Dependent Origination and the Vedas

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

Re: Dependent Origination and the Vedas

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:24 am

Greetings,

Bodhisvasti wrote:Is there a reason why we must keep referring to contemporary Western scholars about Dependent Origination? Was there something deficient in the Buddha as a teacher that prompts us to do this?

The deficiencies weren't in what the Buddha actually taught.

In the context of this topic, it's deficiencies in understanding of the prevailing religious context in which dependent origination was taught, and the resultant tendency towards literalist interpretations in some quarters. Studies like this challenge the literalism that many people and traditions might otherwise take for granted.

If that's of no interest to you, the Early Buddhism sub-forum may not be your cup of tea.

:coffee:

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: Dependent Origination and the Vedas

Postby Truth_Seeker1989 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:00 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Bodhisvasti wrote:Is there a reason why we must keep referring to contemporary Western scholars about Dependent Origination? Was there something deficient in the Buddha as a teacher that prompts us to do this?

The deficiencies weren't in what the Buddha actually taught.

In the context of this topic, it's deficiencies in understanding of the prevailing religious context in which dependent origination was taught, and the resultant tendency towards literalist interpretations in some quarters. Studies like this challenge the literalism that many people and traditions might otherwise take for granted.

If that's of no interest to you, the Early Buddhism sub-forum may not be your cup of tea.

:coffee:

Metta,
Retro. :)


Sorry Retro. I did not realise I was making an inappropriate remark. I recently joined another Buddhist forum where the administer is always telling us we are posting in the wrong way. Understanding the bureaucracy of Buddhist forums is not easy for me at all, lol. Still, your reply did not really appease my doubts. If so many people are making literalist interpretation the question remains: was Buddha not a literalist teacher (ie: taught esoterically) or is there is a problem in the transmission? Thank you, anyways.
Everything that makes you, you, is the result of your Environment (Society, Culture, Family, Friends, Etc), Genetics/Biology (Your brain which makes the mind possible, Inborn diseases such as Down Syndrome, or even Psociopathy, etc), Thoughts (Everything you think affects your mind, and the person you are), Speech (Same as thoughts, but words affect your environment as well), Actions (Same as Speech), and the Elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Space, and Time).
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Re: Dependent Origination and the Vedas

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:17 am

Greetings,

Bodhisvasti wrote:If so many people are making literalist interpretation the question remains: was Buddha not a literalist teacher (ie: taught esoterically) or is there is a problem in the transmission?

Literalism and esoteric are not the only two possibilities.

There's simile, there's metaphor, there's words which had pre-existing meanings that the Buddha tweaked (but did the tweaks always survive are his death?), there's pre-existing context, often since lost ... etc.

Perhaps read this if you're interested - http://www.scribd.com/doc/97015372/Burn ... chard-2012

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: Dependent Origination and the Vedas

Postby Sylvester » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:29 am

ancientbuddhism wrote:The function of nāmarūpa as ‘thoughts and intentions’ (saṅkappavittakkā) at the 18 dhātus (the range of sense-consciousness and the mind) is given in the Kiṃmūlaka Suttas of the Aṅguttara Nikāya, specifically AN. 9.1.2.4. (9.14) – Samiddhisuttaṃ.

As for the conceiving (maññati) of a self at nāmarūpa by the puthujjana, we find a concise example of this at Sn. 3.12 – Dvayatānupassanāsuttaṃ:

[list]Anattani attamāniṃ, passa lokaṃ sadevakaṃ;
Niviṭṭhaṃ nāmarūpasmiṃ, idaṃ saccanti maññati
.

“See this world with its gods, considering self in what is not-self.
Immersed in this recognition of objects (nāmarūpa), they imagine this as real.



Hi ancientbuddhism

Hope you won't mind my curiosity, but are the linked translations of AN 9.14 and Sn.3.12 yours? They are very beautifully rendered.

Anyway, I could not help noticing that nāmarūpa in both suttas have been treated as a genitive tappurisa, instead of the standard dvanda compound interpretation. But, would you not agree that for "recognition of objects" to work, the tappurisa would originally needed to have been rūpanāma?
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Re: Dependent Origination and the Vedas

Postby ancientbuddhism » Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:20 pm

Sylvester wrote:
ancientbuddhism wrote:The function of nāmarūpa as ‘thoughts and intentions’ (saṅkappavittakkā) at the 18 dhātus (the range of sense-consciousness and the mind) is given in the Kiṃmūlaka Suttas of the Aṅguttara Nikāya, specifically AN. 9.1.2.4. (9.14) – Samiddhisuttaṃ.

