Dependent Origination in terms of conventional truth and Ultimate truth?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
SarathW
Posts: 15707
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Dependent Origination in terms of conventional truth and Ultimate truth?

Post by SarathW »

Dependent Origination in terms of conventional truth or teaching (Vohara Desana) and Ultimate truth or teaching (Paramattha Desana)?

It appears my many doubts and questions about Buddhism is the result of not being able to marry the teaching of conventional truth and the ultimate truth. For instance, when we take Jati in Dependent Origination, in terms of Vohara Desana it applies to the physical rebirth of a person. However, in the ultimate sense, there is no person then who is re-born? Ultimate sense what is re-born is the attachment, aversion, and ignorance.
We can apply this duality to all 12 links of DO.
Actually, this dilemma is very similar to the problem of scientists who are trying to understand the relation between the universe and the atoms.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
Caodemarte
Posts: 1092
Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 3:21 pm

Re: Dependent Origination in terms of conventional truth and Ultimate truth?

Post by Caodemarte »

SarathW wrote: Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:06 am Dependent Origination in terms of conventional truth or teaching (Vohara Desana) and Ultimate truth or teaching (Paramattha Desana)?

It appears my many doubts and questions about Buddhism is the result of not being able to marry the teaching of conventional truth and the ultimate truth. For instance, when we take Jati in Dependent Origination, in terms of Vohara Desana it applies to the physical rebirth of a person. However, in the ultimate sense, there is no person then who is re-born? Ultimate sense what is re-born is the attachment, aversion, and ignorance.
We can apply this duality to all 12 links of DO.
Actually, this dilemma is very similar to the problem of scientists who are trying to understand the relation between the universe and the atoms.
“As recorded in one discourse, when two disciples of the Buddha, a monk and a carpenter, had an unstoppable argument as to the number of feelings, one recognizing two feelings and the other three, Ānanda reported this matter to the Buddha. Then the Buddha told Ānanda that both of them were correct, because they looked at the issue from two different perspectives.
As to the number of feelings, the Buddha told Ānanda that he had presented them not only as two or three, but also as five, six, eighteen, thirty-six, and one hundred and eight in different presentations.”
“See M. I: Bahuvedanīya Sutta; also S. IV 424–25.”

Excerpt From
Early Buddhist Teachings
Y. Karunadasa

However, these perspectives do not contradict each other by definition. In the example you give, Buddhist does not teach that there is an ultimate truth of nonself and a separate conventional truth of an eternal person or soul who is reborn. There is no contradiction with the teaching of nonself as I am sure you know. (Any good book on Buddhism will get into this, let alone the lengthy discussions in this forum. In short, similar causes produce similar effects.) So I am not sure where you see a contradiction.
Last edited by Caodemarte on Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
cappuccino
Posts: 5946
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:45 am

Re: Dependent Origination in terms of conventional truth and Ultimate truth?

Post by cappuccino »

the soul is a mystery

mysteries aren't solved by the way
"All men's souls are immortal, but the souls of the righteous are immortal and divine." -Socrates
Good for Your Soul
User avatar
bridif1
Posts: 213
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:42 pm

Re: Dependent Origination in terms of conventional truth and Ultimate truth?

Post by bridif1 »

cappuccino wrote: Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:09 pm the soul is a mystery

mysteries aren't solved by the way
Hi Capuccino!

I've seen more of your posts where you write similar answer.
What do you mean by "soul"?
In order to state that "the soul is a mystery", you should at least have a vague idea about what is meant by "soul".

Is your knowledge about the existence or non-existence of that soul taken fron your own personal experiences or fron the suttas?
Do the suttas talk about "souls"?

Thank you!
Kind regards!
dharmacorps
Posts: 1504
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:33 pm

Re: Dependent Origination in terms of conventional truth and Ultimate truth?

Post by dharmacorps »

SarathW wrote: Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:06 am

It appears my many doubts and questions about Buddhism is the result of not being able to marry the teaching of conventional truth and the ultimate truth.
Sarath, it is clear to me you have a sharp mind and ask good questions, but does it get your closer to where you want to be? If not, then maybe there is another route to get to the heart of the matter. I would recommend alternate techniques for handling the inquiring mind such as concentration meditation, chanting, or generosity. Paradoxically, this may help you get closer in the consideration of these good questions. Your sharp mind may be a little too excellent at dissecting things to the point of obliteration! :anjali:
User avatar
khaaan
Posts: 57
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:12 am

Re: Dependent Origination in terms of conventional truth and Ultimate truth?

Post by khaaan »

dharmacorps wrote: Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:42 pm Sarath, it is clear to me you have a sharp mind and ask good questions, but does it get your closer to where you want to be? If not, then maybe there is another route to get to the heart of the matter. I would recommend alternate techniques for handling the inquiring mind such as concentration meditation, chanting, or generosity. Paradoxically, this may help you get closer in the consideration of these good questions.
Why do you believe that Sarath doesn't do concentration meditation, chanting, or generosity?
User avatar
cappuccino
Posts: 5946
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:45 am

Re: Dependent Origination in terms of conventional truth and Ultimate truth?

