tathata (thusness, suchness)

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tathata (thusness, suchness)

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:21 am

anyone wanna talk about this?

heres the wiki about it

Tathata (Sanskrit तथाता tathātā; Chinese language 眞如 pr.: zhēnrú /chen-ju; tib. de bzhin nyid; kor. 진여, jinyeo; jap. 真如, shinnyo; viet. chân or chơn như) is variously translated as "thusness" or "suchness". It is a central concept in Buddhism as well as the Hindu Upanishads; in the latter, it is used to refer to Brahman. The synonym dharmatā is also often used.

One of the synonyms of the word Buddha is Tathagata, which means "thus gone" or "thus come". Tathata as a central concept of Mahayana Buddhism, expresses the appreciation of reality within a unique moment. As no moment is exactly the same, each one can be savored for what occurs at that precise time. Tathata is often best revealed in the mundane, such as noticing the way the wind blows through a field of grass, or watching someone's face light up as they smile. Shakyamuni Buddha transmitted the awareness of Tathata directly to Mahakasyapa in what has come to be rendered in English as the Flower Sermon. As Molloy[1]states, "We know we are experiencing the 'thatness' of reality when we experience something and say to ourselves, 'Yes, that's it; that is the way things are.' In the moment, we recognize that reality is wondrously beautiful but also that its patterns are fragile and passing."

The term Tathata in the Mahayana tradition is seen as representing the base reality and can be used to terminate the use of words. A 5th century Chinese Mahayana scripture entitled "The Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana" describes the concept more fully: "In its very origin suchness is of itself endowed with sublime attributes. It manifests the highest wisdom which shines throughout the world, it has true knowledge and a mind resting simply in its own being. It is eternal, blissful, its own self-being and the purest simplicity; it is invigorating, immutable, free... Because it possesses all these attributes and is deprived of nothing, it is designated both as the Womb of Tathagata and the Dharma Body of Tathagata


now for the theravada POV>>>
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: tathata

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:29 am

From Buddhadasa's THE NATURAL CURE FOR SPIRITUAL DISEASE

THUSNESS
Now, we come to the fourth and last topic: tathata (suchness, thusness). "Merely thus," "just such": everything is such as it is and in no way different from that thusness. This is called "tathata." When tathata is seen, the three characteristics of anicca, dukkha, and anatta are seen, sunnata is seen, and idappaccayata is seen. Tathata is the summary of them all -- merely thus, only thus, not-otherness. There is nothing better than this, more than this, other than this, thusness. To intuitively realize tathata is to see the truth of all things, to see the reality of the things which have deceived us. The things which delude us are all the things which cause discrimination and duality to arise in us: good-evil, happiness-sadness, win-lose, love-hate, etc. There are many pairs of opposites in this world. By not seeing tathata, we allow these things to trick us into believing in duality: this-that, liking-disliking, hot-cold, male-female, defiled, enlightened. This delusion causes all our problems. Trapped in these oppositions, we can't see the truth of things. We fall into liking and disliking, which in turn leads to the defilements, because we don't see tathata.

What we must see constantly and deeply is that good is a sankhara and that evil is a sankhara too. The pleasant and unpleasant feelings, sukha and dukkha, are both sankhara. Getting and disappearing, losing and winning all are sankhara. There isn't anything which isn't a sankhara. Thus, all things are the same -- tathata. All things are just suchness, just this way, not otherwise. Further, we can say that heaven is a sankhara and hell is a sankhara. So, heaven and hell are tathata -- just thus. Our minds should be above heaven and above hell, above good and above bad, above joy and above dukkha in all respects. Tathata is the fourth area of understanding or paññä, the wisdom that must be developed to a sufficient degree. We must study reality on both the physical-material level and on the mental-spiritual level, until our knowledge and wisdom is adequate, natural, and constant.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: tathata

Postby stuka » Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:48 am

jcsuperstar wrote:From Buddhadasa's THE NATURAL CURE FOR SPIRITUAL DISEASE

THUSNESS
Now, we come to the fourth and last topic: tathata (suchness, thusness). "Merely thus," "just such": everything is such as it is and in no way different from that thusness. This is called "tathata." When tathata is seen, the three characteristics of anicca, dukkha, and anatta are seen, sunnata is seen, and idappaccayata is seen. Tathata is the summary of them all -- merely thus, only thus, not-otherness. There is nothing better than this, more than this, other than this, thusness. To intuitively realize tathata is to see the truth of all things, to see the reality of the things which have deceived us. The things which delude us are all the things which cause discrimination and duality to arise in us: good-evil, happiness-sadness, win-lose, love-hate, etc. There are many pairs of opposites in this world. By not seeing tathata, we allow these things to trick us into believing in duality: this-that, liking-disliking, hot-cold, male-female, defiled, enlightened. This delusion causes all our problems. Trapped in these oppositions, we can't see the truth of things. We fall into liking and disliking, which in turn leads to the defilements, because we don't see tathata.

