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What is nirvana? What is consciousness?

edited February 2010 in Buddhism Basics
I'm back to this fundamental question, no explanations have satisfied me. I am told it is the "end of suffering", but it also sounds a whole lot like annihilation, but then am told there is nothing to be annihilated since there never was anything. Well in that case, I might as well believe there is something instead of realize I am nothing and then become such. Ignorance is bliss?

I talked to a buddhist girl and she said Nirvana was unifying with the universe/existence. I doubted it, since I once thought so too, but everyone in these forums didn't think so. I also read somewhere that buddhism is actually pantheistic, but doesn't refer to a "God" since it has too many connotations to a judeo-christian God and the gods of Hinduism.

I don't know I think information has been confusing me in what nirvana is, and it really is unification with all, and the whole, "you are nothing" thing is stating that there is no stable self that is "theuprising", that identity is under constant flux. Once you renounce attachment to identities, you will realize the depth w/in your own consciousness.

Also in buddhism, consciousness isn't regarded highly? I've read consciousness IS the "life force" but it is dependent on matter to exist, as matter is dependent on it? And thus consciousness is simply the result of moving mind states and not the essence of the universe or something as is the common belief in spirituality? Thx beforehand, I'm just confused and no one gives me straight answers...
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Comments

  • edited February 2010
    You're never going to get a straight answer unfortunately uprising.

    For one though, Buddhism does not believe in any gods. Tibetan Buddhism mentions gods, but only in a metaphorical sense, they are not to be taken literally.

    Nirvana is the same thing as ego death. If you want to understand what Nirvana is, do some research on ego death, it is the same thing.
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited February 2010
    Nibbana is the end of suffering, the extinction of craving (AN 10.60), the extinguishing of greed, hatred and delusion (SN 38.1). Beyond that, it's open to interpretation.

    Consciousness (vinnana) is the bare awareness of sense data and ideas. The arising of sensory-consciousness is said to be dependent upon the meeting of one of the six sense-organs (salayatana) and its corresponding object. The process of seeing, for example, is described as a conditional process where "dependent on eye and visible forms, eye-consciousness arises" (SN 12.43).

    As for nibbana being the annihilation of consciousness after death, that's how some people interpret the term anupadises-nibbana-dhatu (nibbana element with no fuel remaining) in Iti 44 — as well as the line, "With the cessation of consciousness each is here brought to an end" from DN 11 — but that's certainly not how it's understood by everyone.

    In The Mind Like Fire Unbound, for example, Thanissaro Bhikkhu writes that, "This experience of the goal — absolutely unlimited freedom, beyond classification and exclusive of all else — is termed the elemental nibbana property with no 'fuel' remaining (anupadisesa-nibbana-dhatu)."

    He also points to the term vinnanam-anidassanam (consciousness without feature) in DN 11, and notes that this consciousness, not "partaking the allness of the all," doesn't come under the aggregate of consciousness because it stands outside of space and time. As such, it is a type of awareness that is "not harmed by death."

    So while some Theravadins describe nibbana as the end of all consciousness, stressing the cessation aspect of nibbana, others describe nibbana as a state of purified awareness and stress its transcendent aspect.
  • DeshyDeshy Veteran
    edited February 2010
    Well I believe you will get some good answers as there are people here who are very good at Buddhist concepts and the suttas. So hang in there.

    I am not really good at this but here goes: The thought that "it is annihilation" sounds like a presumption of a self or an ego. Buddhism focuses on eliminating the ego concept. Ignorance isn't bliss. Ignorance causes suffering which is why we try to eliminate ignorance and try to see things as they really are: non-self, impermanent and suffering. Once wisdom is achieved it will be the ultimate bliss aka Nirvana. I have never heard "Nirvana is unifying with the universe/existence". Nirvana as I understand is realizing non-self, impermanent and suffering of all things and thus not getting attached to them or insight into the four noble truths. Buddhists refute the belief of an all-mighty God who controls everything. You are in charge of the way you feel and your own destiny. Only you can navigate through the path to enlightenment.

    I suggest you read some suttas and other reliable material on the matter and most importantly, start meditating. I am sure you will get reference links form other users
  • DeshyDeshy Veteran
    edited February 2010
    Jason wrote: »
    So while some Theravadins describe nibbana as the end of all consciousness, stressing the cessation aspect of nibbana, others describe nibbana as a state of purified awareness and stress its transcendent aspect.

    Hey Jason, do you meant to say there are sects who believe Nibbana is not the complete cessation? If not so then why did the Buddha give the popular "flame" simile? I'm confused

    When asked where the Buddha would go after death his reply was “he ceases to exist” like the flame when the causes of the flame was removed. Can you say where the flame went when the firewood was removed? No. The flame just ceases to exist because the causes of the fire is no longer there
  • edited February 2010
    i have a delusion to share -

    nirvana: happy to happy not to :D

    consciousness: imagine that! :p

    bubba buddha tole me this under the freeway overpass with all the rest o us bums!:grin:
  • edited February 2010
    I would think though the law of karma would depend on all things being inter connected?

    the buddha described consciousness in relation to nirvana: Consciousness without feature, without end, luminous all around. That doesn't sound like annihilation to me...
  • edited February 2010
    There's no such thing as Karma.

    Last I checked, me and my neighbor were not interconnected either.
  • edited February 2010
    nirvana is the completely unfiltered experience of absolute reality full of love and happiness and bliss, purportedly. now obviously i nor anyone else on here (so far as we know...!) have attained nirvana, but i wouldn't say that none of us have tasted it before especially if it's the truest most truest state of things. so about feeling a unity with the universe and all of existence, it's just conjecture from my perspective but i think this is one facet of nirvana. it's kind of coarse in a way to speak of nirvana but in a way not really that much.

    but appleorange why are you denying karma?

    anyways theuprising, the best way to answer these questions fully is to sit down day after day, and to rest and be happy.
  • edited February 2010
    Hi appleorange
    There's no such thing as Karma.
    Karma is cause & effect, friend.
    Last I checked, me and my neighbor were not interconnected either.
    When mind sees "neighbor" as separate, as not separate, as both, as neither, or intentionally disregards neighbor, already there is interconnection.

    With metta.
  • edited February 2010
    There's no such thing as Karma.

    .

    There are 3 very good, very short articles which I suggest reading, called 'Karma'. 'Karma and Growth', and 'Karma Doesn't Explain Anything'

    Here:

    http://www.unfetteredmind.com/articles/index.php

    Kind regards,

    Dazzle


    .
  • ansannaansanna Veteran
    edited February 2010
    Hi TheUprising,
    first you must understand that consciousness is derived in the domain of relative truth.
    whereas nirvana is dwell in the domain of absolute truth.

    They are not talking in the same plane of the reality.

    when you observed the four dharma seals of impermance, non-self , suffering and nirvana .
    the first three seals ( impermance, non-self , suffering ) are refering to the realm of relative truth, but the fourth seal ( nirvana ) is refering to the realm of absolute truth .

    certainly Nikaya teaching deal alots of the first three seals , but Mahayana teaching do touch alot in the fourth seal.

    Suggest reading : the Mahayana Mahaparinirvana sutra - it deal on alot on nirvana
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited February 2010
    Deshy wrote: »
    Hey Jason, do you meant to say there are sects who believe Nibbana is not the complete cessation? If not so then why did the Buddha give the popular "flame" simile? I'm confused

    When asked where the Buddha would go after death his reply was “he ceases to exist” like the flame when the causes of the flame was removed. Can you say where the flame went when the firewood was removed? No. The flame just ceases to exist because the causes of the fire is no longer there

    Yes, especially some within the Thai Forest Tradition. As Thanissaro likes to say, Buddhism isn't spiritual suicide. For his take on the flame imagery throughout the Canon, I suggest reading Mind Like Fire Unbound.

    As for which view is right, however, I can't say. Perhaps consciousness is purely a conditional phenomenon with nothing else underlying it. Perhaps consciousness is something that is fundamental to the basic structure of the universe. Perhaps there is a separate type of consciousness that doesn't partake of any of the six senses or their objects. For me, the jury is still out on this one.
  • RichardHRichardH Veteran
    edited February 2010
    oy vey. There is this wonderful Long time Thai Forest monk (who shall remain unnamed) whos favourite teacher is....Jean Klein. :lol:. The SriLankans can get pretty touchy with the Thai Forest guys about this..."Atta!! Atta!!!"

    This is all fine and dandy but.... what the hey.:tonguec:
  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Veteran
    edited February 2010
    I am told it is the "end of suffering", but it also sounds a whole lot like annihilation, but then am told there is nothing to be annihilated since there never was anything. Well in that case, I might as well believe there is something instead of realize I am nothing and then become such. Ignorance is bliss?

    I talked to a buddhist girl and she said Nirvana was unifying with the universe/existence. I doubted it, since I once thought so too, but everyone in these forums didn't think so. I also read somewhere that buddhism is actually pantheistic, but doesn't refer to a "God" since it has too many connotations to a judeo-christian God and the gods of Hinduism.

    Also in buddhism, consciousness isn't regarded highly? I've read consciousness IS the "life force" but it is dependent on matter to exist, as matter is dependent on it? And thus consciousness is simply the result of moving mind states and not the essence of the universe or something as is the common belief in spirituality? Thx beforehand, I'm just confused and no one gives me straight answers...

    These are very good questions, and I can see you are trying very hard to understand what the answers might be. But these the answers are not going to found through intellectual questioning, nor understood through intellect.

    - No, it does not seem that freedom from suffering is annihilation.
    - I don't think achieving Nirvana is unifying with the universe, but I haven't achieved Nirvana yet, so I could be wrong.
    -The presence or absence of God is irrelevant to the practice of Buddhism, because no one/no power can give you enlightenment ... it is achieved through our own efforts.
    - "Consciousness" is only our own little limited mind ... that which is writing these answers, that which is reading them.

    But if you want to REALLY understand the answers, you will find them through your practice, done as your teacher instructs you. Over time, you will start to see glimmers of your answers, which become stronger with time. The answer to what Nirvana actually is will be our last answer!
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited February 2010
    To be honest, I can see how both views — i.e., the annihilation of consciousness vs. an awareness untouched by death — seem like the extremes of annihilationism and eternalism. Nevertheless, both have support in the suttas, as well as sophisticated arguments as to why their view doesn't fall into either extreme.

    Personally, I used to lean towards the classical position that all consciousness ceases at death, but now I tend to lean more towards the view that there is a type of consciousness that lies outside of space and time. The imagery of consciousness that "does not land or increase" mentioned in SN 12.64 does seems to support such a possibility, as does various other passages throughout the Canon.
  • RichardHRichardH Veteran
    edited February 2010
    The problem with positing a transcendent consciousness, apart from the abject absurdity of consciousness without an object, is that it plays right into the tendency to grasp and reify an absolute that Buddhism is unique in seeing as a problem. Maybe really experienced practitioners know this is just a pointing like “true mind” in Zen, and wont get misguided, but for new people this is nothing but a honey trap.
  • DeshyDeshy Veteran
    edited February 2010
    Jason wrote: »
    Yes, especially some within the Thai Forest Tradition. As Thanissaro likes to say, Buddhism isn't spiritual suicide. For his take on the flame imagery throughout the Canon, I suggest reading Mind Like Fire Unbound.

