Emptiness and the two truths

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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:30 am

Son of Buddha wrote:
KonchokZoepa wrote:i would like to continue this thread by asking that how does Buddha-nature teach the correct view of emptiness? and what separates it from the extreme of eternalism?


The correct view on Emptiness in relation to the Buddha Nature is Shentong (literally)

In your opinion (literally).
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby Son of Buddha » Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:39 am

hop.pala wrote:
KonchokZoepa wrote:i would like to continue this thread by asking that how does Buddha-nature teach the correct view of emptiness? and what separates it from the extreme of eternalism?


"In this passage, the Buddha clearly identified the 'tathagatagarbha' with emptiness, markless, 'tathata', etc., meaning that the 'tathagatagarbha' is without any substantial entity. Then the question arises: -- if the 'tathagatagarbha' is empty by nature , why the Buddhas teach a 'tathagatagarbha' possessing all positive attributes, such as eternal (nitya), self ('atman'), bliss (sukha) and pure (subha)? The Buddha goes on to answer this question:

- The reason why the 'Tathagatas' who are Arhats and fully enlightened Ones teach the doctrine pointing to the tathagatagarbha which is a state of non-discrimination and imageless, is to make the ignorant cast aside their fear when they listen to teaching of egolessness. It is like a potter who manufactures various vessels out of a mass of clay of one sort by his own manual skill and labour ... that the 'Tathagatas' preach the egolessness of things which removes all the traces of discrimination by various skillful means issuing from their trancend-ental wisdom, that is, sometimes by the doctrine of the 'tathagatagarbha' , sometimes by that of egolessness ... Thus, 'Mahamati', the doctrine of the 'tathagatagarbha' is disclosed in order to awaken the philosophers from their clinging to the idea of the ego. Accordingly, 'Mahamati', the 'Tathagatas' disclose the doctrine of the 'tathagatagarbha' which is thus not to be known as identical with the philosopher's notion of an egosubstance. Therefore , 'Mahamati', in order to abandon the misconception cherished by the philosophers, you must depend on the 'anatman-tathagatagarbha'.(13)

It is pointed out in this passage that the 'tathagatagarbha' is empty in its nature yet real: it is 'Nirvana' itself, unborn, without predicates."

Its only the positive expression of sunyata.

http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebdha191.htm


That quote doesnt state that The Tathagatagarbha is without inherent Nature.

The context of that passage is in relation to philosophers(non buddhists)/new converts who already have a misconception of the "Self"........which is why the passages before your quote repeated go over how the Tathagatagarbha(True Self) is not the same as the views of self of the philosophers.as you see at the end of the quote Tathagatagarbha is redifined for the philosophers so they wont confuse the True Self(Buddha Nature) for the Worldly Self........

Read the Dharma Drum sutra this topic in your passage is actually covered in great detail.

Also other than this one quote can you post anouther quote on this topic from the other Buddha Nature Sutras?
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby Son of Buddha » Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:45 am

asunthatneversets wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote:
KonchokZoepa wrote:i would like to continue this thread by asking that how does Buddha-nature teach the correct view of emptiness? and what separates it from the extreme of eternalism?


The correct view on Emptiness in relation to the Buddha Nature is Shentong (literally)

In your opinion (literally).


You must not of read my passage I posted
"O Lord, there are two kinds of wisdom of emptiness with reference to the tathāgatagarbha. The tathāgatagarbha that is empty is separate from, free from, and different from the stores of all defile ments. And the tathāgatagarbha that is not empty is not separate from, not free from, and not different from the inconceivable Buddha-Dharmas more numerous than the sands of the Ganges River. “O Lord, the various great disciples can believe in the Tathā gata with reference to the two wisdoms of emptiness. All arhats and pratyekabuddhas revolve in the realm of the four contrary views"

its not my opinion the Queen Srimala Sutras position on emptiness is LITERALLY Shentong.

(Dolpopas teachings on Shentong(other-emptiness) was simply copied from the Buddha Nature Sutras....he didnt create anything new)
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:17 am

Son of Buddha wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote:
The correct view on Emptiness in relation to the Buddha Nature is Shentong (literally)

In your opinion (literally).


You must not of read my passage I posted
"O Lord, there are two kinds of wisdom of emptiness with reference to the tathāgatagarbha. The tathāgatagarbha that is empty is separate from, free from, and different from the stores of all defile ments. And the tathāgatagarbha that is not empty is not separate from, not free from, and not different from the inconceivable Buddha-Dharmas more numerous than the sands of the Ganges River. “O Lord, the various great disciples can believe in the Tathā gata with reference to the two wisdoms of emptiness. All arhats and pratyekabuddhas revolve in the realm of the four contrary views"

its not my opinion the Queen Srimala Sutras position on emptiness is LITERALLY Shentong.

(Dolpopas teachings on Shentong(other-emptiness) was simply copied from the Buddha Nature Sutras....he didnt create anything new)

We can cherry pick quotes all day which support our positions, that still doesn't discount the fact that it is your own opinion that these selected quotes are authoritative and represent the full spectrum of views regarding buddha nature. It's quite obvious they do not, because that is impossible. So the principle still stands that it is your own opinion the correct view regarding emptiness and buddha nature is gzhan stong.

Dolpopa's gzhan stong is Advaita Vedanta dressed in Buddhist drag, so you're right he didn't create anything new; he simply adopted an eternalistic tīrthika view and paraded it as buddhadharma.
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby Son of Buddha » Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:47 am

asunthatneversets wrote:We can cherry pick quotes all day which support our positions
,

I can cherry pick quotes all day from the Many Buddha Nature Sutras to support my position.
you however can only cherry pick ONE quote from the Buddha Nature Sutras to support your position :D (its literally the ONLY quote you guys have)

that still doesn't discount the fact that it is your own opinion that these selected quotes are authoritative and represent the full spectrum of views regarding buddha nature. It's quite obvious they do not, because that is impossible. So the principle still stands that it is your own opinion the correct view regarding emptiness and buddha nature is gzhan stong.

the problem with your statement is the information I provided is not my opinion at all, it is what the Queen Srimala Sutra clearly states.
the position of Shentong(other-Emptiness) is taught in the Queen Srimala Sutra (its literally word for word..........and its word for word cause Dolpopa quoted it :D)

Dolpopa's gzhan stong is Advaita Vedanta dressed in Buddhist drag, so you're right he didn't create anything new; he simply adopted an eternalistic tīrthika view and paraded it as buddhadharma.

Nonsense Dolpopa wrote an extensive Book on Shentong its called Mountain Doctrine.......... in his book he literally quotes the Buddha Nature Sutras and lets them speak for themselves, then afterwards he give a small commentary on the passage itself.so Dolpopas views are entirely based on Buddha Nature Sutras .

matter of FACT what are your views of Buddha Nature based on????????
can you quote from the Buddha Nature Sutras to support your position??
(surely you have more than just one quote right?) :tongue:
Last edited by Son of Buddha on Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby Son of Buddha » Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:55 am

A Buddha Nature Sutras teachings on Emptiness.

the Moutain Doctrine Tibet's Fundamental Treatise on Other-Emptiness and the Buddha Matrix By: Dolpopa.
Moreover the Angulimala Sutra says:
"Manjushri, an empty home in a built-up city is called empty due to the absence of humans. A pot is empty due to the absence of water. A river is empty due to water not flowing. Is a village that is without householders called "empty, empty?" Or are the households empty in all respects? They are not empty in all respects; they are called empty due to the absence of humans. Is a pot empty in all respects? It is not empty in all respects; it is called "empty" due to the absence of water. Is a river empty in all respects? It is not empty in all respects; it is called "empty" because water is not flowing.
Similarly, liberation is not empty in all respects; it is called "empty" because of being devoid of all defects.
A Buddha, a supermundane victor, is not empty but is called "empty" because of being devoid of defects and due to the absence of humanness and godhood that have ten of millions of afflictive emotions.
Alas, venerable Manjushri, acting out the behavior of a bug, you do not know the real meaning of empty and non-empty. The naked ones" also meditate on all as empty. Do not say anything, you bug of the naked ones!
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby xabir » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:05 am

Something I wrote months ago elsewhere on the topic of buddha-nature, mahayana, nirvana, and so on:

Now recently I was discussing with Geoff (online jnana, nana, etc) and he mentioned: "The "Mahāyāna" is a mixed bag, and has meant different things to different people at different times. I have faith that by practicing the perfections one can realize buddhahood. And this isn't unique to the Mahāyāna. The Theravāda also has teachings on the bodhisatta vehicle."

I can't agree more with this particularly the first sentence.

Mahayana means different things to different people, simply because it is not one particular teaching taught by one person. It is not even from the historical Buddha. Rather, it is a collection of teachings from so many people with different background, situation, understandings, under different circumstances or periods of doctrinal developments etc etc.

Some of those scriptures may be attributed to Buddha, but even those scriptures are not exactly by the historical Buddha (as modern scholarship will tell you) but are composed by many unknown authors writing them - perhaps a visionary account of their teachings, or more likely than not as Malcolm said - "...Even though Shakyamuni Buddha certainly never actually taught Mahayana, nevertheless, Mahayana stands on its own and is valid as a spiritual path and practice because the folks that wrote the Mahayana sutras down were realized persons. The source of these teachings are all realized beings-- ***their assumed historical settings are merely skillful means to instill faith in the teachings in those person's who need to crutch of historical literalism...***" In any case, the Mahayana sutras show signs of literary composition and gradual development that are simply absent in the Pali suttas, which shows signs of being handed down orally in the beginning and having more consistency etc.

And because Mahayana is such a diverse set of teachings developed over a thousand years, you can actually easily find a sutra to support a whole range of positions to your own liking. So if for example your understanding is that your true self is eternal and changeless awareness (and I know you're an eternalist lol), sure, you can also find doctrinal support easily in Mahayana Buddhism. You may even find that the early Tathagatagarbha teachings like the early Mahaparinirvana Sutra (Mahayana) may even seem more eternalist than Vedanta and is rather unapologetic about it. In that sutra, Nirvana is described as the true changeless self and distinct from the five passing aggregates. Which is in direct contradiction to the earlier Pali suttas (and Mahayana Prajnaparamita sutras etc) which held Nirvana to be empty of self.

But that is just one small part of the Mahayana basket of scriptures. Earlier than the Tathagatagarbha class of teachings we have the Prajnaparamita class of teachings, which are the emptiness teachings - all dharmas including Nirvana are taught to be empty and illusory, and as I quoted to you in the past from this class of teaching, "Nirvāṇa is an illusion. Even if there is anything greater than Nirvāṇa, that too will be only an illusion." ~ Aṣṭasāhasrikāprajñapāramitā Sutra

And in the later developments, such as Lankavatara Sutra, which is not particularly prajnaparamita, not particularly tathagatagarbha, not particularly yogacara - but since it is such a late sutra it is a synthesis of all the earlier developments - PP, TG, YC all included in one coherent scripture. This is the sutra that teaches sudden awakening and is said to be the only sutra brought into China by the 1st Zen/Ch'an Patriarch in China, Bodhidharma.

In this Lankavatara Sutra, it explains that the doctrine of Tathagatagarbha is simply a skillful, expedient means taught to non-Buddhists who fear the notion of emptiness and cling to notions of true self. Its aim is actually to lead them gradually towards understanding emptiness, non-arising etc expediently. It teaches that true Bodhisattvas must treat tathagatagarbha as ultimately not-self, and warn against falling into non-Buddhist views of an Atman. But of course this is not what is being explained in the Mahaparinirvana Sutra for example, which explains itself as being the final definitive teachings, etc. So there are always contradictions between sutras simply because they are written and developed by different people.

So all these mean very different things to different people, all depending on what they take to be provisional and what they take to be definitive.

The general consensus among the majority of Mahayana and particularly Vajrayana people is that they do not hold a rather substantialist understanding of Buddha-nature. In Vajrayana for example Buddha-nature is understood as the inseparability of clarity and emptiness. In other words, even though clarity is an aspect of nature of mind, or one of the natures/essence of mind (the other being emptiness), that clarity too is not reified in terms of a changeless substantial true sself but is empty of any sself or substantial real existence as well.

Vajrayana generally take the middle way teachings on emptiness to be definitive but at the same time talk about the clarity aspect or the inseparability of clarity and emptiness. There is strong influence of Nagarjuna's emptiness teachings in terms of view on the Vajrayana teachings as a whole even though in terms of practice they are more focused on tantric methodologies generally speaking (or there may be practice-based teachings that claim themselves to be beyond tantras like Dzogchen and Mahamudra for example).

On the other hand there are also those minority like the Jonangs and the more extreme version of Shentong that takes some of the Tathagatagarbha teachings to be definitive and thus developed an eternalist doctrine out of it that is no different from the Vedanta teachings. The same goes for some adherents/teachers of Zen and Ch'an Buddhism which are also in many cases teaching stuff that are very much like Vedanta. At the same time you can find Zen teachers that teach a very non-substantialist understanding, and I especially like Dogen for example. So it is truly, a mixed bag, even within the specific traditions of Mahayana and Vajrayana. There can be no similar consensus among such a wide range of Buddhists on such issues.

But going back to topic, Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhists generally agree with the Buddha's (the early/original teachings in pali suttas) description of Nirvana and generally do not hold substantialist views about it. However they do have different understandings of the details - and some Vajrayana people will talk about the difference of Bodhisattva's nirvana (non-abiding nirvana) versus the one-sided cessation of arahants and so on. All these I'll leave to the experts like Geoff who described it very nicely: http://dharmaconnectiongroup.blogspot.c ... dhism.html
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:21 am

Son of Buddha wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:We can cherry pick quotes all day which support our positions
,

I can cheery pick quotes all day from the Many Buddha Nature Sutras to support my position.
you however can only cherry pick ONE quote from the Buddha Nature Sutras to support your position :D (its literally the ONLY quote you guys have)

These are your interpretations, you see what you want to see and find reference material which you believe supports your confirmation biases. The authority you find and provide is that which you give power to via belief and opinion. The same goes for any point of view I have. The difference is that I am not claiming a definitive view and willing it onto the entire spectrum of Buddha nature teachings so I can validate my opinion.

I can provide other citations. However I have no interest in persuading you out of your view, I'm only interested in placing some moderation on your claim that gzhan stong is definitive, by showing that such a notion doesn't leave the realm of opinion.

Son of Buddha wrote:the problem with your statement is the information I provided is not my opinion at all, it is what the Queen Srimala Sutra clearly states.
the position of Shentong(other-Emptiness) is taught in the Queen Srimala Sutra (its literally word for word..........and its word for word cause Dolpopa quoted it :D)

And there are various views which refute such a position. I never said the information itself is an opinion, the part that is an opinion, is your assertion that your position on the matter is an authoritative interpretation.

Son of Buddha wrote:Nonsense Dolpopa wrote an extensive Book on Shentong its called Mountain Doctrine.......... in his book he literally quotes the Buddha Nature Sutras and lets them speak for themselves, then afterwards he give a small commentary on the passage itself.so Dolpopas views are entirely based on Buddha Nature Sutras .

matter of FACT what are your views of Buddha Nature based on????????
can you quote from the Buddha Nature Sutras to support your position??
(surely you have more than just one quote right?) :tongue:

Dolpopa didn't write a book on gzhan stong, he invented gzhan stong. He gives his own interpretation, an interpretation of the Buddha Nature sutras.

What is my view of Buddha nature? In the context of the Buddha nature sutras; it is a notion (more accurately a skillful means i.e. upāya) to instill confidence and show that buddhahood is a latent possibility; the curd in milk, which can be actualized given the proper causes and conditions.

The view of Buddha nature I personally champion is the gzhi of Ati Dzogpa Chenpo; the inseparable three kāyas and their respective wisdoms. Primordial wisdom free from extremes. The Buddha nature sutras, while valuable, are unnecessary (in the context of Atiyoga) and do not support that position.
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby futerko » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:30 am

xabir wrote:...those person's who need to crutch of historical literalism...


Nice expression. Harsh but fair, but I suspect even your excellent and clear post may involve too much of an interpretive leap for some.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby Son of Buddha » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:39 am

"xabir"]Something I wrote months ago elsewhere on the topic of buddha-nature, mahayana, nirvana, and so on:

Now recently I was discussing with Geoff (online jnana, nana, etc) and he mentioned: "The "Mahāyāna" is a mixed bag, and has meant different things to different people at different times. I have faith that by practicing the perfections one can realize buddhahood. And this isn't unique to the Mahāyāna. The Theravāda also has teachings on the bodhisatta vehicle."

Bodhisattva in The pali canon
http://www.buddhagautama.com/apps/blog/ ... the-buddha

And because Mahayana is such a diverse set of teachings developed over a thousand years, you can actually easily find a sutra to support a whole range of positions to your own liking. So if for example your understanding is that your true self is eternal and changeless awareness (and I know you're an eternalist lol), sure, you can also find doctrinal support easily in Mahayana Buddhism. You may even find that the early Tathagatagarbha teachings like the early Mahaparinirvana Sutra (Mahayana) may even seem more eternalist than Vedanta and is rather unapologetic about it. In that sutra, Nirvana is described as the true changeless self and distinct from the five passing aggregates. Which is in direct contradiction to the earlier Pali suttas (and Mahayana Prajnaparamita sutras etc) which held Nirvana to be empty of self.


This is absolutely not true and based on misconceptions,due to the fact the pali canon is over 20,000 pages long and most people never read it so they just take the Thervadans word for it that it teaches that Nirvana is empty of Self.when you actually read the pali canon for your self you will find out this misconception is simply not True in fact its the OPPOSITE the Pali canon states that whatever is without a Self belongs to MARA.

From Bhikkhu Bodhi Translation in book form found on PAGE 989 in the Samyutta Nikaya
in the Khandhavagga section
the Radhasamyutta chapter 2
under the 1. The First Mara Subchapter
(24 suttas where the Buddha teaches everything that belongs to Mara)

(SN 23.24)
4 (2)-34 (12) Subject to Mara, tc.

... "Radha, you should abandon desire, you should abandon lust, you should abandon desire and lust, for whatever is subject to Mara ' .. [199] ". for whatever is impermanent ... for whatever is of an impermanent nature for whatever is suffering ...
for whatever is of a painful nature for whatever is nonself ' .. for whatever is of a selfless nature ... for whatever is subject to destruction ... for whatever is subject to vanishing ... for what¬ever is subject to arising ... for whatever is subject to cessation. And what, Radha, is subject to cessation? Form is subject to ces¬sation. Feeling ... Perception ... Volitional formations ... Consciousness is subject to cessation. Seein thus ' .. He understands:
there is no more for this state of being.''

SN 22.59
Anatta-lakkhana Sutta: The Discourse on the Not-self Characteristic
Thus it was heard by me. At one time the Blessed One was living in the deer park of Isipatana near Benares. There, indeed, the Blessed One addressed the group of five monks.
"Form, O monks, is not-self;
if form were self, then form would not lead to suffering
and it should obtain regarding form: 'May my form be thus, may my form not be thus'; and indeed,
O monks, since form is not-self, therefore form leads to suffering
and it does not obtain regarding form: 'May my form be thus, may my form not be thus.'
"Feeling, O monks, is not-self; if feeling were self, then feeling would not lead to suffering and it should obtain regarding feeling: 'May my feeling be thus, may my feeling not be thus'; and indeed, O monks, since feeling is not-self, therefore feeling leads to suffering and it does not obtain regarding feeling: 'May my feeling be thus, may my feeling not be thus.'
"Perception, O monks, is not-self; if perception were self, then perception would not lead to suffering and it should obtain regarding perception: 'May my perception be thus, may my perception not be thus'; and indeed, O monks, since perception is not-self, therefore, perception leads to suffering and it does not obtain regarding perception: 'May my perception be thus, may my perception not be thus.'
"Mental formations, O monks, are not-self; if mental formations were self, then mental formations would not lead to suffering and it should obtain regarding mental formations: 'May my perception be thus, may my mental formations not be thus'; and indeed, O monks, since mental formations are not-self, therefore, mental formations lead to suffering and it does not obtain regarding mental formations: 'May my mental formations be thus, may my mental formations not be thus.'
"Consciousness, O monks, is not-self; if consciousness were self, then consciousness would not lead to suffering and it should obtain regarding consciousness: 'May my consciousness be thus, may my consciousness not be thus'; and indeed, O monks, since consciousness is not-self, therefore, consciousness leads to suffering and it does not obtain regarding consciousness: 'May my consciousness be thus, may my consciousness not be thus.'

SN 22.46 Impermanent (2) pg 885
At Savatthi. "Bhikkhus, form is impermanent.... Feeling is impermanent.... Preception is impermanent.... Volitional formations are impermanent.... Consciousness is impermanent. What is Impermanent is suffering. What is suffering is nonself. What is nonself should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self."
SN 22.68 "Bhikkhu you should abandon desire for whatever is non self"
SN:22.69 "Bhikkhu,you should abandon desire for whatever does not belong to self."

In this Lankavatara Sutra, it explains that the doctrine of Tathagatagarbha is simply a skillful, expedient means taught to non-Buddhists who fear the notion of emptiness and cling to notions of true self. Its aim is actually to lead them gradually towards understanding emptiness, non-arising etc expediently. It teaches that true Bodhisattvas must treat tathagatagarbha as ultimately not-self, and warn against falling into non-Buddhist views of an Atman. But of course this is not what is being explained in the Mahaparinirvana Sutra for example, which explains itself as being the final definitive teachings, etc. So there are always contradictions between sutras simply because they are written and developed by different people.

thats not true either in fact the Lankavatara Sutra states Buddha Nature is the Highest Teaching.

Chapter 6 of the Lankavatara Sutra
and for Queen Srimala to whom the Buddha's spiritual power was added, the [pure] realm of Tathagatahood was expounded. This does not belong to the realm of speculation as it is carried on by the Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas, and other philosophers, except, Mahamati, that this realm of Tathagatahood which is the realm of the Tathagata-garbha-alayavijnana is meant for those Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas who like you are endowed with subtle, fine, penetrating thought-power and whose understanding is in accordance with the meaning; and it is not for others, such as philosophers, Sravakas, and Pratyekabuddhas, who are attached to the letters of the canonical texts. For this reason, Mahamati, let you and other Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas discipline yourselves in the realm of Tathagatahood, in the understanding of this Tathagata-garbha-alayavijnana, so that you may not rest contented with mere learning.

The part you are talking about is where Tathagatagarbha is redefined as to not confuse the new converts who used to be philosphers and already have a misundunderstanding of the topic of self(hence why he says this.....

"Accordingly, 'Mahamati', the 'Tathagatas' disclose the doctrine of the 'tathagatagarbha' which is thus not to be known as identical with the philosopher's notion of an ego-substance. Therefore , 'Mahamati', in order to abandon the misconception cherished by the philosophers, you must depend on the 'anatman-tathagatagarbha'."

The general consensus among the majority of Mahayana and particularly Vajrayana people is that they do not hold a rather substantialist understanding of Buddha-nature. In Vajrayana for example Buddha-nature is understood as the inseparability of clarity and emptiness. In other words, even though clarity is an aspect of nature of mind, or one of the natures/essence of mind (the other being emptiness), that clarity too is not reified in terms of a changeless substantial true sself but is empty of any sself or substantial real existence as well.

not in all Vajrayana.

Vajrayana generally take the middle way teachings on emptiness to be definitive but at the same time talk about the clarity aspect or the inseparability of clarity and emptiness. There is strong influence of Nagarjuna's emptiness teachings in terms of view on the Vajrayana teachings as a whole even though in terms of practice they are more focused on tantric methodologies generally speaking (or there may be practice-based teachings that claim themselves to be beyond tantras like Dzogchen and Mahamudra for example).

Not in all Vajrayana I could of swore Nygmia, Kagyu, and Jonang take 3rd Turning to be definite.

On the other hand there are also those minority like the Jonangs and the more extreme version of Shentong that takes some of the Tathagatagarbha teachings to be definitive and thus developed an eternalist doctrine out of it that is no different from the Vedanta teachings. The same goes for some adherents/teachers of Zen and Ch'an Buddhism which are also in many cases teaching stuff that are very much like Vedanta. At the same time you can find Zen teachers that teach a very non-substantialist understanding, and I especially like Dogen for example. So it is truly, a mixed bag, even within the specific traditions of Mahayana and Vajrayana. There can be no similar consensus among such a wide range of Buddhists on such issues.

Shenotng is practiced by all of Jonang and about Half of kagyu and Nygma(sorry about any misspelling)
also Shentong is derived from the Buddha nature Sutras themselves.

But going back to topic, Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhists generally agree with the Buddha's (the early/original teachings in pali suttas) description of Nirvana and generally do not hold substantialist views about it. However they do have different understandings of the details - and some Vajrayana people will talk about the difference of Bodhisattva's nirvana (non-abiding nirvana) versus the one-sided cessation of arahants and so on. All these I'll leave to the experts like Geoff who described it very nicely: http://dharmaconnectiongroup.blogspot.c ... dhism.html

your incorrect about what the early doctrines of Buddhism state, also the pali canon doesnt even support non duality Bhikkhu Bodhi actually wrote a extensive paper on the subject..........essentially there is conditioned and Unconditioned..ect
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby Son of Buddha » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:51 am

"asunthatneversets"]
[These are your interpretations, you see what you want to see and find reference material which you believe supports your confirmation biases. The authority you find and provide is that which you give power to via belief and opinion. The same goes for any point of view I have. The difference is that I am not claiming a definitive view and willing it onto the entire spectrum of Buddha nature teachings so I can validate my opinion.

