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Questions tagged [philosophy]

The study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind and language. It can also be a theory or attitude that acts as a guiding principle for behaviour.

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Buddhism and the middle path

I am battling with understanding the concept of the middle path. Having read the many articles available, the concept escapes me especially with a view of self and no-self. My understanding is that ...
Motivated's user avatar
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2 votes
4 answers
341 views

What is world (loka) in SN 12.44? Why is it called "world"?

What is world (loka) in the context of SN 12.44? Why is it called "world"? Is it related to "The All" (SN 35.23)? “And what, bhikkhus, is the origin of the world? In dependence on ...
ruben2020's user avatar
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If there is no self what or who is it that gets enlightened?

From reading this answer I come to understand that anatta means the lack of a core that can be conceived as self. If there is no permanent self, then who or what gets enlightened?
Jose B's user avatar
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6 answers
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What is the difference between Yogacara Buddhism and Idealism?

I've often heard the Yogacara school of Buddhism being described as 'Mind Only'. To my untutored mind this seems reminiscent of the western philosophy of Idealism. So there is a description of ...
Crab Bucket's user avatar
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1 vote
4 answers
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Does MN9 imply a cyclic causation? How does it work?

The Nanamoli and Bodhi translation of MN9 states in 2 excerpts: With the arising of the taints there is the arising of ignorance. With the cessation of the taints there is the cessation of ...
ruben2020's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
349 views

Is luminous mind unconditioned and not impermanent?

In AN1.51-52, we find a description of the luminous mind. The Pali version can be found here. The description in 51-52 implies that it is pre-existing. It's just that the ordinary worldling doesn't ...
ruben2020's user avatar
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12 votes
8 answers
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What is the difference between relative and absolute truth in Buddhist philosophy?

Many Buddhist texts and teachings make a distinction between absolute and relative truth. Please explain the difference and give some examples.
likethesky's user avatar
3 votes
5 answers
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What is the difference between moha (delusion) and avijja (ignorance)?

What is moha (delusion)? What is avijja or avidya (ignorance)? What is the difference between moha (delusion) and avijja or avidya (ignorance)?
ruben2020's user avatar
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5 votes
4 answers
736 views

Do Cittamatra / Yogacara explicitly refute the existence of an external world?

Tibetan texts that belong to the genre of tenets (doctrinal classification) usually claim that the Cittamatra school refutes external existence. These texts further claim that Cittamatrin posit that '...
Tenzin Dorje's user avatar
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Difference between desire (chanda) and craving (tanha)?

What's the difference between desire (chanda) and craving (tanha)? From my understanding, tanha is always unwholesome but chanda can be wholesome or unwholesome. How is this the case? Craving (tanha)...
ruben2020's user avatar
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If a buddhist should not kill a mouse living in their home, what justification do they have to rid themselves of a parasite such tapeworms

An extension of this question posted earlier: How not to kill the mouse in my house? Where does one draw the line for which forms of life are ok to destroy, and which ones are not? Is it just a ...
Gray's user avatar
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8 answers
801 views

Can you explain how cessation of existence is known to be possible?

People from other sects may argue against Buddhism on the following grounds. I invite the community of BSE to explain by reasoning or analogy how cessation of existence, which is known as the Nibbana-...
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0 votes
3 answers
403 views

What is the difference between Buddhism, Hinduism and Solipsism?

What is the difference between Buddhism, Hinduism and Solipsism? Do all these religions say that other people have no minds? If all these religions are like solipsism, then are all buddhists ...
Arnold's user avatar
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22 answers
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Why is Buddhism not Nihilism?

I'm familiar with the concept of the middle way and how Buddhism is neither Eternalism nor Nihilism. Not being Eternalism seems straightforward to me - all things are impermanent. However Buddhism not ...
Crab Bucket's user avatar
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14 votes
10 answers
6k views

How to combine Buddhism with being a parent?

Buddhist philosophy says that we shouldn't get attached and try to form bonds with something and desire or crave it because everything is essentially impermanent and this will lead to suffering. But ...
THelper's user avatar
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1 answer
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What is tathata?

Tathata has been described as the ultimate goal of Buddhism. What is tathata? What is the closest thing we experience in everyday life close to tathata? How can we attain knowledge of tathata?
user3547's user avatar
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What is yoniso manasikara and ayoniso manasikara?

As suggested in this answer, it is a good idea to investigate this further. What is wise reflection (yoniso manasikāra) and unwise reflection (ayoniso manasikāra)? Yoniso manasikāra is also ...
ruben2020's user avatar
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-1 votes
3 answers
871 views

How can Buddhist believe in Re-Incarnation, when they do not believe in soul? [duplicate]

Part 1: I was studying some of the Buddha's teaching, when I encountered this notion that Buddhism does not recognize 'Atman' or soul. Buddha did not believe in notion of 'Self'; He did not believe ...
BuddhaBlessYou's user avatar
21 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is it possible to become UNenlightened?

Is it possible for i.e. an Arhat to become unenlightened after he reached the state of Nirvana? What if an enlightened being gets a severe brain injury by some cause leaving him with amnesia. Could ...
Jordy van Ekelen's user avatar
15 votes
16 answers
3k views

Is Buddhism a religion or a philosophy?

A claim which is often heard in connection with Buddhism is that it is not a religion. From a scientific point of view, is it a religion, or is it not?
zwiebel's user avatar
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12 answers
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What determines whether actions are good or bad?

In a large number of religions, 'good' and 'bad' are defined by some all-powerful diety who either sends a representative or himself to tell us about what exactly they want us mortals to do. In ...
Haedrian's user avatar
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11 votes
5 answers
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Are there different types of emptiness (Śūnyatā)?

Even though emptiness (Śūnyatā) seems like it should just be one thing (concept/experinece/realisation) does it in fact have different types? Can it be categorised in any way? I know Buddhism is very ...
Crab Bucket's user avatar
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11 votes
4 answers
316 views

Are there any alternative formulations of the five skandas?

Considering the 5 skandas of Form Feeling Perception Volition Consciousness I was told during a study group once that this was only one of many possible formulations of the skandas and other ...
Crab Bucket's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
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Emptiness in Theravada and Mahayana

What is the difference between the concept of emptiness (Śūnyatā in Sanskrit, or suññatā in Pali) in the Theravada tradition and the concept of emptiness in the Mahayana tradition? From my basic ...
ruben2020's user avatar
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4 votes
9 answers
2k views

Is it true that Physics confirms some of the Buddha's teachings?

I've heard it said that some observations in modern Physics effectively confirm some of the things the Buddha taught. Is that true? If so, could someone provide some examples?
Apple's user avatar
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3 answers
264 views

Does Nirvana have svabhava in Madhyamaka?

As suggested in this comment, we shall try to look more closely into this. Does Nirvana have svabhāva in Madhyamaka? Here, svabhāva is as defined in Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka, and commonly translated ...
ruben2020's user avatar
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19 votes
10 answers
11k views

What is the meaning and/or purpose of life?

According to Buddhism, if exists, what is the meaning of life, and if different, what is the purpose of life? And where does this meaning and purpose come from?
Jake's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
828 views

Relation to Jainism

I've read that Jainism is one of the oldest Indian traditions, that Buddhism somewhat derived from it and that at some time they rivaled (I'm not sure if this was a political thing). Can you explain ...
Abdul's user avatar
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5 answers
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Buddhism on We are all one

As explained here Buddhism does no belong into pantheism because God can be interpreted no as oneness but a creation of the mind as the fourth aggregate explains (eg. "an invisible man who lives in ...
user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
466 views

What is intellect-consciousness and why is it different from intellect itself?

In SN 35.93 quoted below, it reads intellect-consciousness arises in dependence on the intellect and ideas, but if this consciousness is also a thinking about the work of intellect on ideas then it in ...
user13282's user avatar
3 votes
7 answers
3k views

What exactly is svabhava?

What exactly is svabhāva in Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka? It is translated as inherent nature or inherent existence or inherent substance. But what does that really mean? Does it carry the same meaning as ...
ruben2020's user avatar
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1 vote
6 answers
170 views

Does it matter if the mind is neurologically originated or not?

For example, in this answer, we find Buddhists insisting that the mind is not a "byproduct" of the brain, i.e. the mind does not arise neurologically in the brain. By neurology, I mean that according ...
ruben2020's user avatar
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15 votes
6 answers
1k views

How compatible are the beliefs of atheists and Buddhism?

I looked around and found a couple of questions and answers on the site that discuss atheism in Buddhism, What is the difference between learning the Buddhist way and simply learning from life? & ...
James Jenkins's user avatar
14 votes
5 answers
3k views

What's Buddhism view on choice, choicelesness and causality?

You see, there is only one constant, one universal, it is the only real truth: causality. Action. Reaction. Cause and effect. (...) Choice is an illusion, created between those with power, and those ...
eric's user avatar
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11 votes
8 answers
2k views

Do Buddhists believe in gods?

As far as I know, many Buddhists believe in multiple gods. Doesn't this contradict the idea that the world is governed by the law of karma? Is praying to gods allowed?
Lev's user avatar
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11 votes
8 answers
3k views

What does Buddhism literature and tradition say about transgender folks?

This may seem like a question that is far too modern for an ancient tradition, but when I traveled in Thailand I learned that katoeys (male-to-female) are a legal gender in Thailand. What does ...
user avatar
10 votes
10 answers
10k views

Relationship between Buddhism, Hinduism and Yoga?

All these 3 philosophy/religions are born across Tibet/Nepal/India and they all share numerous concept and practice. Some points of connections could be: Noble Eightfold Path are very similar to ...
WonderLand's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
8k views

Is there evidence of a Buddhist influence on Greek Stoicism?

Stoic philosophy seems to share a lot with Buddhist wisdom. Since Zeno of Citium (generally credited as the founder of Stoicism) is said to have lived a couple hundred years after Siddhartha Gautama, ...
GreenMatt's user avatar
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8 votes
4 answers
582 views

Was the doctrine of 'Anatta', accepted as doctrine by modern Buddhism, actually taught by the Buddha?

Understanding of 'Anatta' is key to so much Buddhist meditation practice and philosophy that I've been exposed to but (call me conservative) I gain great confidence when the Buddha himself had ...
Devindra's user avatar
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7 votes
6 answers
951 views

What are "Supernatural mental abilities" in relation to Buddhism?

In this question How to help non-Buddhists understand a young person's desire to be ordained as a monk?, one of the "selling points" listed was: 5) Supernatural mental abilities (astral travel, ...
user3169's user avatar
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6 votes
6 answers
507 views

How do you decide when to stick up for yourself and when to let things go?

I'm trying to apply Buddhist principles to the way I lead my life, but right now I'm struggling with an issue. In short, the problem is that someone caused damage to our home and refuses to ...
THelper's user avatar
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6 votes
4 answers
652 views

What is attachment as per Buddhism?

Is attachment some kind of love? Parental love, a smile that comes when we get a glance of a toddler, when we spent money on good for our beloved one's then that time what is it? As per my perception ...
jitin's user avatar
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6 votes
8 answers
1k views

Hesitation between Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta

I hesitate between Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta. Buddhism pleases me very much for its willingness to seek an end to suffering, being depressed it speaks to me a lot. But intellectually, ...
Advos's user avatar
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6 votes
6 answers
4k views

What is storehouse consciousness?

I've been reading Peter Harvey's Introduction the Buddhism and I've come across the concept of storehouse consciousness. It's in relation to Yogācāra and Chan Buddhism - originally with Yogācāra. It ...
Crab Bucket's user avatar
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5 votes
6 answers
5k views

Is lack of inherent existence the same as 'not real'?

I'm reading Rob Burbea's book Seeing That Frees. The book is about ways of working with emptiness. In the book he says that things lack inherent existence. I'm fairly sure this isnt the same as not ...
Crab Bucket's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
860 views

How can killing of Muslims by Buddhists in Myanmar be justified? [duplicate]

Considering whatever atrocities Muslims did (I don't know if they did any) or are going to do, is killing Muslims the only solution the Myanmar Buddhists could adopt? Is it wise? Is violence ...
Gokul NC's user avatar
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5 votes
4 answers
700 views

Is there common ground between the Tao Te Ching and Buddhism?

I am interested in Buddhism and the book Tao Te Ching, written by Lao-Tzu in c. 600 BC. Is there common ground between these two Eastern philosophies? link to audio of Tao Te Ching
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
505 views

Why is the Yogācāra school called 'mind only'?

I've heard the Yogācāra school of Buddhism called 'mind only'. What does that refer to? Does this school believe that the mind has a real inherent existence but nothing else does? Alternatively is it ...
Crab Bucket's user avatar
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3 votes
4 answers
121 views

Mutually Exclusive Approaches

I had begun writing a question, but it was so long I needed to re-frame it simply in fewer words. The basic theme of my question was: aren't some Buddhist techniques mutually exclusive? The simplest ...
user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
272 views

Awakened Great Zen Master Seung Sahn - is it possible he lost the state of Nibbana?

From my understanding of awakening (and also according to answers here like Is it possible to become UNenlightened?), it is an irreversible process. It makes sense in theory as, once one awakens, ...
user3646166's user avatar