Tathagatagarbha, Eternalism, etc.

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: Tathagatagarbha, Eternalism, etc.

Postby deepbluehum » Sun Dec 02, 2012 4:18 am

viniketa wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:I think that Buddhists are making the fallacy of a distinction without a difference when it comes to these semantic games. There is no difference really between perception, consciousness and knowing.... All the distinguishing comes from looking at the nature of the unconditioned.


Semantics isn't just a game. It is trying to be precise in communication. At the risk of further reification of conceptualization, I respectfully disagree that all these are the same. Perception arises from sense contact, consciousness arises from distinguishing observer from observed, understanding arises from intellect. Distinguishing arises once the "looking at the nature of the unconditioned" is done from within specially-conditioned time. Once the momentary nature of thought arises, all becomes conditioned. "Knowing" is different from all of these. It is only the same in the casual way we typically use the term as a substitute for any of the other three. Knowing occurs when all is one with the known.

:namaste:


There is a way to understand the 12-links where the word "consciousness" doesn't come into play. Similarly with the 8-consciousness of yogacara, that is by considering vijnana as perception, manas as discrimination. Or we can say it's the entire structure we are calling a consciousness.

Nirvana is simply the perception of seeing nothing in the mind and being okay with that, getting used to that, while not preferring to close one's eyes when presented with sense objects.

In any event, your definitions are rather novel and unclear. Dharma students love sounding erudite. Erudition is not really a highlight of Buddha-dharma. Yogis like Milarepa could not read, but could give very precise descriptions from their own valid cognition.

So calling nibbana and object is like calling nothing a something.
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Re: Tathagatagarbha, Eternalism, etc.

Postby deepbluehum » Sun Dec 02, 2012 4:40 am

Jnana wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:Agreed. Self, permanence, etc., is what is realized in the practice of the yoga of two stages, etc.

Yes, I remember your fondness for eternalist views.


Cute. Cute and trite.

Jnana wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:It is said to be a vijnana which is luminous all around.

No it isn't.


Yes it is. Try dealing with the material.

Jnana wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:Buddha clearly has two uses of these terms, one for the conditioned related to the 5 skandhas and one related to a purified version.

No he didn't.


Yes he did. Honestly, is this how this is going to go?

Jnana wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:
Jnana wrote:Nibbāna is an object of knowledge, not a cognition.


That is nowhere supported in the Nikayas. If it were an object, then there would be a knower of that object, and it would be something other than one's own mind. "Mind is the chief" as it were.

Of course it is. Terms such as nibbāna ñāṇa and khayeñāṇa, etc., are used in the suttas for the cognition of nibbāna.


That doesn't make it an object. This is only your opinion. It amazes me how people can learn a few words and know just enough to be dangerous. Without a teacher, such study is only dangerous.

Okay it's an object, where?

Jnana wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:
Jnana wrote:The sutta passages you've been quoting are referring to the supramundane cognition of nibbāna.


It seems you just contradicted your earlier statement.

Not at all. You just don't understand Buddhist epistemology.


Nibbana is not a cognition but it's a supramundane cognition? And that's not a contradiction because I don't understand Buddhist epistemology?

Okay, man.

How about this. There's an 800 pound gorilla in the room but you are going to deny it's there no matter what.

Do you have a teacher that sanctions your novel ideas? My "misunderstanding" comes from Drikung Kagyu not from books.
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Re: Tathagatagarbha, Eternalism, etc.

Postby Jnana » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:20 am

deepbluehum wrote:Okay it's an object, where?

It's a mental object of the sixth consciousness. The path has a purpose, and that purpose for śrāvakas (and bodhisattvas as well) includes the elimination of the fetters. Thus, with the fruition attainments there is the knowledge (ñāṇa) of extinguishment (nibbāna) of fetters, also called the knowledge of elimination (khayeñāṇa) of fetters, etc. Without such elimination there is no awakening (bodhi). This isn't controversial.

deepbluehum wrote:Nibbana is not a cognition but it's a supramundane cognition?

It's the object of a supramundane cognition (lokuttaracitta), yes.

deepbluehum wrote:And that's not a contradiction because I don't understand Buddhist epistemology?

It's not a contradiction and you've shown no indications of understanding why.
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Re: Tathagatagarbha, Eternalism, etc.

Postby futerko » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:55 am

Jnana wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:Okay it's an object, where?

