Shankar on Momentariness (क्षण भंगवाद )

Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by rcscwc, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. rcscwc Registered Senior Member

    Shankar on Momentariness (क्षण भंगवाद )

    kShaNa bhaMgavaada or TOM is one of the three main pillars of Buddha's philosophy. The other two are Theory of Dependent Origination and shunyata (शून्यता).

    When examined deeply Shankaracharya and other Hindu acharyas found them to be mutually contradictory. But this thread deals mainly with TOM.

    Consider Causal chain of 12 links. Antecedent link cannot be the efficient cause of the subsequent link as it is extinguished after a moment BEFORE the moment of subsequent link arises. If it is said that a moment when fully developed becomes the cause of the subsequent moment then it is untenable. It is because that causal efficiency of a moment presupposes a link with the next moment. This repudiates the theory of universal momentariness.

    Svantantra-Vijanvada claims that the fact of the preceding moment means its causal efficiency. But that too is impossible. No effect can arise without imbibing at least partly the part of the nature of the cause. After all, curd is not fully divested the fundamental nature of milk. If this is admitted that it is HAS to be admitted that the cause is not momentary, as the causal moment continues to reside in the subsequent moment.

    Are production and destruction of any object its very nature? Or transformation into another state [water into ice]? Or Or are they
    completely different things? All three are impossible. In the first case, production and destruction would be non different from the object itself, and none of these three can be told apart. If production is beginning, the thing is the middle and destruction is the middle, then a thing spanning three moments cannot be momentary. If production and destruction are different from the thing, then the thing is indecent of production and destruction both and is eternal. This at once violate the Dependent Origination AND the Middle path taught by Buddha. Again if production and destruction are regarded as just perception and non perception, then they are attributes of the perceiving mind not of the thing. Out of site only means out of mind but not out of existence!!! It rather tends to make the thing permanent. Thus here to TOM stands repudiated.

    If it is said that that things arise without cause, then DO is trashed. However, it would mean that anything can arise out of anything randomly, and if a hare sprouts horns, then you should not be surprised.

    Again it cannot be said that there is no conscious destruction nor unconscious destruction [natural decay of things]. It is because they can neither relate to a series as in all the series, the members are causally related, in interrupted manner, nor to the members as a it cannot be completely annihilated since it can be recognised in a different state as having a connected existence.

    If Ignorance is destroyed by Right knowledge then the Buddhist Doctrine that universal destruction goes on without cause is negated. Moreover, if it is destroyed on its own then Buddhist teaching of Dhamma to help destruction of Ignorance is futile. Damnably, it negates the very Dhamma itself.

    If Atman is momentary [or non existence], then whose bondage whose liberation? Whose Karma, whose fruits?

    Since Ignorance itself is momentary, why bother about it. Since right knowledge too is momentary why trouble acquiring it?

    Fact of memory and recognition is a fatal blow to TOM. Since past is recognized in the present, memory CANNOT be momentary. It is permanent till death. A Buddhist cannot deny that he remembers his past and recognizes all the successive cognitions till his death, how can he maintain the TOM?

    Ps: Buddhist philosophy is a predicate, as also about Shankaracharya.
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  3. Light Travelling It's a girl O lord in a flatbed Ford Registered Senior Member

    The doctrines of momentariness and dependant origination are there only as ways to condition the mind. Momentariness keeps one from falling into absolutism and dependant origination keeps one from falling into nihilism. The middle path is clinging to neither of these. With a clear and empty mind we must surpass both these concepts, for concepts is all they are (useful tools on the Buddhist path but concepts none the less)

    A few quotes to illustrate;
    Diamond sutra 14
    “In the dharma realised, taught and reflected upon by the tathagata, there is nothing true and nothing false”

    Diamond sutra 23
    “Undifferentiated is the dharma, in which nothing is differentiated.

    Lankavatara sutra xxv
    “Having been enlightened they would keep themselves away from eternalistic assertions as well as from nihilistic refutations; and leave your enlightened eye unrefuted.”
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  5. rcscwc Registered Senior Member

    DS 14 and 23 do not touch upon TOM.

    Dependent Origination is contrary to TOM. And Lankavatara ends with:

    Here Ends "The Mahayana Sutra Called the Arya-Saddharma-Lankavatara, Together with the Verses."

    (376) All things are born of causation,
    And their cause has been told by the Tathagata;
    And the Great Muni tells
    That their cessation takes place thus.

    It attests to things:
    1. Arya Saddarma is the goal. The Arya Dharma is nothing but Sanatana Dharma.

    2. DO is underlined.
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  7. Light Travelling It's a girl O lord in a flatbed Ford Registered Senior Member

    14 and 23 touch on all things that can be held to be true and false and all things that can be differentiated; therefore they include TOM.

    The last verse that you quote ends in “cessation takes place thus”, 'thus' in this case refers to the entire teaching of the Lankavatara that has preceded that verse. Which would also include the following;

    Lanka LXII
    “Then the Blessed One said: People of this world are dependent on two things, Mahamati, that is, they are dependent on the idea of being and on that of non-being, and they fall into the views whereby they take pleasure either in nihilism or in realism. They imagine emancipation where there is no emancipation.

    Now, Mahamati, who are the people dependent on the notion of being? It means this that they regard the world as rising from causation which is really existent, and that the actually existing and becoming world does not take its rise from causation which is non-existent. This will not be the case if the world is something non-existing. They thus talk of the really-existing world as arising from the reality of causation. This is the realistic view of causation as held by some people....................

    When the external world is not grasped as real there is neither causation nor reality, there is the essence of tathata which is the spiritual realm of the wise”

    Lanka XXXIV
    “So I, making use of the various forms instruct my sons; but the limit of reality can only be realised within oneself”

    LXII refutes causation and XXXIV confirms that Buddha only uses forms as a teaching tool and they should not be seen as ultimate reality.
  8. Light Travelling It's a girl O lord in a flatbed Ford Registered Senior Member

    It is not that one theory can be proved right and another wrong, Buddhist teachings are deliberately contradictory; to get us to stop thinking and reasoning in the dualistic way of right and wrong. A correct perception of reality will not be found in either view, no matter how subtle you make the difference – you still make a difference i.e discriminate.

    Sorry, but again from the Lanka

    LXXIV “The truth is told differently in different sutras because of names and notions; yet apart from words no meaning is attainable”.

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