the ever-changing Western view of Madhyamaka

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Re: the ever-changing Western view of Madhyamaka

Postby adinatha » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:11 am

Namdrol wrote:
adinatha wrote:
It's defined by the horizon and by its color; so, still part of rupadhātu.


Oh okay. So unconditioned space is just a definition?


Yes.[/quote]

Well that certainly doesn't exist. Where does the part about not non-being come in?
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Re: the ever-changing Western view of Madhyamaka

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:17 am

adinatha wrote:Well that certainly doesn't exist. Where does the part about not non-being come in?


What does not arise does not perish; and not existent, cannot become non-existent.

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Re: the ever-changing Western view of Madhyamaka

Postby adinatha » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:25 am

Namdrol wrote:
adinatha wrote:Well that certainly doesn't exist. Where does the part about not non-being come in?


What does not arise does not perish; and not existent, cannot become non-existent.

N


Never existent in the first place, seems like nihilism to me. What about the yogi's realization in equipoise? Not non-existent now.
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Re: the ever-changing Western view of Madhyamaka

Postby ground » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:31 am

mudra wrote:Even amongst practicing Buddhists we debate so much about it,

Even if views may differ attachment to views is the same.


mudra wrote:I wonder if non-Buddhist scholars using intellect alone can possibly ever really get it?

How can one "get" a mere thought? Just think it and you will experience its impermanence. It cannot be "gotten" and "without intellect" a mere though even does not appear.


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Re: the ever-changing Western view of Madhyamaka

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:33 am

adinatha wrote:Never existent in the first place, seems like nihilism to me. What about the yogi's realization in equipoise? Not non-existent now.


Ucchedavada requires that an existent becomes non-existent, for example, a self that exists now and then perishes later.

Apart from what has been realized and has not been realized, there is no [present] realization.

As Haribhadra pointed out, the path, including the realization of buddhahood, is all completely illusory.

N
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

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Re: the ever-changing Western view of Madhyamaka

Postby adinatha » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:39 am

Namdrol wrote:
adinatha wrote:Never existent in the first place, seems like nihilism to me. What about the yogi's realization in equipoise? Not non-existent now.


Ucchedavada requires that an existent becomes non-existent, for example, a self that exists now and then perishes later.

Apart from what has been realized and has not been realized, there is no [present] realization.

As Haribhadra pointed out, the path, including the realization of buddhahood, is all completely illusory.

N


The criticism of this view is that it is veiled nihilism. Whereby Madhyamaka must be relegated to a tool for deconstructing views. Whereas, the real "not non-being" is the Shentongpa's view.
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Re: the ever-changing Western view of Madhyamaka

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:54 am

adinatha wrote:The criticism of this view is that it is veiled nihilism. Whereby Madhyamaka must be relegated to a tool for deconstructing views. Whereas, the real "not non-being" is the Shentongpa's view.


That criticism is invalid.

On the other hand, gzhan stong is tainted with a subtle eternalism since they assert wisdom exists, and hence are realists, and in reality inhabit an intermediate place between cittamatra and madhyamaka.

N
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: the ever-changing Western view of Madhyamaka

Postby adinatha » Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:01 am

Namdrol wrote:
adinatha wrote:The criticism of this view is that it is veiled nihilism. Whereby Madhyamaka must be relegated to a tool for deconstructing views. Whereas, the real "not non-being" is the Shentongpa's view.


That criticism is invalid.

On the other hand, gzhan stong is tainted with a subtle eternalism since they assert wisdom exists, and hence are realists, and in reality inhabit an intermediate place between cittamatra and madhyamaka.

N


Or they are not tainted by a veiled nihilism. Does the dharmakaya have qualities?
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Re: the ever-changing Western view of Madhyamaka

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:28 pm

adinatha wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
adinatha wrote:The criticism of this view is that it is veiled nihilism. Whereby Madhyamaka must be relegated to a tool for deconstructing views. Whereas, the real "not non-being" is the Shentongpa's view.


That criticism is invalid.

On the other hand, gzhan stong is tainted with a subtle eternalism since they assert wisdom exists, and hence are realists, and in reality inhabit an intermediate place between cittamatra and madhyamaka.

N


Or they are not tainted by a veiled nihilism. Does the dharmakaya have qualities?


That depends on what one means by qualities.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: the ever-changing Western view of Madhyamaka

Postby Acchantika » Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:50 pm

Namdrol wrote:One you have realized emptiness on the path of seeing, by definition you cannot have a deteriation in view.


This implies that realisation of emptiness automatically entails right view.

