Emptiness in Questionf of King Milinda

Emptiness in Questionf of King Milinda

Postby goodie » Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:02 pm

Dear all,

I have a question regarding Hinayana - Mahayana view on emptiness. On this topic Gelug explains that only the highest tenet, Prasangika, asserts that all phenomena are merely imputed. They give forth various reasonings, for example Chandrakirti's Sevenfold Reasoning:

A chariot is neither asserted to be other than its parts
Nor non-other; it is not asserted to possess them.
It is not in the parts nor are the parts in it.
It is not the mre collection [of the parts] nor is it [their] shape.
Just so [should a yogi understand a person and its aggregates].

However, in the Questions of the King Milinda (Milindapanha), which is a Hinayana text, there is one conversation between monk Nagasena and king Milinda, which is very similar to Chandrakirti's reasoning:

http://www.as.miami.edu/phi/bio/Buddha/Milinda.htm
N: "Your majesty, if you came in a chariot, declare to me the chariot. Pray, your majesty, is the pole the chariot?"
K: "Nay, verily, bhante."
N: "Is the axle / wheels / chariot-body / banner-staff / ... the chariot?"
K: "Nay, verily, bhante."
N: "Pray, your majesty, are pole, axle, wheels, chariot-body, banner-staff, yoke, reins, and goad unitedly the chariot?"
K: "Nay, verily, bhante."
N: "Is it, then, your majesty, something else besides pole; axle, wheels, chariot-body, banner-staff, yoke, reins, and goad which is the chariot?"
K: "Nay, verily, bhante."
N: "Your majesty, although I question you very closely, I fail to discover any chariot. Verily now, your majesty, the word chariot is a mere empty sound. What chariot is there here? Your majesty, you speak a falsehood, a lie: there is no chariot. ..."
K: "Bhante Nagasena, I speak no lie: the word ‘chariot’ is but a way of counting, term, appellation, convenient designation, and name for pole, axle, wheels, chariot-body, and banner-staff."
N: "Thoroughly well, your majesty, do you understand a chariot. In exactly the same way, your majesty, in respect of me, Nagasena is but a way of counting, term, appellation, convenient designation, mere name for the hair of my head, hair of my body . . . brain of the head, form, sensation, perception, the psychic constructions, and consciousness. But in the absolute sense there is no self here to be found."

To me it seems that the reasoning point to the same kind of non-existence, or in other words, to the same kind of existence - that of merely imputed one. However, this would be contrary to the explanation of Gelug.

So the questions are: are the reasonings really the same? If yes, how would Gelug respond? If no, where is the difference?

Thank you :)
goodie
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 6:29 pm

Re: Emptiness in Questionf of King Milinda

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:19 am

How are they contrary to the Gelug explanation?
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: Emptiness in Questionf of King Milinda

Postby Konchog1 » Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:06 am

Looks like the same to me.

“When reasoning searches to whether the chariot intrinsically exists, it is not found in any of the seven ways. This is the case in terms of both of the two truths. But when reason fails to find it those seven ways, does this refute the chariot? How could it? Reasoning that analyses whether things intrinsically exist does not establish the assertion of the chariot; rather, leaving reasoned analysis aside, it is established by a mere unimpaired, ordinary, conventional—i.e., worldly—consciousness. Therefore, the way a chariot is posited is that it is established as existing imputedly; it is imputed in dependence upon its parts.”

-Lam Rim Chen Mo eng v03 pg. 283 tib pg. 725
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
User avatar
Konchog1
 
Posts: 1355
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:30 am

Re: Emptiness in Questionf of King Milinda

Postby futerko » Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:11 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:How are they contrary to the Gelug explanation?
.
.
.


I think the issue is that if only prasangika truly asserts that all phenomena are merely imputed then how can the same assertion be found in the sutra?
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
User avatar
futerko
 
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:58 am

Re: Emptiness in Questionf of King Milinda

Postby Konchog1 » Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:09 am

futerko wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:How are they contrary to the Gelug explanation?
.
.
.


I think the issue is that if only prasangika truly asserts that all phenomena are merely imputed then how can the same assertion be found in the sutra?
My understanding of Prasangika is that is claims to be the true teaching of the Buddha. The other schools either teach misunderstandings or corruptions of the Buddha's teachings on emptiness, or they teach provisional teachings to set the foundation for understanding Prasangika. Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti are seen as people who rediscovered the true meaning, not invented a new one. Since the sutras are the teachings of the Buddha, of course the sutras would teach Prasangika.
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
User avatar
Konchog1
 
Posts: 1355
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:30 am

Re: Emptiness in Questionf of King Milinda

Postby futerko » Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:25 am

Konchog1 wrote:My understanding of Prasangika is that is claims to be the true teaching of the Buddha. The other schools either teach misunderstandings or corruptions of the Buddha's teachings on emptiness, or they teach provisional teachings to set the foundation for understanding Prasangika. Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti are seen as people who rediscovered the true meaning, not invented a new one. Since the sutras are the teachings of the Buddha, of course the sutras would teach Prasangika.


That makes sense. :smile:
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
User avatar
futerko
 
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:58 am

Re: Emptiness in Questionf of King Milinda

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:49 am

Hi goodle

The Chariot simile is also in this sutta, which is a lot earlier than the Questions of King Milinda:
SN 5.10 wrote:Why now do you assume 'a being'?
Mara, have you grasped a view?
This is a heap of sheer constructions:
Here no being is found.

Just as, with an assemblage of parts,
The word 'chariot' is used,
So, when the aggregates are present,
There's the convention 'a being.'

It's only suffering that comes to be,
Suffering that stands and falls away.
Nothing but suffering comes to be,
Nothing but suffering ceases.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .bodh.html


See also the discussion here: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 75&start=0
And this by Ven Nanavira: http://nanavira.org/index.php/plus/forum/recent/12h
[This exposition is referred to by retrofuturist in the above dhammawheel thread, but it has moved since he made the post.]

:anjali:
Mike
mikenz66
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:10 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Emptiness in Questionf of King Milinda

Postby goodie » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:59 pm

Thank you for the links, Mike. I've read them and although there might be some positions or statements in those comments that Gelug might have some issue with, I'm still not sure how Gelug would argue that reasoning in Questions of King Milinda or Sister Vajira Sutta is different than that of Chandrakirti.
goodie
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 6:29 pm

Re: Emptiness in Questionf of King Milinda

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:45 am

I wouldn't worry about it too much. Just apply yourself to the tradition you are practicing in.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Former staff member
 
Posts: 10317
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Emptiness in Questionf of King Milinda

Postby goodie » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:03 pm

Thank you for the kind words, Sherab Dorje, but it is not that it worries me or prevents me from the practice. I'm just simply curious about the answer and I think there are some people on this forum that might know the answer :)
goodie
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 6:29 pm


Return to Gelug

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

>