Vidyasankar Sundaresan vidya at CCO.CALTECH.EDU
Tue Sep 2 10:29:03 CDT 1997

On Mon, 1 Sep 1997 un824 at wrote:


> I thought it was a cardinal principle of Buddhism that all *condtioned*
> things were momentary. The "Unborn" (ie. Nirvana) is not conditioned, not
> compounded and any relative concept cannot be applied to it.  As I see it,
> Buddhism is simply denying the validity of all concepts about ultimate
> reality, it is not denying ultimate reality. This is a significant
> difference that seems to be frequently missed.

Yes, there is a passage in the udAna section of the pAlI canon that says
that nirvANa is unconditioned etc. And yes, Buddhism also does not deny
ultimate reality. Note however, that the theravAda schools of Buddhism do
not emphasize this at all. Only the vijnAnavAda and later madhyamaka
schools do.

Also, the specific equation of Atman with this ultimate reality is not
acceptable to any school of Buddhism. Probably because Buddhism starts
with the notion that there is no eternal Atman.


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