However, if this were so there would be no debate between Shangtong and Rangtong.
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Re: the ever-changing Western view of Madhyamaka

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 04, 2011 2:02 pm

Acchantika wrote:
Namdrol wrote:One you have realized emptiness on the path of seeing, by definition you cannot have a deteriation in view.


This implies that realisation of emptiness automatically entails right view.

However, if this were so there would be no debate between Shangtong and Rangtong.


Yes, realization of emptiness automatically entails having right view.

Your next statement presumes that those debating gzhan stong and rang stong have realized emptiness.

Since rang stong is just a strawman set up by gzhan stong pas, there is really no debate between gzhan stong and rang stong since there is no rang stong Madhyamaka except in the imagination of those who call themselves "gzhan stong" Madhyamakas.

N
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: the ever-changing Western view of Madhyamaka

Postby Acchantika » Thu Aug 04, 2011 2:32 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Yes, realization of emptiness automatically entails having right view.

Your next statement presumes that those debating gzhan stong and rang stong have realized emptiness.

Since rang stong is just a strawman set up by gzhan stong pas, there is really no debate between gzhan stong and rang stong since there is no rang stong Madhyamaka except in the imagination of those who call themselves "gzhan stong" Madhyamakas.

N


This assumption seems to me more parsimonious than the argument from (personal or otherwise) experience/authority that I interpret you as making, i.e., those that disagree with your view (whatever that may be) have simply not realised emptiness.

By equating Rangtong with a Shentong-created straw-man, do you mean that the so-called 'Rangtong' is simply Madhyamaka properly understood, or do you mean that the two views are in fact complementary and not contrasting?
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Re: the ever-changing Western view of Madhyamaka

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 04, 2011 2:55 pm

Acchantika wrote:
By equating Rangtong with a Shentong-created straw-man, do you mean that the so-called 'Rangtong' is simply Madhyamaka properly understood, or do you mean that the two views are in fact complementary and not contrasting?


I mean that there is no rang stong at all from a Madhyamaka perspective: Nāgārjuna states:

If there were something subtle not empty, there would be something subtle to be empty,
as there is nothing not empty, where is there something to be empty?


I mean that there is no rang stong at all, apart from what the gzhan stong pas have fabricated.

The gzhan stong controversy arose out of a need by Tibetans to reconcile the five treatises of Maitreya with Nāgārjuna's Collection of Reasoning based upon the erroneous historical idea that the five treatises were authored by the bodhisattva Maitreya rather than a human being (who incidentally was probably Asanga's teacher).

In my opinion, the five treatises were a collection of texts meant to explicate the three main thrusts of Indian Mahāyāna sutras, Prajñāpāramita, Tathāgatagarbha, and Yogacāra. Four of the five are devoted to these three topics independently, with the Abhisamaya-alaṃkara devoted to Prajñāpāramita; Uttaratantra devoted to Tathāgatagarbha; and the two Vibhangas devoted to Yogacāra . The last, the Sutra-alaṃkara is an attempt to unify the thought of these three main trends in Mahāyāna into a single whole, from a Yogacara perspective.

When these treatises arrived in Tibetan, at the same time, a text attributed tothe original Bhavaviveka, but probably by a later Bhavaviveka, translated under Atisha's encouragement, called Tarkajvala, presented the broad outline of what we know call today " the four tenet systems".

In this text, the three own natures and so on were presented in a very specific way from a Madhyamaka perspective and labelled "cittamatra".

So, the gzhan stong controversy (with additional input from Vajrayāna exegesis based on a certain way of understand the three bodhisattva commentaries) is about reconciling Madhyamaka with Yogacara.

Personally, I see no need to attempt to reconcile Madhyamaka and Yogacara. Madhyamaka is the pinnacle of sutra explication. But Tibetans did and still seem to need to do so, and they have passed on this need to their students.

But from my perspective, one cannot go beyond freedom from extremes.

N
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http://www.bhaisajya.guru
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: the ever-changing Western view of Madhyamaka

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:39 pm

Namdrol wrote:I mean that there is no rang stong at all from a Madhyamaka perspective


Does this mean that it is not correct to say that prasangika is an empty-of-self view?

Emptiness like space (svatantrika) clearly seems to be an empty-of-self view.

Free from extremes beyond thought and expression - you are saying this is neither a self-empty nor an other-empty view?
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Re: the ever-changing Western view of Madhyamaka

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:52 pm

Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:
Namdrol wrote:I mean that there is no rang stong at all from a Madhyamaka perspective


Does this mean that it is not correct to say that prasangika is an empty-of-self view?


It is not correct to call Prasangika a rang stong view.

Emptiness like space (svatantrika) clearly seems to be an empty-of-self view.


