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The tenth book of the Khuddakanikaya is called the Jataka which is supposed to contain, by definition, tales of the Buddha's previous births. The canonical Jataka book comprises 6653 verses, constituting 547 Jatakas. The Jatakas have been grouped under twenty-two nipatas, depending on the number of verses in each nipata. In majority of verses there is no story, neither in prose nor in verse. The shorter Jatakas are but teachings of moral or religious precepts, or even of some practical knowledge, but in some verses there are hints to background stories. The Vidhurajataka (no. 545) and the Vessantarajataka (no. 547) present complete outlines of the tales. The gathas of the Jataka book must have been associated with suitable stories in oral tradition, most probably in languages other than Pali. The Pali gathas have only been preserved in the canon and later on the author of the Jatakatthakatha built the grand edifice of the Jataka stories on the foundation of these gathas with the help of the oral and written traditions prevalent in India and Sri Lanka. *
Elohim said:But just on a side not, the Jataka stories are not canonical, only the Jataka verses are.Jason
Elohim said:fofoo,...................... I am not saying that one is authoritative and one is not authoritative, but I am saying that one is canonical and one is post-canonical. That, however, is as much as I know.Jason
Elohim said:Simon,The Jataka verses are canonical, which means that they are officially a part of the Pali Canon. The verses are accepted as being buddhavacana (word of the Buddha), whereas the prose portions are regarded as being atthakatha (commentarial).
Elohim said:Past actions themselves do not have any identity (although we may easily think they are products of one), and yet they are capable of ripening as future results.
Vacchagotta said:I do believe Bobby's idea that to say of the existing aggregate "this is not my Self" in the affirmative is not an expression of sakkaya ditthi is correct.
fofoo said:Palzang,I do not see where what you said "doesn`t really differ" from what Jason posted in #617, since there cleary is a distinction made between past, present and future. Are you suggesting that the Buddha said that space and time are merely a priori fictions to our experience, creating an illusion of cause and effect (before and after) and that there is a way to experience without space, time and causality? Regards
Palzang said:Of course they're illusions, fofoo, and yes, there is a way to experience without space, time and causality. That's what it's all about.Palzang
Palzang said:I've got no idea what "patticasamuppada" is. Palzang
Ven.HengYu said:Having said this, it is also obvious that the idea that 'all' is empty, is implicit in the Buddha's philosophy. A Mind that is empty of all discriminating factors - will perceive all phenomena that it experiences, as equally 'empty' of any underlying substantiality. This is the Mahayana development of the pali philosophy. It is a logical progression. The anatta doctrine is really a developmental clue as how to proceed in one's development. The transcendence of the ego - leads to perception of emptiness. The ego is the essence of a sense of 'self', but it should not be confused with a theocratic 'soul', that usually stands outside of the Mind and body, whilst mysteriously being associated with it. Both the Mahayana and the Pali tradition agree on this - the ego must be transcended, but not mistaken for a 'soul', as a 'soul' does not exist - according to Buddha, and those who have thoroughly explored their Minds and broke the cycle of dualistic suffering. Thank you.
fofoo said: But now the question,do you consider the following , which i found in Elliot Deutsch`s book about Advaita Vedanta as "Hindu", "not Buddhist"?"Atman (or paramatman) for Advaita Vedanta, is that pure, undifferentiated self-shining conciusness, timless, spaceless, and unthinkable, that is not different from Brahman and that underlies and supports the individual human Person"
Vacchagotta said:Heng Yu,Welcome to the discussion. While I find your reading of the Nikayan philosophy interesting and suprising, I must say you post some things I don't find myself in agreement with. I hope you don't mind my briefly discussing them.
Vacchagotta said:I think your distinction between the Pali philosophy and the Mahayana philosophy of emptiness is somewhat oversimplified and not technically correct when you speak of the Pali side. Let's first get out of the way that the word "empty" and its forms (Suñña in Pali) is not only used in one sense in the Pali literature but rather it is a neutral word whose message pivots on what it is referred to and in what context. In my experience there are at least four principle usages.
