Liveliness and Contention

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Re: Liveliness and Contention

Postby viniketa » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:06 am

Konchog1 wrote:I meant hypothetically. Of course if Emptiness is realized, you equalize self and others. But, in terms of logic, what is the reason for keeping morality?


Do you mean in terms of "Buddhist logic" or logic-in-general?

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

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:18 am

Either.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

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

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

Postby viniketa » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:35 am

viniketa wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:I meant hypothetically. Of course if Emptiness is realized, you equalize self and others. But, in terms of logic, what is the reason for keeping morality?


Do you mean in terms of "Buddhist logic" or logic-in-general?

Konchog1 wrote:Either.


In general, rational utilitarianism (enlightened self-interest). Buddhist logic I'll pass along to JKhedrup or others...

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

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:37 am

Oh right. Everything is real to everyone else. Thanks.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

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

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

Postby JKhedrup » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:08 am

In fact this is what one of the main differing factors is between the Hearer's Vehicle (using this as an alternative for Hinayana) and the Mahayana.

In terms of emptiness, the Hearer's schools also posit that a realization of the selflessness of persons is necessary for liberation. The Mahayana posits that the selflessness of persons and phenomena must be realized. So we see that selfless is an essential crux of the doctrines of both schools.

Compassion is necessary because with wisdom alone one cannot fully accomplish the welfare of others. Great compassion is an essential factor leading up to Bodhicitta, the wish to attain enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings which must be produced in order to become a Buddha. Without the development of this mind one's evolution towards Buddhahood will not be complete and one will not be able to progress along the bodhisattva path. So although metta or loving kindness is mentioned in many of the Pali Suttas, the complete development of compassion and Bodhicitta is a unique feature of the Mahayana Sanskrit tradition.

This difference in emphasis is one of the key differentiating factors between the two traditions.

This is why wisdom is said to be the mother of the Buddhas and compassion is said to be the father of the Buddhas. Because lineage is determined by the father in ancient India, the father is referred to as compassion in the texts. As varna or caste was determined by the father in ancient India, compassion and the method side of the path are likened to the father. (according to Geshe Sonam's explanation). Both the Hearer's Vehicle and the Mahayana share the common "mother" of wisdom.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
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Re: Liveliness and Contention

Postby zerwe » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:52 pm

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

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


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

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

:namaste:
I meant hypothetically. Of course if Emptiness is realized, you equalize self and others. But, in terms of logic, what is the reason for keeping morality?


I think the answer you are looking for is probably in the LRCM vol. 2. in addition to other sources.

I'll see if I can find something a little more definitive.

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Re: Liveliness and Contention

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:45 pm

JKhedrup wrote:This is why wisdom is said to be the mother of the Buddhas and compassion is said to be the father of the Buddhas. Because lineage is determined by the father in ancient India, the father is referred to as compassion in the texts. As varna or caste was determined by the father in ancient India, compassion and the method side of the path are likened to the father. (according to Geshe Sonam's explanation). Both the Hearer's Vehicle and the Mahayana share the common "mother" of wisdom.
So, that is why! Cool, thanks.

zerwe wrote:I think the answer you are looking for is probably in the LRCM vol. 2. in addition to other sources.
The one volume I don't have. Haha. I'll go buy it soon then.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

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

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

Postby zerwe » Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:15 pm

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

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


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

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

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

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

Shaun :namaste:


Amazing! Just after Tom’s last post I walked into my local university library picked a book up off the shelf and literally opened it to a whole section on svabhava and some of the issues contained in the subsequent post. I have spent the past few days trying to digest this and a discussion surrounding the vast differing contextualizations and usage of svabhava as a concept would take up more than another thread. So, here a few points that I think are relevant to the discussion:

First Chandra is interpreted as positing 2, 3, and 4 types of svabhava depending on which contemporary scholar’s work one is following. I have only read Westerhoff’s opinions contained in Nagajuna’s Madhyamaka; a philosophical introduction, but he acknowledges the views of many of his contemporaries. His opinion is that Chandra distinguishes between essence svabhava, substance svabhava, and absolute svabhava.

According to Westerhoff, Chandra is interpreted in 6:28 of the Madhyamakavatara as positing an absolute or ultimate svabhava explaining the final mode of reality that the Buddhas perceive. This is seen as contradictory while this “ultimate” svabhava possess the same criteria as Substance svabhava, which is in turn the object of negation that the Five Great Madhyamaka Reasonings aim to refute in order to reveal emptiness.

The conflict is explained as, “ …that Chandrakirti’s attributes as well as Tsong Kh pa’s triple characterization are supposed to be applicable to both substance svabhava as well as to emptiness, that is, the absence of substance svabhava. But taking into account that substance svabhava is argued not to exist while emptiness does exist, this view faces an obvious difficulty. The lack of svabhava seems to have exactly the properties of substance svabhava, so the absence of svabhava should both exist (since svabhava does not) and not exist (since it has the same properties as the non-existing svabhava). Emptiness (that is, the absence of svabhava) appears to be a contradictory concept. ( Westerhoff, Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka, 41-42).

Tsong Kha pa’s solution

“…substance svabhava is to be distinguished form emptiness by its having additional characteristics.”

In addition to the triple characterization (Westerhoff lists these as; Not produced from causes and conditions, unchangeable, set forth without depending upon another object) Tsongkhapa adds;

4. established form its own side
5. a natural, not learned notion (43)

My questions:

Is this contradiction really apparent or not, was this Chandra’s intent, and subsequently was it necessary for Tsongkhapa to make these additions? In other words, I would like to think Chandra to clever to have made such a mistake and could this have been explained or reconciled without the addition of other qualifications distinguishing emptiness from substance-svabhava?

Shaun :namaste:
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Re: Liveliness and Contention

Postby Konchog1 » Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:28 pm

Amazing! Just after Tom’s last post I walked into my local university library picked a book up off the shelf and literally opened it to a whole section on svabhava and some of the issues contained in the subsequent post.
Yeah, that doesn't happen by chance. I don't what it is, but I've had it happen too.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

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

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

Postby Tom » Sat Oct 13, 2012 9:18 pm

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

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


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

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

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

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

Shaun :namaste:


Amazing! Just after Tom’s last post I walked into my local university library picked a book up off the shelf and literally opened it to a whole section on svabhava and some of the issues contained in the subsequent post. I have spent the past few days trying to digest this and a discussion surrounding the vast differing contextualizations and usage of svabhava as a concept would take up more than another thread. So, here a few points that I think are relevant to the discussion:

First Chandra is interpreted as positing 2, 3, and 4 types of svabhava depending on which contemporary scholar’s work one is following. I have only read Westerhoff’s opinions contained in Nagajuna’s Madhyamaka; a philosophical introduction, but he acknowledges the views of many of his contemporaries. His opinion is that Chandra distinguishes between essence svabhava, substance svabhava, and absolute svabhava.

According to Westerhoff, Chandra is interpreted in 6:28 of the Madhyamakavatara as positing an absolute or ultimate svabhava explaining the final mode of reality that the Buddhas perceive. This is seen as contradictory while this “ultimate” svabhava possess the same criteria as Substance svabhava, which is in turn the object of negation that the Five Great Madhyamaka Reasonings aim to refute in order to reveal emptiness.

The conflict is explained as, “ …that Chandrakirti’s attributes as well as Tsong Kh pa’s triple characterization are supposed to be applicable to both substance svabhava as well as to emptiness, that is, the absence of substance svabhava. But taking into account that substance svabhava is argued not to exist while emptiness does exist, this view faces an obvious difficulty. The lack of svabhava seems to have exactly the properties of substance svabhava, so the absence of svabhava should both exist (since svabhava does not) and not exist (since it has the same properties as the non-existing svabhava). Emptiness (that is, the absence of svabhava) appears to be a contradictory concept. ( Westerhoff, Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka, 41-42).

Tsong Kha pa’s solution

“…substance svabhava is to be distinguished form emptiness by its having additional characteristics.”

In addition to the triple characterization (Westerhoff lists these as; Not produced from causes and conditions, unchangeable, set forth without depending upon another object) Tsongkhapa adds;

4. established form its own side
5. a natural, not learned notion (43)

My questions:

Is this contradiction really apparent or not, was this Chandra’s intent, and subsequently was it necessary for Tsongkhapa to make these additions? In other words, I would like to think Chandra to clever to have made such a mistake and could this have been explained or reconciled without the addition of other qualifications distinguishing emptiness from substance-svabhava?

Shaun :namaste:


So how to best interpret these verses in the MMV chapter 6 on the two truths has been quite contentious and opens up a different can of worms. For example, how to define the ultimate without reifying it and what they mean for a distinction between real conventional truths and unreal conventional truths et c. - see chapa and jayanada for example.

However, that in MMV 6:28 when Candra mentions svabhāva that he is referring to emptiness is quite clear. So, certainly Candra uses the term svabhāva in at least two different ways.

But, actually my own feeling is that Nagarjuna in MMK 15: 1-2, certainly was identifying the object of negation. If we understand the Madhyamaka project as mainly a response to the Abhidharma assertion of the existence the dharmas. Also, given their commitment to momentariness I am not sure we can draw to much of a distinction between essence and substance and I think we have to also say that Nagarjuna was asserting that both essence and the substance of dharmas as asserted by the abhidharma philosophers is not-existent\unfindable.

Then, we can see Candra and Tsongkhapa as not only rejecting the dharma's of abhidharma but interested in refining svabhava in terms of that which is not found under analysis. They are concerned about taking into consideration conventional existence and worldly perspectives and also soteriological perspectives that involve somehow cognizing emptiness (don't get me wrong so was Nagarjuna but I think we can talk of different emphasis)
Last edited by Tom on Sat Oct 13, 2012 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Liveliness and Contention

Postby Tom » Sat Oct 13, 2012 9:39 pm

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

And Geshe Tashi's books are awesome.


Konchog1 wrote:One last question, if we don't create karma after realizing Emptiness, then we do we need to keep the Three fold vows and so forth? I am familiar with the various admonishments to never abandon your morality, no matter your attainments. But what is the reasoning behind these admonishments? ... Of course if Emptiness is realized, you equalize self and others. But, in terms of logic, what is the reason for keeping morality?



After the path of seeing you do not collect any more throwing karma (although you still have to overcome the afflictive obstacles) but, you still need to collecting a massive amount of karma for the development of the from bodies of a buddha.

The realization of emptiness transforms the person such that the agent becomes more morally mature. The idea that an Aria might think that since they don't accumulate anymore negative karma that they have a free pass to be ethically irresponsible is not really cogent, since it is through the wisdom of emptiness that one realizes the uselessness of acting ethically irresponsible and is protected from negative karma.

Also, I don't think Mahayana Buddhism is any form of consequentilism but that's quite debatable and many disagree...
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Re: Liveliness and Contention

Postby zerwe » Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:21 am

:oops: I was looking at the wrong citation in Westerhoff it is not MMV 6:28, but from the Madhyamakavatara Bhashyam;

So, the passage from the commentary where According to Westerhoff Chandra is interpreted as positing an absolute or ultimate svabhava explaining the final mode of reality that the Buddhas perceive
is found below:

Ultimate reality for the Buddhas is svabhāva itself. That, moreover,because is itself nondeceptive is the truth of ultimate reality. It
must be know by each one for himself.


Another translation and the complete passage the above is taken from:

3B1C-2B3E-2A1B-2B1B-1B3A-3 The manner of being ultimate and conventional in relation to arya and ordinary beings

There, that itself which is the ultimate of ordinary beings is the mere deceptive of the aryas having asphere together with appearance.
That which is the self-nature of that, emptiness, [is] their ultimate.
The ultimate of the buddhas is self-nature itself, and further, as it is just incontrovertible (non-deceptive),it is the ultimate truth, it is an object to be cognized by themselves individually.
The deceptive truth, because of just deceiving, is not the ultimate truth.


Shaun :namaste:
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