Path to Buddhahood

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:27 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:I prefer my Dhamma sandiṭṭhiko (self evident; immediately apparent; visible here and now by one's direct experience), akāliko (timeless, immediate), ehipassiko (can be seen for one's self) and opanayiko, (leading to liberation). Does not believing in mythic histories that are not sandiṭṭhiko, akāliko, ehipassiko, and opanayiko undermine the core teachings of the Buddha? Not that anyone has shown. And why does Buddhism get to favor its mythic histories over other religions mythic histories? While mythic histories have their place and may function to be inspiring, they are not necessary --that anyone has shown --for liberation.

Your secular prejudices are obvious.
Thank you for sharing your opinion.
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19210
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby Nyana » Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:30 am

Modus.Ponens wrote:Hello Nana

It's hard to believe that I'm reading the Nana who wrote "The jhanas acording to the pali Nikayas". I don't say this as a provocation, just as an unwanted disapointment.

I relied on the Peṭakopadesa, Nettippakaraṇa, Paṭisambhidāmagga, and Vimuttimagga when writing that.

At any rate, the assumptions of Western secularism are also open to skeptical criticism.
Nyana
 
Posts: 2229
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:33 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
Modus.Ponens wrote:Hello Nana

It's hard to believe that I'm reading the Nana who wrote "The jhanas acording to the pali Nikayas". I don't say this as a provocation, just as an unwanted disapointment.

I relied on the Peṭakopadesa, Nettippakaraṇa, Paṭisambhidāmagga, and Vimuttimagga when writing that.

At any rate, the assumptions of Western secularism are also open to skeptical criticism.
Please define what you mean by "Western secularism."
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19210
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby daverupa » Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:34 am

Please include a list of pertinent assumptions.
    "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: 4073
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby Nyana » Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:11 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:The important thing is: Rather, inquire into his knowledge of that which is to be practised by us.

Again, this thread pertains to the practice of the perfections in order to attain unsurpassable perfect awakening (anuttarāsammāsambodhi).
It started out that way, but it was worth a mention that the liberation the Buddha attained is no different from that attained by the arahants. I would have left it that, except you seemed to want to contest that, at length.

Bodhi, nibbāna, and vimutti do not have identical meanings.
Nyana
 
Posts: 2229
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby Nyana » Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:12 am

tiltbillings wrote:Please define what you mean by "Western secularism."


daverupa wrote:Please include a list of pertinent assumptions.


Secular Western historical and text-critical approaches that attempt to stratify the development of Buddhist ideas and the extant texts of the Pāli Tipiṭaka into different historical periods (and often make other judgments on this basis as well). E.g.:

tiltbillings wrote:Where that sort of thing starts to take place is in the post-death of Buddha literature among the various schools of Buddhism that were popping up, where we start getting biographies (hagiographies) of the Buddha, a valorization of the Buddha that starts separating him from the arahant in terms of status in ways not found in the suttas. It is out of that that the idea of a bodhisatta path emerges, not out the direct teachings of the Buddha.


Proposing relativism as a justification for marginalizing or dismissing traditional Buddhist beliefs. E.g.:

tiltbillings wrote:And why does Buddhism get to favor its mythic histories over other religions mythic histories? While mythic histories have their place and may function to be inspiring, they are not necessary --that anyone has shown --for liberation.


Dismissing Pāli exegetical texts as later sectarian interpretations. E.g.:

tiltbillings wrote:No need for later sectarian interpretations.
Nyana
 
Posts: 2229
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:21 am

So, Buddhists are to reject any sort of Western scholarship that does not fall into a line with a literal reading of Buddhist mythos? We are to take Buddhist cosmology as being literally true, rejecting any Western science that suggests otherwise? Buddhist mythic histories are always literally true, and any history derived from Western scholarly methodology is always false?

So, you are not to answer the questions raised here?:

    I prefer my Dhamma sandiṭṭhiko (self evident; immediately apparent; visible here and now by one's direct experience), akāliko (timeless, immediate), ehipassiko (can be seen for one's self) and opanayiko, (leading to liberation). Does not believing in mythic histories that are not sandiṭṭhiko, akāliko, ehipassiko, and opanayiko undermine the core teachings of the Buddha? Not that anyone has shown. And why does Buddhism get to favor its mythic histories over other religions mythic histories? While mythic histories have their place and may function to be inspiring, they are not necessary --that anyone has shown --for liberation.
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19210
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:22 am

Ñāṇa wrote:Bodhi, nibbāna, and vimutti do not have identical meanings.
Different ways of talking about the same thing.
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19210
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby daverupa » Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:27 am

Ñāṇa wrote:Secular Western historical and text-critical approaches that [1] attempt to stratify the development of Buddhist ideas and the extant texts of the Pāli Tipiṭaka into different historical periods (and often make other judgments on this basis as well).

