Peter Brown and Dzogchen

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Re: Peter Brown and Dzogchen

Postby Anders » Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:22 am

Malcolm wrote:
Anders wrote:
A person of superior faculties could understand dzogchen fully with only a very few pith phrases, and thus a minimal of hermeneutical interpolation. I don't see how the absence of presence of historical errors of dzogchen hermeneutics might impact his understanding of dzogchen.


Dzogchen, (apart from being a realization) essentially became hermeneutic criticism after the Tibetans invented the scheme of the nine Yānas in order to explain Dzogchen's relationship to the other strands of Buddhist theory.

Frankly, I think very few people understand Dzogchen based on a few pithy phrases, lord knows I certainly didn't and don't.


If that is what it boils down to, doesn't that sort of put a downer on a lot of dzogchen material?

And yes, our superior practitioner here was raised mostly for the sake of argument, but I think the point's valid anyway.
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Re: Peter Brown and Dzogchen

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:44 am

Son of Buddha wrote:when I say it was a jumbled mess,its because you dont come into a conversation saying the Buddha Nature is only a potential to become enlightened and not an actual nature..............then later refute your own position by showing that the Buddha nature is actually not a potential but is actually the Dharmakaya itself.....would you say the Dharmakaya is the potential for become enlightened or enlightenment itself?
You do realise that you are now trying to make a "thing" out of the Dharmakaya, right? Tryng to reify the Dharmakaya Make it substantial.

Next thing you are going to do is tell us that Samantabhadra is a being that creates the universe.
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Re: Peter Brown and Dzogchen

Postby muni » Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:57 am

nyamssnanggong'phel wrote:
smcj wrote:Yes I do,


Yes I do.


Felicitations.

Example of spiritual mind mariage of no separation. :smile:
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Re: Peter Brown and Dzogchen

Postby nyamssnanggong'phel » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:33 pm

smcj wrote:
Yes I do.

Then I suggest you ask him. Specifically ask him what Thrangu R.'s position on this is, R. being the senior khenpo for the Karma Kagyu currently.


Mahamudra is definitive.

Not sutra, whether its Madhyamaka, Yogacara, rantong, shentong, Tathāgatagarbha Sutras etc.
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Re: Peter Brown and Dzogchen

Postby nyamssnanggong'phel » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:36 pm

So to summarize the errors of those who promote Tathāgatagarbha Sutras.

1. They don't understand all the normative ancient Indian professors like Atisha said Madhyamaka was the definitive sutra teaching.

2. They don't understand there is a difference between tantric Buddha Nature of Mahamudra and sutric Buddha Nature of Tathāgatagarbha Sutras.

3. They don't understand tantra is higher than sutra.
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Re: Peter Brown and Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:37 pm

Anders wrote:[
If that is what it boils down to, doesn't that sort of put a downer on a lot of dzogchen material?


For some people it does, which is why they stick with causal and resultant paths.
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Re: Peter Brown and Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:44 pm

nyamssnanggong'phel wrote:So to summarize the errors of those who promote Tathāgatagarbha Sutras.

1. They don't understand all the normative ancient Indian professors like Atisha said Madhyamaka was the definitive sutra teaching.



Just to be fair: Longchenpa states very clearly in the sgrub mtha' mdzod that Prasanga is the definitive view, Tathāgatagrbha sutras are the definitive sutras.

Second, there was in India a broad group of masters who dissented from the position you ascribe. Recall, Atisha is very, very late on the scene and had virtually no influence on Indian Buddhism that is presently discernible, apart from being a younger contemporary of Naropa, Ratnakarashanti, Vageshvarakirit, and so on.

Also, Candrakirti seems to have left very little lasting impression on Indian Madhyamaka until Atisha's time, when his works began to be upheld with enthusiasm. This is evident by the controversy they eventually sparked, leading the composition of such texts as Ratnakarashanti's (Yogacara) Madhyamaka-alaṃkara.

2. They don't understand there is a difference between tantric Buddha Nature of Mahamudra and sutric Buddha Nature of Tathāgatagarbha Sutras.


Yes, this point is confusing for many people. It is made more confusing when scholars like Longchenpa regularly invoke the Uttaratantra in order to introduce concepts in Dzogchen causing people to conflate sugatagarbha teachings as they appear in Dzogchen and sūtra.


3. They don't understand tantra is higher than sutra.


Well, they can't be blamed for this since Sapan strongly argued against this position (indeed arguing against the position of his own guru, Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen). Since then, virtually all schools but Nyingma have maintained that the view of sutra and tantra is the same, differing only in means.
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Re: Peter Brown and Dzogchen

Postby nyamssnanggong'phel » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:57 pm

Malcolm wrote:Recall, Atisha is very, very late on the scene and had virtually no influence on Indian Buddhism that is presently discernible, apart from being a younger contemporary of Naropa, Ratnakarashanti, Vageshvarakirit, and so on.


Atisha may be late on the scene, but he always says he is merely parroting what his teachers his told him.

Thus we can consider him as the normative Indian position, especially since he was from Vikramshila.


Malcolm wrote:Yes, this point is confusing for many people.


Yup. :cheers:

Malcolm wrote:Well, they can't be blamed for this since Sapan strongly argued against this position (indeed arguing against the position of his own guru, Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen). Since then, virtually all schools but Nyingma have maintained that the view of sutra and tantra is the same, differing only in means.


Yes of course, but usually this refers to Madhyamaka anyway.....not the Tathāgatagrbha Sutras.
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Re: Peter Brown and Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:00 pm

nyamssnanggong'phel wrote:Thus we can consider him as the normative Indian position, especially since he was from Vikramshila.


No, I don't really believe there was a normative Indian position. There were normative Tibetan biases about what more modern Madhyamaka teachings they were going to seek because of Atisha, but this does not mean that Atisha position was even a majority position in India. Recall too, Atisha, while proclaiming Candrakirti's virtue, never had anything of his translated. Instead Atisha sponsored the translation of Pseudo-Bhavaviveka's Tarkajvala, etc.

Also keep in mind that "Candrakirti's" popularity most likely had more to do with the tantric Candrakirti's commentaries on the Pañcakrama than Madhyamaka.
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Re: Peter Brown and Dzogchen

Postby nyamssnanggong'phel » Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:12 pm

LOL

I'm on your side Malcolm.
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Re: Peter Brown and Dzogchen

Postby dzogchungpa » Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:55 pm

Malcolm wrote:
2. They don't understand there is a difference between tantric Buddha Nature of Mahamudra and sutric Buddha Nature of Tathāgatagarbha Sutras.

Yes, this point is confusing for many people. It is made more confusing when scholars like Longchenpa regularly invoke the Uttaratantra in order to introduce concepts in Dzogchen causing people to conflate sugatagarbha teachings as they appear in Dzogchen and sūtra.
3. They don't understand tantra is higher than sutra.

Well, they can't be blamed for this since Sapan strongly argued against this position (indeed arguing against the position of his own guru, Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen). Since then, virtually all schools but Nyingma have maintained that the view of sutra and tantra is the same, differing only in means.

Presumably Mipham's description of dharmakaya/nature of mind/whatever in Gateway is Nyingma sutra level view? I believe you have said that in dzogchen, the thigle of elements in the heart is considered tathāgatagarbha. Is there a distinct Nyingma tantra level view of these things, i.e. something between sutra and dzogchen?
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Re: Peter Brown and Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:10 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:Presumably Mipham's description of dharmakaya/nature of mind/whatever in Gateway is Nyingma sutra level view?


Strictly so.

I believe you have said that in dzogchen, the thigle of elements in the heart is considered tathāgatagarbha. Is there a distinct Nyingma tantra level view of these things, i.e. something between sutra and dzogchen?


No, not really.
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Re: Peter Brown and Dzogchen

Postby nyamssnanggong'phel » Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:29 pm

Even if Dzogchen is Tibetan, it still developed within a 100% Buddhist environment according to scholars.

That's why its language and concepts are so sophisticated.

I can cite both Ronald Davidson and David Germano.
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Re: Peter Brown and Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:34 pm

nyamssnanggong'phel wrote:Even if Dzogchen is Tibetan, it still developed within a 100% Buddhist environment according to scholars.


Yes. But I don't think anyone disputed this.
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Re: Peter Brown and Dzogchen

Postby tobes » Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:44 pm

nyamssnanggong'phel wrote:LOL

I'm on your side Malcolm.


Why are you so eager to choose a side and denounce anyone that you think is on the "Other" side?

