Non-duality AND Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation
User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 20080
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001

Re: Non-duality AND Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:50 pm

.e. wrote:
Sorry buddy, you just don’t recognize it.


I have asked you any number of questions to elicit further understanding and further exploration of the topic, and this is your response. Your preaching here, not offering dialogue, not willing to have an actual exchange of ideas. Contrary to your unfounded dismissiveness, I can see what you are saying clearly enough. I have asked you questions and raised points in response to what you have said, and from you all I get in return is: “you just don’t recognize it.” That is not dialogue. That is just preaching.

Nagarjuna felt that Nirvana (Reality) is Samsara (Illusion).


Let us see what you have here. Show us where in his major work, the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā, where he said samasara is an illusion. Show us where he states nirvana is a reality like atman/brahman. Show us, chapter and verse. And give us the argument Nagarjuna uses to make the equation of nirvana and samsara. And show us how Nagarjuna defines “reality.”

Parenthetically he also felt the essence of the Buddha (Reality) was identical to the essence of the world (Illusion).


Please quote chapter and verse.

He did not say like, kinda or sort of.


You are making claims here that you know what it is that Nagarjuna said, so please back it up. Let us look at what Nagarjuna said that supports your claims.

If you have experienced this, even a glimpse, you will re-cognize it in the literature of the religions of the world.


Now you are entering in the realm of the ad hominem. You have no idea of what I have experienced.

It may not be postulated exactly in the way you have intellectually come to it but then Reality is Illusion is not an argued understanding.


In ignoring an appeal to what the Buddha said, you have appealed very directly to what Nagarjuna said to support your position. So, we will look at Nagarjuna. I have no problem with that.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 20080
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001

Re: Non-duality AND Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:01 pm

Jechbi wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:"The assumption that a God is the cause (of the world, etc.) is based on the false belief in the eternal self (atman, i.e. permanent spiritual substance, essence or personality); but that belief has to be abandoned, if one has clearly understood that everything is impermanent and subject to suffering." Abhidharmakosha 5, 8 vol IV, p 19:
This goes to the relatively narrow issue of paticca-samuppada and the not-self conditions that give rise to each phenomenon. It does not go to the broader issue of whether the notion of "god" in all its myriad permutations must in all circumstances and without exception be immediately abandoned.


It goes to the idea of a god, in whatever way, that is the cause of the world, a god with whom, in some way, for whatever reason we concoct, we must identify.

Jechbi wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Does God exist? I have absolutely no idea.

It is an unnecessary concept.

Right, it is unnecessary except for the person who has a deep-rooted kamma of understanding the term "god" in a certain way, usually in a different way than the caricature "god" that's so easy to dismiss. For such a person, the "god" concept is the kammic framework within which he or she must work. It's what she's stuck with. Eventually, one hopes, we all will arrive at the experience of truth beyond concepts. But meanwhile, we each are the owners of our kamma. We work with what we got. I think a lot of this is an issue of semantics.


Yes and no, but your point here makes the Kosha’s point above.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

User avatar
christopher:::
Posts: 1326
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:56 am

Re: Non-duality AND Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism

Postby christopher::: » Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:01 am

Jechbi wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:"The assumption that a God is the cause (of the world, etc.) is based on the false belief in the eternal self (atman, i.e. permanent spiritual substance, essence or personality); but that belief has to be abandoned, if one has clearly understood that everything is impermanent and subject to suffering." Abhidharmakosha 5, 8 vol IV, p 19:


This goes to the relatively narrow issue of paticca-samuppada and the not-self conditions that give rise to each phenomenon. It does not go to the broader issue of whether the notion of "god" in all its myriad permutations must in all circumstances and without exception be immediately abandoned.

tiltbillings wrote:
Does God exist? I have absolutely no idea.

It is an unnecessary concept.


Right, it is unnecessary except for the person who has a deep-rooted kamma of understanding the term "god" in a certain way, usually in a different way than the caricature "god" that's so easy to dismiss. For such a person, the "god" concept is the kammic framework within which he or she must work. It's what she's stuck with. Eventually, one hopes, we all will arrive at the experience of truth beyond concepts. But meanwhile, we each are the owners of our kamma. We work with what we got.

