gzhan stong and Great Madhyamaka

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Re: ālayavijñāna--conventional or ultimate existent?

Postby Mariusz » Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:06 pm

Namdrol wrote:Consciousness appearing
as objects, sentient beings, self, and cognitions
(the dependent nature; mind and its projections)
Namdrol wrote: arise, but its objects do not exist,
since they do not exist, it does not exist
(Phenomena arise as objects outside the mind. Since phenomena are no objects outside the mind, so is also no perceiving mind of these objects)
Namdrol wrote: That imagination of the unreal
(imagination of these outer objects perceived "outside" and this perceiving mind of these objects)
Namdrol wrote:is established because of that
(outer objects outside us are established only because the perceiving mind which perceived them seems to be)
Namdrol wrote:is not as it seems, is not a total non-existent
(because it only seems to be in this way, therefore it is not totally non-existent)

Yogacara here is compatible what Madhyamaka says:

everything is interdependent and created by causes and conditions, ultimately there are no any inherently, independently existed phenomena but also because conventionally everything exists relatively depending on something else there is no total nothingness (view beyond extremisms, the middle way, analyse through interdependent arising, the fifth reasoning of Nagarjuna, the king of all reasonings)
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Re: gzhan stong and Great Madhyamaka

Postby Mariusz » Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:38 pm

muni wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
Tom wrote:
Why do you divide these two components into the real and unreal? I can't see this in the text.


The imagination of the unreal exists.


Thank you for this expression.

As I posted above means the dependent nature alone. However, it appears in an illusionlike manner but is without any nature of its own:

The imaginary nature is like mistakenly apprehending the visual appearances that are caused by blurred vision to be floating hairs and such. Since this is nothing but names and superimpositions, it does not exist at all. Therefore, the imaginary nature is “the lack of nature in terms of characteristics.”

The other-dependent nature consists of dependently originating appearances, like the plain visual appearances seen by someone with blurred vision. These appear in an illusionlike manner but are without any nature of their own and do not really arise. Therefore, the other-dependent nature is “the lack of nature in terms of arising.”

The ultimate lack of nature is the perfect nature: Like space, it is omnipresent and not established as anything whatsoever. It can be compared to the free space that is the natural object of unimpaired vision when the eye defect of blurred vision has been cured and one realizes that what appeared as floating hairs never actually existed anywhere. This aspect is “the ultimate lack of nature” per se.
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Re: gzhan stong and Great Madhyamaka

Postby conebeckham » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:51 pm

Mariusz-
They're using "imaginary" in two different senses....not merely the imaginary nature, but also the "unreal imagination."
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Re: gzhan stong and Great Madhyamaka

Postby Mariusz » Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:46 pm

conebeckham wrote:Mariusz-
They're using "imaginary" in two different senses....not merely the imaginary nature, but also the "unreal imagination."

Are you sure? Study it:
Consciousness appearing
as objects, sentient beings, self, and cognitions
arise, but its objects do not exist,
since they do not exist, it does not exist.
That imagination of the unreal.
"imagination of the unreal" suggests for me (Consciousness) as "objects and cognitions" arise , in other words (the dependent nature) as "mind and its projections" arise. But maybe it is the translation into english, and one should check the tibetan if it was correctly translated.
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Re: gzhan stong and Great Madhyamaka

Postby conebeckham » Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:10 pm

Tom wrote:
What I am having trouble understanding is why you say the unreal (abhūta) is both "the imagined nature" (parikalpita svabhāva) and "the other seven consciousnesses". As I understand it the "imagined nature" (parikalpita svabhāva) refers to the object (1:5), and further "the other seven consciousnesses" and also the alāyavijñāna are dependent nature (paratantra svabhāva).


My understanding is that parikalpita svabhāva is the conceptual overlay on that which appears (the dependent nature)--name, characteristics, etc. It is imaginary, and unreal (abhūta parikalpa) "unreal imagination."

