Parinirvana

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.

Re: Parinirvana

Postby daverupa » Sat May 17, 2014 1:34 am

arhat wrote:Many Arhats ... I am told not to appear to be a Buddha.


Exactly.

You aren't being told anything in a juvenile way, by the by. It's being recommended that this calls an undue attention, and doesn't really conduce to the moniker terminology the Board prefers to reserve for ordained monastics.

It also refers unduly to personal attainment, which isn't taking the form of a personal testimony, but an imprimatur, and this is - again - an inappropriate garnering of attention to the individual post(s).
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
User avatar
daverupa
 
Posts: 4240
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Parinirvana

Postby bharadwaja » Sat May 17, 2014 1:50 am

I understand. Please go ahead and modify my username. I apologise for not making myself aware of the username regulations.
Last edited by David N. Snyder on Sat May 17, 2014 2:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: username changed from arhat to bharadwaja
User avatar
bharadwaja
 
Posts: 205
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:20 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Parinirvana

Postby Mkoll » Sat May 17, 2014 2:05 am

arhat wrote:Why, you yourself said that the traditional Theravada interpretation is different from mine. If I see the canon saying one thing and the tradition (either the ancient tradition or the modern western tradition) interpreting it in an untenable way, I say so, with reasons. Maybe you don't accept the reasons, but I do offer reasons when asked.

How can I accept or reject reasons I haven't heard from you yet? What are you reasons and what are you talking about specifically when you say the canon says one thing and the tradition says another?

arhat wrote:Books can be written about how significantly the tradition has changed since the 3rd century (or since the Buddha's era), there is so much to unravel.

Specifics? Details? Evidence? Particulars? Sources?

arhat wrote:The Buddha did not live where we think he lived, did not speak the language we think he spoke, did not preach much of what we think he preached.

Specifics? Details? Evidence? Particulars? Sources?

arhat wrote:It's because we superimpose our own preconceived notions of what is correct on the Buddha that we understand his message the way we do.

Specifics? Details? Evidence? Particulars? Sources?

arhat wrote:My job is to leave that approach aside and do original inquiries into Buddhism and its original environment.

Specifics? Details? Evidence? Particulars? Sources?

arhat wrote:Thirdly about going beyond duality into non-dual nature of Buddhahood by destroying the vile-alter-ego, what exactly is unclear? Why did the Buddha oppose Mara, and who was Mara, are you aware of this?

No I'm not aware and it is very unclear. Enlighten me with specifics, details, evidence, particulars, and sources.
Peace,
James
User avatar
Mkoll
 
Posts: 3526
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:55 pm
Location: California, USA

Re: Parinirvana

Postby bharadwaja » Sat May 17, 2014 11:49 am

Thanks David for changing my username from Arhat to Bharadwaja.

OK let's start with Māra. This is not a proper name, it is an epithet, meaning "death" (from the verbal stem "mar-" i.e. to die). Keep in mind death was not viewed as an absolute in Indian culture, it is as temporary (and fleeting) as life. Māra (as the personification of death) is called so, since he causes spiritual death, and his quest is to keep the individual mired in saṃsāra (i.e. submerged within the "stream" of the life-death-life-death... swirl), whilst the Buddha by defeating him and keeping him in check has managed to cross the "stream" and figuratively "reach the other shore" and has thus escaped the duality of becoming/birth and unbecoming/death, hence he gets the epithet tathāgata (the one thus gone forth, to the other shore). The buddha takes the help of the raft called "dhamma" (i.e. dharma, dhar = "to bear") to cross the stream of saṃsāra and to that extent the vijjā "knowledge" of dhamma is the guide (acting against the "avijjā", which nivuta "covers/envelopes" the world) that takes one from the duality of saṃsāra, to the non-duality of nibbāṇa. Taṇhā (sensual thirst or craving), Arati (disgust), and Raga (inflammation/deep-passion) are figuratively the daughters of Māra who help him, to keep the individual mired in saṃsāra and not letting him/her reach the other shore. Hence the Buddha's battle with Māra and his conquest of Māra is an important occasion for it signifies the ascent to Buddha-hood (or arahant-hood). Māra does not go away, he keeps coming back to the Buddha with his daughters to tempt the buddha back into saṃsāra, but the buddha by striving (sramaṇa "striver" = one who undertakes srama "effort") manages to always keep Māra in check, and for this feat, he is called an arahant (i.e. ari "enemy"+ hant "destroyer").
User avatar
bharadwaja
 
Posts: 205
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:20 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Parinirvana

Postby Kare » Sat May 17, 2014 12:36 pm

bharadwaja wrote:... he is called an arahant (i.e. ari "enemy"+ hant "destroyer").


