Defilements and Obscurations

Moderator: Tibetan Buddhism moderators

Defilements and Obscurations

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Sun Apr 19, 2009 2:25 am

Hi all,

Often we talking about realizing the true mind, or realizing emptiness, or realizing rigpa. And some say there's nothing to realize, because it's already present.

To flip this for a moment, what if it's the case that we need to realize our obscurations? Does that make any difference?

:namaste:
Ngawang Drolma
Founding Member
 
Posts: 2324
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:44 pm

Re: Defilements and Obscurations

Postby PaulC » Sun Apr 19, 2009 3:54 am

My understanding is that the Tathagathagarbha is a potential, a dependently arising "seed," and not something with an "inherently existing" designation, according to Madhyamaka.

(The Yogacara position on this is quite different ...)

Though I, too, may stand corrected.
PaulC
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:37 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Defilements and Obscurations

Postby floating_abu » Sun Apr 19, 2009 1:45 pm

Ngawang Drolma wrote:Hi all,

Often we talking about realizing the true mind, or realizing emptiness, or realizing rigpa. And some say there's nothing to realize, because it's already present.

To flip this for a moment, what if it's the case that we need to realize our obscurations? Does that make any difference?

:namaste:


Perhaps the word "realise" makes it seem a bit too heavy in this instance.

To flip this for a moment, what if it's the case that we need to realize our obscurations?

If you ever feel anger, is there anything to realise here, or not?

Best wishes.
floating_abu
 
Posts: 172
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:29 pm

Re: Defilements and Obscurations

Postby Luke » Sun Apr 19, 2009 2:22 pm

My understanding is that rigpa is present in everything, including our obscurations (negative thoughts), but I could be wrong...
User avatar
Luke
 
Posts: 1669
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:04 pm

Re: Defilements and Obscurations

Postby dumb bonbu » Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:31 pm

what would realising in this case imply - awareness? i guess if you weren't aware of obscurations then perhaps you wouldn't be aware that there's anything to awaken to. personally i always try to be mindful of the poison of pride, especially any time i feel i'm making progress...it's so easy for me to slip into a holier than thou worthiness.

My understanding is that the Tathagathagarbha is a potential, a dependently arising "seed," and not something with an "inherently existing" designation, according to Madhyamaka.


hi Paul, i was wondering if you'd mind exapanding a little on this as it relates to a question i asked in this thread. thank you :smile:
Although I too am within Amida's grasp,
Passions obstruct my eyes and I cannot see him;
Nevertheless, great compassion is untiring and
illumines me always.
- Shinran


Namu Amida Butsu
User avatar
dumb bonbu
 
Posts: 93
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:29 pm
Location: East Yorkshire, UK

Re: Defilements and Obscurations

Postby PaulC » Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:35 am

This is an interesting exchange between Geshe Doga (at the FPMT centre in Melbourne) and his students:

Student: Do we, as sentient beings already have this Buddha mind and is it just a matter of purifying and negating wrong views and karma to expose that Buddha mind?

Geshe-la: Do you mean Buddha mind or Buddha nature, because only the Buddha has the Buddha mind.

Student: Buddha nature.

Geshe-la: Well, we don't have a Buddha mind, but we have a Buddha nature or a Buddha seed, in the sense of having a quality within us that can become a Buddha.

(Penetrating Reality, p.17)

So according to that Madhyamaka, in which Gelugpa Geshes train, there's a kind of wariness about most terms for the absolute, and/or of seeing enlightenment as an underlying state (i.e. we're enlightened already, but just don't realise it ...). As one might find in some Zen teachers (for e.g. Bankei) or in Advaita Vedanta ...

Which reminds me that years ago I researched an undergraduate essay on the Lhasa Debates (792-794) in which Kamalasila argued that the Chinese had wilfully mistranslated/misinterpreted tathagathagarbha as something approaching Brahman, whereas (as Geshe Doga says) it signifies little more than this "seed-potential."

The Mahamudra and/or Dzogchen positions probably go beyond this ... But at this point I realise that I'm totally ill-equipped to elaborate ... And so hope that someone more qualified might shed some light ...

Best wishes

P
PaulC
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:37 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Defilements and Obscurations

Postby Drolma » Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:55 pm

Hi Paul, everyone -

Paul, you may enjoy looking at Dzogchen, The Heart Essence of the Great Perfection, teachings given in the West by His Holiness the Dalai Lama - Foreward by Sogyal Rinpoche - SnowLion ISBN 155939-157X

Excerpt:

"Often in the texts we find mention of the fundamental innate mind of clear light being not produced by causes and conditions. Now here it is important to understand that in general when we use the term 'produced phenomena', there are different connotations. Something can be called 'produced' because it s a production of delusions and the actions they induce. Again, it may also refer to a production by causes and conditions. And there is also a sense of 'produced' as being caused by conceptual thought processes.
Certain texts speak of the activities of the Buddha as permanent and non-produced in the sense that they are continuous, and that as long as there are sentient beings, the activities of the buddhas will remain without interruption. So, from the point of view of their continuity, these activities are sometimes called permanent. It is in the sense that this is without interruption that it is labeled permanent .
In the same manner, the fundamental innate mind of clear light in terms of its continuity, is beginingless, and also endless. This continuum will always be there , and so from that specific point of view, it is also called 'non product for it does not come into being as a result of the circumstantial interaction of causes and conditions. Rather , it is an ever -abiding continuum of mind, which is inherent within us. So from that viewpoint, it is called 'non-produced'.
However, although this is the case, we still have to maintain that because it possesses this continuity, the present fundamental innate mind - this present instant of consciousness - comes from its earlier moments. The same holds true of the wisdom of Buddha - the omniscient mind of Buddha - which perceives the two truths directly and simultaneously, and which is also a state of awareness or consciousness. Since it is a state of awareness, the factor which will eventually turn into that kind of wisdom, namely the fundamental innate nature of clear light, will also have to be maintained to be a state of awareness. For it is impossible for anything which is not by nature awareness to turn into a state of awareness. So from the second point of view, the fundamental innate mind of clear light, is causally produced."

and

http://www.dalailama.com/page.176.htm

Shantideva - Wisdom Chapter -

more on Buddhahood and Buddha-nature by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
:smile:
Drolma
 
Posts: 115
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 7:07 pm

Re: Defilements and Obscurations

Postby PaulC » Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:30 pm

Hi Drolma & Co

Thanks for that quote. It's apposite.

So in this respect Dzogchen and Mahamudra may be seen to differ somewhat from Madhyamaka (having taken on something of the later traditions).

Paul
PaulC
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:37 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia


Return to Tibetan Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: saraswati and 15 guests

>