YOU CANNOT POST. OUR WEB HOSTING COMPANY DECIDED TO MOVE THE SERVER TO ANOTHER LOCATION. IN THE MEANTIME, YOU CAN VIEW THIS VERSION WHICH DOES NOT ALLOW POSTING AND WILL NOT SAVE ANYTHING YOU DO ONCE THE OTHER SERVER GOES ONLINE.

Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
rowyourboat
Posts: 1952
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Aug 01, 2009 1:36 pm

Hi Thomas,

I don't know if the idea of buddha nature has prompted anyone to progress all the way, but the idea of suffering does. The idea of buddha nature might stand in the way of progress making it harder for the person to let go of the idea of self. However it does seem like a nice idea to make the teaching popular to the masses.
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

Sanghamitta
Posts: 1614
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:21 am
Location: By the River Thames near London.

Re: Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

Postby Sanghamitta » Sat Aug 01, 2009 4:14 pm

I am rather inclined to the view which says that the development of the Buddha -dhatu doctrine represents a reversion within Buddhism to the Upanashadic philosophy that the Buddha rejected.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

Individual
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

Postby Individual » Sat Aug 01, 2009 6:13 pm

The best things in life aren't things.


Sanghamitta
Posts: 1614
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:21 am
Location: By the River Thames near London.

Re: Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

Postby Sanghamitta » Sat Aug 01, 2009 8:03 pm

You are quite right. I should have said that Buddha-dhatu seems to me to be a reversion to the Indian philosophical tradition later to evolve into what is commonly known as " Hinduism " which was current at the time of The Buddha, and which he rejected. I dont see how it differs fron Atta doctrine.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

Individual
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

Postby Individual » Sun Aug 02, 2009 1:07 am

The best things in life aren't things.


Sanghamitta
Posts: 1614
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:21 am
Location: By the River Thames near London.

Re: Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

Postby Sanghamitta » Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:02 am

The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

Sanghamitta
Posts: 1614
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:21 am
Location: By the River Thames near London.

Re: Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

Postby Sanghamitta » Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:33 am

The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

User avatar
Dhammakid
Posts: 375
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:09 am
Location: Santa Fe, NM USA
Contact:

Re: Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

Postby Dhammakid » Sun Aug 02, 2009 3:07 pm

To me, the idea of Buddha-nature is helpful for people who feel they need something they can look for, they can tap into, that they can see and feel for themselves to convince them they are practicing rightly and continue along the path. A reward for hard work, if you will. Unfortunately, this not only plays right into the idea of an Atta, but also the idea of a unifying force in the universe, a "ground of being" so to speak. Kinda hard to stave off the idea of God in this regard.

But for those practitioners with deeper insights into anatta and emptiness, I feel Buddha-nature is simply silly. That looking for something is exactly what we're not supposed to do, if you follow the Theravada point of view.

Personally, Buddha-nature is convenient when in conversation with non-practitioners if the question of whether or not anyone can be enlightened arises. But for my practice, I find it useless.

:anjali:
Dhammakid
- Facebook Group

Email: [email protected].

User avatar
kc2dpt
Posts: 957
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:48 pm

Re: Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

Postby kc2dpt » Sun Aug 02, 2009 9:47 pm

- Peter


User avatar
Pannapetar
Posts: 327
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:05 am
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Contact:

Re: Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

Postby Pannapetar » Mon Aug 03, 2009 3:04 am

I have finally listened to the 2-hour talk by Stephen Batchelor (thank you, tiltbillings) on Buddha nature. Batchelor contrasts Buddha nature with Mara nature, saying that these are two sides of the same coin, and that it depends on our effort which one we develop. I think this understanding is helpful in as far as it prevents the most obvious misunderstanding, namely that Buddha nature is a given. Batchelor also mentioned that the English term 'Buddha nature' is a translation accident that occurred earlier last century when Chinese Mahayana sources were translated by people like D.T. Suzuki and others. The more correct translation would be 'Buddha womb'. The proper understanding of this very term would probably have prevented some of the above discussion.

The original term Tathāgatagarbha does not imply thingness, essence, or even atta/atman, which may be associated with the English term 'Buddha nature'.

My conclusion is that whether the teaching is helpful, depends on the practitioner's level of development and -perhaps most importantly- on his/her karmic disposition. Rowyourboat believes that the idea of suffering prompts people to progress rather than the idea of Buddha nature. -I think it depends.- If you experience relatively gross levels of suffering, then the overcoming of suffering (in the sense of the 4NT) is probably a very good motivator. But what if you experience positive karmic fruits, if you are materially well off, have loving family and friends, a well-paid job, etc., in other words - what if life runs smoothly, except for the occasional smaller annoyance?

In this situation, people might spent time with relatively refined pursuits, and the idea of Tathāgatagarbha can become a powerful motivator on the path. It is like a signpost that declares the ultimate goal. It reminds you that all you have achieved in life, such as relationships, career, wealth, etc. is impermanent. It is a challenge to go further. It is a challenge to go even beyond the initial spiritual achievements which may have secured calm and peace of mind. This is the sort of situation, where tathāgatagarbha becomes meaningful. So, it should probably be considered by people enjoying good karmic fruits and intermediate practitioners.

Cheers, Thomas

Sanghamitta
Posts: 1614
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:21 am
Location: By the River Thames near London.

Re: Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

Postby Sanghamitta » Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:25 am

Your reply could be interpreted as assuming that those who do not see that concepts like the tathagarbha" have any utility for them , make that assumption on the basis of a faulty translation. I suspect i speak for many when I say that I am very aware of the nuances of the translations of that term. The concept of a :quote: Buddha womb :quote: makes no more sense to me than the idea of
Buddha Nature. LIke most Theravada students from a western background I didnt leap into an understanding Buddhism by jumping into the first presentation of the Dhamma I encountered. In fact I discovered Zen first. Fairly soon the whole Mahayana corpus struck me as a vast outgrowth which obscured the pure Dhamma which could still occasionally be glimpsed beneath its gothic edifice.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 14947
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:44 am


Sanghamitta
Posts: 1614
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:21 am
Location: By the River Thames near London.

Re: Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

Postby Sanghamitta » Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:51 am

Yes thank you Mikenz66, thats excellent.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23012
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:53 am


User avatar
Pannapetar
Posts: 327
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:05 am
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Contact:

Re: Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

Postby Pannapetar » Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:03 am


User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

Postby Ben » Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:08 am

Hi Thomas
I don't mean to speak for Mike, but I think I am correct in assuming he was asking you a question rather than passing a value judgement.
Perhaps you would like to clarify your statement so that we all have a better understanding?
Metta

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

Sanghamitta
Posts: 1614
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:21 am
Location: By the River Thames near London.

Re: Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

Postby Sanghamitta » Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:17 am

The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

User avatar
Pannapetar
Posts: 327
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:05 am
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Contact:

Re: Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

Postby Pannapetar » Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:17 am

Which statement do you want me to clarify?

User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

Postby Ben » Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:30 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

User avatar
Pannapetar
Posts: 327
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:05 am
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Contact:

Re: Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu

Postby Pannapetar » Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:52 am

Ah ok, thanks for the clarification.

The problem that I saw in Mike's response is that he made an inference from the Tathāgatagarbha to the Mahayana. While I agree that Tathāgatagarbha is an 'advanced' doctrine in some sense, I don't think that this can be said for Mahayana on the whole. Both Theravada and Mahayana contain basic doctrines as well as advanced doctrines.

Cheers, Thomas


Return to “General Theravāda discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: JeffR and 18 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine