Sooner or Later: Yogacara

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Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Dexing » Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:16 am

Some people debate the Yogācāra position of consciousness-only, saying it is either inferior or just plain wrong (having appeared centuries after the Buddha). But this is basically the Dharma-door received by Maitreya Bodhisattva eons ago, and as Śākyamuni Buddha's successor, he will instruct the world on the profound doctrine.

So either practice hard and become a Buddha now, or you'll have to learn it sooner or later as Maitreya's disciples! :jumping: (the only catch is, becoming a Buddha now means essentially understanding the mere-consciousness doctrine)

Ohhh, am I the only Buddhist fundamentalist? :rolling: ....seriously though :|

From the Śūraṅgama Sūtra, Chapter 5:

    Maitreya Bodhisattva arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha's feet, and said to the Buddha, "I remember when, as many eons ago as there are atoms of universe, a Buddha named Light of Sun, Moon and Lamp appeared in the world. Under that Buddha I left the home life; yet I was deeply committed to worldly fame and liked to associate with people of good families.

    "Then the Bhagavan taught me to cultivate Consciousness-only Concentration, and I entered that Samadhi. For many eons I have made use of that Samadhi as I served as many Buddhas as there are sand grains in the Ganges. My seeking for worldly name and fame ceased completely and never recurred.

    "When Burning Lamp Buddha appeared in the world, I finally accomplished the unsurpassed, wonderfully perfect Samadhi of Consciousness. I went on until, to the ends of empty space, all the lands of the Tathagata, whether pure or defiled, existent or non-existent, were transformations appearing from my own mind.

    "Bhagavan, because I understand Consciousness Only, limitless Tathagatas flow forth from this nature of consciousness. Now I have received the prediction that I will be the next to take the Buddha's place. "
nopalabhyate...
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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby ground » Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:31 am

Dexing wrote:Some people debate the Yogācāra position of consciousness-only, saying it is either inferior or just plain wrong


It is neither, but it is inconsistent and it is speculation and speculation is not conducive.

Dexing wrote:But this is basically the Dharma-door received by Maitreya Bodhisattva eons ago, and as Śākyamuni Buddha's successor, he will instruct the world on the profound doctrine.

This view is just the effect of speculation.

And what is the cause of speculation? The clinging aggregates.


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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Jnana » Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:47 am

TMingyur wrote:
Dexing wrote:Some people debate the Yogācāra position of consciousness-only, saying it is either inferior or just plain wrong


It is neither, but it is inconsistent and it is speculation and speculation is not conducive.

There is nothing inconsistent or speculative about it. From either a phenomenological or epistemological perspective, the contents of cognition are merely cognitive representations (vijñaptimātra), mere mind (cittamātra).

Because of delusion, sentient beings split their experience into apprehended objects and an apprehender. But the suchness (tathatā) of reality (tattva) isn't bifurcated into the segments of that which is experienced and that which is the experiencer. This mistaken division is is nothing but unreal imagination (abhūtaparikalpa). Objects apprehended (grāhya) and the apprehender (grāhaka) have no self-nature (niḥsvabhāvatā).

In order to recognize that all phenomena which we experience are simply aspects of mere mind, firstly, we can acknowledge cause and effect. Everyone agrees that causes occur prior to their result, which occurs after the causes. A cause and a result can't occur simultaneously. Also, causes must necessarily cease before the occurrence of the result. Now if we entertain for the time being the notion that there is an independent, external physical world of visibles, sounds, tactual objects, etc., then we could say that these forms are the cause for the arising of a corresponding sensory consciousness.

But if the external form – a visible form for example – is a cause for the arising of a visual consciousness, which is the result, then the visible form (as cause) occurs prior to the cognition, which (as result) occurs after. Thus the very object apprehended as the content of that visual consciousness cannot be the external form, which, being a cause, has ceased before the result can arise. And because the contents of consciousness (visible form for example) are simultaneous with the occurrence of consciousness, the object apprehended is in no way different or external to that consciousness – that is – it is an aspect of consciousness. In short, we cannot directly cognize external material objects, and what we mistake as an ultimately established external form is merely unreal imagination (abhūtaparikalpa).

Secondly, we can come to understand that objects must necessarily be of the same nature as consciousness because of the very fact that they are cognized. This is because immaterial consciousness, which isn't made of matter or particles, and has no spacial dimensions, can't be the same as matter and particles, which would have an altogether different 'material' nature. Thus, we experience no material objects outside of our cognitions, and the 'objective' contents of our cognitions – which occur simultaneously with the cognitions themselves – are merely immaterial cognitive representations (vijñaptimātra). Again, we cannot directly cognize external material objects, and what we mistake as an ultimately established external form is merely unreal imagination (abhūtaparikalpa).

All the best,

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby ground » Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:59 am

Yeshe D. wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
Dexing wrote:Some people debate the Yogācāra position of consciousness-only, saying it is either inferior or just plain wrong


It is neither, but it is inconsistent and it is speculation and speculation is not conducive.

There is nothing inconsistent or speculative about it.


Extreme view is a trap.

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Astus » Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:50 am

Depending on what we take as the Yogacara position, either it is hardly used by anyone or it's mostly accepted. If Yogacara means their sophisticated teachings with that Abhidharmic style, not many. If it's just accepting the teachings of consciousness-only, 8 consciousnesses and three svabhavas, it's accepted in most of East-Asian doctrines and in the Kagyu, Nyingma and Jonang schools. But this second kind is rather called the Tathagatagarbhavada, imo.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Jnana » Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:11 am

TMingyur wrote:Extreme view is a trap.

Your reply has nothing to do with what has been presented. There is nothing extreme about the teachings on cittamātra. As the noble Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra states, the principles of the Mahāyāna necessarily include the eight consciousnesses. And so if one is engaging in Mahāyāna practice, the ālayavijñāna and the teachings on cittamātra need to be understood. The Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra:

    By relying on mere mind,
    One does not imagine external objects.
    By resting in the object-support of suchness,
    One should go beyond mere mind also.

    Going beyond mere mind,
    One must go beyond non-appearance [of apprehended and apprehender].
    The yogī who rests in non-appearance
    Sees the mahāyāna.

This is why the treatises and commentaries of Śāntarakṣita and Kamalaśīla represent the high water mark in the development of Indian Mahāyāna exegesis. Śāntarakṣita's Madhyamakālaṃkāra:

    On the basis of mere mind,
    One should know that external entities do not exist.
    On the basis of the method set forth here,
    One should know that mind is utterly devoid of self.

    Those who hold the reigns of reason
    While riding the chariot of the two approaches,
    Will therefore be adepts of the mahāyāna,
    In accord with both the sense and meaning of the word.

All the best,

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby conebeckham » Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:02 pm

Extreme view is a trap.


TMingyur, As Geoff says, there's nothing extreme that has been presented thus far. Please explain how what has been presented is "extreme view." Then perhaps we can talk about it, and who knows? Maybe we'll all learn something.

As it stands now, your comments strike me as reactionary parroting and nothing more.
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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby ground » Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:09 pm

conebeckham wrote:
Extreme view is a trap.


TMingyur, As Geoff says, there's nothing extreme that has been presented thus far. Please explain how what has been presented is "extreme view." Then perhaps we can talk about it, and who knows? Maybe we'll all learn something.

As it stands now, your comments strike me as reactionary parroting and nothing more.


Relax.

Whatever seems to strike you "consciousness-only" is an extreme view.

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby conebeckham » Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:33 pm

Whatever seems to strike me as "consciousness only" is an extreme view?

Hmm.

I dunno, all "views" are provisional, really.....but there is great value in the teachings of "consciousness only," and I think that if it's properly understood, it does not fall to the "traditional" extremes.

Granted, there's a variety of "consciousness only," or, rather, a group of folks who subscribe to this "view," who assert the Absolute Existence of Consciousness. That, I grant you, is an "extreme."
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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Dexing » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:01 am

conebeckham wrote:Granted, there's a variety of "consciousness only," or, rather, a group of folks who subscribe to this "view," who assert the Absolute Existence of Consciousness. That, I grant you, is an "extreme."


That it is, but it is not what is taught in the Yogācāra doctrines.

Since this is Maitreya Bodhisattva's Dharma-door, let's take a look at two of his verses in the Madyānta-vibhāga concerning Yogācāra doctrine and emptiness in relation to the Middle Way:

    "FALSE IMAGINATION EXISTS;
    THE DUALITY IN IT DOES NOT EXIST.
    IN IT, THERE IS ONLY EMPTINESS;
    IN THAT, THERE IS ALSO THIS IMAGINATION.

    THEREFORE, I DECLARE THAT ALL DHARMAS
    ARE NEITHER EMPTY NOR NOT EMPTY,
    BECAUSE OF EXISTENCE, NONEXISTENCE, AND EXISTENCE;
    THIS CONFORMS TO THE MIDDLE WAY."

:namaste:
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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Sherab » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:12 am

Dexing wrote:
conebeckham wrote:Granted, there's a variety of "consciousness only," or, rather, a group of folks who subscribe to this "view," who assert the Absolute Existence of Consciousness. That, I grant you, is an "extreme."


That it is, but it is not what is taught in the Yogācāra doctrines.

Since this is Maitreya Bodhisattva's Dharma-door, let's take a look at two of his verses in the Madyānta-vibhāga concerning Yogācāra doctrine and emptiness in relation to the Middle Way:

    "FALSE IMAGINATION EXISTS;
    THE DUALITY IN IT DOES NOT EXIST.
    IN IT, THERE IS ONLY EMPTINESS;
    IN THAT, THERE IS ALSO THIS IMAGINATION.

    THEREFORE, I DECLARE THAT ALL DHARMAS
    ARE NEITHER EMPTY NOR NOT EMPTY,
    BECAUSE OF EXISTENCE, NONEXISTENCE, AND EXISTENCE;
    THIS CONFORMS TO THE MIDDLE WAY."

:namaste:

In other words, there were and still are people who mistakenly believed that the Buddha taught that mind is the ultimate thing when reading the so-called mind-only sutras.
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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby conebeckham » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:53 am

...there were, and still are, people who believe that "mind" ultimately exists...which, as we know, upsets Madhayamika adherents.
:smile:

And then there are those who don't posit "mind" as existing........ultimately, but who find value in the Yogacara teachings.
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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby ground » Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:25 am

Sherab wrote:
Dexing wrote:
conebeckham wrote:Granted, there's a variety of "consciousness only," or, rather, a group of folks who subscribe to this "view," who assert the Absolute Existence of Consciousness. That, I grant you, is an "extreme."


That it is, but it is not what is taught in the Yogācāra doctrines.

Since this is Maitreya Bodhisattva's Dharma-door, let's take a look at two of his verses in the Madyānta-vibhāga concerning Yogācāra doctrine and emptiness in relation to the Middle Way:

    "FALSE IMAGINATION EXISTS;
    THE DUALITY IN IT DOES NOT EXIST.
    IN IT, THERE IS ONLY EMPTINESS;
    IN THAT, THERE IS ALSO THIS IMAGINATION.

    THEREFORE, I DECLARE THAT ALL DHARMAS
    ARE NEITHER EMPTY NOR NOT EMPTY,
    BECAUSE OF EXISTENCE, NONEXISTENCE, AND EXISTENCE;
    THIS CONFORMS TO THE MIDDLE WAY."

:namaste:

In other words, there were and still are people who mistakenly believed that the Buddha taught that mind is the ultimate thing when reading the so-called mind-only sutras.


Well - no offence intended - but whether the Buddha taught such a view may be debatable.

This statement of mine actually holds true for Madhyamaka too.

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby ground » Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:34 am

"Monks, I will teach you the All. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. [1] Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Dexing » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:12 am

TMingyur wrote:
"Monks, I will teach you the All. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. [1] Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Kind regards


Good. Sabba Sutta. I've often quoted this too.

This is actually a Sutta inexplicitly stating the Yogācāra position (Of course the whole of the doctrine would not be revealed to the śrāvakas, lest they use their minds to grasp at their own minds, to paraphrase the Śūraṅgama Sūtra).

"Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' (of an objective external realm), if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement (of an objective external realm), would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range (of subjective consciousness [and such a place does not exist])."

:namaste:
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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby ground » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:37 am

Dexing, you are just holding the view of a speculative philosophy. All these philosophies are conceptually going beyond the Buddha's words and hold the view that this does validate what actually is just an instance of papanca (clinging aggregates).


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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Sherab » Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:11 am

I think you misunderstood my post.
Either that or for you, people did not mistakenly believed that the Buddha taught that mind is the ultimate thing in the mind-only sutras. Therefore, for you, the mind-only sutras did indeed teach that mind is the ultimate thing?

TMingyur wrote:
Sherab wrote:In other words, there were and still are people who mistakenly believed that the Buddha taught that mind is the ultimate thing when reading the so-called mind-only sutras.


Well - no offence intended - but whether the Buddha taught such a view may be debatable.

This statement of mine actually holds true for Madhyamaka too.

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby ground » Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:21 am

Sherab wrote:Therefore, for you, the mind-only sutras did indeed teach that mind is the ultimate thing?


For me? Honestly, it is irrelevant.

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Sherab » Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:45 am

TMingyur wrote:
Sherab wrote:Therefore, for you, the mind-only sutras did indeed teach that mind is the ultimate thing?


For me? Honestly, it is irrelevant.

Kind regards

Wow, this blew away my mind. So, you don't care whether the Buddha actually taught that mind is the ultimate thing or not?
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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Jnana » Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:49 am

TMingyur wrote:Dexing, you are just holding the view of a speculative philosophy. All these philosophies are conceptually going beyond the Buddha's words and hold the view that this does validate what actually is just an instance of papanca (clinging aggregates).

It has already been shown that cittamātra is phenomenologically and epistemologically established as correct. But instead of engaging in the subject at hand, you choose to engage in misdirection and mistaken assumptions. I'd suggest that such irrationality is a display of prapañca.

TMingyur wrote:For me? Honestly, it is irrelevant.

If the Mahāyāna dharma is irrelevant to you, why are you here?

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