anjali wrote:In the vedanta tradition, avidya is modeled as having two aspects: avarana shakti and vikshepa shakti.
.散亂 (Skt. vikṣepa; Tib. rnam par gyeṅ ba) 'distraction,' 'scattering.' One of the twenty secondary defilement elements (隨煩惱) in the doctrine of the Yogācāra school.
anjali wrote:First, some background. I'm doing a bit of personal research and would like to get some input from the dharmawheel community. The research topic is models for avidya in different traditions. In particular, I would like to present a simplified model of avidya from vedanta and ask if there is an analog or alternative model in the different Buddhist traditions (tibetan/chan/zen/theravada). I will likely post this over on dhammawheel, so I am most interested here in Tibetan/Chan/Zen models for avidya. However, if someone has a theravada perspective, feel free to contribute here. FYI, I'm not interested in debating different models for avidya. I'm interested discovering different models for avidya. For example, what models of avidya do Dzogchen, Mahamudra, and Chan have? Now, on the model.
In the vedanta tradition, avidya is modeled as having two aspects: avarana shakti and vikshepa shakti. Avarana is the active concealing/darkening/dulling power of avidya that keeps the knowledge of one's true nature from arising. Vikshepa is the projecting/distracting power of avidya that results in distracted pursuit of illusory multiplicity. There are further breakdowns of these two shaktis within the vedanta model, but let's start here and see how the thread progresses.
I know that in several Buddhist traditions there are shamatha/vipashyana practices that discuss working with dull and distracted states of mind, but I can't find any discussion that avidya itself has different aspects. So, are there similar notions to avarana and vikshepa (with a buddhist slant of course)? If so, what are they, and are they broken down into other aspects? If not, maybe there is another model for avidya? Looking forward to your replies!
The Yogācāra Two Hindrances and Their Reinterpretations in East Asia
Charles Muller, Toyo Gakuen University
[JIABS 27-1, 2004, pp. 207-235. The version of the paper contained in the print version passed through one more stage of proofreading, and thus may have minor differences in some passages.]
Table of Contents
1. The Basic Yogācāra Teaching of the Hindrances
2. Wonhyo's Research on the Two Hindrances
3. The Awakening of Mahāyāna Faith
4. The Esoteric Aspect of the Hindrances in the Ijangui
5. The Two Hindrances in the Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment
6. Zongmi's Analysis of the Hindrances
Greg wrote:The passage to which I linked in Buddhist Phenomelogy also discusses them in relation to avidya in particular, and how it originally seems to have encompassed both avaranas but then came to be associated particularly with jneya avarana as Buddhism got more "intellective."
Regarding Dzogchen, the scenario is different. Malcolm has discussed the nature of avidya and how it relates to other things in various places. I tried to turn up something relevant for you but did not manage to in the time I have.
The term “ignorance” (ma rig pa) leads us to the second door of the Spontaneously Perfect Precious Mode Of Being (lhun grub rin po che’i gnas lugs), namely the door of the going astray of sentient beings into samsara (sems can ‘khor bar ‘khrul pa’i sgo). Actually, the Second Theme of the Tshig don bcu gcig pa, focuses entirely on a set of threefold ignorance as cause, and a concomitant set of fourfold conditions:
1. The ignorance of undivided identity (bdag nyid gcig pa’i ma rig pa),1. The first one is called “ignorance of undivided identity“, because basically, ignorance does not differ from Awareness (rig pa). Thus, it simply represents the lack of such an understanding.
2. the simultaneously produced ignorance (lhan cig skyes pa’i ma rig pa), and
3. the conceptual ignorance (kun tu brtags pa’i ma rig pa).
2. The second one points to the assumption that Awareness and ignorance arise simultanously (lhan cig skyes pa) in this first outer stirring of the ground. Another interpretation of the term “simultaneous” suggests the synchronism of the first ignorance which stands for the subject-side, i.e., consciousness, and the second one which arises in this phase of self appearance as its object in the form of the Five lights (‘od lnga).
3. The third one comes after the two kinds of ignorance mentioned above and represents the conceptual misapprehension of the self-appearance of the ground. Ignorance is accompanied by four conditions (rkyen bzhi) which arise together with it:
1. The causal condition (rgyu’i rkyen), i.e., the threefold ignorance itself.
2. The object-condition (dmigs pa’i rkyen), i.e., the outer arising of the Five Lights (‘od lnga).
3. The dominant condition (bdag po’i rkyen), i.e., the apprehension of these lights by the “Self” (bdag).
4. The simultaneous condition (mtshungs pa’i rkyen) finally, expresses the synchronism of the three conditions mentioned above.
viniketa wrote:First, I should correct my typo in my post above, which should read: (note: in Yogācāra, 'defilements' (kleśa) are considered avidya).
Thank you all for your posts, but especially for the link to the Paul Swanson article. Once again, those time-space relationals (prepositions, in English) prove problematic. Not taking jñeyāvaraṇa as a tatpuruṣa explains the widely varying interpretations of this 'covering' avidya that I've encountered.
anjali wrote:I'd still like to find out more on the Chan/Zen model to see how it evolved, and also the Theravada model--which I haven't researched at all just yet.
The Pali Text Society's Pali-English dictionary. Chipstead, 1921-1925. wrote:Nīvaraṇa (nt. occasionally m.) [Sk. *nivāraṇa, nis+ varaṇa of vṛ (vṛṇoti), see nibbuta & cp. nivāraṇa] an obstacle, hindrance, only as tt. applied to obstacles in an ethical sense & usually enumd or referred to in a set of 5 (as pañca nīvaraṇāni and pañca āvaraṇāni), viz. kāmacchanda, (abhijjhā -- )vyāpāda, thīna -- middha, uddhaccakukkucca, vicikicchā i. e. sensuality, ill -- will, torpor of mind or body, worry, wavering (cp. Dhs. trsl. p. 310): D i.73 (˚e, acc. pl.), 246; ii.83, 300; iii.49 sq., 101, 234, 278; S ii.23; iii.149; v.60, 84 sq., 93 sq., 145, 160, 226, 327, 439; M i.60, 144, 276; iii.4, 295; A i.3, 161; iii.16, 63, 230 sq.; 386; iv.457; v.16, 195, 322; Sn 17; Nd1 13; Nd2 379; Ps i.31, 129, 163; Pug 68; Dhs 1059, 1136, 1495; Vbh 199, 244, 378; Nett 11, 13, 94; Vism 146, 189; DA i.213; Sdhp 459, 493 and passim. <-> Other enumns are occasionally found e. g. 10 at S v.110; 8 at M i.360 sq.; 6 at Dhs 1152.
appaṭivedha non-intelligence, ignorance
Kilesa (and klesa) [from kilissati] 1. stain, soil, impurity, fig. affliction; in a moral sense, depravity, lust. Its occurrence in the Piṭakas is rare; in later works, very frequent, where it is approx. tantamount to our terms lower, or unregenerate nature, sinful desires, vices, passions.
1. Kilesa as obstacle (see ˚āvaraṇa, ˚ -- sampayutta, ˚ -- vippayutta, ˚pahāna) Ps i.33; Sdhp 455; bhikkhu
Upadhi : -- The upadhis were later systematized into a set of 10, which are given at Nd2 157 as follows: 5 taṇhɔ upadhis (taṇhā, diṭṭhi, kilesa, kamma, duccarita), āhār-- upadhi, paṭigh˚, catasso upādinnā dhātuyo u. (viz. kāma, diṭṭhi, sīlabbata, attavāda; see D iii.230), cha ajjhattikāni āyatanāni u., cha viññāṇa-- kāyā u. Another modified classification see at Brethren p. 398.
aññāṇa wrong k., false view, ignorance, untruth
Ajānana (˚-- ) (nt.) [a + jānana] not knowing, ignorance
Aññāta - not known
Āvaraṇa - shutting off, barring out, withstanding; nt. hindrance, obstruction
Kiñcana (adj. -- nt.) [kiŋ+cana, equal to kiŋ+ci, indef. pron.] only in neg. sentences: something, anything. From the freq. context in the older texts it has assumed the moral implication of something that sticks or adheres to the character of a man, and which he must get rid of, if he wants to attain to a higher moral condition. <-> Def. as the 3 impurities of character (rāga, dosa, moha) at D iii.217; M i.298; S iv.297; Vbh 368; Nd2 206b (adding māna, diṭṭhi, kilesa, duccarita); as obstruction (palibujjhana), consisting in rāga, etc. at DhA iii.258 (on Dh 200). Khīṇa -- saŋsāro na c'atthi kiñcanaŋ "he has destroyed saŋsāra and there is no obstruction (for him)" Th 1, 306. n'āhaŋ kassaci kiñcanaŋ tasmiŋ na ca mama katthaci kiñcanaŋ n'atthi "I am not part of anything (i. e. associated with anything), and herein for me there is no attachment to anything" A ii.177.<-> akiñcana (adj.) having nothing Miln 220. -- In special sense "being without a moral stain," def. at Nd2 5 as not having the above (3 or 7) impurities. Thus freq. an attribute of an Arahant: "yassa pure ca pacchā ca majjhe ca n'atthi kiñcanaŋ akiñcanaŋ anādānaŋ tam ahaŋ brūmi brāhmaṇan" Dh 421=Sn 645, cf. Th i. 537; kāme akiñcano "not attached to kāma" as Ep. of a khīṇāsava A v.232 sq.=253 sq. Often combd with anādāna: Dh 421; Sn 620, 645, 1094. -- Akiñcano kāmabhave asatto "having nothing and not attached to the world of rebirths" Vin i.36; Sn 176, 1059; -- akiñcanaŋ nânupatanti dukkhā "ill does not befall him who has nothing" S i.23. -- sakiñcana (adj.) full of worldly attachment Sn 620=DA 246.
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