    As for which view is right, however, I can't say. Perhaps consciousness is purely a conditional phenomenon with nothing else underlying it. Perhaps consciousness is something that is fundamental to the basic structure of the universe. Perhaps there is a separate type of consciousness that doesn't partake of any of the six senses or their objects. For me, the jury is still out on this one.

    Thanks Jason I'll go through the link during the weekend.

    Well as you say you never know for sure but I believe that an arahant just ceases to exist after death. The idea that there is some other place or some other form for the consciousness seems just wishful thinking. You know, we are so attached to existence that we like to think something is out there even after the death of an arahant. But you never know ...
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited February 2010
    The problem with positing a transcendent consciousness, apart from the abject absurdity of consciousness without an object, is that it plays right into the tendency to grasp and reify an absolute that Buddhism is unique in seeing as a problem. Maybe really experienced practitioners know this is just a pointing like “true mind” in Zen, and wont get misguided, but for new people this is nothing but a honey trap.

    I think there are problems with the idea of seeking the cessation of consciousness as well. As for the absurdity of consciousness without an object, the consciousness of nibbana is said to have the deathless (amata) as it's object. For example, there is this passage from MN 64:
    Whatever is there of material form, feeling, perception, mental formations, and consciousness — he beholds these phenomena as impermanent, suffering, as a disease, a boil, a dart, a misfortune, an affliction, as alien, as decomposing, as empty, as selfless. He turns his mind away from these phenomena; and when he has turned his mind away from them, he focuses his mind on the deathless element i]amata-dhatu[/i, thinking: "This is the peaceful, this is the sublime, that is, the stilling of all formations, the relinquishing of the foundations, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, nibbana." (Bodhi)
  • RichardHRichardH Veteran
    edited February 2010
    Jason wrote: »
    I think there are problems with the idea of seeking the cessation of consciousness as well.
    I agree

    Jason wrote: »
    As for the absurdity of consciousness without an object, the consciousness of nibbana is said to have the deathless (amata) as it's object.
    What, Jason, do you think of this notion of entering contemplation of the deathless and forgetting you entered? What do you think of this subtle dualistic state? What is it to you? Non suffering, you bet. Ultimate realization? Is that what you are describing Jason? I'm asking sincerely. Is that really the ultimate realization in Theravadin Buddhism?
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited February 2010
    What, Jason, do you think of this notion of entering contemplation of the deathless and forgetting you entered? What do you think of this subtle dualistic state? What is it to you? Non suffering, you bet. Ultimate realization? Is that what you are describing Jason? I'm asking sincerely. Is that really the ultimate realization in Theravadin Buddhism?

    Sorry, Richard, but I don't really understand what you're asking here. It's a little over my head, I guess.
  • ansannaansanna Veteran
    edited February 2010
    theuprising:
    I talked to a buddhist girl and she said Nirvana was unifying with the universe/existence. I doubted it, since I once thought so too, but everyone in these forums didn't think so. I also read somewhere that buddhism is actually pantheistic, ..

    first , 'unifying with the universe/existence' does not need to have any element of any artifical concept of 'God' or 'Brahman'. as in Buddhism it just means our life is in rhythm in the same pulse with the universal principle ( inpersonal natural Law , Dharma )

    second - 'pantheistic' means everything in the phenomena are part of this divine universal principle , including you and me, the spark of dust, the cloud , the mountain and the wild flower ....
  • RichardHRichardH Veteran
    edited February 2010
    Jason wrote: »
    Sorry, Richard, but I don't really understand what you're asking here. It's a little over my head, I guess.
    If what you describe is indeed the ultimate realization of the Theravadin path. It changes my view (for what its worth) because it would indeed a partial path, and I do not believe that it is a partial path..
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited February 2010
    If what you describe is indeed the ultimate realization of the Theravadin path. It changes my view (for what its worth) because it would indeed a partial path, and I do not believe that it is a partial path..

    Sorry, amigo, but I'm still lost. Can you be a little more specific?

