Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

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Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Postby plwk » Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:33 pm

http://vajrasana.org/jeff01.htm
Now to the matter of Gorampa. To this day, the refutations against Tsongkhapa's Madhyamika view by Gorampa Sonam Senge have not even been replied to by the great Gelugpa scholars of the past few hundred years. Instead, the defenders of Tsongkhapa have attacked the intellectual juniors of Gorampa such as Taktsang Lotsawa, Shakya Chogden and others (see Jeffrey Hopkins, Meditation on Emptiness). Also, Ngorchen Kunga Zangpo (the founder of Ngor), a contemporary, criticized Tsongkhapa's understanding of Tantra.

Please understand that these are not ramblings or sectarian expletives but are commonly known to all who have studied Madhyamika within the greater family of the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition. For the Sakya School Sakya Pandita is the definitive scholar and teacher. Gorampa Sonam Senge is the definitive scholar in explaining the difficult meanings of Sakya Pandita's works.

Many Gelugpa monasteries banned outright Gorampa's works from entering their premises. The works of some other Sakya lamas which criticized Tsongkhapa or seemed at odds with those views were banned from publication entirely within Tibet and were only preserved secretly and re-published openly from Bhutan after 1959.

Can anyone elaborate on whether the above are true/factual? :thanks:
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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Postby Malcolm » Sun Apr 27, 2014 1:53 pm

plwk wrote:
http://vajrasana.org/jeff01.htm
Now to the matter of Gorampa. To this day, the refutations against Tsongkhapa's Madhyamika view by Gorampa Sonam Senge have not even been replied to by the great Gelugpa scholars of the past few hundred years. Instead, the defenders of Tsongkhapa have attacked the intellectual juniors of Gorampa such as Taktsang Lotsawa, Shakya Chogden and others (see Jeffrey Hopkins, Meditation on Emptiness). Also, Ngorchen Kunga Zangpo (the founder of Ngor), a contemporary, criticized Tsongkhapa's understanding of Tantra.

Please understand that these are not ramblings or sectarian expletives but are commonly known to all who have studied Madhyamika within the greater family of the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition. For the Sakya School Sakya Pandita is the definitive scholar and teacher. Gorampa Sonam Senge is the definitive scholar in explaining the difficult meanings of Sakya Pandita's works.

Many Gelugpa monasteries banned outright Gorampa's works from entering their premises. The works of some other Sakya lamas which criticized Tsongkhapa or seemed at odds with those views were banned from publication entirely within Tibet and were only preserved secretly and re-published openly from Bhutan after 1959.

Can anyone elaborate on whether the above are true/factual? :thanks:


While I certainly would not refer to Taktsang or Shakya Chogden as Gorampa's "juniors", the above is all true.
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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Postby jiashengrox » Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:28 pm

Hmmm.

Malcolm-la, not sure if this is correct, but could you refer to this article:

http://himalaya.socanth.cam.ac.uk/colle ... _22_05.pdf

Page 11, under footnotes 31. I was wondering if you (or anyone else who knows tibetan language) would have read about khedrup's reply to gorampa, and if so, what are his replies?

I (my personal opinion!) don't think that the gelug scholars would leave such criticisms unanswered for centuries, especially pertaining to issues on madhyamika. But tt is my opinion only though, might not be right!
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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Postby jiashengrox » Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:42 pm

Also, in Mipham's Dialectics and the Debates on Emptiness: to Be, Not to Be or Neither, Page 246 Note 79. Might have some ideas too.

I pray that someone could translate these texts by Khedrup Rinpoche and other texts on shakya Chogden soon. It would really be informative and interesting to have both sides of the story.

On the other hand, Malcolm-la, sorry but just wanna check with you, would Rongton's interpretation of madhyamika be considered as mainstream? Are there like differences between their (Rongton and Gorampa) views on madhyamika?
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which through knowledge of all leads Hearers seeking pacification to thorough peace
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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Postby Malcolm » Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:43 pm

jiashengrox wrote:Hmmm.

Malcolm-la, not sure if this is correct, but could you refer to this article:

http://himalaya.socanth.cam.ac.uk/colle ... _22_05.pdf

Page 11, under footnotes 31. I was wondering if you (or anyone else who knows tibetan language) would have read about khedrup's reply to gorampa, and if so, what are his replies?

I (my personal opinion!) don't think that the gelug scholars would leave such criticisms unanswered for centuries, especially pertaining to issues on madhyamika. But tt is my opinion only though, might not be right!


The article contains an anachronism. Khedrub never replied to Goramapa, or if he did, it was from the grave.

Gorampa lived from 1429 to 1489. Khedrup from 1385 to 1438.
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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Postby Malcolm » Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:45 pm

jiashengrox wrote:would Rongton's interpretation of madhyamika be considered as mainstream? Are there like differences between their (Rongton and Gorampa) views on madhyamika?


Yes, as well as Rendawa, and Tsongkhapa in his early commentary on the perfection of wisdom, now largely neglected in Gelug.
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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Postby jiashengrox » Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:11 pm

Malcolm wrote:
jiashengrox wrote:would Rongton's interpretation of madhyamika be considered as mainstream? Are there like differences between their (Rongton and Gorampa) views on madhyamika?


Yes, as well as Rendawa, and Tsongkhapa in his early commentary on the perfection of wisdom, now largely neglected in Gelug.


Would that be reference to Je Rinpoche's commentary on Abhisamayalankara? Because i think though their textbooks are written by later scholars (such as Jetsunpa), i think their commentary is still based on Je Rinpoche's works.

Thanks a lot! :namaste:
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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Postby Malcolm » Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:20 pm

jiashengrox wrote:Are there like differences between their (Rongton and Gorampa) views on madhyamika?


Not much.
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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Postby plwk » Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:43 pm

Thanks Malcolm & jiashengrox. It's rather baffling (to me at least) that the Gelugpas, being known for being a scholastic tradition, would not have produce any commentarial or treatise to compare / contrast / refute Gorampa directly but resort to what is seemingly political moves as a 'valid' response instead? Hmmm...
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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Postby conebeckham » Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:13 pm

:popcorn:
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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Postby Malcolm » Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:26 pm

plwk wrote:Thanks Malcolm & jiashengrox. It's rather baffling (to me at least) that the Gelugpas, being known for being a scholastic tradition, would not have produce any commentarial or treatise to compare / contrast / refute Gorampa directly but resort to what is seemingly political moves as a 'valid' response instead? Hmmm...



Well the founder of Sera did pen one reply, but it more or less amounts to a tome of sputtering indignation, "How dare you, you #%$@$*&^...."

I think the Gelugpas in general would prefer to imagine that Gorampa was just a bad dream someone had. Pabhongkha was pretty indignant that Gorampa's collected works were collected and revived in Eastern Tibet and it seems to be one of his motives for encouraging sectarianism there.
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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Postby ngodrup » Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:07 pm

It doesn't seem that these texts have been translated into English?
Dzongsar Khentse Rinpoche references them quite a lot, though.
Who has published Gorampa?
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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Postby Norwegian » Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:17 pm

As far as I know, these are the only two books in English that deals with Gorampa (and I'm not sure which is the better of the two, in terms of translation and presentation):

Jose Ignacio Cabezon's "Freedom from Extremes: Gorampa's "Distinguishing the Views" and the Polemics of Emptiness": http://www.amazon.com/dp/0861715233/"

Sonam Thakchoe's "The Two Truths Debate: Tsongkhapa and Gorampa on the Middle Way": http://www.amazon.com/dp/0861715012/"
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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Postby jiashengrox » Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:29 pm

jiashengrox wrote:Also, in Mipham's Dialectics and the Debates on Emptiness: to Be, Not to Be or Neither, Page 246 Note 79. Might have some ideas too.

I pray that someone could translate these texts by Khedrup Rinpoche and other texts on shakya Chogden soon. It would really be informative and interesting to have both sides of the story.


Thanks Malcolm-la for the reply! :namaste:

Anyways, i think in Mipham's book, it was said that Sera Jetsunpa (Jetsun Chokyi Gyaltsen), Jamyang Shepa, jamyang Gawai Lodroe and Panchen Delek Nyima did reply to Gorampa with regards to his criticism. I am not sure if that is right (refer to page 246, note 79).

Also, i wouldn't rest the whole issue of Pabongkha's sectarianism on his attitude towards Gorampa, because I do know of some Nyingma scholars (such as Mipham) that do not agree with Gorampa's view on the ultimate truth as well.

Can Ven Khedrup or anyone else who knows tibetan have access to these texts? It will be an invaluable addition of knowledge to the understanding of the differences in these two traditions of madhyamika.

Thanks a lot! :namaste:
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which through knowledge of all leads Hearers seeking pacification to thorough peace
And which through knowledge of paths causes those helping transmigrators to achieve the welfare of the world,
And through possession of which the Subduers set forth these varieties endowed with all aspects.

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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Postby Malcolm » Mon Apr 28, 2014 10:10 pm

jiashengrox wrote:
Anyways, i think in Mipham's book, it was said that Sera Jetsunpa (Jetsun Chokyi Gyaltsen), Jamyang Shepa, jamyang Gawai Lodroe and Panchen Delek Nyima did reply to Gorampa with regards to his criticism. I am not sure if that is right (refer to page 246, note 79).


I don't believe that these replies are considered by Sakyapas to address any of Gorampa's observations in any substantial way.
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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Postby ConradTree » Mon Apr 28, 2014 10:36 pm

The Eighth Karmapa was also a huge critic of Tsongkhapa.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Center-Sunlit ... 1559392185
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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Postby ConradTree » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:05 pm

The moral of all of this is to throw out sutra entirely, and stick to tantra like Rongzom says.

http://www.amazon.com/Establishing-Appe ... 1559392886
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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Postby Malcolm » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:14 am

ConradTree wrote:The moral of all of this is to throw out sutra entirely, and stick to tantra like Rongzom says.

http://www.amazon.com/Establishing-Appe ... 1559392886" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Don't be ridiculous. And that is not Rongzom's POV at all.
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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Postby ConradTree » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:40 am

Malcolm wrote:And that is not Rongzom's POV at all.


Well he clearly holds tantra as more definitive than sutra.
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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Postby JKhedrup » Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:19 am

Oh c'mon the refutations were not all cries of righteous indignation (though some were). Unfortunately I leave Sera tomorrow so am pressed gor time, but I will see if someone has the text

I agree the conduct of Phabongkhapa and his followers was shabby, inexcusable in this regard.

I find in terms of works on the view that for comparison of the various Indian scholars, the Gelug tenents literature is fantastic.

However, in terms of elaborate presentations on the Middle Way itself, Sakya Pandita is clearer in many ways, at least for me. I said this to Geshe Sonam and several of his friends. There was no indignation, though Geshela told me if we are to have a serious discussion on these matters I must read Gonpa Rabsal in Tibetan.

I am not sure why Gorampa was not better refuted. The 9th Karmapa (Wangchuck Dorje) wrote an interesting critique of LTK's view
This produced interesting refutations. And then refutations of the refutations, and then refutations of the refutations of the refutations, and so on..
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