rangtong vs. zhentong

Moderator: Tibetan Buddhism moderators

Re: rangtong vs. zhentong

Postby wayland » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:39 pm

Very interesting thread for me as well.
wayland
 
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:09 pm

Re: rangtong vs. zhentong

Postby 5heaps » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:44 am

Son of Buddha wrote:I suppose if Enlightenment is one then all Buddhas are perfectly one with one Full Enlightenment,unless Enlightenment is different for all Buddhas.

thats like saying a brown cow and a white cow arent both cows, because theyre different cows.
(the enlightened Shakyamuni and the enlightened Maitreya arent both enlightened, because theyre different enlightenments)

shentong isnt monism because it knows how to resolve this question using imputation, whereas nonbuddhists systems do not
5heaps
 
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:09 am

Re: rangtong vs. zhentong

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:31 pm

5heaps wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote:I suppose if Enlightenment is one then all Buddhas are perfectly one with one Full Enlightenment,unless Enlightenment is different for all Buddhas.

thats like saying a brown cow and a white cow arent both cows, because theyre different cows.
(the enlightened Shakyamuni and the enlightened Maitreya arent both enlightened, because theyre different enlightenments)

shentong isnt monism because it knows how to resolve this question using imputation, whereas nonbuddhists systems do not


Can you elaborate on this for me, how does Shentong solve this?
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2409
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

Re: rangtong vs. zhentong

Postby 5heaps » Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:47 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
5heaps wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote:I suppose if Enlightenment is one then all Buddhas are perfectly one with one Full Enlightenment,unless Enlightenment is different for all Buddhas.

thats like saying a brown cow and a white cow arent both cows, because theyre different cows.
(the enlightened Shakyamuni and the enlightened Maitreya arent both enlightened, because theyre different enlightenments)

shentong isnt monism because it knows how to resolve this question using imputation, whereas nonbuddhists systems do not


Can you elaborate on this for me, how does Shentong solve this?

all nonbuddhists fall into the two extremes meaning they either deny too many existing things or assert that they are qualified by way of essential natures
(the different buddhist tenet systems have different definitions of what it means to exist essentially--vaibhashika=unchanging, monolithic, and independent from its parts, sautrantika=substantially knowable, prasangika=analytically findable on the side of the object aka inherent existence, etcetc)

so, shentong arent a form of monism because they at least accept the vaibhashika, sautrantika, and mindonly positions, which all deny coarse forms of existence by way of essential natures. if one is not sensitive to these positions then yes shentong can sound like monism, even prasangika can

to answer the specific question: shentong accepts what sautrantika accepts about 'cow'. it lacks being substantially knowable, it is only knowable by way of imputation. in other words cow is not one with its instances, nor is it separate to them. most people will complain mightily about this, and as eseentially all thinkers from all cultures throughout all history have done, they insist that cow has to be either nonexistent, or one with its instances, or independent of its instances. somehow cow MUST cover all of its instances, otherwise theres no way to explain that we should see cow when we look at such and such creature
5heaps
 
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:09 am

Re: rangtong vs. zhentong

Postby wayland » Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:11 pm

5heaps wrote:prasangika=analytically findable on the side of the object aka inherent existence, etcetc)


Hi 5heaps,

As far as I know, the opposite is asserted by the Prasangika. The object is "un-findable" upon investigation, as it is neither the same as (nor other than) its parts. It is mere designation.

The imputation of inherent existence is an habitual function of a mind which grasps at self and other.

Perhaps you meant this and I misread it.
:namaste:
wayland
 
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:09 pm

Re: rangtong vs. zhentong

Postby futerko » Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:37 pm

wayland wrote:Perhaps you meant this and I misread it.
You misread it, so did I the first 7 times!
"definitions of what it means to exist essentially... prasangika=analytically findable on the side of the object"

5heaps wrote:...in other words cow is not one with its instances, nor is it separate to them.
That is an excellent way to express it, do you have any references for where we might find some elaboration on this?

Incidentally, this is Theodore Adorno's presentation of the concept, the "identity of identity and non-identity" presented in his Negative Dialectics.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
User avatar
futerko
 
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:58 am

Re: rangtong vs. zhentong

Postby Son of Buddha » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:34 am

5heaps wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote:I suppose if Enlightenment is one then all Buddhas are perfectly one with one Full Enlightenment,unless Enlightenment is different for all Buddhas.

thats like saying a brown cow and a white cow arent both cows, because theyre different cows.
(the enlightened Shakyamuni and the enlightened Maitreya arent both enlightened, because theyre different enlightenments)

shentong isnt monism because it knows how to resolve this question using imputation, whereas nonbuddhists systems do not



your analogy is based on the physical where as Enlightenment is on the mind/mental.

here lets replace cow with human in this analogy

you may have two humans one black one white,but would you say they have the same mind?
no each person has a seperate individual personality,one perosn has nore wisdom than the other,one person likes night the other day,when it comes to views both disagree with each other concering different topics.

now does the Buddhas/Enlightenement have different personalities?does Amitabha Buddha have more pristine wisdom than Shakyamuni Buddha? or is the same pristine wisdom?
does Amitabha Buddha have different Views on topics or Dharma than Shakyamuni Buddha,which emans they will disagree with one anouther,or do the share the same exact views in said topic.

is Amitabha Buddhas morality better Than Shakyamuni Buddhas morality or is it the same?

Is Amitabha Buddhas enlightenment better than Shakyamuni Buddhas enlightenement?

or is it the same Enlightenment?

you can read Lankavatara sutra Chapter 3 LX on this matter.

(141) At that time again, Mahāmati the Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva said this to the Blessed One: According to what deeper sense2 did you make this announcement before the congregation, that "I am all the Buddhas of the past," and that "I have gone through many a birth in varieties of forms, being thus at times the king Māndhātṛi, Elephant, Parrot, Indra, Vyāsa, Sunetra, and other beings in my one hundred thousand births?"

Said the Blessed One: There are, according to the deeper sense, four kinds of sameness distinguished, Mahāmati, and the Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones make this assertion: I was thus at that time the Buddha Krakucchanda, Kanakamuni, and Kāśyapa. What are the four kinds of sameness which are distinguished according to the deeper sense? They are: (1) sameness of letters, (2) sameness of words, (3) sameness of teachings, and (4) sameness of the body. According to this fourfold sameness in the deeper sense, the Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones make the announcement before the congregation.


2 Saṁdhāya. There is no reference to this in Wei and Sung. The term has a special sense here and elsewhere in the Laṅkāvatāra.

Now, Mahāmati, what is the sameness of letters? It is that my name is [spelt] B-u-d-d-h-a, and these letters are also used for other Buddhas and Blessed Ones; Mahāmati, these letters in their nature are not to be distinguished one from another; therefore, Mahāmati, there is the sameness of letters.

Now, Mahāmati, what is the sameness of words with regard to the Tathagatas, Arhats, and (142) Fully-Enlightened Ones? It is that sixty-four sounds of the Brahman language are distinguished by me, and these identical sixty-four sounds of the Brahman language are also uttered by the Tathagatas, Arhats, and Fully-Enlightened Ones, and their Kalaviṅka-like notes are the same with all of us, as we are indistinguishable in this respect.

Now, Mahāmati, what is the sameness of the body? It is that I and other Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones are the same as regards our Dharmakāya and the [thirty-two] signs and the [eighty] minor excellencies of bodily perfection—no distinction existing among us, except that the Tathagatas manifest varieties of forms according to the different dispositions of beings, who are to be disciplined by varieties of means.

Now, Mahāmati, what is the sameness of the teaching? It is that I as well as they [other Tathagatas] are all conversant with the teachings belonging to the thirty-seven branches of enlightenment. According to the deeper sense which is concerned with this fourfold sameness, the Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully-Enlightened Ones make their announcement before the congregation. So it is said:

6. "I am Kāśyapa, Krakucchanda, and Kanakamuni"; this I preach who come out of the sameness for the sake of the sons of the Buddha.

now go to LXI
"all Buddhas and myself/in nothing do we differ.

LXXVI
For instance, Mahāmati, Indra is [sometimes known as] Śakra, [sometimes? as] Purandara; hand is hasta, kara, paṇi; the body is tanu, deha, śarīra; the earth is pṛithivī, bhūmi, vasuṁdhara; the sky is kha, ākāśa, gagana; all these objects each in its way are designated with many names, synonymously used and discriminated; but on account of these different names different objects are not to be imagined, nor are they without their self-nature. The same, Mahāmati, can be said of myself, for I come within the range of hearing of ignorant people, in this world of patience, under many names, amounting to a hundred thousand times three asaṁkhyeyas, and they address me by these names not knowing that they are all other names of the Tathagata.
User avatar
Son of Buddha
 
Posts: 854
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:48 pm

Re: rangtong vs. zhentong

Postby Son of Buddha » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:38 am

"futerko"]
wayland wrote:Perhaps you meant this and I misread it.
You misread it, so did I the first 7 times!
"definitions of what it means to exist essentially... prasangika=analytically findable on the side of the object"


no he didnt misread it he clearly states "prasangika=analytically findable on the side of the object AKA(also known as) Inherent existance"

he clearly states it is AKA also known as inherent existance.
User avatar
Son of Buddha
 
Posts: 854
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:48 pm

Re: rangtong vs. zhentong

Postby futerko » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:45 am

Son of Buddha wrote:
"futerko"]
wayland wrote:Perhaps you meant this and I misread it.
You misread it, so did I the first 7 times!
"definitions of what it means to exist essentially... prasangika=analytically findable on the side of the object"


no he didnt misread it he clearly states "prasangika=analytically findable on the side of the object AKA(also known as) Inherent existance"

he clearly states it is AKA also known as inherent existance.
:rolling: too funny!
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
User avatar
futerko
 
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:58 am

Re: rangtong vs. zhentong

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:22 am

Great explanation, thanks.

The labeling thing really puts this in perspective..I think lol. Basically, it would be monism without Sautrantika notions of labeling..is that right? Basically it would only be monism if solely compared with Prasangika refusal (IIRC) to make assertions about labeling, or when presented as exclusive?
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2409
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

Re: rangtong vs. zhentong

Postby Son of Buddha » Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:58 am

"5heaps"
all nonbuddhists fall into the two extremes meaning they either deny too many existing things or assert that they are qualified by way of essential natures
(the different buddhist tenet systems have different definitions of what it means to exist essentially--vaibhashika=unchanging, monolithic, and independent from its parts, sautrantika=substantially knowable, prasangika=analytically findable on the side of the object aka inherent existence, etcetc)

so, shentong arent a form of monism because they at least accept the vaibhashika, sautrantika, and mindonly positions, which all deny coarse forms of existence by way of essential natures. if one is not sensitive to these positions then yes shentong can sound like monism, even prasangika can

to answer the specific question: shentong accepts what sautrantika accepts about 'cow'. it lacks being substantially knowable, it is only knowable by way of imputation. in other words cow is not one with its instances, nor is it separate to them. most people will complain mightily about this, and as eseentially all thinkers from all cultures throughout all history have done, they insist that cow has to be either nonexistent, or one with its instances, or independent of its instances. somehow cow MUST cover all of its instances, otherwise theres no way to explain that we should see cow when we look at such and such creature.


This is how Zhentong views existance/non existance

(from the writings of Dolpopa)
1.Not existent and also not-non existent
and moreover the thought of all the statements in a great many stainless texts of the middle way of being devoid of the extremes of existance and non existance is that:

(*) Since all dependently arisen conventionalities do not really exist,when one realises this,one does not fall to an extreme of existance and is released from the extreme of superimposition.

(*)Since the ultimate noumenon that is beyond dependent-arising is never non-existent,when one realises this,one does not fall to an extreme of non-existance and is released from the extreme of deprecation.

and here are teachings from the jonang School/and the sutras concerning the topic of All Buddhas are one Buddha.

All Buddhas are One Buddha

Posted on December 11, 2012by Tashi Nyima


The Avatamsaka Sutra boldly declares: “All Buddhas are One Buddha.” The Primordial Buddha (dharmakaya) manifests countless glorious Forms (sambhogakaya) and material Forms (nirmanakaya), according to the place, time, and circumstance of sentient beings.

However, this does not imply that such diverse Forms are generically identical. Absence of duality is not synonymous with identity. The Buddhas and Great Bodhisattvas are not identical in manifestation, and not different in essence.

Every act of a Buddha or Great Bodhisattva is imbued with irresistible power. The diverse Forms of the Buddha are, therefore, real and permanent.
User avatar
Son of Buddha
 
Posts: 854
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:48 pm

Re: rangtong vs. zhentong

Postby 5heaps » Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:03 pm

wayland wrote:As far as I know, the opposite is asserted by the Prasangika. The object is "un-findable" upon investigation, as it is neither the same as (nor other than) its parts. It is mere designation.

hi, like futerko said i gave that in the context of talking about what it means to exist essentially. sorry for the lack of clarity

futerko wrote:That is an excellent way to express it, do you have any references for where we might find some elaboration on this?
thats standard sautrantika

Knowing, Naming And Negation: A Sourcebook On Tibetan Sautrantika by Anne Carolyn Klein
Knowledge And Liberation: Tibetan Buddhist Epistemology In Support Of Transformative Religious Experience by Anne Carolyn Klein
Mind In Tibetan Buddhism by Lati Rinbochay & Elizabeth Napper

but these are pretty difficult..theres no way i would be reading them fluently now had i not studied the aci courses and berinarchives for a good long while
5heaps
 
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:09 am

Re: rangtong vs. zhentong

Postby 5heaps » Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:10 pm

Son of Buddha wrote:you can read Lankavatara sutra Chapter 3 LX on this matter.

none of it supports your position at all. its best not to form positions based on your own understanding of sutras, since the logic you use to come up with such positions are countered elsewhere

for example its understood that the enlightenment of shakyamuni and amitabha are different because they are different instances of enlightenment, regardless of the fact that these instances do not differ in capacity. nondifference in capacity does not necessarily entail that they are singular

"you may have two humans one black one white,but would you say they have the same mind?"

thats not the same as my example. if you followed the format of my example the question would be 'you have two humans, one is black one is white, are they both human?' and then you would investigate what makes them human, what do they share in common that makes them human. is it something one with mind and body (obviously its not the skin colour that makes them human), or something independent of their mind and body (such as a soul or true self).
5heaps
 
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:09 am

Re: rangtong vs. zhentong

Postby futerko » Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:21 pm

5heaps wrote:
futerko wrote:That is an excellent way to express it, do you have any references for where we might find some elaboration on this?
thats standard sautrantika

Knowing, Naming And Negation: A Sourcebook On Tibetan Sautrantika by Anne Carolyn Klein
Knowledge And Liberation: Tibetan Buddhist Epistemology In Support Of Transformative Religious Experience by Anne Carolyn Klein
Mind In Tibetan Buddhism by Lati Rinbochay & Elizabeth Napper

but these are pretty difficult..theres no way i would be reading them fluently now had i not studied the aci courses and berinarchives for a good long while
Thanks. :namaste:
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
User avatar
futerko
 
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:58 am

Re: rangtong vs. zhentong

Postby 5heaps » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:00 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote: Basically, it would be monism without Sautrantika notions of labeling..is that right? Basically it would only be monism if solely compared with Prasangika refusal (IIRC) to make assertions about labeling, or when presented as exclusive?

monism necessarily asserts that to be an existing thing is to be a substantially knowable thing. since shentong has sautrantika and mindonly built into it, it can never be monism

thats easy to say but difficult to understand the specifics of. after all, only aryas have dispelled the innate tendency to view things as self-sufficiently/substantially knowable, even though in actuality they are only knowable through imputation

The Distinction between Self-sufficiently Knowable and Imputedly Knowable Phenomena
5heaps
 
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:09 am

Re: rangtong vs. zhentong

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:21 pm

5heaps wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote: Basically, it would be monism without Sautrantika notions of labeling..is that right? Basically it would only be monism if solely compared with Prasangika refusal (IIRC) to make assertions about labeling, or when presented as exclusive?

monism necessarily asserts that to be an existing thing is to be a substantially knowable thing. since shentong has sautrantika and mindonly built into it, it can never be monism

thats easy to say but difficult to understand the specifics of. after all, only aryas have dispelled the innate tendency to view things as self-sufficiently/substantially knowable, even though in actuality they are only knowable through imputation

The Distinction between Self-sufficiently Knowable and Imputedly Knowable Phenomena


Awesome, looks like I need to spend some more time on Berzin's site.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2409
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

Re: rangtong vs. zhentong

Postby Lotus_Bitch » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:33 am

Here's something that might help to reconcile the differences:

http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=9701&start=20
Malcolm: The actual mode of meditation in rang stong and gzhan stong are not different at all. The difference lay primarily in how they conceptualize the view in post-meditation.....The basis in gzhan stong is still emptiness, albeit is an emptiness qualified by the presence of ultimate buddha qualities, where samsaric phenomena are considere extraneous. Why? Because these ultimate qualities are only held to appear to exist in post-equipoise, but their appearance of existence disappear when in equipoise.

The equipoise in both rang stong and gzhan stong is characterized as an equipoise free from extremes. In the case of commoners, this freedom from extremes is arrived through analysis that negate the four extremes in turn. This is necessary even in gshan stong because attachment to the luminosity described by the PP sutras will result in an extreme view, just as grasping to emptiness results in an extreme view.

As I said, the most salient difference between R and S is in their post-equipoise formulation. In terms of how adherents of the so called R and S views actually meditate, there is no ultimate difference.

The pitfall of both approaches is the same -- failure to eradicate all extremes results in the former grasping to non-existence as emptiness, and the latter grasping to existence as emptiness.

The purpose of Madhyamaka analysis is not to come to some imagined "correct" generic image of the ultimate, but rather to exhaust the mind's capacity to reify phenomena according to any extreme so that one's experience of conventional truth upon reaching the path of seeing in post-equipoise is that all phenomena are seen to be illusions, dreams and so on i.e. unreal and yet apparent due to the force of traces.
Lotus_Bitch
 
Posts: 183
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:24 am

Re: rangtong vs. zhentong

Postby Son of Buddha » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:08 pm

5heaps wrote:
for example its understood that the enlightenment of shakyamuni and amitabha are different because they are different instances of enlightenment, regardless of the fact that these instances do not differ in capacity. nondifference in capacity does not necessarily entail that they are singular"


So by you view Shakyamuni Buddha and Amitabha Buddha have different individual personalities,which seperates then into 2 different individual beings/selves?

So for me to prove that Buddhas are Singular,I would have to find a sutra that says Shakyamuni Buddha is also called Amitabha Buddha or Shakyamuni buddha is also called Vairocana Buddha,implying that both Buddhas are actually one in the same Buddha correct?
User avatar
Son of Buddha
 
Posts: 854
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:48 pm

Re: rangtong vs. zhentong

Postby 5heaps » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:53 am

Son of Buddha wrote:
5heaps wrote:
for example its understood that the enlightenment of shakyamuni and amitabha are different because they are different instances of enlightenment, regardless of the fact that these instances do not differ in capacity. nondifference in capacity does not necessarily entail that they are singular"


So by you view Shakyamuni Buddha and Amitabha Buddha have different individual personalities,which seperates then into 2 different individual beings/selves?

So for me to prove that Buddhas are Singular,I would have to find a sutra that says Shakyamuni Buddha is also called Amitabha Buddha or Shakyamuni buddha is also called Vairocana Buddha,implying that both Buddhas are actually one in the same Buddha correct?

yes they are different steams of enlightened minds

since some things called 'buddha' are just emanations of a buddha or even qualities of buddha(s), just finding a place which says that one buddha is another is not evidence, nor does saying that all buddhas are one from the pov of their dharmakaya count as evidence that they are not multiple streams/multiple persons

if you wanted to prove that buddhas are singular you'd have to disprove the many sutras which talk about different people reaching buddhahood and nirvana, different buddhas residing in different places performing different activities, etc. youd also have to explain how persons strive for enlightenment individually and yet are all singular. the idea is that its not possible to do so without positing an essence independent of the aggregates which marks the aggregates as the person and encompasses all aggregates. its much simpler to have this generality vs instance debate regarding cows or pens then it is buddhas, since nonbuddhists posit essences for objects in general not just persons
5heaps
 
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:09 am

Re: rangtong vs. zhentong

Postby Tom » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:28 pm

The question of what happens to an individual mind stream the moment it reaches enlightenment seems relevant here and for me at least the answer is not so simple. I think rather than sutras the commentaries on the tantras are where you will find the best descriptions on this. Also, the oral instructions with regard to the terms “all pervasiveness,” “inseparability,” and “attaining the state of vajradhara” in the context of a specific mind at the moment of enlightenment although probably not appropriate fodder for discussion in a forum certainly provide insight into the topic.
User avatar
Tom
 
Posts: 367
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:12 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Tibetan Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: bryandavis, Karma_Yeshe, Yahoo [Bot] and 27 guests

>