The "other seven consciousnesses"-- sense consciousnesses and their "objects," as well as the Afflicted Mind, and the Storehouse (Alaya) of Habitual Patterns and "Factors of Identity," are all the dependent nature, (paratantra svabhāva), also imaginary, the "unreal imagination," abhūta parikalpa, but notably NOT parikalpita svabhāva. Subject and Object appear, but do not exist, precisely because they are dependent.
And I think the "mental consciousness" should be included in this category--so it should be the "other eight cosnciousnesses," shouldn't it?
Thus:
I don't see where abhūta parikalpa is divided out as:
abhūta (unreal) = the imagined nature / the other seven consciousness
parikalpa (imagination) = dependent nature / alāyavijñāna

.... isn't exactly how I understand it....

??
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Re: gzhan stong and Great Madhyamaka

Postby Jinzang » Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:42 pm

My understanding, based on a talk by Traga Rinpoche:

The imaginary nature is how the world appears to ordinary beings, The dependent nature is how the world appears to bodhisattvas in post-meditation. The consumate nature is how things appear (actually, how they don't appear) to bodhisattvas when meditating and buddhas at all times.
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Re: gzhan stong and Great Madhyamaka

Postby Mariusz » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:24 pm

conebeckham wrote:My understanding is that parikalpita svabhāva is the conceptual overlay on that which appears (the dependent nature)--name, characteristics, etc. It is imaginary nature
yes, I also. It is overlay on that which is dual

conebeckham wrote:The "other seven consciousnesses"-- sense consciousnesses and their "objects," as well as the Afflicted Mind ( "mental consciousness"), and the Storehouse (Alaya) of Habitual Patterns and "Factors of Identity," are all the dependent nature
yes, I also. This is the duality of perceiving Mind and perceived objects

conebeckham wrote:I don't see where abhūta parikalpa is divided out as:
abhūta (unreal) = the imagined nature / the other seven consciousness
parikalpa (imagination) = dependent nature / alāyavijñāna
yes, I don't see also. So I see only the dependent nature.
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Re: gzhan stong and Great Madhyamaka

Postby conebeckham » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:30 pm

Jinzang wrote:My understanding, based on a talk by Traga Rinpoche:

The imaginary nature is how the world appears to ordinary beings, The dependent nature is how the world appears to bodhisattvas in post-meditation. The consumate nature is how things appear (actually, how they don't appear) to bodhisattvas when meditating and buddhas at all times.


That's interesting, and close to my understanding....the exception being, that ordinary beings perceive the dependent nature, as well as the imaginary nature superimposed upon it.
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Re: gzhan stong and Great Madhyamaka

Postby Tom » Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:28 pm

conebeckham wrote:Tom wrote:
What I am having trouble understanding is why you say the unreal (abhūta) is both "the imagined nature" (parikalpita svabhāva) and "the other seven consciousnesses". As I understand it the "imagined nature" (parikalpita svabhāva) refers to the object (1:5), and further "the other seven consciousnesses" and also the alāyavijñāna are dependent nature (paratantra svabhāva).


My understanding is that parikalpita svabhāva is the conceptual overlay on that which appears (the dependent nature)--name, characteristics, etc. It is imaginary, and unreal (abhūta parikalpa) "unreal imagination."



Your explanation of the relationship between the parikalpita svabhāva and paratantra svabhāva, generally accords with how I understand it. This is of course extensively treated in the Trisvabhāvanirdeśa. The MV more extensively treats the abhūta parikalpa than the three natures and it is on this subject that we seem to disagree. It sounds as though you are equating parikalpita svabhāva with the abhūta parikalpa. If we relate the abhūta parikalpa to the trisvabhāva then it is synonymous with the dependent nature (paratantra svabhāva), not the imagined nature (parikalpita svabhāva) (MV1:5). Now this is according to the MV.

My point is that I don't think the term abhūta parikalpa should be split into "abhūta" and "parikalpa", and on that basis assigning different natures or consciousnesses to each. Abhūta parikalpa (imagination of the unreal) its own concept, and Sthiramati defines it as "that by, or in which the unreal duality is imagined." In the MV it is defined in many ways - for example, existence and nonexistence, meaning duality does not exist there, but emptiness does, and also that emptiness and unreal imagination do exist but subject-object duality does not (MV1: 1-2); defining characteristic which Namdrol translated (MV1:3-4) Here, Sthiramati here says that the svabhāva of consciousness is imagination of the unreal; the abhūta parikalpa is also explained in terms of what it comprises (MV1:5), and it is here that it discusses the abhūta parikalpa in relation to the three natures. Here it says that abhūta parikalpa is the dependent nature, not imagined nature which is said to correspond to the object. And so on ... until we get to defining the abhūta parikalpa in terms of the subdivisions, synonyms, and function where it is explained to encompass all eight consciousnesses. Also, this is confirmed by verses 6-9 in the Trisvabhāvanirdeśa. Lastly, it goes through the twelve links explaining the function of the abhūta parikalpa here and it seems to clearly explain this term in a way that is not limited to the ālaya-vijñāna.

Disclaimer: This is in terms of my understanding of MV and not later Yogācāra developments. I may be wrong and so am happy to be corrected - what I would be looking for is a clear scriptural reference for the reading the term abhūta parikalpa as split into "abhūta" and "parikalpa", and on that basis assigning different natures or consciousnesses to each.
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Re: gzhan stong and Great Madhyamaka

Postby Mariusz » Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:57 pm

Tom wrote:Disclaimer: This is in terms of my understanding of MV and not later Yogācāra developments.
Do you mean cittamatra's mind only interpretation as the later Yogācāra?
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Re: gzhan stong and Great Madhyamaka

Postby conebeckham » Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:15 am

Tom-
You've studied this stuff a lot more than I have, and in the original texts it appears (though maybe in translation?)-

My understanding of the term "abhūta parikalpa" as unreal imagination is a descriptive term, which does not need to be split, indeed, and which does not need to be correlated strictly to one of the Three Natures. Why, if it did, wouldn't it just be a synonym for the dependent nature? Unless, of course, it is!

In any case, I think it's clear that the Parikalpa Svabhāva, the Imaginary Nature, is certainly "unreal imagination." The question is whether the dependent nature is also "unreal imagination" as well. The 8 consciousnesses are "unreal imagination," though they are not the imaginary nature. Especially, the Mental consciousness is not merely the imaginary nature, though...or, I don't think it is....it's part of the dependent nature, paratantra svabhāva, though also at times Parikalpa Svabhāva. Mental Consciousness is part of two natures? All of this is unreal, either as complete conceptual superimposition, in the case of Parikalpa, or as a nonexistent subject/object dichotomy, Paratantra.

I suppose, though,that if Sthiramati defines abhūta parikalpa as "that by, or in which the unreal duality is imagined." as you say, then that unreal imagination would have to apply to the dependent nature, or be a factor by which the dependent nature "operates."
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Re: gzhan stong and Great Madhyamaka

Postby Tom » Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:19 am

Mariusz wrote:
Tom wrote:Disclaimer: This is in terms of my understanding of MV and not later Yogācāra developments.
Do you mean cittamatra's mind only interpretation as the later Yogācāra?


I just want to be clear that my comment are in based upon a particular text. When talking about views and tenets I have found it best to not generalize and instead refer to them in relation to a text or author. This preferable over schools. Especially given the title of this thread. For example, when talking about kun gzhi rnam shes and its relationship with de gshegs nying po, I would want to contextualize it - for example are we talking about Dolpopa's or Buton's views, or someone else.
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Re: gzhan stong and Great Madhyamaka

Postby Tom » Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:34 am

conebeckham wrote:Tom-
You've studied this stuff a lot more than I have, and in the original texts it appears (though maybe in translation?)-

My understanding of the term "abhūta parikalpa" as unreal imagination is a descriptive term, which does not need to be split, indeed, and which does not need to be correlated strictly to one of the Three Natures. Why, if it did, wouldn't it just be a synonym for the dependent nature? Unless, of course, it is!

