Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

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Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby Sacha G » Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:12 pm

Hi
In the pali canon it seems that the most profound suttas deal with:
- the Buddha not propounding a "view" (no clinging to views)
- the khandhas being empty (as in the Phena Sutta)
- the Buddha propounding a "middle way" between eternalism and annihilition
- self and not self being both views (and therefore wrong)

All this sounds more like Nagarjuna than like Abhidhamma, IMO.
What do you think?
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby PeterB » Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:46 pm

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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:51 pm

Sacha G wrote:Hi
In the pali canon it seems that the most profound suttas deal with:
- the Buddha not propounding a "view" (no clinging to views)
- the khandhas being empty (as in the Phena Sutta)
- the Buddha propounding a "middle way" between eternalism and annihilition
- self and not self being both views (and therefore wrong)

All this sounds more like Nagarjuna than like Abhidhamma, IMO.
What do you think?
One needs to be careful about tarring the whole of the Abhidhamma enterprise by what has been by later scholars. Here is a response to this issue I posted earlier on this forum:
tiltbillings wrote:It is important to understand that Buddhism (here meaning Theravada) is not doing science. It is not commenting on the nature of the “external” world. It is dealing with what is experienced. A “fundamental particle” of experience is hardly an unchanging, unconditioned thing. It is a way of talking about the flow of experience that our senses can give us which we can call this or that.

Ven Nyanamoli in a footnote in his PATH OF PURIFICATION, pages 317-8, states: "In the Pitakas the word sabhaava seems to appear only once...," it appears several times in Milindapanha, and it is used quite a bit in the PoP and it commentaries. He states it often roughly corresponds to dhaatu, element and to lakkhana, characteristic. An interesting passage from the PoP reads:

"On the contrary, before their rise [the bases, aayatana] they had no individual essence [sabhaava], and after their fall their individual essence are completely dissolved. And they occur without mastery [being exercisable over them] since they exist in dependence on conditions and in between the past and the future." Page 551 XV 15.

Piatigorsky (In his study of the Pitaka Abhidhamma texts, THE BUDDHIST PHILOSOPHY OF THOUGHT, p 182) puts it: “From the point of view of consciousness, it can be said that, when consciousness is conscious of one’s mind, thought, or consciousness directed to their objects, then it is ‘being conscious of’ that may be named ‘a state of consciousness’ or a dharma.”

Piatigorsky (THE BUDDHIST PHILOSOPHY OF THOUGHT, p 146) explains: “the meaning of each abhidhammic term [dhamma] consists (or is the sum) of all its positional meanings and of all positional meanings of its connotations.”

Nyanaponika quotes a sub-commentary to an Abhidhamma text: "There is no other thing than the quality borne by it." (na ca dhaariyamma-sabhaavaa an~n~o dhammo naama atthi). Abhidhamma Studies, page 40. Which is to say: We simpy cannot say that 'a dharma is... (a predicate follows)', because a dharma, in fact, 'is' no thing, yet [it is] a term denoting (not being) a certain relation or type of relation to thought, consciousness or mind. That is, dharma is not a concept in the accepted terminological sense of the latter, but a purely relational notion. -- Piatigorsky, THE BUDDHIST PHILOSOPHY OF THOUGHT, page 181.

Nyanaponika ABHIDHAMMA STUDIES, page 41 BPS; page 42 Wisdom wrote:By arranging the mental factors in relational groups a subordinate synthetical element has been introduced into the mainly analytical Dhammasangani. By so doing, the danger inherent in purely analytical methods is avoided. This danger consists in erroneously taking for genuine separate entities the “parts” resulting from analysis, instead of restricting their use to sound practical method with the purpose of classifying and dissolving composite events wrongly conceived as unities. Up to the present time it has been a regular occurrence in the history of physics, metaphysics, and psychology that when the “whole” has been successfully dissolved by analysis, the resultant “parts” themselves come in turn to be regarded as little “wholes.”


Prof. Dr. Y. Karunadasa, THE DHAMMA THEORY, page 9 http://www.zeh-verlag.de/download/dhammatheory.pdf wrote:In the Pali tradition it is only for the sake of definition and description that each dhamma is postulated as if it were a separate entity; but in reality it is by no means a solitary phenomenon having an existence of its own. . . . If this Abhidhammic view of existence, as seen from its doctrine of dhammas, cannot be interpreted as a radical pluralism, neither can it be interpreted as an out-and-out monism. For what are called dhammas -- the component factors of the universe, both within us and outside us -- are not fractions of an absolute unity but a multiplicity of co-ordinate factors. They are not reducible to, nor do they emerge from, a single reality, the fundamental postulate of monistic metaphysics. If they are to be interpreted as phenomena, this should be done with the proviso that they are phenomena with no corresponding noumena, no hidden underlying ground. For they are not manifestations of some mysterious metaphysical substratum, but processes taking place due to the interplay of a multitude of conditions.