    Also, this is just one interpretation of certain terms and passage found throughout the Canon—I never said it represented all of Theravada. You can hold whatever view of nibbana you like. There's plenty to go around. :D
  • edited February 2010
    ansanna wrote: »
    first , 'unifying with the universe/existence' does not need to have any element of any artifical concept of 'God' or 'Brahman'. as in Buddhism it just means our life is in rhythm in the same pulse with the universal principle ( inpersonal natural Law , Dharma )

    second - 'pantheistic' means everything in the phenomena are part of this divine universal principle , including you and me, the spark of dust, the cloud , the mountain and the wild flower ....
    Oh yes of course, I never presupposed that if "everything was god" that this god had any ability to have divine intervention or a will of any type. Its just all of existence, and god is used for the lack of a better word...

    And I don't know consciousness seems interesting, emptiness is the statement that everything is relative, maybe because one's individual consciousness changes reality? In quantum physics, the observer plays a crucial role, as an electron has a different position depending on how you look at it, unlike all other sciences where the observer is just there to observe and not intervene.
  • ansannaansanna Veteran
    edited February 2010
    RH:
    The problem with positing a transcendent consciousness, apart from the abject absurdity of consciousness without an object, is that it plays right into the tendency to grasp and reify an absolute that Buddhism is unique in seeing as a problem. Maybe really experienced practitioners know this is just a pointing like “true mind” in Zen, and wont get misguided, but for new people this is nothing but a honey trap.


    Richard, I like to share with you the doctrine of five false view from the Indian Mahayana master Dharmapala ( 530-561 ) on his commentary to bodhisattva Vasubandhu's Yogachara work - it is compiled as known as The Treastise on the Establishment of Consciousness-Only Doctrine.

    Here he listed five false views seem from Buddhist perspective :
    i) Though the mind and body are no more than a temporary union of the five aggregates ( components ) , one regards them as possessing a self that is absolute ; and though nothing in in the universe can belong to an individual, one views one's mind and body as one's own possession.
    ii) the belief in one of two extremes concerning existence: that life ends with death, or that life persists after death in some eternal and unchanging form.
    iii) deniel of the law of cause and effect.
    iv) adhering to misconception and viewing them as truth.
    v) viewing erroneus practices or precepts as the correct way to enlightenment

    -SGID
    <!-- / message --><!-- sig -->
  • edited February 2010
    And the views of Dharmapala, were and are themselves controversial within the Madhyamika school. He in no way represents the definitive authority on Buddhism - thus the critiques and commentaries of the prasangika-madhyamikas; like Chandrakirti.
  • edited February 2010
    I do not think consciousness or cognizance is necessarily tied to the vinnana-khanda. I am tending to see that as discriminative consciousness only. I presently do not think mano-vinnana and citta are the same thing. Citta, I think, belongs to samjna-kandha. I suspect that citta is the same as what Mahayana calls alaya-vijnana. Properly speaking, I think alaya and amala would be cittas; not vijnana. I am not particularly attached to that though. However, I do find it useful to separate consciousness itself from the consciousness filtered through or arising from the six sensory organs or doors {with brain as mind-sense}.

    I also do not buy into the concept of bhavanga-citta. My thinking is that purified, luminous citta is the same as amala and is the goal of cultivating the mind. From what I have seen, the Buddha talked about awakening as both Nibbana {unbinding} and Vishuddha {purification}. I see those as two words for the same thing. The former is waking up 'from' samsaric delusion, the afflictions, four distortions, the five veils, obsessions, outflows, and so on. The latter is waking up, or awakening, 'to' the Buddha Nature & the Four Innate Virtues {see Mahayana Nirvana Sutra}; death-less-ness and self-less-ness; or luminous citta & the unborn, non-arisen, uncreated, and uncompounded. I am a bit more confident on this part.

