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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Why does the Noble Eightfold Path work? [duplicate]

Since I have started reading Buddhist texts and trying to follow the Noble Eightfold Path, my life is happier and 'easier' but why is this? I believe it to be 'common sense' and the innate human ...
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What is actually Nirvana — what are some Tripitaka sources?

What do you know about the Nirvana? Most of this community people are from all around the world, and may have different teachers, and level of knowledge may vary. A brief explanation, with reference ...
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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)...
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239 views

If all things are impermanent, then how can Buddhism make absolute assertions?

I had someone ask me this afternoon: If Buddhism teaches that all things are impermanent, then how can it make absolute assertions such as there are 5 aggregates or there are 4 noble truths? ...
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What is Buddhist doctrine on the question of counterfactual definiteness?

Counterfactual definiteness is, "is the ability to speak "meaningfully" of the definiteness of the results of measurements that have not been performed." The classic question to illustrate is, "When ...
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Does false self = no self?

My new understanding (based on this post) is that the self is not permanent and is always changing. However, I still can't make the logical assertion that the self does not exist at all. At this point,...
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2answers
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What are false unchanging entities?

I am having trouble with the concept of "unchanging entities which exist on their own". Attachment to the false view of self means belief in the presence of unchanging entities which exist on their ...
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7answers
341 views

Is an 'Existential Crisis' a necessary condition to start on the path of Dhamma?

The path of Dhamma is a journey towards the end of all suffering through the attainment of Nibbana. The Buddha set out to find the cure for human suffering, but there are so many people around us ...
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The Philosophy of Zen

How can the Zen school of thought distinguished from the Chan school of thought? Both spring from Mahayana, true; but what are the basic differences?
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Which case is “I am a professor” with identity view?

According to the Yamaka Sutta quoted below, a run-of-the-mill person thinks one of the following: the form to be the self the self as possessing form the form as in the self the self as in form And ...
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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, ...
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Interdependence in regards to myself and the universe

As I was meditating this morning I asked myself the question, "If I am destroyed would the universe also be destroyed?". I answered, "No." Then I asked, "If the universe was destroyed, would I be ...
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Different Pali words for remorse or regret

The Pali word for remorse or regret in the definition of the five hindrances (in MN 10) is "kukucca". Sometimes, this word is also translated as worry or anxiety. This word usually appears together ...
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297 views

What's the difference between remorse and shame of evil?

Remorse or regret (kukucca) is supposed to be unwholesome, while shame of evil (hiri) is wholesome. What is the difference between the two? Why is one wholesome, while the other isn't?
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233 views

How is the pendulum understood in Buddhism?

I've seen the pendulum is widely used as an illustration for finding a neutral, balance point between the extremes. Its movement is also periodic which shares the same characteristic with samsara. It ...
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681 views

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)?
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Did Dignaga argue against real relations?

Did Dignaga argue against real relations? I gather that his student, Dharmakirti, did. I'm asking only because I'd disagree, but am skeptical about universals.
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What is the substantial cause of an instance of consciousness?

Context: I'm considered a skeptic of rebirth in my tradition which is the Gelug branch of Tibetan Buddhism. I'm asking this question to help me understand what other traditions think. In my tradition ...
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4answers
224 views

Do Buddhists believe Buddha to be God? Do Buddhists practice idolatry?

I have seen Buddhists worship Gautam Buddha, a great personality, a great philosopher, a great social reformer and spiritual master, with incense and candles. They would offer flower to his idol made ...
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1answer
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How is Nichiren Buddhism different from other branches of Buddhism?

Nichiren Buddhism is a branch Mahayana Buddhism founded by Nichiren in the 13th century Japan. How is it different from other sects and branches of Buddhism? What are it's tenets, philosophy and ...
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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 ...
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2answers
261 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 ...
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78 views

When saying that the aggregate is not-self are we not predicting the existence of a thing called self?

Parmenides, a presocratic philosopher, said: The only roads of inquiry there are to think of: one, that it is and that it is not possible for it not to be, this is the path of persuasion (for ...
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Is it fair to say that Buddhism employ misology?

The question is straightforward as it read, but to elaborate I will give some examples. I think most people will agree that reason is what is special about human beings, and most religions and ...
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6answers
121 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 ...
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What is beyond the realm of Gods.

After have studied Hinduism, and more modern reality creation referring to concepts such as higher vibrations, higher realms that exists beyond our material, such as the astral or heavenly. Also ...
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166 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 ...
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161 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 ...
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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 ...
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Usefulness of Madhyamaka to personal practice?

