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March 21, 2007


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and by the way,those who regard Nirvana as extinction in a literal sense, robbing it its purely allegorical meaning; or saying such nonsenese as "Nirvana cannot be experienced".. they should read AN, the book of the tens, Anisamsavaggo, Number 6

Here, Ananda, the bhikkhu is perceptive thus:- This is peaceful, this is exalted, such as the appeasement of all determinations, giving up of all endearments, destruction of craving, disenchantment, cessation and extinction(nibbànanti). Ananda, in this manner, there is that concentration to the bhikkhu, abiding in which, in earth he has no perceptions of earth, in water he has no perceptions of water, in fire he has no perceptions of fire, in air he has no perceptions of air, in the sphere of space, he has no perceptions of the sphere of space, in the sphere of consciousness, he has no perceptions of the sphere of consciousness, in the sphere of nothingness, he has no perceptions of the sphere of nothingness, in the sphere of neither perceptions nor non-perceptions, he has no perceptions of the sphere of neither perceptions nor non-perceptions. In this world, he has no perceptions of this world. In the other world, he has no perceptions of the other world. Yet he is perceptive.


Frauwallner argued that the Buddha started from the Samkhya position and did never break with it in the book kojizen cited. He there writes that in Samkyha, the self is the passive observer, and the Buddha`s aim was, according to Frauwallner, to free the self from all wordly sorrows. I am not aware that Frauwallner later departed from that view in his book "Die Philosophy des Buddhismus". Instead, he insisted more or less that this was the reason for the Buddha`s silence on the well known questions.

I consider it with being in the same spirit as "the not-self strategy" of Thanissaro, the practical way understandable by the average man to detach from the skandhas, not as an ontological statement that there exists no self. I see it like Radhakrishnan: The Buddha made the true spirit of the indian genius expressed in the Upanisads available for everyone. A.P. Buddhadatta also said that Georg Grimm rediscovered that the doctrine of the Buddha was the work of a genius, enabling the average man to relize their self indirectly, that is realizing what it is not, without getting involved in subtle speculation about a "True Self" that can lead the philosophical uneducated man astray easily.

Thanks for posting the excerpt!

He [the Buddha] does not say that we should know the true self, but that we must not regard as the self (âtmâ, p. attâ) that which is not the self. For otherwise craving clings to this false self, and thus brings about an entanglement in the cycle of beings. And salvation takes place not through our becoming consciousness of the true self, but through our recognizing as not-self (anatmâ, P. anattâ) all that is falsely regarded as the self, and so detaching desire therefrom.. — Erich Frauwallner (Geschichte der indischen Philosophie, vol. I, 1953)

The topic is controversial, but the evidence seems to be clear. Serious scholars argued from the beginning the way Thanissaro put it, such brilliant geniuses as Frauwallner bein among them. It is only because of Sectarian Dogma of the surviving schools and nowdays dominant sects that the flat rejection of a self is the dominant view. Far from judging of what is the only right view, it is clear that the picture we are presented today in favor of "no-self" is historically unbalanced, as well as not justifiable without the Abhidhamma.

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