Arihant is a jain title, and you give the correct etymology for that word. The buddhist title is arahant, and it has a different etymology:

Arahant (adj.-- n.) [Vedic arhant, ppr. of arhati (see arahati), meaning deserving, worthy]. Before Buddhism used as honorific title of high officials like the English ʻ His Worship ʼ; at the rise of Buddhism applied popularly to all ascetics (Dial. iii.3-- 6). (PTS Dictionary, http://dsalsrv02.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/p ... splay=utf8 )

The early buddhists were fond of word play, and it is highly probable that the title arahant is some kind of a parody on the jain title arihant - an insider joke. But the words and their meanings are clearly different and should not be confused.
Mettāya,
Kåre
User avatar
Kare
 
Posts: 684
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:58 am
Location: Norway

Re: Parinirvana

Postby bharadwaja » Sat May 17, 2014 1:34 pm

The verbal stem "arha-" in Vedic means "to deserve", so the term "arhat" could be translated as "one who deserves (nibbana)", and in that sense it becomes synonymous to bodhisatta (bodhi-śākta)

However we are talking of ara-hant (i.e. ari-hant) here which appears closer to the jain epithet than the vedic one. But thanks for pointing at this alternative understanding, it is valid.
User avatar
bharadwaja
 
Posts: 205
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:20 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Parinirvana

Postby Mkoll » Sat May 17, 2014 4:03 pm

bharadwaja wrote:Thanks David for changing my username from Arhat to Bharadwaja.

OK let's start with Māra. This is not a proper name, it is an epithet, meaning "death" (from the verbal stem "mar-" i.e. to die). Keep in mind death was not viewed as an absolute in Indian culture, it is as temporary (and fleeting) as life. Māra (as the personification of death) is called so, since he causes spiritual death, and his quest is to keep the individual mired in saṃsāra (i.e. submerged within the "stream" of the life-death-life-death... swirl), whilst the Buddha by defeating him and keeping him in check has managed to cross the "stream" and figuratively "reach the other shore" and has thus escaped the duality of becoming/birth and unbecoming/death, hence he gets the epithet tathāgata (the one thus gone forth, to the other shore). The buddha takes the help of the raft called "dhamma" (i.e. dharma, dhar = "to bear") to cross the stream of saṃsāra and to that extent the vijjā "knowledge" of dhamma is the guide (acting against the "avijjā", which nivuta "covers/envelopes" the world) that takes one from the duality of saṃsāra, to the non-duality of nibbāṇa. Taṇhā (sensual thirst or craving), Arati (disgust), and Raga (inflammation/deep-passion) are figuratively the daughters of Māra who help him, to keep the individual mired in saṃsāra and not letting him/her reach the other shore. Hence the Buddha's battle with Māra and his conquest of Māra is an important occasion for it signifies the ascent to Buddha-hood (or arahant-hood). Māra does not go away, he keeps coming back to the Buddha with his daughters to tempt the buddha back into saṃsāra, but the buddha by striving (sramaṇa "striver" = one who undertakes srama "effort") manages to always keep Māra in check, and for this feat, he is called an arahant (i.e. ari "enemy"+ hant "destroyer").


bharadwaja,

Thanks for the detailed analysis.

I agree with what you've said except for the ideas of keeping Māra in check, sramaṇa meaning striver, and duality/non-duality.

The stock passage we hear many times over about the arahant is: "one who has reached fulfillment, done the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, totally destroyed the fetter of becoming, and is released through right gnosis". The phrases I underlined mean an end to striving, not a continuance of it. When one is done doing a task, one's striving to complete that task is done with. Figuratively, when the "enemy" (Māra) has been "destroyed", one is an arahant; this matches your own definition of "arahant". When something is "totally destroyed", that means it's been complete ended; it's not coming back. So, Māra has been ended for the arahant and there is no longer a need to strive against him or keep him in check. He's gone (for the arahant).

You've mentioned the duality/non-duality concept many times. However, I've never read anything that tries to explain things using that concept in the Pāli suttas. I've seen no mention of it. I have read about duality/non-duality in regards to Advaita Vedanta and some of the Mahayana schools. What is the source of your belief that this concept is part of the the Buddha's teachings?

EDIT: Given our discussion in the other thread, I set aside what I said before that is italicized.
Last edited by Mkoll on Sat May 17, 2014 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Peace,
James
User avatar
Mkoll
 
Posts: 3526
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:55 pm
Location: California, USA

Re: Parinirvana

Postby waterchan » Sat May 17, 2014 4:14 pm

Mkoll wrote:You've mentioned the duality/non-duality concept many times. However, I've never read anything that tries to explain things using that concept in the Pāli suttas. I've seen no mention of it. I have read about duality/non-duality in regards to Advaita Vedanta and some of the Mahayana schools.


To me it seems little more than a philosopher's attempt to slap a label on Buddhism. I don't think the ideas of duality and non-duality are important for the practice of Buddhism.Bhikkhu Bodhi writes that Buddhism does not fit into either category.
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)
User avatar
waterchan
 
Posts: 466
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 7:17 pm
Location: Sereitei

Re: Parinirvana

Postby Mkoll » Sat May 17, 2014 4:48 pm

waterchan wrote:I don't think the ideas of duality and non-duality are important for the practice of Buddhism.