In any case, I think it's clear that the Parikalpa Svabhāva, the Imaginary Nature, is certainly "unreal imagination." The question is whether the dependent nature is also "unreal imagination" as well. The 8 consciousnesses are "unreal imagination," though they are not the imaginary nature. Especially, the Mental consciousness is not merely the imaginary nature, though...or, I don't think it is....it's part of the dependent nature, paratantra svabhāva, though also at times Parikalpa Svabhāva. Mental Consciousness is part of two natures? All of this is unreal, either as complete conceptual superimposition, in the case of Parikalpa, or as a nonexistent subject/object dichotomy, Paratantra.

I suppose, though,that if Sthiramati defines abhūta parikalpa as "that by, or in which the unreal duality is imagined." as you say, then that unreal imagination would have to apply to the dependent nature, or be a factor by which the dependent nature "operates."


I am fortunate enough to be able to reference both Sanskrit and Tibetan, however, I am aware that this is no guarantee that my interpretation is correct. Also, this is not so familiar territory - So I am going to look at these texts again and will get back to you if a closer reading changes my interpretation.
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Re: gzhan stong and Great Madhyamaka

Postby Tom » Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:14 am

conebeckham wrote:I think it's clear that the Parikalpa Svabhāva, the Imaginary Nature, is certainly "unreal imagination." "


Cone,

I think I see what is happening. I'm using "unreal imagination" as a technical term and it seems your taking it in a very literal sense. I think taking this term literally causes problems in understanding the text. I'll post some verses tomorrow and see if you agree. You can read Tibetan right?

Cheers.
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Re: gzhan stong and Great Madhyamaka

Postby muni » Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:33 am

In addition, appearances clear away the extreme of (inherent) existence; emptiness clears away the extreme of non-existence. When you understand the arising of cause and effect from the viewpoint of emptiness, you are not captivated by either of the extreme views.

http://www.bodhicitta.net/Three%20Princ ... 20Path.htm
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Re: gzhan stong and Great Madhyamaka

Postby Mariusz » Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:53 am

Tom wrote:Here it says that abhūta parikalpa is the dependent nature, not imagined nature which is said to correspond to the object.
Not only it correspond to the object:

Maitreya’s Distinguishing Phenomena and Pure Being:
As duality plus assumption and formulation,
Whose appearance is the mistaken conceptual process,
Since what appears is not and is thus not real.
No referents have ever existed either
And, being but concept, consist of conceptualization.


Mipham, with my adding in ():
All phenomena, which are composed of dualistic appearance to which dualistic assumption is added (conceptually), are nothing other than complete imputations having no existence with an actual constituent of their own, while nevertheless appearing (by such examples as the strands of hair which appear to a victim of cataracts)

• What appears to the nonconceptual sensory faculty as a duality of perceived
and perceiver
• The process of formulation conducted by the rational mind, which is
conceptual and first makes the assumption that whatever appears to be
a duality actually exists that way and then formulates it by assigning a
specific term; this is a process which is internal and equivalent to the
rational mind’s conceptualization of percept and perceiver
• The inner faculties, that of the eye and so on
• Outer objects, form and so on
• The principles of awareness, the eye consciousness, and so on
• Vessel-like worlds’ appearances experienced in common.
Since these are all absent, suchness free of all these types of differentiation appears in its one taste (beyond reference points unimpaired vision, by example when the eye defect of blurred vision has been cured and one realizes that what appeared as floating hairs is no longer obctructive for the vision). This is what is referred to as “the subsiding of dualisticappearance into emptiness.”
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Re: gzhan stong and Great Madhyamaka

Postby Mariusz » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:05 am

muni wrote:In addition, appearances clear away the extreme of (inherent) existence; emptiness clears away the extreme of non-existence. When you understand the arising of cause and effect from the viewpoint of emptiness, you are not captivated by either of the extreme views.

http://www.bodhicitta.net/Three%20Princ ... 20Path.htm
Let's stop here Tsongkhapa's interpretation of Madhyamaka, because this (inherent) existence of His no longer to be discussed here, as irrelevant.
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Re: gzhan stong and Great Madhyamaka

Postby Malcolm » Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:20 pm

Tom wrote: Here it says that abhūta parikalpa is the dependent nature, not imagined nature which is said to correspond to the object.


Correct. The "imagination of the unreal" is a single entity. However it contains content i.e. the unreal.

Some people seem to think that that it ought to be translated as "unreal imagination", as if the imagination itself in question is unreal. I do not think this is correct. Unreal is not an adjective of the imagination.
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Re: gzhan stong and Great Madhyamaka

Postby conebeckham » Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:51 pm

Tom wrote:
conebeckham wrote:I think it's clear that the Parikalpa Svabhāva, the Imaginary Nature, is certainly "unreal imagination." "


Cone,

I think I see what is happening. I'm using "unreal imagination" as a technical term and it seems your taking it in a very literal sense. I think taking this term literally causes problems in understanding the text. I'll post some verses tomorrow and see if you agree. You can read Tibetan right?

Cheers.


Yes--slowly, in the case of philosophical texts--more quickly in the case of sadhana! :smile: I've read parts of the "Gyud Lama" in Tibetan, but not much else relating to Yogacara--most of my exposure to these topics is from translation, and commentary.

I am using "unreal imagination" in a more general sense, yes--so I'd love to puzzle this out more completely. Fire away!
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Re: gzhan stong and Great Madhyamaka

Postby Tom » Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:57 pm

conebeckham wrote:
Tom wrote:
conebeckham wrote:I think it's clear that the Parikalpa Svabhāva, the Imaginary Nature, is certainly "unreal imagination." "


Cone,

I think I see what is happening. I'm using "unreal imagination" as a technical term and it seems your taking it in a very literal sense. I think taking this term literally causes problems in understanding the text. I'll post some verses tomorrow and see if you agree. You can read Tibetan right?

Cheers.


Yes--slowly, in the case of philosophical texts--more quickly in the case of sadhana! :smile: I've read parts of the "Gyud Lama" in Tibetan, but not much else relating to Yogacara--most of my exposure to these topics is from translation, and commentary.

I am using "unreal imagination" in a more general sense, yes--so I'd love to puzzle this out more completely. Fire away!


Hey Cone,

First, this is the verse five from the MV in Tibetan and what I was using to justify my statement that "imagination of the unreal" (abhūta parikalpa) is related to dependent nature not imagined nature.

1:5
།བཏགས་པ་དང་ནི་གཞན་དབང་དང་།
།ཡོངས་སུ་གྲུབ་པ་ཉིད་ཀྱང་ངོ་།
།དོན་ཕྱིར་ཡང་དག་མིན་རྟོག་ཕྱིར།
།གཉིས་པོ་མེད་པའི་ཕྱིར་བཤད་དོ།

This verse clearly makes a distinction between the imagined nature and the imagination of the unreal, stating that the imagined nature (here it is: བཏགས་པ | referring to parikalpita svabhāva) is taught for the sake of objects (དོན), whilst the dependent nature (གཞན་དབང) is taught for the sake of the imagination of the unreal (ཡང་དག་མིན་རྟོག | abhūta parikalpa).

But, what I really wanted to post and didn't have the Tibetan to hand until now were verses from the Trisvabhāvanirdeśa. In this text "imagination of the unreal (here ཡང་དག་མ་ཡིན་ཀུན་རྟོག) is mentioned only a couple of times, and I think each time it is problematic to read it literally as unreal imagination, describing the imagined nature, but rather it should be read as "imagination of the unreal" referring to the construction of the unreal, which is related to the dependent nature. For example,


།ཡང་དག་མ་ཡིན་ཀུན་རྟོག་དེ།
།རྣམ་པར་སྨིན་དང་དེ་བཞིན་དུ།
།དར་འཛིན་གཞན་དུ་སྣང་བ་ཡི།
།དབྱེ་བས་རྣམ་པ་གསུམ་དུའང་འདོད།

Here, if I read imagination of the unreal (ཡང་དག་མིན་རྟོག), equated with imagined nature, then you are effectively equating the imaginary nature with all the eight consciousnesses.

My point is twofold, that the term ཡང་དག་མིན་རྟོག | abhūta parikalpa is not two different things but is one thing, and secondly that this one thing is equated with dependent nature not imagined nature.
Last edited by Tom on Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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