Liveliness and Contention

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Re: Liveliness and Contention

Postby Tom » Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:35 pm

viniketa wrote:Well, I'm not sure the English adds all that much understanding, anyway...

Any chance of explaining in Sanskrit? :lol:

:namaste:

P.S.: One of the reasons I will miss Malcolm, who often acted as a 3 or 4 way interpreter... :offtopic:

:focus:


I read Sanskrit but the most recent discussion is very much to do with definitions from Tibetan texts.
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Re: Liveliness and Contention

Postby viniketa » Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:47 pm

Tom wrote:I read Sanskrit but the most recent discussion is very much to do with definitions from Tibetan texts.


Yes, Tsongkkhapa didn't write in Sanskrit. Like I said, I need to study Tibetan if I want to go further, here.

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Re: Liveliness and Contention

Postby zerwe » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:21 am

zerwe wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:Haha, I was going to ask for help understanding this quote but I understood it after writing it out. Well, I’ll share the quote to get things going.

On page 304 of the third volume of the English translation of the Lam Rim Chen Mo, Lord Tsongkhapa explains how phenomena function although empty by means of the metaphor of a mirror.

“A reflection of a face is undeniably a conjunction of (1) being empty of the eyes, ears, and such that appear therein and (2) being produced in dependence upon a mirror and a face, while disintegrating when certain of these conditions are gone. Likewise, the person lacks even a particle of intrinsic nature, but is the accumulator of karma and experiencer of effects, and is produced in dependence upon earlier karma and afflictions.”

I prefer Lord Nagarjuna simply saying that causes and effects can't exist at the same time and thus all phenomena must be empty to function. Not only is this simpler, it also leads to a better understanding of the interdependence of dependent origination and emptiness. At least it did for me.

What do you guys think?


I found a transcript of some teachings of Geshe Chonyi from Amitabha Buddhist Center that may shed some light on this passage.

fpmtabc.org/download/teaching/geshe.../SI%20L56%20(upload).doc

I am not going to attempt to summarize, but here are a few of the points from the outline that address this:

a) The ways in which Prasangika and Svatantrika posit the object of negation do not agree, therefore they are also not the same in their distinction of real and wrong conventionalities

b) Although the reflection of a face is not an obscurational truth in relation to a worldly person familiar with terminology, it is an obscurational truth, generally speaking

c) That mistaken consciousness helps posit a false object of comprehension even though it does not posit a true object of comprehension

hope this helps

Shaun :namaste:


Trying to make out exactly what the topic was. LOL. I had mentioned earlier that I felt that the object of negation is a point of contention.

Perhaps, this is due to my somewhat limited knowledge, but isn't there a difference btw the Prasangika and Svatantrika interpretation with regards to the object of negation?

Regarding the passage Konchog had questions about..."that phenomena function although empty.."

It is the false object of comprehension posited by the mistaken consciousness that is the object of negation not something from the side of the object.

And, this is how the object in terms of the conventional truth is not negated and nihilism is averted from the Prasangika POV?

The Svatantrika identify this differently and I used to have a little bit of a clue how, but the details have evaporated as my studies have

become a little myopic.

Shaun :namaste:
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Re: Liveliness and Contention

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:14 am

Berzin on cognition/perception in the Gelug Prasangika context
http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/ar ... ition.html


Svatantrika and below define bare cognition (mngon-sum) as cognition in which the appearing object (snang-yul) is an individually characterized phenomenon (rang-mtshan, objective entity). Bare cognition is not through the medium of a generally characterized phenomenon (spyi-mtshan, metaphysical entity), such as an audio category (sgra-spyi, sound universal), a meaning/object category (don-spyi, object universal), or a concept (rtog-pa) such as space. Therefore, bare cognition is exclusively nonconceptual. Prasangika does not specify that such cognition be not through the medium of a generally characterized phenomenon. Instead, it specifies that such cognition not arise by directly depending on a line of reasoning. Consequently, such cognition may be either conceptual or nonconceptual, and therefore the technical term for it – in Tibetan, tshad-ma, and in Sanskrit, pratyaksha – is more accurately translated, in the Prasangika system, as “straightforward cognition.” Nevertheless, only mental straightforward cognition may be either conceptual or nonconceptual. Sensory and yogic straightforward cognition are only nonconceptual. The non-Gelug traditions assert that, in all tenet systems, all types of bare cognition are exclusively nonconceptual.

