Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby PeterB » Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:24 am

Individual wrote:
PeterB wrote:I think the fact that Nagarjuna is a Mahayanist is ABSOLUTELY the point.

If you regard people as Theravada-"ins" and Mahayana-"ists", thinking and judging in these terms, aren't you basically adopting a form of sakaya-ditthi, which is contrary to the teachings of both schools of thought?

As I see it, Theravadins and Mahayanists are just like Republicans and Democrats.

Wait, that might offend people... Sorry... We're ALL Democrats here (no Republicans here except me).

Another restatement of the Mahayana view ( or at least Mahayana Naif ) which thinks its is radical.
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby tobes » Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:39 am

It depends greatly on how Nagarjuna is interpreted.....and he is interpreted in a number of very distinct ways.

We have been having quite a robust debate about this on the Mahayana Dharma Wheel.

My own position is that I think that it is very clear that he is responding to Sarvastivadan realism, and in that sense, he is clarifying the position of earlier Buddhisms rather than refuting them or presenting a radical break.

As someone pointed out earlier on this thread, the Buddha did not make strong metaphysical assertions about the nature of phenomenal world; this started to occur during the period of Abhidharma scholasticism.

In this respect, I think that Nagarjuna's main intent is to point out that all of the core Buddhist teachings (for example the four noble truths) are premised on the logic of dependent origination. It is only on the basis of dependent origination that a soteriological path leading from samsara to nirvana is possible; that an ethics of kusala cultivation can be established.

So in many respects I think that if one is well grounded in the Pali suttas, a likely response to Nagarjuna would be something like "So? Of course!"

:namaste:
Last edited by tobes on Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:44 am

:twothumbsup:

:goodpost:

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: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby Nyana » Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:47 am

tobes wrote:It depends greatly on how Nagarjuna is interpreted.....and he is interpreted in a number of very distinct ways.

We have been having quite a robust debate about this on the Mahayana Dharma Wheel.

The Pāli dhamma is every bit as radical, if not moreso, than anything of importance that Nāgārjuna ever said.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:49 am

Hence, Tobes' final sentence... "So in many respects I think that if one is well grounded in the Pali suttas, a likely response to Nagarjuna would be something like "So? Of course!""

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby Nyana » Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:00 am

The reference was to Tobes characterization of "radical" in the context of the discussion on Dharma Wheel. I'm suggesting that both the Pāli dhamma and Nāgārjuna are more "radical" than Tobes interpretation. Certainly, the view presented in the Pāli Tipiṭaka accords with what Nāgār­juna was getting at. Ven. Ñāṇananda:

    Teach­ers like Nāgār­juna brought to light what was already there [in the Pāli suttas] but was hid­den from view. Unfor­tu­nately his later fol­low­ers turned it in to a vāda....

    When I first read the Kārikā I too was doubt­ing Ven. Nāgārjuna’s san­ity. But the work needs to be under­stood in the con­text. He was tak­ing a jab at the Sarvāstivādins. To be hon­est, even the oth­ers deserve the rebuke, although they now try to get away by using Sarvās­tivāda as an excuse. How skilled Ven. Nāgār­juna must have been, to com­pose those verses so ele­gantly and fill­ing them with so much mean­ing, like the Dhamma­pada verses. It’s quite amazing.

All the best,

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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:03 am

Ñāṇa wrote:The reference was to Tobes characterization of "radical" in the context of the discussion on Dharma Wheel.
Link, please.
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.

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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby Nyana » Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:07 am

tiltbillings wrote:Link, please.

The discussion is in this thread.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:08 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Link, please.

The discussion is in this thread.

All the best,

Geoff
Thanks.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby PeterB » Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:23 am

Ñāṇa wrote:The reference was to Tobes characterization of "radical" in the context of the discussion on Dharma Wheel. I'm suggesting that both the Pāli dhamma and Nāgārjuna are more "radical" than Tobes interpretation. Certainly, the view presented in the Pāli Tipiṭaka accords with what Nāgār­juna was getting at. Ven. Ñāṇananda:

    Teach­ers like Nāgār­juna brought to light what was already there [in the Pāli suttas] but was hid­den from view. Unfor­tu­nately his later fol­low­ers turned it in to a vāda....