Harvey, in his excellent INTRODUCTION TO BUDDHISM, characterizes the Theravadin position, page 87: wrote: "'They are dhammas because they uphold their own nature [sabhaava]. They are dhammas because they are upheld by conditions or they are upheld according to their own nature' (Asl.39). Here 'own-nature' would mean characteristic nature, which is not something inherent in a dhamma as a separate ultimate reality, but arise due to the supporting conditions both of other dhammas and previous occurrences of that dhamma. This is of significance as it makes the Mahayana critique of the Sarvastivadin's notion of own-nature largely irrelevant to the Theravada."


A.K. Warder, in INDIAN BUDDHISM, page 323, discussing the Pali Abhidhamma commentarial literature wrote: "The most significant new idea in the commentaries is the definition of a 'principle' or element (dharma): dharmas are what have (or 'hold', 'maintain', dhr. is the nearest equivalent in the language to the English 'have') their own own-nature (svabhaava). It is added that they naturally have this through conditions."


Dhammas are "ultimate things" only as a way of talking about aspects of the relational flow of experience, not in terms of describing static realities. In other words, dhammas are empty of self.
Keep in mind that I referring to the Abhidhamma Pitaka level of the Abhidhamma, not the later works.
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:04 pm

Greetings Sacha G,
Sacha G wrote:What do you think?

A small selection of what I think without going into detail on either.

1. I agree with Tilt that the differential is largest between Nagarjuna and commentarial Abhidhamma, but since that's invariably what Abhidhamma students get taught, the differentiation in practical terms becomes minor

2. Theravada doesn't need Nagarjuna - all the things you say are addressed in detail by teachers such as venerable Nanananda, who uses suttas to demonstrate things things in a way similar to the explanation in your original post. The only ones who may "need" Nagarjuna are those who adopt the "realism" inherent in commentarial Abhidhamma, but that's just my perspective and I acknowledge it as such. They could easily encounter such a challenge to their world-view through teachers like ven. Nanananda and could possibly be more receptive to those, since he is relying on the Pali Canon for his assumptions and analysis.

3. Nagarjuna was a Mahayanist - for all that he had some deep insights into the Dhamma and is worth studying, he still believed in the Bodhisattva ideal, bodhicitta, the relative inferiority of arahants etc. and thus (in my opinion as a follower of the suttas), doesn't present the "true interpret[ation] of the doctrine"

4. Much of Nagarjuna's analysis could be likened to an alternative commentary to SN 12.15.

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)


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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 Paññāsikhara » Sun Jan 23, 2011 1:38 am

Sacha G wrote:Hi
In the pali canon it seems that the most profound suttas deal with:
- the Buddha not propounding a "view" (no clinging to views)
- the khandhas being empty (as in the Phena Sutta)
- the Buddha propounding a "middle way" between eternalism and annihilition
- self and not self being both views (and therefore wrong)

All this sounds more like Nagarjuna than like Abhidhamma, IMO.
What do you think?


Well, basically all Buddhist schools and thinkers will agree with those points. From Nagarjuna to the Abhidhamma, and everyone else, too. So, this is not really the factor on which one can make a distinction.

The issue comes with how these texts and thinkers go about showing or proving that point.

Both Abhidhamma and Nagarjuna are complex, much more complex than most people give them credit for. I think that only those who have studied them in detail for some time can really appreciate this point. So, we have to be very careful about how we classify them.

Retro has made the comment about Nagarjuna being a Mahayanist. I think that in many ways this is besides the point. He is an enigmatic figure, and it is no joke to say that Nagarjuna can be defined as "the author of the Mulamadhyamaka karika". Very good arguments have been made, by scholars such as Kalupahana, Warder, Yinshun et al, that the Mulamadhyamaka Karika is entirely based on the Agamas (= Nikayas). And this is the text through which the vast majority of people study him. So, the issue of being a Mahayanist is not necessarily that critical. Of course, if we go to other texts attributed to Nagarjuna, then many are Mahayanist. But this brings up a range of issues of providence, not to mention the standard definition of Nagarjuna (given above).