I think a lot of this is an issue of semantics.


Good points, Jechbi.

:namaste:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

User avatar
Prasadachitta
Posts: 974
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:52 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: San Francisco (The Mission) Ca USA
Contact:

Re: Non-duality AND Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism

Postby Prasadachitta » Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:55 pm

I dont think Tilt is trying to say that a god or ultimate source idea is not provisionally helpful for some people. Correct me if Im wrong Tilt. Its just that no such idea is congruous with traditional Buddhist teaching. In my opinion it is an acute misunderstanding of Nagarjuna to think he promotes any such idea or leaves any logical room for it in his reasoning.

Kindly

Gabriel
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 20080
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001

Re: Non-duality AND Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:57 pm

gabrielbranbury wrote:I dont think Tilt is trying to say that a god or ultimate source idea is not provisionally helpful for some people. Correct me if Im wrong Tilt.


You are not wrong. Thank you for the clarification.


Its just that no such idea is congruous with traditional Buddhist teaching. In my opinion it is an acute misunderstanding of Nagarjuna to think he promotes any such idea or leaves any logical room for it in his reasoning.


Indeed.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

.e.
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:05 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Non-duality AND Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism

Postby .e. » Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:18 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
.e. wrote:

Nagarjuna felt that Nirvana (Reality) is Samsara (Illusion).


And give us the argument Nagarjuna uses to make the equation of nirvana and samsara.




http://www.stephenbatchelor.org/verses2.htm

Investigation of Nirvana 25.19

Parenthetically he also felt the essence of the Buddha (Reality) was identical to the essence of the world (Illusion).


Please quote chapter and verse.



Investigation of the Tathagata 22.16


If you have experienced this, even a glimpse, you will re-cognize it in the literature of the religions of the world.


Now you are entering in the realm of the ad hominem. You have no idea of what I have experienced.



Forgive me Tilt but you have offered no sense in your writing that you have penetrated the dhamma beyond the scripture you go round and round. You seem to have made the raft into a turtle shell to preserve your personal ontology as a very good diehard Buddhist. You come out of your shell to snap at others and debate like there is actually something to defend. You are a fierce Mahakala defender of the Dharma yet to realize the mythological nature of the fabricated character that is Tilt.

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 20080
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001

Re: Non-duality AND Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:50 pm

you wrote:
I wrote:
you wrote:Nagarjuna felt that Nirvana (Reality) is Samsara (Illusion).


And give us the argument Nagarjuna uses to make the equation of nirvana and samsara.




http://www.stephenbatchelor.org/verses2.htm

Investigation of Nirvana 25.19


Quote the text and give the arument.

you wrote:
i wrote:
you wrote:Parenthetically he also felt the essence of the Buddha (Reality) was identical to the essence of the world (Illusion).


Please quote chapter and verse.



Investigation of the Tathagata 22.16


Let us see the actual text and the argument. Put it out there. Let us see if your claim about Nagarjuna holds up. I'd much rather look at the Buddha's teachings, but you seem rather reluctant to do so. I'll ask again, what is the Advaita all and and what is the Buddha's teaching on the all? You do not want to answer that, so let us deal with Nagarjuna.

Forgive me Tilt but you have offered no sense in your writing that you have penetrated the dhamma beyond the scripture you go round and round.


It is meaningless for you to say what you have just said and in the way you have said it. The problem with this as an “argument” as you are making it is that I could say with no less validity that in your above claim that you show no functional, actual, insight into the truth of the texts.

You are a fierce Mahakala defender of the Dharma yet to realize the mythological nature of the fabricated character that is Tilt.


I am well aware of the nature of the Teachings, which is why I see no reason to conflate them with stuff that runs counter to them.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

User avatar
Dan74
Posts: 2713
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:12 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Non-duality AND Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism

Postby Dan74 » Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:55 am

Why make a debate personal .e.?

Why not just return to the topic. Tilt like everyone else here is a human being and presumably not infallible. So hopefully the debate can continue constructively and with respect for each other and for the benefit of all.

