Citta, Brahma, and Thai Forest interpretations

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Citta, Brahma, and Thai Forest interpretations

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:51 pm

There were some interesting questions in this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=14979
Since that thread seems to have headed off in a different direction, perhaps we could discuss Gwyddion's questions here:

Gwyddion wrote:
As I understand it:

Brahman, in Hinduism, is "sat-cit-ananda" meaning "unaltered existence-consciousness-bliss" which is usually regarded as ātman ("true self").
Citta, in Buddhism, means consciousness that is, like every other conditioned things, is impermanent, suffering, and not-self.
So, there is a vast difference.

The Buddha actually taught in-depth about Citta and how to get rid of its defilements for the final liberation from suffering.



Sorry I think there is some confusion about non-dualist Hindu yogic practice and dualist Hindu/yoga.

In non-dualist yoga/Hinduism Atman is regarded as an illusion - like a drop of water in an ocean, where the ocean is Brahman, when the illusion of self (Atman) is extinguished then there is only Brahman and Brahman is not created but merely is.

You say Atman is usually regarded as the same as Brahman - but it is not the same if you regard yourself separate from Brahman, then you believe you are Atman when in reality there is only Brahman - The phrase 'Atman is Brahman' confuses people sometimes it is meant to demonstrate that separateness is an illusion, as in the drop of water (Atman) in the ocean (Brahman) - which is a metaphor that Buddhists also use.

Now this seems very similar to the Buddhist ideal where the self (which is an illusion: Annata or Anatman) is given up and what is left is Nirvana.

From what I read the Buddha taught that there was nothing permanent that traveled from one life to the next except for the Karma which is impersonal - so in other words no soul or permanent thing that transmigrates.

Yet recently I have been looking into the concept of 'Pure Citta' as taught by the forest tradition - in regards to the 'base level (pure) Citta which is always there from one life to the next and the only thing that does not change':


but this is a contradiction to what I've read and understood in the past which is exactly what you wrote and I agree with:

Citta, in Buddhism, means consciousness that is, like every other conditioned things, is impermanent, suffering, and not-self.


But I've now read and listened to talks by Forest Ajahns in particular that state that: there is the Citta that is covered by self, and a (pure) Base-level Citta that is not covered by a cloak of self and is there unchanging from one life to the next. (And this is exactly the same as non-dualist yoga!

So either:

A: this idea of a base-level Citta is like Atman - which is an illusion according to Buddhism and non-dualist Hindu/yogic practice also and means the Ajahns in the Forest Tradition are missing the point and teaching a kind of Brahmanism.

B: This pure - base-level Citta is shared by all of us and is unchanging - which is like Brahman - And yet if this is the case then a pure Citta would be the ideal not Nirvana, unless Nirvana is the state of achieving a pure Citta.

I hope this clears up my question a little bit but I worry that it might make things a bit more confusing, please be patient with me as I want to understand exactly in my own mind what the Buddha taught - e.g. how can one become an Arhant if they are confused? And this is my ideal.

Thank you



mikenz66 wrote:Hi Gwyddion,
Gwyddion wrote:Yet recently I have been looking into the concept of 'Pure Citta' as taught by the forest tradition - in regards to the 'base level (pure) Citta which is always there from one life to the next and the only thing that does not change':

Are you referring to Ajahn Maha Boowa and so on, the "Citta that never dies"?
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=6351&start=0
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=1205

:anjali:
Mike


SamKR wrote:
Gwyddion wrote:
As I understand it:

Brahman, in Hinduism, is "sat-cit-ananda" meaning "unaltered existence-consciousness-bliss" which is usually regarded as ātman ("true self").
Citta, in Buddhism, means consciousness that is, like every other conditioned things, is impermanent, suffering, and not-self.
So, there is a vast difference.

The Buddha actually taught in-depth about Citta and how to get rid of its defilements for the final liberation from suffering.



Sorry I think there is some confusion about non-dualist Hindu yogic practice and dualist Hindu/yoga.

In non-dualist yoga/Hinduism Atman is regarded as an illusion - like a drop of water in an ocean, where the ocean is Brahman, when the illusion of self (Atman) is extinguished then there is only Brahman and Brahman is not created but merely is.

You say Atman is usually regarded as the same as Brahman - but it is not the same if you regard yourself separate from Brahman, then you believe you are Atman when in reality there is only Brahman - The phrase 'Atman is Brahman' confuses people sometimes it is meant to demonstrate that separateness is an illusion, as in the drop of water (Atman) in the ocean (Brahman) - which is a metaphor that Buddhists also use.

