Beings and consciousnesses, one or many?

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Re: Beings and consciousnesses, one or many?

Postby Tara » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:06 am

Two topics have been merged.
Tara

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Maybe you collect a lot of important writings,
Major texts, personal instructions, private notes, whatever.
If you haven’t practiced, books won’t help you when you die.
Look at the mind – that’s my sincere advice.

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Mors certa — hora incerta
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Re: Beings and consciousnesses, one or many?

Postby Jyoti » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:51 pm

Son wrote:Hmm. Neither.

I think the main issue really is that this question itself is a false question. I don't think there is any way to really phrase or relate the question in a meaningful way that could reveal a truthful answer.

However I think the closest legitimate question would be, do the consciousness beings in parinibbana have individuality or do they share one consciousness? And to answer this question with reverence to what the Buddha has taught us, I would say that neither individuality nor singularity applies to those in nirvana. Since they neither experience oneness nor a sense of self, neither should apply. Pure, endless and fully-luminous consciousness doesn't give rise to either absolute "self" nor individuality. What is absolute is awareness of blissful mind, free of impermanence, free of what is unsatisfactory, and even free of emptiness.


That is what is being asked. The branches of consciousness and their divisions as stated in the scriptures does not count as separate since they are under the root consciousness. The root consciousness itself cannot be shared.
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Re: Beings and consciousnesses, one or many?

Postby Malcolm » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:58 pm

Jyoti wrote:The root consciousness itself cannot be shared.


Right, that is why each individudal sentient being possesses their own unique, unshared mulavijñāna.

Each sentient being possess the eight consciousness separately which are merely different names for the operations of vijñāna. It is similar with prāṇa vāyu -- the main vāyu functioning in the body is prāṇa; but it takes different names based on its action.

Likewise, each sentient being possess a vijñāna skandha: when it is described from the point of view of possessing traces, it is called the ālaya or mūlavijñāna; when it function through the six senses, it it called the six sense conciousness; when it incorrectly grasps a self it is called the kliṣṭamano-vijn̄an̄a, etc.

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Last edited by Malcolm on Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ālayavijñāna, one or separate?

Postby Jyoti » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:01 pm

viniketa wrote:
Jyoti wrote:The body is similar but the means is different.


Thank you for the answer, Jyoti. Are you saying that Advaita Vedānta is a further implementation of Yogācāra?

:namaste:


No. Yogacara did not specifically say anything about the root consciouness being a singularity or plural, neither did any scriptures of the mahayana. However, if one were to analyse all the elements of mahayana, there is no contradiction to the advaita vedanta and dzogchen perspective of the basis.
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Re: ālayavijñāna, one or separate?

Postby Malcolm » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:04 pm

Jyoti wrote: there is no contradiction to the advaita vedanta and dzogchen perspective of the basis.



Of course there are differences: deep and important differences. Only someone ignorant of the details of both with make such a ridiculous claim.
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Re: ālayavijñāna, one or separate?

Postby Malcolm » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:05 pm

Jyoti wrote:
viniketa wrote:
Jyoti wrote:The body is similar but the means is different.


Thank you for the answer, Jyoti. Are you saying that Advaita Vedānta is a further implementation of Yogācāra?

:namaste:


No. Yogacara did not specifically say anything about the root consciouness being a singularity or plural, neither did any scriptures of the mahayana.


You need to start providing citations -- and not just your so called "logic".

I don't care if someone is a Buddhist or a Hindu or whatever, but it pains me to see anyone so thoroughly misrepresent both traditions as you are doing here.
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Re: ālayavijñāna, one or separate?

Postby Jyoti » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:15 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Jyoti wrote: there is no contradiction to the advaita vedanta and dzogchen perspective of the basis.



Of course there are differences: deep and important differences. Only someone ignorant of the details of both with make such a ridiculous claim.


The basis (body) has no details more than what is describe here, only the means are much difference with the three but we are not talking about the means here.
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Re: ālayavijñāna, one or separate?

Postby Malcolm » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:22 pm

Jyoti wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Jyoti wrote: there is no contradiction to the advaita vedanta and dzogchen perspective of the basis.



Of course there are differences: deep and important differences. Only someone ignorant of the details of both with make such a ridiculous claim.


The basis (body) has no details more than what is describe here, only the means are much difference with the three but we are not talking about the means here.


Brahman, the basis if you will, of Advaita Vendanta, is described as sat, cit, ananda -- being, conciousness and bliss. It is truly existent, unproduced, unchanged over time, etc.

The basis described in Dzocghen has no essence, is not established in anyway, being originally pure. In other word, the basis in Dzogchen is kadag, emptiness free from all extremes.

You see, you are misrepresenting both traditions by claiming they have the same meaning.

This is not a difference in means, this is a difference in fundamental view.

M
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Re: ālayavijñāna, one or separate?

Postby Jyoti » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:25 pm

Malcolm wrote:You need to start providing citations -- and not just your so called "logic".

I don't care if someone is a Buddhist or a Hindu or whatever, but it pains me to see anyone so thoroughly misrepresent both traditions as you are doing here.


The mahayana scriptures don't specially mentioned this topic but the dzogchen scriptures and commentaries does provide some clues, with concept such as 'phenomena is mere appearance without an essence', the concept of 'existence of samantabadra as unique', etc. I'm sure you don't need me to provide citation for these.
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Re: ālayavijñāna, one or separate?

Postby Malcolm » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:33 pm

Jyoti wrote:
Malcolm wrote:You need to start providing citations -- and not just your so called "logic".

I don't care if someone is a Buddhist or a Hindu or whatever, but it pains me to see anyone so thoroughly misrepresent both traditions as you are doing here.


The mahayana scriptures don't specially mentioned this topic but the dzogchen scriptures and commentaries does provide some clues, with concept such as 'phenomena is mere appearance without an essence', the concept of 'existence of samantabadra as unique', etc. I'm sure you don't need me to provide citation for these.


If you are going to assert that the intention of Dzogchen and Advaita are the same, then you need to provide side by side citations.

There is no point of course, because, for example, the Rig pa rang shar specifically refutes Advaita, naming Shankaracarya by name in the 25th chapter.

So what I am telling you is that even if you try to present citations from both Advaita and Dzogchen to try and illustrate their commonality, it will be easy to show how you are mistaken.

Sadly, many people make the same mistake you are making and come up with a system that is called "ra ma lug" in Tibetan i.e. a system that is neither a goat nor a sheep. How do they do this? By relying on their own intellectual contrivances.
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Re: ālayavijñāna, one or separate?

Postby Jyoti » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:48 pm

Malcolm wrote:The basis described in Dzocghen has no essence, is not established in anyway, being originally pure. In other word, the basis in Dzogchen is kadag, emptiness free from all extremes.


What is this kadag (emptiness) then, if an essence is nondual, there is no need to say 'free from all extremes'.
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Re: ālayavijñāna, one or separate?

Postby Malcolm » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:49 pm

Jyoti wrote:
Malcolm wrote:The basis described in Dzocghen has no essence, is not established in anyway, being originally pure. In other word, the basis in Dzogchen is kadag, emptiness free from all extremes.


What is this kadag (emptiness) then, if an essence is nondual, there is no need to say 'free from all extremes'.


Yes, there is a need, precisely because Advaitan non-duality is not free from extremes, it is the extreme of existence.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
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-- Uttaratantra
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Re: ālayavijñāna, one or separate?

Postby Jyoti » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:00 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Jyoti wrote:
Malcolm wrote:You need to start providing citations -- and not just your so called "logic".

I don't care if someone is a Buddhist or a Hindu or whatever, but it pains me to see anyone so thoroughly misrepresent both traditions as you are doing here.


The mahayana scriptures don't specially mentioned this topic but the dzogchen scriptures and commentaries does provide some clues, with concept such as 'phenomena is mere appearance without an essence', the concept of 'existence of samantabadra as unique', etc. I'm sure you don't need me to provide citation for these.


If you are going to assert that the intention of Dzogchen and Advaita are the same, then you need to provide side by side citations.

There is no point of course, because, for example, the Rig pa rang shar specifically refutes Advaita, naming Shankaracarya by name in the 25th chapter.

So what I am telling you is that even if you try to present citations from both Advaita and Dzogchen to try and illustrate their commonality, it will be easy to show how you are mistaken.

Sadly, many people make the same mistake you are making and come up with a system that is called "ra ma lug" in Tibetan i.e. a system that is neither a goat nor a sheep. How do they do this? By relying on their own intellectual contrivances.


The basis is not much to compare, for example, the difference in the two tradition is only the name used to represent the ultimate, 'Brahma' vs. 'Samantabadra'. The more in-depth doctrines of the two would be about the means, which is outside this topic.
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Re: ālayavijñāna, one or separate?

Postby Jyoti » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:05 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Jyoti wrote:
Malcolm wrote:The basis described in Dzocghen has no essence, is not established in anyway, being originally pure. In other word, the basis in Dzogchen is kadag, emptiness free from all extremes.


What is this kadag (emptiness) then, if an essence is nondual, there is no need to say 'free from all extremes'.


Yes, there is a need, precisely because Advaitan non-duality is not free from extremes, it is the extreme of existence.


According to your logic, then the need to mention 'free from all extremes' mean such a doctrine is of 'duality, not free from extremes', then that would apply to your own view of dzogchen as well.
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Re: ālayavijñāna, one or separate?

Postby Malcolm » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:12 pm

Jyoti wrote:
According to your logic, then the need to mention 'free from all extremes' mean such a doctrine is of 'duality, not free from extremes', then that would apply to your own view of dzogchen as well.


No, I never said that doctrine of Advaita was dualistic, merely that it fell on the side of existence. Likewise, Yogacara is a non-dual teaching, but it too falls on the side of existence.
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Re: ālayavijñāna, one or separate?

Postby Jyoti » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:32 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Jyoti wrote:
According to your logic, then the need to mention 'free from all extremes' mean such a doctrine is of 'duality, not free from extremes', then that would apply to your own view of dzogchen as well.


No, I never said that doctrine of Advaita was dualistic, merely that it fell on the side of existence. Likewise, Yogacara is a non-dual teaching, but it too falls on the side of existence.


Actually I'm refering to your statement about dzogchen "The basis described in Dzocghen has no essence, is not established in anyway, being originally pure. In other word, the basis in Dzogchen is kadag, emptiness free from all extremes. " Your argument just point back to your own statement rendering it as of duality.

You also criticize proponents of yogacara as realists and advice me to read which I did, but I don't see any, mind to provide the reason why you think it is falling on the side of existence?
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Re: Beings and consciousnesses, one or many?

Postby viniketa » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:54 pm

Thank you again, Joyti, for your reply.

I'm attempting to follow this discussion, so would like to back-up a bit...

malcolm wrote:Correct, the Yogacara schools asserts an essence. This is why the Madhyamakas refer to them as "vastuvadins" i.e. realists. In other words, they are non-dualists because all phenomena of skandhas, dhātus and ayatanas are mind only. They are realists because they propose the existence of individual continuums.


To which "Madhymakas" does this refer, specifically?

Also, the "individual continuums", I assume, are ālayavijñāna? Where, in Yogācāra literature, is the connection between ālayavijñāna and āśrayasya parāvṛttir?

Thanks in advance.

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Re: ālayavijñāna, one or separate?

Postby Malcolm » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:57 pm

Jyoti wrote:
Actually I'm refering to your statement about dzogchen "The basis described in Dzocghen has no essence, is not established in anyway, being originally pure. In other word, the basis in Dzogchen is kadag, emptiness free from all extremes. " Your argument just point back to your own statement rendering it as of duality.

You also criticize proponents of yogacara as realists and advice me to read which I did, but I don't see any, mind to provide the reason why you think it is falling on the side of existence?


All statements made are necessarily confined to language, all language is dualistic. If you wish to be in the realm of non-duality, then don't say anything.

You need to read more thorougly and carefully.

But frankly, I don't see much point in continuing this conversation, since you are not here to learn.
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Re: Beings and consciousnesses, one or many?

Postby Malcolm » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:00 pm

viniketa wrote:Thank you again, Joyti, for your reply.

I'm attempting to follow this discussion, so would like to back-up a bit...

malcolm wrote:Correct, the Yogacara schools asserts an essence. This is why the Madhyamakas refer to them as "vastuvadins" i.e. realists. In other words, they are non-dualists because all phenomena of skandhas, dhātus and ayatanas are mind only. They are realists because they propose the existence of individual continuums.


To which "Madhymakas" does this refer, specifically?



All Indian Madhyamaka.


Also, the "individual continuums", I assume, are ālayavijñāna?

Thanks in advance.

:namaste:


Well, we can know this is so because Asanga, defending on the concept of ālayavijñāna asserts that it is the same thing as what is referred to in the "Nikaya" schools as the bhavaṅga-citta, the so called re-linking consciousness.

Where, in Yogācāra literature, is the connection between ālayavijñāna and āśrayasya parāvṛttir?


Mahāyāna Saṃgraha, Trimsika, Yogacarabhumi, etc.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Beings and consciousnesses, one or many?

Postby viniketa » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:25 pm

Malcolm wrote:
viniketa wrote:Thank you again, Joyti, for your reply.

I'm attempting to follow this discussion, so would like to back-up a bit...

malcolm wrote:Correct, the Yogacara schools asserts an essence. This is why the Madhyamakas refer to them as "vastuvadins" i.e. realists. In other words, they are non-dualists because all phenomena of skandhas, dhātus and ayatanas are mind only. They are realists because they propose the existence of individual continuums.


To which "Madhymakas" does this refer, specifically?



All Indian Madhyamaka.


Also, the "individual continuums", I assume, are ālayavijñāna?

Thanks in advance.

:namaste:


Well, we can know this is so because Asanga, defending on the concept of ālayavijñāna asserts that it is the same thing as what is referred to in the "Nikaya" schools as the bhavaṅga-citta, the so called re-linking consciousness.

Where, in Yogācāra literature, is the connection between ālayavijñāna and āśrayasya parāvṛttir?


Mahāyāna Saṃgraha, Trimsika, Yogacarabhumi, etc.


Thank you, Malcolm. The answers to the first two are quite clear. The 'realism' to which you refer is the same that many Westerners use to say that Yogācāra is 'absolute idealism'.

I keep thinking of the last two verses of the Triṃśikākārikā:

acitta 'nupalambho sau jñānam lokottaraṃ ca tat|
āśrayasya parāvṛttir dvidhādauṣṭhulyahānitaḥ ||
sa evānāśravo dhātur acintyaḥ kuśalo dhruvaḥ |
sukho vimuktikāyo sau dharmmākhyo yaṃ mahāmuneḥ ||


I've seen several translations but this somewhat anonymous translation is one that looks very close:
Without grasping and not conceptualizing,
This is the wisdom of the supramundane realm
Which abandons the two types of coarseness
And naturally attains transformation of the basis.
This is itself the untainted realm,
Inconceivable, good, and eternal,
Peaceful and blissful, the body of liberation,
And what the great Muni called the Dharma[kya].
http://www.lapislazulitexts.com/translations.html


My point is that the ālayavijñāna seems to speak to 'dual existence' (in samsāra), while the vimuktikāyo is said to be dvidhādauṣṭhulyahānitaḥ, sa evānāśravo dhātur acintyaḥ kuśalo dhruvaḥ.

My understanding is that the ālayavijñāna contains bīja, vāsanā (karmic 'impressions') which provide 'initial conditions' for a continuum. But I do not find in the literature that those vāsanā, if bīja are 'nullified', have any effect on the process of āśrayasyaparāvṛtti, 'return to the basis'.

This is what I am finding confusing.

:namaste:
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