Did Buddha say “The world is but an illusion?

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Re: Did Buddha say “The world is but an illusion?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:47 am

ground wrote:
The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. ...
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

:goodpost:

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: Did Buddha say “The world is but an illusion?

Postby Viscid » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:15 pm

Why do people (particularly the Mahayana) identify the world as illusory to begin with? What are they experiencing, or what insight are they having? If they're in error, why do they make this error?
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
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Re: Did Buddha say “The world is but an illusion?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:33 pm

Viscid wrote:Why do people (particularly the Mahayana) identify the world as illusory to begin with? What are they experiencing, or what insight are they having? If they're in error, why do they make this error?
I am not sure that Mahayana sees the world as illusion. It is like an illusion, which is different than being an illusion. In the Prajnaparamita Sutras, other than in a few poetic bits, it is stated that it is like an illusion.
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: Did Buddha say “The world is but an illusion?

Postby Viscid » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:47 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Viscid wrote:Why do people (particularly the Mahayana) identify the world as illusory to begin with? What are they experiencing, or what insight are they having? If they're in error, why do they make this error?
I am not sure that Mahayana sees the world as illusion. It is like an illusion, which is different than being an illusion. In the Prajnaparamita Sutras, other than in a few poetic bits, it is stated that it is like an illusion.


Ah, okay. I suppose it's 'illusory' in the sense that our experience of the world is distorted, and we're varyingly ignorant of what's actually true of it.. but being 'illusory' doesn't necessarily mean the world is 'unreal' as being an 'illusion' would imply.
Last edited by Viscid on Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Did Buddha say “The world is but an illusion?

Postby DAWN » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:57 pm

Buddha said that all phenomenas are conditioned.
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...
I'am sorry for my english
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Re: Did Buddha say “The world is but an illusion?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:06 pm

Viscid wrote:Ah, okay. I suppose it's 'illusory' in the sense that our experience of the world is distorted, and we're varyingly ignorant of what's actually true of the world.. but being 'illusory' doesn't necessarily mean the world is 'unreal' as being an 'illusion' would imply.

That's the way I understand it. What is or isn't "real" is not, it seems to me, the issue. Seeing though those distortions is the issue.

DAWN wrote:Buddha said that all phenomenas are conditioned.

Yes, our (distorted) perceptions (experiences above) are conditioned phenomena...

:anjali:
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Re: Did Buddha say “The world is but an illusion?

Postby SamKR » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:24 pm

SarathW wrote:Hi Tilt
Do you know the pali word use in Sutta for "Magic Trick"?

I hope you don't mind me replying your question. :)
The Pali phrase used for "consciousness, a magic trick" in the following sutta is Māyūpamañca viññāṇaṃ. So, it's close to Maya

Idamavoca bhagavā. Idaṃ vatvāna sugato athāparaṃ etadavoca satthā –

‘‘Pheṇapiṇḍūpamaṃ rūpaṃ, vedanā bubbuḷūpamā [bubbulūpamā (sī.), pubbuḷopamā (ka.)];
Marīcikūpamā saññā, saṅkhārā kadalūpamā;
Māyūpamañca viññāṇaṃ, desitādiccabandhunā.

‘‘Yathā yathā nijjhāyati, yoniso upaparikkhati;
Rittakaṃ tucchakaṃ hoti, yo naṃ passati yoniso.

http://tipitaka.org/romn/cscd/s0303m.mul0.xml


It's translation by Thanissaro Bhikkhu:
That is what the Blessed One said. Having said that, the One Well-Gone, the Teacher, said further:

Form is like a glob of foam;
feeling, a bubble;
perception, a mirage;
fabrications, a banana tree;
consciousness, a magic trick
this has been taught
by the Kinsman of the Sun.
However you observe them,
appropriately examine them,
they're empty, void
to whoever sees them
appropriately.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: Did Buddha say “The world is but an illusion?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:50 pm

SamKR wrote: Form is like a glob of foam . . . .
In terms of the OP, you missed the most important word in thewhole if the quote: like.
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
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Re: Did Buddha say “The world is but an illusion?

Postby SamKR » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:58 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
SamKR wrote: Form is like a glob of foam . . . .
In terms of the OP, you missed the most important word in thewhole if the quote: like.

Of course, form is not a glob of foam, it's like a glob of foam.
feeling is like a bubble
perception is like a mirage
fabrications are like a banana tree
consciousness is like a magic trick

So, as for the OP, the answer would be, in my opinion: The Buddha said: The world (consciousness) is [like a] magic trick.
And, a magic trick is/creates illusion(s). One of the meanings of Maya is illusion. In my native language Maya , besides illusion, also means love. :)
Ignorance (Avijja) is close to Maya (illusion) or Moha in the sense that because of avijjā there is Maya (illusion/magic trick). So, avijjā paccaya Saṅkhāra and viññāṇa makes sense.
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Re: Did Buddha say “The world is but an illusion?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:23 pm

SamKR wrote: One of the meanings of Maya is illusion.
I do not know what the background of SarathW is. In (some forms of) Hinduism the world is Maya which points to an ultimate, truly true true reality atman/brahman, which is, of course, not the teachings ofthe Buddha.
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
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Re: Did Buddha say “The world is but an illusion?

Postby SarathW » Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:38 am

tiltbillings wrote:
SamKR wrote: One of the meanings of Maya is illusion.
I do not know what the background of SarathW is. In (some forms of) Hinduism the world is Maya which points to an ultimate, truly true true reality atman/brahman, which is, of course, not the teachings ofthe Buddha.


Hi Tilt
I am a Sri Lankan and my native language is Sinhalease. We use Maya in many ways
- Magician
- A woman who try to seduce a man by false pretense
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Re: Did Buddha say “The world is but an illusion?

Postby SamKR » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:16 am

tiltbillings wrote:
SamKR wrote: One of the meanings of Maya is illusion.
I do not know what the background of SarathW is. In (some forms of) Hinduism the world is Maya which points to an ultimate, truly true true reality atman/brahman, which is, of course, not the teachings ofthe Buddha.

I agree. Any talk about Maya in the context of Hinduism usually involves talk about Atman/Paramatman/Brahman.
So, when we use this word Maya in the context of Theravada Buddhism we need to be careful.
Last edited by SamKR on Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:18 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Did Buddha say “The world is but an illusion?

Postby vinasp » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:17 am

Hi SarathW,

This passage may be of interest:

"That end of the world wherein one is not born, does not grow old or die, pass away or reappear, that I declare, is impossible to be known, seen or reached by travelling. But, friend, I do not declare that one can make an end of suffering without reaching the end of the world. Friend, I do proclaim that in this very fathom-long body, with its perceptions and consciousness, is the world, the world's arising, the world's cessation and the path leading to the world's cessation." A.N. II.48 Rohitassa (pali text) translated by Nanananda in Concept and Reality page 83.

AN 4.45 Link:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: Did Buddha say “The world is but an illusion?

Postby hermitwin » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:19 am

it is all a matter of perspective.
is a man real or illusion?
if you see a man as nothing more than a collection sub-atomic particles.
then which is the illusion and which the reality???
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Re: Did Buddha say “The world is but an illusion?

Postby DAWN » Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:32 am

hermitwin wrote:it is all a matter of perspective.
is a man real or illusion?
if you see a man as nothing more than a collection sub-atomic particles.
then which is the illusion and which the reality???


It's a good questioning.

What part of a man is considered as man.
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We are not concurents...
I'am sorry for my english
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Re: Did Buddha say “The world is but an illusion?

Postby polarbuddha101 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:41 am

hermitwin wrote:it is all a matter of perspective.
is a man real or illusion?
if you see a man as nothing more than a collection sub-atomic particles.
then which is the illusion and which the reality???


Man is a word that refers to an actual specification of sub-atomic particles that follow a consistent pattern. Man has a true referent. They are both realities, they're just on different scales of description.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: Did Buddha say “The world is but an illusion?

Postby SamKR » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:50 am

SarathW wrote:Can someone tell me what exactly Buddha said about illusion. Did he say that world (five aggregate) is an illusion (Maya)?

I am reading a book called The Buddha’s Ancient Path by Ven Piyadassi Thero. page 56 it says:

In regard to Kassapa’s question Buddha said “Surely, Kassapa, suffering is not non-existent. Suffering is”

Does it mean that suffering is not an illusion?

If world is an illusion why Buddha asked us to practice Metta?


In my understanding:
Realization of suffering caused by illusion happens when there is no illusion. So, we can say: [realization of] suffering is not an illusion but illusion is [the cause of] suffering.
Phena sutta is awesome.
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Re: Did Buddha say “The world is but an illusion?

Postby cbonanno » Sat Dec 22, 2012 1:42 pm

Samsara does not exist, but it also does not "non-exist". Notice that the Buddha said “Surely, Kassapa, suffering is not non-existent. Suffering is”. He is very clear in a confusing way. He did not say "suffering exists", he used a double negative and said, yeah, it is happening, and you are affected by it, but its just a trick.

He is pointing out that suffering based on an illusion is also an illusion. It is like someone pointing a fake gun at your head, if you do not know that gun is an "illusion" you will suffer only because of your lack of knowing the truth. The Buddha takes it a step farther and reveals even a real gun pointed at your head also should not lead to suffering.