Apprehension (rtogs-pa) of an object is a valid cognition of an involved object that cognitively takes the object both correctly and with decisive determination of it as “this” and “not that.” Valid cognition, both conceptual and nonconceptual, can explicitly apprehend (dngos-su rtogs-pa) its involved object by giving rise to a mental aspect representing it, and, simultaneously, implicitly apprehend (shugs-la rtogs-pa) another involved object, without producing a mental aspect representing it. The non-Gelug traditions assert apprehension of an object to be merely a correct cognition of it. Thus, valid nonconceptual cognition, for example, apprehends its involved object, but does so without decisively determining it as “this” and “not that.” Apprehension is only explicit; there is no such thing as implicit apprehension of an object.
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Re: Liveliness and Contention

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:15 am

From the same page of Berzin's on the object of negation:

The object of negation (dgag-bya, object to be refuted, object of nullification) for the voidness (the lack of an impossible “soul”) of a person and of all phenomena is the same – truly established existence. The non-Gelug traditions follow the Gelug presentation of Svatantrika and below on this point. The object of negation for the lack of an impossible “soul” of a person (gang-zag-gi bdag-med, identitylessness of a person, selflessness of a person), which we need to realize for gaining liberation, is different from the object of negation for the lack of impossible “soul” of all phenomena (chos-kyi bdag-med, identitylessness of all phenomena, selflessness of all phenomena), which one needs to realize for gaining enlightenment. The object of negation for the coarse lack of an impossible soul of a person is existence established as a static, monolithic entity independent of its aggregates (rtag gcig rang-dbang-can). On the subtle level, the object of negation is existence established as something self-sufficiently knowable (rang-rkya thub-pa’i rdzas-yod). The object of negation for the lack of an impossible soul of all phenomena is the four extreme modes of impossible existence: true existence, the true absence of true existence, both, and neither. The voidness of all phenomena is beyond all words and concepts of these four impossible modes of existence.
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Re: Liveliness and Contention

Postby zerwe » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:34 pm

From Geshe Tashi Tsering's FOBT "Emptiness"

THE DIFFERENCE IN ULTIMATE AND CONVENTIONAL LEVELS
For Bhavaviveka and Svatantrika Madhyamaka, on the ultimate level things are absent of trueexistence, while on a conventional level, things have intrinsic or inherent nature. For Chandrakirti andPrasangika Madhyamaka, things are absent of true existence on both an ultimate and a conventionallevel. The difference comes from the following assertion. Svatantrika masters cannot posit that things andevents are apprehended by a conventional consciousness without asserting that the object has somedegree of autonomous reality. Although an object is in some ways dependent—by depending on causesand conditions or on parts, and so on—there is still something from the object’s own side. Therefore, for Svatantrika, an object has a certain degree of existence from its own side while at thesame time depending on the unmistaken consciousness that apprehends it. When these two cometogether, an object exists. Therefore, to say that a thing doesn’t have intrinsic nature but existscompletely from the side of a conventional consciousness is almost like saying it is nonexistent. For Prasangika Madhyamaka, the existence of things is completely due to the conventionalconsciousness. There is nothing—not a tiny bit—from the object’s own side. It is purely imputed bythe conventional consciousness. That doesn’t mean that a book or a table doesn’t exist. The book exists, the table exists; our feelings exist, pain exists, but they exist imputed purely by our conventionalconsciousness. So this is the big difference between the Svatantrika and Prasangika Madhyamaka.

On one hand, both Bhavaviveka and Chandrakirti agree that things and events are posited by theconventional consciousness. For Bhavaviveka things are posited by a valid cognizer, a validconventional consciousness that is not mistaken. The appearing object of a direct perception isapprehended as existing with an intrinsic character; likewise, the conceived object of a conceptual mindis apprehended as existing with an intrinsic character. As this accords with the actual mode of existenceof phenomena, within that context the valid conventional consciousness is not mistaken. On the other hand, Chandrakirti asserts that even though things and events merely exist through being posited by the conventional consciousness, still there is a mistake with regard to the object of theconsciousness. The appearing object of a direct perception is apprehended as existing with an intrinsiccharacter whereas it does not; the conceived object of a conceptual mind is apprehended as existingwith an intrinsic character whereas it does not. As this does not accord with the actual mode of existence of phenomena, which is that things lack intrinsic existence, even a valid conventionalconsciousness is mistaken on this level. And the difference goes further than that, with Bhavaviveka asserting that the existence of an object isnot purely posited by the conventional valid consciousness but has a certain degree of intrinsicexistence, which is then labeled by the consciousness. Chandrakirti counter-asserts that nothing existsintrinsically from the side of the thing or event; it is imputed purely by the conventional consciousness.

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Re: Liveliness and Contention

Postby viniketa » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:46 pm

zerwe wrote: Chandrakirti... The appearing object of a direct perception is apprehended as existing with an intrinsic character whereas it does not; the conceived object of a conceptual mind is apprehended as existing with an intrinsic character whereas it does not.


I'll have to read this closely, later, and compare it to some sources. But, the above struck me as odd. Are you confident the source is using the term 'direct perception', here?

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Re: Liveliness and Contention

Postby zerwe » Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:39 pm

It comes from a published source. It was cut and pasted.

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Re: Liveliness and Contention

Postby zerwe » Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:57 pm

It can be accessed here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/88441021/Gesh ... -Emptiness
It is roughly btw pp. 44-45

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Re: Liveliness and Contention

Postby zerwe » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:02 pm

viniketa wrote:
zerwe wrote: Chandrakirti... The appearing object of a direct perception is apprehended as existing with an intrinsic character whereas it does not; the conceived object of a conceptual mind is apprehended as existing with an intrinsic character whereas it does not.


I'll have to read this closely, later, and compare it to some sources. But, the above struck me as odd. Are you confident the source is using the term 'direct perception', here?

:namaste:

I also found the use of the term interesting given the previous discussion earlier in the thread. It probably is just another illustration
of the trouble in reconciling terminology in translation. Perhaps, it has become adopted and ....

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Re: Liveliness and Contention

Postby viniketa » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:20 pm

zerwe wrote: I also found the use of the term interesting given the previous discussion earlier in the thread. It probably is just another illustration
of the trouble in reconciling terminology in translation. Perhaps, it has become adopted and ....


Probably. I'll take a close look, later. Pardon me me for posting and running, but I'm on the way out the door... :smile:

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Re: Liveliness and Contention

Postby Tom » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:48 pm

Great posts , I don't have much time but I want to stay involved in such an interesting conversation. So, here some more fodder that (maybe incorrectly) comes to my mind on these topics…

zerwe wrote:
Perhaps, this is due to my somewhat limited knowledge, but isn't there a difference btw the Prasangika and Svatantrika interpretation with regards to the object of negation?

It is the false object of comprehension posited by the mistaken consciousness that is the object of negation not something from the side of the object.



Also, for Gelug prasangika the object of negation includes both the conception of inherent existence and also the appearance of inherent existence that has to be eliminated.

When it comes to understanding Tsongkhapa's presentation of the object of negation or inherent existence I think his interpretation of chapter 15 of Nagarjuna's MMK is particularly insightful. In particular verses one and two.

In the prasnnapadā Candrakirti preposes that these verses give Nagarjuna's definition of inherent existence (svabhāva). He gives the definition of svabhāva then as not fabricated and not dependent on anything else.

For Tsongkhapa it is a little more tricky because he interprets Chandra as posting this type of svabhāva as emptiness rather than the object of negation. This is a massive distinction!!!

Khedrup Je explains further how to understand emptiness as not fabricated and not dependent. For the definition to apply to emptiness rather that just the gross view of selflessness we should understanding unfabrication as meaning not just uncaused but also not mentally fabricated. Since, it is only emptiness that is not mentally fabricated, meaning appear truly. Also, he says we have to qualify dependent here meaning not dependent in terms of comparison.

So, Tsongkhapa says that this is not a complete description of the object of negation and would leads to negating too much. Therefore, Tsongkhapa adds to the above definition of svabhāva two more qualifications so that it might qualify as the object of negation. That it is established from its own side and that it is natural and not learned.

And, this is how the object in terms of the conventional truth is not negated and nihilism is averted from the Prasangika POV?


I think the unique perspective of Gelug prasangika have for not falling into nihilism is that they understand the wisdom perceiving emptiness has limits so to speak - in that since it is an examination of the ultimate it cannot refute the conventional. This is why Tsongkhapa counter-intuitively claims that it is the understanding of emptiness that protects is from nihilism.

The Svatantrika identify this differently and I used to have a little bit of a clue how, but the details have evaporated as my studies have


Gelug presentation of svatantrika has them making a distinction between inherent existence and true existence that prasangkia do not make. This is why they attach to the definition of a prasnagika, "that they do not assert true existence even conventionally". Geshe Tashi's explanation was excellent - thanks for posting.
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Re: Liveliness and Contention

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:03 am

Wait a minute, how does Emptiness prevent you from making Karma?

And Geshe Tashi's books are awesome.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Liveliness and Contention

Postby zerwe » Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:25 am

In the prasnnapadā Candrakirti preposes that these verses give Nagarjuna's definition of inherent existence (svabhāva). He gives the definition of svabhāva then as not fabricated and not dependent on anything else.

For Tsongkhapa it is a little more tricky because he interprets Chandra as posting this type of svabhāva as emptiness rather than the object of negation. This is a massive distinction!!!


Wow, I have not yet taken this into consideration. I might be mistaken, but this sounds like that Chandra's reference to (svabhava) as emptiness as "not fabricated and not dependent as anything else"

is positing dependent arising and/or emptiness as substantial? Personally, I have had the opposite impression, but this might be due to the vast number of

secondary sources I have been using as support while studying the Madhyamakavatara. My own impression is that to posit dependent arising and/or emptiness as having substance leaves us with yet

something else that could lead to grasping. So, even emptiness itself should be empty of any essence/substance.

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Re: Liveliness and Contention

Postby zerwe » Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:28 am

Konchog1 wrote:Wait a minute, how does Emptiness prevent you from making Karma?

And Geshe Tashi's books are awesome.


By cutting the root of cyclic existence and severing the source (the fundamental ignorance of the true nature of self and phenomena)

by which all other afflictions arise.

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Re: Liveliness and Contention

Postby viniketa » Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:43 am

I need to correct what I posted earlier:

viniketa wrote:P.S. The Sanskrit term most often translated as 'direct perception' is yogāpratyakṣa. If I recall, it was even used on occasion by Vasubandhu.


Pratyakṣa is the Sanskrit term most often translated as 'direct perception'; yogāpratyakṣa or yogipratyakṣa is also direct perception, but refers to a specific type of meditative direct perception.

I cannot locate, at the moment, my sources on Candrakīrti and how each Sanskrit term for perception is properly translated, but, given Tom's post above, it seems unnecessary in this conversation, anyway.
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Re: Liveliness and Contention

Postby viniketa » Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:45 am

zerwe wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:Wait a minute, how does Emptiness prevent you from making Karma?

And Geshe Tashi's books are awesome.


By cutting the root of cyclic existence and severing the source (the fundamental ignorance of the true nature of self and phenomena)

by which all other afflictions arise.


Well, not emptiness per se, but realization of emptiness is one route to "cutting the root of cyclic existence".

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If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
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Re: Liveliness and Contention

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:17 am

One last question, if we don't create karma after realizing Emptiness, then we do we need to keep the Three fold vows and so forth? I am familiar with the various admonishments to never abandon your morality, no matter your attainments. But what is the reasoning behind these admonishments?

Love/Compassion/Reputation aside, if you don't create karma, you could do anything you wanted without consequences.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Liveliness and Contention

Postby viniketa » Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:22 am

Konchog1 wrote:One last question, if we don't create karma after realizing Emptiness, then we do we need to keep the Three fold vows and so forth? I am familiar with the various admonishments to never abandon your morality, no matter your attainments. But what is the reasoning behind these admonishments?

Love/Compassion/Reputation aside, if you don't create karma, you could do anything you wanted without consequences.


Why would one put love and compassion aside?? :shrug:

(There is a whole other thread on here somewhere, recently, on that topic.)

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Re: Liveliness and Contention

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:03 am

viniketa wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:One last question, if we don't create karma after realizing Emptiness, then we do we need to keep the Three fold vows and so forth? I am familiar with the various admonishments to never abandon your morality, no matter your attainments. But what is the reasoning behind these admonishments?

Love/Compassion/Reputation aside, if you don't create karma, you could do anything you wanted without consequences.


Why would one put love and compassion aside?? :shrug:

(There is a whole other thread on here somewhere, recently, on that topic.)

:namaste:
I meant hypothetically. Of course if Emptiness is realized, you equalize self and others. But, in terms of logic, what is the reason for keeping morality?
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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