In your original post you referred to "Hindu concept". As a Hindu that was how I understood about Brahman in general Hinduism. Hinduism is huge, and there are so many views, paths, rituals, mythologies that it is overwhelming.
If you talk specifically about Advaita Vedanta, then perhaps what you said above is right. Even then, Advaita Vedantist talk about Brahman as the Paramatman (the true or ultimate self) and Jivatman (individuals) though they say there is no distinction between the two once the individual comes out of Maya.

Gwyddion wrote:
SamKR wrote:Citta, in Buddhism, means consciousness that is, like every other conditioned things, is impermanent, suffering, and not-self.


But I've now read and listened to talks by Forest Ajahns in particular that state that: there is the Citta that is covered by self, and a (pure) Base-level Citta that is not covered by a cloak of self and is there unchanging from one life to the next. (And this is exactly the same as non-dualist yoga!

Perhaps this view is closer to non-dualist Vedanta, I am not sure. But is there any support for this view in the Nikayas? I don't think so. In the suttas I see the Buddha always saying "Citta" is impermanent, arising and passing away, and therefore dukkha, and not-self.

So either:

A: this idea of a base-level Citta is like Atman - which is an illusion according to Buddhism and non-dualist Hindu/yogic practice also and means the Ajahns in the Forest Tradition are missing the point and teaching a kind of Brahmanism.

B: This pure - base-level Citta is shared by all of us and is unchanging - which is like Brahman - And yet if this is the case then a pure Citta would be the ideal not Nirvana, unless Nirvana is the state of achieving a pure Citta.

I cannot say the Ajahns are missing the point without knowing more details, but I think the idea of "base-level Citta that is not covered by a cloak of self and is unchanging" deviates vastly from the Buddha's words in Nikayas.

I hope this clears up my question a little bit but I worry that it might make things a bit more confusing, please be patient with me as I want to understand exactly in my own mind what the Buddha taught - e.g. how can one become an Arhant if they are confused? And this is my ideal.

I think everyone of us is more or less confused unless we become Arahant or at least sotapanna. We have to continue our practice in the midst of confusion and uncertainty.





SamKR wrote:Hello Mike,

Thanks for the links, they were helpful. Although I am not qualified to comment on the experiences and teachings of Ajahn Maha Boowa, I think his words about Citta certainly sound similar to the concept of Atman in Hinduism.

The citta does not arise or pass away; it is never born and never dies.


Now, probably that's why there is a huge importance of continuous mindfulness of anicca even in the higher stages of practice. In one of the short courses (3-day) I heard a very important discourse of SN Goenka. He said something like this (please correct me if I am misrepresenting him):
...In the long run if you keep on practicing observation of phenomena (sensations) with equanimity based on the understanding of impermanence, a stage will come when you will have mere experience of the pure Citta. That stage will be very very sublime, refined, blissful, appears unchanging (no perception of arising and passing away). Most of the meditators will believe that they have realized the nibbanic stage. However, even at that stage, the meditator should not stop observing anicca, he should direct his mind to observe anicca characteristic in that citta although that will not be very easy. If he succeeds to see impermanence even at that level only after that stage he will be able to transcend the world of mind and matter to experience nibbana. That's why observation of sensations, and especially anicca is so important. Without observation of anicca it is very easy to fall into the trap of apparantly permanent-bliss states...


mikenz66 wrote:Hi Sam,

To be fair, I should point out that Ajahn Maha Boowa does point out in one of his books (I can't locate my copy right now) that (roughly, from memory) the terminology he uses is based on the experience of forest monks, and he apologises if it doesn't quite agree with other usages, or misleads anyone...

:anjali:
Mike


:anjali:
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Re: Citta, Brahma, and Thai Forest interpretations

Postby dude » Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:56 pm

Now this seems very similar to the Buddhist ideal where the self (which is an illusion: Annata or Anatman) is given up and what is left is Nirvana.



How can you give up something you never had?
If you think you need to give it up, how can you understand that it never existed to begin with?
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Re: Citta, Brahma, and Thai Forest interpretations

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:16 pm

dude wrote:How can you give up something you never had?
If you think you need to give it up, how can you understand that it never existed to begin with?
But, alas, that is the mistake. There is, indeed, a self; it is just not what it thinks it is, but we need to deal with it until we are able via insight to let go our attachment to it and
misapprehension of it.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: Citta, Brahma, and Thai Forest interpretations

Postby cooran » Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:27 pm

Hello tilt,

Could you explain a little more just what this ''self'' is, and provide references to what the Buddha taught concerning this ''self''?

