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Thread: Luangta Maha Boowa and the "Citta"

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    Luangta Maha Boowa and the "Citta"

    Hello, I know I should post this in the "Buddhism" section, but I want to kow the opinion from the Advaita point of view.
    Is anyone here familiar with the teachings of "Ajahn Maha Boowa"? a theravadin monk from the Thai Forest Tradition.
    I think Theravada, being so conservative, tends to be more or less nihilistic regarding the ultimate reality/Parinirvana.
    But this monk seems to have realized what in Hinduism is called Atman/Brahman through the practice of meditation.
    He says that the Citta is the knowing nature behind all samsaric phenomena, it's simply awareness without qualities, it was never born and will never die and it transcends the five skandhas and the three marks of existence (anicca, dukkha and anatta).
    But due to avijja/avidya and the kilesas/kleshas it becomes entangled in the round of birth and death.
    He also refers to "ekaggatrammana", the non-duality/oneness of the Citta

    What do you think? Are the teachings af Ajahn Maha Boowa compatible in some way with the teachings of Advaita Vedanta?

    Some links:
    www.luangta.eu
    http://read.goodweb.cn/news/news_view.asp?newsid=58840
    http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books/Mah...ps_Samadhi.htm

    Thanks.

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    Re: Luangta Maha Boowa and the "Citta"

    Here is something written by Maha boowa's disciple Ajahn Martin Piyadhammo:

    The citta is eternal. Just remember what the Lord Buddha said, the Thatagata
    after dead neither is nor is not. The citta is not individualistic, not personal. How could the Lord Buddha talk to Acharn Mun presenting Dhamma to him in the form of the Lord Buddha, if there is nothing that is eternal and everything dies away? We grasp the term citta wrongly, we think every being has a citta, no that is not right, every being is part of that one citta, that is eternal. This would be the correct view.

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    Re: Luangta Maha Boowa and the "Citta"

    Namaste Ale,

    The Reality shows itself when the mind is "really" calm. Meditation is the prescribed technique to calm mind's chatter. Maha Bowa advises some anchor for meditation which brings the wandering mind back to the anchor like focusing on chosen form or word. This is in Advaita practice too in some forms of meditation.

    Chitta is nothing but Consciousness if my understanding of Chitta in which Bowa refers to Chitta is correct. Actually the whole world in the form as we see and interact with, is actually perceived by Consciousness and due to Consciousness. It is the cause and also the perceiver of the effect. So, Consciousness is all there is. VedAnta tells us that "Consciousness is Brahman". Brahman is unborn, eternal and the One alone without a second. It is changeless, infinite and blissful.

    It is not that there is consciousness in you or me. There is nothing except consciousness. It is Consciousness which alone exists and is perceived as "you" and also "me". This is what VedAnta says. Now, you are in a better position to say if what VedAnta says and what LM Bowa says are the same or different. The words used by Buddhism and Advaita may be different but as both lead to the same reality, both must say the same thing.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: Luangta Maha Boowa and the "Citta"

    Hi, Devotee

    Quote Originally Posted by devotee View Post
    Chitta is nothing but Consciousness if my understanding of Chitta in which Bowa refers to Chitta is correct.
    You are right, but it's not consciousness in the sense of vijnana (one of the five aggregates).
    He says that the vijnana aggregate is when the Citta makes contact with external objects. Although it's closely related with the Citta, it is impermanent (aniccam). The Citta just knows and doesn't die. But I think this Citta's "knowingness" and what is refered as "consciousness" in Advaita Vedanta are really the same thing.

  5. #5

    Re: Luangta Maha Boowa and the "Citta"

    Pranams,

    ale84 Your are right. Consciousness in the Buddhist expression of vijnana is a dependent cause on something external based on the 5 skandhas. For example if your in a silent room and a glass window breaks then consciousness of sound will arise, then consciousness of sound will vanish when everything has settled and your left with a samskara, or mental impression. So therefore consciousness is dependent on something. Then we need to understand dependent origination which is the explanation of the rebirth process. Its not dealing with metaphysics.

    This is classical Theravada

    To sum up Theravada, and perhaps in some ways the original words of the Buddha is that its a study of phenomena, gross and subtle, internal and external and also the phenomena which makes up the conscious world.

    But even within this tradition there comes a time when one starts to question what is the existence that knows consciousness, because even when attachment to phenomena is understood and transcended in a sense existence is still there, there is no void, only an awakening that phenomena is not self with no self inherent independent existence. By this alone I do feel they realize Brahman.

    Maha Boowa is pushing the limits of exploring consciousness beyond the 5 skandhas.

    Its a practice, which I consider has its early roots in old Yogic sciences of meditation. Interestingly when we study the life of the Buddha he practiced with Śramaṇa's. I think they have their roots in the ancient clans of Yogis. Even to this day they say the Sadhu has four enemies, women, dogs, thorns and Brahmins.

    I see no conflict in the teachings of Buddha that one will arrive at Brahman, he is teaching pure sadhanas to reach that goal, he just used some smart diplomacy and philosophy to subdue an infested corruption in the Vedic practices at the time.

    So in Essence no conflict with Advaita and Buddhism in their purest forms.


    Buddhism is not seperate from sanata dharma, different perfume that's all. I do have to admit that in some ways Buddhism is more suited as a global teaching than Hinduism, my core practice is devotional service to my Guru and Krsna, so I am not saying from a biased source. Buddhism can give veda and dharma to the whole world without getting caught up in its own culture. It transcenda all boundries. Its very good for Both Hinduism and abroad, but a true Hindhu will see it all as a dance of conventions, we dont get caught up in sectarianism.

    Veda is more deep, more inclusive as a wide culture and expansion of siddhanta, but not everyone can cope with the variety, so we need Buddha to help get more people back to their original nature.. This my POV.
    Ys

    Md
    Last edited by markandeya 108 dasa; 11 August 2014 at 11:55 AM.

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    Re: Luangta Maha Boowa and the "Citta"

    Hello, markandeya

    Quote Originally Posted by markandeya 108 dasa View Post
    Pranams,

    ale84 Your are right. Consciousness in the Buddhist expression of vijnana is a dependent cause on something external based on the 5 skandhas. For example if your in a silent room and a glass window breaks then consciousness of sound will arise, then consciousness of sound will vanish when everything has settled and your left with a samskara, or mental impression. So therefore consciousness is dependent on something. Then we need to understand dependent origination which is the explanation of the rebirth process. Its not dealing with metaphysics.

    This is classical Theravada

    To sum up Theravada, and perhaps in some ways the original words of the Buddha is that its a study of phenomena, gross and subtle, internal and external and also the phenomena which makes up the conscious world.

    But even within this tradition there comes a time when one starts to question what is the existence that knows consciousness, because even when attachment to phenomena is understood and transcended in a sense existence is still there, there is no void, only an awakening that phenomena is not self with no self inherent independent existence. By this alone I do feel they realize Brahman.

    Maha Boowa is pushing the limits of exploring consciousness beyond the 5 skandhas.

    Its a practice, which I consider has its early roots in old Yogic sciences of meditation. Interestingly when we study the life of the Buddha he practiced with Śramaṇa's. I think they have their roots in the ancient clans of Yogis. Even to this day they say the Sadhu has four enemies, women, dogs, thorns and Brahmins.

    I see no conflict in the teachings of Buddha that one will arrive at Brahman, he is teaching pure sadhanas to reach that goal, he just used some smart diplomacy and philosophy to subdue an infested corruption in the Vedic practices at the time.

    So in Essence no conflict with Advaita and Buddhism in their purest forms.


    Buddhism is not seperate from sanata dharma, different perfume that's all. I do have to admit that in some ways Buddhism is more suited as a global teaching than Hinduism, my core practice is devotional service to my Guru and Krsna, so I am not saying from a biased source. Buddhism can give veda and dharma to the whole world without getting caught up in its own culture. It transcenda all boundries. Its very good for Both Hinduism and abroad, but a true Hindhu will see it all as a dance of conventions, we dont get caught up in sectarianism.

    Veda is more deep, more inclusive as a wide culture and expansion of siddhanta, but not everyone can cope with the variety, so we need Buddha to help get more people back to their original nature.. This my POV.
    Ys

    Md
    Thanks for the contribution.

  7. #7

    Re: Luangta Maha Boowa and the "Citta"

    Dear ale84,
    As such Buddhism comes very close to Advaita Vedanta with some differences. The practices and meditations are accepted completely while the philosophic conclusions are most times wrong.

    Now Luangta Maha Boowa ji, I have not heard ... will have to go through a few lectures to appreciate what he says. But then, You can yourself verify the following:

    1. Vedanta says that all change takes place against a changeless background. The changeless background is called Awareness / Consciousness ... Which is You.

    2. You are Ever Liberated, Ever Purna, Complete ... Awareness does not undergo any change. There is no evolution of Awareness. The mithya mind undergoes a mithya change ...

    3. Practices are all for purification of mind , not for a change in ourselves. These only aid to see ourselves as we are ... not to purify "us"... True I being Awareness is ever pure.


    If this is what the saint says, that is perfectly in agreement with Vedanta. But even if there are some philosophic differences, the practices can be useful.

    Love!
    Silence
    Come up, O Lions, and shake off the delusion that you are a sheep

  8. #8

    Re: Luangta Maha Boowa and the "Citta"

    Pranams,

    From http://holybooks.lichtenbergpress.ne...-the-Citta.pdf

    So, when I say, “when it’s over it is gone”, where does it disappear to? It disappears into
    emptiness; completely. Suññato Lokaṃ Avekkhassu; meaning, completely void. This
    world is a complete void. There is absolutely nothing to entangle the Citta. This is the
    authentic natural state of the Citta which is detached from the conventional world.
    Obviously then the question can arise, what is Suññato, or emptiness. To break it down in the most simplest terms I would consider that it is consciousness that is free from any taint of phenomena, or the influence of phenomena and consciousness is not a product of phenomena. Its not void or emptiness as described in the English language.

    Ys
    Md

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