Exactly, at least for the Buddhism I've read in the Pali suttas. Some other spiritual traditions may make this duality/non-duality concept the crux of their practice. But I've yet to see a mention of it in the suttas.

Besides, isn't the distinction between duality and non-duality just another duality? :rolleye:
Peace,
James
User avatar
Mkoll
 
Posts: 3526
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:55 pm
Location: California, USA

Re: Parinirvana

Postby vinasp » Sat May 17, 2014 4:53 pm

Hi everyone,

Possibly: papanca = multiplicity - prolification.

nippapanca = unity - simplicity.

Regards, Vincent.

edited: spelling.
vinasp
 
Posts: 1254
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Bristol. United Kingdom.

Re: Parinirvana

Postby bharadwaja » Sat May 17, 2014 6:28 pm

The stock passage we hear many times over about the arahant is: "one who has reached fulfillment, done the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, totally destroyed the fetter of becoming, and is released through right gnosis". The phrases I underlined mean an end to striving, not a continuance of it. When one is done doing a task, one's striving to complete that task is done with. Figuratively, when the "enemy" (Māra) has been "destroyed", one is an arahant; this matches your own definition of "arahant". When something is "totally destroyed", that means it's been complete ended; it's not coming back. So, Māra has been ended for the arahant and there is no longer a need to strive against him or keep him in check. He's gone (for the arahant).

Do you literally believe everything that the canon contains, considering it all as Buddhism, or do you test it? Māra can never be completely "gone" until parinibbana for he is the arahant's own alter-ego (the personification of his own kilesas) which can be isolated and kept in control, but not eliminated (i.e. the non-dual realization is reached but duality is not made extinct). How does a human being (i.e. an arahant) as long as he remains mortal with human faculties, permanently kill hatred, sense experiences, lust & ignorance without doing anything on the pretext that they have been "silenced" permanently? Did the arahants of the Buddha's time not feel hatred and lust etc at all after a point, or were they rather able to keep them in check by constantly reflecting on the dhamma and seeing these kilesas for what they truly were?

Mkoll wrote:You've mentioned the duality/non-duality concept many times. However, I've never read anything that tries to explain things using that concept in the Pāli suttas.

It's there all over the canon, but let's just take an example from the first sutta of the Digha Nikaya, which I translate as follows.

(The Buddha, addressing some monks):

5. “If others speak ill of me, the dhamma or the sangha, you should not there retaliate or get dejected or wrathful for that reason, for becoming anattaman will be your hindrance. Will you then be able to know what was well-said and what was ill-said?” “No indeed, venerable sir”. “There you should unravel the falsehood thus – ‘The quoted thing did not happen, it is unfactual, that does not exist among us, neither is it to be found among us.’”

6. “If others speak well of me, the dhamma or the sangha, you should not for that reason get pleased or satisfied or allow your mind to leap in joy, for that will be your hindrance. There you should acknowledge the truth thus – ‘The quoted thing did happen, it is factual, that does exist among us, it is to be found among us.’”


So, avoiding both extremes (dualities), the Buddha preaches the middle (non-dual) path.
User avatar
bharadwaja
 
Posts: 205
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:20 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Parinirvana

Postby Mkoll » Sat May 17, 2014 8:00 pm

bharadwaja,

My take on anything I can't test through experience, including my views, is what the Buddha taught in the Canki Sutta.

"If a person has conviction, his statement, 'This is my conviction,' safeguards the truth. But he doesn't yet come to the definite conclusion that 'Only this is true; anything else is worthless.' To this extent, Bharadvaja, there is the safeguarding of the truth. To this extent one safeguards the truth. I describe this as the safeguarding of the truth. But it is not yet an awakening to the truth.
-MN 95, Canki Sutta


It's apparent to me that your views on what an arahant is are immovable, at this time; they can change. To put it bluntly, I think that you have formed your views about arahantship in such a way that you have convinced yourself that you are an arahant who has transcended all suffering, and this has blinded you to important aspects of the Path that must be cultivated before transcending suffering.

I regret getting so far into debate with you about this. But I do hope we all put an end to suffering. May you be well.

What I teach now as before, O monks, is suffering and the cessation of suffering.
-MN 22


And this, monks, is the noble truth of the cessation of stress: the remainderless fading & cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, & letting go of that very craving.
-SN 56.11
Peace,
James
User avatar
Mkoll
 
Posts: 3526
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:55 pm
Location: California, USA

Re: Parinirvana

Postby bharadwaja » Sun May 18, 2014 7:50 am

You are now making ad-hominem remarks without addressing the content of my previous post above.
User avatar
bharadwaja
 
Posts: 205
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:20 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Parinirvana

Postby Mkoll » Sun May 18, 2014 4:13 pm

bharadwaja wrote:You are now making ad-hominem remarks without addressing the content of my previous post above.


Mkoll wrote:I regret getting so far into debate with you about this.


:focus:
Peace,
James
User avatar
Mkoll
 
Posts: 3526
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:55 pm
Location: California, USA

Previous

Return to Early Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests