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Just to be clear, I wasn't asking this because i think the validity of The Buddha's history and his story are particularly important, i just get curious about how a legend such as that came into being. It would be even more interesting if it were fabricated in my opinion!
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The Dharma Express / Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
« Last post by stevie on May 21, 2019, 10:49:02 pm »
How does one practice the Eightfold Path?  What is the scriptural basis for this practice?  Take the case of Right View for example.  View is how you see things.  Changing how you see things can be difficult, if not impossible for most people.  Seeing as the Buddha often described the practice he was teaching, what are the sutras that describe the practice as he taught it?

Dear  Dharma friends,

from my perspective the Maha-cattarisaka Sutta MN 117 may be taken as basic reference
1. because it makes clear that right view is the forerunner of right resolve, right speech, right  action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration which entail right knowledge and right release.
2. because it makes clear that right view may be of two kinds: with and without effluents.
3. because it makes clear that right view without effluents is trancendent.
4. because it makes clear that based on right view without effluents all the other path factors also are transcendent.

Now what is the meaning of 'transcendent'? The meaning of 'transcendent' is 'not belonging to this world'.

Thus the Eightfold Path may be practiced with effluents and without effluents. Practicing it with effluents is practicing it in a way the world may practice it and practicing it without effluents is practicing it in a way the world cannot know it because it is beyond the reach of the world.

 :anjali:
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Buddha Basics - Beginner Zone / Re: Origins of Siddhartha goutama
« Last post by VisuddhiRaptor on May 20, 2019, 10:22:54 pm »
Naturally, we can know nothing certain about this. However, the story appears the same from all sources, such as Sukhamala Sutta & Magandiya Sutta.
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Buddha Basics - Beginner Zone / Re: Origins of Siddhartha goutama
« Last post by stevie on May 20, 2019, 10:22:36 pm »
Dear IgnoringTheAversion,

the basis of the Buddha's teaching is oral transmission followed by written records and commentaries and interpretations.

Basically there are at least two approaches to the Buddha's teachings: 1. the academic approach of buddhologists, intellectuals and the like and 2. the pragmatic and/or faith-based approach of practitioners.

Since this is the beginner's section I think that approach 2 is the one that applies and is relevant.

You are asking about 'real knowledge'. In my sphere of experience 'real knowledge' in the context of the Buddha's teachings is about the following questions:
Why did I contact the Buddha's teachings in the first place? What has been my intention? What kind of experience did cause me to contact the Buddha's teachings?
Is there something about the Buddha's teachings that resonates with me and causes me to stay with it?
Did the Buddha's teaching yield benefits in terms of quality of life so far?
And finally since I am currently trapped in a human sphere of experience I do not want to ignore the corresponding existential questions involved in that sphere of experience considering the certainty of death, the uncertainty of the time of death and the fact that neither friends, resources nor my body will be of help when it comes to death (thanks to Lamrim for reminding me again and again of these basics!  <3): Can the Buddha's teaching be of help for me in this context? Is it worth the life-time spent considering that every spent minute will never come back and shorten the remaining life-span?

Of such kind are the questions that are relevant for me in terms of 'really knowing'.
Quote
"Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.065.than.html

 :dharma: :anjali:
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Buddha Basics - Beginner Zone / Origins of Siddhartha goutama
« Last post by IgnoringTheAversion on May 20, 2019, 02:31:38 pm »
Before on this forum there was and academic paper supporting the legitamacy of the pali canon. Does the story of siddhartha leaving the nobility and searching for liberation come more from oral or written history, or equally enough from both? How much can we really know about this?
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The Dharma Express / Re: What is dharma more specifically?
« Last post by VisuddhiRaptor on May 20, 2019, 04:51:08 am »
Is there a clear definition or examples for this term?

The Indian word ‘dharma’, used in Indian religions, means ‘that which supports’. From a religious perspective, this means that which brings ‘salvation’. From an evolutionary perspective, this means that which brings ‘survival’ (physically, socially & psychologically).

Therefore, in Buddhism, when ‘dhamma’ is translated in different contexts to mean ‘phenomena’, ‘things’ (including Nibbana), ‘law’, ‘truth’, ‘practise’, ‘practices’, ‘realisation’, ‘fruit’, etc, what all of these different contexts & meanings have in common is they are things necessary & used for ‘salvation’ or ‘survival’, i.e, the ending of suffering.

The following are some different contexts in which the word ‘dhamma’ is used in the Pali suttas. Note: the translations below will often differ from known translations:

1. Dhamma as ‘things’ or ‘phenomena’

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“All things are not-self” — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering. This is the path to purification.

Dhammpada 279

2. Dhamma as ‘ultimate’ or ‘higher truth’

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[4] On whatever occasion a monk trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&…out focusing on impermanence’; trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&…out focusing on dispassion’; trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&…out focusing on cessation’; trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&…out focusing on relinquishment’: On that occasion the monk constantly sees dhammas in & of themselves — ardent, clearing comprehending & mindful — putting aside covetousness & distress with reference to the world. He who sees with wisdom the abandoning of covetousness & distress is one who watches carefully with equanimity, which is why the monk on that occasion remains focused on dhammas in & of themselves — ardent, clearing comprehending & mindful — putting aside covetousness & distress with reference to the world.

Anapanasati Sutta

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Monks, whether or not there is the arising of Tathagatas, this property stands — this steadfastness of the Dhamma, this orderliness of the Dhamma: All conditioned things are impermanent. All conditioned things are unsatisfactory. All things are not-self.

AN 3.136

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Then the thought occurred to me, ‘This Dhamma that I have attained is deep, hard to see, hard to realize, peaceful, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise. But this generation delights in attachment, is excited by attachment, enjoys attachment. For a generation delighting in attachment, excited by attachment, enjoying attachment, this/that conditionality & dependent co-arising are hard to see. This state, too, is hard to see: the resolution of all fabrications, the relinquishment of all acquisitions, the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding. And if I were to teach the Dhamma and others would not understand me, that would be tiresome for me, troublesome for me.’

MN 26

3. Dhamma as ‘path factors’ or ‘skilful practices’

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O Bhikkhus. The footprints of all land-bound creatures fit within the footprint of the elephant; the elephant’s footprint is said to be the supreme footprint in terms of size. Similarly all skilful dhammas have heedfulness as their base, converge within the bounds of heedfulness. Heedfulness may be said to be supreme amongst those dhammas.

AN 10.15

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All dhamma [practises] are rooted in zeal [chanda iddhipāda].

All dhamma  [practises] come into play through [wise] attention.

All dhamma  [practises] arise with contact.

All dhamma [practises] converge on [having mindfulness at] feelings.

All dhamma [practises] head towards [the development of] concentration.

All dhamma [practises] are governed (supervised) by mindfulness.

All dhamma [practises] have wisdom as their highest (apex).

All dhamma [practises] have release as their heartwood.

All dhamma [practises] gain a footing in the deathless.

All dhamma [practises] culminate in Nibbana.

AN 10.58

4. Dhamma as ‘mind objects’ (including Nibbana)

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Dependent on the intellect & dhamma there arises consciousness at the intellect.

MN 148

 5. Dhamma as ‘mental states’

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Mind precedes all dhamma. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts suffering follows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox.

Mind precedes all dhamma. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts happiness follows him like his never-departing shadow.

Dhammapada 1 & 2

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I see no other dhamma which is as much a cause for arising of as-yet unarisen skilful dhammas and the decline of already arisen unskilful dhammas as heedfulness. When one is heedful, as-yet unarisen skilful dhammas will inevitably arise and unskilful dhammas that have already arisen will inevitably decline.

AN 1.58

 :fu:
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The Dharma Express / Re: What is dharma more specifically?
« Last post by stevie on May 19, 2019, 11:15:54 pm »
if "Dharma" is buddha's wisdom, but "dharma" is everything (or as you call it, "conventional phenomenon"), wouldn't it be the reverse: that every instance of "Dharma" is an instance of "Dharma"?

Dear IgnoringTheAversion,

sorry but since you are applying the identical expression instance of "Dharma" (with capital 'D') two times in your equation I am not able to get what you are trying to express.

In the context of my post above when saying 'every 'dharma' is an instance of 'Dharma' the meaning has been that every conventional phenomenon ('dharma') is an instance of the inseparability of conventional reality and ultimate reality ('Dharma').

