On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Nyana » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:38 am

danieLion wrote:Perhaps you should make the time, otherwise you'll keep misunderstanding and misrepresenting him.

His views haven't been misrepresented in this thread.

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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Buckwheat » Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:33 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
danieLion wrote:Perhaps you should make the time, otherwise you'll keep misunderstanding and misrepresenting him.

His views haven't been misrepresented in this thread.

Hi Nana,

Thanissaro's main point was agree upon a few posts back. The rest is supporting material. As for the fire approach, it has been misrepresented. He indicates fire is used to invoke a sense of nirvana having "coolness" as opposed to life firey dukkha. Also, it is used to show that nirvana is not a place that you go to. From "A Verb for Nirvana" you can see that he is clear that nirvana is not a temporary dhamma:

Back in the days of the Buddha, nirvana (nibbana) had a verb of its own: nibbuti. It meant to "go out," like a flame. Because fire was thought to be in a state of entrapment as it burned — both clinging to and trapped by the fuel on which it fed — its going out was seen as an unbinding. To go out was to be unbound. Sometimes another verb was used — parinibbuti — with the "pari-" meaning total or all-around, to indicate that the person unbound, unlike fire unbound, would never again be trapped.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... averb.html
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Nyana » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:19 pm

Buckwheat wrote:Thanissaro's main point was agree upon a few posts back.

I don't think that that was his main point.

Buckwheat wrote:As for the fire approach, it has been misrepresented.

No it hasn't.

Buckwheat wrote:From "A Verb for Nirvana" you can see that he is clear that nirvana is not a temporary dhamma:

In the endnotes to MN 49 he also asserts that nibbāna is a form of consciousness:

    Some have objected to the equation of this consciousness with nibbana, on the grounds that nibbana is no where else in the Canon described as a form of consciousness. Thus they have proposed that consciousness without surface be regarded as an arahant's consciousness of nibbana in meditative experience, and not nibbana itself.

No Indian Buddhist author -- whether Theravāda, Sarvāstivāda, Mādhyamaka, or Yogācāra -- ever made this assertion that nibbāna is a type of consciousness. And in the Introduction to his translation of the same sutta he also asserts that this consciousness is not known by means of any of the six senses at all:

    The Buddha describes his awakened knowledge in a variety of ways ... by describing an awakened consciousness that is not known by means of any of the six senses at all.... Some of these assertions — in particular, the assertion of a consciousness not mediated by any of the six senses — are extremely important dhamma lessons....

And in the endnotes to MN 38 he asserts that this consciousness is not included in the consciousness aggregate:

    The Buddha, knowing that there are two types of consciousness — the consciousness aggregate (viññāṇakkhandha), which is experienced in conjunction with the six sense media, and consciousness without surface (viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ), which is experienced independently of the six sense media....

Again, no Indian Buddhist author -- whether Theravāda, Sarvāstivāda, Mādhyamaka, or Yogācāra -- ever made any of these assertions. So apparently we are to believe that Ṭhānissaro has re-discovered the correct understanding of nibbāna as a form of consciousness which can only be experienced independently of the six sense media, that somehow eluded all of the best and brightest minds of Buddhist India!

His interpretation of nibbāna is very novel. It's also nonsense.

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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby ancientbuddhism » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:43 am

This is precisely the issue B. santi/Kester was alluding to years ago cited here:

Bhikkhu Santi wrote:By teaching his extremely unique interpretation of nibbana, which is not as he claims supported by the Thai Kruba Ajahns, or at least not all of them by any means, he is effectively setting up one side of a bridge except for the keystone, then by teaching that the Buddha never taught that there is no ultimate self or essence he sets up the other half of the bridge. He leaves it to the extremely fertile imagination of biased ordinary beings to fill in the gap that "nibbaana is the ultimate self", which I've actually heard that he admits he believes in private. He bases this last point on Dhp. "all things are without-self (or, 'not self'), when one sees this with wisdom, then one turns away from suffering, this is the path of purification". So then I've heard that he says that this means that the perception "all dhammas are anatta" is just a part of the path of purification, it's not necessarily a fact that applies to the goal.
Anuvicca papañca nāmarūpaṃ
ajjhattaṃ bahiddhā ca rogamūlaṃ,
sabbarogamūlabandhanā pamutto
anuvidito tādi pavuccate tathattā
.