Proposing relativism as a [2] justification for marginalizing or dismissing traditional Buddhist beliefs.

[3] Dismissing Pāli exegetical texts as later sectarian interpretations.


This is great, simple and clear.

The bolded portions are problematic...

[1] A stratification clearly obtains. Conclusions will vary.

I suggest that there is ample evidence that the earlier Buddhist communities did not give the same sort of emphasis to certain topics as some later Buddhist communities (wheel-turning monarchs, bodhisatta birth narratives and previous lives), and that in some cases later communities take up as topical certain subjects which must be gleaned from rather tight spaces in the earlier texts (bodhisatta path, future and past buddhas).

I am inspired by Kierkegaard, via Nanavira:

In general, all that is needed to make the question simple and easy is the exercise of a certain dietetic circumspection, the renunciation of every learned interpolation or subordinate consideration, which in a trice might degenerate into a century-long parenthesis.


Another way of putting this might be to focus on what is sandiṭṭhiko, etc.

[2] Such relativism is apparent. Conclusions will vary.

In my opinion, nothing clearly distinguishes, say, the Norse pantheon & cosmology from Buddhist ones. On this level alone, the Buddhist religion is one among many.

[3] These exegetical texts are factually later. Conclusions will vary.

I thought it was apparent that the historical accident which sees Theravada virtually alone on the field of extant early schools does not thereby distinguish its doctrines as true in toto.

The suppression of critical thought in favor of scholastic dogmatism is not justified.

You have also made reference to an abiding oral component, transmitted alongside the recitations. Now, I think the oral tradition meant that the inherent performance of any Buddhist text was a recitation interspersed with commentary, and that the Nikayas are basically preaching primers comprised of early and late components, if I may be so simplistic. In any event, there is no prima facie reason to identify any later scholastic material as faithfully replicating this early oral performance material.

:anjali:
    "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: 4073
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby Nyana » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:20 am

tiltbillings wrote:So, Buddhists are to reject any sort of Western scholarship that does not fall into a line with a literal reading of Buddhist mythos? We are to take Buddhist cosmology as being literally true, rejecting any Western science that suggests otherwise? Buddhist mythic histories are always literally true, and any history derived from Western scholarly methodology is always false?

I would suggest that it's a question of balance and keeping in mind that current Western academic trends in Buddhist Studies are speculative and open to criticism. For example, you might remember a thread on Websangha where Ven. Dhammanando offered some strong criticisms of Ven. Analayo's historical analysis of the development of the Abhidhamma. Those criticisms are often missing on this forum.

tiltbillings wrote:So, you are not to answer the questions raised here?:

    I prefer my Dhamma sandiṭṭhiko (self evident; immediately apparent; visible here and now by one's direct experience), akāliko (timeless, immediate), ehipassiko (can be seen for one's self) and opanayiko, (leading to liberation). Does not believing in mythic histories that are not sandiṭṭhiko, akāliko, ehipassiko, and opanayiko undermine the core teachings of the Buddha? Not that anyone has shown. And why does Buddhism get to favor its mythic histories over other religions mythic histories? While mythic histories have their place and may function to be inspiring, they are not necessary --that anyone has shown --for liberation.

The question relevant to this thread is not just liberation, but the aspiration for and attainment of Buddhahood.

tiltbillings wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:Bodhi, nibbāna, and vimutti do not have identical meanings.
Different ways of talking about the same thing.

Epistemologically, bodhi refers to types of knowledge, nibbāna refers to an object of knowledge, and vimutti is the soteriological result of realizing that knowledge.
Nyana
 
Posts: 2229
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:24 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
    I prefer my Dhamma sandiṭṭhiko (self evident; immediately apparent; visible here and now by one's direct experience), akāliko (timeless, immediate), ehipassiko (can be seen for one's self) and opanayiko, (leading to liberation). Does not believing in mythic histories that are not sandiṭṭhiko, akāliko, ehipassiko, and opanayiko undermine the core teachings of the Buddha? Not that anyone has shown. And why does Buddhism get to favor its mythic histories over other religions mythic histories? While mythic histories have their place and may function to be inspiring, they are not necessary --that anyone has shown --for liberation.

