Reality in Theravāda Buddhism

Discussion of Abhidhamma and related Commentaries

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smokey
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Reality in Theravāda Buddhism

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

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

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Re: Reality in Theravāda Buddhism

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

Greetings,

Reality in what sense?...

Ontological? Phenomenological? etc

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: 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.

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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. :)
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


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

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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

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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

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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. :)
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


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

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Re: Reality in Theravāda Buddhism

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

No need for apologies :toast:

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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
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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...

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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

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

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

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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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.


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