Abhidhamma also tries to deal with these questions, too. For instance, viz views, Abhidhamma is the direct (abhi-) seeing of the dhamma, a process that occurs beyond views. All the Abhidhamma groups consider all dhammas as empty. In fact, when we consider that the Abhidhamma schools of the Theravada and Sarvastivada argued against the Puggalavadins, the very idea of "emptiness" got it's strongest emphasis after the Buddha himself from the Abhidhamma people. The Sarvastivadin Abhidharmikas were formally known as the "sunyatavadins"! Wee see similar emphasis from the Theravadins with the early use and explanations of "sabhAva-sunna". Much of the Abhidhamma theory is also an attempt to overcome the two extremes. The momentariness of dhammas, along with the teaching of notself / emptiness, overcomes the tendency towards eternalism; yet the theories to explain continuity of kamma in particular, be it through the theories of the many conditions, the four causes or six conditions, bhavanga or sarva-asti or whatever, are there to overcome the tendency towards nihilistic destruction at death. As for self and not self being views, as above.

In the end, both the Abhidhamma and Nagarjuna are just two systems, amongst many, of Buddhists who are trying to explain and get to the real essence of the Dhamma taught by the Buddha. To slap names on them, which are sometimes rather shakey, and then reject out of hand on these grounds, is a shame. It deprives us of the opportunity to learn from these great students of the Buddha. Perhaps further study of both systems, and the others too, would be more helpful.
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby Individual » Sun Jan 23, 2011 1:52 am

Paññāsikhara wrote:Well, basically all Buddhist schools and thinkers will agree with those points. From Nagarjuna to the Abhidhamma, and everyone else, too. So, this is not really the factor on which one can make a distinction.

The issue comes with how these texts and thinkers go about showing or proving that point.

Does there have to be only one way to show and prove that point, or is it possible to appreciate Abhidhamma and Nagarjuna?
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:16 am

Individual wrote:
Paññāsikhara wrote:Well, basically all Buddhist schools and thinkers will agree with those points. From Nagarjuna to the Abhidhamma, and everyone else, too. So, this is not really the factor on which one can make a distinction.

The issue comes with how these texts and thinkers go about showing or proving that point.

Does there have to be only one way to show and prove that point, or is it possible to appreciate Abhidhamma and Nagarjuna?


For myself, I find a lot of very inspiring and useful content in both Abhidhamma and Nagarjuna, along with many other teachings apart from those of the so-called "historical Buddha".

And your question raises the good point, of why we so often feel the need to dichotomize - either this or that, but never both. A kind of evamsaccam moghamannam mentality.
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby PeterB » Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:01 am

I think the fact that Nagarjuna is a Mahayanist is ABSOLUTELY the point.
Of course you dont agree Ven Huifeng. I mean you would'nt would you ?
Even for broadly sympatico Mahayana folk like yourself the Mahayana is still the acme by which the Theravada is judged.
I know that you would see instead that you are adopting a pan Buddhist position that has its origin in teachings that precede the schism between The Theravada and the Mahayana, but with respect, and I mean that...that is a archetypically Mahayana view.
It doesnt mean that your input is unwelcome or that your erudition is unackowledged.
It does mean that for at least one reader there is a caveat.
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby Akuma » Sun Jan 23, 2011 12:33 pm

Maybe Joseph Walser "Nagarjuna In Context" would be an interesting read for some.
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby Sylvester » Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:55 am

tiltbillings wrote:
It is important to understand that Buddhism (here meaning Theravada) is not doing science. It is not commenting on the nature of the “external” world. It is dealing with what is experienced. A “fundamental particle” of experience is hardly an unchanging, unconditioned thing. It is a way of talking about the flow of experience that our senses can give us which we can call this or that.



I think this says it all about the Nikayas. Everything boils down to phassa/contact - that moment when the cognisable external, the internal and the corresponding consciousness converge.

I have to confess to not having more than a passing acquaintance with the "old" Sarvastivadin Abhidharmas which may have been Nagajurna's targets. Perhaps they were structured like the later Abhidharmakosa, what with its full blown "dharma" pedagogy.

But after going through Karunadasa's "The Theravada Abhidhamma", I'm left with the impression that the Pali Abhidhamma was not concerned with "dhammas" per se, but with Dependant Origination. The very structure of the Dhammasangani itself shows up this concern very evidently. Rather than being a laundry list of "dhammas", it actually concerns itself with much smaller lists of iddapaccayata relations. Karunadasa emphasises this point when he asserts -

One implication that follows from this principle of conditionality is that the dhammas invariably arise as clusters. (p45)


If Nagarjuna did not misrepresent the Sarvastivadin enterprise which he attacked, it does not appear from his writings that the Sarvastivadins conceptualised their "dharma" theory along these lines, nor does it appear that Nagarjuna himself (despite being identified as an Agamist) emphasised this multiplicity of conditionality.

I think Nagarjuna is best understood only in relation to the theories he criticised, largely the Sarvastivadins' with their Tri-Temporal Materialism and Svabhava notions. Nagarjuna is nothing more than a product of Buddhist history - a reaction towards certain strands of memes that dominated his era. But even if the memes were not in line with the Dhamma, it does not necessarily mean that Nagarjuna's critique was any closer to the Agamas of his time.

Now, I wonder if the Patisambhidamagga's denial of "sabhava" is traceable to a Theravadin awareness of the naughty Sarvastivadins' "svabhava"?
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby Individual » Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:03 am

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).
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:04 am

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


sakaya-ditthi ;) :)
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby Individual » Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:10 am

To elaborate, by the way...

As I said, as I see it Theravadins and Mahayanists are just like Republicans and Democrats. It doesn't matter what they're called and it's a mistake to categorically place faith in one set of people or one set of ideas; what matters is what people actually think and do with whatever ideas or words or physical bodies they go by. You can use Theravada attachment to Vinaya in order to live in a politically unstable, malaria-infested hell-hole (under the delusion that it's some kind of holy land, like Tibet, Israel, or Mecca), half-starving yourself to death and begging for food, while saying you're on the road to peace and liberation from suffering... And you can use Mahayana notions of expedient means to indulge in sensual desire and immorality while thinking you're practicing dhamma. In the end, all that matters is discernment. And Abhidhamma and Nagarjuna were both clearly very discerning at the time. Seeing either of them in the right way could bring clarity to a person's life. That is why they were both influential, because they helped.

What it comes down to is proper interpretation. The words of Gautama were not enough; people felt they needed a further exposition. But this desire could be endless. People could quibble over how to interpret Abhidhamma and how to interpret Nagarjuna.

There are always many ways to interpret things. It's subjective or relative, but that doesn't mean it should be arbitrary. When you have a choice between how to interpret things, you always choose the interpretation which results in compassion, which results in a reduction of suffering for us all.

Thinking, "Nagarjuna was right, Abhidhamma is wrong," is one-sided and results in contentious arguing. The same goes for, "Abhidhamma was right, Nagarjuna is wrong." It could be either. It could be that they're both just words and you could use them for good or bad, if you're mindful and non-attached or if you're unmindful and attached.

I like them both.
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:30 am

Greetings Individual,

Individual wrote:it's a mistake to categorically place faith in one set of people or one set of ideas

... but (to bring it back to topic a little) that is precisely what Nararjuna did by accepting and embracing the Mahayana ethos, which inherently contains supersessionism with regards to the shravaka path. In addition to his most famous works on the subject of emptiness, I believe he also authored certain devotional pieces as well, which only make sense in a Mahayana context... and that was the context upon which his works were authored.

Which is all fine and well - he's perfectly allowed to do those things... but there is no avoiding that there is an inconsistency between his interpretation and the world-view of the Sutta Pitaka.

Again, that's not to say one is right and one is wrong (such a discussion would be rather futile)... just that they're incompatible, and that if you wholly accept one, you cannot wholly accept the other and remain consistent.

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)


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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 Individual » Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:35 am

retrofuturist wrote:Which is all fine and well - he's perfectly allowed to do those things... but there is no avoiding that there is an inconsistency between his interpretation and the world-view of the Sutta Pitaka.

If looked at from different points-of-view, Abhidhamma and Nagarjuna could both be seen as consistent or inconsistent with the Sutta Pitaka. I could go on with this, Retrofuturist, but you might not be interested; you seem to have picked a side and you've stuck with it. I couldn't really elaborate if you don't believe in non-sectarianism.

retrofuturist wrote:Again, that's not to say one is right and one is wrong (such a discussion would be rather futile)... just that they're incompatible, and that if you wholly accept one, you cannot wholly accept the other and remain consistent.

Conventionally, yes, but ultimately, no.

But what does that mean? That could just be ambiguous "eel-wriggling."

So, if I was forced to pick a view... I'd probably disregard them both, the way you seem to do! :)
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:44 am

Greetings Individual,

Individual wrote:I could go on with this, Retrofuturist, but you wouldn't be interested; you've clearly picked a side and you've stuck with it.

Yes, I clearly take the Sutta and Vinaya Pitakas as the definitive teachings of the Buddha (give or take a few shifting sands, textual corruptions, later compositions etc. that might be identified through cross-pitaka/agama analysis). But then, I happily caveat my posts with this assumption so that people understand the perspective I represent. I've clearly put a stake in the ground here, but I respect that this is not your preferred approach.

Individual wrote:So, if I was forced to pick a view... I'd probably disregard them both, the way you seem to do! :)

There's a difference between "disregard" and "not use" though. Disregard may imply active rejection, whereas I may on occasion review them and try to reconcile them (or see if they are reconcilible) with the aforementioned Pitakas. I wouldn't do so if I thought they were inherently wrong. If they can complement rather than contradict that which I take as authorative, they may add value as "commentaries" (for example, I'd rather read a commentary of SN 12.15 by Nagarjuna than I would one authored by Buddhaghosa, despite me being nominally Theravadin).

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 ground » Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:37 am

Individual wrote:So, if I was forced to pick a view... I'd probably disregard them both, the way you seem to do! :)


I would recommend to pick what is helpful and disregard sectarian views.

Kind regards
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby Individual » Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:04 am

Retro, I altered my post. It was a bit too harsh and ignorant. For instance, I changed "wouldn't" to "might not", because I wouldn't venture to speculate on and judge your views when I can just ask you instead.

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Individual,

Individual wrote:I could go on with this, Retrofuturist, but you wouldn't be interested; you've clearly picked a side and you've stuck with it.

Yes, I clearly take the Sutta and Vinaya Pitakas as the definitive teachings of the Buddha (give or take a few shifting sands, textual corruptions, later compositions etc. that might be identified through cross-pitaka/agama analysis). But then, I happily caveat my posts with this assumption so that people understand the perspective I represent. I've clearly put a stake in the ground here, but I respect that this is not your preferred approach.

That's a reasonable view. However, I have to ask: Rather than engaging in lengthy linguistic analysis of texts in the past, wouldn't it be easier to compare any alleged words with the experience of the present? The former can never be completed and is forever uncertain. But the success of the latter is possible here and now, and contrary to what your suttas say it doesn't necessarily take "eons" to accomplish.

retrofuturist wrote:
Individual wrote:So, if I was forced to pick a view... I'd probably disregard them both, the way you seem to do! :)

There's a difference between "disregard" and "not use" though. Disregard may imply active rejection, whereas I may on occasion review them and try to reconcile them (or see if they are reconcilible) with the aforementioned Pitakas. I wouldn't do so if I thought they were inherently wrong. If they can complement rather than contradict that which I take as authorative, they may add value as "commentaries" (for example, I'd rather read a commentary of SN 12.15 by Nagarjuna than I would one authored by Buddhaghosa, despite me being nominally Theravadin).

Why do you reconcile them with the words, though, rather than your experiences, your life, your mind? What's the deal with the obsession over the sutta pitaka?

It's like a caveman who invented fire -- for food, purifying water, warmth, etc..

The smart cavemen used the fire without obsessing over it. (And still do)

The stupid ones were amazed: "THIS FIRE IS HOLY!! WE MUST MAKE MORE OF IT AND USE IT IN ODD, FUNNY WAYS!!" (Like self-immolation and ritual sacrifices to gods)

You've said in the past that the early Theravadin commentators got carried away with their veneration of the Buddha, that they developed their own misconceptions. One could say that's an arrogant statement. How are you different in that same regard? :)
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Re: Nagarjuna as the true interpret of the doctrine?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:22 am

Greetings,

Individual wrote:But the success of the latter is possible here and now, and contrary to what your suttas say it doesn't necessarily take "eons" to accomplish.


That's neither in the Sutta Pitaka, nor the Vinaya Pitaka... that's an invention of later Buddhism.

The rest of your post is increasingly off-topic and as you put it above, "harsh and ignorant" so I'm not responding to it.

:focus:

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 ground » Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:29 am

Individual wrote:However, I have to ask: Rather than engaging in lengthy linguistic analysis of texts in the past, wouldn't it be easier to compare any alleged words with the experience of the present? The former can never be completed and is forever uncertain. But the success of the latter is possible here and now, and contrary to what your suttas say it doesn't necessarily take "eons" to accomplish.


The saying "here and now" really seems to have developed into a "all-round argument" suitable for all contexts imaginable.

Comparable to "the ultimate" in Mahayana :tongue:

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