_/|\_
_/|\_

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 20080
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001

Re: Non-duality AND Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:17 am

Dan74 wrote: Tilt like everyone else here is a human being and presumably not infallible.


Dang. When that happen? I'll do my best to live up to it. Thanks, Dan.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

User avatar
Macavity
Posts: 110
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:36 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Thailand

Re: Non-duality AND Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism

Postby Macavity » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:35 am

.e.

When you say to Tilt:

.e. wrote:Sorry buddy, you just don’t recognize it

...

If you have experienced this, even a glimpse, you will re-cognize it in the literature of the religions of the world. It may not be postulated exactly in the way you have intellectually come to it but then Reality is Illusion is not an argued understanding. ]

...

Forgive me Tilt but you have offered no sense in your writing that you have penetrated the dhamma beyond the scripture you go round and round.



do you mean to imply that you yourself have experienced some kind of gnosis that entitles you to declare the Madhyamaka Buddhist and Advaita Vedantist darshanas and realizations to be ultimately identical?

If so, then have you any explanation as to why this gnosis is not only not shared by Tilt, but is also lacking in all the Indian masters of these two traditions? I mean, if the darshanas and realizations of these two traditions are really the same, isn't it odd that so many of the most acclaimed Buddhist and Vedantist masters devoted such a large part of their literary effort to composing polemics against each other's views? Isn't it odd that your own view of the unity of the two traditions seems to have been championed by nobody among the masters of these traditions?

After all, with the likes of Shankara and Gaudapada on the Vedantist side, and the likes of Kamalashila and Chandrakirti on the Buddhist side, we are not talking about a bunch of village idiots, nor about guys who were chiefly into yoga and little concerned with intellectual work. We're talking about some of the sharpest and subtlest reasoners India ever produced —men thoroughly adept in logic, epistemology, grammatical philosophy, metaphysics etc. If the supposed identity of the Buddhist and Vedantist darshanas were that obvious, do you really suppose that men like these would have been too stupid to see it and draw attention to it?

kannada
Posts: 94
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:35 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Non-duality AND Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism

Postby kannada » Fri Jul 31, 2009 10:32 am

Hi Tilt, good to re-make your acquaintance, other commitments have dragged me away from your topic, hopefully we can continue...

Guenther: The term advaita, as we use it, stems from Shankara's Vedanta.

Misleading statement – Shankara commented on Vedanta, they are not 'Shankara's Vedanta'.

The Buddhists never used this term, but used rather the term advaya. Advaya means "not-two";

अद्वय advaya adj. only - advaya adj. unique - advaya n. identity - advaya n. unity.

As stated earlier A=Not - Dvaita=Dual. There is no escaping this. Your argument of definition versus meaning holds no ground. Meaning is derived from definition, not vice versa. Creative nuances of not-two or non-dual may be entertained providing the meaning does not stray from it source. It is a human trait to seek some form of reductionism within definition, erroneously 'not two' may be assumed to mean 'one' but in this case is highly inaccurate and is bound to lead to confusion. I do agree with Guenther that this terminology is used among some Hindus without appreciation of the finer philosophical ramifications of such misapplications – my only comment is that they are either confused of simply wrong. Just as some Buddhists (or perhaps many) assume 'nirvana' to be a state of consciousness to be entered into. From my experience of Buddhist bulletin boards, Buddhists seem to have as much knowledge and ignorance of their own philosophy as does your average Hindu of theirs.

From what I can gather Shankara's view does indeed stray from the original 'non-duality' into oneness. This could be interpreted as an error of definition but it appears Shankara had his reasons for doing so. It appears that he argues a sole reality upon which delusion (of self and other) is superimposed (whilst pure non-duality posits neither a 'this' nor 'that'). Traits of Shankara's monism does seem to permeate Hinduism. The rope mistaken for a snake, the post seen from a distance mistaken for a person, nacre mistaken for mother-of-pearl etc. Shankara posits on all of these examples a 'reality' (snake, post, nacre) on which a delusion is superimposed. One must remember when commenting on the accuracy of Hindu Teachings that Hinduism is a representational philosophy that utilizes concepts and images to express certain points. The 'gods' of Hinduism may be seen to represent forces of nature, Brahman represents the un-nameable un-knowable 'un-conditioned' etc. There is no requirement in a representational or 'metaphoric' philosophy to display an overarching logic as long as the idea or feeling of the message is successfully transmitted (as in faith based religions). Just as if there were a TV repairman explaining to a child how a TV works. He may talk in terms of Mr. Capacitor lending electricity to Mr resistor who does such and such. Of course the message is nonsense to the 'initiated' but meaningful to a child. The further into practice one becomes the more meaningful the teachings become irrespective on whether the teaching was metaphoric or direct.

What they wanted to say was that only Atman is real. Now the logic of their position should force them to then say that everything else is unreal. But Shankara himself is not clear on this point. What they wanted to say was that only Atman is real. Now the logic of their position should force them to then say that everything else is unreal. But Shankara himself is not clear on this point.

Shankara's view is that:

Brahman is real
The universe is unreal
Brahman is the universe

As per the 'superimposition' examples of the rope/snake, post/person, nacre/mother-of-pearl. Shakara postulate Brahman/universe. The universe is said to be an appearance in Brahman, just as the snake is an appearance in the rope. The appearance of the universe depends solely on the reality of Brahman which is its substratum. The universe could not appear otherwise. Modern day quantum theorists are now developing ideas of the 'implicate' and 'explicate' order.

Regards

k
Last edited by kannada on Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just a view - nothing more...

User avatar
christopher:::
Posts: 1326
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:56 am

Re: Non-duality AND Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism

Postby christopher::: » Fri Jul 31, 2009 10:55 am

thanks for posting, kannada.

:namaste:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 20080
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001

Re: Non-duality AND Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Aug 01, 2009 4:41 am

'The universe," they say, "is without truth,"
Without basis, without a God;
Brought about by a mutual union,
How else? It is caused by lust alone.'

Holding this view,
These men of lost souls, of small intelligence,
And of cruel actions, come forth as enemies
Of the world for it destruction.




I wrote:Guenther: The term advaita, as we use it, stems from Shankara's Vedanta.
kannada wrote:Misleading statement – Shankara commented on Vedanta, they are not 'Shankara's Vedanta'.


And Shankara was a major influence on Advaita, significantly coloring it from his time on. Given his towering significance and influence, “Shankara's Vedanta” is not out of line.
kannada wrote:
Guenther (quoted by me) wrote:The Buddhists never used this term, but used rather the term advaya. Advaya means "not-two";
अद्वय advaya adj. only - advaya adj. unique - advaya n. identity - advaya n. unity.

As stated earlier A=Not - Dvaita=Dual. There is no escaping this. Your argument of definition versus meaning holds no ground. Meaning is derived from definition, not vice versa.


http://www.aa.tufs.ac.jp/~tjun/sktdic/

search `dvaya' in `Apte Dic'
meanings of "dvaya" [1] a.{a-stem} 1.two-fold; 2.relating to dvaita (q. v.)
#25868
meanings of "dvaya" [2] n.{a-stem} 1.pair (usually at the end of comp.); 2.two-fold nature; 3.untruthfulness;
4.(in gram.) the masculine and feminine gender

search `advaya' in `Apte Dic'
meanings of "advaya" [1] a.{a-stem} 1.not two; 2.without a second

search `dvaita' in `Apte Dic'
meanings of "dvaita" n.{a-stem} 1.duality; 2.dualism in philosophy

search `advaita' in `Apte Dic'
meanings of "advaita" [1] a.{a-stem} 1.not dual; 2.matchless #01453 meanings of "advaita" [2]
n.{a-stem} 1.non-duality; 2.the supreme or highest truth or brahman itself


This is also supported by the MacDonell and Monier-Williams dictionaries.

“Your argument of definition versus meaning holds no ground. Meaning is derived from definition, not vice versa.”

The word “nice” started out its life meaning lewd and wanton, as in, “She was a nice girl.” Definitions change by the way words are used, and when we get into the realm of technical terminology common words can get definitions quite different from the a simple dictionary definition. There is nothing in what you have shown us that contravenes Guenther or my points about the usages of the words advaya and advaita.

As for “one without a second:

http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:XOf ... clnk&gl=us

kannada wrote:Shankara's view is that:

Brahman is real
The universe is unreal
Brahman is the universe


The Sanskrit for this is:

Brahma satyaṃ
jagat mithyā,
jīvo brahmaiva nāparah


Better translated:

Brahman is the only truth,
the spatio-temporal world is an illusion,
and there is ultimately no difference between Brahman and individual self.

http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/ent ... ta_Vedanta

And there is nothing in underlying assumptions of this verse that is at all congruent with the Buddha’s teachings.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

User avatar
Ngawang Drolma.
Posts: 805
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:38 pm

Re: Non-duality AND Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Sat Aug 01, 2009 7:32 am

.e. wrote:Forgive me Tilt but you have offered no sense in your writing that you have penetrated the dhamma beyond the scripture you go round and round. You seem to have made the raft into a turtle shell to preserve your personal ontology as a very good diehard Buddhist. You come out of your shell to snap at others and debate like there is actually something to defend. You are a fierce Mahakala defender of the Dharma yet to realize the mythological nature of the fabricated character that is Tilt.


Because it's impossible to know the attainments of another person online, we must go by scholarly qualifications.

:anjali:

kannada
Posts: 94
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:35 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Non-duality AND Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism

Postby kannada » Sat Aug 01, 2009 8:21 am

And Shankara was a major influence on Advaita, significantly coloring it from his time on. Given his towering significance and influence, “Shankara's Vedanta” is not out of line.


I disagree. He was not the author of Vedanta, it is not his Vedanta, he wrote commentaries on it with his own particular monistic interpretation.

search `advaita' in `Apte Dic' .
meanings of "advaita" [1] a.{a-stem} 1.not dual; 2.matchless #01453 meanings of "advaita" [2]
n.{a-stem} 1.non-duality; 2.the supreme or highest truth or brahman itself.


You’re arguing my point. Advaita is ‘non-dual’ not ‘one without a second’ – other than Shankara’s interpretation.

My source for 'advaya'.
http://spokensanskrit.de/index.php?scri ... rection=AU

Definitions change by the way words are used, and when we get into the realm of technical terminology common words can get definitions quite different from the a simple dictionary definition.


Nothing has changed via definition. An additional meaning (interpretation) from Shankara has been supplied. Your own quote above (non-dual) verifies this. No matter how towering Shankara’s stature is even he couldn’t supply a redefinition or re-interpretation of advaita - just an additional meaning.
The Sanskrit for this is:

Brahma satyaṃ
jagat mithyā,
jīvo brahmaiva nāparah

Better translated:

Brahman is the only truth,
the spatio-temporal world is an illusion,
and there is ultimately no difference between Brahman and individual self.

My quote was from my copy of Christopher Isherwood/Eknath Easwaran's translation of the Vivekachudamani. Regardless, either interpretation still holds Shankara's characteristic posit of superimposition whether it is truth/illusion or real/unreal. The terminology differs but the mechanics is the same.

And there is nothing in underlying assumptions of this verse that is at all congruent with the Buddha’s teachings.

I didn't say there was.
Just a view - nothing more...

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 20080
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001

Re: Non-duality AND Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Aug 01, 2009 4:16 pm

'The universe," they say, "is without truth,"
Without basis, without a God;
Brought about by a mutual union,
How else? It is caused by lust alone.'

Holding this view,
These men of lost souls, of small intelligence,
And of cruel actions, come forth as enemies
Of the world for it destruction.
- Bhagavad Gita XVI, 8 - 9




kannada wrote:
I wrote:And Shankara was a major influence on Advaita, significantly coloring it from his time on. Given his towering significance and influence, “Shankara's Vedanta” is not out of line.


I disagree. He was not the author of Vedanta…


I did not say he was the author.

kannada wrote:it is not his Vedanta, he wrote commentaries on it with his own particular monistic interpretation.


Yes, he wrote highly influential commentaries, essentially establishing of a school of Vedanta, not unlike Nagarjuna’s influence on the Mahayana. While there are those lines of Vedanta that do not follow Shankara, his school of thought remains highly influential. “Shankara’s Vedanta” obviously does not cover all lines of Vedanta, but the Advaita lineage is most strongly associated with Shankara. If that is what we are talking about, then it is not inappropriate to say “Shankara’s Vedanta,” differentiating it from Ramanuja or Madhvacharya, to name two of a number. The Wiki gives a nice synopsis of the differing lines:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vedanta

kannada wrote:
search `advaita' in `Apte Dic' . meanings of "advaita" [1] a.{a-stem} 1.not dual; 2.matchless #01453 meanings of "advaita" [2] n.{a-stem} 1.non-duality; 2.the supreme or highest truth or brahman itself.


You’re arguing my point. Advaita is ‘non-dual’ not ‘one without a second’ – other than Shankara’s interpretation.


Shankara’s interpretation is the one most strongly associated with Advaita, and we see in the above the definition of Advaita as the supreme or highest truth or brahman itself -- “the one without a second.”

kannada wrote:My source for 'advaya'.
As a spoken language dictionary, I sure it is fine, but Apte’s carries a bit more gravitas, and then there is the way the word, itself, is used by Buddhists as technical terminology that is not going to be reflected in spoken language dictionary. Edward Conze, in his masterful MATERIALS FOR A DICTIONARY OF PRAJNAPARAMITA LITERATURE, page 14, for advaya gives “not-two” as the only definition, which is consistent with the context of advaya’s usage in the Perfection of Wisdom literature. Guenther’s point still stands.

No matter how towering Shankara’s stature is even he couldn’t supply a redefinition or re-interpretation of advaita - just an additional meaning.


Well, yeah, an additional technical meaning that supersedes the common meaning in a specific context, which is often what happens when a word becomes technical terminology.

kannada wrote:
I wrote:And there is nothing in underlying assumptions of this verse that is at all congruent with the Buddha’s teachings.
I didn't say there was.


That comment was for .e. and Christopher:::, both of whom are arguing for some sort of congruence.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

kannada
Posts: 94
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:35 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Non-duality AND Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism

Postby kannada » Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:07 am

Hi Tilt...

I've checked out a few of the sites that have excerpts of Dr. Gunthers work and a brief overview of his life. No doubt he is an educated and talented scholar with an intimate knowledge of Buddhist philosophy.

However, nothing you have expressed so far changes my mind on this particular occasion with this particular quote. In my view it is still vague and misleading. Without at least a rudimentary background into Shankara's views on monism / Advaita / Buddhist thought, the reader would, in my view form false and misleading conclusions.

As you said to Fede at the start of the thread...
Tilt to Fede wrote: As for what Guenther is saying, that takes a little more work.

I thoroughly agree with you.

If we could move on, Dr. Gunther expresses other ideas worthy of consideration, e.g...

Gunther wrote:The conception of "one without a second" puts us at once into the realm of dualistic fictions. Rather than remaining in immediate experience, with the idea of "one" we posit a definite object. This would then necessarily be over against a definite subject

My view: If I understand the above correctly. An 'immediate experience' would imply (in my mind at least) the fundamental 'trinity of error' of experiencer, experienced and mode of experiencing (seeing, hearing tasting etc.) irrespective of whatever concept is currently held. Without forming a concept (any concept) there is no asserted experiencer, experienced etc.

In brief, the view held has nothing to do with duality – all views are dualistic.

Your view...?
Just a view - nothing more...

.e.
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:05 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Non-duality AND Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism

Postby .e. » Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:17 pm

tiltbillings wrote: And give us the argument Nagarjuna uses to make the equation of nirvana and samsara.





I did quote the text. Hit the link and go to 25.19 and you will find.

19. Samsara does not have the slightest distinction from Nirvana. Nirvana does not have the slightest distinction from Samsara.

Simply...Samsara is Nirvana.



I wrote:Parenthetically he also felt the essence of the Buddha (Reality) was identical to the essence of the world (Illusion).


tiltbillings wrote:Please quote chapter and verse...
Let us see the actual text and the argument. Put it out there. Let us see if your claim about Nagarjuna holds up.



Investigation of the Tathagata 22.16


16. Whatever is the own-nature of the tathagata, that is the own-nature of this world. The tathagata has no own-nature. This world has no own-nature.

own-nature of the tathagata = own-nature of the world

(The tathagata has no own-nature. This world has no own-nature.)
(-own-nature of the) tathagata = (-own-nature of the) world

tathagata = the world

(Buddha said it this way. When the conditions of the world are right, a tathagatha arises. So where do the conditions of the world end and the tathagata begin?)

which is identical to

Brahma = the world

Now what is the world, Brahma or Buddha? They are illusion or dependently originated or empty. Choose your favorite word to represent your highest or deepest understanding.

So is there any ontology for either? Who here believes there was a Buddha who walked the earth and taught? Who believes Brahma is real in heaven? If you reify either human convention, you are ultimately in error. So it is not so much the straw men that the defenders of either camp's scripture have set up that matter in this very old debate but how YOU view this. Is it a playful argument that both sides have fun with in the manner Buddha played within the Brahma mythology? Or is there really some fixed position to defend? I am suggesting if you have penetrated either system to the point of realizing what I loosely call,

Reality (the highest "thing" in a tradition) = Illusion (the "problem" to be overcome),

then the argument along with fixed positions dissolves. So anyone that says "I am" a Buddhist or an Advaitan and the other side is "wrong" or has a lower realization or lower understanding, etc. is operating from a reifed delusion that there actually is some fixed position called the Truth that can be encapsulated within a scripture. Scripture (reading) after all will only get you to the edge…on a great day… of (dualistic) knowing.

So what did Nargarjuna feel was the truth of this matter?

18. Even when the Bhagavan is alive, one cannot perceive [him? it?] as “existing,” likewise as “not existing,” nor can one percieve [him? it?] as “both” or “neither”.

There was no Buddha (or Brahma) from the get go to live forever or be annihilated. What after all is the import of tathagata? So it is rather ironic and yes rather telling (despite everyone who chimed in claiming you cannot see the depth of a person’s understanding from what they write) that someone would actually even argue for some sort of reified Buddhist truth! You are living in a fairy tale of your own making and don’t even know it i.e. you have not yet realized nor understood to any meaningful degree, Reality = Illusion.

PS I am in now way personally attacking anyone’s character they are currently indentified with in the dream of separation btw! It would be like hurling insults at cartoon characters.

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 20080
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001

Re: Non-duality AND Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:04 am

.e. wrote: 19. Samsara does not have the slightest distinction from Nirvana. Nirvana does not have the slightest distinction from Samsara.

Simply...Samsara is Nirvana.


Simply? Is it so “simply?” The Buddha clearly defined nibbana as: That which is the destruction of greed, hatred and delusion is nibbana. -- S.N. IV 251 and IV 321, which is say that there is no nibbana outside the person who has been cooled, nibbuti, freed of from the conditioning of greed, hatred, and delusion. There is no nibbana thingie out there, and neither is there any nibbana thingie inside. And samsara is not the destruction of greed, hatred and delusion.

"Monks, I will teach you the all. And what is the all? The eye and forms, the ear and sounds the nose and odors, the tongue and tastes, the body and touch, the mind and mental phenomena. This is called the all. If anyone, monks, should speak thus: ' Having rejected this all, I shall make known another all' - that would be a mere empty boast." SN IV 15.

All MMK 29.19 is really saying, and saying no more than this, is that nibbana is to see the “all” as no more than empty of any self-thingness, impermanent, interdependent. It is a shift in perception, no longer colored by grasping after what reinforces the sense of self, no longer colored by pushing away what threatens the sense of self, no longer colored by the delusion that there is some sort of essence that we really are. From the standpoint of knowing, one sees the “all” as empty of any sort of thingness. MMK 25.19 is talking about a shift in perception, not an equation of a this and a that. No Tat tvam asi, no Om tat sat, no Om chit ananda.