It's a mental object of the sixth consciousness. The path has a purpose, and that purpose for śrāvakas (and bodhisattvas as well) includes the elimination of the fetters. Thus, with the fruition attainments there is the knowledge (ñāṇa) of extinguishment (nibbāna) of fetters, also called the knowledge of elimination (khayeñāṇa) of fetters, etc. Without such elimination there is no awakening (bodhi). This isn't controversial.


It isn't controversial, but neither is it the ultimate view of the Kagyupa.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Tathagatagarbha, Eternalism, etc.

Postby viniketa » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:59 am

deepbluehum wrote:In any event, your definitions are rather novel and unclear. Dharma students love sounding erudite. Erudition is not really a highlight of Buddha-dharma.


The definitions are not novel, but derived from understanding of the Sanskrit terms as learned through teachers and experience. I have no desire to project erudition, only to be precise.

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Re: Tathagatagarbha, Eternalism, etc.

Postby deepbluehum » Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:25 am

Jnana wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:Okay it's an object, where?

It's a mental object of the sixth consciousness. The path has a purpose, and that purpose for śrāvakas (and bodhisattvas as well) includes the elimination of the fetters. Thus, with the fruition attainments there is the knowledge (ñāṇa) of extinguishment (nibbāna) of fetters, also called the knowledge of elimination (khayeñāṇa) of fetters, etc. Without such elimination there is no awakening (bodhi). This isn't controversial.


Still doesn't make Nirvana an object. Knowing something isn't there isn't seeing something. You can say it's an "object". As the Mahamudra pith instructions indicate, not seeing anything is the real "seeing." There's nothing there. It is seeing a mirage to think this is an epistemological object.

Jnana wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:Nibbana is not a cognition but it's a supramundane cognition?

It's the object of a supramundane cognition (lokuttaracitta), yes.


It is the lokuttaracitta. Nirvana's an object, but I'm the eternalist? Okay... Anyway, the suttas never describe nibbana as an object; this is commentarial lore. The suttas describe nibbana both as the end of fetters and as a perception/consciousness.

But I mean, look at what you are saying. When a cognition has an object it is a perception/consciousness.

Jnana wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:And that's not a contradiction because I don't understand Buddhist epistemology?

It's not a contradiction and you've shown no indications of understanding why.


Let me help you out with logic.

You said nirvana is not a cognition, it's a supramundane cognition. Adding the word supramundane doesn't change the category. We are still dealing with cognition. Supramundane renders a cognition higher. So then, if nirvana is a supramundane cognition then it's a cognition.

I won't toy with you, I understand your point. You are trying to avoid the term anantam given by Buddha in the Kevatta Sutta by adding concept of momentariness from the commentarial lore, as if nibbana is depends on a momentary cognition. This leads to the anomalous notion of an impermanent tathatagatagarbha.
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Re: Tathagatagarbha, Eternalism, etc.

Postby futerko » Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:51 am

duckfiasco wrote:
consciousness arises from distinguishing observer from observed

So when the act is no longer mentally divided between subject/object but seen interdependently, what happens to consciousness then? :shrug: I don't ask to be snarky, but only because I thought consciousness was a function of the five aggregates and not a direct byproduct of one's ignorance or attainment.

Consciousness is one of the five aggregates, caused by volitional formations (intending, planning, and habitual tendencies), which are in turn caused by ignorance about the nature of self and phenomena as being inherently existing and unchanging. In a nutshell...
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Re: Tathagatagarbha, Eternalism, etc.

Postby Jnana » Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:20 am

deepbluehum wrote:Anyway, the suttas never describe nibbana as an object;

Of course they do. You just don't know the texts or the language as well as you think. It's implicit in terms such as the cognition of cessation (nirodhasaññā), etc.

deepbluehum wrote:this is commentarial lore.

The suttas are not a comprehensive, systematic presentation of the dharma. The only advantage of dismissing the Abhidharma and commentaries, and mixing different textual traditions and lineages, and trying to rely exclusively on the suttas, and so on, is that this allows one to assert any pet-theory that they wish.

deepbluehum wrote:Let me help you out with logic.

You said nirvana is not a cognition, it's a supramundane cognition.

No I didn't. I said, "It's the object of a supramundane cognition."
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Re: Tathagatagarbha, Eternalism, etc.

Postby viniketa » Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:44 am

futerko wrote:
duckfiasco wrote:
consciousness arises from distinguishing observer from observed

So when the act is no longer mentally divided between subject/object but seen interdependently, what happens to consciousness then? :shrug: I don't ask to be snarky, but only because I thought consciousness was a function of the five aggregates and not a direct byproduct of one's ignorance or attainment.

Consciousness is one of the five aggregates, caused by volitional formations (intending, planning, and habitual tendencies), which are in turn caused by ignorance about the nature of self and phenomena as being inherently existing and unchanging. In a nutshell...


Apologies duckfiasco, I did not intend to ignore your question, I simply missed seeing it. Futerko has given the answer, though. While different teachers have differing positions on the order of the 12 nidāna (or whether or not an exact order is implied), all do seem to agree that all arises from ignorance as the beginningless/endless "first link" in the chain.

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Re: Tathagatagarbha, Eternalism, etc.

Postby duckfiasco » Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:26 am

Thank you. My question was misinformed to begin with :tongue:
Please take the above post with a grain of salt.
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Re: Tathagatagarbha, Eternalism, etc.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:32 am

Son of Buddha wrote:(NO)the Tathagatagarbha isnt an element of the Alaya Vijnana,they are the same thing Lankavatara Sutra LXXXVI the Tathagatagarbha known as the Alaya Vijnana
The Alaya Vijnana is conditioned.
its not the source...
and I quote:
Since there is the Tathagatagarbha, there is reason for speaking of 'cyclical flow' (samasra).

Lord, samsara is based on the Tathagatagarbha.

:namaste:
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Tathagatagarbha, Eternalism, etc.

Postby Jnana » Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:18 am

Son of Buddha wrote:(NO)the Tathagatagarbha isnt an element of the Alaya Vijnana,they are the same thing Lankavatara Sutra LXXXVI the Tathagatagarbha known as the Alaya Vijnana

Well, if we're going to bring the Laṅkāvatāra into the discussion, the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra makes it very clear that the tathāgatagarbha is taught with the intention of bringing onto the path followers of heterodox ātmavāda philosophies who hold erroneous views of a self:

    O Mahāmati, the tathāgatas thus teach the garbha in so far as they teach the tathāgatagarbha in order to attract those who are attached to the heterodox ātmavāda. How can people whose minds fall into the conceptual theory bearing on an unreal self (abhūtātmavikalpa) attain quickly the complete awakening in the supreme and exact sambodhi, possessing a mind comprised in the domain of the three gateways of emancipation? O Mahāmati, it is because of this that the tathāgatas teach the tathāgatagarbha.

And here's the kicker:

    O Mahāmati, with a view to casting aside the heterodox theory, you must treat the tathāgatagarbha as not self (anātman).
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Re: Tathagatagarbha, Eternalism, etc.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:11 pm

duckfiasco wrote:Stupid newbie response, but Greg got me thinking.
Not knowing is not the same as not being capable of knowing, you can be intelligent yet uninformed! ;)
Delusion can arise from the Unconditioned because any idea, even as much as we couch that idea with the warning "not just another idea but what it points to", is inherently a part of samsara since it arises from discriminating mind.
Not according to dependent origination where delusion/ignorance is the source of samsara and ultimately reinforced by samsara. To overcome delusion and to arrive at liberation (the unconditioned) the series is:
Faith (saddha)
Joy (pamojja)
Rapture (piti)
Tranquillity (passaddhi)
Happiness (sukha)
Concentration (samadhi)
Knowledge and vision of things as they are (yathabhutañanadassana)
Disenchantment (nibbida)
Dispassion (viraga)
Emancipation (vimutti)
Knowledge of destruction of the cankers (asavakkhaye ñana)

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el277.html

So, quite clearly, samsara cannot arise due to the unconditioned.
:namaste:
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Tathagatagarbha, Eternalism, etc.

Postby deepbluehum » Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:45 pm

Jnana wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:Anyway, the suttas never describe nibbana as an object;

Of course they do. You just don't know the texts or the language as well as you think. It's implicit in terms such as the cognition of cessation (nirodhasaññā), etc.


Again, on purely metaphysical grounds, saying a nirodha is an object is like saying nothingness is something to see. Saññā does not imply an object. So there's no need for self-buttressing re your Pali typing skills.

Jnana wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:this is commentarial lore.

The suttas are not a comprehensive, systematic presentation of the dharma. The only advantage of dismissing the Abhidharma and commentaries, and mixing different textual traditions and lineages, and trying to rely exclusively on the suttas, and so on, is that this allows one to assert any pet-theory that they wish.


You are entitled to your opinion about that. But there are these things called lineages, and they don't all agree. The Theravada rendering of things doesn't match the Drikung Kagyu. That's not to say the Drikung Kagyu just asserted some pet theories. I met Drikung Kagyu lamas with psychic power and clearly enlightened activities. So whatever theories they are relying on, even if I don't agree at first, I try to take them seriously. I understand that you favor the Theravada version of things. That's fine. But you can't hold on to those ideas and still be in bounds in terms of Kagyu, precisely Thera's ideas of momentariness, nirvana is an object, etc., don't agree with Drikung Kagyu.

deepbluehum wrote:Let me help you out with logic.

You said nirvana is not a cognition, it's a supramundane cognition.

No I didn't. I said, "It's the object of a supramundane cognition."[/quote]

Adding the word object doesn't really help with the understanding of the situation for the reason I said above also to Viniketa. It's like saying I was thinking about thinking about thinking. One can say one was thinking about thinking, and that could make sense. But when one says one was thinking about thinking about thinking, then it's Alice in Wonderland.

So you say nirvana is an object of supramundane cognition. Here the cognizer doesn't have the attributes of a person, i.e, a cognizer, and the "object" doesn't have attributes of an object, i.e., being something. Then if I say no one sees nothing. If you respond, I would love to see that too, it would be Alice in Wonderland.

The foregoing isn't just to be cute. Actually, these are the precise issues that split the Sangha into Theras and eventually Vajrayana. I understand you favor the Theras, but you have to pick a side, in a sense. Kagyu and Thera don't agree. So citing to Thera ideas in a Vajrayana forum serves to contradict Vajrayana.

I have gone to Dhammawheel and I respectfully disagree on some things there. I have posed a little challenge there re the passage from the Kevatta Sutta. Drikung doesn't rely on Pali suttas, but I found those passages to be particularly illustrative of Kagyu notions. So it makes a little fun sibling rivalry. It's funny, no one wants to really deal with that. Ven. Madawela Punnaji is a Theravada monk who breaks with tradition and deals with it. He says nibbana is immortality. He he...
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Re: Tathagatagarbha, Eternalism, etc.

Postby Jnana » Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:10 pm

deepbluehum wrote:Again, on purely metaphysical grounds....

This has nothing to do with metaphysics. Nothing whatsoever. Just as guru yoga has nothing to do with pantheism. Nothing whatsoever.

deepbluehum wrote:Drikung doesn't rely on Pali suttas...

And that's the point -- you coming here and mixing Pāli suttas with your Drikung Kagyu just results in bullshit.
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Re: Tathagatagarbha, Eternalism, etc.

Postby Son of Buddha » Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:39 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote:(NO)the Tathagatagarbha isnt an element of the Alaya Vijnana,they are the same thing Lankavatara Sutra LXXXVI the Tathagatagarbha known as the Alaya Vijnana
The Alaya Vijnana is conditioned.


Lankavatara sutra (chapter)LXXXII "Mahamati,although this Alaya Vijnana of the Tathagatagarbha seen by the minds of shravakas and pretyeka Buddhas is essentially pure,because it is obscured by the dust of sensation,it appears impure----but not to the Buddhas.To Buddhas,Mahamati, the realm that appears before them is like the amala fruit in the palm of their hand."

your entire position is refuted,the Alaya Vijnana is unconditioned.

its not the source...
and I quote:
Since there is the Tathagatagarbha, there is reason for speaking of 'cyclical flow' (samasra).

Lord, samsara is based on the Tathagatagarbha.

:namaste:
[/quote]

as the qoute up above covers "Tathagatagarbha seen by the minds of shravakas and pretyeka Buddhas is essentially pure,because it is obscured by the dust of sensation,it appears impure"

it is pure,it only appears impure to you.
the source of the defilements is not the Tahtagatagarbha which is pure the source of defilements is (ignorance/5 aggreagate self delousion)
the cyclic flow clings to the the Pure mind,forming a false defiled consciousness that stains the pure mind trying to mimic it.
hence the enlightened mind is it BASE(as is shown in qoute up above) but nowhere does it say it created samsara.

you were argueing based upon your own misunderstanding of the said subject,(you have to first know what the subject is before you can even refute it)
simply said you refuted your own misunderstanding of the subject
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Re: Tathagatagarbha, Eternalism, etc.

Postby Son of Buddha » Sun Dec 02, 2012 4:12 pm

Jnana wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote:(NO)the Tathagatagarbha isnt an element of the Alaya Vijnana,they are the same thing Lankavatara Sutra LXXXVI the Tathagatagarbha known as the Alaya Vijnana

Well, if we're going to bring the Laṅkāvatāra into the discussion, the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra makes it very clear that the tathāgatagarbha is taught with the intention of bringing onto the path followers of heterodox ātmavāda philosophies who hold erroneous views of a self:


yea and your point?Nirvana and Not-Self teachings were also taught to bring the path those who hold erroneous views of the self.it was also taught to those who seek the Highest Goal

"Therfore,Mahamati,Bodhisattvas who seek the Highest goal should purify(defilements that stain)the Tathagatagarbha"

Lankavatara: LXXXII"The repository consciousness of the tathagatagarbha is something only Buddhas and those wisest of the Bodhisattvas who rely on meaning understand,therfore you and the other bodhisattvas should diligently reflect on the repository consciousness of the tathagatagarbha.dont simply think hearing about this is enough."



And here's the kicker:

    O Mahāmati, with a view to casting aside the heterodox theory, you must treat the tathāgatagarbha as not self (anātman).


What chapter is the Qoute from??I can also point in in the Lankavatara sutra where the Buddha says Emptiness is an imagined reality and the view should be avoided.
Lankavatara sutra LXXX "More over, Mahamati, Shravakas and Prateyka Buddhas at the 8th Bodhisattva stage become intoxicated by the bliss of the Samadhi of cessation,they fail to realise it is nothing but the preception of their own mind.Obstructed by the habit energy of the individual and shared characteristics,they fall prey to views of the attachment to NO SELF among persosns and things and give rise to conceptions of nirvana,not understanding of detachment from dharmas."

LXXX "self realization and purity/these make up my world/in the higest heaven of heavens/adorned with the purest forms"

LXXXIV "What is real,true,certain,ultimate,self-existent and ungraspable,these are the Charcteristics of Suchness
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Re: Tathagatagarbha, Eternalism, etc.

Postby Son of Buddha » Sun Dec 02, 2012 4:24 pm

"deepbluehum"

Ven. Madawela Punnaji is a Theravada monk who breaks with tradition and deals with it. He says nibbana is immortality. He he...



(MAJJHIMA NIKAYA The noble search Sutta 26)
"I am one who has transended all,a knower of all,Unsullied among all things,renouncing all,By craving's ceasing freed.Having known this all for myself,to whom should I point as teacher? I have no teacher,and one like me Exists nowhere in all the world,With all its gods,Because I have No person for my counterpart.I am the Accomplished One in the world
I am the Teacher Supreme.I alone am the fully Enlightened One,Whose fires are quenched and extinguished.To set in motion the Wheel of the Dhamma In a world that has become blind.I go to beat the drum of the deathless."

its quite common in the suttas for the Bhagavan Buddha to say he has ended death,rebirth and in turn gives the deathless/immortal.
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Re: Tathagatagarbha, Eternalism, etc.

Postby Jnana » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:40 pm

Son of Buddha wrote:yea and your point?

That the Buddhadharma isn't an ātmavāda.

Son of Buddha wrote:
And here's the kicker:

    O Mahāmati, with a view to casting aside the heterodox theory, you must treat the tathāgatagarbha as not self (anātman).


What chapter is the Qoute from??

Chapter 28 in the Suzuki translation.

Son of Buddha wrote:I can also point in in the Lankavatara sutra where the Buddha says Emptiness is an imagined reality and the view should be avoided.

All conceptual views should be avoided.
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Re: Tathagatagarbha, Eternalism, etc.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:54 pm

Son of Buddha wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote:(NO)the Tathagatagarbha isnt an element of the Alaya Vijnana,they are the same thing Lankavatara Sutra LXXXVI the Tathagatagarbha known as the Alaya Vijnana
The Alaya Vijnana is conditioned.


Lankavatara sutra (chapter)LXXXII "Mahamati,although this Alaya Vijnana of the Tathagatagarbha seen by the minds of shravakas and pretyeka Buddhas is essentially pure,because it is obscured by the dust of sensation,it appears impure----but not to the Buddhas.To Buddhas,Mahamati, the realm that appears before them is like the amala fruit in the palm of their hand."

your entire position is refuted,the Alaya Vijnana is unconditioned.
Yes, well, in the Mahamudra tradition we consider the alaya-vijnana as conditioned and the Alaya as pure. So I guess we are both wrong/right.
From the start
the sky is pure;

looking and looking,
you only block the view.

Stopping up the sky
like that,

flawed in his innermost thoughts,
the fool is uncomrehending.


Therfore,Mahamati,Bodhisattvas who seek the Highest goal should purify(defilements that stain)the Tathagatagarbha"
How can you stain the stainless? Seems that you are relying on some pretty shoddy translations/interpretations.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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