What we must see constantly and deeply is that good is a sankhara and that evil is a sankhara too. The pleasant and unpleasant feelings, sukha and dukkha, are both sankhara. Getting and disappearing, losing and winning all are sankhara. There isn't anything which isn't a sankhara. Thus, all things are the same -- tathata. All things are just suchness, just this way, not otherwise. Further, we can say that heaven is a sankhara and hell is a sankhara. So, heaven and hell are tathata -- just thus. Our minds should be above heaven and above hell, above good and above bad, above joy and above dukkha in all respects. Tathata is the fourth area of understanding or paññä, the wisdom that must be developed to a sufficient degree. We must study reality on both the physical-material level and on the mental-spiritual level, until our knowledge and wisdom is adequate, natural, and constant.


Good source!

:jumping:

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Re: tathata

Postby Element » Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:18 am

From the Paccaya Sutta.
Iti kho, bhikkhave, yā tatra tathatā avitathatā anaññathatā idappaccayatā – ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, paṭiccasamuppādo.

Whether or not there is the arising of Tathagatas, this property stands — this regularity of the Dhamma, this orderliness of the Dhamma, this this/that conditionality. The Tathagata directly awakens to that, breaks through to that. Directly awakening & breaking through to that, he declares it, teaches it, describes it, sets it forth. He reveals it, explains it, makes it plain & says, 'Look.' From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications.

What's there in this way is a reality, not an unreality, not other than what it seems, conditioned by this/that. This is called dependent co-arising. (Thanissaro)

Thus bhikkhus, the actuality in this, the inerrancy, the not-otherwiseness, specific conditionality: this is called dependent origination. (Bhikkhu Bodhi)

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Re: tathata

Postby Element » Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:43 am

From SN 56:20, the Tatha Sutta, translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi.
‘‘Cattārimāni, bhikkhave, tathāni avitathāni anaññathāni. Katamāni cattāri? ‘Idaṃ dukkha’nti, bhikkhave, tathametaṃ avitathametaṃ anaññathametaṃ ; ‘ayaṃ dukkhasamudayo’ti tathametaṃ avitathametaṃ anaññathametaṃ; ‘ayaṃ dukkhanirodho’ti tathametaṃ avitathametaṃ anaññathametaṃ; ‘ayaṃ dukkhanirodhagāminī paṭipadā’ti tathametaṃ avitathametaṃ anaññathametaṃ – imāni kho, bhikkhave, cattāri tathāni avitathāni anaññathāni.

Bhikkhus, these four things are actual, unerring, not-otherwise. What four?

'This is suffering': this, bhikkhus, is actual, unerring, not otherwise. 'This is the origin of suffering': this is actual, unerring, not otherwise. 'This is the cessation of suffering': this is actual, unerring, not otherwise. 'This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering': this is actual, unerring, not otherwise.

These four things, bhikkhus, are actual, unerring, not-otherwise.

Commentary from the Burmese: 'Actual' in the sense of not departing from the real nature of things; for suffering is stated to be just suffering. 'Unerring' because of the non-falsification of its real nature; for suffering does not become nonsuffering. 'Not otherwise' because of not arriving at a different nature; for suffering does not arrive at the nature of the origin (of suffering), etc. The same method for the other truths.

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Re: tathata

Postby Element » Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:52 am

jcsuperstar wrote:From Buddhadasa's THE NATURAL CURE FOR SPIRITUAL DISEASE

Dear JC Superstar,

If you are interested in Bhikkhu Buddhadasa, I recommend you listen to the audio talk The Nine Vipassana Eyes (October 1990), which is about aniccata, dukkhata, anattata, dhammatitata, dhammaniyamata, iddapaccayatta-paticcasummupado, sunnata, tathata & atammayata.

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Re: tathata

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:09 pm

thanks!
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: tathata

Postby retrofuturist » Mon May 10, 2010 11:47 pm

Greetings,

I was just about to create a topic on "suchness", but then I found this one so I thought I'd continue on from here.

Does anyone else use the notion of "suchness" in their practice? How have you found it to be of benefit?

