Reality in Theravāda Buddhism

Discussion of Abhidhamma and related Commentaries

Moderator: Mahavihara moderator

User avatar
smokey
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:01 pm
Location: Budaševo, Croatia

Reality in Theravāda Buddhism

Postby smokey » Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:23 am

Is reality in Theravāda Buddhism considered to be real or unreal?

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 15178
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Reality in Theravāda Buddhism

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:45 am

Greetings,

Reality in what sense?...

Ontological? Phenomenological? etc

Metta,
Retro. :)
“Delighting in existence O monks, are gods and men; they are attached to existence. they revel in existence. When the Dhamma for the cessation of existence is being preached to them, their minds do not leap towards it, do not get pleased with it, do not get settled in it, do not find confidence in it. That is how, monks, some lag behind … (It. p 43)”

Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

User avatar
smokey
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:01 pm
Location: Budaševo, Croatia

Re: Reality in Theravāda Buddhism

Postby smokey » Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:46 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Reality in what sense?...

Ontological? Phenomenological? etc

Metta,
Retro. :)


In ontological and Phenomenological.

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 15178
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Reality in Theravāda Buddhism

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:50 am

Greetings Smokey,

Would you consider "existence" to be synonymous with "reality"?

Metta,
Retro. :)
“Delighting in existence O monks, are gods and men; they are attached to existence. they revel in existence. When the Dhamma for the cessation of existence is being preached to them, their minds do not leap towards it, do not get pleased with it, do not get settled in it, do not find confidence in it. That is how, monks, some lag behind … (It. p 43)”

Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

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

Re: Reality in Theravāda Buddhism

Postby Pannapetar » Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:12 am

Regarding reality, there is a distinction in Buddhism known as the two-truth doctrine that distinguishes between two types of truth, relative and absolute truth. So the dhamma contains these two types of truths. Relative truths are common-sense statements which are useful, but do not hold up considering ultimate reality, whereas absolute truths are statements that relate directly to ultimate reality. The dhamma makes few explicit classification statements about these two types, so it is not obvious which suttas express which type of truth. The two-truth idea is developed fully in Mahayana, especially by Nagarjuna, but the notion is also present in Theravada.

Theravada is ontologically agnostic, at least this is the official view. Some people have ascribed realism to Theravada, but I am not so sure about that. Perhaps you can find epistemological realism and moral realism, but I doubt that you find much ontological realism. It has always been my impression that Theravada leans heavily towards phenomenalism.

Cheers, Thomas

User avatar
smokey
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:01 pm
Location: Budaševo, Croatia

Re: Reality in Theravāda Buddhism

Postby smokey » Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:38 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Smokey,

Would you consider "existence" to be synonymous with "reality"?

Metta,
Retro. :)


Well, yes. I asked this question because for an example reality in Dzogchen is considered literally unreal.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reality_in_Buddhism

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 15178
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Reality in Theravāda Buddhism

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:46 am

Greetings,

In that case, the following sutta may go some way to answering your question...

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

.. plus there's a topic going on at the moment about nama-rupa which may also help.

Apologies that neither are specifically Abhidhamma focused.

Metta,
Retro. :)
“Delighting in existence O monks, are gods and men; they are attached to existence. they revel in existence. When the Dhamma for the cessation of existence is being preached to them, their minds do not leap towards it, do not get pleased with it, do not get settled in it, do not find confidence in it. That is how, monks, some lag behind … (It. p 43)”

Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

User avatar
smokey
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:01 pm
Location: Budaševo, Croatia

Re: Reality in Theravāda Buddhism

Postby smokey » Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:53 am

No need for apologies :toast:

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 11443
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Reality in Theravāda Buddhism

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:53 am

Smokey, Some of the issues have been discussed in other threads such as: viewtopic.php?f=18&t=1784
And see: http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index. ... try1215334

Metta
Mike

kannada
Posts: 94
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:35 am

Re: Reality in Theravāda Buddhism

Postby kannada » Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:34 pm

Hi Smokey,
smokey wrote:Is reality in Theravāda Buddhism considered to be real or unreal?

Could you please define 'real'?

Regards

k
Just a view - nothing more...

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 20634
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Reality in Theravāda Buddhism

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Aug 15, 2009 1:24 pm

smokey wrote:Is reality in Theravāda Buddhism considered to be real or unreal?


Are you wanting an answer from specifically an Abhidhamma standpoint, or from a more general standpoint including the suttas?
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
Damned if I know.

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

User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
Posts: 16746
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: War.loun.dig.er.ler
Contact:

Re: Reality in Theravāda Buddhism

Postby Ben » Sat Aug 15, 2009 1:31 pm

Dear all

Since the question has been asked in the Abhidhamma Forum I ask that all members provide textual support from the Abhidhamma or Abhidhamma commentaries or works from later Abhidhamma scholars in answering the OP's question.
Thanks for your cooperation.

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

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

User avatar
smokey
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:01 pm
Location: Budaševo, Croatia

Re: Reality in Theravāda Buddhism

Postby smokey » Sat Aug 15, 2009 4:30 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Smokey, Some of the issues have been discussed in other threads such as: http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=1784
And see: http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index. ... try1215334

Metta
Mike


This gave me answers. Thank you all.


Return to “Abhidhamma”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine