Author Topic: Zen books  (Read 17160 times)

Subramanian.R

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Re: Zen books
« Reply #105 on: March 27, 2013, 05:27:02 PM »
PrajnA and SunyatA;


continues.....

1. By the 'inner things' are meant the six consciousnesses (vijnAna). When they are said to be 'empty' is meant that all our
psychological activities have no ego soul behind them, as is commonly imagined by us.  This is another way of upholding the
doctrine of Anatman or Anatta.

2. The 'outer things' are objects of the six VijnAnas and their emptiness means that there are no self governing substances
behind them. As there is no Atman at the back of the psychological phenomena, so there is not Atman at the back of the
external world.  This is technically known as 'egolessness of things'.  Primitive Buddhism taught the theory of Anatman in us,
but it was by the Mahayanists, it is said, that the theory was applied to the external objects also.

3. We generally distinguish between the inner and the outer, but since there is no reality in this distinction it is here negated.
The distinction is no more than a form of thought-construction, the relation can be reversed at any moment, there is no permanent
stability there. Change the position and what is inner is outer and what is outer is inner. This relativity is called here emptiness.

4. When things outside and inside are all declared empty we are led to think that the idea of emptiness remains real or that this
alone is something objectively attainable. The emptiness of emptiness is designed to destroy this attachment. To maintain the idea
of emptiness means to leave  a speck of dust when all has been swept clean.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.               

Subramanian.R

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Re: Zen books
« Reply #106 on: March 28, 2013, 12:34:07 PM »

PrajnA and Sunyata:

continues....

5. The 'great emptiness' means the unreality of space. Space was conceived in olden days to be something objectively,
but this is regarded by the Mahayanists as empty.  Things in space are subject to the laws of birth and death, that is,
governed by causation, as this all Buddhists recognize; but space itself is thought by them to be eternally there.  The
Mahayanists teach that this vast vacuity also has no objective reality that the idea of space or extension is mere fiction.

6. The 'ultimate truth' means the true being of all things, the state in which they truly are, apart form and subjectivity.
This is something not subject to destruction, not to be held up as this or that, to which nothing can be affixed. Therefore
this ultimate truth is empty.  If real, it is one of those objects that are conditioned and chained to the law of causation.
Nirvana is but another name. When Nirvana has something attachable to it, it will no more be Nirvana. It will be seen that
'emptiness' is here used in a somewhat different sense from number 3, when objects inner or outer are declared 'empty.'     

7 and  8:  These may be treated together.  Samskrita means things that have come to existence owing to conditions of causation.
In this sense, they are created. Asamskrita are things not subject to causation, such as space. To say that the Samskrita are empty
is another way of saying, that the world external as well as internal is empty.  Existence is sometimes divided into Samskrita and
Asamskrita, sometimes inner and outer, sometimes the five Skandhas, etc.,  according to the points of view necessitated by
course of reasoning.  All these distinctions are, however, only relative, and have no corresponding objectivity, and are, therefore,
all empty.  The Asamskrita exist because of their being contrasted to the Samskrita.  When the latter have no reality, the former
are also no more. They both are mere names and empty.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva,   
 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Zen books
« Reply #107 on: March 29, 2013, 02:18:26 PM »

PrajnA and Sunyata:

continues...

9.  This emphasizes the idea of all 'things' being absolutely empty. 'Ultimate' means 'Absolute'. The denial of objective reality
to all things is here unconditionally upheld. The 'emptiness of emptiness' means practically the same thing.  The room is swept
clean by the aid of a broom. But when the broom is retained it is not absolute emptiness.  Nay, the broom, together with the
sweeper, ought to be thrown aside in order to reach the idea  of Atyanta-sunyatA.  As long as there is even one dharma left,
a thing or a person or a thought, there is a point of attachment from which a world of pluralities and, therefore, of woes and sorrows
can be fabricated.  Emptiness beyond every possible qualification, beyond an infinite chain of dependence -- this is Nirvana.

10. When existence is said to be beginningless, people think that there is such a thing as beginninglessness, and cling to the idea,
and in order to do away with this attachment, its emptiness is pronounced. The human intellect oscillates between opposites.
When the idea of a beginning is exploded, the idea of beginninglessness replaces it, while  in truth these are merely relative.
The great truth of SunyatA must be above those opposites, and not yet outside of them.  Therefore, the PrajnApAramitA takes
pains to strike the middle way and not yet to stand by it.   For when this is done, it ceases to be the middle way. The theory of
Emptiness is thus to be elucidated from every possible point of view.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         

Subramanian.R

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Re: Zen books
« Reply #108 on: March 30, 2013, 05:13:33 PM »

PrajnApAramitA:

PrajnA and SunyatA:

continues.....

11. There is nothing perfectly simple in this world.  Everything is doomed to final decomposition.  It seems to exist as a unit,
to retain its form, to be itself, but there is nothing here that cannot be reduced to its component parts. It is sure to be dispersed.
Things belonging to the world of thought may seem not to be subject of dissolution.  But  here change takes place in another form.
Time works, no permanency prevails. The four Skandhas - VedanA, SamjnA, Samskara, and VijnAna -- are also meant for ultimate
dissolution and annihilation.  They are in anyway empty.

12. Prakriti is what makes fire hot and water cold, it is the primary nature of each individual object.  When it is declared to be empty,
it means that there is no Atman in it, which constitutes its primary nature. And that the very idea of primary nature is an empty one.
That there is no individual selfhood at the back of what we consider a particular object has already been noted, because all things
are products of various causes and conditions, and there is nothing that be called an independent, solitary, self originating primary
nature.  All is ultimately empty, and if there is such a thing as primary nature, it cannot be other than empty.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         

Subramanian.R

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Re: Zen books
« Reply #109 on: March 31, 2013, 06:39:48 PM »

PrajnAparAmitA:

PranA and SunyatA:

12. Lakshana is the intelligible aspect of each individual aspect.  In some cases, Lakshana is not distinguishable from
primary nature.  They are inseparably related. The nature of fire is intelligible through heat, that of water through its
coolness.  The Buddhist monk finds his primary nature in his observance of the rules of morality, while the shaven head
and patched garment are characteristic appearance. The PrajnApAramitA tells us that these outside perceptible aspects
of things are empty because they are mere appearances resulting from various combinations of causes and conditions.
Being relative they have no reality.  By the emptiness of self aspect or self character (svalakshana) therefore, is meant that
each particular object  has no permanent and irreducible characteristics to be known as its own.

Arunachala Siiva.
     
 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Zen books
« Reply #110 on: April 01, 2013, 06:46:31 PM »

PrajnA and sunyatA:

14. The assertion that all things (sarvadharma) are empty is the most comprehensive one, for the term dharma denotes not
only an object of sense but also an object of thought.  When all these are declared  empty, no further detailed commentaries
are needed.  But the PrajnAparAmitA evidently designs to leave no stone unturned in order to impress its students in a most
thoroughgoing manner with the doctrine of Emptiness. According to Nagarjuna, all dharmas are dnowed with these characteristics:
existentiality, intelligiblity, perceptibility, objectivity, efficiency,, causality, dependence, mutuality, generality, individuality, etc.,

But all these characterizations have no permanence, no stability, They are all relative, and phenomenal. The ignorant fails
to see into the true nature of things, which is eternal, blissful, self governing, and devoid of defilements.  To be wise simply
means to be free from these false views, for there is nothing in them to be taken hold of as not empty.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.       

Subramanian.R

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Re: Zen books
« Reply #111 on: April 03, 2013, 06:31:16 PM »

PrajnA and SunyatA:

14. The kind of emptiness is known as unattainable (anupalambha). It is not that the mind is incapable of laying its hand on it,
but there is really nothing to be objectively comprehensible.  Emptiness suggests nothingness, but when it is qualified as unattainable.,
it ceases to be merely negative.  It is unattainable just because it cannot be an object of relative thought cherished by VijnAna.
When the latter is elevated to the higher plane of the PrajnA, the emptiness unattainable is understood. The PrajnApAramitA is
afraid of frightening away its followers when it makes its bold assertion that all is empty, and therefore it proceeds to add that
the absence of all these ideas born or relativity does not mean bald emptiness, but simply an emptiness unattainable.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.       

Subramanian.R

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Re: Zen books
« Reply #112 on: April 04, 2013, 06:24:43 PM »
PrajnA and SunyatA:

The previous post should read as para 15.

With the wise this emptiness is a reality.  When the lion roars, the other animals are terrified, imagining this roaring
to be altogether extraordinary, something in a most specific sense 'attained' by the king of the beasts. But to the lion
the roaring is nothing, nothing specifically acquired by or added to them. So with the wise, there is no 'emptiness' in them
as an object of thought.  Their attainment is really non attainment.

16,17,18:

These may be treated together.  Existence is viewed here from the point of being (astitva) and non-being (nAstitva) and these
two views, whether taken individually or relatively, are said to be empty.  AbhAva is the negation of  of being, which is in one
sense of emptiness.  SvabhAva means 'to be by itself', but there is no sch being it is also empty.  Is then the opposition of
being and non being real?  No. It is also empty, because each term of the opposition is empty.             

What 'emptiness' really means I believe has been made clear by these detailed explanations.  Emptiness is not to be
confounded with nothingness. Nor is one to imagine that there is an object of thought to be designated as emptiness.,
for this idea goes directly contrary to the nature of emptiness itself. Nor is to be defined as relativity, as is done by some
scholars. 

It is true that the PrajnApAramitA teaches that things exist mutually related as results of causal combinations and therefore
they are empty. But for this reason, we cannot state that relativity and emptiness are synonymous. In fact, it is one thing to
say that things are relative, but quite another to say that they are empty.  Emptiness is the result of an intuition and not the
outcome of reasoning, though the use here of the particle inference, 'therefore' gives this effect.

continued....

Arunachala Siva.       

Subramanian.R

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Re: Zen books
« Reply #113 on: April 05, 2013, 02:55:13 PM »

PrajnA and SunyatA:

continues....

The idea of Emptiness grows out of experience, and in order to give it a logical foundation, the premise, is found in relativity.
But, speaking strictly logically, there is a gap between relativity and Emptiness.  Relativity does not make us jump over the gap.
As long as we stay with relativity, we are within a circle. To realize that we are in a circle and that therefore we must get out of
it, in order to see its entire aspect, presupposes our once having gone beyond it.  The experience of Emptiness has been there
all the time when we began to talk about relativity.  From Emptiness we can pass to relativity but not conversely.  This analysis
is important in the understanding of the PrajnApAramitA philosophy.  It is the PrajnA that sees into all the implications of Emptiness,
and not the intellect or VijnAna, and they are wise who have opened their PrajnA eye to the truth of Emptiness.

If the Mahayana system were built upon the idea of relativity, its message would never have called out such responses as we
see in its history in India, China and Japan.  That the teaching of Emptiness has actually achieved wonders in the spiritual life
of the Far Eastern peoples is the irrevocable proof of its deep insight into the abyss of human consciousness.

Emptiness for these reasons, is called the unattainable (anupalabdha) or unthinkable (acintya), showing that it is not a notion
to be subsumed in any categories of logic. It is synonymous with suchness (tathatA).

TathatA or SunyatA is thus truly the object of study for the Bodhisattvas.

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Arunachala Siva.             

Subramanian.R

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Re: Zen books
« Reply #114 on: April 06, 2013, 06:49:17 PM »
PrajnA and MAyA:

One of the favorite analogies used by the PrajnA philosophers when they wish to impress us with the doctrine of Emptiness,
is that of mAya, and they are frequently called by other teachers, the Mayavadins. What is the meaning of this mAyA simile

Let me quote a few passages and see what mAya means:

The Buddha asked Subhuti: O Subhuti, do you think mAya to be different from Rupam and Rupam from mAya?  Do you think again,
mAyA  to be different from VedanA, SamjnA, samskAraa and VijnAna; and VedanA, SamjnA, Samskara and VijnAna from mAya?

Subhuti said; NO, Blessed One. they are not different, If Rupam is different from mAya, it is not Rupam; if mAya is different from
Rupam, it is not  mAya.  mAyA is Rupam and Rupam is mAyA.  The same can be said of VedanA, SamjnA, Samskara and VijnAna.

The  Buddha; O Subhuti, do you think the five clinging Skanadas constitute Bodhisattvahood or not?

Subhuti said: O blessed One, they do.

The Buddha: O Subuhti, and you should know that these five clinging Skandas are no more than mAya itself.       

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Zen books
« Reply #115 on: April 07, 2013, 05:26:34 PM »

continues....

Buddha continues:  Why?  Because Rupam is like mAyA and VedanA, samjnA, SamskAra and VijnAna are like mAya. And these
five skandhas and six senses are what constitutes Bodhisattvahood and, therefore, the Bodhisattva too is like mAyA.  Those
who wish to discipline themselves in the PrajnApAramitA should do so as if disciplining themselves  in mAyA.....But those
Bodhisattvas who have first started in their disciplining exercises may be terribly frightened and led astray, if they are not
properly guided by good spiritual teachers.

Such a discourse as this, is indeed, if the hearer is not properly instructed by a great competent Master of the PrajnApAramitA,
will lead us to the follies of libertinism. Listen further to this:

Buddha: It is like a magician (mayakara) conjuring up his magical art a large of beings at a cross road. As soon as they are seen
to come into existence they vanish.  O Subhuti, what do you think?  Do they really come from some definite locality?  Are they
really pass away somewhere?  Are they destroyed? 

Subhuti: O no, Blessed One.

Buddha: It is the same with the Bodhisattva.  Although he leads innumerable sentient beings to Niirvana, in reality there are no
sentient beings to be led to Nirvana.  Those who are not frightened at all, even when listening to such discourses as this, are
true Buddhasattvas well fortified in the Mahayana armor.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     
 

Hari

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Re: Zen books
« Reply #116 on: April 08, 2013, 07:31:02 PM »
Very good work, Sri Subramania! :) These excerpts you post are so enlightening.
Web Page dedicated to the Great Sages:
https://someoneelsebg.000webhostapp.com/Sages/HTML.html

Subramanian.R

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Re: Zen books
« Reply #117 on: April 08, 2013, 07:43:10 PM »
PrajnA and mAyA:

continues....

Subhuti said to Purna:  The Rupam of he magical creation is neither in bondage nor released from it.  So with his VedanA,
SamjnA, SamskAra and VijnAna  -- they are neither in bondage nor released from it.  The same is to be said of suchness
of his Rupam, and the other four skandhas. Nothing of him has ever been in bondage, and he is therefore never released from
anything.  Why?  Because of  non actuality (asadbhutatvA), there is for him neither bondage nor emancipation. Because of
detachment (vivikatvAt), there is for him neither bondage nor emancipation. Because of no-birth (anutpannatvAt), there is
for him neither bondage nor emancipation.  Those Bodhisattvas who realize this are really abiding in the MahAyAna and are
well furnished with the MahAyAna armor.

Then with Devaputras asked Subhuti: Are all beings like mAyA or are they not?

Subhuti said: O Devaputras, they are all like mAyA; again they are like a dream (svapna). Why? Because no distinction is to be made
between all beings and mAyA or a dream. There is in between them no dualistic contrast. Therefore, all beings are like mAyA and a dream. The four orders of SrAvakahood as well as Prayetkabudddhahood; they are like mAya and a dream; The four are like mAyA
and a dream; supreme enlightenment itself is like mAyA and a dream.

The Devaputras: If this is so, is Nirvana, too mAyA and a dream?

Subhuti: Nirvana is indeed like mAyA and a dream and how much the rest of things!

 continued....

Arunachala Siva.                 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Zen books
« Reply #118 on: April 10, 2013, 07:46:36 PM »

continues...

The Devaputras:  Why so?

Subhuti: Even when you declare that there is something superior to Nirvana, I tell you that this is something too is not more
than mAyA and a dream.  For there is between them no difference, no dualistic contrast to me made out. 

From this point of view, it is natural for followers of the PrajnApArimitA to conclude that 'Buddha is mere name (nAmdheyea mAtram).
Bodhisattva is mere name. PrajnApArimitA is a mere name.  And these names have no real origination. (anadhinirviritta).

Names that have never known their real origination are like a void space (AkAsa) whose whence and whither are in no way
indicable, and which is thus altogether beyond all forms of predictability,  In other words, this void is SunyatA. The Buddha's
teachings is in accordance with the nature of all beings, which is beyond attainability,  This truth knows no hindrances anywhere.
It is like a vacuity of space which is not hindered by anything. It refuses to take any predicates. As it is beyond all forms of dualism,
in it there are no contrasts, no characterization is possible of it. As there is in it no opposition, it knows nothing that goes beyond it.
As there is no origination, it knows nothing beyond it. As there is no origination, it leaves no traces behind it. As  there is in it,
no birth and death, it is unborn.  As there are in it no pathways to mark its transformation, it is pathless.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.   

Ritter

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Re: Zen books
« Reply #119 on: April 29, 2014, 04:17:32 AM »
The best book on Zen Buddhism ever is this:

Roshi Philip Kapleau "The Three Pillars of Zen"

And its sequel:

Roshi Philip Kapleau "Zen: Dawn in the West"