When did the gods become literate?

nanda chandran vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Nov 9 18:27:27 UTC 1999

Julio writes :

>Rather, it seems that what the Buddha condemned was to speculate
>about what *does not exist*, such as a self, and neither Hiinayaanists nor
>Mahaayaanists seem to have incurred such fault.

Then why do you think he replies in the negative to the brAhmana
samnyAsin Vacchagotha, when the latter questions him about the
eternality or non-eternality of the world? Is that anything in
relation to the self?

And why too does he say that the TaghAgatha is free from all views
because none of the views is conducive to withdrawing from the
world, to the understanding the of four noble truths, meditation and

The Buddha condemned "all" views and not merely the view of the Self.
And please show me one single instance from the historical PAli canon - just
one - where he positvely says that there's "NO" self - not where he says the
skandhas are not the Self, the mind is not the Self etc by which only the
non-identity of the thing referred to, with the Self is negated, but not the
Self itself - but where without doubt he
absolutely denies the Self.

This misinterpretation of the Buddha's anatta is a misinterpretation
of the Middle Way itself and a very usual one in places where only
Buddhism prevails (Tibet, Lanka etc). For without knowledge of BrAhmanic
philosophy, Bauddha philosophy itself cannot be understood in its proper
perspective. For both grew together and without knowledge of one, knowledge
of the other is like knowing only one side of the coin and is on shaky

To know why a permenant Self - ofcourse it may not be right to call it
Self - is needed to explain empirical experience and knowledge, please
read ShankarAchArya's Brahma SUtra BhAshyam.

>Your very interpretation of what the Buddha condemned seems to
>assume the existence of some self-existent Reality, precisely what
>the Buddha condemned.

In the chapter on "Examination of nirvAna" in the MUlamAdhyamaka KArikA,
NAgArjuna says if one truly understood what existance and non-existance
means, then one would know why nirvAna is neither. Please understand this
well, before making your conclusions about the Buddha's or NAgArjuna's view
of Reality.

>So it would be better if we considered Buddhism in its three different
>categories - TheravAda, HinayAna and MahAyAna.

>>What is called Theravaada falls into what is called Hiinayaana by
>>those who call themselves Mahaayaanists, both in terms of tenets
>>and purpose.

I just made that distinction so that we could distinguish between
the PAli schools and the Samskrutic schools. And if I remember right,
in MahAyAna polemics, the MahAyAnists themselves differentiate the
Bauddhas into three classes - let me confirm this.

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