Post by cappuccino »

bridif1 wrote: Do the suttas talk about "souls"?
"Then does Master Gotama hold the view: 'The soul & the body are the same: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless'?"

"...no..."

"Then does Master Gotama hold the view: 'The soul is one thing and the body another: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless'?"

"...no..."

"How is it, Master Gotama, when Master Gotama is asked if he holds the view 'the cosmos is eternal...'... 'after death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless,' he says '...no...' in each case. Seeing what drawback, then, is Master Gotama thus entirely dissociated from each of these ten positions?"

"Vaccha, the position that 'the cosmos is eternal' is a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. It is accompanied by suffering, distress, despair, & fever, and it does not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation; to calm, direct knowledge, full Awakening, Unbinding.


Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta
"All men's souls are immortal, but the souls of the righteous are immortal and divine." -Socrates
Good for Your Soul
dharmacorps
Posts: 1504
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:33 pm

Re: Dependent Origination in terms of conventional truth and Ultimate truth?

Post by dharmacorps »

khaaan wrote: Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:48 pm
Why do you believe that Sarath doesn't do concentration meditation, chanting, or generosity?
I don't have any knowledge of Sarath's practice. I am only suggesting routes to channel his inquisitive energy.
User avatar
khaaan
Posts: 57
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:12 am

Re: Dependent Origination in terms of conventional truth and Ultimate truth?

Post by khaaan »

dharmacorps wrote: Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:19 pm
khaaan wrote: Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:48 pm
Why do you believe that Sarath doesn't do concentration meditation, chanting, or generosity?
I don't have any knowledge of Sarath's practice. I am only suggesting routes to channel his inquisitive energy.
Sarath didn't ask for suggestions about his practice. You volunteered, "I would recommend alternate techniques ... " Why would you use that phrasing unless you think he's not already doing your recommendations?
User avatar
bridif1
Posts: 213
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:42 pm

Re: Dependent Origination in terms of conventional truth and Ultimate truth?

Post by bridif1 »

cappuccino wrote: Thu Apr 25, 2019 6:27 pm
bridif1 wrote: Do the suttas talk about "souls"?
"Then does Master Gotama hold the view: 'The soul & the body are the same: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless'?"

"...no..."

"Then does Master Gotama hold the view: 'The soul is one thing and the body another: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless'?"

"...no..."

"How is it, Master Gotama, when Master Gotama is asked if he holds the view 'the cosmos is eternal...'... 'after death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless,' he says '...no...' in each case. Seeing what drawback, then, is Master Gotama thus entirely dissociated from each of these ten positions?"

"Vaccha, the position that 'the cosmos is eternal' is a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. It is accompanied by suffering, distress, despair, & fever, and it does not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation; to calm, direct knowledge, full Awakening, Unbinding.


Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta
Is that soul (jiva) the same thing as 'atta'?
SarathW
Posts: 15707
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Dependent Origination in terms of conventional truth and Ultimate truth?

Post by SarathW »

dharmacorps wrote: Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:19 pm
khaaan wrote: Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:48 pm
Why do you believe that Sarath doesn't do concentration meditation, chanting, or generosity?
I don't have any knowledge of Sarath's practice. I am only suggesting routes to channel his inquisitive energy.
Thank you. I do not do much chanting.
I never like chanting.
But I create a topic on this you may give your feedback to it.
:D
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 24312
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Dependent Origination in terms of conventional truth and Ultimate truth?

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings Sarath,
SarathW wrote: Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:06 am Dependent Origination in terms of conventional truth or teaching (Vohara Desana) and Ultimate truth or teaching (Paramattha Desana)?
I reject the dichotomy, as framed, so consider it neither.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"Why now do you assume 'a being'? Mara, have you grasped a view?" (SN 5.10)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
SarathW
Posts: 15707
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Dependent Origination in terms of conventional truth and Ultimate truth?

Post by SarathW »

retrofuturist wrote: Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:34 pm Greetings Sarath,
SarathW wrote: Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:06 am Dependent Origination in terms of conventional truth or teaching (Vohara Desana) and Ultimate truth or teaching (Paramattha Desana)?
I reject the dichotomy, as framed, so consider it neither.

Metta,
Paul. :)
Thanks.
Can you elaborate on it?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
dharmacorps
Posts: 1504
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:33 pm

Re: Dependent Origination in terms of conventional truth and Ultimate truth?

Post by dharmacorps »

khaaan wrote: Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:29 pm
Sarath didn't ask for suggestions about his practice. You volunteered, "I would recommend alternate techniques ... " Why would you use that phrasing unless you think he's not already doing your recommendations?
If Sarath has a problem with my phrasing he can speak perfectly well for himself.
User avatar
cappuccino
Posts: 5946
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:45 am

Re: Dependent Origination in terms of conventional truth and Ultimate truth?

Post by cappuccino »

bridif1 wrote: Is that soul (jiva) the same thing as 'atta'?
:shrug:
"All men's souls are immortal, but the souls of the righteous are immortal and divine." -Socrates
Good for Your Soul
Post Reply