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Re: Hello, i'm new to this group and would like to ask a few questions.

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  • ypong001
    Dear Samatha and friends, ... with ... death ... The definition DOES come from the authoritative Britannica. I put it as the first quote merely to illustrate
    Message 1 of 11 , Jun 11, 2002
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      Dear Samatha and friends,

      --- In Pali@y..., "samathasavaka" <samathasavaka@y...> wrote:
      > Hello Yong Peng, i'd like to note that this definition you give us
      > along with the comentary is a bit strange, because not only in
      > Hinduism the idea of 'something' (to not call it Soul for those
      with
      > aversion to the word) does in fact goes to a new body after the
      death
      > of the current one. We have in the Suttas hundreds of tales were
      > Gotama Buddha recalls his past lives for example.

      The definition DOES come from the authoritative Britannica. I put it
      as the first quote merely to illustrate that different religions take
      a different stand to soul theory. In fact, we can say that it is for
      the convenience of academic study that we generalise them as 'soul's.
      But from an individualistic perspective, the Egyptian dual soul is
      different from the Christian better refined soul. The concept of a
      soul is nonetheless, on a theological basis, to support and reinforce
      concepts such as creation and soforth.

      > I see that the main difference between Vedic religion and the one
      > Gotama Buddha preached was essentially with regards to the way to
      > attain the fruit the religion preached, which include rituals,
      prayer
      > and other methods. Gotama's Buddha revolution, in my view, was to
      > properly understand what was being said in the Vedas and
      Upanishads,
      > thereby ending with the confusion that prevailed regarding wether
      or
      > not the religion was effective.

      Do you mean that Buddhism and Brahmanism/Hinduism share the same
      religious goal? From both a theological and buddhist viewpoint, you
      are wrong. From a theological viewpoint, Hinduism is basically a
      polytheism while Buddhism is atheism. They are both fundamentally
      different in their views and goals. The claim you have made is what
      had actually caused Buddhism to disappear in India. So beware. From a
      buddhist viewpoint, the Buddha was no revolutionary, he is a
      discoverer and share with the Indian people of his time his
      discoveries. He had to communicate with them in the proper context,
      he had to speak in their language. Many of the suttas have to be read
      in this light. Furthermore, some of the older English translations
      can be quite "crude" in the use of words, but they do reveal the
      audience characteristic the Buddha was addressing.

      I would not say that Buddha hated or disliked any Brahmanic theories.
      That's not the way Buddhism works, definitely not "passionistic".
      Rather, he was revealing the fact that such theories are unnecessary
      and even obstructive to understand the true nature of life and
      attaining enlightenment. You are not wrong to say that the Buddha did
      point out faults of the Vedic belief. If you read the Tipitaka, there
      are many areas where the Buddha dismisses concepts of different
      belief systems, not just Vedic but Sramanic too. These are generally
      classified as 'wrong views'. And I see there is no reason why the
      Buddha, as a compassionate person on one hand and a philosopher on
      another, would not contrast his religion with others.

      > I have never come across a passage in the Suttas/Sutras that denies
      > the existence of a soul, like i said in another post, i've only
      seen
      > Buddha denying the khandas to be the soul, or denying dharmas
      > (phenomena, things) to be the soul.

      Neither have I, I guessed the main contents of the Tipitaka is not to
      promote a soul or deny a soul, but on the four noble truths and noble
      eightfold path. Fortunately, the authors of the Tipitaka did not get
      the priority wrong. :-) However, I am pretty sure that there are many
      passages where the Buddha directly or indirectly dismiss the soul
      theory. I hope that other members on list can give us some relevant
      quotations.

      > I bring this up in regards the Animistic comments, for if the
      khandas
      > are animated (live) due to their own grace, why are they said to be
      > empty and without substance?

      Animism has nothing to do with animation. The word animistic means
      the belief in the existence of individual spirits that inhabit
      natural objects and phenomena. For example, the belief of tree
      spirits and so forth. It is a category consisting of many primitive
      religions.

      > Salvation in Buddhism, imho, is reaching the other shore, where we
      > realize freedom from dukkha. What realizes this freedom though?

