the great rebirth debate

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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AlexBrains92
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by AlexBrains92 »

SteRo wrote: Mon Nov 30, 2020 12:32 pm
AlexBrains92 wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 5:51 pm
Spiny Norman wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 5:32 pm You'd need to add in concepts like bhavanga from the Abhidhamma in order to flesh out the mechanics of rebirth. The suttas don't really resolve the paradox of anatta and rebirth.
No bhavanga for me, thanks :D
B. Bodhi in A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma wrote: Life-continuum (bhavanga): The word bhavanga means “factor (anga) of
existence (bhava),” that is, “the indispensable condition of existence.” Bhavanga is the
function of consciousness by which the continuity of the individual is preserved through
the duration of any single existence, from conception to death. After the paṭisandhicitta
[rebirth-linking consciousness] has arisen and fallen away, it is then followed by the bhavangacitta, which is a resultant
consciousness of the same type as the paṭisandhicitta but which performs a different
function, namely, the function of preserving the continuity of individual existence.
Bhavangacittas arise and pass away every moment during life whenever there is no
active cognitive process taking place. This type of consciousness is most evident during
deep dreamless sleep, but it also occurs momentarily during waking life countless times
between occasions of active cognition.
When an object impinges on a sense door, the bhavanga is arrested, and an active
cognitive process ensues for the purpose of cognizing the object. Immediately after the
cognitive process is completed, again the bhavanga supervenes and continues until the
next cognitive process arises. Arising and perishing at every moment during this passive
phase of consciousness, the bhavanga flows on like a stream (sota), without remaining
static for two consecutive moments.
.
It's a nice explanatory concept however. "Stream of consciousness" is a common figure also in non-theravadin buddhisms. While the conceptual frame of "stream" or "continuum" appears to be permanent, the consciousnesses are subject to rise and fall and thus impermanent.
It may also be interpreted as "sub-consciousness" or "basic awareness" giving it a more static connotation which more fluently leads over to "soul".
Yes, there is Alayavijnana in early Yogacara, replaced by Cittasantana in later Yogacara. Therefore we find one of these concepts in every Mahayana school with Yogacara influences (probably every Mahayana school, theoretically but Gelug... theoretically!). There is no similiar concept in Madhyamaka.
"If appeasement of desires is what is really blissful, 'desirelessness' as the appeasement of all desires would be the Supreme Bliss, and this in fact is what Nibbāna is." (Bhikkhu Kaṭukurunde Ñāṇananda)
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confusedlayman
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by confusedlayman »

SteRo wrote: Mon Nov 30, 2020 12:32 pm
AlexBrains92 wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 5:51 pm
Spiny Norman wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 5:32 pm You'd need to add in concepts like bhavanga from the Abhidhamma in order to flesh out the mechanics of rebirth. The suttas don't really resolve the paradox of anatta and rebirth.
No bhavanga for me, thanks :D
B. Bodhi in A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma wrote: Life-continuum (bhavanga): The word bhavanga means “factor (anga) of
existence (bhava),” that is, “the indispensable condition of existence.” Bhavanga is the
function of consciousness by which the continuity of the individual is preserved through
the duration of any single existence, from conception to death. After the paṭisandhicitta
[rebirth-linking consciousness] has arisen and fallen away, it is then followed by the bhavangacitta, which is a resultant
consciousness of the same type as the paṭisandhicitta but which performs a different
function, namely, the function of preserving the continuity of individual existence.
Bhavangacittas arise and pass away every moment during life whenever there is no
active cognitive process taking place. This type of consciousness is most evident during
deep dreamless sleep, but it also occurs momentarily during waking life countless times
between occasions of active cognition.
When an object impinges on a sense door, the bhavanga is arrested, and an active
cognitive process ensues for the purpose of cognizing the object. Immediately after the
cognitive process is completed, again the bhavanga supervenes and continues until the
next cognitive process arises. Arising and perishing at every moment during this passive
phase of consciousness, the bhavanga flows on like a stream (sota), without remaining
static for two consecutive moments.
.
It's a nice explanatory concept however. "Stream of consciousness" is a common figure also in non-theravadin buddhisms. While the conceptual frame of "stream" or "continuum" appears to be permanent, the consciousnesses are subject to rise and fall and thus impermanent.
It may also be interpreted as "sub-consciousness" or "basic awareness" giving it a more static connotation which more fluently leads over to "soul".
that basic awareness is also impermanent
I may be slow learner but im at least learning...
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Coëmgenu
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Coëmgenu »

AlexBrains92 wrote: Mon Nov 30, 2020 12:56 pmYes, there is Alayavijnana in early Yogacara, replaced by Cittasantana in later Yogacara. Therefore we find one of these concepts in every Mahayana school with Yogacara influences (probably every Mahayana school, theoretically but Gelug... theoretically!). There is no similiar concept in Madhyamaka.
Oh, the Gelug definitely believe in the alayavijnana.
In saying that one grasps at the self of a person, one feels that as a person in and of oneself, existing in one’s own right, and because of this grasping one cherishes oneself too much. Due to this grasping or self-cherishing attitude, many other inappropriate states of mind or conceptions take place in one’s mind. Due to this one experiences delusions such as attachment or anger and under their influence one creates karmic actions. These karmic actions keep one within cyclic existence. As one creates karmic actions, they deposit imprints or latencies in one’s mindstream or mental continuum.
(http://teachingsfromtibet.com/2017/04/1 ... tradition/)

You'll notice they are using the definition here of alayavijnana as the field as well as the seeds, but call it the cittasamtati because the terms are interchangeable for them. What I am more interested in is a) how did you decide that cittasamtati was an evolution of alayavijnana and b) how did you decide that Madhyamaka has "no similar concept?"
Then, the monks sang this gāthā:

These bodies are like foam.
Them being frail, who can rejoice in them?
The Buddha attained the vajra-body.
Still, it becomes inconstant and rots.
The many Buddhas are vajra-entities.
All are also subject to inconstancy.
Quickly ended, like melting snow --
how could things be different?

The Buddha passed into parinirvāṇa afterward.

(T1.27b10 Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra DĀ 2)
SteRo
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by SteRo »

AlexBrains92 wrote: Mon Nov 30, 2020 12:56 pm
SteRo wrote: Mon Nov 30, 2020 12:32 pm
AlexBrains92 wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 5:51 pm
No bhavanga for me, thanks :D
B. Bodhi in A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma wrote: Life-continuum (bhavanga): The word bhavanga means “factor (anga) of
existence (bhava),” that is, “the indispensable condition of existence.” Bhavanga is the
function of consciousness by which the continuity of the individual is preserved through
the duration of any single existence, from conception to death. After the paṭisandhicitta
[rebirth-linking consciousness] has arisen and fallen away, it is then followed by the bhavangacitta, which is a resultant
consciousness of the same type as the paṭisandhicitta but which performs a different
function, namely, the function of preserving the continuity of individual existence.
Bhavangacittas arise and pass away every moment during life whenever there is no
active cognitive process taking place. This type of consciousness is most evident during
deep dreamless sleep, but it also occurs momentarily during waking life countless times
between occasions of active cognition.
When an object impinges on a sense door, the bhavanga is arrested, and an active
cognitive process ensues for the purpose of cognizing the object. Immediately after the
cognitive process is completed, again the bhavanga supervenes and continues until the
next cognitive process arises. Arising and perishing at every moment during this passive
phase of consciousness, the bhavanga flows on like a stream (sota), without remaining
static for two consecutive moments.
.
It's a nice explanatory concept however. "Stream of consciousness" is a common figure also in non-theravadin buddhisms. While the conceptual frame of "stream" or "continuum" appears to be permanent, the consciousnesses are subject to rise and fall and thus impermanent.
It may also be interpreted as "sub-consciousness" or "basic awareness" giving it a more static connotation which more fluently leads over to "soul".
Yes, there is Alayavijnana in early Yogacara, replaced by Cittasantana in later Yogacara. Therefore we find one of these concepts in every Mahayana school with Yogacara influences (probably every Mahayana school, theoretically but Gelug... theoretically!). There is no similiar concept in Madhyamaka.
The Gelugs who are madhyamikas also talk of "stream of consciousness" in sutra context ... and their concept of "clear light" used in their vajrayana is an esoteric version of it.
But yes since madhyamaka proper is just non-implicative negation there is no room for such kinds of speculations.
Exhaling अ and inhaling धीः amounts to བྷྲཱུཾ་བི་ཤྭ་བི་ཤུད་དྷེ It's definitely not science but science may provide guidelines nevertheless.
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Coëmgenu
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Coëmgenu »