Thanks and metta,
Chris
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Re: Citta, Brahma, and Thai Forest interpretations

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:01 pm

cooran wrote:Hello tilt,

Could you explain a little more just what this ''self'' is, and provide references to what the Buddha taught concerning this ''self''?

Thanks and metta,
Chris

Monks, whatever contemplatives or priests who assume in various ways when assuming a self, all assume the five clinging-aggregates, or a certain one of them. SN III 46.

The point is that until fully awakened we are stuck with some sense of self, which we need need to deal with. It is through this sense of self that we relate to the world, grasp after what reinforces the sense of self, push away that which threatens our sense of self, all grounded in the assumption that the sense of self is primary and permanent. It is this sense of self that is controlled by, shaped by the precepts, by cultivating generosity, compassion and lovingkindness as ways of softening the hardness of our assumption that the self is more than it is. And it is with insight that nature of the self becomes revealed in terms that the Buddha taught. Until then we can try to deny the self, we can tell were to get off, but being rather recalcitrant, it will persist and resist such suggestions. It is only via actual insight that its interdependent nature can be seen, making it far more transparent, far less grasping or resistant, allowing us to act more in accord with the Dhamma.

The point is that we have to start from where we are.
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.

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Re: Citta, Brahma, and Thai Forest interpretations

Postby ALot » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:23 pm

There's plenty of Ajahn Maha Boowa's citta teachings translated in this book:
http://www.forestdhamma.org/ebooks/engl ... _Heart.pdf

Some quotes:
"The Radiant Citta Is Avijja":

Thus nothing should be taken for granted. If anything has the nature of conventional reality, let panna slash away at it. Focus right down on the citta itself. All the really counterfeit things lie in the citta. This radiance is the ultimate counterfeit and at that moment it's the most conspicuous point. You hardly want to touch it at all, because you love it and cherish it more than anything else. In the entire body there is nothing more outstanding than this radiance, which is why you are amazed at it, love it, cherish it, dawdle over it, want nothing to touch it. But it's the enemy king: avijja.

"Avijja Converges, Concealing the True Dhamma, the True Citta":

If you're hesitant, then you are sure to get stuck at this level. That's why you can't let yourself be hesitant. You have to take the kilesas all out. Whatever is going to vanish, let it all vanish. As for that which is in no position to vanish, it won't vanish no matter what. To put it simply, it's as if bandits had gotten into this house. If you're protective of the house where the bandits are, then - Bang! - they'll shoot you dead. So if you should burn the whole house down, then burn it down. If you let the bandits stay there, they'll go on to destroy things that have more value than the house. So be willing to sacrifice the house. Set fire to it. This is called setting fire to avijja. If the citta is really going to vanish, let it vanish.

"The Conventional Citta, the Citta Released":

But once the citta is cleansed step by step, we come to know in stages until we can know clearly exactly how much there is still remaining in the citta. Even if there's just a bit, we know there's a bit, because the act of connection lets us see plainly that, "This is the seed that will cause us to be reborn in one place or another." We can tell this clearly within the citta. When we know this clearly, we have to try to rectify the situation, using the various methods of mindfulness and panna until that thing is cut away from the citta with no more connections. The citta will then become an entirely pure citta, with no more means of connection or continuation. We can see this clearly. This is the one who is released. This is the one who doesn't die.

In my opinion: nice colorful descriptions, good practice attitude, terms like 'citta' are sometimes used differently from suttas or buddhist scholars and some 'things' or 'experiences' which aren't usually given a label are labeled.
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Re: Citta, Brahma, and Thai Forest interpretations

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:46 pm

Thanks ALot :)

As you say, the perceived problems may be in the way the terminology is used. So in the Glossary of the book you linked to we have (p254):
Citta: That underlying essence of mind which manifests as
feeling, memory, thought and consciousness. In its pure
state it is undefinable and beyond samsara. Also –
the heart. Citta has often been translated as the “mind”
or the “mental factors”, because it is said that the
four khandhas of vedanà, sannà, sankhàra and vinnàna
are the citta. Although this is true, it must be realised,
that these are by way of being “modifications of the
citta”. The citta in its true unmodified state is beyond
the khandhas and it has no “signs” by which it may
be known in the sensory universe.


