) wrote:"And when the devas, together with Indra, the Brahmas, & Pajapati, search for the monk whose mind is thus released, they cannot find that ' The consciousness of the one truly gone (tathagata) is dependent on this.' Why is that? The one truly gone is untraceable even in the here & now."
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby kirk5a » Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:33 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
suriyopama wrote:The mind of an Arahant is still in the body and the khandas, ...

This statement implies (perhaps not intentionally) that the khandhas are some sort of building blocks. The standard Theravada interpretation is that they are ways of talking about experience.

The thing that is bitten by mosquitos is form.
"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 pulga » Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:23 pm

Ven. N. Ñánamoli has written a thought provoking essay on this subject.

http://pathpress.wordpress.com/2013/03/ ... n-an-1-51/

As I understand it, the Buddha didn't deny the being of the eternal -- or of the infinite -- but only proclaimed the contingency of that being.
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Re: The citta as a permanent self?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Nov 29, 2013 7:43 pm

kirk5a wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:
suriyopama wrote:The mind of an Arahant is still in the body and the khandas, ...

This statement implies (perhaps not intentionally) that the khandhas are some sort of building blocks. The standard Theravada interpretation is that they are ways of talking about experience.

The thing that is bitten by mosquitos is form.

It seems to me that form is the only khandha that can be easily interpreted as a "building block", though I don't think that is necessary. "Form" may also be interpreted as the experience of hardness, softness, etc.

Interpreting "feelings", "volitional formations", etc as "building blocks" seems like a stretch to me. I think that is is much more straightforward to interpret them as properties of experience.

:anjali:
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