    One other thing, I am not sure cessation is the best translation of Nirodha. I have heard that rhoda means prison or confinement. I think ni- is similar in use to ex-, as in export, meaning 'out of.' So nirodha is like breaking out of jail; it is like mukti or moksha; a liberation?

    Just some thoughts ...
  • RichardHRichardH Veteran
    edited February 2010
    ansanna wrote: »
    Richard, I like to share with you the doctrine of five false view from the Indian Mahayana master Dharmapala ( 530-561 ) on his commentary to bodhisattva Vasubandhu's Yogachara work - it is compiled as known as The Treastise on the Establishment of Consciousness-Only Doctrine.

    Here he listed five false views seem from Buddhist perspective :
    i) Though the mind and body are no more than a temporary union of the five aggregates ( components ) , one regards them as possessing a self that is absolute ; and though nothing in in the universe can belong to an individual, one views one's mind and body as one's own possession.
    ii) the belief in one of two extremes concerning existence: that life ends with death, or that life persists after death in some eternal and unchanging form.
    iii) deniel of the law of cause and effect.
    iv) adhering to misconception and viewing them as truth.
    v) viewing erroneus practices or precepts as the correct way to enlightenment

    -SGID
    <!-- / message --><!-- sig -->
    I'm not sure if you are agreeing with The quoted comment, consider it partial, or consider it incorrect?
  • edited February 2010
    nice! Robby :)
  • ansannaansanna Veteran
    edited February 2010
    bro bob: And the views of Dharmapala, were and are themselves controversial within the Madhyamika school. He in no way represents the definitive authority on Buddhism - thus the critiques and commentaries of the prasangika-madhyamikas; like Chandrakirti.

    Hi bob, not ready , from the general Mahayana point of view for the last 2000 years , both of the schools are accacpted as valid Buddhist view and accepted into the mahayana canon.
    It is only from their standpoint of perspective which are different .
    i) for Madhyamika school, their view came from the absolute truth to the reality
    ii) for Yogocara school, the are formerly Nikayan realist school ( based on relative truth ) but converted into Mahayana , their bridging and transformation doctrine is base on consciousness doctrine - which by itself still based on relative truth

    both of them are approaching to the same aspect of the Reality , but they are based from different starting perspective.
    i) Madhyamika approaching it from the absolute truth
    ii) Yogocara approaching it from the relative truth ( similar to Nikayan teaching in ancient Indian school at that time )
    iii) Tathagata-garbha school ( mainly influence in East Asian Buddhism on the doctrine of buddha nature - to Zen/Chan, Tientai/Tendai/Nichiren, Huayan, Shingon etc ) approaching it from the Ultimate truth ( truth of the middle-way )

    as for your quesstion of definitive authority on Buddhism ?

    All their teaching result in our human history has proven that they are effective vehicle, they have able to spread the Buddha Dharma to all different lands and culture, making Buddha Dharma a univerval world teaching , and have produced many enlightened teachers and masters in the last 2000 years
  • RichardHRichardH Veteran
    edited February 2010
    Pure consciousness. These words create a referent where there is none. Practitioners do not find pure consciousness, only philosophers do.
  • ansannaansanna Veteran
    edited February 2010
    Robbly , I suspect that citta is the same as what Mahayana calls alaya-vijnana. Properly speaking, I think alaya and amala would be cittas.

    Hi Bro Robby , I would agreed with the later Yogacara masters that divided the Alaya consciouosness into two, one the defiled Alaya and the pure Alaya .

    Hence this pure Alaya conciousness would be standalone by definition as the Alama consciouenss ( 9th Consciousness in the Yogacara-Tathagata-garbha hybrid doctrine .)
  • ansannaansanna Veteran
    edited February 2010
    RH: Pure consciousness. These words create a referent where there is none. Practitioners do not find pure consciousness, only philosphers do.

    Well Richard , then please explains how to define when the realm of pure illuminate awareness , when both the subject and object are in non-duality realm ( suyatta )
    there are no longer the false self of 'you'
    <!-- / message --><!-- sig -->
  • RichardHRichardH Veteran
    edited February 2010
    ansanna wrote: »
    Well Richard , then please explains how to define when the realm of pure illuminate awareness , when both the subject and object are in non-duality ( suyatta )
    there are no longer the false self of you
    <!-- / message --><!-- sig -->
    Define? that is a joke right?
  • RichardHRichardH Veteran
    edited February 2010
    Your clearly very knowledgable ansanna. But in the end I'm just a practice guy who been whacked by people who know better. I can, despite blabbing away on the internet too much, sit and shut up.
  • ansannaansanna Veteran
    edited February 2010
    Richard , define ...

    Well, if one cannot explain , one cannot teach , it is like unable to gave direction to a group of students to their destination , and do not provide them any map and compass to follow

    So at time the mediation teacher himself /herself do not know how he arrived to that level of cultivation , and unable to validate if he is progressing correctly ?

    hence the Tientai -Lotus school stress both important in Buddhist doctrinal study and Buddhist practice ( mediation, chanting )
    In this way of perfect good balance, the practitioner could check himself in his wisdom obtained and could clearly give good Buddhist guildance to other according to the Mahayana canon
    This only could fulfill the role of Bodhisattva in training, and help the Buddha ( teacher ) to turn the Dharma wheel
  • ansannaansanna Veteran
    edited February 2010
    we are just pulling one another up in our Buddhist practice
  • RichardHRichardH Veteran
    edited February 2010
    ansanna wrote: »
    we are just pulling one another up in our Buddhist practice
    Like the sound of that.:) You do mean that in the good way .....right?
  • edited February 2010
    Pure consciousness. These words create a referent where there is none. Practitioners do not find pure consciousness, only philosophers do.
    }

    "Luminous, monks, is citta. And it is freed from incoming defilements. The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones discerns that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones — there is citta-bhavana." {I,vi,2
  • edited February 2010
    Dear ansanna

    My referent is the statement 'Here he listed five false views seem from the Buddhist perspective.' The question is, 'Is this the Buddhist perspective or Dharmapala's view of the Buddhadharma? Which has been questioned by others.

    My wish is that there be clarity about whose view is being presented, not necessarily that it isn't helpful to some.

    :):):)
  • edited February 2010
    Robby, you bad, bro!

    Richard, I imagine you as correct also - words/labels are the philosophers realm, direct knowing, beyond words/labels, the Zen practitioners. I imagine this as the difference here.

    It's all good! :):):)
  • DeshyDeshy Veteran
    edited February 2010
    robby wrote: »
    }

    "Luminous, monks, is citta. And it is freed from incoming defilements. The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones discerns that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones — there is citta-bhavana." {I,vi,2

    It is said that the Buddha preached this with regard to the first experience of the pure citta aka the thing called nimitta we perceive in deep meditation when all five sensory indulgences are abandoned. "Luminous, monks, is citta" tallies well with the description of the nimitta.
  • edited February 2010
    ansanna wrote: »
    Hi Bro Robby , I would agreed with the later Yogacara masters that divided the Alaya consciouosness into two, one the defiled Alaya and the pure Alaya .

    Hence this pure Alaya conciousness would be standalone by definition as the Amala consciouenss ( 9th Consciousness in the Yogacara-Tathagata-garbha hybrid doctrine .)

    One meaning of alaya is accumulation. Citta comes from the verbal root, cit; which means 'to accumulate.' The late Venerable Rahula Walplola also regarded the alaya of mahayana as the same as the citta of Theravada.

    one the defiled Alaya
    "Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is defiled by incoming defilements. The uninstructed run-of-the-mill person doesn't discern that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person — there is no development of the mind."