Humans create the illusion of the world to navigate it, to find food and shelter. Dogs see it one way, we see it another. Someone who is colorblind sees blue where there is no blue, which is the reality? No reality, no non-reality, just a trick. It is like the following optical illusion, both the old couple and the mexican men exist but our mind can only choose to see one at a time.

http://brainden.com/images/old-couple.jpg

Edited to add: http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=Illusion

An illusion (māyā) is something false or without real existence. Some misinformed people believe that the Buddha taught that everything is an illusion created by the mind and that nothing really exists. This is one of several examples of where a doctrine of Vedantic Hinduism has been mistakenly attributed to the Buddha. So what did the Buddha mean when he said: 'Everything is unreal' (sabbaṃ vitathaṃ, Sn.9)?
Idealism is the concept that everything is just a creation of the mind, the 'dance' or 'play' (līlā) of God, according to Vedanta. The extreme opposite of this is naive realism, the concept that everything is exactly as it appears to be. Both these ideas are false, the first much more so than the second, and the Buddha subscribed to neither of them.
Very clearly the external world exists in the real sense of the word. The elements of existence - earth or solidity (paṭhavī), water or fluididity (āpo), fire or caloricity (tejo) and wind or movement (vāyo) - exist independently of our minds. However, when the external world impinges on our senses we react by projecting ideas, values, assumptions and expectations onto it. As a result, what we perceive is often more a product of our minds than the qualities of the object itself. This is what the Buddha called 'the distortion of perception' (saṭṭā vipullāsa, A.II,52).
The value of meditation is that in watching the mind we see its projecting and distorting tendency and are less likely to be led astray by it. In time, as the mind becomes utterly still and clear, it stops projecting and sense objects reveal themselves to us as they are. The ordinary person sees everything through the filter of his or her desires, memories, prejudices and wants; the enlightened person 'sees things as they really are' (yathābhūtaṭāṇadassana).
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Re: Did Buddha say “The world is but an illusion?

Postby SamKR » Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:16 pm

Ven. Nyanananda also writes in his The Magic of The Mind (1974):
...In that moment of compassion for the frenzied crowd applauding the magician, you had stumbled upon a wider concept of truth. It is the understanding of the principle of relativity behind the concept of truth. The realization that anyone placed in a similar situation would behave as that crowd, had a mellowing effect on your sense of judgment. Given the same measure of ignorance as to the secrets of the magician, given the same psychological impulses of greed and hate, anyone would take up such a standpoint as that frenzied crowd and it is probably the same conviction that caused some embarrassment and hesitation in you in the course of that conversation with your friend. The same magic-show was seen in two different perspectives. While the audience saw what the magician performed, you from your point of vantage saw how he performed. Thus there were actually two levels of experience -- one arising out of ignorance, the other out of knowledge. Each level carried with its own conception of bliss, its own reactions and convictions. The former tended towards a tumultuous bliss of ignorance; the latter towards a bliss of appeasement born of understanding. In the Buddhist conception of the 'knowledge-and-vision-of-things-as-they-are' (yathabhutanana-dassana) both levels of experience find a place. Its content is not any particular theory or a definite body of knowledge, but a norm which analyses and lays bare the very structure of experience. This is none other than the law of Dependent Arising (paticca-sammuppada), which in its direct order accounts for the former level of experience while recognizing at the same time the latter as well by its formulation in reverse order.

...the existence of the magic can neither be affirmed nor denied absolutely. And what is true of the magic is true of all phenomena comprising the magic-show of consciousness. The fact that existence is a relative concept is often overlooked by the worldling. Says the Buddha: "This world, Kaccayana, usually bases (its views) on two things: on existence and non-existence. Now, he who with right insight sees the arising of the world as it really is, does not hold with the non-existence of the world. And he who with right insight sees the passing away of the world as it really is, does not hold with the existence of the world. The world, for the most part, is given to approaching, grasping, entering into and getting entangled (as regards views). Whoever does not approach, grasp and take his stand upon that proclivity towards approaching and grasping, that mental standpoint--namely, that thought:'This is my soul'--he knows that what arises is just suffering and what ceases is just suffering. Thus he is not in doubt, is not perplexed and herein he has knowledge that is not dependent on another. Thus far, Kaccayana, he has right view. 'Everything exists,' this is one extreme. 'Nothing exists,'this is the other extreme. Not approaching either of those extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma by the middle way: From ignorance as condition formations come to be;...
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Re: Did Buddha say “The world is but an illusion?

Postby Sambodhi in Oz » Sun Dec 23, 2012 6:18 pm

Dear all,

Suffering is a truth which Buddha called an Arya Satya, one of the realisations without realising which no one can hope to even become a sotapanna.

Instead of this debate would request all to practise Vipassana where you would realise what is meant by illusory.

Regards

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