Unique teachings in Buddhism

Discussion in 'Buddhism' started by OAT, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. Zenda71

    Zenda71 New Member

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    This has been an interesting conversation, that's for sure. Could you clarify what you mean by the above? If the mind cannot experience the "ultimate" (whatever that is), then what does? And if the ultimate cannot be attained or taught (and I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you), then why bother to teach about it and why should practitioners practice? (In your view of course.)
     
  2. OAT

    OAT Where is the TAO?

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    Again I have to highlight that this is just my intellectual speculation:

    I believe that the Buddha was saying that the ultimate is not something within the range of experience of our mind. I also believe that the Buddha was saying that there was no substance that exists within the range of experience of our mind that we can say yes this is what gave rise to everything. In other words, the Buddha was saying that monism is incorrect. But everything according to the Buddha arose from non-recognition of the ultimate, ie. mind and matter arose from non-recognition of the ultimate. If so, then of course, it is not possible to use mind or matter to access then ultimate. Because neither mind nor matter can access the ultimate, the ultimate cannot be taught since teaching involves the use of language which itself arose from the mind. Since everything arose from the non-recognition of the ultimate, the mind in meditation can experience non-duality or a unified whole of everything. So non-duality experienced would be a cognitive non-duality and not an ontological non-duality. The ultimate can be "experienced" but not with the mind. There has to be a leapover from the mind to the ultimate to "experience" the ultimate.
     
  3. Zenda71

    Zenda71 New Member

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    Thanks for the reply, Oat.
     
  4. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    I don't think there is anything "important" that is unique to Buddhism. The only unique qualities are artifacts of culture. The truly important aspects of Buddhism: inquisitiveness, introspection, investigation, patience, compassion, and wisdom can be found almost everywhere... because the source for those gifts exists everywhere.
     
  5. OAT

    OAT Where is the TAO?

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    I guess the difference is that it is in Buddhism that all the "truly important aspects" come together in a coherent whole and in accord with the reality of reality.
     
  6. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste OAT,

    thank you for the post.

    the Pali records: annasi vata bho Kondanno.

    is what the Buddha said to Kondanna during the First Turning of the Wheel of Dharma Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta: Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion (SN 56.11)

    Mahakasyapa was ordained in the first Sangha and convened the first Council, indeed, he is a towering figure in the early Buddhadharma. as it wasn't until many centuries later that Ch'an arose, per se, as a distinct school of the Mahayana. Chinese literature, of which the Flower Sutra is part, has a very interesting history... quite unlike that of the West and even the Middle East, it is very often the case that a new writer would write under an older, famous writers name or would attribute texts, poems, etc to other august personages. indeed, the whole thing smacks of an air of deception yet the Chinese by and large didn't see it that way, they saw it as lending an air of legitimacy to new ideas, techniques and technologies that a reluctant populace wasn't eager to embrace. for the ancient Chinese if "the Old Master" or Kung Fu'tze said it then it was worthwhile and worthy of consideration. such phenomena still happens in China.. and in alot of the rest of the world "science" has taken the place of the old Chinese masters. in any case, attributing the origin of Ch'an to Mahakasypa is certainly within the Chinese character to lend legitimacy to the new form of Buddhist practice sweeping over the land brought by the Boundless One, Bodhidharma.

    an interesting view but it is not one which i share as i do not hold consciousness to be merely an epiphenomena of matter. perhaps by the term "mind" you mean to include more than simply consciousness?

    i would also tend to disagree that the fact that a phenomena cannot be emcompassed by language that makes it, in and of itself, unexperienceable. i would suggest that the most mundane act of eating a persimmon is incapable of being expressed in any manner which can convey knowledge other than an individuals like or dislike of the taste. yet we would all tend to agree that we can experience the taste of the persimmon even without being able to convey the knowledge of that taste.


    hmm.... well.. he taught no thing which is somewhat different than nothing :)

    the culimination of the praxis is outside of the philosophical view. indeed, the Ri Me movement in Tibetan Vajrayana puts an emphasis on learning the other schools, taking teachings and refuges within their tantric lineages in order to preserve them. Tibetan Vajrayana literature is repleat with beings from the Initial Spread to the New Spreading that have Awakened and attained Liberation and i hope you didn't misconstrue my post. you mentioned that Dzogchen seems to present a rigpa from which all things arise and my point is that Madhyamika (in general) and Prasangika (in particular) do not derive their view from an understanding of rigpa and that experience of rigpa is not the culmation of the tantric path but i'm loath to speculate further as it probably isn't very helpful or useful.

    i would say that such a view is not too disimilar to the Sautantrika view and it's absolutely spot on that the Buddha proclaims that the Dharma is "beyond conjecture, to be experienced by The Wise."

    it's rather like the old Taoist mondo:

    "the purpose of a fish trap is to catch fish, once the fish are caught the trap is forgotten.

    the purpose of a rabbit trap is to catch rabbits, once the rabbit is caught the trap is forgotten.

    the purpose of words to to convey ideas, once the idea is caught the words are forgotten.

    show me the person that has forgotten words for that is the person with whom i'd like to talk."

    sentient humans use concepts but concepts aren't reality :)

    metta,

    ~v
     
  7. OAT

    OAT Where is the TAO?

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    Hi Vajradhara,
    I read the sutta previously. I did not see anything there to suggest a mind-to-mind transmission unless you are implying that all realizations are mind-to-mind transmission.

    I am not sure if Ven Kasyapa in the Pali Suttas was the same person as Ven Mahakasyapa in the Lotus Sutra.
    I don't know, but I had the impression that Chan can trace their lineage back to Ven Mahakasyapa.
    That is okay. Like I say, it was only my own intellectual speculation. I dare say, few would agree with me.
    Unless one can access the mind of another, there is no way that one can convey an experience in words. I can only guess at your experience of eating a persimmon only through my own experience of eating a persimmon. If I did not have the experience of eating a persimmon, no matter how much words you use to describe your experience of eating a persimmon, that experience cannot be conveyed to me.
    Unless the sutra that I read was translated wrongly or my memory failed me, I distinctly remembered that the Buddha said he taught nothing. Yes he taught "no thing" but in the end he taught nothing as well.
    Agreed. It does not matter what kind of raft one uses to cross a river. After crossing, the raft can be discarded.
     
  8. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    This is not at all something unknown in the Middle East, which produced such "pseudepigraphic" literature by the bucketsful, some of these pieces eventually coming to be regarded as having actually been written by the ascribed author, although during the heyday of this practice it was understood that these were in the nature of "homages" (should not be looked at as "forgeries"). The "Wisdom of Solomon" and the "Epistles of John" were accepted into the Catholic Church's canon even when it was still understood that Solomon and John had nothing to do with their authorship ("we receive epistles, superscribed John, as we receive the book of wisdom, written in the name of Solomon by men with a spirit of friendship toward him" -- Muratorian canon); "2nd Peter" was similarly received as a doctrinally sound book "although Peter's authorship is flatly denied by the most ancient authorities" (Eusebius). So-called "Second Isaiah" is a similar Jewish example. Among books never considered for inclusion into the "canon", several works were ascribed to Clement and Ignatius (from whom we have a much smaller body of genuine text).
     
  9. TripleGem

    TripleGem New Member

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    vipassana is the unique contribution of Gotama the Buddha.

    Morality and concentration were already being taught. But the Buddha took it one step further with his discovery of vipassana.
     
  10. OAT

    OAT Where is the TAO?

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  11. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    If there were any Hindus on this forum I'm confident there'd be the opinion expressed that there was nothing unique in Buddhism.

    s.
     
  12. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Snoopy,

    I think some people would say the Buddhist idea of no soul is unique.
     
  13. OAT

    OAT Where is the TAO?

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    Previously, having read up somewhat on Hinduism it was difficult for me to see main differences. However, after reading the article whose link I've provided here, I begin to understand why I had the difficulty. If the article is correct, then modern Hinduism borrowed heavily from Buddhism.
     
  14. Sam Albion

    Sam Albion akaFrancisKing:ViveLeRoi!

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    for me... the division of the two truths into "relative and absolute". Hopefully, studying such brings one to the conclusion that there is/isn't an "ultimate truth".
     
  15. Nicholas Weeks

    Nicholas Weeks Bodhicitta

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    I have been away for a few years and this thread is 10 years old, so maybe this unique aspect of Mahayana was mentioned already:

    The vowed intention and practice of returning for countless lifetimes to assist others to find and tread the path to buddhahood - in short the bodhisattva path - seems unique.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
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  16. StevePame

    StevePame Administrator

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    Good to see you, Nicholas!
     
  17. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    Looking at the earliest Buddhist works, which include the Aṭṭhakavagga and the Pārāyanavagga . . . I think the manner or way in which the Buddha detached himself from certain vices, such as lust, for example, can be said to be unique. In a response to Magandiya about what I assume to be his offering of a beautiful woman to him, the Buddha says he does not desire her (and note the way he frames it):


    Here he inverts outer beauty and thinks about the interior, which is not beautiful. I don't know of any scriptures that articulate the inversion of beauty in this way. Perhaps in Hinduism? Some Buddhists (and I cannot remember which ones) have been known to meditate on the interior to detach themselves from desiring outer beauty. Anyway, the Buddha's response raises Magandiya's interest in the Buddha's teachings:


    The Buddha responds accordingly:


    As the text goes on, we see Magandiya is dumbfounded:

     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  18. Nicholas Weeks

    Nicholas Weeks Bodhicitta

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    Ahanu,

    Another method Buddha used is more exotic, involving his direct intervention. I have forgotten which disciple of his it was, but this lad was absolute smitten (or smutten) with the most captivating, gorgeous lass he had ever met. So Buddha said "Have you ever seen the women of a heavenly realm?" Then Buddha took the young man to one of the heavens and when the lad compared the plainest ones up there with his earthly lovely one, the latter girl was very ugly & repulsive. Buddha told the lad that if you follow what I teach you, you will be reborn in that very heaven. With that encouragement the man forgot about his earthly girl and worked to fulfill his new exalted goal.
     
  19. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    Hello Nicholas,

    Where is this story recorded?
     
  20. Nicholas Weeks

    Nicholas Weeks Bodhicitta

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