Now you are saying that 'Dharma' could also mean 'Buddha's wisdom' which is not what I have said. Actually 'Dharma' can mean 'Buddha's wisdom' only if we take it to be the Buddha's teachings as a manifestation of Buddha's wisdom exclusively. However I have said that  the Buddha's teachings are only a part of the conventional aspect of Dharma, although an inevitable part as a framing of the conventional.

However if one realizes the Buddha's teachings completely and thus 'embodies' (metaphor) the inseparability of conventional and ultimate reality, i.e. 'embodies' the Dharma, then such a state may be called the realization of Buddha wisdom.

 :anjali:
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The Dharma Express / Re: What is dharma more specifically?
« Last post by VisuddhiRaptor on May 18, 2019, 10:01:09 pm »
"Dharma" literally means "that which supports" or "upholds" life so life is free from problems.
Quote
The Classical Sanskrit noun dharma (धर्म) or the Prakrit Dhaṃma are a derivation from the root dhṛ, which means "to hold, maintain, keep". Hence, dharma holds one falling down or falling to hell.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharma

Each Indian religion of a doctrine of "dharma", namely, a doctrine, view or theory about how life is best lived. The dharma of the Buddha is called "Buddha-Dhamma".

Therefore, in Buddhism, when "dhamma", dependent on context, is translated as "phenomena", "law", "truth", "teachings", "path", "practises", etc; or in India when "dharma" is most commonly understood as "duty"; all of these things are dharmas that support, uplift & maintain life so life has as least problems as possible.

My post is how "dharma" should be understood.

 :fu:
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Pure Land / Re: Amida is a real Buddha?
« Last post by Dharma Flower on May 18, 2019, 05:59:32 pm »
The Pure Land sutras speak of Amida as a Buddha from galaxies away, eons before the Big Bang. This is meant to convey the transcendent nature of Amida as Dharma-body itself, the ultimate nature of Buddhahood.

If we insisted that Amida be an ancient alien, a Buddha from a distant planet, then we might look for the Pure Land with a telescope or space ship and miss the point entirely of Buddhist scriptures, to be a finger pointing at the moon:

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Consider, for example, a person instructing us by pointing to the moon with his finger. [To take words to be the meaning] is like looking at the finger and not at the moon. The person would say, ‘I am pointing to the moon with my finger in order to show it to you. Why do you look at my finger and not the moon?’ Similarly, words are the finger pointing to the meaning; they are not the meaning itself. Hence, do not rely upon words.
http://shinranworks.com/the-major-expositions/chapter-on-transformed-buddha-bodies-and-lands/

Reciting the name of Amida Buddha, Namu-Amida-Butsu, we entrust in Dharma-body itself leading us to the Pure Land, the formless realm of Nirvana. The true Pure Land transcends anything that science fiction can imagine: 

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First of all, is it possible to determine the size of Buddha, whether great or small? Even though the size of Buddha in the Pure Land is described in a sutra, it is the manifestation of the Dharmakaya-as-compassion (relative truth). When one attains enlightenment of Dharma-as-it-is (ultimate truth), how can size be a factor, since such shapes as long or short, square or round, do not exist, and it transcends color, whether blue, yellow, red, white, or black?
http://shinmission_sg.tripod.com/tannisho/tannisho/
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The Dharma Express / Re: What is dharma more specifically?
« Last post by IgnoringTheAversion on May 18, 2019, 03:29:40 pm »
This has helped clear some thinks up for me, even though you've lost me a little here stevie:




I would define Buddha Dharma thus:
Quote
Dharma is the inseparability of the conventional and the unfathomable ultimate.
Since the conventional includes all that can be expressed with words and all that can be thought about the Buddha's teachings are part of the conventional aspect of Dharma - but not only a part among others: the Buddha's teachings are the inevitable framing of the conventional since only the Buddha's teachings reveal a way of life that corresponds with the unfathomable ultimate. To call conventional phenomena 'dharma' is consistent, since although conventional phenomena have conventional names they are ultimately unfathomable, inexpressible with words and inaccessible by thought. In that sense every 'dharma' is an instance of 'Dharma'.

 :anjali:








if "Dharma" is buddha's wisdom, but "dharma" is everything (or as you call it, "conventional phenomenon"), wouldn't it be the reverse: that every instance of "Dharma" is an instance of "Dharma"?






















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