Vacchagotta said:The first usage is pedestrian, meaning empty as in just empty, (as in "an uninhabited Palace of Brahma" (D i.17), an uninhabited forest, an empty hut, etc). In most of these contexts, no special religious meaning is intended, though on occasion in similes its meaning also embraces the further meanings we will discuss. The second usage is used primarily when someone comes to the Buddha to debate or challenge his teaching, and the Buddha reveals Socratically that the person's view is confused or mistaken. In these cases the Buddha describes that person as "empty and useless" meaning they do not grasp the Dhamma, they are unwise, uninstructed, on the wrong path. Once again we are not yet to the essential teachings of emptiness. A third sense, and indeed the most common sense of "empty" in the Pali Nikayas is probably what you describe as the Mahayana elaboration together with certain elements of what you describe as the Pali basis. That being the emptiness of all phenomena, with particular emphasis on emptiness of personal factors (the five khandhas, which include physical forms, objective factors). This is described in the Phena sutta as discussed far up thread, as well as in numerous other suttas. This meaning, I would argue, is primarily for the purpose of laying out the soteriological uselessness of that which is said to be empty, of teaching the correct attitude (ie that of non-clinging) towards that which is said to be empty. "Empty," therefore, in this sense is the word that encapsulates the three marks of impermanence, suffering, and anatta. That which is described in this way is "a phenomena for abandoning" "to be scattered," etc. So it is on this point that I disagree with you. Rather than the Pali teachings not emphasizing or even explicitly stating that "all" phenomena are empty of Self, in fact, this is among the most common explicit and insistent themes of the Pali literature. Finally, the fourth proceeds naturally from the previous not in the sense of philosophical elaboration of the principle but rather as the practice urged by it. This sense is revealed most vividly in the Maha-Sunnata sutta of the Mahjjima Nikaya (122). It describes the mind of one who is abides in contemplation, the mind that does not cling to anything and is therefore empty of, as you put it, characteristics, is pure, shining, fixed, steady, permanent, and a whole list of other ways of describing it that take it beyond the defiled realm of the three marks which has been abandoned.
Vacchagotta said:Now we get into the controversial territory that has propelled so much verbiage on this thread. This, the ultimate usage of emptiness, I would say, is that which is empty of other (rather than empty of self), is the noble Self which we define not in reference to the five aggregates as some kind of characteristic (the characteristic of self?) but which is defined negatively as that which they cannot be owing to the three marks (anatta means not-self). It is only known by the peace of Nibbana, which is "empty" (of non-self characteristics). So briefly: Non-Self is empty of Self and should be viewed with non-clinging, and non-clinging is that very self which is empty of other (empty of that which is non-self). From a Mahayana/Vajrayana perspective, this particular philosophy of emptiness is taught in the form of Shentong teaching (of the formerly "lost" Jonang school of Tibet) and in the so-called Tathagata-garbha series of sutras. in friendliness,V.p.s. There is a Jonang Foundation website: http://jonangfoundation.org/ devoted to the preservation of the heritage of this unique Tibetan school.
Vacchagotta said: This, the ultimate usage of emptiness, I would say, is that which is empty of other (rather than empty of self),.
Vacchagotta said:So briefly: Non-Self is empty of Self and should be viewed with non-clinging, and non-clinging is that very self which is empty of other (empty of that which is non-self). From a Mahayana/Vajrayana perspective, this particular philosophy of emptiness is taught in the form of Shentong teaching (of the formerly "lost" Jonang school of Tibet) and in the so-called Tathagata-garbha series of sutras. .
Vacchagotta said:I must say you post some things I don't find myself in agreement with. I hope you don't mind my briefly discussing them.
By & large, Kaccayana, this world is supported by (takes as its object) a polarity, that of existence & non-existence. But when one sees the origination of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'non-existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one. When one sees the cessation of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one. 'Everything exists': That is one extreme. 'Everything doesn't exist': That is a second extreme. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle: From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabricators,....etc, etc, etc... Kaccayanagotta Sutta
Validus said:You can name it, but names are just names...and to do so is to form attachment to both name and form, so this too is incorrect.
"And what is mentality-materiality? Feeling, perception, volition, contact and attention — these are called mentality. The four great elements and the material form derived from the four great elements — these are called materiality. So this mentality and this materiality are what is called mentality-materiality. Sammaditthi Sutta
Validus said:First, there is no independent self, because all is interdependent- thus all is both empty (shunyata) and impermamnent (anicca). It is true that there is an entity named Dan Hettmannsperger, or "Validus" -but this "being" is made up of five aggregates which are at all times changing.
Validus;64854 said:I strongly suggest that you put it aside and re-read my post more carefully.
Validus;64868 said:Then you are locked in the Hell with no doors.
Ven.HengYu;43708 said:Dear fofooThank you very much for your kind words and informative post. I suppose I better start my answer by saying that the Buddha was a Hindu.
stuka;65136 said:The Buddha was not a hindu at all. Hinduism did not exist at all in the Buddha's time. The Buddha went his own way, which was quite apart from the way of beliefs and speculative views of those religions that eventually turned into hinduism.
Validus;65201 said:Well...Siddartha Gautama would not have recognized the word "Hindu" 2,600 years ago...but it is not inaccurate to call him a Hindu since that word denotes an ethnicity as much as a religion (There are Jews who don't believe in God...they are still "Jewish" nonetheless, agreed?).
What we currently call "Hinduism" did exist in the time of the Buddha. The oldest religious text in the world is the Rig Veda, a Hindu scripture that pre-dates the Buddha by more then a 1,000 years.
I'm glad to see that degree in Sophistry you earned is keeping you busy.