Understanding The Basis

Moderator: Tibetan Buddhism moderators

Re: Understanding The Basis

Postby gad rgyangs » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:40 am

Namdrol wrote:
gad rgyangs wrote:so its more like the basis is a container for this aggregate of latent awarenesses, rather than it being the awareness of the basis itself?


It is part of the rtsal of the basis.

The basis is not one thing, it is not many. It is the dharmadhātu.

N


so sentient beings and buddhas are part of the tsal of the basis, but the basis itself has no awareness, since during the bardo phase, the latent awarenesses in the basis are really the dormant sentient beings and non-'samyak sambuddha' buddhas? where are the samyak sambuddhas then, if the basis is the dharmakaya, they must be there too? i mean, there's no "larger context" within which the basis is found, no"where" outside the basis where the samyak sambuddhas would be?
Thoroughly tame your own mind.
This is (possibly) the teaching of Buddha.
User avatar
gad rgyangs
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:53 pm

Re: Understanding The Basis

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:54 am

gad rgyangs wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
gad rgyangs wrote:so its more like the basis is a container for this aggregate of latent awarenesses, rather than it being the awareness of the basis itself?


It is part of the rtsal of the basis.

The basis is not one thing, it is not many. It is the dharmadhātu.

N


so sentient beings and buddhas are part of the tsal of the basis, but the basis itself has no awareness, since during the bardo phase, the latent awarenesses in the basis are really the dormant sentient beings and non-'samyak sambuddha' buddhas? where are the samyak sambuddhas then, if the basis is the dharmakaya, they must be there too? i mean, there's no "larger context" within which the basis is found, no"where" outside the basis where the samyak sambuddhas would be?


The basis is the three kāyas. The three kāyas are free from thought, but the basis is not a mere inert void.

There is no larger context and you know better than to ask one of the fourteen questions Buddha refused to answere (i.e. where do tathagatas go after death).
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
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
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12322
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Understanding The Basis

Postby gad rgyangs » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:36 am

Namdrol wrote:
The basis is the three kāyas. The three kāyas are free from thought, but the basis is not a mere inert void.

2 questions:

1. is the basis aware in any way, or are we sentient beings and not-quite-perfect-buddhas the only manifestations of sentience?

2. can we agree (in the interests of communication) that rang byung ye shes (self arisen wisdom) usually pertains to the base, is in fact a synonym for the base, and rigpa is the manifestation of that ye shes in/as a sentient being?
Thoroughly tame your own mind.
This is (possibly) the teaching of Buddha.
User avatar
gad rgyangs
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:53 pm

Re: Understanding The Basis

Postby Sherab » Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:53 am

gad rgyangs wrote:1. is the basis aware in any way, or are we sentient beings and not-quite-perfect-buddhas the only manifestations of sentience?

Allow me to venture a speculation:
Sentience can only arise when there is reflexivity in the awareness, ie. there must be an awareness of the awareness.
"Awareness" in the basis is therefore not a reflexive awareness.
User avatar
Sherab
 
Posts: 770
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:28 am

Re: Understanding The Basis

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:18 pm

gad rgyangs wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
The basis is the three kāyas. The three kāyas are free from thought, but the basis is not a mere inert void.

2 questions:

1. is the basis aware in any way, or are we sentient beings and not-quite-perfect-buddhas the only manifestations of sentience?



Define what you mean by "aware".


2. can we agree (in the interests of communication) that rang byung ye shes (self arisen wisdom) usually pertains to the base, is in fact a synonym for the base, and rigpa is the manifestation of that ye shes in/as a sentient being?



Rigpa is one's knowledge of the basis and that is all. Rigpa is not the basis.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
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
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12322
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Understanding The Basis

Postby gad rgyangs » Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:16 pm

Namdrol wrote:
gad rgyangs wrote:1. is the basis aware in any way, or are we sentient beings and not-quite-perfect-buddhas the only manifestations of sentience?


Define what you mean by "aware".


If rang byung ye shes did not include wisdom about its own state, what kind of wisdom would it be? if, as you say below, rigpa is our knowledge of the basis, then surely the basis would also have this same knowledge of itself. If reflexive-awareness is present in our continuua, then surely the basis will be reflexively-aware as well. Unless...

if sentient beings and buddhas are the basis' awareness, what the basis' awareness manifests as, then it is not necessary to posit an aware entity that is dangerously close to being a deity. the basis sleeps in its bardo, and its awareness (us) is withdrawn. it wakes, and we manifest. its either this, or the damn thing is god.

Rigpa is one's knowledge of the basis and that is all. Rigpa is not the basis.
Thoroughly tame your own mind.
This is (possibly) the teaching of Buddha.
User avatar
gad rgyangs
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:53 pm

Re: Understanding The Basis

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:23 pm

gad rgyangs wrote:
if sentient beings and buddhas are the basis' awareness, what the basis' awareness manifests as, then it is not necessary to posit an aware entity that is dangerously close to being a deity. the basis sleeps in its bardo, and its awareness (us) is withdrawn. it wakes, and we manifest.


This is basically how it is -- but since there is no individuating consciousnesses driven by affliction, the awareness latent in the basis is not discussed in plural terms, that is until there are individuating consciousnesses when samasara and nirvana "turn their back to each other".


N
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
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
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12322
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Understanding The Basis

Postby gad rgyangs » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:30 pm

Namdrol wrote:
gad rgyangs wrote:
if sentient beings and buddhas are the basis' awareness, what the basis' awareness manifests as, then it is not necessary to posit an aware entity that is dangerously close to being a deity. the basis sleeps in its bardo, and its awareness (us) is withdrawn. it wakes, and we manifest.


This is basically how it is -- but since there is no individuating consciousnesses driven by affliction, the awareness latent in the basis is not discussed in plural terms, that is until there are individuating consciousnesses when samasara and nirvana "turn their back to each other".


ok. now: next problem. what the heck is this cyclic thingy of the basis, its "sleeping" phase, with latent awareness, and its manifest phase? first of all, this is temporal, and certainly anything that is beyond concepts of existence or non-existence is going to be way beyond temporality. so, the basis cannot actually have a cycle, its tsal maybe does whatever it wants, including cycles, but not the basis itself.
Thoroughly tame your own mind.
This is (possibly) the teaching of Buddha.
User avatar
gad rgyangs
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:53 pm

Re: Understanding The Basis

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:06 pm

gad rgyangs wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
gad rgyangs wrote:
if sentient beings and buddhas are the basis' awareness, what the basis' awareness manifests as, then it is not necessary to posit an aware entity that is dangerously close to being a deity. the basis sleeps in its bardo, and its awareness (us) is withdrawn. it wakes, and we manifest.


This is basically how it is -- but since there is no individuating consciousnesses driven by affliction, the awareness latent in the basis is not discussed in plural terms, that is until there are individuating consciousnesses when samasara and nirvana "turn their back to each other".


ok. now: next problem. what the heck is this cyclic thingy of the basis, its "sleeping" phase, with latent awareness, and its manifest phase? first of all, this is temporal, and certainly anything that is beyond concepts of existence or non-existence is going to be way beyond temporality. so, the basis cannot actually have a cycle, its tsal maybe does whatever it wants, including cycles, but not the basis itself.


Oh, this comes about because of traces of action and ignorance. Nothing in the basis changes, of course, what happens is that there is sort of cosmic pulsation of ignorance and its subsidance which results in the appearance and disappearance of samsara and nirvana; and as we know, traces can accumulate in wisdom.

You have to understand that all of this explanation of cosmic cycles is really intended to be brought down to the level of the indivdual's life cycle in terms of the four bardos:

The bardo of death == destruction of the universe up to the two higher form realms
The bardo of dharmatā == the arising of the sound, light and rays of the basis
The bardo of becoming == non-recognition of the basis
The natural bardo of this life == the appearance of samsara and nirvana

It is an explanation for practice.

N
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
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
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12322
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Understanding The Basis

Postby gad rgyangs » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:25 pm

getting back to the thugs rje/compassion/energy thing. here's a quote from Kongtrul's Treasury of Knowledge (vol 1 pg 260 of tibetan text), the Myriad Worlds volume (pg 208 of translation):

thugs rje rig pa'i ye shes su bzhugs pas mkhyen pa'i cha ma 'gag par so sor gsal kyang bya ba dang byed pa'i rnam pa yul yul can du snang ba ni med do/

the published translation is rendering thugs rje as "energy" just like Rinpoche does in Crystal and Way of Light, even though it literally means "compassion", rigpa is being translated as "intrinsic awareness", and ye shes as "pristine wisdom"

"The energy (thugs rje/compassion) [of the ground] is present as intrinsic awareness (rig pa) of pristine wisdom (ye shes): its quality of knowing (mkhyen pa/jnana) manifests in various ways, clearly and unobstructedly, without a dualistic experience involving an observer and an observed object."

here's my own attempt:

"compassion (aspect of the basis): residing as the wisdom of vidya (rig pa'i ye shes), knowingness (prajna) unobstructed and clearly distinguishing, even though not appearing as subject and object in the aspect of agent and action."

Lopon?
Thoroughly tame your own mind.
This is (possibly) the teaching of Buddha.
User avatar
gad rgyangs
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:53 pm

Re: Understanding The Basis

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:56 pm

gad rgyangs wrote:
thugs rje rig pa'i ye shes su bzhugs pas mkhyen pa'i cha ma 'gag par so sor gsal kyang bya ba dang byed pa'i rnam pa yul yul can du snang ba ni med do/



Though the knowing part manifests individually without ceasing [mkhyen pa'i cha ma 'gag par so sor gsal kyang] since compassion is present as the wisdom of vidyā [thugs rje rig pa'i ye shes su bzhugs pas], the aspect of action and agent [bya ba dang byed pa'i rnam] appearing as [du snang ba] an object and a subject [yul yul can] does not exist.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
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
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12322
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Understanding The Basis

Postby gad rgyangs » Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:17 am

Namdrol wrote:
gad rgyangs wrote:
thugs rje rig pa'i ye shes su bzhugs pas mkhyen pa'i cha ma 'gag par so sor gsal kyang bya ba dang byed pa'i rnam pa yul yul can du snang ba ni med do/



Though the knowing part manifests individually without ceasing [mkhyen pa'i cha ma 'gag par so sor gsal kyang] since compassion is present as the wisdom of vidyā [thugs rje rig pa'i ye shes su bzhugs pas], the aspect of action and agent [bya ba dang byed pa'i rnam] appearing as [du snang ba] an object and a subject [yul yul can] does not exist.


thanks, this is awesome! first, i'm wondering how the published version translated "rig pa'i ye shes" as "intrinsic awareness (rig pa) of pristine wisdom (ye shes)", it seems backwards to me, or doesn't it really matter?

I've been thinking about "energy" as the translation of thugs rje that Rinpoche is using. In a way it makes sense, because the literal definition of energy (in physics) is the capacity to do work, or, in this case the capacity to allow transformation. If there was no ignorance, there would be no need for thugs rje, but since there is, the thugs rje is the capacity to realize the base rather than just remain in ignorance. It also has the advantage that it isn't agentive like compassion or responsiveness. Also, Rinpoche at least always seems to be discussing the manifestations of this thugs rje/energy as dang rolpa and tsal, which makes sense. Its harder to connect compassion, which we usually think of as a emotion, with dang rolpa and tsal. It is common in Dzogchen for terms to have very different meanings from their use in lower yanas, look at bodhicitta for example. So, while compassion is the actual meaning of the word thugs rje, it might not be the best translation.
Thoroughly tame your own mind.
This is (possibly) the teaching of Buddha.
User avatar
gad rgyangs
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:53 pm

Re: Understanding The Basis

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:03 pm

gad rgyangs wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
gad rgyangs wrote:
thugs rje rig pa'i ye shes su bzhugs pas mkhyen pa'i cha ma 'gag par so sor gsal kyang bya ba dang byed pa'i rnam pa yul yul can du snang ba ni med do/



Though the knowing part manifests individually without ceasing [mkhyen pa'i cha ma 'gag par so sor gsal kyang] since compassion is present as the wisdom of vidyā [thugs rje rig pa'i ye shes su bzhugs pas], the aspect of action and agent [bya ba dang byed pa'i rnam] appearing as [du snang ba] an object and a subject [yul yul can] does not exist.


thanks, this is awesome! first, i'm wondering how the published version translated "rig pa'i ye shes" as "intrinsic awareness (rig pa) of pristine wisdom (ye shes)", it seems backwards to me, or doesn't it really matter?



It matters. It is a genetive constuction. Also intrinsic awareness in an inappropriate gloss. Pristine is a little weird because it is usage that dates from 16th century which is not generaly current. These days pristine means "new or fresh", generally not "original, former, primitive and undeveloped", unless we are talking about old growth forests and wilderness as in "pristine wilderness". Ye nas "has always" is a synonym of rtag tu, "will always, permanently", etc., and as a clause in Tibetan functions the same way.


I've been thinking about "energy" as the translation of thugs rje...


It's a meaning gloss. On the other hand, "energy" does not fully express thebnirmanakāya activity of benefitting sentient beings, of which it is the base (hence the reason the wisdom of the basis is described as thug rjes or karuna). So I prefer to translate it as compassion, save energy for "rtsal". "Energy", in my opinion is too vague since it does necessarily included the fact that nirmanakāyas manifest to guide sentient beings.
Someone who understands Dzogchen teachings will then understand the unpacked meaning of thugs rje with the seen the three wisdoms described. ChNN these days tends to translate it as "primordial potentiality". No matter what, when ever it is explained, you always have to mention that it literally means "compassion".

N
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
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
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12322
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Understanding The Basis

Postby Pero » Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:49 pm

Namdrol wrote:It's a meaning gloss. On the other hand, "energy" does not fully express thebnirmanakāya activity of benefitting sentient beings, of which it is the base (hence the reason the wisdom of the basis is described as thug rjes or karuna). So I prefer to translate it as compassion, save energy for "rtsal". "Energy", in my opinion is too vague since it does necessarily included the fact that nirmanakāyas manifest to guide sentient beings.
Someone who understands Dzogchen teachings will then understand the unpacked meaning of thugs rje with the seen the three wisdoms described. ChNN these days tends to translate it as "primordial potentiality". No matter what, when ever it is explained, you always have to mention that it literally means "compassion".

Hmmm I thought primordial/infinite potentiality was lhun grub.
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar
Pero
 
Posts: 1847
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:54 pm

Re: Understanding The Basis

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:52 pm

Pero wrote:
Namdrol wrote:It's a meaning gloss. On the other hand, "energy" does not fully express thebnirmanakāya activity of benefitting sentient beings, of which it is the base (hence the reason the wisdom of the basis is described as thug rjes or karuna). So I prefer to translate it as compassion, save energy for "rtsal". "Energy", in my opinion is too vague since it does necessarily included the fact that nirmanakāyas manifest to guide sentient beings.
Someone who understands Dzogchen teachings will then understand the unpacked meaning of thugs rje with the seen the three wisdoms described. ChNN these days tends to translate it as "primordial potentiality". No matter what, when ever it is explained, you always have to mention that it literally means "compassion".

Hmmm I thought primordial/infinite potentiality was lhun grub.



No that, in his lingo, is self-perfected.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
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
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12322
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Understanding The Basis

Postby Pero » Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:12 pm

Namdrol wrote:No that, in his lingo, is self-perfected.

Yeah but I think sometimes he says infinite potentiality (not primordial, my mistake). You know like when he's saying not only emptiness (ka dag) but also infinite potentiality. Couldn't we say that lhun grub is the potential for manifestation and thugs rje is the way this potential manifests (as either dang, rolpa or tsal)?
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar
Pero
 
Posts: 1847
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:54 pm

Re: Understanding The Basis

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:31 pm

Pero wrote:
Namdrol wrote:No that, in his lingo, is self-perfected.

Yeah but I think sometimes he says infinite potentiality (not primordial, my mistake). You know like when he's saying not only emptiness (ka dag) but also infinite potentiality. Couldn't we say that lhun grub is the potential for manifestation and thugs rje is the way this potential manifests (as either dang, rolpa or tsal)?



We talk about three wisdoms, but really, these three are aspects of a single state.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
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
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12322
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Understanding The Basis

Postby gad rgyangs » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:08 am

one of the seminal discussions of the basis occurs in Longchenpa's "tshig don mdzod" ("Treasury of Words and Meanings"). Its clear that, for example, Kongtrul's presentation of the basis in "Myriad Words" volume of his Treasury of Knowledge is basically a crib of the tshig don mdzod, but far too sketchy to get a real understanding. The Longchenpa text is the real deal. While this has not been translated in its entirety yet, David Germano translated and copiously annotated the first 5 chapters in his doctoral dissertation from 1992. Chapter 1 is a complete and profound discussion of the basis, and the following chapters discuss how non-recognition takes place, the tathagatagharba, the location of "promordial gnosis" in our heart centers. etc. I only wish he had translated the other chapters as well, which discuss Togal in great detail. His discussion of the material I find excellent and quite interesting. There are the usual problems with trying to figure out what terms he is translating as what, but thats the case in any translation. This is by far the best material I've found in english concerning the basis:

its the second link on this page:

http://vajrayana.faithweb.com/rich_text_6.html,

the website also has TONS of other great stuff.
Thoroughly tame your own mind.
This is (possibly) the teaching of Buddha.
User avatar
gad rgyangs
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:53 pm

Previous

Return to Dzogchen

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: ChozangDorje, treehuggingoctopus and 18 guests

>