As for the conceiving (maññati) of a self at nāmarūpa by the puthujjana, we find a concise example of this at Sn. 3.12 – Dvayatānupassanāsuttaṃ:

[list]Anattani attamāniṃ, passa lokaṃ sadevakaṃ;
Niviṭṭhaṃ nāmarūpasmiṃ, idaṃ saccanti maññati
.

“See this world with its gods, considering self in what is not-self.
Immersed in this recognition of objects (nāmarūpa), they imagine this as real.



Hi ancientbuddhism

Hope you won't mind my curiosity, but are the linked translations of AN 9.14 and Sn.3.12 yours? They are very beautifully rendered.

Anyway, I could not help noticing that nāmarūpa in both suttas have been treated as a genitive tappurisa, instead of the standard dvanda compound interpretation. But, would you not agree that for "recognition of objects" to work, the tappurisa would originally needed to have been rūpanāma?


Yes, this is not a strict translation, but rather is intended to unpack the meaning of nāmarūpa where ‘name and form’ leaves many puzzled. For this reason a rendering of ‘recognition of objects’ or even a more radical ‘recognition of embodiment' to represent thought processes and the range of sense-gates and objects (viz. 18 dhātus) for nāmarūpa, is less following the strict grammar than an attempt to give an interpretive meaning for the function of nāmarūpa within the context of experience, and how it is pivotal to a false reification of 'self' in ignorance.

With reference to the Kiṃmūlaka theme suttas, they are helpful with an analysis of sensate processes, and in the case of the Samiddhi Sutta, the place of nāmarūpa in this. Also, the pathway of liberation is given which overall provides a Jacob’s Ladder to the entire theme.

Here is a chart for the Kiṃmūlaka suttas which may be helpful as an overview:

http://ahandfulofleaves.files.wordpress ... chart1.pdf
Fingers walk the darkness down
Mind is on the midnight
Gather up the gold you've found
You fool, it's only moonlight.
If you try to take it home
Your hands will turn to butter
You better leave this dream alone
Try to find another. – Townes Van Zandt ‘Lungs’

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

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Re: Dependent Origination and the Vedas

Postby Sylvester » Sat Jun 30, 2012 6:57 am

Much obliged for your explanation, ancientbuddhism.

I would be the last to disagree with your thoughts about maññati of a self, since that features so prominently in DN 15, even if the terminology used there is slightly different (attānaṃ paññapento paññapeti). This attapaññatti, I suspect, should be synonymous with the attamaññati that you allude to, or perhaps they are closely connected via the papañca process in MN 18. MN 18 explains papañca as a potential consequence of paññatti into contact etc. MN 11 makes the express connection between papañca and the views of existence/non-existence, which is what draws maññati and papañca close together as culprits in Clinging.

Alternatively, attamaññati could be a particularly unskilfull type of paññatti, since DN 15's analysis of nāmarūpa as furnishing paññāvacara (a sphere of wisdom) seems to be mediated by adhivacanapatha (a pathway for designation), niruttipatha (a pathway for language) and paññattipatha (a pathway for description/manifestation). Awakening, it seems, cannot dispense with paññatti, no matter how dangerously close it appears to be the precursor of attamaññati.

But, while nāmarūpa has a prominent role in the construction of self-view as a consequence of contact, I still find it hard to ignore the other aspect of nāmarūpa described in DN 15. That seems to be a description of rebecoming and the formation of a new being. The reference to mātukucchi (mother's womb) is a clear indicator of this. The idea that nāmarūpa can samuccissathā (take shape) in the womb, also does not appear to be a reference to the cognitive process or even adhivacanasamphassa, but looks like a throwback to the Upanishadic idea of nāmarūpa as name and appearance/embodiment.

Unless we accept that nāmarūpa as a term actually has 2 distinct meanings, I think we may need to parse the compound in the the same way when describing either process, ie as a dvanda. I'm currently experimenting with a dvanda reading of nāmarūpa that preserves the potential for attamaññati, but it'll be a while before I'm am even half-sure.

:anjali:
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Re: Dependent Origination and the Vedas

Postby gavesako » Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:57 pm

In this new article Ven. Pannobhasa investigates "what the Buddha really originally taught" and in particular he raises doubts about the 12-step formula of Dependent Arising, because he personally prefers the "everything is mutually dependent" interpretation a la Nagarjuna:

http://www.nippapanca.org/articles/What ... yTeach.pdf
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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