Sooner or Later: Yogacara

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Dexing » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:36 am

TMingyur wrote:If the alternative to holding your view is "belief of an objective external realm" then it is clear that your view rejects "external" and confirms "internal" exclusively.

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Yogācāra doctrines neither confirm internal nor external realms. What it does is first point out that what is normally thought of as "external" is merely internal, a product of subjective consciousness. Hence my statement that disagreeing with the Yogācāra position, as this is the main focus, would mean that one believes in an objective external realm.

This is merely a means to an end, however, not an end in itself. Having a fuller familiarity with the teachings would make this clear, and such simple mistakes would not be made.

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Dexing » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:38 am

TMingyur wrote:Therefore nothing excels the Buddha's words:

"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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And how do you understand this? I've basically shown earlier how it inexplicitly states the Yogācāra doctrine.

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby ground » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:42 am

The Budha's words are pervaded by openness. They do not confirm one extreme of a dichotomy at the expense of the other. This exactly is the middle way.

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Dexing » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:44 am

You've still not accomplished the task of demonstrating how Yogācāra is an extreme view. Just because you think so is not good enough.

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Jnana » Fri Jan 28, 2011 12:45 pm

TMingyur wrote:Therefore nothing excels the Buddha's words:

"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."


Nāgārjuna's Bodhicittavivaraṇa:

    The teachings on the aggregates, constituents, and so on
    Are for the purpose of stopping the clinging to a self.
    By settling in mere mind,
    The greatly blessed ones let go of these too.

Bhāvaviveka's Madhyamakaratnapradīpa:

    Having thus taught the coarse yoga, now, the subtle yoga is to be taught: ... In just the way that all phenomena occur as appearances of mere illusory mind, in that way mere illusory mind is beyond the three times, without color and shape, naturally luminous, and without appearance. Therefore, it is to be understood that all phenomena are illusory mind. Thus, to speak about seeming reality in the way of the hearers is the “outer, coarse Centrism.” That this [seeming reality] abides as one’s own mere mind is the “subtle, inner Centrism.”

TMingyur wrote:If the alternative to holding your view is "belief of an objective external realm" then it is clear that your view rejects "external" and confirms "internal" exclusively.

You're merely attempting to set up a fallacious straw man. For both commentarial systems -- Yogācāra and Mādhyamaka -- "external" as well as "internal" are sequentially negated. Nāgārjuna's Bodhicittavivaraṇa:

    As the entities of apprehender and apprehended,
    The appearances of consciousness
    Do not exist as outer objects
    That are different from consciousness.

    Therefore, in the sense of having the nature of entities,
    In any case, outer objects do not exist.
    It is these distinct appearances of consciousness
    That appear as the aspect of form.

    Just as people with dull minds
    See illusions, mirages,
    And the cities of scent-eaters,
    So do form and such appear.

And Candrakīrti's Madhyamakāvatāra:

    The Buddhas said, “If there are no knowable objects,
    One easily finds that a knower is excluded.”
    If knowable objects do not exist, the negation of a knower is established.
    Therefore, they first negated knowable objects.

TMingyur wrote:Views ...

Kamalaśīla's Bhāvanākramas clearly instruct practitioners on how to correctly engage in vipaśyanābhāvanā after having correctly ascertained reasoning based on hearing and reflection, and having correctly developed śamatha, and so on. Without correctly engaging in these necessary and unerring causes and conditions there is no possibility of attaining the first bodhisattva stage or realizing buddhahood.

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby tobes » Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:31 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. 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).

Geoff


It is very rare to find a philosopher, east or west, Buddhist or non-Buddhist who disputes that the object of a direct cognition is anything other than an aspect of consciousness.

You have established that the object of cognition (in this case, visible form) is not different from the object apprehended.

You have also established that we cannot directly cognize external material objects.

But to infer from this that that the there is nothing outside the objects of our consciousness is quite another step. You deploy an argument about causality to underpin that: but how can your account of causality be sustained if it nothing can be established external to consciousness?

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Dexing » Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:42 am

tobes wrote:You have also established that we cannot directly cognize external material objects.

But to infer from this that that the there is nothing outside the objects of our consciousness is quite another step. You deploy an argument about causality to underpin that: but how can your account of causality be sustained if it nothing can be established external to consciousness?

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This is a very common question. The answer is quite simple.

It is said that to say there is nothing outside the objects of our consciousness, in other words no necessary external stimulus, is taking a great leap and merely speculative.

But to say there must be some external stimulus is really the only thing speculative and requiring a great leap. Why? Because there is absolutely no evidence to justify such a belief. It's an argument from ignorance. Because one cannot explain why such a cognition takes place, to then assert an external stimulus is basically saying there is no better explanation, so I'm going with this because it sounds more likely, even though there is no evidence to support it whatsoever.

That is basically the god delusion too. Because one cannot explain "how this all got here", one then attributes the origin of the world to a necessary creator. It's an argument from ignorance and is not a justifiable belief.

On the other hand, holding that there is no external stimulus is based on the fact that everything one points to as evidence for an objective external realm can be reduced to subjective consciousness. It is very consistent and furthermore has a logical and verifiable why and a how. It is not merely an argument from ignorance. So there is no leap or speculation necessary. Rather that necessity falls on the one who "requires" some sort of external stimulus, much like the creator god idea, because they have no better explanation for their experiences.

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby ground » Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:59 am

Dexing wrote:You've still not accomplished the task of demonstrating how Yogācāra is an extreme view. Just because you think so is not good enough.

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From my perspective you have done the job of demonstrating it.

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Jnana » Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:34 am

tobes wrote:But to infer from this that that the there is nothing outside the objects of our consciousness is quite another step. You deploy an argument about causality to underpin that: but how can your account of causality be sustained if it nothing can be established external to consciousness?

Just to add to what Dexing has already said: The two reasonings already mentioned are (1) invariable co-observation (sahopalambhaniyama; lhan cig dmigs par nges pa) and (2) invariable sameness of appearances and mind as the nature of mere lucidity (snang ba dang sems gsal tsam gyi ngo bor gcig par nges pa).

The analysis is not complete until we also investigate if gross or subtle forms can be established as single entities. Gross appearances, such as the visible appearance of a house, are not single entities because they are comprised of various aspects (variegated hues, tones, shapes). And on a subtle level, particles are not single entities because they have directional parts and differing characteristics in relation to other particles. If a particle were truly dimensionless and of a unitary characteristic, then it wouldn't be possible to aggregate many such particles into three dimensional gross appearances. Therefore, no single, unitary particle can be established. And if a single particle cannot be established, then many such particles cannot be established. Appearances are merely aspects of cognition. This is an example of the mādhyamaka reasoning of neither one nor many.

These reasonings are given in Kamalaśīla's Tattvasaṃgrahapanjika, the commentary to Śāntarakṣita's Tattvasaṃgraha. Of course, for these reasonings to be effective in countering our habitual sense of externality, they have to be engaged repeatedly in meditative equipoise. Sustained Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna faith, as well as 15 - 20 years of mahāmudrā practice doesn't hurt either.

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby ground » Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:52 am

Yeshe D. wrote:Of course, for these reasonings to be effective in countering our habitual sense of externality, they have to be engaged repeatedly in meditative equipoise. Sustained Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna faith, as well as 15 - 20 years of mahāmudrā practice doesn't hurt either.


Considering the Sabba sutta such kinds of analysis can be easily skipped as papanca.

However once you have evoked the phantoms of papanca then of course you have to go down that road in order to get rid of what you yourself have evoked in the first place.

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby tobes » Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:11 am

Dexing wrote:
tobes wrote:You have also established that we cannot directly cognize external material objects.

But to infer from this that that the there is nothing outside the objects of our consciousness is quite another step. You deploy an argument about causality to underpin that: but how can your account of causality be sustained if it nothing can be established external to consciousness?

:namaste:


This is a very common question. The answer is quite simple.

It is said that to say there is nothing outside the objects of our consciousness, in other words no necessary external stimulus, is taking a great leap and merely speculative.

But to say there must be some external stimulus is really the only thing speculative and requiring a great leap. Why? Because there is absolutely no evidence to justify such a belief. It's an argument from ignorance. Because one cannot explain why such a cognition takes place, to then assert an external stimulus is basically saying there is no better explanation, so I'm going with this because it sounds more likely, even though there is no evidence to support it whatsoever.

That is basically the god delusion too. Because one cannot explain "how this all got here", one then attributes the origin of the world to a necessary creator. It's an argument from ignorance and is not a justifiable belief.

On the other hand, holding that there is no external stimulus is based on the fact that everything one points to as evidence for an objective external realm can be reduced to subjective consciousness. It is very consistent and furthermore has a logical and verifiable why and a how. It is not merely an argument from ignorance. So there is no leap or speculation necessary. Rather that necessity falls on the one who "requires" some sort of external stimulus, much like the creator god idea, because they have no better explanation for their experiences.

:namaste:


Yes, it's logical and verifiable and internally consistent from the point of view of a singular consciousness apprehending an object. If one explores ones cognition of objects, I agree that it's wholly correct to assert that they do not exist outside of the cognition. But this method does not represent the limit of epistemic inquiry; it is just as much a leap to assert that there is no external stimulus. Why?

Because this point of view cannot account for intersubjectivity.

It cannot account for the existence of language, which is a social phenomena.

Therefore, it cannot account for knowledge which arises on the basis of shared concepts. Medical knowledge, mathematical knowledge, even: the metaphysical knowledge of Yogacara. Did you discover these truths for yourself, or did you read about them or hear them?

If the latter, then the possibility of knowing Yogacaran truths depends upon the discursive knowledge found in the tradition of Yogacara. Something external.

You have to deny or contradict all of these possibilities in order to retain the internal consistency of your position.

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby tobes » Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:25 am

Yeshe D. wrote:
tobes wrote:But to infer from this that that the there is nothing outside the objects of our consciousness is quite another step. You deploy an argument about causality to underpin that: but how can your account of causality be sustained if it nothing can be established external to consciousness?

Just to add to what Dexing has already said: The two reasonings already mentioned are (1) invariable co-observation (sahopalambhaniyama; lhan cig dmigs par nges pa) and (2) invariable sameness of appearances and mind as the nature of mere lucidity (snang ba dang sems gsal tsam gyi ngo bor gcig par nges pa).

The analysis is not complete until we also investigate if gross or subtle forms can be established as single entities. Gross appearances, such as the visible appearance of a house, are not single entities because they are comprised of various aspects (variegated hues, tones, shapes). And on a subtle level, particles are not single entities because they have directional parts and differing characteristics in relation to other particles. If a particle were truly dimensionless and of a unitary characteristic, then it wouldn't be possible to aggregate many such particles into three dimensional gross appearances. Therefore, no single, unitary particle can be established. And if a single particle cannot be established, then many such particles cannot be established. Appearances are merely aspects of cognition. This is an example of the mādhyamaka reasoning of neither one nor many.

These reasonings are given in Kamalaśīla's Tattvasaṃgrahapanjika, the commentary to Śāntarakṣita's Tattvasaṃgraha. Of course, for these reasonings to be effective in countering our habitual sense of externality, they have to be engaged repeatedly in meditative equipoise. Sustained Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna faith, as well as 15 - 20 years of mahāmudrā practice doesn't hurt either.

All the best,

Geoff


Can you please give a succinct explanation of invariable co-observation?

Again, it seems very clear to me that you have established that appearances are merely aspects of cognition. It is not clear how it is inferred from this that there is nothing outside or external to the cognition. To put it in Kantian language, the thing-in-itself is not accessible, but that does not imply that it is not there. I could accept how there is a basic skepticism in being able to make claims about external phenomena because it is never accessible, but not the very big step in confidently asserting that because appearances are merely aspects of cognition, there is not any external phenomena. How can this be adequately known, if all that is given to consciousness is appearance?

