Re: Reincarnation Inquiry




"Advaita Bob" <advaita.bob@xxxxxxxxx> wrote
Mayura wrote:

I don't know that we can get to the beginnings of various now common
concepts in Indian religion. Partly because Brahmanism was the religion of
the invading and conquering Aryans and victors get to write history -
mainly
their own - in glowing terms and that of the conquered in disparaging
terms
if at all.

It seems to be more complicated than that. Apparently they weren't
really invading and Brahmanism wasn't their religion because it was a
later development from the Veda and various influences.

I see what you mean about 'Brahmanism' but Mr.Penguin has a chapter on "The
Aryan Invasion of India" and says that it hasn't yet been plotted by
archaelogical discoveries but that a lot can be gleaned from the Rig Veda
which contains numerous references to their struggles with the pre-Aryan
inhabitants, known as Dasa or Dasyu. Such battles, and the destruction of
forts or cities, are most frequently mentioned in connection with the god
Indra, who, as a result, receives the epithet Purandara, 'the destroyer of
cities'. The god of fire, Agni, is also prominent on this point: 'Through
fear of you, the dark people went away, not giving battle, leaving behind
their possessions, when, O Vaisvanara, burning brightly for Puru, and
destroying the cities, you did brightly shine'.

By the time of the composition of the Vedic hymns, the terms Dasa and Dasyu
(for the pre-Aryans) are often portrayed as demons whom the gods are
portrayed as fighting, showing that the recollection of the actual events
was becoming blurred. The same conclusion is derived from the fact that the
actual migration is no longer remembered. Linguistic arguments point in the
same direction. Important phonetic changes took place between the time of
the migration and the composition of the Rig Veda...

The destruction of the Indus civilization by the new invaders was remarkably
complete, and most of the recognised Indus sites ceased to be occupied after
this period. The Aryans were aware of the numerous ruined Indus sites among
which they lived... 'The people to whom these ruined sites, lacking posts,
formerly belonged, these many settlements widely distributed, they, O
Vaisvanara, having been expelled by thee, have migrated to another land.

E.g. they
didn't believe in rebirth initially. Brahmanism already is quite a
religious cocktail, ready to integrate anything that can be. Not
unsimilar what Shankara did later, putting all sorts of different sects
to his Advaita vedanta service. Using Dee's friend's tactic "yes yes, I
know, yes,
I know I know...."

I assume with "already" above, you are referring to the time of the Buddha
(?) Mr.P has a Vedic Period (1500-600BC) and then a period of innovations
apparently from non-Aryan sources e.g. Yoga and the cult of the goddess. My
assumption is that it would be something like the invasion of Britain by the
Saxons and then the Vikings. Initially they slaughtered and/or displaced the
previous inhabitants who were more developed than they were with cultivation
and cities etc. and herded cattle among the ruins etc. And then as they got
a bit more civilized and self-confident, they became able to cope with
letting the indigenous people's influence back into their new mainstream.

So we don't know, in terms of practices and oral transmission,
what was bubbling away underneath the level of the Brahmans and their holy
books. But it's reasonable to infer (e.g. from the Shiva and meditating
figures etc. of the Indus Valley) that all sorts was bubbling away nicely
including meditation and its alleged purposes.

Yes, and the neutral absolute Brahman is a nice federating concept,
like the Buddhist emptiness, ideal for recuperating other cults.

Yes. DT's 'Borg' (from some sci-fi thing I missed). Is the general mutual
rejection of 'Hinduism' and Buddhism symmetrical and equal on both sides?
When I go to the Indian restaurant, if I or the Bangladeshi Muslims get on
to the topic of religion, they will tell me where everyone else is going
wrong - that Christians worship Christ, Hindus worship idols, Buddhists
worship the Buddha etc. It's all very simple. And for instance, the Bengali
phrasebook says (which I have found to be trueish), "Bengalis may feel
uncomfortable if you do not profess a religion. To avoid any embarrassment,
it may be a good idea to claim a religion" !!! (which I don't, because I
think, just on principle, that myopic medieval brainwashed nutters should be
made as uncomfortable as possible :) But since I often hear similar stuff
from various Buddhists, I was wondering if it is reciprocated on the 'Hindu'
side (?) Or whether they tend to be just normal like me :) One difference
between 'Hinduism' and Buddhism, Islam, Christianity etc. are that the
latter are evangelizing religions spreading from their start-point whereas
'Hinduism' is more geographical/racial so that it has to find a way of
integrating everyone within its boundaries.

Patanjali lists some of these 'powers' but adds that they're an obstacle
to
samadhi when/because the mind is 'outward-turned'. And I expect the same
would apply to 'mindfulness' for the same reason - relative to samadhi -
the
mind is 'outward-turned'. And if you bypass those two methods both of
which
contribute to the Buddha's super-map, the map would be a hell of a lot
more
compact - bordering on non-existent.

All during the Buddha's life and teachin according to the various
canons, he seems to have to go into and come out of various samaadhis
(Tang's reactivation theory) in order to act and speak. This makes the
whole thing look much more a question of technics.

Yes.

A question - in the Parinibbana Sutta DN.16 there's this visit by Pukkusa
the Malla where he talks about Alara Kalama in terms of "those who have
gone
forth from the world" and by the end, after being impressed by the fact
that
the Buddha was conscious but didn't hear much louder sounds, the Buddha is
referred to in the same terms. Does this imply that Alara Kalama had
become
liberated in the interim?

It's a bit strange isn't it.

I'm assuming "the world" is identical with "the all" which the Buddha uses
interchangeably and that going forth from it = nibbana. And it would make
sense to me that if they were at the same level at the time they parted,
that Alara would likewise have attained nibbana within the same general
time-frame. But the Buddha's reaction seems incredibly petty to me as with
the Channa thing.

Usually it is taught that concentration on
its own isn't enough. But this story seems to want to make the point
that the Buddha had real concentration powers. And even better than
those of an ordinary yogi. This point is stressed by the anecdote of
the Alara Kalama's golden robe being offered to the Buddha. The
Buddha's body is so shiny and luminous that it outshines the golden
robe. I would put it on the same level as the Buddha having fathered a
son before becoming a Buddha. it's perhaps to stop people moaning about
"yes he became a monk, because he was impotent, or a bad warrior and
therefore unfit to become a kin", or "he abandoned Jhana, because he
was crap at it". Same for all his miraculous powers. He couldn't be
shown to be any less than all those religious dwarfs. What do you
think?

It sounds right. I think he was fiercely competitive, which, in a way, led
to a need to keep himself off his own map, according to which, there's
really nothing that matters to distinguish any arahant from any other. I
vaguely remember his distinguishment stemming from his 'knowing all the
paths' and e.g. 'mindfulness' leading to 'insight' but these are just like
exploring, categorizing and recognizing the shittinss of 'shit' (/the All).

Jonathan




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