The question relevant to this thread is not just liberation, but the aspiration for and attainment of Buddhahood.
In other words, you are going to dodge these questions, again. Maybe if I repost them to you in a new thread, you will answer them? They are, after all, issues you brought up.

tiltbillings wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:Bodhi, nibbāna, and vimutti do not have identical meanings.
Different ways of talking about the same thing.

Epistemologically, bodhi refers to types of knowledge, nibbāna refers to an object of knowledge, and vimutti is the soteriological result of realizing that knowledge.
Different ways of talking about the same thing.
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19210
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:32 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:So, Buddhists are to reject any sort of Western scholarship that does not fall into a line with a literal reading of Buddhist mythos? We are to take Buddhist cosmology as being literally true, rejecting any Western science that suggests otherwise? Buddhist mythic histories are always literally true, and any history derived from Western scholarly methodology is always false?

I would suggest that it's a question of balance and keeping in mind that current Western academic trends in Buddhist Studies are speculative and open to criticism.
You throw around this word "speculative." I don't think it means what you think it means. Or you are misusing it. Anyway, you really have not answered my questions.
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19210
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby Nyana » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:35 am

daverupa wrote:This is great, simple and clear.

The bolded portions are problematic...

[1] A stratification clearly obtains. Conclusions will vary.

I suggest that there is ample evidence that the earlier Buddhist communities did not give the same sort of emphasis to certain topics as some later Buddhist communities (wheel-turning monarchs, bodhisatta birth narratives and previous lives), and that in some cases later communities take up as topical certain subjects which must be gleaned from rather tight spaces in the earlier texts (bodhisatta path, future and past buddhas).

I am inspired by Kierkegaard, via Nanavira:

In general, all that is needed to make the question simple and easy is the exercise of a certain dietetic circumspection, the renunciation of every learned interpolation or subordinate consideration, which in a trice might degenerate into a century-long parenthesis.


Another way of putting this might be to focus on what is sandiṭṭhiko, etc.

[2] Such relativism is apparent. Conclusions will vary.

In my opinion, nothing clearly distinguishes, say, the Norse pantheon & cosmology from Buddhist ones. On this level alone, the Buddhist religion is one among many.

[3] These exegetical texts are factually later. Conclusions will vary.

I thought it was apparent that the historical accident which sees Theravada virtually alone on the field of extant early schools does not thereby distinguish its doctrines as true in toto.

The suppression of critical thought in favor of scholastic dogmatism is not justified.

Your acknowledgement of "Conclusions will vary," is an important point. I agree that "The suppression of critical thought in favor of scholastic dogmatism is not justified." However, academic trends can harden into inflexible dogmas as well. The epoché of (Pyrrhonian) skepticism is an open, flexible mind.

daverupa wrote:You have also made reference to an abiding oral component, transmitted alongside the recitations. Now, I think the oral tradition meant that the inherent performance of any Buddhist text was a recitation interspersed with commentary, and that the Nikayas are basically preaching primers comprised of early and late components, if I may be so simplistic. In any event, there is no prima facie reason to identify any later scholastic material as faithfully replicating this early oral performance material.

Well, this is also speculative, but it's possible that there were different teaching styles used by different community leaders and it's also possible that oral commentary (either given to a group or individually) was less systematic and more open to unique, individual interpretations than what we find in the formal versions of the highly systematic exegetical texts.
Nyana
 
Posts: 2229
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby Nyana » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:47 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:I would suggest that it's a question of balance and keeping in mind that current Western academic trends in Buddhist Studies are speculative and open to criticism.
You throw around this word "speculative." I don't think it means what you think it means. Or you are misusing it. Anyway, you really have not answered my questions.

Speculative:

1. Of, characterized by, or based upon contemplative speculation. See Synonyms at theoretical.
2.a. Given to conjecture or speculation.

tiltbillings wrote:In other words, you are going to dodge these questions, again. Maybe if I repost them to you in a new thread, you will answer them? They are, after all, issues you brought up.