Clearly on this question, there is no 'authoritative normative position'. Buddhist thinking, in general but particularly on these kinds of questions has been obviously dialectical in character.

You need to learn to appreciate the richness of that contestation. It's not a (tribal) game to be won by picking the 'right/authoritative' side and decreeing those on the other side losers.

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Re: Peter Brown and Dzogchen

Postby dzogchungpa » Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:31 pm

tobes wrote:
nyamssnanggong'phel wrote:LOL

I'm on your side Malcolm.


Why are you so eager to choose a side and denounce anyone that you think is on the "Other" side?

Which side is Malcolm on anyway? :smile:
Note that, in the higher tantras, there is talk of a self and an I, even though in the lower teachings the absence of self and the absence of I is what is always proclaimed. - Tony Duff
If we have to have a soul, it might as well be vidya, it is after all, permanent, unconditioned, a knower, stainless, and free from the three realms. But If we don't have to have one, vidya still has these characteristics. It is our essenceless essence. - a certain Gemini
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Re: Peter Brown and Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:05 am

dzogchungpa wrote:
tobes wrote:
nyamssnanggong'phel wrote:LOL

I'm on your side Malcolm.


Why are you so eager to choose a side and denounce anyone that you think is on the "Other" side?

Which side is Malcolm on anyway? :smile:



I wish someone would tell me, it would make life so much easier.
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Re: Peter Brown and Dzogchen

Postby tobes » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:02 am

Malcolm wrote:

I wish someone would tell me, it would make life so much easier.


You're on Team Liberation, like all of us.

If you don't mind an Anglosphere sporting metaphor, you're the genuine wicket taking fast bowler. = Shake a few up with some short ones, bowl a few absolute peaches, and go for a few runs here and there.

For all those who don't understand cricket, meditate on it.

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Re: Peter Brown and Dzogchen

Postby Son of Buddha » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:33 am

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote:when I say it was a jumbled mess,its because you dont come into a conversation saying the Buddha Nature is only a potential to become enlightened and not an actual nature..............then later refute your own position by showing that the Buddha nature is actually not a potential but is actually the Dharmakaya itself.....would you say the Dharmakaya is the potential for become enlightened or enlightenment itself?
You do realise that you are now trying to make a "thing" out of the Dharmakaya, right? Tryng to reify the Dharmakaya Make it substantial.


No I never said anything about Enlightenment being Substantial
I view Enlightenment as a Noumenon.
check westerhoff on essence-svabhava and substance-svabhava critique

Next thing you are going to do is tell us that Samantabhadra is a being that creates the universe.


Now that you mention it I have heard that said in the All creating King Tantra.
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Re: Peter Brown and Dzogchen

Postby Son of Buddha » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:50 am

Malcolm wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Dharmakāya (emptiness) can be a potential. The problem with you is that you can only see things one way.


so Dharmakaya is only the potential to become Enlightened (which was you exact position on Buddha nature)



I didn't say only, I said "can", it really depends on what you are defining as Dharmakāya -- and there are many ways to look at the issue.

Madhyamakas have one approach; Yogacara's a different approach and so on.

Why don't you provide us with a definition for Dharmakāya and we can start from there?

How about the ārya-dharmasaṃgīti-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra:

"dharmakāya is the nirvana of the tathagatā".

Or ārya-trikāya-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

"dharmakāya means the absence of inherent existence like space"

Or the parinirvāṇasūtra:

"Without having exhausted afflictions, dharmakāya always exists"

These three statements for example can be seen as non-contradictory in the following way:

The Buddha realized nirvana; nirvana is the dharmakāya; dharmakāya is the absence of inherent existence, the absence of inherent existence, i.e. dharmakāya is a permanent fact of reality.


Here, we have an example of asserting the dharmakāya as permanent without asserting that it is something which exists, like the Hindu notion of self.

The problem as I see is that you take literally that which should be understood to be intentional or provisional.


so you say Buddha Nature is not only a potential for Enlightenment,which I agree.
but the person who used/posted your work did so in an attempt to redefine Buddha Nature as only a "potential" for Enlightenment.

As far as claiming 3rd turning as provisional goes the chapter 7 of the Samdhinirmocana Sutra states the first and second turning are provisional and the third turning is definite.
As does the Nirvana sutra.
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