« The continuity of spirit | Main | Different messages »

June 12, 2012


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Eisel Mazzar: Others who read Pali don't agree with the likes of Rahula. One, in particular, is Joaquin Perez-Remon. You might get his abridged dissertation, Self and Non-Self In Early Buddhism.

Incidentally, if you'd like to consult a specialized book (that is indeed rather hard to find) devoted to the subject of the oft-forgotten historical school of Buddhists who would agree with your interpretation (that "no soul" doesn't mean "no soul") here it is:

Leonard C. D. C. Priestley,
Pudgalavāda Buddhism:
the reality of the indeterminate self

My own opinion, of course, is incompatible with your own, but that's not the point: the point is that people shouldn't have opinions about Shakespeare without actually reading Shakespeare (and, believe me, you can meet some people in China who have only seen movies about Shakespeare in bad Chinese translation, and who come out of the cinema just as confused about the philosophy of Hamlet as most white folks are about Buddhism) --and, by the same token, people who are not reading the original sources (in their original contexts) need to refrain about having opinions about things they haven't read or seen for themselves.

Walpola Rahula was a mere mortal like ourselves; he wasn't right about everything, but he wasn't wrong about everything, either.

It is interesting to see a self-professed "Zennist" using the Pali canon as his authority.

You're welcome to try, but the thing is about the Pali canon: it's written in Pali.

Some of us can read Pali, and some of us can't.

The Buddha's philosophy isn't recorded in English, and it isn't recorded in Japanese, either.

With all best wishes, I really don't think that you're in a position to refute Walpola Rahula (as imperfect and refutable as he may be) on the interpretation of Pali texts. You might be 10 years of hard work away from that --and it would be 10 years of hard work very much unrelated to the Zen tradition (and Zen practice) perhaps even incompatible with it.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo