Reposted, after some editing, as off-topic on the Chandarkirit/Alaya thread.
The question is, whether ālayavijñāna is posited to be truly existent, or merely conventionally existent, in Yogacara texts....If it is a given that Yogacara texts do posit an ultimate existent, which I think is beyond argument, is that ultimate existent the ālayavijñāna itself, or some sort of "under-structure" or "basic element" which merely "holds" the seeds? I'm not interested in later Tibetan commentary, really, but only in Indian source texts, pro or con. I think we can all agree that Nonconceptual Wisdom is not the ālayavijñāna as it is normally defined.
Asanga, in the Mahayanasamgraha, VIII.21:
There is no difference between prajnaparamita and nonconceptual wisdom.
Namdrol, your statement-
What Maitreyanatha, Asanga and Vasubandhu claim is that the dependent nature is real, it exists. However, the dependent nature = the ālayavijñāna. The ālaya is only called the ālaya as long as there are seeds. When these have been eradicated, the ālaya also ceases; but the dependent nature, being an existent, does not.
--equates the ālayavijñāna with the paratantra, the dependent nature. If the Alaya ceases, then how does the dependent nature not cease, if they are the same?
If the dependent is, on the other hand, conventionally (and thus temporarily) containing the stains we call "seeds," and including the dualistic experience which we experience as sentient beings and phenomena, I'd say that the eradication of the seeds would mean the ceasing of the ālayavijñāna.
....but not the ceasing of mere cognizance, which is the nonconceptual wisdom, an aspect of the perfect nature(parinispanna). This is the same as the dependent (paratantra) purified of false imagination (and not merely the parakalpita), in this case, as you pointed out before, the ceasing of the duality implicit in the other-dependent, as well as afflictions and all "seeds." The paranispanna, the perfection of wisdom and it's outflow, two aspects of the Ultimate, are that which comprises the Dharmakaya and Dharmadhatu, by way of conventional explanation. The perfection of wisdom is equal, according to Asanga, with nonconceptual wisdom, which is the the Dharmakaya, which we agree the early Yogacaras posit as Ultimate.
In other words, the Alaya is not inherently existent, but is merely the collection of incidental stains obscuring the Dharmakaya.
It is held that mind, which is always naturally luminous,
is [only] blemished by adventitious flaws.
It is stated that there is no other mind apart from
The naturally luminous mind of dharmata.
I don't see how this quote posits an existent Alaya--it posits an existent "luminous mind of dharmata," for sure....but this is not the ālayavijñāna.