sphairos wrote: ↑Fri Sep 10, 2021 12:40 pm
zan wrote: ↑Thu Sep 09, 2021 11:44 pm
sphairos wrote: ↑Thu Sep 09, 2021 5:21 pm
No, it is never implied in the early sources.
Buddhist theory of atomism developed under the influence of Indian theories of atomism in the late Abhidharma period.
and Y. Karunadasa "Buddhist Analysis of Matter" (1967)
and in the Abhidharma-kośa-bhāṣya
there is a long discussion of the structure of "a Buddhist atom".
Thanks. Have you read the Karunadasa book? What is the authors position? Is he explaining orthodox abhidhamma? Or trying to disprove it or explain it differently than the orthodox positions as represented by the abhidhammattha sangaha and similar texts?
In other words, what is his angle? Is he promoting abhidhamma as dhamma realism? Or something else?
You are welcome.
Prof. Yakupitiyage Karunadasa is the biggest scholarly authority on Theravāḍa Abhidhamma, perhaps, ever.
I ve browsed through that book and I ve read his "Theravāda Abhidhamma" and other books.
I don't support your "realism" shtick in any way, shape or form, as you know from my previous posts, and find its attribution to Buddhism impossible and if made laughable. Among other points, it contradicts the middle way between "everything exists / everything doesn't exist".
Here is what the blurb to the "Theravāda Abhidhamma" says:
"The renowned Sri Lankan scholar Y. Karunadasa examines Abhidhamma perspectives on the nature of phenomenal existence. He begins with a discussion of dhamma theory, which describes the bare phenomena that form the world of experience. He then explains the Abhidhamma view that only dhammas are real, and that anything other than these basic phenomena are conceptual constructs. This, he argues, is Abhidhamma’s answer to common-sense realism—the mistaken view that the world as it appears to us is ultimately real."
He states that we in some way perceive the external objects, and external world in some way exists, but it (rūpa
) is suñña
I don't know if you can align your "realism love" with that (actual Buddhist "view")
My ultimate position, or my "realism love" is precisely the exact same thing as the orthodox Theravada position:
What emerges from this Abhidhammic doctrine of dhammas
is a critical realism, one which (unlike idealism) recognises
the distinctness of the world from the experiencing subject
yet also distinguishes between those types of entities that
truly exist independently of the cognitive act and those that
owe their being to the act of cognition itself.
-Y. Kunadasa, The Dhamma Theory, page 38
dhamma theory is best described as dhamma realism
-The Theravada Abhidhamma: Inquiry into the Nature of Conditioned Reality
By Y. Karunadasa, chapter 2
It is the dhammas alone that possess ultimate reality: determinate existence “from their own side” (sarupato) independent of the minds conceptual processing of the data. Such a conception of the nature of the real seems to be already implicit in the Sutta Pitaka, particularly in the Buddha’s disquisitions on the aggregates, sense bases, elements, dependent arising, etc.,…
Thus by examining the conventional realities with wisdom, we eventually arrive at the objective actualities that lie behind our conceptual constructs. It is these objective actualities – the dhammas, which maintain their intrinsic natures independent of the mind’s constructive functions…
...concretely produced matter...possess intrinsic natures and are thus suitable for contemplation and comprehension by insight.
Great seers who are free from craving declare that Nibbana is an
objective state which is deathless, absolutely endless, unconditioned,
Thus as fourfold the Tathagatas reveal the ultimate realities—
consciousness, mental factors, matter, and Nibbana.
-Bhikkhu Bodhi, Acariya Anuruddha, A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma, pages 3, 26, 235, 260
My position is that things are conventionally real, as things generally are combinations of paramattha dhammas and pannatti but ultimately all that exists, truly objectively, and mind independent, are the paramattha dhammas. I've explained it in some really outlandish ways because it is assaulted from every possible angle, and so giving a broad range of wide reaching defenses made sense. I've defended realism broadly, as I stated in one of the other threads
, rather than trying to defend the specific dhamma theory, for this reason. It is perfectly reasonable to explain it in these ways, using conventional speech and reasoning. The act of seeing, for example, relies on being able to see objects that ultimately exist, and this can be spoken about, even without specifying the dhammas. Ditto for everything else. Even the invisible laws of the dhamma exist ultimately.
...in order for there to be seeing there must be eye sensitivity, and there must be visible forms that really exist, are realities that genuinely exist, are personally experienced, and are ultimate reality.
-Mahasi Sayadaw, Manual of Insight, page 98
As pointed out by K.N. Jayatilleke in his Early Buddhist
Theory of Knowledge, one misconception about the Theravāda
version of double truth is that paramattha-sacca is superior to
sammuti-sacca and that “what is true in the one sense is false
in the other.”