      Well, certainly not a soul. Btw, just a short question. What is
      needed to gain enlightenment? You may like to meditate on this. :-)

      Yours sincerely,

      Yong Peng.
    • Lee Dillion
      ... Hi SS: Courtesy of Tang Huyen over on usenet, responding to the claim that the ... The Buddha says: There are four stations for consciousness. What are
      Message 2 of 11 , Jun 11, 2002
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        samathasavaka wrote:

        > I have never come across a passage in the Suttas/Sutras that denies
        > the existence of a soul, like i said in another post, i've only seen
        > Buddha denying the khandas to be the soul, or denying dharmas
        > (phenomena, things) to be the soul.

        Hi SS:

        Courtesy of Tang Huyen over on usenet, responding to the claim that the
        soul can be found beyond the aggregates:

        -------

        "The Buddha says: "There are four stations for consciousness. What are
        the four? Approaching form, consciousness, standing, stands,
        takes-as-its-object form, with form as platform, delights in it, waters
        it and grows it; approaching feeling, consciousness, standing, stands,
        takes-as-its-object feeling, with feeling as platform, with notion,
        compositions as platform, delights in them, waters them, and grows them.
        Monks! In them consciousness comes, goes, dies, gets born and grows. If
        one was to declare consciousness' coming, going, dying, getting born,
        and growing apart from them, that would only be speech (Skt.
        vag-vastu-matram), and if asked one would be unable to answer, it would
        increase one's stupidity (Skt. sammoham apadyeta), for it would be
        beyond one's sense-field (Skt. avisayatvat). When passion with regard to
        the modality of form is done away with, the contact occasioned by mind
        getting entangled with form is cut, and when the contact occasioned by
        mind getting entangled with form is cut, the taking-as-object ends, when
        the taking-as-object ends, consciousness has no place to stand on, and
        will no longer grow. When passion with regard to the modalities of
        feeling, notion, and compositions is done away with, the contact
        occasioned by mind getting entangled with them is cut, and when the
        contact occasioned by mind getting entangled with them is cut, the
        taking-as-object ends, when the taking-as-object ends, consciousness has
        no place to stand on, and, unestablished (apatitthita), will no longer
        grow. As it no longer grows, it no longer composes (na abhisankharoti),
        when it no longer composes, it is stable (thita), when it is stable, it
        knows that it has enough (thitatta santusito), when it knows that it has
        enough, it is liberated (santusitatta [vimutto]), when it is liberated,
        with regard to the world it has nothing to grasp ([vimuttam] na kiñci
        loke upadiyati, Skt. na kiñcil loka upadatte), not grasping he is
        unperturbed, unperturbed, internally he fully blows out (aparitassam
        paccattaññeva parinibbayati, Skt. aparitasya atmaiva parinirvati). Birth
        is ended, the chaste life has been lived, what has to be done is done,
        one knows for oneself that there is no further becoming. I say that that
        consciousness will not go east, west, south, north, the zenith or nadir,
        the intermediaries, or any other direction (nanyatra), in the present
        things it is shadowless (nischaya), blown-out (parinirvvati or
        parinirvrta), cooled, become pure (brahmi-bhuta)." SA, 39, 9a, 64, 17a,
        SN, III, 54-55 (22, 54), 58 (22, 55), Vyakhya, 271-272, 668.

        The important part, which survives in the Chinese _Conjoined Agama_
        (Samyukta-Agama) and in Sanskrit fragments, says very clearly that
        anything outside of the six sense-spheres (or the five aggregates) is
        "only a thing of speech (Skt. vag-vastu-matram)", or more completely:

        "If one was to declare consciousness' coming, going, dying, getting
        born, and growing apart from them [the four stations for consciousness,
        which are the four aggregates outside of consciousness], that would only
        be speech (Skt. vag-vastu-matram), and if asked one would be unable to
        answer, it would increase one's stupidity (Skt. sammoham apadyeta), for
        it would be beyond one's sense-field (Skt. avisayatvat)."

        Again, if you do not take that to be explicit enough about the "all",
        the Buddha makes the famous declaration:

        "All (sarva), that is the twelve places (dvadasayatanani), from the eye
        and forms to the mind and objects-of-mind, that is how the Tathagata
        makes known the all (sarvam ca prajñapayati) and the concept of the all
        (sarva-prajñaptim ceti). If any recluse and brahman was to declare:
        'this is not the all, I shall revoke it and declare another all,' that
        would only be speech (vag-vastu-matram), and if asked one would be
        unable to answer, it would increase one's stupidity (sammoham apadyeta),
        for it would be beyond his sense-field (a-visayatvat)." SA, 319, 91a,
        Zitate, 507, SN, IV, 15 (35, 23), Maha-vibhasa, T, 27, 1545, 378b-c."

        -------

        So you can continue to claim all over the internet that the soul is
        beyond the aggregates, but, as noted by the Buddha, such a claim "would
        only be speech (vag-vastu-matram), and if asked one would be unable to
        answer, it would increase one's stupidity (sammoham apadyeta)." The
        commentary to this sutta reads "Tassa vacavatthur ev assa. Spk: It would
        be just mere utterance. But if one passes over the twelve sense bases,
        one cannot point out any real phenomenon."

        ----
        Lee Dillion
      • Bruce Burrill
        An excellent book to study concerning these issues would be Steven Collins SELFLESS PERSONS. It is a very careful, considered look at the Pali text.
        Message 3 of 11 , Jun 11, 2002
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          An excellent book to study concerning these issues would be Steven Collins'
          SELFLESS PERSONS. It is a very careful, considered look at the Pali text.
        • robertkirkpatrick.rm
          Dear Samatha Savaka, Thanks for your reply. I gave no personal interpretation: the quote came from Buddhaghosa and is simply a succint summary of reality
          Message 4 of 11 , Jun 12, 2002
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            Dear Samatha Savaka,
            Thanks for your reply. I gave no personal interpretation: the quote
            came from Buddhaghosa and is simply a succint summary of reality
            according to the Theravada. As it happens, I believe it is the
            correct view.
            I don't know the 'Awakening of Faith Shastra', but your comments
            about an 'unchanging essense... [that] we have never been apart
            from' is contrary to the texts of the Theravada.
            best wishes
            robert
            >
            > Robert, thanks for your reply, but, the interpretation which you
            > seem to imply through the quote you posted seems a bit odd, why?
            > first, it proposes that effects manifest without a cause. Second,
            it
            > assumes that the passage means there's no Essence, when it can
            also
            > be interpreted in this way: That since all there has always been
            is
            > an unchanging, deathless essence, and since we have never been
            apart
            > from it, then, there's no going or comming. An interpretation
            which
            > is possible due to the comentaries and other Suttas/Sutras which
            > tells us this, like the Awakening of Faith Shastra.
            >
            > Good Day :)
            >
            > Samatha Savaka. In Pali@y..., "samathasavaka" <samathasavaka@y...>
            wrote:
            > --- In Pali@y..., "robertkirkpatrick.rm" <robertkirkpatrick@r...>
            > wrote:
            > > Dear Samatha Savaka (and Robert Eddison),-- In
            > > Pali@y..., "samathasavaka" <samathasavaka@y...> wrote:
            > > --- , imho, the Buddha is not
            > > > preaching that there's no soul at all. It'd be strange if that
            > > were
            > > > the case, why do i think this? Because then, what would
            realize
            > > > illumination? what is reborn? what suffers? what is liberated
            > from
            > > > suffering?
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > +++++++++++++++++++++++=
            > > Dear Friend,
            > > Just in case Robert Eddison is busy this quotation from The
            > > Visuddhimagga might help:
            > > 567 VRI Su~n~natekavidhaadiihiiti-ettha su~n~nato taava
            > paramatthena
            > > hi sabbaaneva saccaani vedakakaarakanibbutagamakaabhaavato
            > > su~n~naaniiti veditabbaani. Teneta.m vuccati–
            > > "Dukkhameva hi, na koci dukkhito;
            > > kaarako na, kiriyaava vijjati;
            > > atthi nibbuti, na nibbuto pumaa;
            > > maggamatthi, gamako na vijjatii"ti.
            > > (thanks to Andy Shaws brilliant Pali trans 2.o)
            > >
            > > Translation from nanamoli xvi 90
            > > ...As to void, single fold and so on: firstly, as to void: in
            the
            > > ultimate sense all the truths should be understood as void
            because
            > > of the absence of any experiencer, any doer, anyone who is
            > > extinguished and any goer. hence this is said:
            > >
            > > For there is suffering, but none who suffers;
            > > Doing exists although there is no doer;
            > > Extinction is but no extinguished person;
            > > Although there is a path there is no goer'""
            > >
            > > BTw Robert, amazing reply to the previous letter.
            > > best wishes
            > > robert
            >
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