Coëmgenu wrote: Mon Nov 30, 2020 1:03 pm
AlexBrains92 wrote: Mon Nov 30, 2020 12:56 pmYes, there is Alayavijnana in early Yogacara, replaced by Cittasantana in later Yogacara. Therefore we find one of these concepts in every Mahayana school with Yogacara influences (probably every Mahayana school, theoretically but Gelug... theoretically!). There is no similiar concept in Madhyamaka.
Oh, the Gelug definitely believe in the alayavijnana.
In saying that one grasps at the self of a person, one feels that as a person in and of oneself, existing in one’s own right, and because of this grasping one cherishes oneself too much. Due to this grasping or self-cherishing attitude, many other inappropriate states of mind or conceptions take place in one’s mind. Due to this one experiences delusions such as attachment or anger and under their influence one creates karmic actions. These karmic actions keep one within cyclic existence. As one creates karmic actions, they deposit imprints or latencies in one’s mindstream or mental continuum.
(http://teachingsfromtibet.com/2017/04/1 ... tradition/)

You'll notice they are using the definition here of alayavijnana as the field as well as the seeds, but call it the cittasamtati because the terms are interchangeable for them. What I am more interested in is a) how did you decide that cittasamtati was an evolution of alayavijnana and b) how did you decide that Madhyamaka has "no similar concept?"
With regards to a), did you read it on this Wikipedia page? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindstream
The notion of citta-santāna developed in later Yogacara-thought, where citta-santāna replaced the notion of ālayavijñāna,[14] the store-house consciousness in which the karmic seeds were stored. It is not a "permanent, unchanging, transmigrating entity", like the atman, but a series of momentary consciousnesses.[15]
The footnote is from Caroline Rhys Davids. I don't think that this piece of scholarship from her from 1903 stands the test of time.
Then, the monks sang this gāthā:

These bodies are like foam.
Them being frail, who can rejoice in them?
The Buddha attained the vajra-body.
Still, it becomes inconstant and rots.
The many Buddhas are vajra-entities.
All are also subject to inconstancy.
Quickly ended, like melting snow --
how could things be different?

The Buddha passed into parinirvāṇa afterward.

(T1.27b10 Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra DĀ 2)
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AlexBrains92
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by AlexBrains92 »

Coëmgenu wrote: Mon Nov 30, 2020 1:03 pm
AlexBrains92 wrote: Mon Nov 30, 2020 12:56 pmYes, there is Alayavijnana in early Yogacara, replaced by Cittasantana in later Yogacara. Therefore we find one of these concepts in every Mahayana school with Yogacara influences (probably every Mahayana school, theoretically but Gelug... theoretically!). There is no similiar concept in Madhyamaka.
Oh, the Gelug definitely believe in the alayavijnana.
In saying that one grasps at the self of a person, one feels that as a person in and of oneself, existing in one’s own right, and because of this grasping one cherishes oneself too much. Due to this grasping or self-cherishing attitude, many other inappropriate states of mind or conceptions take place in one’s mind. Due to this one experiences delusions such as attachment or anger and under their influence one creates karmic actions. These karmic actions keep one within cyclic existence. As one creates karmic actions, they deposit imprints or latencies in one’s mindstream or mental continuum.
(http://teachingsfromtibet.com/2017/04/1 ... tradition/)