    Mind here, iirc, is Citta 心 -- not mano-vijnana. Development, I think is Bhavana 修行. 'Development of the mind.' could be translated as 'spiritual cultivation.' This uncultivated mind, sullied by kilesas and so on, could be alaya.
    this pure Alaya conciousness would be standalone by definition as the Amala consciousness
    "Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements. The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones discerns that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones — there is development of the mind." {I,vi,2}
    This cultivated citta, freed from the prison of afflictions, could be amala. My understanding is that amala is a cognate of immaculate. Amala and vimala could be near synonyms of vishuddha.
  • edited February 2010
    Robby, you bad, bro!

    Richard, I imagine you as correct also - words/labels are the philosophers realm, direct knowing, beyond words/labels, the Zen practitioners. I imagine this as the difference here.

    It's all good! :):):)

    My view is that academic understanding, which I would say is vidya 明 or objective wisdom, is neither a requirement for nor an impediment to jnana /gnosis or direct knowing.
  • edited February 2010
    Deshy wrote: »
    It is said that the Buddha preached this with regard to the first experience of the pure citta aka the thing called nimitta we perceive in deep meditation when all five sensory indulgences are abandoned. "Luminous, monks, is citta" tallies well with the description of the nimitta.

    Would this be the counter-sign, which is mental 'imagery;' there is form, but it is intangible; there is no sensory contact with the external sign or symbol? I am just now learning those terminologies. It is easier to remember the words if I first understand the concept.

    BTW, even though I use the word "I" that is not intended to imply an eternal soul. :)
  • ansannaansanna Veteran
    edited February 2010
    Dear Bro Bob, generally of Mahayana scholars & various schools do accepts this five false view of the Mind-only doctrine, I used to see this mentioned during the doctrinal debates on topics of what after death , or if cause & effect / karma are real or who got awakened after nirvana .. it general a standard used among Mahayana practitioners

    I will be interested if some Mahayana practitioners / teachers rejected this 5 false view , and what they backup themselve with ...
  • edited February 2010
    ansanna wrote: »
    Dear Bro Bob, generally of Mahayana scholars & various schools do accepts this five false view of the Mind-only doctrine, I used to see this mentioned during the doctrinal debates on topics of what after death , or if cause & effect / karma are real or who got awakened after nirvana .. it general a standard used among Mahayana practitioners

    I will be interested if some Mahayana practitioners / teachers rejected this 5 false view , and what they backup themselve with ...

    Dear ansanna,

    Is the 'Buddhist perspective' only Mahayana?

    I'll respond to your interest, to the best of my poor ability, when I have more time to do the research/contemplation needed to respond correctly. Probably over the weekend.

    :):):)
  • ansannaansanna Veteran
    edited February 2010
    bob, Is the 'Buddhist perspective' only Mahayana?
    well , certainly the Mahayana canon included the treatises of the Yogarcara ,

    Theravadin do not take reference with the Mahayana canon.

    but as said the Yogacara school , they are formerly Nikayan school in India mainland , hence they shared many of the root with our Theravadin counterpart
  • edited February 2010
    ansanna wrote: »
    well , certainly the Mahayana canon included the treatises of the Yogarcara ,

    Theravadin do not take reference with the Mahayana canon

    Would it be correct to identify the specific source of a quoted point of view?
    i.e. Mahayana, Theravada, etc.

    So, we avoid contributing to errant thinking, as much as we can.
  • ansannaansanna Veteran
    edited February 2010
    bob, isn't I make it clear it is from Mahayana treastise, Yogachara school & the name & author of the Buddhist treastise?

    I do understand in the west , practitioners are lesser familiar to Mahayana treastise , as they are more familiar from the background of Theravadin and Zen , Hence I took the purpose to introduce them here
    the doctrine of five false view from the Indian Mahayana master Dharmapala ( 530-561 ) on his commentary to bodhisattva Vasubandhu's Yogachara work - it is compiled as known as The Treastise on the Establishment of Consciousness-Only Doctrine.
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