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

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  • 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 1 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
    • 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 2 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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