Your penchant for phrasing questions that imply extreme all-or-nothing conclusions inhibits meaningful discussion.

tiltbillings wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:Epistemologically, bodhi refers to types of knowledge, nibbāna refers to an object of knowledge, and vimutti is the soteriological result of realizing that knowledge.
Different ways of talking about the same thing.

You're the one who's throwing around Buddhist terms willy-nilly in support of your thesis that the suttas don't require reference to systematic commentary.
Nyana
 
Posts: 2229
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:59 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:I would suggest that it's a question of balance and keeping in mind that current Western academic trends in Buddhist Studies are speculative and open to criticism.
You throw around this word "speculative." I don't think it means what you think it means. Or you are misusing it. Anyway, you really have not answered my questions.

Speculative:

1. Of, characterized by, or based upon contemplative speculation. See Synonyms at theoretical.
2.a. Given to conjecture or speculation.
But you have not shown that speculation (in its pejorative sense) is what good Western scholars do. You have not shown that I do it. You accuse me of it repeatedly, but you have offered no actual demonstration that I do it.

tiltbillings wrote:In other words, you are going to dodge these questions, again. Maybe if I repost them to you in a new thread, you will answer them? They are, after all, issues you brought up.

Your penchant for phrasing questions that imply extreme all-or-nothing conclusions inhibits meaningful discussion.
Again, another dodge. You continual accusation of my supposed "speculation" is quite extreme, particularly given your refusal to actual back up the accusation with a carefully crafted argument. So, how about answering the questions in the paragraph in question, if would please.

Ñāṇa wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Epistemologically, bodhi refers to types of knowledge, nibbāna refers to an object of knowledge, and vimutti is the soteriological result of realizing that knowledge.
Different ways of talking about the same thing.

You're the one who's throwing around Buddhist terms willy-nilly in support of your thesis that the suttas don't require reference to systematic commentary.
No willy, nor any nilly. I have shown how the terms are used, which is what gives them meaning, in the suttas. Now, I am certainly open to discussion on this. So, are you telling us that the suttas do not use the words bodhi and nibbana in particular ways that we can directly look at?
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19210
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby Hanzze » Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:09 am

I am not so used to english gramma but does "," and "and" mean that things are the same or are those simply sighns to list words whether they are in dependency of each other or not.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
User avatar
Hanzze
 
Posts: 1906
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:47 pm
Location: Cambodia

Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby Nyana » Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:59 am

tiltbillings wrote:But you have not shown that speculation (in its pejorative sense) is what good Western scholars do. You have not shown that I do it. You accuse me of it repeatedly, but you have offered no actual demonstration that I do it.

The methodologies of textual criticism, post-modern deconstruction, as well as archaeological and epigraphical finds, etc., are not able to demonstrate what the historical Buddha actually taught, or what the early Buddhist communities actually believed in the early centuries after his parinibbāna. Thus, the theories related to these modern academic disciplines are speculative. Moreover, these fields of study are outgrowths of the European Enlightenment and Western liberal tradition. They have no historical precedents in the history of Asian Buddhism. Thus, they are secular.

tiltbillings wrote:So, Buddhists are to reject any sort of Western scholarship that does not fall into a line with a literal reading of Buddhist mythos? We are to take Buddhist cosmology as being literally true, rejecting any Western science that suggests otherwise? Buddhist mythic histories are always literally true, and any history derived from Western scholarly methodology is always false?

Your attempt to introduce absurd consequences isn't helpful. I have nowhere said that Western tools should be ignored or rejected outright. What I have been suggesting is that these tools are limited, and they are quite unnecessary for the practice of Buddhism.

tiltbillings wrote:I prefer my Dhamma sandiṭṭhiko (self evident; immediately apparent; visible here and now by one's direct experience), akāliko (timeless, immediate), ehipassiko (can be seen for one's self) and opanayiko, (leading to liberation).

I really don't care about what you prefer. However, I do care about accurately representing the Theravāda Tipiṭaka. Tradition and lineage are important for the continuity of the dhammavinaya. In fact, there is no dhammavinaya without a living lineage to transmit it from generation to generation.

tiltbillings wrote:Does not believing in mythic histories that are not sandiṭṭhiko, akāliko, ehipassiko, and opanayiko undermine the core teachings of the Buddha?

You are assuming that (i) the histories are mythic, (ii) that they are not sandiṭṭhiko, akāliko, ehipassiko, and opanayiko, and (iii) they are not aspects of the core teachings of the Buddha. However, they have been cherished as some of the most important aspects of the teachings for well over 2000 years and they were never considered to be merely mythical constructions. Thus, your assumptions are not supported by the mainstream Asian Buddhist traditions -- past or present.

tiltbillings wrote:And why does Buddhism get to favor its mythic histories over other religions mythic histories? While mythic histories have their place and may function to be inspiring, they are not necessary --that anyone has shown --for liberation.

Again, the question relevant to this thread is not just liberation, but the aspiration for and attainment of Buddhahood. Canonical texts such as the Buddhavaṃsa, the Apadāna, the Jātaka, the Paṭisambhidāmagga, etc. are important sources for the bodhisatta aspiration and practices of the perfections, and so on. If you aren't interested in these texts and their narratives, and aren't interested in the Theravāda teachings on the bodhisatta vehicle, that's fine by me, but your opinions about bodhi are contrary to what is explicitly stated in these texts and taught in the Theravāda commentaries and sub-commentaries. These Pāli texts and commentaries are essential to this discussion. Your opinions are not.

tiltbillings wrote:No willy, nor any nilly. I have shown how the terms are used, which is what gives them meaning, in the suttas.

All that you have shown is that the terms are used.

tiltbillings wrote:So, are you telling us that the suttas do not use the words bodhi and nibbana in particular ways that we can directly look at?

You can look at them -- there's no shortage of people who are doing just that -- but if you want to avoid all kinds of novel interpretations it is most helpful to refer to the Niddesa, Paṭisambhidāmagga, Vibhaṅga, etc.
Nyana
 
Posts: 2229
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:00 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:But you have not shown that speculation (in its pejorative sense) is what good Western scholars do. You have not shown that I do it. You accuse me of it repeatedly, but you have offered no actual demonstration that I do it.

The methodologies of textual criticism, post-modern deconstruction, as well as archaeological and epigraphical finds, etc., are not able to demonstrate what the historical Buddha actually taught, or what the early Buddhist communities actually believed in the early centuries after his parinibbāna. Thus, the theories related to these modern academic disciplines are speculative. Moreover, these fields of study are aspects of the Western liberal tradition. They have no historical precedents in the history of Asian Buddhism. Thus, they are secular.
They are not supposed to be anything but secular, and if it is good scholarship, it will be open-ended – that is, always open to revision in light of new information.

While Western scholarship cannot show without question that this or that was a direct utterance from the Buddha, a particular tradition gives us a statement of belief that this or that is a direct utterance of the Buddha, but then what happens when a differing Buddhist tradition claims otherwise? Why do we favor one tradition over another?

There is a fair amount of information that can be gleaned from some suttas and the post death of the Buddha texts that gives us a picture of what was going on in the early Buddhist communities. With good Western scholarship, which is always open-ended, the picture is not so bleak. Also, unlike the traditions that we have at hand, good Western scholarship has opened up highly useful aspects of the teachings that seem to be completely missed by the commentators, which includes the list of texts of which you seem to think so much, and that has to do with Buddha's direct response to the Brahmins.

tiltbillings wrote:So, Buddhists are to reject any sort of Western scholarship that does not fall into a line with a literal reading of Buddhist mythos? We are to take Buddhist cosmology as being literally true, rejecting any Western science that suggests otherwise? Buddhist mythic histories are always literally true, and any history derived from Western scholarly methodology is always false?

Your attempt to introduce absurd consequences isn't helpful. I have nowhere said that Western tools should be ignored or rejected outright. What I have been suggesting is that these tools are limited, and they are quite unnecessary for the practice of Buddhism.
Again, with not answering the questions. The questions are straightforward enough that they can elicit a direct and nuanced answer. And, honestly, given what you have said and how you have said it, it is certainly uncertain that you are not taking an extreme point of view. The questions are asked to further discussion and understanding.

tiltbillings wrote:I prefer my Dhamma sandiṭṭhiko (self evident; immediately apparent; visible here and now by one's direct experience), akāliko (timeless, immediate), ehipassiko (can be seen for one's self) and opanayiko, (leading to liberation).