I can provide other citations. However I have no interest in persuading you out of your view, I'm only interested in placing some moderation on your claim that gzhan stong is definitive, by showing that such a notion doesn't leave the realm of opinion.

I have quoted the actual sutras themselves on the topic.
if you have Buddha Nature Sutras that give a different teaching on Emptiness then you are more than welcome to post it,until then your position is unfounded and cannot even be proven to exist in the Buddha Nature Sutras.
I however have established the Shentong views in the Buddha Nature sutras (where they are clearly taught)

And there are various views which refute such a position. I never said the information itself is an opinion, the part that is an opinion, is your assertion that your position on the matter is an authoritative interpretation.

the Shentong views of Dolpopa were copied and pasted from the sutras themselves....so its not an opinion its a simple fact that Shentong is established in Buddha nature Sutras and doctrine.

Dolpopa didn't write a book on gzhan stong, he invented gzhan stong. He gives his own interpretation, an interpretation of the Buddha Nature sutras.

Dolpopa just copy and pasted what was written in the Sutras :tongue:
(also its not an interpretation when its a direct quote that actually deeply explains the topic)

What is my view of Buddha nature? In the context of the Buddha nature sutras; it is a notion (more accurately a skillful means i.e. upāya) to instill confidence and show that buddhahood is a latent possibility; the curd in milk, which can be actualized given the proper causes and conditions.

really??? can you list in the Buddha nature sutras where it states that it is Upaya?????
matter of fact give me 3 quotes shouldnt be to hard if what you are saying is correct.
Nirvana Sutra
Queen Srimala Sutra
Dharma Drum Sutra
Angulimala Sutra
Tathagatagarbha Sutra
all say Buddha Nature is a definite teaching.

The view of Buddha nature I personally champion is the gzhi of Ati Dzogpa Chenpo; the inseparable three kāyas and their respective wisdoms. Primordial wisdom free from extremes. The Buddha nature sutras, while valuable, are unnecessary (in the context of Atiyoga) and do not support that position.


Primordial wisdom ....... I like that.
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby Sherab » Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:30 am

I once asked my guru which is more correct, "rang tong" or "shen tong", thinking that it would be better for me to follow the one that is more correct. My guru replied that either one is okay. It took me a while to appreciate the profundity of his reply. The following quotations from The Samdhinirmocana Mahayana Sutra is helpful, in my opinion, in this regard.

"Son of good lineage, with respect to all phenomena, 'all phenomena' are of just two kinds: compounded and uncompounded. The compounded is not compounded, nor is it uncompounded. The uncompounded is not uncompounded, nor is it compounded. ..... Son of good lineage, 'compounded' is a term designated by the Teacher. This term designated by the Teacher is a conventional expression arisen from mental construction. ...Son of good lineage, 'uncompounded' is also included within the conventional." From chapter 1 of The Samdhinirmocana

"...I have explained that the ultimate is realized individually by the Aryas... I have explained that the ultimate belongs to the signless realm.... I have explained that the ultimate is inexpressible...I have explained that the ultimate is devoid of conventions..." From chapter 2 of The Samdhinirmocana

"... if the character of the compounded and the character of the ultimate were not different, then, because of that, even all ordinary childish beings would see the truth.... if the character of the compounded and the character of the ultimate were different, then, because of that, even those who see the truth would not be free from the signs of the compounded.... If the character of the compounded and the character of the ultimate were different, then just the absence of self and just the absence of an own being of compounded things would not be the ultimate character....... The afflicted character and the purified character would also be established as simultaneously having different characters." From chapter 3 of The Samdhinirmocana

In the end, I came to the conclusion that it is pointless to debate the subject of ultimate nature using conventional terms involving mutually exclusive pairs such as existent and non-existent, permanent and impermanent, etc. This is because use of those mutually exclusive pairs will force us into one extreme position or another, something that the Buddha had taught that we should avoid. That fact the we are still debating the subject even though it has debated for thousands of years is telling. It indicates to me that we are stuck in the futile ancient way of thinking about the subject.
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:35 am

There's the whole aspect too where there really isn't an actual rang stong, but that rang stong is simply a straw man created by gzhan stong pas. Gzhan stong adopted a certain view and then said 'we're gzhan stong, all the rest of you are rang stong'. In all actuality those who are labeled rang stong pas are just those who follow the traditional view of emptiness, and would never refer to themselves as rang stong pas.
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby Son of Buddha » Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:09 am

asunthatneversets wrote:There's the whole aspect too where there really isn't an actual rang stong, but that rang stong is simply a straw man created by gzhan stong pas. Gzhan stong adopted a certain view and then said 'we're gzhan stong, all the rest of you are rang stong'. In all actuality those who are labeled rang stong pas are just those who follow the traditional view of emptiness, and would never refer to themselves as rang stong pas.

And Shentongpas are only following the traditional views of emptiness found in the Buddha Nature Sutras.
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:28 am

Son of Buddha wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:There's the whole aspect too where there really isn't an actual rang stong, but that rang stong is simply a straw man created by gzhan stong pas. Gzhan stong adopted a certain view and then said 'we're gzhan stong, all the rest of you are rang stong'. In all actuality those who are labeled rang stong pas are just those who follow the traditional view of emptiness, and would never refer to themselves as rang stong pas.

And Shentongpas are only following the traditional views of emptiness found in the Buddha Nature Sutras.

That's debatable. I'm going to respond to your last post, I read it while I was at my Kagyu lama's center. Drubpon Yeshi Rinpoche (who is visiting) was telling his life story tonight and he added randomly that we should be practicing and not debating and constructing intellectual models. I'm sure he knew, my teacher here is clairvoyant as well :\
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby Son of Buddha » Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:57 am

asunthatneversets wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:There's the whole aspect too where there really isn't an actual rang stong, but that rang stong is simply a straw man created by gzhan stong pas. Gzhan stong adopted a certain view and then said 'we're gzhan stong, all the rest of you are rang stong'. In all actuality those who are labeled rang stong pas are just those who follow the traditional view of emptiness, and would never refer to themselves as rang stong pas.

And Shentongpas are only following the traditional views of emptiness found in the Buddha Nature Sutras.

That's debatable. I'm going to respond to your last post, I read it while I was at my Kagyu lama's center. Drubpon Yeshi Rinpoche (who is visiting) was telling his life story tonight and he added randomly that we should be practicing and not debating and constructing intellectual models. I'm sure he knew, my teacher here is clairvoyant as well :\


its actually not debatable......seeing as I have already proven that the Shentong view is literally copied and pasted from the Buddha Nature Sutras.
I could post 20 more quotes where it says Enlightenment is empty of all defilements but it is not empty of its own inherently pure Nature and you would still deny what is clearly written in front of you.

P.S. Its actually a practice to debate in the vajrayana tradition.many traditions set aside time to debate everyday.
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby xabir » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:06 am

Son of Buddha wrote:
This is absolutely not true and based on misconceptions,due to the fact the pali canon is over 20,000 pages long and most people never read it so they just take the Thervadans word for it that it teaches that Nirvana is empty of Self.when you actually read the pali canon for your self you will find out this misconception is simply not True in fact its the OPPOSITE the Pali canon states that whatever is without a Self belongs to MARA.

From Bhikkhu Bodhi Translation in book form found on PAGE 989 in the Samyutta Nikaya
in the Khandhavagga section
the Radhasamyutta chapter 2
under the 1. The First Mara Subchapter
(24 suttas where the Buddha teaches everything that belongs to Mara)

(SN 23.24)
4 (2)-34 (12) Subject to Mara, tc.

... "Radha, you should abandon desire, you should abandon lust, you should abandon desire and lust, for whatever is subject to Mara ' .. [199] ". for whatever is impermanent ... for whatever is of an impermanent nature for whatever is suffering ...
for whatever is of a painful nature for whatever is nonself ' .. for whatever is of a selfless nature ... for whatever is subject to destruction ... for whatever is subject to vanishing ... for what¬ever is subject to arising ... for whatever is subject to cessation. And what, Radha, is subject to cessation? Form is subject to ces¬sation. Feeling ... Perception ... Volitional formations ... Consciousness is subject to cessation. Seein thus ' .. He understands:
there is no more for this state of being.''

SN 22.59
Anatta-lakkhana Sutta: The Discourse on the Not-self Characteristic
Thus it was heard by me. At one time the Blessed One was living in the deer park of Isipatana near Benares. There, indeed, the Blessed One addressed the group of five monks.
"Form, O monks, is not-self;
if form were self, then form would not lead to suffering
and it should obtain regarding form: 'May my form be thus, may my form not be thus'; and indeed,
O monks, since form is not-self, therefore form leads to suffering
and it does not obtain regarding form: 'May my form be thus, may my form not be thus.'
"Feeling, O monks, is not-self; if feeling were self, then feeling would not lead to suffering and it should obtain regarding feeling: 'May my feeling be thus, may my feeling not be thus'; and indeed, O monks, since feeling is not-self, therefore feeling leads to suffering and it does not obtain regarding feeling: 'May my feeling be thus, may my feeling not be thus.'
"Perception, O monks, is not-self; if perception were self, then perception would not lead to suffering and it should obtain regarding perception: 'May my perception be thus, may my perception not be thus'; and indeed, O monks, since perception is not-self, therefore, perception leads to suffering and it does not obtain regarding perception: 'May my perception be thus, may my perception not be thus.'
"Mental formations, O monks, are not-self; if mental formations were self, then mental formations would not lead to suffering and it should obtain regarding mental formations: 'May my perception be thus, may my mental formations not be thus'; and indeed, O monks, since mental formations are not-self, therefore, mental formations lead to suffering and it does not obtain regarding mental formations: 'May my mental formations be thus, may my mental formations not be thus.'
"Consciousness, O monks, is not-self; if consciousness were self, then consciousness would not lead to suffering and it should obtain regarding consciousness: 'May my consciousness be thus, may my consciousness not be thus'; and indeed, O monks, since consciousness is not-self, therefore, consciousness leads to suffering and it does not obtain regarding consciousness: 'May my consciousness be thus, may my consciousness not be thus.'

SN 22.46 Impermanent (2) pg 885
At Savatthi. "Bhikkhus, form is impermanent.... Feeling is impermanent.... Preception is impermanent.... Volitional formations are impermanent.... Consciousness is impermanent. What is Impermanent is suffering. What is suffering is nonself. What is nonself should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self."
SN 22.68 "Bhikkhu you should abandon desire for whatever is non self"
SN:22.69 "Bhikkhu,you should abandon desire for whatever does not belong to self."

I wrote an article http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com. ... -self.html

Let me quote something from there.

Cooran (moderator of Dhammawheel) pointed out that a note to Bhikkhu Bodhi’s translation of this sutta is worth considering:

‘’We should carefully heed the two reasons that the Buddha does not declare, ‘’There is no self’’: not because he recognizes a transcendent self of some kind (as some interpreters allege), or because he is concerned only with delineating ‘’a strategy of perception’’ devoid of ontological implications (as others hold), but (i) because such a mode of expression was used by the annihilationists, and the Buddha wanted to avoid aligning his teaching with theirs; and (ii) because he wished to avoid causing confusion in those already attached to the idea of self. The Buddha declares that ‘all phenomena are nonself’’ (sabbe dhamma anatta), which means that if one seeks a self anywhere one will not find one. Since ‘’all phenomena’’ includes both the conditioned and the unconditioned, this precludes an utterly transcendent, ineffable self."

(Part of Note 385 on Page 1457 of The Connected Discourses of the Buddha (A New Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya by Bhikkhu Bodhi).)


Also,

Here, the Buddha clarifies:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html



..."What do you think: Do you regard the Tathagata as form-feeling-perception-fabrications-consciousness?"

"No, lord."

"Do you regard the Tathagata as that which is without form, without feeling, without perception, without fabrications, without consciousness?"

"No, lord."

"And so, Anuradha — when you can't pin down the Tathagata as a truth or reality even in the present life — is it proper for you to declare, 'Friends, the Tathagata — the supreme man, the superlative man, attainer of the superlative attainment — being described, is described otherwise than with these four positions: The Tathagata exists after death, does not exist after death, both does & does not exist after death, neither exists nor does not exist after death'?"

"No, lord."...

And all the great Buddhist masters from the past have said the same things with regards to what Buddha said above:

As Chandrakirti states:

"A chariot is not asserted to be other than its parts,
Nor non-other. It also does not possess them.
It is not in the parts, nor are the parts in it.
It is not the mere collection [of its parts], nor is it their shape.
[The self and the aggregates are] similar."

And Padmasambhava states:

"The mind that observes is also devoid of an ego or self-entity.
It is neither seen as something different from the aggregates
Nor as identical with these five aggregates.
If the first were true, there would exist some other substance.

This is not the case, so were the second true,
That would contradict a permanent self, since the aggregates are impermanent.
Therefore, based on the five aggregates,
The self is a mere imputation based on the power of the ego-clinging.

As to that which imputes, the past thought has vanished and is nonexistent.
The future thought has not occurred, and the present thought does not withstand scrutiny."


And Nagarjuna states:

“The Tathagata is not the aggregates; nor is he other
than the aggregates.
The aggregates are not in him nor is he in them.
The Tathagata does not possess the aggregates.
What Tathagata is there?”

And the Vajira Sutta states:

Then the bhikkhuni Vajira, having understood, "This is Mara the Evil One," replied to him in verses: "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."

Notice that the Buddha said that you cannot find the self of the Tathagatha inside nor apart from the five skandhas (aggregations): there is no Tathagata to be pinned down as a form-based or a formless Truth or Reality. This means that the so called 'self' actually cannot be found, located or pinned down as a reality just as the word 'weather' cannot be found or located as something inherently (independently, unchangingly) existing (apart or within the conglomerate of everchanging phenomena such as clouds, lightning, wind, rain, etc) - the label 'self' is merely a convention for mind, which is a process of self-luminous (having the quality of luminous clarity, knowing, cognizance) but empty phenomenality, in which no truly existing 'self' can be found within nor apart from them.

And if we cannot pin down an entity called 'self' to begin with, how can we assert the non-existence of a self: which means that an existent 'self' annihilates or goes into non-existence? To assert non-existence, you must have a base, an existent entity to begin with, that could become non-existent. If the convention 'self' is baseless to begin with, then existence, non-existence, both and neither become untenable positions.


The Buddha says that the arahant and Tathagata does not conceive of unbinding (Nibbana) in terms of a self:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

"He directly knows Unbinding as Unbinding. Directly knowing Unbinding as Unbinding, he does not conceive things about Unbinding, does not conceive things in Unbinding, does not conceive things coming out of Unbinding, does not conceive Unbinding as 'mine,' does not delight in Unbinding. Why is that? Because he has comprehended it, I tell you.
thats not true either in fact the Lankavatara Sutra states Buddha Nature is the Highest Teaching.

Chapter 6 of the Lankavatara Sutra
and for Queen Srimala to whom the Buddha's spiritual power was added, the [pure] realm of Tathagatahood was expounded. This does not belong to the realm of speculation as it is carried on by the Sravakas, Pratyekabuddhas, and other philosophers, except, Mahamati, that this realm of Tathagatahood which is the realm of the Tathagata-garbha-alayavijnana is meant for those Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas who like you are endowed with subtle, fine, penetrating thought-power and whose understanding is in accordance with the meaning; and it is not for others, such as philosophers, Sravakas, and Pratyekabuddhas, who are attached to the letters of the canonical texts. For this reason, Mahamati, let you and other Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas discipline yourselves in the realm of Tathagatahood, in the understanding of this Tathagata-garbha-alayavijnana, so that you may not rest contented with mere learning.

The part you are talking about is where Tathagatagarbha is redefined as to not confuse the new converts who used to be philosphers and already have a misundunderstanding of the topic of self(hence why he says this.....

"Accordingly, 'Mahamati', the 'Tathagatas' disclose the doctrine of the 'tathagatagarbha' which is thus not to be known as identical with the philosopher's notion of an ego-substance. Therefore , 'Mahamati', in order to abandon the misconception cherished by the philosophers, you must depend on the 'anatman-tathagatagarbha'."
Nothing here suggests that Tathagatahood means a changeless, independent Self. Tathagatagarbha, in the Lankavatara Sutra is just another means of demonstrating emptiness.

"Similarly, that tathaagatagarbha taught in the suutras spoken by the Bhagavan, since the completely pure luminous clear nature is completely pure from the beginning, possessing the thirty two marks, the Bhagavan said it exists inside of the bodies of sentient beings.

When the Bhagavan described that– like an extremely valuable jewel thoroughly wrapped in a soiled cloth, is thoroughly wrapped by cloth of the aggregates, aayatanas and elements, becoming impure by the conceptuality of the thorough conceptuality suppressed by the passion, anger and ignorance – as permanent, stable and eternal, how is the Bhagavan’s teaching this as the tathaagatagarbha is not similar with as the assertion of self of the non-Buddhists?

Bhagavan, the non-Buddhists make assertion a Self as “A permanent creator, without qualities, pervasive and imperishable”.

The Bhagavan replied:

“Mahaamati, my teaching of tathaagatagarbha is not equivalent with the assertion of the Self of the non-Buddhists.

Mahaamati, the Tathaagata, Arhat, Samyak Sambuddhas, having demonstrated the meaning of the words "emptiness, reality limit, nirvana, non-arisen, signless", etc. as tathaagatagarbha for the purpose of the immature complete forsaking the perishable abodes, demonstrate the expertiential range of the non-appearing abode of complete non-conceptuality by demonstrating the door of tathaagatagarbha.

Mahaamati, a self should not be perceived as real by Bodhisattva Mahaasattvas enlightened in the future or presently.

Mahaamati, for example, a potter, makes one mass of atoms of clay into various kinds containers from his hands, craft, a stick, thread and effort.

Mahaamati, similarly, although Tathaagatas avoid the nature of conceptual selflessness in dharmas, they also appropriately demonstrate tathaagatagarbha or demonstrate emptiness by various kinds [of demonstrations] possessing prajñaa and skillful means; like a potter, they demonstrate with various enumerations of words and letters. As such, because of that,

Mahaamati, the demonstration of Tathaagatagarbha is not similar with the Self demonstrated by the non-Buddhists.

Mahaamati, the Tathaagatas as such, in order to guide those grasping to assertions of the Self of the Non-Buddhists, will demonstrate tathaagatagarbha with the demonstration of tathaagatagarbha. How else will the sentient beings who have fallen into a conceptual view of a True Self, possess the thought to abide in the three liberations and quickly attain the complete manifestation of Buddha in unsurpassed perfect, complete enlightenment?"



Shenotng is practiced by all of Jonang and about Half of kagyu and Nygma(sorry about any misspelling)
also Shentong is derived from the Buddha nature Sutras themselves.
There are different degrees of extreme-ity in terms of leaning towards an eternalist, substantialist view even within Shentong. Many teachers are teaching a "moderated version of Shentong". I've read books by Thrangu Rinpoche explaining Shentong and it's clearly apparent that even while teaching Shentong he still holds a non-substantialist understanding of Buddha-nature. Perhaps, those who follow the original teachings of Dolpopa could be leaning more towards the extreme view.

your incorrect about what the early doctrines of Buddhism state, also the pali canon doesnt even support non duality Bhikkhu Bodhi actually wrote a extensive paper on the subject..........essentially there is conditioned and Unconditioned..ect
The not-conditioned in the Pali canon simply means the cessation of afflictions.

Jnana wrote: "“Firstly, while the translation of asaṃskṛta as “the unconditioned” is fairly common, it’s a rather poor translation that all too easily leads to reification. The term asaṃskṛta refers to a negation of conditioned factors, and the meaning is better conveyed by “not-conditioned.” Secondly, for Sautrāntika commentators, and many mahāyānika commentators as well, an analytical cessation (pratisaṃkhyānirodha) is a non-implicative negation (prasajyapratiṣedha), i.e. a negation that doesn’t imply the presence of some other entity, and therefore nirvāṇa simply refers to a cessation that terminates the defilements and fetters that are abandoned by the correct practice of the noble path. It doesn’t refer to an entity or state that is substantially existent (dravyasat).”"

and Buddha clearly explains the not-conditioned/not-fabricated (asakhata) is referring to simply the ending of afflictions:



SN 43 Asaṅkhata Saṃyutta (1-44 combined & abridged):
And what, monks, is the not-fabricated (asaṅkhata)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the not-fabricated.

And what, monks, is the not-inclined (anata)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the not-inclined.

And what, monks, is the outflowless (anāsava)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the outflowless.

And what, monks, is the truth (sacca)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the truth.

And what, monks, is the farther shore (pāra)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the farther shore.

And what, monks, is the subtle (nipuṇa)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the subtle.

And what, monks, is the very hard to see (sududdasa)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the very hard to see.

And what, monks, is the unaging (ajajjara)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the unaging.

And what, monks, is the stable (dhuva)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the stable.

And what, monks, is the undisintegrating (apalokita)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the undisintegrating.

And what, monks, is the non-indicative (anidassana)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the non-indicative.

And what, monks, is the unproliferated (nippapañca)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the unproliferated.

And what, monks, is the peaceful (santa)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the peaceful.

And what, monks, is the death-free (amata)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the death-free.

And what, monks, is the sublime (paṇīta)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the sublime.

And what, monks, is the auspicious (siva)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the auspicious.

And what, monks, is the secure (khema)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the secure.

And what, monks, is the elimination of craving (taṇhākkhaya)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the elimination of craving.

And what, monks, is the wonderful (acchariya)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the wonderful.

And what, monks, is the amazing (abbhuta)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the amazing.

And what, monks, is the calamity-free (anītika)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the calamity-free.

And what, monks, is the dhamma free of calamity (anītikadhamma)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the dhamma free of calamity.

And what, monks, is extinguishment (nibbāna)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called extinguishment.

And what, monks, is the unafflicted (abyāpajjha)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the unafflicted.

And what, monks, is dispassion (virāga)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called dispassion.

And what, monks, is purity (suddhi)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called purity.

And what, monks, is freedom (mutti)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called freedom.

And what, monks, is the unadhesive (anālaya)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the unadhesive.

And what, monks, is the island (dīpa)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the island.

And what, monks, is the cave (leṇa)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the cave.

And what, monks, is the shelter (tāṇa)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the shelter.

And what, monks, is the refuge (saraṇa)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the refuge.

And what, monks, is the destination (parāyana)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the destination.
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby hop.pala » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:17 am

That quote doesnt state that The Tathagatagarbha is without inherent Nature.


"It is pointed out in this passage that the 'tathagatagarbha' is empty in its nature yet real: it is 'Nirvana' itself, unborn, without predicates."

Speak as you say only so from" true self",as can be speak about" true" nirvana.
Because can we speak about nirvana in positive terms,and without positive terms in the same way as from Buddhanature.So are you missunderstand the whole quote.
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby Sherab » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:20 am

asunthatneversets wrote:There's the whole aspect too where there really isn't an actual rang stong, but that rang stong is simply a straw man created by gzhan stong pas. Gzhan stong adopted a certain view and then said 'we're gzhan stong, all the rest of you are rang stong'. In all actuality those who are labeled rang stong pas are just those who follow the traditional view of emptiness, and would never refer to themselves as rang stong pas.

Both rang stong and gzhan stong are straw men.

If the ultimate is empty of itself, you are forced into two possible extreme positions. One is that the ultimate is really nothing and that would be nihilism. The other extreme position is that the conventional is all there is and that would imply that liberation is not possible.

If the ultimate is not empty of itself but empty of other, you are forced into saying that the ultimate has inherent existence. If so, it would be permanent. If it is permanent, it cannot produce anything. If it cannot produce anything, there can be no phenomena. All you will get is a static world.

That is why such debates using mutually exclusive pairs of words such as existent and non-existent etc. is futile because it is not possible to come to the "middle" position as taught in the suttas/sutras.
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Re: Emptiness and the two truths

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:16 pm

Son of Buddha wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote:And Shentongpas are only following the traditional views of emptiness found in the Buddha Nature Sutras.

That's debatable. I'm going to respond to your last post, I read it while I was at my Kagyu lama's center. Drubpon Yeshi Rinpoche (who is visiting) was telling his life story tonight and he added randomly that we should be practicing and not debating and constructing intellectual models. I'm sure he knew, my teacher here is clairvoyant as well :\


its actually not debatable......seeing as I have already proven that the Shentong view is literally copied and pasted from the Buddha Nature Sutras.
I could post 20 more quotes where it says Enlightenment is empty of all defilements but it is not empty of its own inherently pure Nature and you would still deny what is clearly written in front of you.

P.S. Its actually a practice to debate in the vajrayana tradition.many traditions set aside time to debate everyday.

Of course it's debatable, anything and everything is. I could also post various quotes which state that enlightenment is empty of all defilements and its also empty of its own nature. You'd deny what's in front of you as well.

Yes I know about the debate and debate often, the Drikung Kagyu is just very practice oriented, and Yeshi Rinpoche is very traditional to his lineage.
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