 This observation that the distinction in
question is not based on a theory of degrees of truth will
become clear from the following free translation of the
relevant passages contained in three commentaries:
Herein references to living beings, gods, Brahmā, etc.,
are sammuti-kathā, whereas references to
impermanence, suffering, egolessness, the aggregates
of the empiric individuality, the spheres and
elements of sense perception and mind-cognition,
bases of mindfulness, right effort, etc., are paramatthakathā. One who is capable of understanding and
penetrating to the truth and hoisting the flag of
arahatship when the teaching is set out in terms of
generally accepted conventions, to him the Buddha
preaches the doctrine based on sammuti-kathā. One
who is capable of understanding and penetrating to
the truth and hoisting the flag of arahatship when the
teaching is set out in terms of ultimate categories, to
him the Buddha preaches the doctrine based on
paramattha-kathā. To one who is capable of awakening
to the truth through sammuti-kathā, the teaching is not
presented on the basis of paramattha-kathā, and
conversely, to one who is capable of awakening to
the truth through paramattha-kathā, the teaching is not
presented on the basis of sammuti-kathā.
There is this simile on this matter. Just as a teacher of
the three Vedas who is capable of explaining their
meaning in different dialects might teach his pupils,
adopting the particular dialect which each pupil
understands, even so the Buddha preaches the
doctrine adopting, according to the suitability of the
occasion, either the sammuti- or the paramattha-kathā.
It is by taking into consideration the ability of each
individual to understand the Four Noble Truths that
the Buddha presents his teaching either by way of
sammuti or by way of paramattha or by way of both.
Whatever the method adopted the purpose is the
same, to show the way to Immortality through the
analysis of mental and physical phenomena.
As shown from the above quotation, the penetration of the
truth is possible by either teaching, the conventional or the
ultimate, or by the combination of both. One method is not
singled out as superior or inferior to the other. It is like
using the dialect that a person readily understands, and
there is no implication that one dialect is either superior or
inferior to another. What is more, as the commentary to the
Aṅguttara Nikāya states specifically, whether the Buddhas
preach the doctrine according to sammuti or paramattha, they
teach only what is true, only what accords with actuality,
without involving themselves in what is not true
 The statement: “The person exists” (=
sammuti-sacca) is not erroneous, provided one does not
imagine by the person a substance enduring in time.
Convention requires the use of such terms, but as long as
one does not imagine substantial entities corresponding to
them, such statements are valid.
 On the other hand, as
the commentators observe, if for the sake of conforming to
the ultimate truth one would say, “The five aggregates eat”
(khandhā bhuñjanti), “The five aggregates walk” (khandhā
gacchanti), instead of saying: “A person eats,” “A person
walks,” such a situation would result in what is called
vohārabheda, i.e. a breach of convention resulting in a
breakdown in meaningful communication.
Hence in presenting the teaching the Buddha does not
exceed linguistic conventions (na hi Bhagavā samaññaṃ
 but uses such terms as “person” without
being led astray by their superficial implications
 Because the Buddha is able to
employ such linguistic designations as “person” and
“individual” without assuming corresponding substantial
entities, he is called “skilled in expression” (vohārakusala).
 The use of such terms does not in any way
 Skilfulness in the use of words is the
ability to conform to conventions (sammuti), usages (vohāra),
designations (paññatti), and turns of speech (nirutti) in
common use in the world without being led astray by
 Hence in understanding the teaching of the
Buddha one is advised not to adhere dogmatically to the
mere superficial meanings of words.
The foregoing observations should show that according to
the Theravāda version of double truth, one kind of truth is
not held to be superior to the other. Another interesting
conclusion to which the foregoing observations lead is that
as far as the Theravāda is concerned, the distinction
between sammuti-sacca and paramattha-sacca does not refer to
two kinds of truth as such but to two ways of presenting the
truth. Although they are formally introduced as two kinds
of truth, they are explained as two modes of expressing
what is true. They do not represent two degrees of truth of
which one is superior or inferior to the other. This explains
why the two terms, kathā (speech) and desanā (discourse),
are often used with reference to the two kinds of truth.
In this respect the distinction between sammuti and
paramattha corresponds to the distinction made in the earlier
scriptures between nītattha and neyyattha. For, as we saw
earlier, no preferential value-judgement is made between
nītattha and neyyattha. All that is emphasised is that the two
kinds of statement should not be confused. The great
advantage in presenting sammuti and paramattha in this way
is that it does not raise the problem of reconciling the
concept of a plurality of truths with the well-known
statement of the Suttanipāta: “Truth is indeed one, there is
no second” (ekaṃ hi saccaṃ na dutīyam atthi).
ibid pages 51-54
whether there is an arising of Tathagatas or no arising of Tathagatas, that element still persists, the stableness of the Dhamma, the fixed course of the Dhamma, specific conditionality. A Tathagata awakens to this and breaks through to it. Having done so, he explains it, teaches it, proclaims it, establishes it, discloses it, analyses it, elucidates it. And he says: ‘See! With ignorance as condition, bhikkhus, volitional formations.’
Mendicants, these four things are real, not unreal, not otherwise. What four? This is suffering’ …‘This is the origin of suffering’ …‘This is the cessation of suffering’ …‘This is the practice that leads to the cessation of suffering’ …These four things are real, not unreal, not otherwise.
If you find dhamma theory realism so laughable, why do you read all of these books about it? Or are you in agreement with dhamma theory realism? Are you a dhamma theory realist, and what you dislike is my personal defenses of realism?
I am in full agreement with dhamma realism, and wanted to ensure that Karunadasa wasn't trying to refute it in the book in question, meaning that "The Dhamma Theory" would be him reporting on the position of the Theravada without personal input, and "A Buddhist Analysis of Matter" would be his personal position which disagrees with the orthodox. I didn't want to waste my money on it if it was trying to refute it. This seemed unlikely, but a few available selections, with insufficient context due to them being previews, made it unclear and seemed possibly like it went in that direction, so I wanted to be sure before wasting money on something I wouldn't read.
If you are a realist and accept dhamma realism and the mind independent, objective status of the dhammas, then please disregaurd the following, as it is written under the assumption that you are something other than a realist, dhamma realist or otherwise. If you are a realist of any kind, then it doesn't apply to you. If that is the case, please let me know which kind of realism you ascribe to, as I'd be interested in reading more about it.
If you're a dhamma realist, then I'd like to know that too, and hopefully my clarification of my views shows that we are ultimately in agreement!
Regardless, personally, I do not engage those I find laughable. I find that someone who holds a position that is so silly as to be laughable is not something that anyone who values their time would address. And, indeed, this is borne out as true in general observation of the world; people who talk utter nonsense are usually ignored, and laughed at, not engaged in discussion. Thus, the fact that you are engaging me in conversation about the topic you ostensibly find so laughable is a testament to the fact that it had an effect on you so strong that you felt the need to bring it up again, and this is a good thing and evinces your intelligence and discriminating tastes. If you truly found it to be just some goofy nonsense to be laughed off, you wouldn't be bringing it up and feel the need to address it. Your need to address it is particularly striking because, unless I'm mistaken, I didn't speak to you even once in the two
most recent threads
where I presented my position on this issue, and so you bringing it up unbidden just shows that, whether you realize it or not, my presentation of my positions on realism had an effect on you, and for the better. You read through both threads and even commented on each, so clearly they were worth your time. If you'll say, in order to save face, that you didn't actually read them, only commented, then you throw out your credibility and invalidate your own opinion on my positions, as you haven't actually read them in sufficient detail. If you'll say you read them all, but laughed the whole time, you admit your time has little value, as they were verbose, and repetitive, and your addressing me here points to you having taken them seriously, for the reason listed at the beginning of this paragraph. But, again, your very act of bringing this up betrays the idea that your time has little value and that you found my position merely laughable. Quite the opposite; this demonstrates that you took them seriously and that you value your time.
You're probably starting to think about, or perhaps even subconsciously turning toward the obvious and inescapable paradox inherent in a Buddhism that is anything but realist or positionless. Coupled with the fact that the Buddha absolutely trashed the positionless in DN 1, this leaves only realism. This is because if Buddhism teaches that things are other than real, it itself is not real either, and thus cannot be believed, and certainly it would be quite silly to discuss seriously a religion that one believes is not real.
If I am wrong about all of the positive traits I attempted to draw out about you above, and you find this truly laughable, prove it by shaking it off. React as you would if seeing a chattering monkey that made you laugh at the zoo and just walk on to the next amusement. If you cannot do this, and it sticks with you, and especially if you need to refute this and address it further, or, perhaps especially, if you feel the need to bring it up in another thread at a later date, as you did above, you'll be tacitly agreeing that my position has affected you and made you question your anti realism, nominalism, idealism, or whatever thing other than realism that you likely hold. And you'll be confirming the obvious fact that you find my position to be anything but laughable, and, quite the opposite, you take it seriously enough to read through multiple threads on it, and bring it up later, and then perhaps bring it up yet another time.
If everyday experience poses no threat to you, then you may persist in this denial of the evidence provided by such experience. Quarrel with the evidence of everyday experience, and afterward we will rely on the winner.
Assume all of my words on dhamma could be incorrect. Seek an arahant for truth.
"If we base ourselves on the Pali Nikayas, then we should be compelled to conclude that Buddhism is realistic. There is no explicit denial anywhere of the external world. Nor is there any positive evidence to show that the world is mind-made or simply a projection of subjective thoughts. That Buddhism recognizes the extra-mental existence of matter and the external world is clearly suggested by the texts. Throughout the discourses it is the language of realism that one encounters.