Nonmental Indestructible Element

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Nonmental Indestructible Element

Postby Astus » Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:06 pm

In "Ocean of Reasoning" (p. 355) Tsongkhapa says in the commentary to MMK 17:14,

"Although all virtuous and nonvirtuous actions cease immediately upon their completion, they are not without effects, because when the karma arises, a nonmental compound called an indestructible element associated with karma arises in the continuum of the agent like a promissory note."

What is this nonmental element associated with karma? It sounds like an abhidharmic teaching, however, from the text it appears to me that Tsongkhapa actually accepts the existence of such an element. Could anyone explain please?
"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: Nonmental Indestructible Element

Postby Lazy_eye » Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:16 pm

Sounds a bit like the Jain version of karma.

Also, if there is a "non-mental compound" in the mindstream, wouldn't this logically imply the mindstream is non-mental as well?
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Re: Nonmental Indestructible Element

Postby Malcolm » Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:19 pm

Astus wrote:In "Ocean of Reasoning" (p. 355) Tsongkhapa says in the commentary to MMK 17:14,

"Although all virtuous and nonvirtuous actions cease immediately upon their completion, they are not without effects, because when the karma arises, a nonmental compound called an indestructible element associated with karma arises in the continuum of the agent like a promissory note."

What is this nonmental element associated with karma? It sounds like an abhidharmic teaching, however, from the text it appears to me that Tsongkhapa actually accepts the existence of such an element. Could anyone explain please?



This is an Abhidharmic concept, form the Sammitya school. It is Nāgārjuna's preferred mechanism for explaining karma and results. Preferred, for example, to the Sautrantika cittaparinama theory, which he (Nāgārjuna) rejects as incoherent.

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: Nonmental Indestructible Element

Postby Astus » Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:18 pm

I might be mistaken here but it wasn't Nagarjuna who mentioned that element but Tsongkhapa. Also, it seems quite unnecessary to explain the efficacy of karma. Third, it is not explained in the text itself nor does it sound really convincing how such an element exists.
"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: Nonmental Indestructible Element

Postby Malcolm » Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:57 pm

Astus wrote:I might be mistaken here but it wasn't Nagarjuna who mentioned that element but Tsongkhapa. Also, it seems quite unnecessary to explain the efficacy of karma. Third, it is not explained in the text itself nor does it sound really convincing how such an element exists.


It is indeed Nāgārajuna's position, the name of the dharma in question is avipraṇāśa. MMK 17:13-20 explicates this doctrine. Candrakriti clarifies. This is not an invention of Tsongkhapa's. Nāgārjuna affirms in verse 17:20 "The avipraṇāśa of karma is the teaching of the Buddha."

This is the sole place in the MMK where Nāgārjuna actually advances a shravaka position he likes. See Mabja, ppg. 353-359.

As I said, this is originally a Sammitya doctrine. See also Karmasiddhiprakarana, ppg, 87-91 for a translation of Candrakirti's take.

Nevertheless, even though among various shravaka theories that Nagarjuna examines, this is one he apparently likes, still, from a Madhyamaka perspective he finds the idea of this avipraṇāśa unnecessary even though it is a teaching of the Buddha.

M
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
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: Nonmental Indestructible Element

Postby Anders » Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:50 pm

So Nagarjuna repudiates eternalists in drag, the Sarvastivadins, but is actually an admirer of Pudgavaladin tenets?

It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife...
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: Nonmental Indestructible Element

Postby Malcolm » Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:58 pm

Anders Honore wrote:So Nagarjuna repudiates eternalists in drag, the Sarvastivadins, but is actually an admirer of Pudgavaladin tenets?

It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife...



It has been suggested that Nāgārjuna was monk of this school.

N
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
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: Nonmental Indestructible Element

Postby Astus » Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:58 pm

Thanks Namdrol, you're of great help. Also explains why simply avipraṇāśa is translated in Chinese as 不失法 (avipraṇāśa-dharma).
"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: Nonmental Indestructible Element

Postby Anders » Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:13 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Anders Honore wrote:So Nagarjuna repudiates eternalists in drag, the Sarvastivadins, but is actually an admirer of Pudgavaladin tenets?

It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife...



It has been suggested that Nāgārjuna was monk of this school.

N


I suppose that is likely simply by virtue of them by and large being the majority school in India.

Can't help but think the Buddhist landscape today would look very different indeed if more of the schools that actually dominated Indian Buddhism had survived. History being written by Mahayanins and the rather tertiary Mahavihara skews our picture of Indian Buddhism to an extent it's hard to even properly envision what was mainstream Buddhist tenets back in the day, free of the lenses of modern mainstream Buddhism.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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