'Eternalism', Theravada lies
The notion, as falsely projected by the Theravadin (and Mahayanists as well) demons, the notion of “Eternalism” (sasssatavada) which is unquestionably rejected in doctrine.
However there is no such entity as “eternalism” as pertains the term sassatavada in doctrine. The term sassatavada means literally (consubstantial) perpetualism (sassat +vada doctrine of]), or literally Karmayana (merit making [good actions as the highest obtainable). This position IS INDEED as a ‘heresy’ in doctrine, however it nowhere in sutta applies to the Atman specifically, rather to the antinomies of existence (bhava/ sassatavada and vibhava/uchedavada). Sassatavada as the genuine heresy it is in doctrine nowhere and in no passage refers to the atman, rather only, in doctrine, refers to one of two heresies. #1 “atta ca so loka ca” (that the atman and the world/cosmos/empirical realm are conjoined…..[and hence no escape ultimately from same]). This is of course the position of MOST Indians today who believe that good deeds (kamma/karma) is the highest good, which bears fruit in either better life in this life, or better next life; logically so this sassatavada position is indeed a heresy as per Buddhist Monism. Heresy #2 as pertains sassatavada (which in sutta is absolutely equal to bhava [becoming,….i.e. life after life..]) are that deeds, actions (kamma; i.e. Karmayana) is a salvatory path, of which it is firmly rejected thereof (SN 4.400 example). Additionally, as per SN 4.400, asti (is there?) nasti (is there not?) questions are NEVER answered by Gotama such that they entail answers which must be devoid of gnosis, and directed towards one of two antinomies which is unbeneficial as well as counterproductive. However the demonic trash which passes as “Buddhism” today has spun this subtle philosophical point to uphold their erroneous claims to which the atman is/was rejected within doctrine, to which of course, it never is.
Atta’sarana anan’n’asarana.--"Soul as a refuge with none other as refuge” DN 2.100
“Atta’ ca me so saranam gati ca” --“The Soul is the refuge that I have gone unto” Jatakapali 1441 Akkhakandam
"Soul the refuge (Saran.am.attano)"-- DN 2.120
Jataka-2 #1341 “tattha atta’ va sarathi” ----“the Soul is Charioteer”
- 1.How is it Gotama, is “the all” entirety? This is the oldest cosmology Brahman to say ‘the all is entirety’. #2. Then Gotama, is ‘the all’ ultimately not? This is the second cosmology Brahman to say ‘the all is ultimately not’. #3. Then Gotama, is ‘the all’ one’s Soul? This is the third cosmology Brahman to say ‘the all is one’s Soul’. #4. Then Gotama, is ‘the all’ merely composites (materialism, atomism)? This is the fourth cosmology Brahman to say ‘the all is merely composite (atoms)’…” [SN 2.77]. The Atthakatha commentary to this sutta at [Nidanavagga-Att. 2.76], states that the first and third view to be that of the Sassatavadin (perpetualism), whereas the second and fourth view to be that of the Ucchedavadin (annihilationist, atomist). It is certainly of note to make mention that the Jains also rejected sassatavada as a heretical and dogmatic speculation; however all peoples know that the Jains themselves in no way shape or form deny the Soul in its doctrine.
The views possessed by the Sassatavadin (perpetualist) is that sabbamatthi, or ‘the all is entirety’, and sabbamekattan or ‘the all is one’s Soul’; both of which are heretical notions which are devoid of the middle-term (The Soul), since both lead to a stasis of inaction and desire for emancipation from Samsara in the mind of those with such views. This view is not “eternalism” but perpetualism in that those who possess this belief feel that samsara is without escape and that all one can hope for is the heaping of merit or attainment of a god (deva) realm and or better reincarnation, which is still mere samsara and a view which is devoid of a medium or means (Soul,vijja) for emancipation. Perpetualism is the most common belief in India today in one form or another, wherein its adherents belief that the one that acts is the one that experiences the result [SN 2.20] and there is not other than to watch ones karmic deeds and heap merit in hopes for either equal or a better position is this life and or the next. Both good and bad karma, as per Buddhism and Upanishadic thought, are merely part and parcel of samsara itself, since an absolute stasis (Tat, Brahma, Soul, Atman) is contingent upon Vijja, panna (illumination, wisdom) alone and nothing else. Buddhism itself in sutta proclaims pannavimutta (emancipation by wisdom) as ultimate.
The equally heretical views possessed by the Ucchedavadin (annihilationist) that sabbamnatthi ‘the all is ultimately not’ (atomism), and sabbam puthuttan or ‘the all is merely composite (atoms)’ are also both heretical notions which are devoid of the middle-term (The Soul), since both lead to inaction and desire for emancipation from Samsara; the difference in view from the Sassatavadin being only the mirror image of the basis and reason for inaction ultimately. This view which is atomistic is also very much closer to Epicureanism, since its basis is that all is for naught, so eat drink and be merry for death comes swiftly. This view is most common in Europe and America today (existentialism, empiricism, atheism) where the cult of scientism and genetic engineering have attempted, in vain, to convince its populace that all is mere chance like a fractal design, atomic assemblages, and that with the aid of those like Darwin, and pseudo-science physics, the Soul can be dismissed as mere hogwash and the fanciful speculations of our “ignorant ancestors” who were “technologically unsophisticated”. Ironically enough, modern “Buddhism” itself is atomistic and holds the very same belief of the Ucchedavadin which Gotama denounced as “heretical” [An 3.337]. Modern heretical “Buddhism” itself conceives of the world (via post-Buddhistic Abhidhammic catechism) as composed of “Selfless dharmic monads” which are without a “basis” (anti-foundationalism, nihilism).
Both of these views are mere impasses which never attack the heart (mind, citta, Soul) of the matter as addressed by the Vedas, Upanishads, and Nikayas of Buddhism, that being avijja (nescience, agnosis, ignorance) and its reversal through the Jhanas (sati, Samadhi) and gnosis (panna, vijja) which makes con-centric (majjha) ones mind (citta) as its “own support”. “The all is all”, and “all is naught” are equal and diametrically opposed speculations which never lead to investigation of the basis, or stasis or true being (svabhava). The only opposite to both heretical views is that which is concentric and prior to either becoming (bhava, sassatavada), or annihilation (vibhava, ucchedavada), namely the Self or the Soul which “partakes not of either being nor becoming”, but is “ones True-nature”, or Tathagatagarbha, bodhicitta (Self-same mind illumined), or Selfhood (attan) attained through the Jhanic methodology of inflexure of mind upon itself before it mentates and leads to Vinnana (Vi-nana, agnosis, reflective-mind).
Both views are in complete antinomy with one another, for to declare the annihilation of what “is” requires the basis for what has become to have been begotten by that which itself is not begotten; whereas for perpetualism to declare the perpetuosity of what “is” in perpetuity does not address that centermost axis mundi which “makes things arise in perpetuity” to begin with. The middle or means, that being the Soul, is the axis mundi, which is without polarity or antinomy whereby Gotama says he “instructs by the means (majjhe)” [SN 2.77]; such that he does not veer to either end of the spectrum of mutually exclusivity, or codependent heretical views of being and annihilation which are void of the basis for either’s arising to begin with, and are consubstantial upon a prerequisite set of conditions for both of their very existences. Views of either becoming or annihilation on the wheel of samsara are devoid of engagement on the topic of the basis for either arising or passing, that being the medium which itself is imbued with the causeless condition (avijja) as impetus for the initiatory causation of ones arising. The wise do not care or are involved in either the coming or going of beings in samsara when one discerns the means (majjha) by which they arise and pass in the first place. What need is there for debating being (sat) or nonbeing (asat) when one has discovered by wisdom what is prior to both and imbued with neither.
In direct antinomy to either Asadvada (nonbeing-ism) or Sadvada (being-ism) is advaita (non-duality) which is also identical to the Buddhistic Hetuvada (because-of-this-ism, or causation-ism): [SN 2.17] “This world is carried on, Kaccana, by a duality (dvayanissito); which are ‘being (sat, atthiti views of either sabbamatthi ‘the all is entirety’, and sabbamekattan ‘the all is one’s Soul’ [SN 2.77])’ and ‘nonbeing (asat, natthiti views of either sabbamnatthi ‘the all is ultimately not’ (atomism), and sabbam puthuttan ‘the all is merely composite (atoms)’ [SN 2.77])’. When the arising of the world is seen as it truly as or as it has become with Samma’ (coherent citta or mind) wisdom there is no notion of ‘being’ or ‘nonbeing’; the same holds true as to the subjugation of the world. This world is entirely bound to dogmas, cravings and beliefs Kaccana. When ones mind is not engaged in either dogmas, cravings or beliefs then there is no arising of speculative views such as ‘this is my Soul’; for he has gnosis and neither doubt or wavering (of mind) that it is merely suffering which has come to arise and merely the cessation of suffering which ceases. Herein Kaccana one possesses envisionment of Samma’. ‘The all (sabba) is’, and ‘the all is not’ are both dead ends (speculative views). Without involvement in either of these (heretical) views the Tathagata teaches the dhamma by the means (majjhena, or Tat, Brahma, Soul).” Because-of-this, namely anana (agnosis) or avijja (nescience) there is that, and when that is present, so is that and etc.” The Tathagata teaches that both dogmas of sat and asat are fruitless; so the Tathagata, the Sammasambuddha teaches Tat (Brahma, Soul) which is achieved by means of wisdom which destroys nescience (avijja); before “thou art being (sat)” and “thou art unbecoming (asat)”, there is That, “thou art That (Brahma)”.
Given the absence of avijja which occludes ones Self (attan) or Soul from direct discernment of things as they are or have become (yathabhuta) there is no need to speak of or become involved in either speculation or dogmas relative to being (sat) or non-being (asat) when only action is required to wipe away agnosis with wisdom and the jhanas, whereupon the refulgent glory and magnitude of ones Self-nature or Atman which is identical with Brahma [MN 1.341] becomes Tat (such, that, Brahma) without antinomy or duality (dvayanissito), or speculative dogmatic beliefs regarding ones Soul (attanuditthi). To sum up: [Pati-Att. 2.398] “…’being (sat)’ is perpetualism, whereas ‘nonbeing (asat)’ is nihilism”, or more succinctly: [SN 2.65] “When this exists, that comes to be, with the arising of this, that also arises; when that is not present, that does not come to be; with the subjugation of this, that too is subjugated. Namely this means when nescience (avijja, agnosis) as (original) condition there are volitional experiences (which come to be); with volitional experiences as condition, there is consciousness (vinnana), (which is then manifest).