    When I first read the Kārikā I too was doubt­ing Ven. Nāgārjuna’s san­ity. But the work needs to be under­stood in the con­text. He was tak­ing a jab at the Sarvāstivādins. To be hon­est, even the oth­ers deserve the rebuke, although they now try to get away by using Sarvās­tivāda as an excuse. How skilled Ven. Nāgār­juna must have been, to com­pose those verses so ele­gantly and fill­ing them with so much mean­ing, like the Dhamma­pada verses. It’s quite amazing.

All the best,

Geoff

We are in your debt ( and Ven Nananada's of course ) once more Geoff.
:anjali:
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby waterchan » Sun May 04, 2014 12:54 am

Isn't Nagarjuna the guy who said that the Pali Tipitaka is incomplete and that he had retrieved the true Tipitaka from the Naga realm?
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby Virgo » Sun May 04, 2014 2:24 am

waterchan wrote:Isn't Nagarjuna the guy who said that the Pali Tipitaka is incomplete and that he had retrieved the true Tipitaka from the Naga realm?

Yes.

ROFL.

Approximately five hundred years after the Buddha.


But other Mahayanists also had other interpretations too.

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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby alan » Sun May 04, 2014 3:56 am

The main problem with Nagarjuna is that he adds several levels of mind spin without offering anything useful. A clever enough person could do that forever. In fact, volumes of pointless mind spin have been written.
I don't bother with it.
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby Phena » Sun May 04, 2014 10:06 am

Well, Nagarjuna's work was just a commentary when all said and done. The real genius had already been done by the founder and expounder. :bow:

It's like trying to compare an art critic to an artist. (The creator versus the analyst).
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby Mkoll » Sun May 04, 2014 10:44 am

alan wrote:The main problem with Nagarjuna is that he adds several levels of mind spin without offering anything useful. A clever enough person could do that forever. In fact, volumes of pointless mind spin have been written.
I don't bother with it.


Well said. I like that expression, mind spin. Cause that's exactly what it is.
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby Dan74 » Sun May 04, 2014 11:49 am

'Mind spin" for some, practice pointers for others.
_/|\_
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun May 04, 2014 3:33 pm

Mkoll wrote:
alan wrote:The main problem with Nagarjuna is that he adds several levels of mind spin without offering anything useful. A clever enough person could do that forever. In fact, volumes of pointless mind spin have been written.
I don't bother with it.


Well said. I like that expression, mind spin. Cause that's exactly what it is.
And you say this based upon a careful study of Nagarjuna?
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby waterchan » Sun May 04, 2014 4:00 pm

Tilt, I am unfamiliar with Nagarjuna. You seem to think that Nagarjuna has something valuable to contribute to Theravada, but I cannot take seriously his claim about having dibs on the true Tipitaka that he retrieved from the Naga realm, besides other claims. Please point out where I am wrong.
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby Dan74 » Sun May 04, 2014 4:34 pm

waterchan wrote:Tilt, I am unfamiliar with Nagarjuna. You seem to think that Nagarjuna has something valuable to contribute to Theravada, but I cannot take seriously his claim about having dibs on the true Tipitaka that he retrieved from the Naga realm, besides other claims. Please point out where I am wrong.


(With apologies to Tilt)

Nagarjuna (like Vasubandhu etc) had many things ascribed to him, some probably many centuries later, and we probably shouldn't let that get in the way of appreciating Mulamadhyamakakarika, say.
_/|\_
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby waterchan » Sun May 04, 2014 5:46 pm

Dan74 wrote:
waterchan wrote:Tilt, I am unfamiliar with Nagarjuna. You seem to think that Nagarjuna has something valuable to contribute to Theravada, but I cannot take seriously his claim about having dibs on the true Tipitaka that he retrieved from the Naga realm, besides other claims. Please point out where I am wrong.


(With apologies to Tilt)

Nagarjuna (like Vasubandhu etc) had many things ascribed to him, some probably many centuries later, and we probably shouldn't let that get in the way of appreciating Mulamadhyamakakarika, say.


Assuming the Mulamadhyamakakarika is an original work of Nagarjuna and not a misattribution, Nagarjuna said that nirvana and samsara are the same and "not even a subtle interval can be found" between them.

If I interpret this at face value, it flies in the face of the goal of liberation from samsara. If I have to interpret it at deeper than face value, then that's really an unnecessary stretch of the imagination, is it not?
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