I suppose my angle on these questions is firmly epistemological, and thus might be in tension with idea of sustaining a faith in their efficacy. I hope that's okay.

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Jnana » Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:23 pm

tobes wrote:You have to deny or contradict all of these possibilities in order to retain the internal consistency of your position.

Not so. The Dharmadharmatāvibhāgavṛtti addresses all of these issues of inter-subjectivity.

tobes wrote:Can you please give a succinct explanation of invariable co-observation?

Already given in the analysis of causes and resultant cognitions. As you have indicated, this reasoning alone doesn't refute material causes. It has to be considered alongside the invariable sameness of appearances and mind as the nature of mere lucidity and the reasoning of neither one nor many. If you have access to Ganganatha Jha's English translation of Kamalaśīla's Tattvasaṃgrahapanjika (or better yet, if you can follow the Sanskrit or Tibetan texts), then that is really the best source for examining this particular analysis. The Dharmadharmatāvibhāgavṛtti, the Madhyamākalaṃkāra, the Madhyamālaṃkārapanjika, and Ju Mipham's commentaries on these treatises are also invaluable. From Ju Mipham's commentary on the Dharmadharmatāvibhāga:

    Those who cling compulsively to the existence of outer objects claim, “Outer objects exist, because no one can deny that anything composed of atoms, such as mountains and any other object observed in common, exists.” But that is not how it is.

    Given what appear to be outer and perceivable in common, such as mountains and so on, as the postulated subject, these are not outer referents discrete from the inner consciousness and existing with a material essence, because they are the inner perceiving awareness itself appearing as the image of this and that outer referent for those whose operative habitual tendencies correspond, just like forms in a dream.

    What are being called “outer objects observed in common” are not referents existing as something extrinsic to or other than consciousness, because they are only apparently experienced as common by a variety of beings whose mindstreams are not identical. But this is what proves that they are nothing other than differing perceptions of differing mindstreams.

    And how does it prove that? What are claimed to be “factors observed in common” are proposed as providing the proof for the existence of outer referents. But these can only be posited as “outer referents experienced in common” due to a similarity in the character of their appearance from the subjective viewpoint of distinct mindstreams. But that means these appearances are the private impressions of mindstreams which differ among themselves. And that means they could never constitute common experience.

    Thus to say, “There are outer objects which are something other than a mere appearance (or impression)” and to say, “Here is one experienced in common” could never be demonstrated logically, since, to do so, one would have to posit the existence of objects other than those which appear to a mind. But it would make no sense to posit an object that could not appear to any mind, since it could not be evaluated through valid cognition.

    On subjecting this so-called “common experience” to critical scrutiny, the reason for claiming it to be “common” turns out to be built on the similarity of appearance with respect to mindstreams which themselves differ, so it follows that, even though there is a similarity in the appearance, its underlying cause includes no necessity of a specific outer common referent literally existing, just as corresponding appearances manifest for spectators under the influence of the charms of an illusionist. Similarly, for creatures whose operative habitual tendencies correspond, not only will environments and so on have a similar appearance for as long as the energy of those habitual tendencies has not been exhausted, but, what is more, the specific cause for their appearing to be similar will not be the existence of a referent on the outside. Just as something which one type of being sees as water will be seen as existing under another appearance by others among the six types of beings whose karmic impressions differ, anything perceived should be understood to be neither more nor less than a self-manifestation of the mentality internal to a specific observer.

tobes wrote:Again, it seems very clear to me that you have established that appearances are merely aspects of cognition. It is not clear how it is inferred from this that there is nothing outside or external to the cognition. To put it in Kantian language, the thing-in-itself is not accessible, but that does not imply that it is not there. I could accept how there is a basic skepticism in being able to make claims about external phenomena because it is never accessible, but not the very big step in confidently asserting that because appearances are merely aspects of cognition, there is not any external phenomena. How can this be adequately known, if all that is given to consciousness is appearance?

My own opinion is that the Yogācāra teachings are asking us (challenging us!) to consider operative habitual tendencies as the source of all saṃsāric experiences. I'm not sure that Western philosophy has adequately considered karma and habitual tendencies. At any rate, the above mentioned texts all approach this from rational, phenomenolgical, and epistemological perspectives.

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Jnana » Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:24 pm

TMingyur wrote:Considering the Sabba sutta such kinds of analysis can be easily skipped as papanca.

There is no possible entry into the Mahāyāna path of seeing as long as one perceives the aggregates, sense bases, and constituents as truly established entities. (According to the Pāli Tipiṭaka there is also no possibility of stream-entry as long as one perceives the aggregates, sense bases, and constituents as truly established entities either, but that is a different discussion altogether).

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby ground » Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:57 pm

Yeshe D. wrote:
TMingyur wrote:Considering the Sabba sutta such kinds of analysis can be easily skipped as papanca.

There is no possible entry into the Mahāyāna path of seeing as long as one perceives the aggregates, sense bases, and constituents as truly established entities. (According to the Pāli Tipiṭaka there is also no possibility of stream-entry as long as one perceives the aggregates, sense bases, and constituents as truly established entities either, but that is a different discussion altogether).

All the best,

Geoff


If I may ask: Who "perceives the aggregates, sense bases, and constituents as truly established entities."?

Do you and therefore you take refuge in these elaborations of yours?

Form is like a glob of foam; feeling, a bubble; perception, a mirage; fabrications, a banana tree; consciousness, a magic trick — this has been taught by the Kinsman of the Sun. However you observe them, appropriately examine them, they're empty, void to whoever sees them appropriately.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Jnana » Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:10 pm

TMingyur wrote:If I may ask: Who "perceives the aggregates, sense bases, and constituents as truly established entities."?

Worldlings. If they didn't then they would either be noble disciples or noble bodhisattvas.

TMingyur wrote:Do you and therefore you take refuge in these elaborations of yours?

First of all, the Dharma under discussion isn't my invention. It is taught in numerous Mahāyāna Sūtras, treatises, and commentaries. As the topic of this thread indicates, it is a major theme of what the Tibetan schools collectively call "The Five Dharmas of Maitreya." Secondly, everyone who takes refuge in the Mahāyāna Dharma takes refuge in the Mahāyāna Sūtras. "Dharmaṃ śaraṇaṃ gacchāmi." You'll notice that there is no clause here exempting one from taking refuge in those Mahāyāna teachings which one doesn't understand.

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Astus » Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:07 am

It's one thing to say there are no phenomena except mental ones. But what I haven't seen described yet is how mind-streams can actually communicate with each other. How minds are connected without being the same? I think this is quite an important question especially in Yogacara. Any answers?
"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 » Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:43 am

Astus wrote:It's one thing to say there are no phenomena except mental ones. But what I haven't seen described yet is how mind-streams can actually communicate with each other. How minds are connected without being the same? I think this is quite an important question especially in Yogacara. Any answers?

Ju Mipham's commentary on the Dharmadharmatāvibhāga:

    As long as there is someone with the constituents belonging to a sentient being circling, in the sense of repeatedly taking rebirth somewhere within the constituents of the vessel, these two kinds of world, known as the world of sentient beings and the world of the vessel, are designated as the grounds for the enactment of the samsaric cycle in each and every case. There is nothing whatsoever that could be named as the grounds for samsara other than these two, the constituents of sentient beings as that which is supported and the constituents of the vessel as the support.

    One might ask here, “What is a matter of collective experience and what is not?” The constituents of the world of the vessel are referred to as the common ground of experience in the sense that—for beings whose operative tendencies correspond—they appear in a seemingly common fashion and there is a corresponding awareness or consciousness of them. Regarding the phenomena comprising the constituents of sentient beings, there are some that are experienced in common and some that are not.