:anjali:
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Re: Citta, Brahma, and Thai Forest interpretations

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:49 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Thanks ALot :)

As you say, the perceived problems may be in the way the terminology is used. So in the Glossary of the book you linked to we have (p254):
Citta: That underlying essence of mind which manifests as
feeling, memory, thought and consciousness. In its pure
state it is undefinable and beyond samsara. Also –
the heart. Citta has often been translated as the “mind”
or the “mental factors”, because it is said that the
four khandhas of vedanà, sannà, sankhàra and vinnàna
are the citta. Although this is true, it must be realised,
that these are by way of being “modifications of the
citta”. The citta in its true unmodified state is beyond
the khandhas and it has no “signs” by which it may
be known in the sensory universe.


:anjali:
Mike
And how is that different from Atman?
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.

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Re: Citta, Brahma, and Thai Forest interpretations

Postby ALot » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:14 pm

Maha Boowa's explanation of the 'original mind' is also quite interesting:
"Straight from the Heart" ebook, talk "The Radiant Mind Is Unawareness":

The ‘original mind’ means the original mind of the round in which the mind finds itself spinning around and about, as in the Buddha’s saying, ‘Monks, the original mind is radiant’ — notice that — ‘but because of the admixture of defilements’ or ‘because of the defilements that come passing through, it becomes darkened.’

The original mind here refers to the origin of conventional realities, not to the origin of purity. The Buddha uses the term ‘pabhassaraṁ’ — ‘pabhassaramidaṁ cittaṁ bhikkhave’ — which means radiant. It doesn’t mean pure. The way he puts it is absolutely right. There is no way you can fault it. Had he said that the original mind is pure, you could immediately take issue: ‘If the mind is pure, why is it born? Those who have purified their minds are never reborn. If the mind is already pure, why purify it?’ Right here is where you could take issue. What reason would there be to purify it? If the mind is radiant, you can purify it because its radiance is unawareness incarnate, and nothing else. Meditators will see clearly for themselves the moment the mind passes from radiance to mental release: Radiance will no longer appear. Right here is the point where meditators clearly know this, and it’s the point that lets them argue — because the truth has to be found true in the individual heart. Once a person knows, he or she can’t help but speak with full assurance.
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Re: Citta, Brahma, and Thai Forest interpretations

Postby ALot » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:30 pm

tiltbillings wrote:And how is that different from Atman?

I'm not sure if the Glossary definitions are by Ajahn Maha Boowa, and I don't think his talks are very good or maybe even 'correct' in coherent buddhist scholarly stuff, but anyways, if you give a label to some process or state without greed, hatred and delusion (or without kilesas or asavas), does it make it automatically 'Atman'?
"Straight from the Heart" ebook, talk "The Radiant Mind Is Unawareness":

We’ll see — when the mind is cleansed so that it is fully pure and nothing can become involved with it — that no fear appears in the mind at all. Fear doesn’t appear. Courage doesn’t appear. All that appears is its own nature by itself, just its own timeless nature. That’s all. This is the genuine mind. ‘Genuine mind’ here refers only to the purity or the ‘saupadisesa-nibbāna’ of the arahants. Nothing else can be called the ‘genuine mind’ without reservations or hesitations. I, for one, would feel embarrassed to use the term for anything else at all.

...

Know that vedanā, saññā, saṅkhāra, and viññāṇa are simply individual conditions displayed by the mind. They appear and vanish. ‘Sañña anattā’ — see? They too are not-self, so how can you hold to them? How can you believe them to be you, to be yours, to be true? Keep track of them so that you can know them clearly with mindfulness and discernment: audacious, undaunted, diamond-hearted, decisive in the face of defilement and pain of every sort.

Saṅkhāras, mental formations: They form — blip, blip, blip — in the heart. The heart ripples for a moment: blip, blip, blip. The moment they arise, they vanish. So what substance or truth can you find in these saññās and saṅkhāras?

Viññāṇa, cognizance: As soon as anything comes into contact, this takes note and vanishes, takes note and vanishes. So ultimately, the khandhas are full of nothing but appearing and vanishing. There’s nothing lasting about them that can give us any real sustenance or nourishment. There’s not even the least bit of substance to them. So use your discernment to investigate until you see clearly in this way, and you will come to see the real Dhamma taught by the Buddha, which has not been otherwise from time immemorial and by the same token will never be otherwise at all.

"Unawareness Converges, Concealing The True Dhamma, the True Mind":
But there’s no escaping the truth: Whatever arises has to vanish; whatever is true, whatever is a natural principle in and of itself, won’t vanish. In other words, the pure mind won’t vanish. Everything of every sort may vanish, but that which knows their vanishing doesn’t vanish. This vanishes, that vanishes, but the one that knows their vanishing doesn’t vanish. Whether or not we try to leave it untouched, it keeps on knowing.

Well, I don't know what vanishes and what doesn't and what any of it should be called or not called.
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Re: Citta, Brahma, and Thai Forest interpretations

Postby DAWN » Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:48 am

‘If the mind is pure, why is it born? Those who have purified their minds are never reborn.
It possible to explain why purity born mind. If some one want to listen.

If the mind is already pure, why purify it?’
Mind is radiant
Consciosness is pure

When we purify mind, after the purification there is purity, this purity is not the mind, but can be designate like consciosness.
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...
I'am sorry for my english
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Re: Citta, Brahma, and Thai Forest interpretations

Postby ALot » Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:25 pm

To sum up, then, our discussion here of the terms citta and manas has shown that both are frequently used in a generic non-technical sense of 'mind' in general. Both are also associated in general terms with the activity of the mind, and this is primarily the thinking which originates in volitions. Manas is particularly used to refer to such mental activity. We have seen that though the verbal root cit, from which we get the term citta, also gives us the active terms cetana, cetas and cinteti, all of which are specifically associated with volitions or thinking, the nominal term citta itself primarily has the passive meaning of one's 'state of mind'. This is neither an entity nor a process, but, rather, is an abstract qualitative indication of the moral and cognitive condition of a human being at any given time.

-Sue Hamilton, IDENTITY AND EXPERIENCE - The Constitution of the Human Being According to Early Buddhism, p. 114

Using the above citta definition by Sue Hamilton, there's nothing wrong with a 'purified mind/citta' or 'genuine mind/citta'. It's just a 'state of mind' which is free from defilements. And in the case of the arahants, I guess that the achieved 'purity' doesn't vanish?

If that's what Ajahn Maha Boowa and some other forest ajahns experienced in their practise, good for them! Just don't look after coherent scholarly definitions in their 'pep talks' to thai bhikkhus.
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Re: Citta, Brahma, and Thai Forest interpretations

Postby DAWN » Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:26 pm

ALot wrote:
To sum up, then, our discussion here of the terms citta and manas has shown that both are frequently used in a generic non-technical sense of 'mind' in general. Both are also associated in general terms with the activity of the mind, and this is primarily the thinking which originates in volitions. Manas is particularly used to refer to such mental activity. We have seen that though the verbal root cit, from which we get the term citta, also gives us the active terms cetana, cetas and cinteti, all of which are specifically associated with volitions or thinking, the nominal term citta itself primarily has the passive meaning of one's 'state of mind'. This is neither an entity nor a process, but, rather, is an abstract qualitative indication of the moral and cognitive condition of a human being at any given time.

-Sue Hamilton, IDENTITY AND EXPERIENCE - The Constitution of the Human Being According to Early Buddhism, p. 114

Using the above citta definition by Sue Hamilton, there's nothing wrong with a 'purified mind/citta' or 'genuine mind/citta'. It's just a 'state of mind' which is free from defilements. And in the case of the arahants, I guess that the achieved 'purity' doesn't vanish?

If that's what Ajahn Maha Boowa and some other forest ajahns experienced in their practise, good for them! Just don't look after coherent scholarly definitions in their 'pep talks' to thai bhikkhus.


I'am agree with you.

Purified citta means destruction of greed, hatred, and delusion. Different words, same release.
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Re: Citta, Brahma, and Thai Forest interpretations

Postby suttametta » Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:12 pm

This might be a little off topic, but I think it helps clear up the real distinction between Hinduism and Buddhism. I don't think the Brahman/Nirvana distinction is a real distinction. Whether there is a real difference in Nondualistic Hindu teachings vs. Buddhism is quite an important one for me, and I've done a lot of retreats in both religions to explore this. What I think it comes down to, and what I feel impacts the path and practice part is based on what amounts to two very different theories of causation, rather than metaphysical existences of Nirvana or Brahman.

In any Hindu lineage you will ever find, the assumption is that the result is inherent in the cause. For example, a tree is inherent in a seed, and not only that tree, but all future seeds, and future trees. Thusly, the potential of all existences are inherent in a single moment, and if one can realize that one then fully realizes the nonduality of Shakti and Brahman. How this impacts the path is that one spends ones time meditating in a concentration mode, repeating mantras, etc., to join the energy of the sushumna nadi to the sahasrara chakra (thereby dissolving the three koshas and entering turiya). Emotional and visual experiences are taken as signs of progress, as these are seen as the "seeds" of karmic imprints being shed in the process of ending the cycle of birth and death. Unless and until, one has joined Shakti to Brahma, one has not fulfilled the path in the life and will take further lives. Shakti is thus imbued with the ultimate causal power as there is a real person, doing something real, which causes a force to be unleashed in a space called a channel, going in a direction called upwards, to do this thing called joining, a thing called a sahasrara chakra. Then, you are in a concentration called turiya. This takes time and repetitive effort. This experiences comes from working with Dhyanyogiji's lineage through Anandima. The danger I found here, after having been trained in Buddhism, is that there is no clear end-game. When Dhyanyogiji was 100 years old, he nearly died, and reported an NDE where he was attached to his body. This is the sort of visual experience and attachment that should be relinquished much sooner in the Buddha-dharma way. Where visions and experiences are taken as important path matters, the personality self is still a dog in the hunt. It is difficult to discern if one is in turiya what one should "do" next? The whole nonduality thing gets pushed off. I realize strict Advaita takes a different approach, but you still have to deal with this causal theory to purify the causal body. I feel it's murky because of this.

Whereas, in Buddha-dharma, there is no inherent cause, but rather co-dependent origination. The moment one recognizes this fact, one is liberated by seeing through the illusion of phenomena. What results is a mind that is purified of deluded perception. The path is very different. According to Punnaji, one turns ones attention to the breath, so that thoughts and emotional states evaporate of their own, due to the nature of the causal interdependence. When one becomes aware of the causal net, the first link in the chain is broken and (in the Hindu terms) the seeds would all dissolve at once. This can happen by going sequentially through the jhanas to the cessation of perception, or in the fourth jhana one can see the nature of perception itself (being discontinuous and accumulative), and thusly see the empty nature of the personality self.

Both are aiming at the end of suffering and delusion. Both are said to seek moksha and nirvana. Both say the job is not fully done until death. It could be argued that both have an identical metaphysical description of a nirvanic consciousness. However, the Buddhists will always have a bone to pick with the Sankyans, because the Buddhists will very convincingly be able to challenge whether the Sankyans have really seen what they claim to have seen, given they faulty understanding of causation, which in turn leads to a path relying on erronous causes and effects. What is fascinating, is the incredible number of siddhis that come from someone like a Dhyanyogiji. According to the Dalai Lama, these boons are granted by like-minded deities, and also by the strict practice of moral ethics.
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Re: Citta, Brahma, and Thai Forest interpretations

Postby Sylvester » Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:22 am

ALot wrote:
To sum up, then, our discussion here of the terms citta and manas has shown that both are frequently used in a generic non-technical sense of 'mind' in general. Both are also associated in general terms with the activity of the mind, and this is primarily the thinking which originates in volitions. Manas is particularly used to refer to such mental activity. We have seen that though the verbal root cit, from which we get the term citta, also gives us the active terms cetana, cetas and cinteti, all of which are specifically associated with volitions or thinking, the nominal term citta itself primarily has the passive meaning of one's 'state of mind'. This is neither an entity nor a process, but, rather, is an abstract qualitative indication of the moral and cognitive condition of a human being at any given time.

-Sue Hamilton, IDENTITY AND EXPERIENCE - The Constitution of the Human Being According to Early Buddhism, p. 114

Using the above citta definition by Sue Hamilton, there's nothing wrong with a 'purified mind/citta' or 'genuine mind/citta'. It's just a 'state of mind' which is free from defilements. And in the case of the arahants, I guess that the achieved 'purity' doesn't vanish?

If that's what Ajahn Maha Boowa and some other forest ajahns experienced in their practise, good for them! Just don't look after coherent scholarly definitions in their 'pep talks' to thai bhikkhus.



I read Prof Hamilton's assertion very differently.

Bear in mind her emphasis that citta's primary sense is passive, versus the active sense carried by the processes of intending or thinking. I understand her point about "citta" being an abstraction to mean that it is purely conceptual, since she does say its point of reference is "neither an entity nor a process". I suspect that what she has in mind is that the term "citta" is simply a designation for an assemblage of mental components. It's like the word "kaya" in certain contexts, where it refers to grouping of things. A group as an abstraction does not exist in the absence of the abstraction. So it is too for the term "citta". It's just a term applied to organise observable mental aspects of a "being".

You could check out DN 15 on the paradox of "language". It's usually faulty in constructing a sense of self, yet absolutely necessary as a tool for awakening.
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Re: Citta, Brahma, and Thai Forest interpretations

Postby DAWN » Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:29 am

Practitioners have to realise it, before make some critics about it.
:meditate:
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...
I'am sorry for my english
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Re: Citta, Brahma, and Thai Forest interpretations

Postby DAWN » Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:29 pm

DN 11.

M. Walshe:

Where do earth, water, fire and air no footing find?
Where are long and short, small and great, fair and foul -
Where are "name-and-form" wholly destroyed?

And the answer is:

Where consciosness is signless, boundless, all-luminous,
That's where earth, water, fire and air find no footing,
There both long and short, small and great, fair and foul -
There "name-and-form" are wholly destroyed.
With the cessation of consciousness this all destroyed.



Ven. Thanissaro Bhikkhu:

Where do water, earth, fire, & wind
have no footing?
Where are long & short,
coarse & fine,
fair & foul,
name & form
brought to an end?
"'And the answer to that is:

Consciousness without feature,[1]
without end,
luminous all around:
Here water, earth, fire, & wind
have no footing.
Here long & short
coarse & fine
fair & foul
name & form
are all brought to an end.
With the cessation of [the activity of] consciousness
each is here brought to an end.'"
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...
I'am sorry for my english
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Re: Citta, Brahma, and Thai Forest interpretations

Postby greenjuice » Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:37 pm

Consciousness or vinnana is one of the khandhas and of course is not eternal. The citta is eternal. Just remember what the Lord Buddha said, the Thatagata after dead neither is nor is not. The citta is not individualistic, not personal. How could the Lord Buddha talk to Acharn Mun presenting Dhamma to him in the form of the Lord
Buddha, if there is nothing that is eternal and everything dies away? We grasp the term citta wrongly, we think every beeing has a citta, no that is not right, every being is part of that one citta, that is eternal.


http://www.theravada-dhamma.org/pdf/Aja ... anatta.pdf

First thing- citta is eternal, somewhat ok, but positing that there is one citta, first time I've read this. Second thing- Buddha talked to Acharn Mun? Image
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Re: Citta, Brahma, and Thai Forest interpretations

Postby boris » Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:31 pm

greenjuice wrote:First thing- citta is eternal, somewhat ok, but positing that there is one citta, first time I've read this.
One Mind it's not new concept :smile:

But while life, etc. cannot be or not be without the cooperation of the negative presence of consciousness, which gives room for them (and itself) to “come to be” in this way (gaining its own peculiar form of negative being, perhaps from them)—the only possible way of being—they are, by ignorance, simultaneously individualized in actual experience. Unindividualized experience cannot, I think, be called experience at all. Thus there appears the positive illusion also of individual consciousness: “illusion” because its individuality is borrowed from the individualness of (1) its percepts, and (2) the body seen as its perceiving instrument.
Nanamoli Thera http://nyanamoli.blogspot.com/2009/12/c ... being.html
The man who wants to avoid grotesque collapses should not look for anything to fulfill him in space and time.

Nicolás Gómez Dávila
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Re: Citta, Brahma, and Thai Forest interpretations

Postby greenjuice » Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:42 am

boris wrote: One Mind it's not new concept :smile:

Maybe for Vedanta.

The way I understood some of the "less mainstream" Theravada explanations of the Buddha's teaching is this- there are the mahabhutas of fire, earth, air, water, space and citta. The body/ rupa is made of the first four mahabhutas, and the intellect/ manas is the manifestation of a citta that is connected to a rupa, manas is the name/ nama, it's functions are feeling, perception, contact, consciousness and intention. The citta is the person, as when Buddha says that the khandas are the burden and the person is the carrier of the burden, that can remember it's past births, it is the bhavanga, what get's reborn, it is the place of unmanifest consciousness, that is beyond the allness of the all, and that is luminous, and that's why citta itself is called luminous, and it is citta that attains the paramam sukham of Nibbana. :spy:
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