Svatantrika is another Tibetan fabrication. There is no difference between the views of Bhavavike and Candrakirti when it comes to ultimate truth -- the difference between them is soley pedagogical.

Free from extremes beyond thought and expression - you are saying this is neither a self-empty nor an other-empty view?


How could freedom from extremes be intrinsically or extrinsically empty, based on the Nāgārjuna citation I provided above?

Here is another one:

Since arising, abiding, and perishing are not established, the conditioned is not established.
Since the condition is never established, how will the unconditioned be established?


Basically the rang stong/gzhan stong controversy is bullshit, and so is the prasangika/svatantrika controversy.

If you want to understand Madhyamaka, don't read Tibetan accounts of Madhyamaka dating after the 13th century. And here, it is better still just to rely on Indian masters. The sole exception to this is Khenpa Shenga's treatises, which are just Indian commentaries turned into footnoted annotations of root texts.

N
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: the ever-changing Western view of Madhyamaka

Postby adinatha » Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:20 pm

Namdrol wrote:
adinatha wrote:
Namdrol wrote:That criticism is invalid.

On the other hand, gzhan stong is tainted with a subtle eternalism since they assert wisdom exists, and hence are realists, and in reality inhabit an intermediate place between cittamatra and madhyamaka.

N


Or they are not tainted by a veiled nihilism. Does the dharmakaya have qualities?


That depends on what one means by qualities.


When dharmakaya's qualities are mentioned in the literature, i.e., yogacara, what is meant?
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Re: the ever-changing Western view of Madhyamaka

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:22 pm

adinatha wrote:
When dharmakaya's qualities are mentioned in the literature, i.e., yogacara, what is meant?


Can you provide a list? Do you mean things like the ten powers, four fearlessnesses and so on?

You mean this:

http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?titl ... _qualities

N
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: the ever-changing Western view of Madhyamaka

Postby adinatha » Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:29 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Acchantika wrote:
By equating Rangtong with a Shentong-created straw-man, do you mean that the so-called 'Rangtong' is simply Madhyamaka properly understood, or do you mean that the two views are in fact complementary and not contrasting?


I mean that there is no rang stong at all from a Madhyamaka perspective: Nāgārjuna states:

If there were something subtle not empty, there would be something subtle to be empty,
as there is nothing not empty, where is there something to be empty?


I mean that there is no rang stong at all, apart from what the gzhan stong pas have fabricated.

The gzhan stong controversy arose out of a need by Tibetans to reconcile the five treatises of Maitreya with Nāgārjuna's Collection of Reasoning based upon the erroneous historical idea that the five treatises were authored by the bodhisattva Maitreya rather than a human being (who incidentally was probably Asanga's teacher).

In my opinion, the five treatises were a collection of texts meant to explicate the three main thrusts of Indian Mahāyāna sutras, Prajñāpāramita, Tathāgatagarbha, and Yogacāra. Four of the five are devoted to these three topics independently, with the Abhisamaya-alaṃkara devoted to Prajñāpāramita; Uttaratantra devoted to Tathāgatagarbha; and the two Vibhangas devoted to Yogacāra . The last, the Sutra-alaṃkara is an attempt to unify the thought of these three main trends in Mahāyāna into a single whole, from a Yogacara perspective.

When these treatises arrived in Tibetan, at the same time, a text attributed tothe original Bhavaviveka, but probably by a later Bhavaviveka, translated under Atisha's encouragement, called Tarkajvala, presented the broad outline of what we know call today " the four tenet systems".

In this text, the three own natures and so on were presented in a very specific way from a Madhyamaka perspective and labelled "cittamatra".

So, the gzhan stong controversy (with additional input from Vajrayāna exegesis based on a certain way of understand the three bodhisattva commentaries) is about reconciling Madhyamaka with Yogacara.

Personally, I see no need to attempt to reconcile Madhyamaka and Yogacara. Madhyamaka is the pinnacle of sutra explication. But Tibetans did and still seem to need to do so, and they have passed on this need to their students.

But from my perspective, one cannot go beyond freedom from extremes.

N


Nagarjuna also stated nirvana is peace. The Shentong point about sublime vision of the realized beings holds up. We are talking about the mind, not mental faculty, but the nature.
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Re: the ever-changing Western view of Madhyamaka

Postby adinatha » Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:33 pm

Namdrol wrote:
adinatha wrote:
When dharmakaya's qualities are mentioned in the literature, i.e., yogacara, what is meant?


Can you provide a list? Do you mean things like the ten powers, four fearlessnesses and so on?

You mean this:

http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?titl ... _qualities

N


Sure.
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Re: the ever-changing Western view of Madhyamaka

Postby adinatha » Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:36 pm

Also what is free from extremes? What is beyond elaboration?
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