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: tathata (thusness, suchness)

Postby Ben » Tue May 11, 2010 3:10 am

Hi Retro
It reminds me of the quality of mind when one engages in bare observation when all conceptualization has ceased.
There is the observation of the flow of phenomena and nothing else.
kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

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sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: tathata (thusness, suchness)

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue May 11, 2010 4:55 am

i have a tattoo of it, well tathata and then chen an eng which is how you translate it into thai with the thai letters of both words forming a buddha

Image

this is a pic of it after i first got it so it's all puffy and stuff....

also retro ajahn buddhadasa's book anapanasati discuses tathata in relation to anapanasati have you read it?
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: tathata (thusness, suchness)

Postby dennis60 » Tue May 11, 2010 11:12 am

If you want a real in depth answer or study on "suchness" go to this web page....there is a pdf file at the bottom to get the whole piece...
http://www.mcu.ac.th/En/thesisdetails.php?thesis=254736

Here is the beginning of the thesis.....

(1) Tathata in the Tripitaka, the Buddhist Scriptures and commentaries enables the students to understand that all the compounded things, which are called Five Aggregates. :- (corporeality, feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness) and the non-conscious matters are Tathata. It means that nobody can change the law of nature. Under the law of nature all things are compounded and must be changed by the law of three characteristics. (Impermanence, State of Suffering, Not-self) Under the law of the three characteristics a thing arises in the primary state, changes in the middle and extinguishes in the end.
The synonyms of the term Tathata, are Avitathata which means certainty, Anannathata which means not being otherwise, Idappaccayata which means all the compuounded things arise from specific conditionality. All these synonyms mean that nothing can arise without any cause and there is nobody to create them. it arises according to its causes and factors.
In addition, Tathata is the wisdom arising to the person who practises insight meditation. It is he who can attain the insight knowledge of the conditioned state of things without their own personal ideas. Thus, the practiser can know that Five Aggregates are of non-essence and not to be attached to. They are always imcomplete, fearful, disadvantageous and full of suffering. Having seen all these conditions, the practiser is bored of all compounded things, has no pleasure in them and finally wishes to be away from them. Besides, he is so impartial that he can be free from the compounded things. this state is called Pannavimutti (Liberation through wisdom). This state is compared with the water on the lotus leaf. It is really called "Nibbana" which is "Asankhatadhamma" meaning the Unconditioned State. This is also called Tathata. In conclusion, both the conditioned state and the unconditioned state are Tathata.
(2) In the Buddhadasa Bhikkhu's thought, Tathata is "Suchness" which means the state of being so and not being other things, and no one can force it. It isas it used to be all the time. Such the state is surely called "Tathata." The explanation of Tathata by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu in another way is exactly the explanation of the Idappaccayata (specific confitionality) and of the Paticcasamuppada (Dependent Origination Law). These are the laws of reasons. (When there is this, there is that.) He explained that when there is no essence of the confitioned things, there is the impermanence and the change. But such change is in a similar line forever. That is called "Tathata".
Tathata in the Buddhadasa Bhikkhu's thought is not different from what is found in the scriptures. It is really the synonym for the words "Idappaccayata" and "Paticcasamuppada."
(3) Tathata is the state of general law that covers all the confitioned and the unconditioned which are the natural laws and the Buddhist high principles for leading the people to attain Enlightenment. It is directly related to humanity, society, politics, governments, economics and cultures for the security of the nation and the people's happiness.
Therefore, one who can realize the Tathata, can have mental purity, wisdom, lovingkindness, compassion, and patience; and can support human being and society in general. this is true to the Buddha's words as follows :- "walk, monks, on tour the blessing of the many folks. For the happiness of the many folks out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the blessing, and the happiness of deities and men."

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Re: tathata (thusness, suchness)

Postby Pannapetar » Tue May 11, 2010 11:32 am

That's one of the words where I prefer the Sanskrit version "dharmata", because it makes the relation to "dharma" and "dharmakaya" more obvious. I think it is often used in the same sense as the "Tao" of Taoism.

Cheers, Thomas

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Re: tathata (thusness, suchness)

Postby bodom » Tue May 11, 2010 2:32 pm

Ben wrote:Hi Retro
It reminds me of the quality of mind when one engages in bare observation when all conceptualization has ceased.
There is the observation of the flow of phenomena and nothing else.
kind regards

Ben


I agree Ben. Free from the notions of "I" "Me" and"Mine".

"Then, Bahiya, you should train yourself thus: In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bahiya, there is no you in terms of that. When there is no you in terms of that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress."


:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah

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Re: tathata (thusness, suchness)

Postby tiltbillings » Tue May 11, 2010 2:48 pm

A Tathagata [meaning any awakened individual] is a seer of what is to be seen, but he does not mind the seen, the unseen, the seeable, the seer. So likewise with the heard, the sensed and the cognized: he thinks of none of these modes of theirs. Therefore among things seen, heard, sensed and cognized he is precisely 'such'. Moreover, than he who is 'such' there is no other 'such' further or more excellent. - AN II 23.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: tathata (thusness, suchness)

Postby starter » Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:42 am

Hi friend,

In order to understand “tathata”, I used Google Saffuron to search the term and read almost all relevant results. This search led to a tentative conclusion that "tathata” means the firmly fixed nature/law of all things, instead of objectivity or bare observation without conceptualization.

It seems that “Tathata” should be used to penetrate the three characteristics and four noble truths, and to end the suffering by detachment to “self”. “Tathata” should probably not be interpreted and used just for obtaining objectivity without subjective conceptualization—if used in this way, it could lead to no effort for destroying assavas since assavas would be seen as neither good nor bad, and one would think s/he is already enlightened to the highest ultimate truth (which is an illusion).The buddha has taught us to remove conceit of “I” & “Mine” in order to remove our attachment to “self” and break the prison of “selfhood”, and finally uproot the assavas and defilements. His teachings are probably not meant to remove our conceptualization of things?

Concerning the meaning of Tathagata:

“Tathagata” is beyond all coming and going – beyond all transitory phenomena”. Tathagate thus doesn’t appear to mean the one who has reached objectivity and sees things as it naturally is without subjective conceptualization and discrimination.

Metta,

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Re: tathata (thusness, suchness)

Postby Paññāsikhara » Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:26 am

In many early teachings, as well as those in the first few hundred years after the Teacher's parinibbana, the term "tathatA" was often closely associated with the principle of dependent origination. This teaching itself is intimately connected with the teaching on absence of self or what pertains to self, often referred to as emptiness. Because the principle of dependent origination in forward (anuloma) and reverse (patiloma) orders covers the entirety of phenomena, ie. the arising and cessation of the world, both dependent origination itself and also "tathatA" were often said to be applicable to all phenomena without exception. Likewise too for the principles of not self or emptiness, which were applicable to all phenomena. (As opposed to impermanence and dissatisfaction, which only had a range of 'conditioned phenomena', leaving aside nibbana for those systems which took nibbana as a phenomena per se.)
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Re: tathata (thusness, suchness)

Postby Sylvester » Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:48 am

Not forgetting also Gombrich's pithy observation about how much "thusness" etc have been squeezed out of this simple term "tathagata", which he suggests should be just given its idiomatic meaning. Have to dig out What the Buddha Thought for details, where he gave an example involving a woman in a picture "citragata nari" = the woman in the picture, rather than the woman which has gone into the picture.

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Re: tathata (thusness, suchness)

Postby ground » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:02 am

jcsuperstar wrote:anyone wanna talk about this?

heres the wiki about it

Tathata (Sanskrit तथाता tathātā; Chinese language 眞如 pr.: zhēnrú /chen-ju; tib. de bzhin nyid; kor. 진여, jinyeo; jap. 真如, shinnyo; viet. chân or chơn như) is variously translated as "thusness" or "suchness". It is a central concept in Buddhism as well as the Hindu Upanishads; in the latter, it is used to refer to Brahman. The synonym dharmatā is also often used.

One of the synonyms of the word Buddha is Tathagata, which means "thus gone" or "thus come". Tathata as a central concept of Mahayana Buddhism, expresses the appreciation of reality within a unique moment. As no moment is exactly the same, each one can be savored for what occurs at that precise time. Tathata is often best revealed in the mundane, such as noticing the way the wind blows through a field of grass, or watching someone's face light up as they smile. Shakyamuni Buddha transmitted the awareness of Tathata directly to Mahakasyapa in what has come to be rendered in English as the Flower Sermon. As Molloy[1]states, "We know we are experiencing the 'thatness' of reality when we experience something and say to ourselves, 'Yes, that's it; that is the way things are.' In the moment, we recognize that reality is wondrously beautiful but also that its patterns are fragile and passing."

The term Tathata in the Mahayana tradition is seen as representing the base reality and can be used to terminate the use of words. A 5th century Chinese Mahayana scripture entitled "The Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana" describes the concept more fully: "In its very origin suchness is of itself endowed with sublime attributes. It manifests the highest wisdom which shines throughout the world, it has true knowledge and a mind resting simply in its own being. It is eternal, blissful, its own self-being and the purest simplicity; it is invigorating, immutable, free... Because it possesses all these attributes and is deprived of nothing, it is designated both as the Womb of Tathagata and the Dharma Body of Tathagata


now for the theravada POV>>>


Mahayana is not Mahayana. Especially east asian Mahayana is not indo-tibetan Mahayana and further Tathagatagarbha is not Madhyamaka.

Having said this, "tathata" is what remains if everything is subtracted from phenomena phenomena are not.

Kind regards


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