Sunday, July 12, 2015

Dualism in Buddhism

There are many terms in Buddhism that have depth meaning in Buddhism such as Dharma, karma, Sunyata, Dualism, Non-dualism. One of the most repeated questions asked in Buddhism is:
“What is the meaning of Dualism?”
Dualism is a concept where one understands that everything can be concluded into two fundamental categories which include the reality itself too. In western philosophy, the term dualism represents the state of two parts. Basically speaking, Dualism is the way to perceives everything as a contrasting pair such as male and female, good and evil, light and dark etc.
Dualism in a simpler form, argues that all phenomena can be located within a duality since all these phenomena must be either mental or material and are reducible to others. It is the state of the mind where one becomes confuses on the mental states as well as physical states.
There are various philosophies on Dualism in Buddhism. According to one philosopher, the term Dualism doesn’t exist in Buddhism. Dualism claims that Consciousness exists independently, but this concept contradicts dependent origination. Buddhism is closer to materialism than that of Dualism since Buddhism teach us about conscious experience that happens in conjunction with sense organs.

Dualism in Theravada Buddhism

Buddhism In recent years, Theravada Buddhism has been facing one of the most challenging issues and that is the issues between the Classical Theravada Buddhism vipassana meditation and Non-dualistic tradition. According to Theravada Buddhist monks Bhikkhu Bodhi, Theravada Buddhism is neither Dualistic nor Non-dualistic. But in the world of Theravada Buddhism, dualism do exist. Some of the duality are good or bad, wisdom or ignorance, suffering and happiness and most significant duality that exists is between Samsara and Nirvana. Samsara represents the realm of suffering and Nirvana represents the liberation from the cycle or samsara of sufferings. Bhikkhu Bodhi states on this matter:
"There is not the least insinuation that this reality is metaphysically indistinguishable at some profound level from its manifest opposite, samsara,"

Dualism in Mahayana Buddhism

The teachings of Buddha are based on simple two truths such as Conventional truths and Ultimate truth. And those who don't understand the difference between these two truths is not suitable to achieve liberation. One who understands the true conventional truth cannot know the importance and significance of ultimate truth. Mahayana Buddhism mainly focuses on Non-Dualism rather than dualism. According to Mahayana, all phenomena inter exists dependently and all phenomena are the way it is and nothing is separate and independent.

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