In my opinion, the Sutta Pitaka and Mahayana Agamas (the Mahayana equivalent of the Pali suttas) discuss the nature of the self (anatta, empty of self, dependent arising) in such a way that it is ...
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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 ...
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Cessation of suffering is the main goal of Buddhism, but is cessation of suffering the end goal or does Buddhism pursue Joy beyond end of suffering?

I ask the above because Socrates in the Republic has proven that the cessation of suffering is a quietude of the mind, an illusion or a jugglery not real. What we should we aim according to him is not ...
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Is Buddhism a religion?

I want to know that what is Buddhism and is it a religion or just a philosophy or a exercise ? I really want to know more about it , is there a book about learning Buddhism?
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Emptiness and Om

Somewhere reading the book i found something sensible like 'You think you're right , i think i'm right but at last we're neither right neither wrong.' So what is that which is neither right neither ...
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3answers
140 views

What would be the motivation for an arahant to perform generous deeds?

In the early stages of the gradual training, the instructions point out to perform generous deeds out of compassion. Knowing that a arahant has no more any trace of desire or self-identification and ...
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293 views

How do you understand Ananda Sutta?

How do you understand the Ananda Sutta? How do you place it in relation to the Atman or Anatta (An-atman) doctrine? SN 44.10 Then the wanderer Vacchagotta went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, ...
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How does the 2nd Noble truth explain the cause of suffering-as-suffering (e.g. resulting from a severe burn)?

I would like to ask question regarding the 4 Noble Truths. The second Noble Truth broadly speaking is that suffering is a result of craving, aversion and ignorance. I can see how this can been seen as ...
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810 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, ...
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Decoupling happiness from state of the world: Useful? Against human nature?

I'm currently reading the book "Happiness - a guide to developing life's most important skill" by Matthieu Ricard (my first real contact with buddhism/buddhist philosophy). I found the argument he ...
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Everything I do is motivated by greed/aversion. How to react?

I just came to a very upsetting realisation : Almost all my motivation for the things I do in my daily life (mostly playing the piano and studying math in college) comes from bad things, such as ego, ...
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If someone causes me pain but I don’t lament it, feel sorrow about it- what circumstance, if any, warrants acting against the person causing pain?

Step 1: Some person causes me pain Step 2: let’s say I stay neutral about pain, pain does not cause me sorrow, and I don’t feel even slightest feelings of ill will towards that person — all because ...
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Has any Buddhist philosopher claimed space is ideal because it is a whole?

Has any Buddhist philosopher claimed space is ideal because it is a whole, and wholes can't be real? With emphasis on space, not what takes it up, except perhaps to say they're "in" space likes parts ...
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103 views

What was the reason why Buddha taught reincarnation?

Although Buddha (Siddhartha) taught that humans had no soul, nevertheless he taught that there is a reincarnation. My question is not how these two 'dogmas' are compatible but why he 'needed' ...
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Tolerating Sensations VS Diminishing them

I was wondering something. Basically, I was wondering whether sensations, such as suffering: (1) naturally occur within the person, as pleasure and pain, or happiness and suffering, and it is their ...
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7answers
131 views

Upekkha and Non-attachment in Buddhism

I have read on Wikipedia, after an enlightening answer on here, that upekkha signifies not total indifference, but that: The "far enemy" of Upekkha is greed and resentment, mind-states in obvious ...
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Demotivation and Nihilism

I am curious as to how Buddhism deals with demotivation, in the sense of lacking goals and aspirations, and with nihilism, in the sense of feeling things are dissatisfactory and devoid of reasons to ...
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360 views

How to stop comparing oneself with others?

I'm wondering how Buddhism deals with the comparison of oneself with others, and I'm specifically thinking in terms of accomplishments. For example, I have usually had some success in art fields in my ...
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122 views

Does Krishnamurti claim of No Path, No Progress, No Goal fit with Buddhist thought?

Quoted below is an article posted on BuddhaNet Magazine relating Krishnamurti's philosophy with Buddhism. The writer relates Krishnamurti's view that there is "no "path", no procedures, no ...
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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 ...
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Certainty and Skeptical Investigation

I know Buddhism promotes skeptical investigation, and finding things out with a personal conviction about them, i.e. not believing the Buddha on hearsay but rigorous examination. I wonder: how is ...