Yoshizen's Blog

Contradiction in Agama (Nikaya) Sutra

The scripture called Agama (Known as Nikaya in the Theravada sect) is the oldest

group of the Buddhist’s scripture written down from the recited oral heritage

kept mouth to mouth for 200 years.   Since they came from the memories of the

original followers, we should expect that they are the closest to the

Lord Buddha’s real words though —– were they ?

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—– Use your common sense and good imagination.

Think about the text, kept purely in the memories, taught mouth to mouth for 200 years

where in the society, everybody else was believing and talking completely different idea.

Lord Buddha was the only one, teaching the impermanence of the soul = or denying the

permanence of the Self (Atoman).  —– Against this, all others were believing the

perpetual soul (Atoman) and believing reincarnation, hence the man is suffering in the

endless cycle of Birth and the Death (of which the Hindu people call Samsara.)

This idea gradually seeped into the original words.

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And the time when the oral heritage was written down, the people who took the task 

were the Vedic Brahman. Because, they were the only people who knows write and read, 

and has learned the Veda.   Of course, the Veda teaches the perpetual soul, Atoman and 

its reincarnation.   Therefore for those Brahman, the teachings of No-Self, Anatoman is

nothing but an absurd idea.   Naturally, when they wrote down the recited texts of the

teachings, they couldn’t understand the alien idea, so that they changed it to the words

which made more sense for them.  And to show off their writing skill, they decorated the

text with a lots of glorious addition, such as the name of deities and kings etc not

mention the new fancy stories.

—– As a result, the Scripture Agama or Nikaya ended-up to be a mix-up with Hinduism.

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Amazingly, this mess is still continuing today and you can easily see the situation.

The translated script of Agama (Nikaya) is available in the Net, though as you may expect,

they are quite hefty amount.    Such as the one, “here is the link”.

And “this one is an extract” with good commentary and the explanation of the historical

background.   The author of this extract, Dr. Thomas Tam seemed to be a quite profound

scholar of Buddhists scripture though, he was showing the deep spell of the Vedic idea.

So, he was writing “The following passage does not appear to carry any religious message.

It is just a vignette of a moment of the Buddha’s life.

“It was a dark night, raining lightly, with flashes of lightning. The Buddha said to Ananda:

“You can come out with the umbrella over the lamp.” Ananda listened, and walked behind

the Buddha, with an umbrella over the lamp. When they reached a place,

the Buddha smiled.   Ananda said: “The Buddha doesn’t smile without a reason.

What brings the smile today?” The Buddha said: “That’s right!  That’s right!

The Buddha doesn’t smile without a reason. Now you are following me with an umbrella

over a lamp.   I look around, and see everyone doing the same thing.”” [S-1150] “

This was the passage I’ve quoted in the “Test of Selflessness” (though, Since I’ve read it

many years ago, wording of my memory was not exact) — As I said in the post, this was how

Lord Buddha demonstrated what “Selflessness should be”, but Dr.Tam thought it has

religiously no significant. = This is the very situation how “So called” scholar is

understanding  the Buddhism. —– If this passage was seen “No Significant”  how PhD

could talk about the selflessness or the Void in Buddhism. 

[]

There was the another passage the author was saying that “This was the evidence that

Lord Buddha had the concept of reincarnation”

“Did the Buddha talk about reincarnation? In the Diverse Agama Sutra, there are

several passages that the Buddha had referred to it. The following is an example.

The Buddha told the monks: “Let’s say the whole earth becomes a big ocean.

A piece of wood with a hole floats on it, drifting with the waves, and being blown by

winds from all directions.   There is a blind turtle that sticks out its head once every

 hundred years. Will it meet this hole?”

Ananda said: “Not possible, if the blind turtle is in the ocean’s east, the driftwood 

may be in the west, south, north, all directions.   They may not meet.”

The Buddha told Ananda: “Hard as it may for the blind turtle to meet the driftwood,

it may still be possible.  For an ignorant person to regain his human form, however, it

is much more unlikely to happen.   Why? It is because these people don’t follow the

principles of the dharma.   They don’t do good deeds. They kill repeatedly, with the

strong ones bullying the weak, and sinned without end.   That’s why for those who do

not understand the four noble truths, they better start to learn and practice them

diligently…” [S-328]

—– Can you read this in such context ?  

The words “regain human form” did mean reincarnation ?

(wasn’t that meant just “regain sanity to be a human” ? )

Do you agree with his wishful thinking ?

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Lord Buddha brought the aspect of the Karma into the Dharma.

By definition of its word, Dharma should be the one which keeps its own attribute

= keeps mean never change.   Though, Karma affects.   And it is the dynamic driving

force.   Therefore the karma in the Dharma mean, it is the constantly changing huge

mechanism hence, there is no permanence. = Non can stay permanent as the 

existence of everything is relying on the others.   And as a soul is dependent to its body,

 no permanent body mean no permanent soul (Self, Atoman).

 And this is the very basis of the teachings of No-Self.   No-Self = No-atoman (Anatman)

mean no remaining soul after death = no possibility of reincarnation.

= No past life which will “Cast” next life could exists = Therefore, there was no “Cast” in

the Lord Buddha’s follower’s sangha. This was why his teachings were so revolutionary.

Though, this idea couldn’t be accepted in the Vedic, Hindu society.

So, they changed the story and started to call

Lord Buddha as one of their Guru.   What a contempt.

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Though this tendency is still active today

= insatiable appetite to find an evidence among the scripture, the

Lord Buddha’s words mentioning “Reincarnation”.

Obviously, it is nothing but absurd that if the teachings of the “Impermanence and

the Selflessness” containing “Perpetual Soul reincarnates to the Next Life, hence

having the suffering from the endless cycle of Birth and the Death (Samsara)”.

As a matter of fact, we can see lords of such words in the Agama / Nikaya though

as I aforesaid, they were nothing but the mix-up or expression for a convenience and

Lord Buddha’s stance was still the same “There was absolutely no answer to the

silly question, what would happen after a death”.

This NO answer was not just a rack of word but the strongest denial with despise.

—– You might got your eyes clear.

Now look around and check so-called books about the Buddhism.

How many this kind of absurdities you can find ?

___/\___

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Moksa / Moksha

Time to time I encounter the people who use a word Moksa or Moksha.

Most of the case they are not a Buddhist but somewhat around of it, such as Herbalist,

Acupuncturist, Psychoanalyst, or so-called New-age type of people who knew or read

something about “Higher state of Consciousness” kind.  (Buzz word “Higher” would

satisfy the Ego = I’m better than others. 😀  —– thus,  able to sell more books)

Yet still, a sect of Buddhism, Theravada who supposed to maintain the older form of

Buddhism, is using this word Moksha instead of Nirvana.

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Even among the Mahayana Buddhists, their understanding of the Buddhism is to deal with

this endless cycle of re-birth / Samsara, and to close this cycle is the Nirvana.

And most of the Buddhists believe, this is the fundamentals of the Buddhism.

This must be the biggest blunder and a fraud in the human history.

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This matter has been the most grievous headache to decipher Buddhism to me.

Lord Buddha’s teaching has broken the tradition and the popular belief of the

perpetual soul.   As everything is in the Karma, relating and depending each

other, non can remain for ever.   Naturally, when the body has died, the mind,

the soul resided in there, ceased to exist = So, this is the end of the suffering of

the person, hence it is the Nirvana.

So that, how come, why after one’s death, the person

has to suffer rebirth, to keep having the trouble of so-called Samsara   ? ? ?

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Utterly contrary to popular belief, the idea of Samsara was not what

Lord Buddha taught. —– I haven’t traced all of his words in the scriptures still,

just give a rational thought,  it is obviously THE self-contradiction of which NO

Lord Buddha would have made.

Lord Buddha might have used the word “Samsara” for a sake of convenience,

when he talked to mass audience who was not educated but

at least know it mean the trouble of the life.  —– Assuming, if

Lord Buddha said, “My teaching will save you from the trouble of Smsara

—– What he meant was   “Trouble of the  IDEA  of Samsara”   since,

such IDEA itself is nothing but a false DELUSION which fooled the people.

Lord Buddha needed to teach and save the people who has been suffering

from a fear of such deluded IDEA,  saying  ” Don’t worry no such re-birth

would ever happen,  since the soul wouldn’t remain after the death”  (But

people’s fear is a cash-cow of  Guru and Monks, they changed the story)

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It seemed, this “Story-Change” had happened in the earliest stage of the Buddhism history,

long before even the Agama Sutra was written.   Considering that Theravada sect is using

a word Moksha which was originated from a popular Cult then who taught the idea of

Samsara and the Moksa, this mixed-up must be happened long before the birth of

Mahayana Buddhism.

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The IDEA of said ancient Cult was that all the life-form born as its own stage of progression

from the lowest to highest,  hence this idea became the Cast System in the Hinduism.

And according to the one’s deed, if the one did good enough, the one will reborn in the higher

cast but did bad goes back to the lower, even down to be a beast.  This cycle of Rebirth is

the Samsara,  and only the highest will get ultimate  Moksa to end this cycle.