You'll notice they are using the definition here of alayavijnana as the field as well as the seeds, but call it the cittasamtati because the terms are interchangeable for them. What I am more interested in is a) how did you decide that cittasamtati was an evolution of alayavijnana and b) how did you decide that Madhyamaka has "no similar concept?"
a) I've read it here: https://www.academia.edu/16675700/Buddh ... us_Author_
b) Has it? :shrug:
"If appeasement of desires is what is really blissful, 'desirelessness' as the appeasement of all desires would be the Supreme Bliss, and this in fact is what Nibbāna is." (Bhikkhu Kaṭukurunde Ñāṇananda)
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AlexBrains92
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by AlexBrains92 »

SteRo wrote: Mon Nov 30, 2020 1:14 pm But yes since madhyamaka proper is just non-implicative negation there is no room for such kinds of speculations.
:thumbsup:
"If appeasement of desires is what is really blissful, 'desirelessness' as the appeasement of all desires would be the Supreme Bliss, and this in fact is what Nibbāna is." (Bhikkhu Kaṭukurunde Ñāṇananda)
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Coëmgenu
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Coëmgenu »

So the eclipsing of the Yogācāra Abhidharma wing and its alaya by the "logico-epistemological" tradition of Yogācāra and its mindstream is the new version of Rhys David's older thesis. I would disagree with Rhys David's but Lusthaus is harder to disagree with. It seems like there are two uses of "cittasamtati," one being Yogācārin-specific and the other nearly pan-Buddhist.

See this from the "Questions of Maitreya" division of the Mahāprajñāpāramitāsūtra:
“Furthermore, Maitreya, if bodhisattvas possess nine qualities, they will abandon all evil rebirths and not fall into the clutches of sinful associates, but swiftly realize supreme, perfect enlightenment and become a buddha. What nine qualities? “Maitreya, those bodhisattvas distance themselves from desires and from sinful, non-virtuous things. They investigate, examine, and possess the joy and happiness that arise from solitude. Thus, they accomplish the first meditative absorption and maintain it. "They are free from thinking or examining, and possess inner serenity. Because their mindstreams are one-pointed, they do not think or examine. Endowed with the joy and happiness that arise from meditative concentration, they then accomplish the second meditative absorption and maintain it. “Because they are free from attachment to joy, they maintain equipoise and possess mindfulness and awareness. They experience the physical happiness of which the noble ones say, ‘To possess mindfulness and remain in happiness is equanimity.’ Free of joy they then accomplish the third meditative absorption and maintain it. “They renounce happiness after already renouncing suffering. Because both mental happiness and mental displeasure decline, there is neither happiness nor suffering. They then accomplish the fourth meditative absorption and maintain it, with immaculate equipoise and mindfulness. “They transcend conceptions of form in all aspects, and their conceptions of materiality decline. [continuing on to the formless absorptions...]"
So it's not possible for a logico-epistemological tradition to have invented this term, as this sūtra predates the entire Yogācāra "logico-epistemological" project. Instead, the logico-epistemological wing of Yogācāra adapts a preexisting Buddhist term for their own purposes.
Then, the monks sang this gāthā:

These bodies are like foam.
Them being frail, who can rejoice in them?
The Buddha attained the vajra-body.
Still, it becomes inconstant and rots.
The many Buddhas are vajra-entities.
All are also subject to inconstancy.
Quickly ended, like melting snow --
how could things be different?

The Buddha passed into parinirvāṇa afterward.

(T1.27b10 Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra DĀ 2)
Mr. Seek
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by Mr. Seek »

A relative died before one or two years. Found out recently that, just before he died, he spoke of seeing a cow. :/

He wasn't the brightest lad from what I was told, so things add up. Just sharing, maybe this will motivate someone...
Snp 5.11—"Having nothing, free of clinging: That is the island, there is no other."
denise
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Post by denise »

my mom saw foxes playing in the yard and "needed to tell the king". "must tell the king".... :candle:
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