“Having known the naming of objects,
With its proliferation, its root in illness – within and without;
One is released from bondage to the root of all illness.
And thus is called the Knowing One – the Such.

– Sn. 3.6 (Sabhiyasuttaṃ)

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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Buckwheat » Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:10 am

ancientbuddhism wrote:This is precisely the issue B. santi/Kester was alluding to years ago cited here:

Bhikkhu Santi wrote:... which I've actually heard that he admits he believes in private. .... So then I've heard that he says ...


I also heard that Billy kissed Susan behind the gymnasium. Not even gonna fake a reference? How am I supposed to study these claims?
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Buckwheat » Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:32 am

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
This raises the question, if the word "all" does not include nibbana, does that mean that one may infer from the statement, "all phenomena are not-self" that nibbana is self? The answer is no. As AN 4.174 states, to even ask if there is anything remaining or not remaining (or both, or neither) after the cessation of the six sense spheres is to differentiate what is by nature undifferentiated (or to objectify the unobjectified — see the Introduction to MN 18). The range of differentiation goes only as far as the "All." Perceptions of self or not-self, which would count as differentiation, would not apply beyond the "All." When the cessation of the "All" is experienced, all differentiation is allayed.
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Buckwheat » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:51 am

Hi Nana,

These are interesting points. I'm genuinely interested in knowing any weaknesses in Thanissaro's approach because I am huge fan of his.

Ñāṇa wrote: And in the Introduction to his translation of the same sutta he also asserts that this consciousness is not known by means of any of the six senses at all:


Is there another explanation for the following passage besides a consciousness beyond the all (the six sense bases)?
"'Consciousness without surface, endless, radiant all around, has not been experienced through the earthness of earth ... the liquidity of liquid ... the fieriness of fire ... the windiness of wind ... the allness of the all.'[9]
MN 49 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Also: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html has some good data on what "the All" refers to. Let me know if you object to anything on that page. Do you see error with his logic that nirvana lies outside the all? or his logic that "consciousness without surface" is outside the all?

Ñāṇa wrote:In the endnotes to MN 49 he also asserts that nibbāna is a form of consciousness:

    Some have objected to the equation of this consciousness with nibbana, on the grounds that nibbana is no where else in the Canon described as a form of consciousness. Thus they have proposed that consciousness without surface be regarded as an arahant's consciousness of nibbana in meditative experience, and not nibbana itself.


The paragraph you quoted went on to give the following explanation of how he came to that conclusion. Do you have a specific critique of his analysis?

Some have objected to the equation of this consciousness with nibbana, on the grounds that nibbana is no where else in the Canon described as a form of consciousness. Thus they have proposed that consciousness without surface be regarded as an arahant's consciousness of nibbana in meditative experience, and not nibbana itself. This argument, however, contains two flaws: (1) The term viññanam anidassanam also occurs in DN 11, where it is described as where name & form are brought to an end: surely a synonym for nibbana. (2) If nibbana is an object of mental consciousness (as a dhamma), it would come under the all, as an object of the intellect. There are passages in the Canon (such as AN 9.36) that describe meditators experiencing nibbana as a dhamma, but these passages seem to indicate that this description applies up through the level of non-returning. Other passages, however, describe nibbana as the ending of all dhammas. For instance, Sn V.6 quotes the Buddha as calling the attainment of the goal the transcending of all dhammas. Sn IV.6 and Sn IV.10 state that the arahant has transcended dispassion, said to be the highest dhamma. Thus, for the arahant, nibbana is not an object of consciousness. Instead it is directly known without mediation. Because consciousness without feature is directly known without mediation, there seems good reason to equate the two.


Thanks for taking the time to go over this. I really, really appreciate it. :thanks:

Metta,
Scott
:anjali:
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Buckwheat » Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:25 am

There was a critique somewhere that mentioned the Thai Forrest tradition has the view of an "eternal consciousness". Is this what they were referring to?

This consciousness thus differs from the consciousness factor in dependent co-arising, which is defined in terms of the six sense media. Lying outside of time and space, it would also not come under the consciousness-aggregate, which covers all consciousness near and far; past, present, and future. And, as SN 35.23 notes, the word "all" in the Buddha's teaching covers only the six sense media, which is another reason for not including this consciousness under the aggregates. However, the fact that it is outside of time and space — in a dimension where there is no here, there, or in between (Ud I.10), no coming, no going, or staying (Ud VIII.1) — means that it cannot be described as permanent or omnipresent, terms that have meaning only within space and time.
Notes to MN 49 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Again, thank you for your time. Sorry for so many posts, but I'm very fascinated by anatta right now, what it is and what it isn't.

:anjali:
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby ancientbuddhism » Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:28 am

Nibbāna is the ending of greed, ill-will, and delusion that would be bound-up with passion for sentient existence. And viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ is the property of the Arahant experiencing this nibbāna. However, there is no reason to assume that it is cut off from the five aggregates or that it is non-percipient. Nor that it continues after parinibbāna.

SN.3.1.6.1. (22.53) Upaya suttaṃ

Sāvatthiyaṃ: Upayo bhikkhave, avimutto, anupayo vimutto, rūpūpayaṃ vā bhikkhave, viññāṇaṃ tiṭṭhamānaṃ tiṭṭheyya, rūpārammaṇaṃ rūpappatiṭṭhaṃ nandūpasecanaṃ vuddhiṃ virūḷahiṃ vepullaṃ āpajjeyya,

vedanūpayaṃ vā … pe … saññūpayaṃ … pe …

Upayo bhikkhave, avimutto, anupayo vimutto, saṃkhārūpayaṃ vā bhikkhave viññāṇaṃ tiṭṭhamānaṃ tiṭṭheyya saṃkhārārammaṇaṃ saṃkhārappatiṭṭhaṃ nandūpasecanaṃ vuddhiṃ virūḷahiṃ vepullaṃ āpajjeyya.

At Sāvatthi: “Entanglement, bhikkhus, is to the un-liberated just as disentanglement is to the liberated. Consciousness, bhikkhus, while maintained, may be maintained entangled with materiality; supported in materiality, with a foundation in materiality, tinged with pleasure - with a means to its continuance, growth and development. Consciousness, bhikkhus, while maintained, may be maintained entangled with sensations of feeling … sense-awareness …

“Consciousness, bhikkhus, while maintained, may be maintained entangled with volitional-cognition; supported with volitional-cognition, with a foundation in volitional-cognition, tinged with pleasure - with a means to its continuance, growth and development.

Yo bhikkhave evaṃ vadeyya: ahamaññatra rūpā aññatra vedanāya aññatra saññāya aññatra saṃkhārehi viññāṇassa āgatiṃ vā gatiṃ vā cutiṃ vā uppattiṃ vā vuddhiṃ vā virūḷhiṃ vā vepullaṃ vā paññāpessāmīti netaṃ ṭhānaṃ vijjati.

“Bhikkhus, whoever says “separate from materiality, separate from sensations of feeling, separate from sense-awareness, separate from volitional-cognition, I will establish the coming and going of consciousness; its disappearance, rebirth, continuance, growth and development” - Such a condition does not exist.

Rūpadhātuyā ce bhikkhave, bhikkhuno rāgo pahīno hoti, rāgassa pahānā vocchijjatārammaṇaṃ, patiṭṭhā viññāṇassa na hoti, vedanādhātuyā ce … pe … saññādhātuyā ce … pe … saṃkhāradhātuyā ce … pe … Viññāṇadhātuyā ce bhikkhave, bhikkhunā rāgo pahīno hoti. Rāgassa pahānā vocchijjatārammaṇaṃ, patiṭṭhā viññāṇassa na hoti.

Bhikkhus, if a monk has abandoned passion for the condition of materiality, with the abandoning of passion the support is cut off - there is now no foundation for consciousness. If a monk has abandoned passion for the condition of sensations of feeling… the condition of sense-awareness… the condition of volitional-cognition… the condition of consciousness, with the abandoning of passion the support is cut off - there is now no foundation for consciousness.

Tadappatiṭṭaṭhitaṃ viññāṇaṃ avirūḷhaṃ anabhi saṅkhacca vimuttaṃ, vimuttattā ṭhitaṃ ṭhitattā santusitaṃ, santusitattā na paritassati aparitassaṃ paccattaṃ yeva parinibbāyati. 'Khīṇā jāti, vusitaṃ brahmacariyaṃ, kataṃ karaṇīyaṃ, nāparaṃ itthattāyā'ti pajānātīti.

When there is no foundation for consciousness; no growth, no development - it is liberated. Liberated - it is steadfast. Steadfast - it is contented. Contented - there is no distress. Without distress - he individually perfects Liberation – Nibbāna. He knows clearly: “Gone is the possibility of birth. Perfected is the Renounced Life. The task is completed. There is nothing further than this present state.
Anuvicca papañca nāmarūpaṃ
ajjhattaṃ bahiddhā ca rogamūlaṃ,
sabbarogamūlabandhanā pamutto
anuvidito tādi pavuccate tathattā
.

“Having known the naming of objects,
With its proliferation, its root in illness – within and without;
One is released from bondage to the root of all illness.
And thus is called the Knowing One – the Such.

– Sn. 3.6 (Sabhiyasuttaṃ)

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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Buckwheat » Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:35 am

ancientbuddhism wrote:Nibbāna is the ending of greed, ill-will, and delusion that would be bound-up with passion for sentient existence.

Agreed.

ancientbuddhism wrote:And viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ is the property of the Arahant experiencing this nibbāna.

OK - please show the flaw with Thanissaro's claim, as outlined in the post above. You are just restating the point he was refuting.

ancientbuddhism wrote:However, there is no reason to assume that it is cut off from the five aggregates or that it is non-percipient. Nor that it continues after parinibbāna.

OK - then do me a favor and put the following passage into another context that does not make it seem to say there is a concsciousness beyond the all, where the all is defined as the five aggregates.

Buckwheat wrote:
"'Consciousness without surface, endless, radiant all around, has not been experienced through the earthness of earth ... the liquidity of liquid ... the fieriness of fire ... the windiness of wind ... the allness of the all.'[9]
MN 49 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All.
SN 35.23 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


ancientbuddhism wrote:However, there is no reason to assume that it (viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ) ... is non-percipient. Nor that it continues after parinibbāna.


Has Thanissaro Bhikkhu made those claims? If so, I would like to see the context.

The passage you quote is excellent, but I fail to see how it refutes any of the above points. Maybe you can connect the dots for me?
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Nyana » Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:48 am

Buckwheat wrote:There was a critique somewhere that mentioned the Thai Forrest tradition has the view of an "eternal consciousness".

There is no homogeneous view held in common by all of the different and diverse members of the Thai forest tradition.

Buckwheat wrote:I'm genuinely interested in knowing any weaknesses in Thanissaro's approach

Ṭhānissaro has taken a small number of suttas and forced his interpretation on them to fit with his preconceived thesis about nibbāna, while completely disregarding every credible tradition of Buddhist commentary in the process.

Buckwheat wrote:Is there another explanation for the following passage besides a consciousness beyond the all (the six sense bases)?

Let me ask you: How can there be a consciousness beyond the six sense bases? Moreover, how could nibbāna ever be known except through the mind (manas)?

Buckwheat wrote:(1) The term viññanam anidassanam also occurs in DN 11, where it is described as where name & form are brought to an end: surely a synonym for nibbana.

This doesn't support his thesis in any way.

Buckwheat wrote:(2) If nibbana is an object of mental consciousness (as a dhamma), it would come under the all, as an object of the intellect.

The Abhidhammapiṭaka and the Paṭisambhidāmagga, etc., classify the path and fruition cognitions and associated mental factors as well as nibbāna as unincluded (apariyāpannā bhūmi). That is, they are not included in the sensual sphere (kāmāvacarā bhūmi), the form sphere (rūpāvacarā bhūmi), or the formless sphere (arūpāvacarā bhūmi). But the path and fruition cognitions and associated mental factors are still fabricated (saṅkhatā). The only dhamma that is not-fabricated (asaṅkhatā) is nibbāna.

Buckwheat wrote:There are passages in the Canon (such as AN 9.36) that describe meditators experiencing nibbana as a dhamma, but these passages seem to indicate that this description applies up through the level of non-returning.

The passages in question are not restricted to the level of non-returning.

Buckwheat wrote:Thus, for the arahant, nibbana is not an object of consciousness. Instead it is directly known without mediation. Because consciousness without feature is directly known without mediation, there seems good reason to equate the two.

There is no good reason to equate the two.

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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby ancientbuddhism » Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:23 pm

Buckwheat wrote:Not even gonna fake a reference? How am I supposed to study these claims?


It is a conversation some of us may remember from the Websangha forum, and true, some of the comments are hearsay within the saṅgha, but the essentials were bolded and do point to the references you have been given.

Buckwheat wrote:Has Thanissaro Bhikkhu made those claims?


You have already cited where he has.

Buckwheat wrote:The passage you quote is excellent, but I fail to see how it refutes any of the above points. ...


It provides context for ‘consciousness without foundation’ (appatiṭṭaṭhita viññāṇa), that is not separate from the aggregates.
Anuvicca papañca nāmarūpaṃ
ajjhattaṃ bahiddhā ca rogamūlaṃ,
sabbarogamūlabandhanā pamutto
anuvidito tādi pavuccate tathattā
.

“Having known the naming of objects,
With its proliferation, its root in illness – within and without;
One is released from bondage to the root of all illness.
And thus is called the Knowing One – the Such.

– Sn. 3.6 (Sabhiyasuttaṃ)

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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby manas » Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:15 am

Everything is arising and passing away in the mind; maybe that's all there is to it. Form, feeling, perception, fabrications, and consciousness - arise and pass away - just in the mind (which is also not-self)

Just a quick idea, don't know if the Buddha said that though.

metta.

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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby danieLion » Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:42 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
Buckwheat wrote:Thanissaro's main point was agree upon a few posts back.

I don't think that that was his main point.

Buckwheat wrote:As for the fire approach, it has been misrepresented.

No it hasn't.

Buckwheat wrote:From "A Verb for Nirvana" you can see that he is clear that nirvana is not a temporary dhamma:

In the endnotes to MN 49 he also asserts that nibbāna is a form of consciousness:

    Some have objected to the equation of this consciousness with nibbana, on the grounds that nibbana is no where else in the Canon described as a form of consciousness. Thus they have proposed that consciousness without surface be regarded as an arahant's consciousness of nibbana in meditative experience, and not nibbana itself.

No Indian Buddhist author -- whether Theravāda, Sarvāstivāda, Mādhyamaka, or Yogācāra -- ever made this assertion that nibbāna is a type of consciousness. And in the Introduction to his translation of the same sutta he also asserts that this consciousness is not known by means of any of the six senses at all:

    The Buddha describes his awakened knowledge in a variety of ways ... by describing an awakened consciousness that is not known by means of any of the six senses at all.... Some of these assertions — in particular, the assertion of a consciousness not mediated by any of the six senses — are extremely important dhamma lessons....

And in the endnotes to MN 38 he asserts that this consciousness is not included in the consciousness aggregate:

    The Buddha, knowing that there are two types of consciousness — the consciousness aggregate (viññāṇakkhandha), which is experienced in conjunction with the six sense media, and consciousness without surface (viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ), which is experienced independently of the six sense media....

Again, no Indian Buddhist author -- whether Theravāda, Sarvāstivāda, Mādhyamaka, or Yogācāra -- ever made any of these assertions. So apparently we are to believe that Ṭhānissaro has re-discovered the correct understanding of nibbāna as a form of consciousness which can only be experienced independently of the six sense media, that somehow eluded all of the best and brightest minds of Buddhist India!

His interpretation of nibbāna is very novel. It's also nonsense.

So, Nana, your critique devolves to, "Thanissaro's not orthodox enough for me!"? That's it?
good-will
Daniel

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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby danieLion » Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:59 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
Ṭhānissaro has taken a small number of suttas and forced his interpretation on them to fit with his preconceived thesis about nibbāna, while completely disregarding every credible tradition of Buddhist commentary in the process.

Likewise, Nana. You've taken a small number of Thanissaro references (with some hearsay thrown in) and forced your interpretation on them to fit with your preconceptions about nibbāna, while repeatedly taking Thanissaro out of context.

Ñāṇa wrote:Let me ask you: How can there be a consciousness beyond the six sense bases?
Does it really matter?
Ñāṇa wrote:Moreover, how could nibbāna ever be known except through the mind (manas)?
What is the sutta basis for nibbāna known only through manas?
good-will
Daniel

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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:08 am

danieLion wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:Let me ask you: How can there be a consciousness beyond the six sense bases?
Does it really matter?
It may.
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: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby danieLion » Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:09 am

Ñāṇa wrote:The Abhidhammapiṭaka and the Paṭisambhidāmagga, etc., classify the path and fruition


Why are you citing the very commentary tradition Thanissaro's highly dismissive of to attempt to refute him?

"Path and fruition"? A commentarial imposition.

You keep re-phrasing your beef, but it's poorly disguising the fact that this is basically a substance-less opinion war.

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Daniel

danieLion
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby danieLion » Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:18 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
Buckwheat wrote:Thus, for the arahant, nibbana is not an object of consciousness. Instead it is directly known without mediation. Because consciousness without feature is directly known without mediation, there seems good reason to equate the two.

There is no good reason to equate the two.

Nana,
This is a good example of how you twist and contort Thanissaro/reveal you're nit-picky prejudice against him. "There seems good reason to..." is not a hard claim. It's commentary. I see no good reason to give authority to The Abhidhammapiṭaka and the Paṭisambhidāmagga, etc... over modern commentators like Thanissaro, but I'm sure you'll disabuse me of my incorrect opinions soon enough.
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Nyana » Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:26 am

danieLion wrote:Likewise, Nana. You've taken a small number of Thanissaro references (with some hearsay thrown in) and forced your interpretation on them to fit with your preconceptions about nibbāna, while repeatedly taking Thanissaro out of context.

Nonsense. I quoted him verbatim and in the proper context. And I never mentioned any hearsay.

danieLion wrote:So, Nana, your critique devolves to, "Thanissaro's not orthodox enough for me!"? That's it?

The bottom line is that his theory on nibbāna isn't even Buddhist. At best, it's mildly amusing. It certainly doesn't offer a credible alternative or pose a credible challenge to the standard path structures contained in the Dhammasaṅgaṇī and the Vibhaṅga, etc. So there's really no need to get too involved in criticizing it.

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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby ancientbuddhism » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:26 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:The bottom line is that his theory on nibbāna isn't even Buddhist. At best, it's mildly amusing. It certainly doesn't offer a credible alternative or pose a credible challenge to the standard path structures contained in the Dhammasaṅgaṇī and the Vibhaṅga, etc. So there's really no need to get too involved in criticizing it.


Indeed. The jury has been out on this debate for some time, even before Ṭhanissaro started writing on this in ’93.

With regard to misinterpretations of anattā doctrine:

A Note on Attā in the Alagaddūpama Sutta, K.R. Norman

A Philological approach to Buddhism, K.R. Norman

Recovering the Buddha’s Message, R.F. Gombrich

And Kalupahana discusses misinterpretations Nirvāṇa in :

The Notion of suffering in early Buddhism compared with some reflections of early Wittgenstein

Causality: The Central Philosophy of Buddhism
Anuvicca papañca nāmarūpaṃ
ajjhattaṃ bahiddhā ca rogamūlaṃ,
sabbarogamūlabandhanā pamutto
anuvidito tādi pavuccate tathattā
.

“Having known the naming of objects,
With its proliferation, its root in illness – within and without;
One is released from bondage to the root of all illness.
And thus is called the Knowing One – the Such.

– Sn. 3.6 (Sabhiyasuttaṃ)

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

A Handful of Leaves


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