Investigation of the Tathagata 22.16


16. Whatever is the own-nature of the tathagata, that is the own-nature of this world. The tathagata has no own-nature. This world has no own-nature.

own-nature of the tathagata = own-nature of the world

(The tathagata has no own-nature. This world has no own-nature.)
(-own-nature of the) tathagata = (-own-nature of the) world

tathagata = the world

(Buddha said it this way. When the conditions of the world are right, a tathagatha arises. So where do the conditions of the world end and the tathagata begin?)

[and here is a grossly unwarranted jump]

which is identical to

Brahma = the world


You complain about reification, but in this quote, you are reifying everything. Twenty-two sixteen is saying “tathagata = the world” only in terms that they share the same ultimate quality of having no ultimate thingness as their ultimate nature. That is not saying that the tathagata is the world.

Now what is the world, Brahma or Buddha? They are illusion or dependently originated or empty. Choose your favorite word to represent your highest or deepest understanding.


Interestingly, here is the problem neatly spelled out. Being dependently originated or empty is not the same as being an illusion. MMK 7.34 state: “Like a dream. like an illusion . . . .” “Like,” not “is.” There is a significant difference between saying something is “like an illusion” and something “is an illusion.” Missing that distinction is a fatal flaw; it is to reify supposed illusion and the supposed ultimate reality.

So is there any ontology for either? Who here believes there was a Buddha who walked the earth and taught? Who believes Brahma is real in heaven? If you reify either human convention, you are ultimately in error.


In missing the difference between “like an illusion” and “is an illusion,” it would seem that the reification is coming from thee, not me.

if you have penetrated either system to the point of realizing what I loosely call,

Reality (the highest "thing" in a tradition) = Illusion (the "problem" to be overcome),

then the argument along with fixed positions dissolves.


This does not seem to work here very well given that you cannot accurately portray the Buddhist position, which, as we see, is not quite what you are saying it is.

So anyone that says "I am" a Buddhist or an Advaitan and the other side is "wrong" or has a lower realization or lower understanding, etc. is operating from a reifed delusion that there actually is some fixed position called the Truth that can be encapsulated within a scripture.


You are certainly trying to present a fixed position with all your “this=that” stuff, as if “this does in fact equal that.”

Scripture (reading) after all will only get you to the edge…on a great day… of (dualistic) knowing.


He said dualistically.

So what did Nargarjuna feel was the truth of this matter?

[25.]18. Even when the Bhagavan is alive, one cannot perceive [him? it?] as “existing,” likewise as “not existing,” nor can one percieve [him? it?] as “both” or “neither”.

There was no Buddha (or Brahma) from the get go to live forever or be annihilated.


Again, reifying the contents of 25.18. You might want to try to put this into its proper context.

What after all is the import of tathagata? So it is rather ironic and yes rather telling (despite everyone who chimed in claiming you cannot see the depth of a person’s understanding from what they write) that someone would actually even argue for some sort of reified Buddhist truth!


But that is exactly what you have done here in your distortion of what Nagarjuna is saying.

You are living in a fairy tale of your own making and don’t even know it i.e. you have not yet realized nor understood to any meaningful degree, Reality = Illusion.


Not that you have shown.

I am in now way personally attacking anyone’s character they are currently indentified with in the dream of separation btw! It would be like hurling insults at cartoon characters.


An ad hominem par excellence.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

.e.
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:05 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Non-duality AND Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism

Postby .e. » Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:05 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
.e. wrote: 19. Samsara does not have the slightest distinction from Nirvana. Nirvana does not have the slightest distinction from Samsara.

Simply...Samsara is Nirvana.



All MMK 29.19 is really saying, and saying no more than this, is that nibbana is to see the “all” as no more than empty of any self-thingness, impermanent, interdependent. It is a shift in perception, no longer colored by grasping after what reinforces the sense of self, no longer colored by pushing away what threatens the sense of self, no longer colored by the delusion that there is some sort of essence that we really are. From the standpoint of knowing, one sees the “all” as empty of any sort of thingness. MMK 25.19 is talking about a shift in perception...



We can simply put it this way.
Samsara (correctly perceived) is Nirvana.

And without qualification,
Samsara is Nirvana.


Return to “Open Dhamma”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests