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Bob G
20 December 2007, 10:38 AM
From a form of Taoism

Yuan-shih T'ien-tsun -- The First Principal

"Although Yu-huang is the High God, there are other abstract deities above him. He rules; they simply exist and instruct. First and foremost is Yuan-shih T'ien-tsun - the First Principal. He has no beginning and no end. He existed "before the void and the silence, before primordial chaos." He is self-existing, changeless, limitless, invisible, contains all virtues, is present in all places and is the source of all truth.

meez
20 December 2007, 03:45 PM
Thanks Bob G.

Bob G
20 December 2007, 07:11 PM
Hello and you are very welcome Meez :-)
----------------------------------------

Some cosmology of Taoism:

"All cause and effect is due to the Dao, the Way. The Way can be explained as the reason or cause of everything which followed.

Before Dao there was: Wu-wu (Not Nothing).
With Dao there was: Wu Ji (No Limit).
From Wu Ji, evolved Hun Tun (Chaos).
In Hun Tun, Tai Ji (Great Pole) became the first fixed point in space and time.
From Tai Ji came the Tai Yi (Great Change)
Tai Yi went through two stages...


Tai Chu (Great First)
has Xing (Form)
Tai Shi (Great Beginning)
has Qi (Breath)Xing and Qi combined to create...

Tai Su (Great Primordial)
has Zhi (Substane)
The first substances has Yin and Yang. All things terrestrial and celestial fall into one of five groups, the Wu Xing (Five Elements). The five elements are...
Wood
Fire
Earth
Metal
WaterThe five elements are usually in a state of flux. They can be arranged in a number of sequences, but the two usually encountered are the productive sequence and the destructive sequence.



Productive sequence
Wood burns, creating...
Fire leaves ashes, creating...
Earth contains ore, creating...
Metal melts, creating...
Water nourishes plant life, creating (back to Wood)...
Destructive sequence
Wood draws strength from, destroying...
Earth pollutes, destroying...
Water puts out, destroying...
Fire melts, destroying...
Metal chops down, destroying (back to Wood)...The five elements are also used to symbolize different things...


Wood
Direction: East
Season: Spring
Color: Green
Fire
Direction: South
Season: Summer
Color: Red
Earth
Direction: Center
Season: None
Color: Yellow
Metal
Direction: West
Season: Autumn
Color: White
Water
Direction: North
Season: Winter
Color: Black"

yajvan
21 December 2007, 05:44 PM
Hari Om
~~~~~~




Productive sequence


Wood burns, creating...
Fire leaves ashes, creating...
Earth contains ore, creating...
Metal melts, creating...
Water nourishes plant life, creating (back to Wood)...
Destructive sequence

Wood draws strength from, destroying...
Earth pollutes, destroying...
Water puts out, destroying...
Fire melts, destroying...
Metal chops down, destroying (back to Wood)...
The five elements are also used to symbolize different things...


Namaste and hello BG,
with the principles of the 5 elements above... what element holds all, or provides a 'space' for them to exist in?

From a simular scheme of the 5 elements you depict above, in many schools of thought ( Jyotish, Samkhya, etc), akasha ( pure space) is recognized as the most subtle, followed by vayu, tejas some like to call agni, jala and prithvi ( space, air or gas, fire or energy, water or fluid, and earth or material). That is, akasha provides a space for things to exist.


just wondered what a Tao view of this would be...

pranams

Bob G
21 December 2007, 07:33 PM
Namaste and hello also Yajvan,

I'm not a qualified Taoist teacher...but the term "emptiness" can be found in Taoism just as it can found in other ways. Anyway, I think most would agree that the main or most often recognized teacher of Taoism is Lao Tzu. Here is an excerpt (one of my favorite) from his work namely the -Tao Teh Ching - that may (?) be of help in relation to your question:

Chapter 42.
TAO gave birth to One,
One gave birth to Two,
Two gave birth to Three,
Three gave birth to all the myriad things.

All the myriad things carry the Yin on their backs and
hold the Yang in their embrace,
Deriving their vital harmony from the proper blending
of the two vital Breaths.
What is more loathed by men than to be "helpless,"
"little," and "worthless"?
And yet these are the very names the princes and barons
call themselves.
Truly, one may gain by losing;
And one may lose by gaining.
What another has taught let me repeat:
"A man of violence will come to a violent end."
Whoever said this can be my teacher and my father.

Here is a link to an on line version of the book if you are interested:
http://terebess.hu/english/tao/wu.html

yajvan
22 December 2007, 06:49 AM
Hari Om
~~~~~~

Namaste and hello also Yajvan,

...but the term "emptiness" can be found in Taoism just as it can found in other ways.:

Chapter 42.
TAO gave birth to One,
One gave birth to Two,
Two gave birth to Three,


Namaste BG,
thank you ... the Chapt 42 outliness the events of creation... a fine thing.
Yet akasha as an element is not alluded to. No worries, it still exists.

For me, it is the most profound element. Think of the Creator, and how infinitely wise S/He is to not even think, but to know space is needed, and it is there, done. It is the one of the most subtlest elements we can percieve. We see and use space every day. Yet we never occupy the same space even for a second. Even if you sit still and do not move, you have moved through space and occupy new space, a different place in the universe.

I by My icchā śhakti ( indepent power of will, of intent) wish to be many ( creative diversity). But where shall I reside? Where shall I put mySELF into to? Then became akasha, space. Akasha ( ākāśa) is considered the body of Brahman. Why so? It is infinite, without bounds, no seems, no edges, no end.

Some say our SELF is this ākāśa, filled with consciousness.

pranams

Bob G
22 December 2007, 10:47 AM
Hello Yajvan,

Direct correlation with, to, or between Hinduism and Taoism is not a major objective or concern to me. I see Taoism as standing on its own.

Btw, imo I feel that the first sentence in chapter 42 alludes to more than the mind of reason can really correlate, name or relate to via: "TAO gave birth to One,"

Thus with the use of reason if - One is already one - how can there be something beyond one that gave birth to what was already oneness...?

Further and in using a similar line of reasoning, how can something return to a state of Oneness unless it was in a state of two and then when attaining an awareness of a state of - oneness - where can that oneness then return to but itself?

I believe an alluding to like answer to my limited rhetorical foray above and your earlier question is further explained in chapter 43 if you are interested?

Good day.

yajvan
22 December 2007, 12:45 PM
Hari Om
~~~~~~


Hello Yajvan,
Direct correlation with, to, or between Hinduism and Taoism is not a major objective or concern to me. I see Taoism as standing on its own.



Namaste BG,
Yes, this is fine. I respect your position. How I learn is via comparing and contrasting and that was the nature of my question.


Thus with the use of reason if - One is already one - how can there be something beyond one that gave birth to what was already oneness...?

yep, how can there be?


how can something return to a state of Oneness unless it was in a state of two and then when attaining an awareness of a state of - oneness - where can that oneness then return to but itself?

I think there is no return, because IT ( Brahman from my school of thinking) never stops being ONE.. but to us, we see diversity. This diversity is 'life' to us, and to HIM, it is the play and display of His Infinite Creative Intelligence doing what it does.

We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are ...The Talmud


pranams

Bob G
22 December 2007, 02:07 PM
Hello Yajvan,

I agree with your apparent line of reasoning to a point... although I'd use the description that "Oneness" is an aspect, or the first and the last Aspect of that which can not really be named. Thus in my way of thinking "Brahman" is only a name for the nameless, where-as creation and or Creator can be given names such as Oneness.

Were you interested in the very short Chapter 43? (viewable through the on-line resource)

Good day.

yajvan
22 December 2007, 03:31 PM
Hari Om
~~~~~

Hello Yajvan,

I agree with your apparent line of reasoning to a point... although I'd use the description that "Oneness" is an aspect, or the first and the last Aspect of that which can not really be named. Thus in my way of thinking "Brahman" is only a name for the nameless, where-as creation and or Creator can be given names such as Oneness.

Were you interested in the very short Chapter 43? (viewable through the on-line resource) Good day.

Namaste and hello BG,

I think I have a few ideas for this post...

If I recall, your orientation of Brahman is the unmanifest. While I concur, Brahman that is explained in the Upanishads is both unmanifest and manifest. That is why It is seen as wholeness. And this dividing line between the two is there due to our (my) ignorance. Once an individual is completely 'Realized' this line does not exist, only wholeness , no nirguna or saguna ( so say the wise e.g. my teacher).
So when we get the aspect of Oneness as you mention above, there is only this Oneness- this Bhuma or Fullness this samasta or holistic view of all.
For Buddhism this may be the Void ( again, I am comparing and contrasting so we find common ground to talk from). We have discussed this void ( sunya). So if I put on my Kasmir Saivism hat , we would recognize this void with the following definition - that which is devoid of all tattvas, that which is devoid of all traces of klesas (past impressions) that is sunya ( I have referenced the term abhava as non-existence in a past post).
The only reason I bring this up is the pure experience of akasa from our last email - one can have that experience of void/sunya. Yet beyond that there too is the fullness of the Absolute. Some call this pure consciousness. It is homogeneous, fullness, perfect Being. And some too can suggest that the experience is that of Void.
Yet a whole book is dedicated to suggesting that there is spanda, vibration or throbbing, the Creative Impulse that is there in this Absolute. This is found in the Spanda karikas.So, the above was offered just as a point of reference - I am not in the 'converting' business and I respect your studies and where you are coming from. For me, I have to translate the POV's into my terms so I can add value and be able to comprehend the subject matter... go figure eh?

Now, Verse 43 , yes I have looked at it:
The softest of all things
overrides the hardest of all things.
Only Nothing can enter into no-space.
Hence I know the advantages of Non-Ado.

Few things under heaven are as instructive as
the lessons of Silence,
Or as beneficial as the fruits of Non-Ado.


Do you care to comment on this verse (sloka)? What are your thoughts?
I gravitate to the line 'Only Nothing can enter into no-space' - as sunya is there, akaska is there.


pranams

Bob G
22 December 2007, 04:32 PM
Yajvan, in regards to this exchange you mention, "I am comparing and contrasting so we find common ground to talk from", I understand because I often do the same; for instance see the following comments and quotes.

I think the term "Mystery of mysteries" used in chapter one of the Tao Teh Ching is excellent!

In Hinduism I've come across what to me is also an excellent teaching regarding the concepts of manifest (if related to being) and unmanifest (if related to non-being) found in chapter one of the Isa Upanisad:

"...Into blind darkness they enter, people who worship non-becoming; and into still blinder darkness, people who delight in becoming.
It's far different from coming-into-being, they say, different also from not-coming into-being, we're told--so we have heard from wise men, who have explained it all to us.
The becoming and the destruction--a man who knows them both together; passes beyond death by destruction, and by becoming attains immortality"

sarabhanga
22 December 2007, 09:52 PM
Namaste Yajvan and Bob,

The great kingdom of magadha was first established around the iron mines of rAjagRha in about 600 BC, and the famous Chaldean empire was founded around the same time (606 BC). vardhamAna jńAtraputra (mahAvIra, the jaina tIrthaŃkara) was born in 599 BC, and Lao-Tzu was born in 605 BC.

There was clearly a wide-ranging philosophical revolution, a cultural and spiritual renewal, which began around 600 BC. The paths of Jainism and Taoism are born from this same revival, and the teachings of Mahavira and Lao-Tzu are closely related ~ and both sages also passed away at about the same time (Mahavira in 527 BC, and Lao Tzu in 520 BC).

And arising from this brave new world, the next generation produced gautama siddhArtha (563 BC to 486 BC) and also Confucius (551 BC to 479 BC). I know little of Confucian thought, but I would guess that the contemporaneous philosophies of Buddha and Confucius are also intimately related.

“The Tao gave birth to the One”

And nara begat nArAyaNa, brahma begat brahmA, the turya begat sattva, and the brahmayoni begat the brahmabIja ~ and in every case it was a “virgin birth”, a veritable “child of a barren woman”.

There are two different “ones”, and the concept of one is indeed twain. There is the perfect turya “One”, all encompassing and always undivided, without any relation to multiplicity; and there is the “one” which exists only in relation to diversity and number ~ the “one and only” (nara) and the “first of many” (nArAyaNa).

In dvaita, the reflective twin is imagined as twain, and one plus one always equals two; but in advaita, the whole is clearly comprehended as only one, and the notion of one plus one never arises, remaining always as One.

Only when diversity is completely removed from the equation does the one become absolutely identical with the One, from which ultimate perspective it was always so.

oM namo nArAyaNAya is the mantra of vaishvAnara.

oM naM naranArAyaNAya svAhA is the mantra of taijasa.

And oM namaH shivAya is the mantra of prAjńa.

Bob G
23 December 2007, 10:26 AM
Namaste Sarabhanga Giri,

Thank you for sharing the interesting historical information and your correlations!

I'm also interested in the mythic (at least to some of us) accounts from Chinese/Taoism that are not unlike many found in Hinduism:

For instance:
Vanquishing evil, the Jade Emperor (from wikipedia)

316

There is a little known myth which tells of how the Jade Emperor became the monarch of all the deities in heaven. It is one of the few myths in which the Jade Emperor really shows his might. In the beginning of time, the earth was a very difficult place to live; a much harsher place to live in than it is now. Men were having tremendous difficulty coping with existence; not only did men have to deal with harsh conditions, but also with all kinds of monstrous beings. At this time, there were also not many gods or deities to protect men. Furthermore, a lot of powerful, evil demons were defying the immortals of heaven. The Jade Emperor was still at the time an ordinary immortal who roamed earth to help as many people as he could. He was, however, saddened by the fact that his powers were limited and could only ease the sufferings of men. He decided to retreat in a mountain cave and cultivate his Dao. He passed 3,200 trials, each trial lasted for about 3 million years. Unfortunately, a powerful, evil entity; a demon of sorts, which dwelt on earth had the ambition to conquer the immortals and gods in heaven and proclaim sovereignty over the entire universe. It went into retreat later than the Jade Emperor. This evil entity retreated itself too and went into meditation to expand its power. He passed through 3,000 trials each trial lasting for about 3 million years too. After it passed its final trial, it felt confident that no one could defeat it anymore. It re-entered the world again, and recruited an army of demons with the purpose of attacking heaven. The immortals being aware of the threat gathered themselves and prepared for war. The gods were unable to stop the powerful demon and all were defeated by it. The Three Pure Ones (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Pure_Ones) were leading the celestial beings at the time. Fortunately, the Jade Emperor finished his cultivation in the midst of this war. He was changing the land to make it more liveable for men and repelling all kinds of monstrous beasts. Suddenly, he saw an evil glow emitting from heaven and knew something was amiss. He ascended and saw that a war was going on, he saw that the demon was too powerful to be stopped by any of the gods present. He went up and challenged the demon, and a battle ensued between them. Mountains shook and rivers and seas toppled; however, the Jade Emperor stood victorious due to his deeper and wiser cultivation, not for might but for benevolence. After totally annihilating the demon, all the other demons were scattered by the gods and immortals. Because of his noble and benevolent deeds, the gods, immortals and mankind proclaimed the Jade Emperor the supreme sovereign of all.

Bob G
23 December 2007, 10:40 AM
...and here is historical information that may be somewhat more traceable:

By Derek Lin
Due to the language and cultural barrier between East and West, it can often be difficult to find reliable and accurate information about the Tao. Misconceptions abound, even from sources that one would normally consider definitive and authoritative. One such misconception, perhaps the most important of all, has to do with the origin of the Tao.

Many people interested in the Tao are still under the impression that Lao Tzu founded Taoism about 2,500 years ago. There is some truth to this, as long we are only talking about philosophical Taoism (Dao Jia) or religious Taoism (Dao Jiao). However, the one thing that most people do not realize is that both variants of Taoism came from a much older tradition, known to the Chinese simply as the Tao. It is not possible for Lao Tzu to be the founder of this ancient tradition for the simple reason that it began at least 2,300 years before his time.

Discerning individuals may glimpse this truth when they come across references to Huangdi, one of the legendary emperors of ancient China. Encyclopedia Britannica identifies him as "a patron saint of Taoism," while Columbia Encyclopedia says: "Along with the semi-mythical Lao Tzu, he was associated in the traditional Chinese folk culture with the founding of Taoism." This is interesting, because Huangdi lived about 4,700 years ago, 2,200 years before Lao Tzu. He could only be a patron saint of Taoism if Taoism already existed at that time. And if he was associated with the founding of it, then Lao Tzu could not logically play the same role. One cannot originate something that has already been around for generations. Thus, most reference works in the West that cite Lao Tzu as the source of Taoism are not completely accurate. We can give Lao Tzu credit for religious Taoism and philosophical Taoism, but not the original Taoism that gave rise to both.
We can see another clue in I Ching (Yi Jing), the Book of Changes. We commonly associate this book with Taoism, but it, too, predates Lao Tzu by more than two thousand years. To Lao Tzu and the Chinese people who lived during his time, the I Ching would be seen in a similar light as the Bible is regarded by Christians today - as an ancient tome of spiritual wisdom. Thus, calling Lao Tzu the founder of Taoism would be like calling a contemporary Christian the founder of Christianity.
It is important to note that Lao Tzu never claimed to be the founder of anything. This is clear in the Tao Te Ching itself, where Lao Tzu speaks of past practitioners. Chapter 15, for instance, is a description of "Tao masters of antiquity" or "those who mastered the Tao in ancient times." The chapter demonstrates Lao Tzu's awareness of the already existing Tao, and his wish to emulate the examples set by revered masters - people who were ancient to him and already historical figures by the time he wrote the Tao Te Ching.

Essentially, the Tao Te Ching was written as a collection of teachings from the original form of Taoism. Lao Tzu presented these teachings in an organized and accessible format. His work revitalized and energized Tao cultivation, so its importance cannot be overlooked. At the same time, it's also important for us to recognize that Lao Tzu was not the one who "invented" concepts like wu wei, p'u, and ziran. Nor was he the first to talk about the significance of silence, harmony, intuition and emptiness.

Who, then, is the true founder of the Tao, if not Lao Tzu? Is it Huangdi? No, as it turns out, there was another figure who came before Huangdi by about a century: Fu Hsi (pronounced foo shee). He is not, and perhaps never will be, identified in Western reference works as the originator of the Tao. However, when we go deeper into research, we can see that the I Ching and the trigrams (Ba Gua, the basis of the 64 hexagrams in I Ching) are attributed to him. Fu Hsi was the first of the legendary emperors of ancient China. His reign marked the starting point of Chinese civilization, and the Tao concept that originated at the same time also reflected the spirit of Chinese culture from this ancient beginning. We can see the evidence for this when we get closer to Chinese culture. In this painting to the right, Fu Hsi is shown wearing furs. Below him on the floor we see the Ba Gua trigrams as well as a turtle. Legend has it that Fu Hsi divined the underlying pattern of the cosmos from the strange markings on the back of a turtle.

Bob G
23 December 2007, 03:03 PM
Hello Yajvan,

"Now, Verse 43 , yes I have looked at it:

The softest of all things
overrides the hardest of all things.
Only Nothing can enter into no-space.
Hence I know the advantages of Non-Ado.


Few things under heaven are as instructive as
the lessons of Silence,
Or as beneficial as the fruits of Non-Ado.


Do you care to comment on this verse (sloka)? What are your thoughts?
I gravitate to the line 'Only Nothing can enter into no-space' - as sunya is there, akaska is there"
--------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes and thanks for your replys; I will make some comments: #1. I think many people simply use the term "chapter" in regards to the verses of Tao Teh Ching; btw, I have no idea of the details of translation related to the Chinese word for chapter into english. #2. Chapter 43 (along with the whole book) is written in a wonderfully uncomplicated way which is very much to the point in my view. #3. I think you have a good correlation to the line, "Only Nothing can enter into no-space", to which I might add (imo) that It never really left except in a limited and temporary form of identification. A possible (?) and rhetorical like Hindu correlation might go something like this: What can pass Brahma's gate but Brahman? (which it never really left...)

Om

sarabhanga
23 December 2007, 09:48 PM
Namaste Bob,

The teachings of Mahavira and Lao-Tzu are closely related.

Mahavira is honored as the founder of Jainism about 2,500 years ago, but this is only the foundation of the shvetAmbara jaina lineage (as distinct from the ancient digambara). Mahavira (just as Lao-Tzu) was in fact the last of a long line of jaina before him.

The very first jina, the first nAtha, the first tIrthaÑkara, was RSabhdeva (“the virile bull man”), whose image goes back to the original sarasvatisindhu civilization (at least 4,500 years ago).

http://in.geocities.com/sarabhanga/pasupati.jpg

As the first tIrthaÑkara, the AdinAtha RSabhdeva is the “patron saint” of Jainism, equivalent with the Huang-Di of Taoism.

Most reference books cite mahAvIra as the founder of Jainism, but Jains understand that he was NOT the first tIrthaÑkara, rather he was the last. And mahAvIra became the last digambara jina of the shvetAmbara lineage by putting on a white cloth, and thus founding the popular religion of Jainism, which had remained hidden away (and simultaneously in full view, i.e. naked to the eye) for countless centuries before its popular “foundation”.

digambara tradition, however, considers the follows of vardhamAna (mahAvIra) as a heretical, and they revere his guru (pArshvanAtha, the 23rd tIrthaÑkara), and the ultimate aim of digambara jaina is to approach (perhaps become) the true “24th element” (the caturviMshatyavatAra or caturviMshatitIrthaMkara), which is ultimately expected (as caturviMshatimAnam, the sum total of twenty-four golden pieces).

The practice of shvetAmbara jaina is more external bhakti, with a dvaita perspective; while the practice of digambara jaina is more internal yoga, with more of a vishiSTAdvaita perspective.

It seems clear that the “Jade Emperor” is only Lord Indra, and I am more than ever convinced that “Mahavira” and “Lao-Tzu” are equivalent conceptions, and likewise “RSabhdeva” and “Huang-Di”.

Is there any particular difference between Jainism and Taoism that is not merely a difference in translation? It seems that the only real distinction between the two philosophies is in the language used. And the original separation of Vedanta and Jaina and the Tao, and also the teaching of Christ, is fundamentally due to translation of the one dharma into different tongues.

The major Upanishads were composed in the first half of the first millennium BC, and it was during this time that the Brahmi, Phoenician, and Aramaic, scripts were developed. And by recording the oral traditions in an easily translatable script, they were effectively released for broad publication.

And I believe that a major factor in the philosophical revolution around 600 BC was actually the codification of the shruti (which had previously only been heard and remember by heart) in written form, which created for the first time what we now consider as “scripture” and spawned various “new” religions, which are in truth only different translations of exactly the same eternal truths. And in the absence of the original oral traditions, the various dispensations have continued to diverge under their own cultural influences, with their original identities masked by the general veil of non-comprehension between different languages and scripts.

The speciation of dharma has occurred along the lines of biological species, and originally identical paths have become different paths only when their previously regular intercourse becomes interrupted by some isolating cause (such as geography and language).

Bob G
24 December 2007, 01:00 AM
Hello Sarabhanga Giri,

I do not have the same view that you apparently have about the different paths mentioned as not really being that different? I do agree that one can make and or see many correlations yet that the differences in paths are also part of the truths of those different paths. (and also the sects within)

What little I know or have heard about Jains includes their strict non-violence that extends all the way to not killing infectious type insects...(I think?) Where-as some Taoists are vegetarians and some are not, some are martial artists and some are not, some are deeply religious and some are not very religious per-se...etc..

Also, your apparently wide-open specualtion of, "It seems clear that the “Jade Emperor” is only Lord Indra" isn't something that I'd say or proclaim to people of either path.

Further, I believe that many of the differences (besides biological) begin in the heavenly realms and then extend all the way through and into all the other realms.

Om

sarabhanga
24 December 2007, 06:27 AM
Namaste,

There is a well known myth which tells of how indra became mahendra sarvadevAnAm, the monarch of all the deities in heaven: vRtrahantA indra (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=14446&postcount=4).

sarabhanga
24 December 2007, 07:15 AM
The Classic of Purity

Lâo the Master said, The Great Tâo has no bodily form, but It produced and nourishes heaven and earth. The Great Tâo has no passions, but It causes the sun and moon to revolve as they do. The Great Tâo has no name, but It effects the growth and maintenance of all things. I do not know its name, but I make an effort, and call It the Tâo.

Now, the Tâo shows itself in two forms, the Pure and the Turbid, and has the two conditions of Motion and Rest. Heaven is pure and earth is turbid; heaven moves and earth is at rest. The masculine is pure and the feminine is turbid; the masculine moves and the feminine is still. The radical Purity descended, and the turbid issue flowed abroad; and thus all things were produced. The pure is the source of the turbid, and motion is the foundation of rest. If man could always be pure and still, heaven and earth would both revert to non-existence.

Now the spirit of man loves Purity, but his mind disturbs it. The mind of man loves stillness, but his desires draw it away. If he could always send his desires away, his mind would of itself become still. Let his mind be made clean, and his spirit will of itself become pure. As a matter of course the six desires will not arise, and the three poisons will be taken away and disappear.

The reason why men are not able to attain to this is because their minds have not been cleansed, and their desires have not been sent away. If one is able to send the desires away, when he then looks in at his mind, it is no longer his; when he looks out at his body, it is no longer his; and when he looks farther off at external things, they are things which he has nothing to do with. When he understands these three things, there will appear to him only vacancy. This contemplation of vacancy will awaken the idea of vacuity. Without such vacuity there is no vacancy. The idea of vacuous space having vanished, that of nothingness itself also disappears; and when the idea of nothingness has disappeared, there ensues serenely the condition of constant stillness.

In that condition of rest independently of place how can any desire arise? And when no desire any longer arises, there is the True stillness and rest. That True stillness becomes a constant quality, and responds to external things without error; yea, that True and Constant quality holds possession of the nature. In such constant response and constant stillness there is the constant Purity and Rest. He who has this absolute Purity enters gradually into the inspiration of the True Tâo. And having entered thereinto, he is styled Possessor of the Tâo. Although he is styled Possessor of the Tâo, in reality he does not think that he has become possessed of anything. It is as accomplishing the transformation of all living things, that he is styled Possessor of the Tâo. He who is able to understand this may transmit to others the Sacred Tâo.

Lâo the Master said, Scholars of the highest class do not strive for anything; those of the lowest class are fond of striving. Those who possess in the highest degree the attributes of the Tâo do not show them; those who possess them in a low degree hold them fast and display them. Those who so hold them fast and display them are not styled Possessors of the Tâo and Its attributes.

The reason why all men do not obtain the True Tâo is because their minds are perverted. Their minds being perverted, their spirits become perturbed. Their minds being perturbed, they are attracted towards external things. Being attracted towards external things, they begin to seek for them greedily. This greedy quest leads to perplexities and annoyances; and these again result in disordered thoughts, which cause anxiety and trouble to both body and mind. The parties then meet with foul disgraces, flow wildly on through the phases of life and death, are liable constantly to sink in the sea of bitterness, and for ever lose the True Tâo.

The True and Abiding Tâo! They who understand it naturally obtain it. And they who come to understand the Tâo abide in Purity and Stillness.

sarabhanga
24 December 2007, 08:08 AM
The Ultra Supreme Emptiness Emperor, the Heavenly Lord, said:

The precept of being vegetarian is the fundamental of Tâo, and is a bridge of truth, across the ocean of births and death, between the ferry and the other shore of liberation.

If you wish to learn Tâo, you should be a vegetarian and keep the precepts, and your every single thought should be righteous and Real, then the evils and delusions will vanish of themselves.

Most living beings have abandoned the pure realm and are indulging in meat-eating, this defiles both their bodies and minds. They are like the hungry ghosts who eat dead bodies but cannot extinguish the fire that are burning their hungry intestines so that they can never eat their fill; they are also like the flies and worms who scramble for putrid and stinky things and stay still on them as if those are sandalwood.

In a meat eater’s body, the three palaces are turbid, and the six viscera are defiled, the dark souls of the dead bodies that he ate are exciting and thriving, and are always willing to guide him to the place of death.

Therefore, you should cut off the root of desires, enter into the pure and tranquil state, do not put any living being into suffering, do not commit anything evil, do not produce any delusions, and do not arouse any evil from your heart.

You should regard the precepts as the laws of the world, when you want to violate any of them, you should be aware of the punishment with fear. You should uphold the teachings of precepts sincerely and respectfully, keep the precepts solemnly as if they are in front of you, and as if you are facing something that you fear. You should keep your heart righteous and solemn, eliminate all thoughts, and listen attentively to the non-dual, then you will be able to experience the Correct Truth, and become my disciple.

A commendable person who studies Tâo cuts off his various loves and desires, rejects all meats and greasy foods, keeps being a vegetarian, and keeps his mind pure and pellucid, to research and experience the unsurpassed Tâo ~ this is called “seeking enjoyments in hardship”. If one can understand those enjoyments, he will not even notice the hardship.

Most living beings love richness and high positions, they are deluded by sounds and phenomena so that they give loose to their passions and desires. They seem to be enjoying, but in fact they are producing sufferings.

As for my Tâo, the joy comes after the hardship;
As for most living beings, the sufferings come after the enjoyments.

I now have told you this, you should realize it and be cautious.

sarabhanga
25 December 2007, 02:21 AM
Namaste Bob (and others in doubt),

The precept of being vegetarian is the fundamental of Tâo, and is a bridge of truth, across the ocean of births and death, between the ferry and the other shore of liberation.

The precept of being vegetarian is the fundamental of Tâo ~ i.e. ahiMsA is the foundation of the Tâo.

And the bridge of truth across the ocean of births and death, between the ferry and the other shore of liberation, is the tIrthaÑkara (the ford-maker or crossing-maker, the sacred ferryman or the saviour of souls).

ahiMsA is the foundation of the Tâo, and it is the very tIrthaÑkara !

The fundamental identity of Jainism and Taoism is undeniable. :)

Bob G
25 December 2007, 07:09 AM
Sarabhanga,

Your opinions are noted; but I don't agree with whatever your personal motive may be in apparently trying to force your point of view? (with a few choice quotes to back them up)

Taoism has many sects or schools and I didn't start this string to proclaim or imply to anyone that just one of them is the true school. I think that doing so would be like proclaiming that just one sect in Hinduism is the true school and that the rest of the sects and people are evil doers if they don't have certain beliefs. (which I could find quotes to back up)

Good luck

sarabhanga
25 December 2007, 05:30 PM
Namaste Bob,

My motive, as always, is only Yoga!

This is not my personal opinion; This is a direct quote (translated) from Taoist scripture: “The true Tirthankara is the Tao”.

Please provide some evidence (from Taoist scripture, not merely your own opinion) that Taoism is NOT related to Jainism.

And can you also give some scriptural evidence that extols the virtues of meat-eating, or at least something that denies the importance of vegetarian diet (again, from Taoist scripture, and not merely your opinion).

I have no interest in proclaiming anyone as evil or untrue. I have only been trying to show that Jainism and Taoism share exactly the same philosophical roots.

And unless someone can actually provide scriptural evidence (not personal opinions) to the contrary, I must repeat my previous claim that the fundamental identity of Jainism and Taoism cannot reasonably be denied.

Even if it is admitted that some modern Taoist sects have no interest in universal compassion, that does not deny the fact that orthodox Taoist practice is fundamentally vegetarian, and that many Taoist texts are almost identical to those of both Jaina and Vedanta, and that their nominal founders, Mahavira and Lao-Tzu, are remembered as living at the same time and for the same time, and that in both cases the lineage of teachers is thought to go back to an original preceptor who lived about 2600 BC (when the Sarasvati-Sindhu civilization was flourishing).

And in response, you disagree because “some Taoists are not very religious”.




I could find quotes to back up that just one sect in Hinduism is the true school and that the rest of the sects and people are evil doers if they don't have certain beliefs.

Perhaps you could find such quotes, but that would be entirely irrelevant to my thesis, and to this thread.

Bob G
25 December 2007, 10:16 PM
Sarabhanga, Obviously you are free to continue your "thesis" on your own or with others who are interested; I would prefer that you did it in some other string or in your own string. (where I won't be dropping in)

Om

sarabhanga
25 December 2007, 10:55 PM
Bob,

I was not aware that this was a "private" thread, with no related discussion allowed. If you are not interested in my comment, perhaps you could establish your own forum. But don't worry, if you don't post anything that suggests a close relationship between supposedly diverse religions, then I will not make any uninvited comment about those relationships.

Bob G
26 December 2007, 11:45 PM
Chuang Tsu, Inner Chapters, from chapter. 2

"Now I am going to tell you something. I don't know what heading it comes under, and whether or not it is relevant here, but it must be relevant at some point. It is not anything new, but I would like to say it.

There is a beginning. There is no beginning of that beginning. There is no beginning of that no beginning of beginning. There is something. There is nothing. There is something before the beginning of something and nothing, and something before that. Suddenly there is something and nothing. But between something and nothing, I still don't know which is something and which is nothing. Now, I've just said something, but I don't really know whether I've said anything or not."

atanu
27 December 2007, 06:51 AM
-------- For this reason, no matter what path anyone may choose, it is THAT . Vedanta actually means the end of difference and non-difference. ( Vedanta - end or culmination of Vedic wisdom. SRI MA here plays upon words: Veda, and bheda difference. In Bengali the letters B and V sound alike. ‘Anta’ means ‘end’.)

While engaging in sadhana one must concentrate in a single direction; but after it has been completed, what comes then? The cessation of difference, distinction and disagreement. Differences do indeed exist on the path, but how can there be a difference of Goal?

Sri Ma

Bob G
27 December 2007, 07:21 AM
True enough Atanu; yet do we hear of realized ones giving up their previous way or path, giving up their lineages, giving up the teachings and related culture of their way, giving up their position and power as lineage holders, and then changing to a totally non-sectarian teaching? As far as I know most continue living and teaching the path they took and not someone else path.

atanu
27 December 2007, 09:17 AM
True enough Atanu; yet do we hear of realized ones giving up their previous way or path, giving up their lineages, giving up the teachings and related culture of their way, giving up their position and power as lineage holders, and then changing to a totally non-sectarian teaching? As far as I know most continue living and teaching the path they took and not someone else path.

Namaste Bob G,

You are correct and also correct is the following


There is only one thread of all cotton

There is only one thread of all cotton.
The warp, the woof, the quill of the weaver's shuttle,
The shuttle, the texture of cloths, the cotton shoes and hanks of yarn,
All are known by their respective names,
And they all belong to their respective places
But there is only one thread of yarn.

Bulleh Shah
---------------------
a Tirthankara ("Fordmaker") (also Tirthankara or Jina) is a human (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human) who achieves enlightenment (perfect knowledge) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enlightenment_%28concept%29), through asceticism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ascetic). A Tirthankar becomes a Jina (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jina) (after totally conquering anger, pride, deceit, desire, etc.). A Tirthankar is the founder of a "Tirth", a Jain community which acts as a "ford (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_%28crossing%29)" across the "river of human misery".

The above definition of Tirthankara taken in general terms, as a mukta, may not conflict with Sarabhanga's citation of Tao literature that “The true Tirthankara is the Tao”, since the true fordmaker is indeed the Tao (though I am not sure about the specifics and about historical correlations).

-----------------------

This knowledge does not conflict with Vedanta. Yet, in details there are differences galore. Jainas believe that the soul becomes of the size of the body it resides in. Advaita Vedanta believes this to be ignorance.

What Tao says about it, I do not know.

--------------------------------

Hoping that discussions will make the thread lively.

Regards, OM

Bob G
28 December 2007, 12:10 AM
Atanu,

You have the noble intention of making peace which is appreciated.

...but I'll try to give you a for instance of what I'm feeling: If the Tibetan Buddhists who live live in India as guests started making it a practice to walk around parts of India openly telling Hindus that they are really Buddhists but that they just don't know it yet, along with the teaching that there really is no Atman or the other things that are key to their Hindu belief, then we would at least have a messy situation! This example doesn't cross over very well to this thread but it is along the lines of why I'm not going to embrace the idea of mixing up Jainism with Taoism by implying or proclaiming to people of either belief that they are really Jains or Taoists or that that their paths are really the same although they don't know it yet... note: I'm not saying that was your meaning or the words or meaning of Sarabhanga, that is just where I see it headed or what I see it easily turning into.

Further, I don't know much of religious history but it seems that True Gurus of different traditions mostly stick to themselves so to speak, and seldom or never seriously push things along the lines of proclamations regarding other religions or people. (And they also don't even have much time to deal with other sects within their same religion)

Om

Bob G
28 December 2007, 08:34 AM
Where does the Yin Yang Symbol come from?

http://www.chinesefortunecalendar.com/yinyang.htm

Nuno Matos
28 December 2007, 09:25 AM
Namaste Bob G


Could you please explain what do you understand as " a form of Taoism " ?

Bob G
28 December 2007, 11:06 AM
Good point Nuno Matos, the title should be something more like, "some forms or teachings of Taoism" since I'm posting quotes from varying sources related to various time periods and or teachers.

As far as what I personally understand or have experienced related to "a form of Taoism" could be called the Soul of the Earth, who is a truly great mother like Being!

Om

atanu
28 December 2007, 11:59 AM
Atanu,

You have the noble intention of making peace which is appreciated.

...but I'll try to give you a for instance of what I'm feeling: If the Tibetan Buddhists who live live in India as guests started making it a practice to walk around parts of India openly telling Hindus that they are really Buddhists but that they just don't know it yet, along with the teaching that there really is no Atman or the other things that are key to their Hindu belief, then we would at least have a messy situation! This example doesn't cross over very well to this thread but it is along the lines of why I'm not going to embrace the idea of mixing up Jainism with Taoism by implying or proclaiming to people of either belief that they are really Jains or Taoists or that that their paths are really the same although they don't know it yet... note: I'm not saying that was your meaning or the words or meaning of Sarabhanga, that is just where I see it headed or what I see it easily turning into.

Further, I don't know much of religious history but it seems that True Gurus of different traditions mostly stick to themselves so to speak, and seldom or never seriously push things along the lines of proclamations regarding other religions or people. (And they also don't even have much time to deal with other sects within their same religion)

Om

Dear Bob G,

What you say is good and acceptable to me. There is absolutely no reason to ponder over what is primary and what is not since all is from Saman Brahman (or whatever way one names IT). At the same time, in principle and not in all details, I agree to Shri Sarabhanga that the essence and the goals are same in every path.

I think Shri Sarabhanga and me (and you as well) have similar faith in the underlying unity and singularity. Those who abide by creator God are felled by their creation. Those who abide by the supreme splendour of preserver God as the Supreme among the servants are felled by pride. Those who abide by the Destroyer God are consumed by their anger – Manyu.

Transcending these three aspects of God, those who desire to reach the underlying Saman, they I believe are in the path of the Good. In this respect, I feel, that Advaitins, Atman lovers, Shiva lovers, and Zen followers are very similar. This path though is troublesome, since till the ego is completely gone, the truth seeker passes through fire. Such seekers are crushed and exploited daily in this world. It requires ultimate faith.


Truly, one may gain by losing;
And one may lose by gaining.

It is truly difficult to adhere to this.



Best wishes and warm regards

Please continue.

Om

Bob G
28 December 2007, 05:15 PM
Namaste Atanu, Thank you for your reply; I'll be making some comments back to you soon...in the meantime here is what I think is a fun story that you and others may enjoy:

MONKEY: The infamous irrepressible Monkey King, Trickster God, and Great Sage Equal Of Heaven. Star of stage, screen and scroll, MONKEY is the true hero of Journey To The West (Xiyou Ji) - the amazing novel of frivolity and profundity written by Wu Cheng'en in the Sixteenth Century. (It's one of China's Four Great Novels, and we highly recommend it to anyone seeking enlightenment or entertainment.)

From the beginning of time, a certain rock on the Mountain of Fruit and Flowers had been soaking up the goodness of nature and CHI energy. One day this pregnant rock released a stone egg, and from it hatched a Stone Ape, who solemnly bowed to the Four Corners of the Earth - then jumped off to have fun.

This was MONKEY. He was high-spirited, egotistical and full of mischievous pranks. He was soon having a wonderful time as King of the Apes. But a niggling worry began to gnaw at him - one which would change his life. The Monkey King feared Death.

To find immortality, MONKEY became the disciple of Father Subodhi, a rather dour DAOist sage. The sage, unimpressed with his simian tricks, gave the Monkey King a new title: 'Disciple Aware of Emptiness'. MONKEY was very pleased with this epithet, not realising it referred to the vacuum in his head.

But after much haggling, Father Subodhi uttered the words of Illumination, explained the process of Cloud-Flying - and also revealed the secret of the Seventy-Two Transformations. Which, thought MONKEY, was extremely good value for money.

Returning home to his monkey subjects, he discovered they were under seige by a fearsome monster. Magic tricks were no good - what he needed was a weapon. So he whizzed off to the Dragon King AO-KUANG and cajoled his way into the Treasury. There he found the great Magic Wishing Staff, a huge rod of black iron which Heaven had used to flatten the bed of the Milky Way. It weighed 13,000 pounds but could expand to fill the Universe or shrink to the size of a needle. MONKEY was delighted with this Weapon of Mass Destruction and used it to bludgeon many a demon thereafter.

It wasn't long before reports of MONKEY's tricks started to reach the austere ears of the JADE-EMPEROR. First the DRAGON-KINGS complained of rudeness and theft. Then YEN-LO-WANG, the God of Death, lodged a formal protest. "That intolerable ape has just vandalised my filing system and made monkeys immortal. What are you going to do about it?"

Not wishing to shed needless karma, the JADE-EMPEROR invited MONKEY to Heaven and gave him a job. Without pay, of course. This plan to keep the peace was amazingly successful for an entire day. Then MONKEY discovered that his post as Keeper of the Heavenly Stables was so lowly, even the horse manure ranked higher than him.

Insulted beyond belief, MONKEY ran amok, burst into the JADE-EMPEROR's court and dared to threaten his august person. The Ruler of the Universe sighed, consulted his advisors and bestowed a new title upon him: Great Sage, Equal Of Heaven. "That's much better," said MONKEY, impressed.

But by his very nature the Great Sage was irrepressibly naughty. He just couldn't help it. He gobbled up LAO-ZI's Longevity Pills, stuffed his face with the precious Peaches of Immortality, gatecrashed official parties and made insulting gestures to all and sundry. Finally he left Heaven in disgust, claiming it wasn't good enough for him.

Now the JADE-EMPEROR finally lost his esteemed cool. He sent the Heavenly army to obliterate MONKEY once and for all. Nothing could withstand this mighty force... But the Great Stone Ape - immortal, spiritually illumined and filled with Heavenly essences - was not only indestructable but also pretty handy in a fight. The forces of Heaven made an embarrassing display and slunk off in defeat. There was nothing for it - the Ruler of Heaven called for BUDDHA.

Now BUDDHA, in his infinite wisdom, knew better than to subdue MONKEY by force. Instead he offered him a wager. "If you're so clever, jump off the palm of my hand. If you can do that, I'll take the Emperor in as a lodger and give Heaven to you. But if you can't, I'll expect a full apology and penance."

The Monkey King laughed to himself. He could travel thousands of miles in a single leap. The bet was on. BUDDHA stretched out his hand and MONKEY jumped...

Several thousand miles later, the Great Sage landed in a desolate plain with great columns reaching up the sky. "These must be the Five Pillars of Wisdom at the end of the Universe", he thought. "That BUDDHA is just plain stupid to make such a silly bet." And, to show his disrespect, he pissed all over the nearest pillar and jumped back to claim his reward.

"Is the Emperor packing his bags yet?" asked MONKEY as he landed. The Holy One raised a sublime eyebrow. "I don't know why you're grinning," he said, "you've been on my palm the whole time. Look." An astonished MONKEY stared at the five familiar-looking pink pillars of BUDDHA's hand. Then he smelt the stench of monkey pee and trembled. The next thing he knew, he was lying on the ground with a mountain on top of him.

And there he stayed for five hundred long years, being fed molten copper and iron pills by an attendent demon while the moss grew in his ears. By the time GUAN-YIN came along, the Great Sage Equal of Heaven was a thoroughly humble creature.

As told in Journey To The West, GUAN-YIN enlisted MONKEY as chief disciple of the young Buddhist monk TRIPITAKA. Together with SANDY and PIGSY, he protected the boy on his quest to India, battling demons and righting wrongs along the way. His natural monkey trickery now had a holy purpose which he unleashed with much enthusiasm - and his uncontrollable ego was kept firmly in place by a little device of GUAN-YIN's devising: a head-band made of gold.

The unsuspecting Great Sage was not prepared for the terrible torture of the Headache Sutra! Whenever MONKEY misbehaved, TRIPITAKA recited the Sutra and the golden fillet squeezed until his very eyeballs felt like bursting. Try as he might, he could not remove it. There was no defense except submission, and pretty soon MONKEY was the most humble disciple the world has ever known. Usually.

After many many many many adventures, the travellers fulfilled their quest. MONKEY was rewarded for all his efforts with the title 'Buddha Victorious Against Disaster' and finally made his peace with Heaven. We don't know what the Great Sage gets up to nowadays, but presumably he keeps himself occupied.

devotee
28 December 2007, 07:46 PM
Interesting story, Bob G ! :)

sarabhanga
28 December 2007, 10:34 PM
Do we hear of realized ones giving up their previous way or path, giving up their lineages, giving up the teachings and related culture of their way, giving up their position and power as lineage holders, and then changing to a totally non-sectarian teaching? As far as I know most continue living and teaching the path they took and not someone else path.

Namaste Bob,

After upanyanam (which saMskAra, for a brAhmaNa, is traditionally performed in the eighth year after conception), the brAhmaNA should be absolutely dedicated to brahmavidyA, but especially as traditionally interpreted by his own gotram and taught by his own guruparamparA. But in saMnyAsa, much of that which was previously held dear is renounced. All worldly responsibilities are satisfied, and genetic familial relations are renounced; all external yajña is finished, notions of status and varNa are forgotten, and even the traditional gAyatrI is renounced. And the ultimate phase of saMnyAsa is known as avadhUta.

The avadhUta has shaken off all impurity and discarded all ritual and sectarian traditions.
The avadhUta has shaken off all worldly attachments and obligations, and become truly brahmavit.

shrI dattAtreya is the gurumahArAja of all avadhUta, but he is secretive and reluctant to teach, having renounced all earthly influence and position . He often appears as a veritable shUdra, and only those who are ready to receive his truth would even suspect that his wisdom is sound!

The ultimate truth of shrI gauDapAda is supported by scripture and tradition, but his pure advaita philosophy is also supported by natural logic and (while never departing from scripture) it does not actually depend on scripture or any traditional belief. And both the advaitavAda of gauDapAda and the avadhUtavidyA of dattAtreya are non-sectarian teachings.

The avadhUta has surely followed a particular path to his current station; although, while residing always at the source, he is free to wander all true paths (which all have his knowledge as their own ultimate aim).

The avadhUta is a veritable jina, who has followed his own true path to become the lord of all paths, and a true tIrthaÑkAra for all. He has followed the gau (the “way of light”) to become both the light and the way. While lao-tzu followed the tao (the “way of enlightenment”) and his teaching has become the foundation of the enlightening way of taoism.

The way is dark and the gau is light. And their perfect twi(n)light is known as the gAvau. And sanAtana dharma (“induism” or “sindhuism”) might equally be known as “gAoism”.

The concept of tAo (DAo is perhaps closer to the correct pronunciation) is simply derived by a subtle difference in tongue position (from guttural to palatal), which changes gAvau to DAvau or “DAo”. Only the accent has changed, while the universal teaching (the avadhUta song-line) remains the same. ;)

The fundamental identity of Dāoism and Gāoism is undeniable. :)

See: rudrAvatAra shrI gurudeva dattAtreya mahArAja (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=13773&postcount=34)

Bob G
29 December 2007, 12:38 AM
Hello Sarabhanga,

Interesting and informative post; and I'm sorry about some of our unfortunate exchanges earlier.

I have studied a little bit about succession of Satgurus in Hindu lineages where the successor remains so until they are near physical death at which time the responsibility for the lineage is then passed on; it seems to me that Satgurus in such lineages would seldom be able to move about un-noticed in the way you mention considering the incredible work and number of people they are often (or always) involved with...in one way or another.

But I agree with the inference that unless one can really see, then a true Guru can remain hidden in plain sight unless they (as moved by Divine Shakti) choose to reveal themselves.

Om

sarabhanga
29 December 2007, 03:15 AM
Namaste Bob,

Is any of those noted sadgurava (“good teachers”) actually a nAga sAdhu?

Only a fortunate few have sighted the pAńcaram, but that auspicious nAga paramparavAhanam is always wandering the byways of bhAratavarSam. Although they only choose to reveal themselves at the kumbhamelA.

sarabhanga
29 December 2007, 04:24 AM
Jainas believe that the soul becomes of the size of the body it resides in.
Advaita Vedanta believes this to be ignorance.

Namaste Atanu,

This is only because jaina philosophy adheres to sAMkhya and vaisheSika nyAya, both of which suggest innumerable eternal souls which become intimately bound with prAkRtika matter.

Is the jIva infinitesimally atomic (as suggested by vaisheSika sAMkhya)?
advaita believes this to be mAyA.

Is the jIva thumb-sized and yet infinite (as suggested by vaidika sAMkhya)?
advaita believes this to be mAyA.

Or is the jIva infinite and undivided (as suggested by vedAnta)?
Of course advaita vedAnta believes this to be true!

In pitRyAna, the oblations poured onto the funeral fire are all supposed to go up to the moon, where those materials (in ethereal form) compose a new spirit body for the departed ancestor. And so, it is thought wise for a stout man to ensure that a large ethereal body is thus created for him “on the other side”, so that his enlarged soul will have room to breath.
And advaita vedAnta also believes this to be mAyA. :)

sarabhanga
29 December 2007, 05:42 AM
Where does the Yin Yang Symbol come from?

http://www.chinesefortunecalendar.com/yinyang.htm
Namaste Bob,

A very interesting link! It is clear that the Chinese have long followed the saptaRSi, just as all brAhmaNa have followed them from the very first manvantaram!

http://www.chinesefortunecalendar.com/Images/Bigdipper.jpg

The “24 segments” are the 24 celestial tIrthaŃkara, which traverse the poles to embrace the whole world.

“yin” is yAminI, and “yang” is yama; and “yinyang” is the ardhanArIshvara, the perfect yAminIyAma or yamaniyama.
And the twin is divided by the subtle distinction of their inevitable offspring, lord gaNesha.

And the legendary “monkey” is surely mahAvIra hanumAn.

sarabhanga
29 December 2007, 07:06 AM
“Confucius” is a latin form of the chinese k’ung fu-tzu (i.e. buddha k’ung).
His name was k’ung, but his title is fu-tzu (the wise man, the sage, the buddha).

The chinese buddha named k’ung is thought to have been incarnate from about 550 BC to about 480 BC.
And the indian buddha named gautama is thought to have been incarnate from about 560 BC to about 480 BC.

Confucius is renowned for teaching the law, and this buddha is the chinese dharmapAla, whose philosophy is founded on the golden rule: “What you do not like when done to yourself, do not do to others” ~ i.e. ahiMsA, the first law of yama and the fundamental precept of both jaina and bauddha dharma.

Bob G
29 December 2007, 07:20 AM
Tou Mu, the Bushel Mother, or Goddess of the North Star
320

Bob G
29 December 2007, 08:59 AM
Hello Atanu,

In an earlier post you said:
"At the same time, in principle and not in all details, I agree to Shri Sarabhanga that the essence and the goals are same in every path".

I may not agree with you that the goals are the same in every path. (unless one has defined and attained a truly sublime and ultimate perspective...?) For there are many different paths that reach many different realms that many different Beings may desire or be more or less karmically liable to...which I feel is alluded to in this excerpt/example from the upanisads:

"There are one hundred and one arteries of the heart, one of which pierces the crown of the head. Going upward by it, a man at death attains immortality. Other arteries, going in different directions, only serve as channels for his departing from the body, yea, only serve as channels for his departing from the body."

(I interpret this as meaning different paths leading to different realms, with such states being sought and or desired and possibly visited before the time of physical death...and thus having relation to ones state of Being while still having a physical body and not only after its death)

Good Day

Om

atanu
30 December 2007, 12:59 AM
Hello Atanu,

In an earlier post you said:
"At the same time, in principle and not in all details, I agree to Shri Sarabhanga that the essence and the goals are same in every path".

I may not agree with you that the goals are the same in every path. (unless one has defined and attained a truly sublime and ultimate perspective...?) For there are many different paths that reach many different realms that many different Beings may desire or be more or less karmically liable to...which I feel is alluded to in this excerpt/example from the upanisads:

"There are one hundred and one arteries of the heart, one of which pierces the crown of the head. Going upward by it, a man at death attains immortality. Other arteries, going in different directions, only serve as channels for his departing from the body, yea, only serve as channels for his departing from the body."

(I interpret this as meaning different paths leading to different realms, with such states being sought and or desired and possibly visited before the time of physical death...and thus having relation to ones state of Being while still having a physical body and not only after its death)

Good Day

Om


Namaste,

This thread has become interesting and lively. I wish sarabhanga, Bob, and all others (those who are so inclined) add similarly to Satay's "I am Shiva" thread as well.

Yes, there are three main describable goals: To Moon, To Sun, and to no-where. There is another indescribable goal without a path: "Here and Now". Even in "Here and Now", the descriptions of all other paths are not invalidated, since the going etc., happens in the Self alone.

Despite the differences -- eventually all rivers have to join the ocean. Advaita goal encompasses all these.

-----------------------

But surely, it is of great interest to spend time learning as many ways as possible. Towards this, I hope you will agree, that Chandogya Upanishad is masterly.

Let us learn what you teach here.

Om Namah Shivaya

atanu
30 December 2007, 01:23 AM
Hello Yajvan,

"Now, Verse 43 , yes I have looked at it:

The softest of all things
overrides the hardest of all things.
Only Nothing can enter into no-space.
Hence I know the advantages of Non-Ado.


Few things under heaven are as instructive as
the lessons of Silence,
Or as beneficial as the fruits of Non-Ado.



Do you care to comment on this verse (sloka)? What are your thoughts?
I gravitate to the line 'Only Nothing can enter into no-space' - as sunya is there, akaska is there"
--------------------------------------------------------------------


Yes and thanks for your replys; I will make some comments: #1. I think many people simply use the term "chapter" in regards to the verses of Tao Teh Ching; btw, I have no idea of the details of translation related to the Chinese word for chapter into english. #2. Chapter 43 (along with the whole book) is written in a wonderfully uncomplicated way which is very much to the point in my view. #3. I think you have a good correlation to the line, "Only Nothing can enter into no-space", to which I might add (imo) that It never really left except in a limited and temporary form of identification. A possible (?) and rhetorical like Hindu correlation might go something like this: What can pass Brahma's gate but Brahman? (which it never really left...)

Om

Namaste,

Again this softest of the thing is Agni -- in four states -- three perishable and one imperishable (Arkya -- the eater and the food together). And actually, it is further said, that the indescribable imperishable is the ONE footed unborn reality, which is three footed as manifested. But He is One footed only. Since, it is called Atman, it cannot be but Me.


Prostrations to Mandukya Upanishad. Nothing surpasses you. It is Brahman. It is pure knowledge. It is Om-AUM.

Om

atanu
30 December 2007, 01:27 AM
Namaste Atanu,

This is only because jaina philosophy adheres to sAMkhya and vaisheSika nyAya, both of which suggest innumerable eternal souls which become intimately bound with prAkRtika matter.

Is the jIva infinitesimally atomic (as suggested by vaisheSika sAMkhya)?
advaita believes this to be mAyA.

Is the jIva thumb-sized and yet infinite (as suggested by vaidika sAMkhya)?
advaita believes this to be mAyA.

Or is the jIva infinite and undivided (as suggested by vedAnta)?
Of course advaita vedAnta believes this to be true!

In pitRyAna, the oblations poured onto the funeral fire are all supposed to go up to the moon, where those materials (in ethereal form) compose a new spirit body for the departed ancestor. And so, it is thought wise for a stout man to ensure that a large ethereal body is thus created for him “on the other side”, so that his enlarged soul will have room to breath.
And advaita vedAnta also believes this to be mAyA. :)

Namaste Sarabhanga,

Yes. You summarise it so nicely. Yet, hammering this to a Jaina may cause many reactions in them - like Yajvan said: They will feel that they are knuckleheads.

This I think, was Bob's point.

Regards,

Om Namah Shivaya

sarabhanga
30 December 2007, 02:11 AM
Namaste Atanu,





Is the jIva infinitesimally atomic (as suggested by vaisheSika sAMkhya)?

Is the jIva thumb-sized and yet infinite (as suggested by vaidika sAMkhya)?

Is the jIva infinite and undivided (as suggested by vedAnta)?

In pitRyAna, the oblations poured onto the funeral fire are all supposed to go up to the moon, where those materials (in ethereal form) compose a new spirit body for the departed ancestor. And so, it is thought wise for a stout man to ensure that a large ethereal body is thus created for him “on the other side”, so that his enlarged soul will have room to breath.

Hammering this to a Jaina may cause many reactions in them - like Yajvan said: They will feel that they are knuckleheads.

I have not suggested "hammering" anyone! And why should a Jaina be offended by these comments which are merely describing a range of Hindu beliefs? :rolleyes:

atanu
30 December 2007, 04:13 AM
Namaste Atanu,
I have not suggested "hammering" anyone! And why should a Jaina be offended by these comments which are merely describing a range of Hindu beliefs? :rolleyes:

Namaste Sarabhanga,

True enough, hammering is a word used by me (not you), intended to describe the feeling one may get when one perceives 'my belief and your belief" and further perceives that 'my belief' is being put down.

It has nothing to do with you. It has to do with the sense of otherness.

Om

sarabhanga
30 December 2007, 06:49 AM
Tou Mu, the Bushel Mother, or Goddess of the North Star

Namaste Bob,

The ambikAkAlnAbhi is personified as shrI ambikAkAlnA, kAlambikA, or kAdambarI; she is the divine kalambikA or kadamba; and she is well known as ambikA, ambA, or ammA.

She is durgA, the mother of nine, and the queen of heaven ~ and she is “tou mu”.
See: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?p=19255#post19255

santa is the son of satya, sAntam is joy, and the shAnta is auspicious and dwelling at the pole.
See: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?p=14286#post14286

sarabhanga
30 December 2007, 09:11 AM
nara = sattvam = prAjńa = samyagdarshanam = buddha = gau
nArAyaNa = rajas = taijasa = saMghajńAnam = saMgha = gAvau
nAra = tamas = vaishvAnara = samyakcAritram = dharma = gAvas

sarabhanga
30 December 2007, 08:42 PM
When one perceives “my belief and your belief” and further perceives that “my belief” is being put down … it has to do with the sense of otherness.

Namaste Atanu and Bob,

Proudly defiant “otherness” is a sure sign of insecure dvaita understanding; whereas, humbly harmonious “togetherness” is sure sign of secure advaita understanding. ;)

The dharmacakram is the ancient sign of the saura ~ the sign of sUrya, and the vaidika ideal of brahman. It is the symbol of time (both kAla and akala), the weapon of mahAkAla, the very form of kRSNa, and dharmacakra is integral to all trayIvidyA.

Every spoke of a wheel leads directly to the one hub, even though it appears that some of them point in completely opposite directions. Although, some apparent “spokes” may actually be mere stumps, cut off from the hub and (in effect) useless appendages or discarded fragments from the divine contraption, and if they are followed then the heart of the vortex will not be attained.

And even when following a true spoke, one must be sure to follow it in the correct direction ~ for every single path in reality travels in exactly two completely opposite directions, and only one of these leads to the source. Apparently opposite paths may lead to exactly the same point in the end, but just one defined path always ends at two exactly opposite destinations.

There are very many paths, but not all paths lead easily to god; and any true path (incorrectly followed) may equally be the quickest route to rebirth in hell!

sanAtana dharma knows that the paths to god are various; but only the ajAtivAda suggests that absolutely every path is in fact one path, since ajAtivAda denies absolutely that jIvAtman has ever been separated from paramAtman, and so there is no need (or possibility) of any so-called “paths to god”.

The non-existence of dharma is a reality ONLY for the highest yogin (e.g. guru dattAtreya), while the non-existence of variety in dharma is a personal reality for every serious sAdhaka, and the acceptance of internal diversity in the context of sanAtana dharma is an important lesson of the dharmacakra.

On the paths:
http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?p=15688#post15688
http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=15367&postcount=27

On the path:
http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?p=15628#post15628

On the guide:
http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=780&postcount=30

sarabhanga
30 December 2007, 10:24 PM
Now I am going to tell you something ~ It is avidyavidyA and advaitavAda and uttamasatyam ~ It is ajAtivacana.

Through the grace of god alone the desire for non-duality arises in wise men to save them from great fear. How shall I salute the formless being indivisible auspicious and immutable who fills all this with his self and also fills the self with his self? The universe composed of the five elements is like water in a mirage. To whom shall I make obeisance, I who am one and taintless? All is verily the absolute self, distinction and non-distinction do not exist. How can I say it exists it does not exist? I am filled with wonder !

Bob G
31 December 2007, 08:50 AM
Hello Sarabhanga, Good quote,
I also like the one below by Chuang Tsu:


"What he likes is the One; what he does not like is also the One. That which is One is One; that which is not One is also One. He knows the One and is of heaven. He knows not the One and is of men. So heaven and men are not in conflict. Such is a true man..."

page 120, Feng/English translation

Bob G
31 December 2007, 09:08 AM
Hello Atanu,

When you say: "Again this softest of the thing is Agni" I'm not sure of your correlation (?) for I believe in Taoism the element of water is normally used to mean the softest of things; along with its other metaphoric uses.

Good day,

Om

atanu
31 December 2007, 11:45 AM
Hello Atanu,

When you say: "Again this softest of the thing is Agni" I'm not sure of your correlation (?) for I believe in Taoism the element of water is normally used to mean the softest of things; along with its other metaphoric uses.

Good day,

Om

Namaste Bob G,

It is the Self in the form of pure consciousness that is the subtlest beyond comprehension (softest in this context), but the kindler within is often equated to Agni (not the material kind which has a body).

I meant this kindler, which enters Vayu, Agni, and Water. They call it mystic Agni.

Om

Bob G
31 December 2007, 06:01 PM
Atanu, 10/4 (as in CB code= acknowledged!) :doh: :goodpost:

yajvan
01 January 2008, 02:53 PM
Hari Om
~~~~~

Namaste Bob G,

It is the Self in the form of pure consciousness that is the subtlest beyond comprehension (softest in this context),

Namaste,

Even subtler then akasha, then pure space - so refined, and pure this awareness is, it even transcends space.
Some say the SELF is akasha, filled (then) with this consciousness. I like this notion as it allows one to get some 'feel' for this SELF.

I salute this SELF which is its own light, free from duality of the knower and known, subject and object. In it exists all things of this universe... Yoga Vasistha, On Dissolution or Upasanti Prakaranam (Chapt 5.34)

pranams,

Bob G
02 January 2008, 11:43 AM
Goddess Quan Yin:

326

"It is generally accepted that Guanyin originated as the Sanskrit (http://www.answers.com/topic/sanskrit) Avalokiteśvara (http://www.answers.com/topic/avalokite-vara-1) (अवलोकितेश्वर), which is her male form. Another version suggests she originated from the Taoist Immortal "Ci Hang Zhen Ren (http://www.answers.com/topic/ci-hang-zhen-ren)". Commonly known in the West as the Goddess of Mercy, Guanyin is also revered by Chinese (http://www.answers.com/topic/china-13) Taoists (http://www.answers.com/topic/taoism) as an Immortal (http://www.answers.com/topic/immortality-celine-dion-song). The name Guanyin, also spelt Kuan Yin, is short for Kuan-shih Yin (Py. (http://www.answers.com/topic/pinyin): Guānshì Yīn,) which means "Observing (http://www.answers.com/topic/vipassana) the Sounds (or Cries) of the World (http://www.answers.com/topic/samsara)".

yajvan
03 January 2008, 05:26 PM
Hari Om
~~~~~

Namaste,

Bob G , can you assist? I think this is germane to this string. Can you help explain the notion of tathatā from Buddhism? That is, thus-ness some say such-ness.
As I am trying to compare and contrast this notion to my POV, I thought you may be able to take a stab at it.

pranams

sarabhanga
03 January 2008, 07:43 PM
Namaste Yajvan,

tathAtA or tathArthA (cf. siddhArtha, the tathAgata) is “the true state of things, true nature, or reality”, and tathAtvam or tathArtvam (cf. tattvam) is “the being real, real condition, or reality”.

The feminine tathAtA is equivalent with tattvatA (“truth or reality”) which is equivalent with the neuter tattvam (“the true or real state, truth or reality”).

hata, however, indicates “destitute of”, “without”, or “-less”, and hAta is “given up or abandoned”, so that tat-hAtA is “that-less” or “having given up that”.

tathAtA is “such-ness, thus-ness, or that-ness”, but it is also “that-less”. :)

yajvan
03 January 2008, 08:08 PM
Hari Om
~~~~~

Namaste Yajvan,

tathAtA is “such-ness, thus-ness, or that-ness”, but it is also “that-less”.

Namaste sarabhanga (et.al)

Is it your opinion that Buddhism's version of this is the same as found in Vedanta? That is what I been pondering. How close (or far apart) are these POV's?

pranams

sarabhanga
03 January 2008, 08:36 PM
Namaste Yajvan,

If tattvam (tattvatA or tathAtA) is the ultimate reality, and one interprets tathAtA as “thatlessness”, then the ultimate reality is without any discernable quality. In advaitam this is a good thing, but in dvaitam this is generally taken as a bad thing.

Since siddhArtha and tathAgata are names for the buddha, I would assume that the views of bauddha and vedAnta are similar. Although absolute “thatlessness” may be interpreted as absolute shUnya rather than undivided or perfect puruSa, and that could lead to a very different perpective.

yajvan
03 January 2008, 09:03 PM
Hario Om
~~~~~~

Namaste Yajvan,

If tattvam (tattvatA or tathAtA) is the ultimate reality, and one interprets tathAtA as “thatlessness”, then the ultimate reality is without any discernable quality. In advaitam this is a good thing, but in dvaitam this is generally taken as a bad thing.

Since siddhArtha and tathAgata are names for the buddha, I would assume that the views of bauddha and vedAnta are similar. Although absolute “thatlessness” may be interpreted as absolute shUnya rather than undivided or perfect puruSa, and that could lead to a very different perpective.

Namaste sarabhanga,
you have hit at the crux of the question that I have been pondering for some time... that is, comparing the notion of shUnya (or void) to puruSha and trying discern if the Buddhist's tattvam ,this void = puruSha.

One can say that this shUnya has the qualities of akṣara ( a = not + ksi = to destroy or perish); How can the void be destroyed or perish if there is nothing there? - so it passes this test.

Differences arise when one thinks of shUnya as perfect emptiness vs. that of perfect fullness (puruSha). Hence is this shUnya therefore another term for akasha (pure space) and does not address puruSha? Perhaps, I think.

When I look to some of the the Upanishads and tantras, the notion of spanda ( vibration or throb) is offered and assigned to the Absolute. Yet where can there be spanda in the void? This is the pickle I have been trying to think through, without a clear self-imposed answer. thank goodness no sleep is lost over this :sleeping:

pranams

sarabhanga
03 January 2008, 10:11 PM
Namaste Yajvan,

In the absolute advaitam of ajAtivAda, no spanda is admitted, with all spanda as a property of mAyA and prakRti. Only vishiSTAdvaitam and other such jAtivAda actually allows spanda as an inherent quality of the ultimate reality.

mAyAvAda (as ajAtivAda) denies the ultimate reality of spanda, but uses spanda as a means of explaining the apparent illusion. And the explanations of mAyAvAda are taken as the highest truths in vishiSTAdvaitam and jAtivAda (dismissing ajAtivAda as shUnyavAda).

Bob G
18 January 2008, 06:03 PM
from Taoism,

No doubt in Sincerity, Tao Teh Ching, Chapter 21,

It lies in the nature of Grand Virtue
To follow the Tao and the Tao alone.
Now what is the Tao?
It is Something elusive and evasive.
Evasive and elusive!
And yet It contains within Itself a Form.
Elusive and evasive!
And yet It contains within Itself a Substance.
Shadowy and dim!
And yet It contains within Itself a Core of Vitality.
The Core of Vitality is very real,
It contains within Itself an unfailing Sincerity.
Throughout the ages Its Name has been preserved
In order to recall the Beginning of all things.
How do I know the ways of all things at the Beginning?
By what is within me.

Bob G
22 January 2008, 07:25 AM
T.T.C.14.

LOOK at it but you cannot see it!
Its name is Formless.

Listen to it but you cannot hear it!
Its name is Soundless.
Grasp it but you cannot get it!
Its name is Incorporeal.
These three attributes are unfathomable;
Therefore they fuse into one.
Its upper side is not bright:
Its under side not dim.
Continually the Unnameable moves on,
Until it retums beyond the realm of things.
We call it the formless Form, the imageless Image.
We call it the indefinable and unimaginable.
Confront it and you do not see its face!
Follow it and you do not see its back!
Yet, equipped with this timeless Tao,
You can harness present realities.
To know the origins is initiation into the Tao.