Pre-Buddhist Indian Sages/Wisdom

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

Pre-Buddhist Indian Sages/Wisdom

Postby altar » Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:35 pm

If anyone has any information about this period, please share here. It is a broad subject... Mostly I am interested in particular sages, interesting doctrine, not focussing on self or Brahman. But feel free to share any relevant information on the times.

Wikipedia:
The word nirvana (Pali: Nibbana) was first used in its technical sense in Buddhism, and cannot be found in any of the pre-Buddhist Upanishads (It can be found in Jain texts). The use of the term in the Bhagavad Gita may be a sign of the strong Buddhist influence upon Hindu thought.[45] Although the word nirvana is absent from the Upanishads, the word itself existed prior to the Buddha.[118] It must be kept in mind that nirvana is one of many terms for salvation that occur in the orthodox Buddhist scriptures. Other terms that appear are 'Vimokha', or 'Vimutti', implying 'salvation' and 'deliverance' respectively.[119] Some more words synonymously used for nirvana in Buddhist scriptures are 'mokkha/moksha', meaning 'liberation' and 'kevala/kaivalya', meaning 'wholeness'; these words were given a new Buddhist meaning.[120]

I am looking for book discussing this (vedic/Indian setting) from Bhikkhuni Sobhana's list (just purchased Buddhist and Vedic Studies: A Miscellany Wijesekera). Suggestions appreciated.
Last edited by altar on Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pre-Buddhist Indian Sages/Wisdom

Postby Jhana4 » Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:56 pm

There is Samkya philosophy which focused on reducing sorrow, I think it predates Hinduism and its lead sage was Kapila.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Pre-Buddhist Indian Sages/Wisdom

Postby morning mist » Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:59 pm

The state of nirvana described is somewhat different in Jainism than the Buddha.
The Buddha’s concept of nibbana is the removal of raga, dosa, and moha.

Even before that it is a common term used by the general population as a word that refered to blowing out the fire. I guess back then there is no electricity, the use of candles /lamp is everywhere. The Buddha used it to refer to the blowing out ( extinguishing ) of a different type of fire: namely the fire of raga, dosa, and moha. Hence this common term generally used as extinguishing the fire ( of a lamp or candle) was used to explain the extinction of the three root defilement.

It is mentioned that " non-Buddhist texts, such as the Jain sources, the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali and some later Upaniṣads (such as the Maitrī Upaniṣad), which contain similar terms cannot be dated earlier than the beginning of the Common Era (CE).43 In such cases, we can justifiably assume that they might have been the result of Buddhist influence, rather than the other way around."

The Buddha often used common language in the area to explain his teaching so it is easy for people of that region to understand /relate. For example, if a Chinese monk comes to the U.S. and teach the dhamma he wouldn't be teaching it in Chinese. The natural thing to do is to learn the language of the area and teach it using English terms that people are using already. If he use Chinese or a brand new language ( that people are unfamiliar with) , it wouldn't make any sense considering how difficult some concepts can be. So in this case the thing to do is try to explain the concept using words that people already understand , are familiar with, and are using in day to day life.
with metta,
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Re: Pre-Buddhist Indian Sages/Wisdom

Postby Dmytro » Sun Sep 11, 2011 6:12 am

Hi Altar,

I would recommend "The Origin of Buddhist Meditation" by Wynne:

http://books.google.com/books?id=TiZWJ1 ... frontcover

Best wishes, Dmytro
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Re: Pre-Buddhist Indian Sages/Wisdom

Postby rowboat » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:07 am

Rain soddens what is covered up,
It does not sodden what is open.
Therefore uncover what is covered
That the rain will not sodden it.
Ud 5.5
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