Lord Buddha totally against this IDEA,  hence in his Sangha, all the followers were

treated as equal  (NO cast),  and he taught, ultimate goal can be reached in one  life

as Nirvana  (NOT the Hindu idea of Moksa which may takes several lives to reach ).

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Lord Buddha’s teachings were “How to acquire the mind-set [Detachment

Mushin, Selflessness] to deal with harsh reality in life, and to see the TRUTH”.

= The Truth, “No such things like SELF exists, hence nothing to be Reincarnated”

and to live in this truthful life, the one can reach peaceful Nirvana.

He did not teach a product of  imagination, far from it, he fought against it.

—– If you believe otherwise, please show me a FACT of Rebirth.

Lord Buddha was not such idiot to teach dubious imaginary story.

___/\___

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Order in Disorder (2)

Before the Buddhism evolved into Mahayana, the followers try to understand the existences in each

definition, in order, such as described in the Abidharma Kosa, and tried to fix the rules,  so that,

in effect,  made the person into the orderly ideal TYPE.

Then, the Buddhists realized that there is no such things like an orderly type nor

orderly existences —– no order is the order.

Like the nature, even a Hurricane or a Tsunami are also a part of the Dharma, not mention a Death.

Try to impose an ideal TYPE or the imagined ORDER and branding anything else are evil,  is

the human invention, and such thinking is nothing but the delusion.

In contrast to [see the Dharma as it is ], — [try to impose the idea over the Dharma ] is

the fundamental difference between Mahayana and Hinayana.

Accept the Dharma as it is, accept the human as human not an ideal TYPE,  was

the starting point of the Mahayana Buddhism.

non

From his earliest period, Buddha’s teachings consists of the Four Noble Truth, in which

Buddha defined that the Life is suffering, getting ill and getting old then to die —– far from any

ideal TYPE of the life. —– but this was what Buddha did find.

And it took 500 years for the followers to realize what it’s really meant.

Still, if the situation of the life is confined only to this,

Buddha wouldn’t have taught his enlightened wisdom of —– how to deal with

this apparently hopeless situation.

The Buddha’s answer was,  against this disorderly situation (Samsara),  to live the life

in Mushin (which can be acquired through the practice)  would open the way to live without

fear or negative thought,  and away from any negative effect of ego and the delusion.

—– therefore lead to the peaceful Nirvana.

non

Only the rules what Buddha found was the Rule of the Karma though, as he also explained the

constantly changing nature of the Dharma (which include ourself),  this Rule still having unknowable

hence,  no-order again.

Yet still,  strangely you might think,  this uncertainty still retains the overall direction of the Karma.

(Which is the direction of the Dharma) —– situation constantly changes,  occurrences seemed random,

still we pick up what the one should pick up = on the end the one goes to certain direction.

Only the matter is, to pick up right one. —– To do this, its need to have clear eyes

and absolutely calmed, exposed sensory. —– here, the Buddhist’s practice comes in.

non

To the absolutely opened eyes and the mind of no-mind = Mushin,  even a minute sign of

something happening will be seen.    And as the mind is open, usually an out of scope kind

of irrelevant matter (which can be crucial to one’s  life)  may also be seen.

Stereotype,  self-imposed casting always limiting one’s perception and cause wrong thinking.

But, creative, progressive idea and the direction is over this barrier —– why you find this ?  why you ?

is the indication of [ because you were assigned to do this] —– this is what the direction mean.

To the outsider,  the nature / the Dharma looks No-Order though,  to the open mind = Mushin,  it looks no

problem —– since he could see the direction and be in contended as in the right direction.  He stays calm.

Non

– – – “ Oh, C’mon, can’t you see, the World is disintegrating

“Yes I can see, its true.  But because of that, somebody has been assigned to work hard and dealing with it.

So, if he asks your help.   Help him.   If not, don’t interfere him, or worrying about it yourself.

If the Dharma in deed had the intention for the World to sink,

the Dharma didn’t assign him to solve the problem”

Put faith on the Dharma.  🙂

___/\___

PS :  It may look nicer to shout against the Nuclear Power or multi-national Capitalists etc. while pretending

to be a conscience of Planet Earth though,  I don’t think it is not necessary a typical Buddhist’s attitude,

unless the one was born to be a campaigner.    Because, the Buddhism is not stand on the mouth but practice.

Before open the mouth,  better stop wasting energy, electricity etc,  stop buying bottled water,  fizzy drink,

give up the car etc etc.   Those practices may be in your hand but, —– ? ? ?  how many people in the world

can stop the Nuke ?  —– the drive to change the policy of some country to give up Nuke was not by the

campaign,  but by an accident in Japan which costed hundreds of billions of money.  Money speaks louder.

In emotion, everybody feel ” What a hell, Japanese government is doing (or not doing !)”  though, it need to

think what an emotional shout can affect the actual policy there  —– yet, on the Election, they vote to the

well-known TV characters or comedian —– ? ? ?    (What’s  going on there)

Anyhow,  no-one’s conscience or emotion would give a halt to earthquake or tsunami  😀

(To the Planet Earth, it was a small wobble to release a tension (so, it was a rational adjustment.  Not a

disorderly passion ) though, for us, minute human being, it was a devastating quake) we are utterly powerless.)

—– but this is what the nature / Dharma is.

non

CYBER SPACE — (and Z80 mini-computer)

It is 25 years  since  Dot Com was first created,  and 20 years since  WWW  was invented.

One of my old colleague,  Camera Critics,  Kazuo Taira  was one of the pioneer of the PC networking, using

acoustic telephone modem and he organized the Photographer’s Computer Network in Japan.

It’s shame Mr.Taira  is no longer with us.  Unfortunately  we in the creative field tend to lose the friends who

tend to be a heavy drinker.  ( Do you know,  the average life-span of Rock musicians are 38 something,

of cause it may not caused by the alcohol alone )

And since then, our lives are more and more entwined with the Computer and the Internet.

Nearly 20 years ago,  I made a small computer using Z80 CPU,

designed from the scratch.  ( Left  Photo)

( I would say, it’s a half sculpture, half computer )

Its operates on only 10 MHz clock speed and having 512 Kb memory,

which needs to be programmed by Machine Code.

—– In electronics, to design and to build is one thing and

to make it works is the another.

Eliminate all the glitches and instability etc etc are the hard part.

—– As the definition,  computer operates on the data in the

memory,  once the memory was corrupted,  it needs to re-program from the start.

( It was the time of  UV erasable  memory,  before easy to re-program  Flash-memory )

After this experience,  I became a computer skeptic ” Computer can make mistakes ” hence, even now

I don’t use Credit Card and I rather like to use hard-wired design,  not soft control.

In this reason, I honestly admire the person who can design and manufacture a  10 GHz device which works

in any environment  reliably.

——————–

In another side of the revolution,  the Internet is becoming almost a monster, and the Necessary Evil.

Since  I  started to use Email,  I wrote very few letters  which  needed to be a signed evidence.

—– The trouble of Net is their intrusive activities.  As everybody knows,  Google / Gmail is

watching our use of web and the contents of communications word by word. ( Cookies, hidden files etc)

When I heard about  Facebook,  I instantly felt their dubious nature  ” Why do they need to have so much

detailed personal information ? “—– obviously they are  the salable commodities.

Without having such profitable return,  what is the point to provide free service.

Personal info’ used to be sold to the marketing / direct mail company before.  Now the Internet provider,

social networking site are the Marketing/ Advertising/ Direct-mailing/ Delivery Service  All-in-one.

(When  I got an Email from one of our Old-boy telling, he has reached to the grand age, the Ads on right hand

column are all cheap Funeral service and the international flower delivery — Great, thank you very much :-D)

So that from the beginnings I didn’t use my real name to open Email account, and never sign up the

Website which asks Date of Birth.  ( Still, now Yahoo knows my DOB, obviously from the content of

the mail between me and my friend. )

With full name and the DOB, the one can hack-in and get the information of National Health, and

together with the Address,  it is possible to access the Banking information.

——————–

To live in peace, we have to be aware ” We are in the battle field ” which the Buddhists call  Samsara.

With technology and the Internet,  we opened the Pandora’s Box.   It’s a funny situation, as in the Informations

we are becoming almost naked,  in the same time our contact itself becoming even more indirect.

Just by  the chain of characters on the screen, a 30 years guy pretending as a 15 years old boy,  chatting

with a 40 years woman who pretending 13 years old girl. —– Yuck,  how  beautiful,   😀

——————

Zen  rely on the Direct Transmission,  still what I’ve been trying here, is the triple, quadruple indirect

communications.  In order to type, I converted my feeling to the lingual form, and express it in the

bloody English, which typed chain of ASCII code traveled through unknown node here and there and

end up —– how do I know where.

As I thought,  I never met Buddha himself,  or  I have any idea , how many times the Mantra was translated

or re-written,  and  2500 years apart, someone try to reach the same conclusion as Buddha,

( in the point of indirectness, this is the far-most remote situation )

still, if its works,  a talk to others through  Internet may works too.

Thats what I’m thinking.

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