I really don't care about what you prefer. However, I do care about accurately representing the Theravāda Tipiṭaka. Tradition and lineage are important for the continuity of the dhammavinaya. In fact, there is no dhammavinaya without a living lineage to transmit it from generation to generation.
Well, I care quite a bit about what I prefer. I take the Dhamma very seriously. I have no problem with the idea of lineage, but quite frankly, to practice the Dhamma does not require that I acquiesce to every jot and tittle of a tradition.

tiltbillings wrote:Does not believing in mythic histories that are not sandiṭṭhiko, akāliko, ehipassiko, and opanayiko undermine the core teachings of the Buddha?

You are assuming that (i) the histories are mythic, (ii) that they are not sandiṭṭhiko, akāliko, ehipassiko, and opanayiko, and (iii) they are not aspects of the core teachings of the Buddha. However, they have been cherished as some of the most important aspects of the teachings for well over 2000 years and they were never considered to be merely mythical constructions. Thus, your assumptions are not supported by the mainstream Asian Buddhist traditions -- past or present.
That maybe true; however, I notice you have assiduously avoided answering the question, which is a legitimate question. It is not asked frivolously.

If I do not believe in the mythic histories as being true, I cannot practice the Dhamma?

tiltbillings wrote:And why does Buddhism get to favor its mythic histories over other religions mythic histories? While mythic histories have their place and may function to be inspiring, they are not necessary --that anyone has shown --for liberation.

Again, the question relevant to this thread is not just liberation, but the aspiration for and attainment of Buddhahood. Canonical texts such as the Buddhavaṃsa, the Apadāna, the Jātaka, the Paṭisambhidāmagga, etc. are important sources for the bodhisatta aspiration and practices of the perfections, and so on. If you aren't interested in these texts and their narratives, and aren't interested in the Theravāda teachings on the bodhisatta vehicle, that's fine by me, but your opinions about bodhi are contrary to what is explicitly stated in these texts and taught in the Theravāda commentaries and sub-commentaries. These Pāli texts and commentaries are essential to this discussion. Your opinions are not.
You have not shown that what i have said – The bodhi that I, the Tathagata, have realized is the same that the arahant realizes –- is wrong, which is hard to do when there are texts that directly state that.

tiltbillings wrote:No willy, nor any nilly. I have shown how the terms are used, which is what gives them meaning, in the suttas.

All that you have shown is that the terms are used.
And how they are used is what determines meaning.

tiltbillings wrote:So, are you telling us that the suttas do not use the words bodhi and nibbana in particular ways that we can directly look at?

You can look at them -- there's no shortage of people who are doing just that -- but if you want to avoid all kinds of novel interpretations it is most helpful to refer to the Niddesa, Paṭisambhidāmagga, Vibhaṅga, etc.
You have not shown that what I have said, from the stand point of the suttas is novel.
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19210
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby Nyana » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:28 am

tiltbillings wrote:That maybe true; however, I notice you have assiduously avoided answering the question, which is a legitimate question. It is not asked frivolously.

If I do not believe in the mythic histories as being true, I cannot practice the Dhamma?

For goodness sake, I'm not insisting that anyone is required to believe in anything. I'm talking about accurately representing the Theravāda teachings on this Theravāda Forum. Period. What you do with those teachings is your business.
Nyana
 
Posts: 2229
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:39 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:That maybe true; however, I notice you have assiduously avoided answering the question, which is a legitimate question. It is not asked frivolously.

If I do not believe in the mythic histories as being true, I cannot practice the Dhamma?

For goodness sake, I'm not insisting that anyone is required to believe in anything. I'm talking about accurately representing the Theravāda teachings on this Theravāda Forum. Period. What you do with those teachings is your business.
As usual, you still refuse to answer questions put to you.

It seems, however, that you are insisting that one is required to view thing your way if they want to be considered a proper Theravadin. I suspect that Ajahn Chah, to pick a prominant Theravadin (at least so I thought), must have consulted the "Niddesa, Paṭisambhidāmagga, Vibhaṅga, etc." every chance he got in order to make sure he stayed in line with the orthodox point of view. Ven Buddhadasa woud be another one. Ven Nanananda, alas, would be a heretic.

Let me ask you again: Must I believe in the mythic histories in order to practice the Dhamma? A simple "yes" or "no" and if you are feeling expansive, maybe you could say why for either answer.
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19210
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

PreviousNext

Return to Open Dhamma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: ihrjordan, skyway and 5 guests