    If one asks for a further classification specifying which phenomena comprising the constituent features of sentient beings are experienced in common, included would be birth from a womb; the conventions of body and speech conveying symbolic expression; the case of one party nurturing or subduing another; the case of providing benefit or producing harm; the development of excellent qualities, such as those associated with listening and so on which come about in conjunction with reliance on another, as do the occurrence of such faults as attachment and so on. These forms of consciousness are called appearances whose experience is shared in common, because their occurrence in each instance is mutually caused by way of an intermediate condition enabling an exchange between sentient beings.

    Specifically, the way in which birth is a case of collective experience is in the sense that the cause deriving from the karmic actions of the one to be born combines with the simultaneously active conditions in the form of the seed and egg of the parents to produce a common cause through which the result, a body born from a womb, is produced. Conventions are shared in common in the sense that one follows specific social customs, engages in conversation, and so on, animated by the symbolic expressions associated with the bodies and speech of others.

    These and similar cases of exchanges where one party, for example, nurtures another with the Dharma or with material goods; subdues another in various ways ranging from verbal contest to engaging in combat; provides for another’s benefit by protecting them from frightening circumstances and so on; produces harm through various forms of physical violence; gives rise to positive qualities through such means as listening to teachings; induces faults in another through encouraging attachment and the like or through teaching wrong views and so on. These are all cases that are called “common” from the perspective of there being a specific common result produced through the combination of the primary cause deriving from the phenomena of one mindstream and the intermediate condition deriving from those of another.

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby ground » Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:46 am

Yeshe D. wrote: Secondly, everyone who takes refuge in the Mahāyāna Dharma takes refuge in the Mahāyāna Sūtras.

I choose to not agree here in the sense of "all Mahayana sutra". Why? Because it is bodhicitta which is the characteristic mark of Mahayana and not "all Mahayana sutras".

The Mahayana commentaries have lead to complex elaborations and a multitude of views and it is this I question here through pointing at the efficient simplicity of the Buddha's teachings in the pali suttas. These teachings of the Buddha actually reveal all those diverse discursive views as the effect of clinging aggregates.

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Re: Sooner or Later: Yogacara

Postby Jnana » Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:30 am

TMingyur wrote:
Yeshe D. wrote: Secondly, everyone who takes refuge in the Mahāyāna Dharma takes refuge in the Mahāyāna Sūtras.

I choose to not agree here in the sense of "all Mahayana sutra". Why? Because it is bodhicitta which is the characteristic mark of Mahayana and not "all Mahayana sutras".

Part of a bodhisattva's career is to develop the knowledge of all paths (mārgākārajñatā). This includes developing knowledge of śrāvakayāna and bodhisattvayāna paths. The detailed teachings on the bodhisattvayāna are contained in numerous sūtras and thoroughly explained in the commentaries on the Abhisamayālamkāra, the Mahāyānasūtrālamkāra, and the Yogācārabhūmiśāstra. In addition to these treatises on the path, the Dharmadharmatāvibhāga, the Madhyāntavibhāga, the Ratnagotravibhāga, and the Mahāyānasaṃgraha clarify difficult aspects of view as found in numerous Mahāyāna sūtras. Without understanding these treatises one isn't able to develop a fluent knowledge of Mahāyāna view and practice.

TMingyur wrote:The Mahayana commentaries have lead to complex elaborations and a multitude of views and it is this I question here through pointing at the efficient simplicity of the Buddha's teachings in the pali suttas. These teachings of the Buddha actually reveal all those diverse discursive views as the effect of clinging aggregates.

From within a Mahāyāna context, this conclusion is simply inaccurate. It's one thing to focus on certain teachings and commentaries which one finds helpful at this time. It is quite another to assert that the Mahāyāna teachings which you don't find particularly relevant at this time are "speculation" or "mental proliferation" or "unskillful view," all of which are antithetical to Dharma. If you don't find these Yogācāra treatises helpful, that's fine. No one is forcing anything on you. But there is no need for such characterizations here in this particular Mahāyāna sub-forum.

All the best,

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