Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

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Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby Aemilius » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:27 pm

What I meant is that the various and different Mahayana teachings appeared because of the obstacles that Buddhas disciples encountered during their spirtual careers. This is a fairly common view in buddhism, it is not my invention. These obstacles or impediments didn't appear only 1000 years after the life time of Buddha Shakyamuni!!
Therefore all the basic Mahayana teachings were taught in the original period of buddhism. They were collected together and systematized later, I don't claim that Chittamatra and Prajñaparamita were taught together at the same place, because of the same situation. Not at all!
There are some technical things connected with meditation, i.e. that there are hundreds and thousand of different samadhis. Mahayana sutras give names for more than 100 different samadhis. It is not the case that Shakyamuni didn't explore the realms of different samadhis to a great extent, which is what the sravakayana would have us to believe! Therefore it is logical, obvious, and natural that Buddha Shakyamuni taught the Mahayana sutras that express and teach a wide variety of different samadhis. Mahayana is based on the samadhis that were attained by Buddha Shakyamuni. In some sense these samadhi states still exist, they can be felt and attained through the Mahayana sutras, and other Mahyana teachings, this means the commentaries to these sutras and the oral teachings of Mahayana that come from the time of Buddha Shakyamuni.
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Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby pueraeternus » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:16 pm

Aemilius wrote:What I meant is that the various and different Mahayana teachings appeared because of the obstacles that Buddhas disciples encountered during their spirtual careers. This is a fairly common view in buddhism, it is not my invention. These obstacles or impediments didn't appear only 1000 years after the life time of Buddha Shakyamuni!!


No - what you said was that the Arhats purposedly changed history to erase a big chunk of what Shakyamuni taught. You even said "Sravakayana was invented and fabricated afterwards".

Aemilius wrote: Therefore all the basic Mahayana teachings were taught in the original period of buddhism. They were collected together and systematized later, I don't claim that Chittamatra and Prajñaparamita were taught together at the same place, because of the same situation. Not at all!


So in your view which Mahayana sutras were taught by the Buddha during his earthly lifetime?

Aemilius wrote:There are some technical things connected with meditation, i.e. that there are hundreds and thousand of different samadhis. Mahayana sutras give names for more than 100 different samadhis. It is not the case that Shakyamuni didn't explore the realms of different samadhis to a great extent, which is what the sravakayana would have us to believe! Therefore it is logical, obvious, and natural that Buddha Shakyamuni taught the Mahayana sutras that express and teach a wide variety of different samadhis. Mahayana is based on the samadhis that were attained by Buddha Shakyamuni. In some sense these samadhi states still exist, they can be felt and attained through the Mahayana sutras, and other Mahyana teachings, this means the commentaries to these sutras and the oral teachings of Mahayana that come from the time of Buddha Shakyamuni.


This is really circular argument. You are arguing from your own acceptance of what constitutes true dharma without any hard core evidence. Just because sutra XYZ said this and that is not sufficient grounds as proof that it was expounded during the Buddha's earthly lifetime. I am afraid you have not exhibited any critical thinking in this area with your arguments.
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Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby Aemilius » Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:54 pm

pueraeternus wrote:TThis is really circular argument. You are arguing from your own acceptance of what constitutes true dharma without any hard core evidence. Just because sutra XYZ said this and that is not sufficient grounds as proof that it was expounded during the Buddha's earthly lifetime.


I would hope that you would read what I have actually said! Long ago I said that the Sravakayana was invented afterwards, and then mostly by worldy powers for political purposes. Recently I said that there appeared obstacles and impediments in the Sangha, in the spiritual careers of Buddha's disciples. I implied this earlier by stating that the buddhist sangha went through phases of development, deteriorating, discouragement, dispersion, efforts at renewals, etc.. And that this includes also the Arhats. Now recently I repeated this by saying that there were obstacles, and because of the obstacles new teachings like the Mahayana became necessary, and because of them the Mahayana doctrines were taught.

Saying that Buddha Shakyamuni had explored that realm of samadhi to a vast extent, and that these different samadhis were then expressed in the Mahayana, is not a circular argument. Because there is a continuation of these samadhis through the historical existence of Buddhism, this constitutes yet an other evidence.

There is also the evidence of the Three Dharmacakras: Because the existence of the three turnings of the wheel of Dharma was widely known the Sravakayana compilers had to include it in their sutras. So they invented a teaching that it means that Buddha Shakyamuni taught the Four Noble truths three times! Which makes little sense, if any. Because there were wordly powers behind the appearance and development of the State Sravakayana, it became well known. And so in the Lotus of the True Law both versions of the three Dharmacakras are included. Actually the Lotus of the True Law also mentions Four Dharmacakras in the verse portion. And so we have also the Fourth Dharmacakra mentioned in the Lotus Sutra.

There are other things like this, for example: in the teaching of the Twelve Nidanas the third link vijñana means alaya-vijñana. Alaya-vijñana is what reincarnates, and it is where the first and second link are stored. Thus Mahayana is the original and true meaning of the Dharma.
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Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby Aemilius » Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:42 pm

According to Sravasti Dhammika somewhere in the Tipitaka Buddha tells to the monks of his travels in distant countries, and how he taught Dharma there. There is a list of sixteen great countries that is found in the Mahayana and Sravakayana texts. It seems fairly certain that Dharma had spread very early outside of the kingdom of Magadha, through Buddha himself and through others, and that therefore the teaching of a one unitary Sangha is really a myth.

I am quite sure that not all sutras have come through Ananda, my feeling is that there are three others through whom the sutras have come from the original period. Red Pine has said that there is someone called Vashpa, who has existed simultaneously with Ananda, and who has also been a transmitter of sutras.

Teachings like Prajñaparamita, Cittamatra, and Mahamudra have existed separately and independently of each other. Otherwise they would have lost their individual qualities. This means that they were taught and practiced far from each other, so that they could exist with individual characteristics, and develop them further.
Prajña paramita, Cittamatra and Mahamudra correspond to the three doors to deliverance: Emptiness, Signlessness, and Wishlessness. They each teach a separate means and a separate door of deliverance.
Signlessess (animittata) is much emphasized in the Lankavatara sutra. The existence of the three characters or natures: parikalpita, paratantra and parinishpanna, is implied by the samadhi of Signlessness.

The list of Sixteen Great Countries and their descriptions is interesting in itself:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahajanapada
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Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby pueraeternus » Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:43 am

Aemilius wrote:
pueraeternus wrote:TThis is really circular argument. You are arguing from your own acceptance of what constitutes true dharma without any hard core evidence. Just because sutra XYZ said this and that is not sufficient grounds as proof that it was expounded during the Buddha's earthly lifetime.


I would hope that you would read what I have actually said! Long ago I said that the Sravakayana was invented afterwards, and then mostly by worldy powers for political purposes. Recently I said that there appeared obstacles and impediments in the Sangha, in the spiritual careers of Buddha's disciples. I implied this earlier by stating that the buddhist sangha went through phases of development, deteriorating, discouragement, dispersion, efforts at renewals, etc.. And that this includes also the Arhats. Now recently I repeated this by saying that there were obstacles, and because of the obstacles new teachings like the Mahayana became necessary, and because of them the Mahayana doctrines were taught.


I have certainly read what you wrote very careful, and your theory have plenty of holes. First, you have given outlandish theories without backing it up with any historical or even scriptural records, such as your idea that during the Buddha's time there were obstacles in the Sangha. So what kind of obstacles, and where did you deduce that? Is it just your gut-feel? Second, you mentioned that those possessing abhijnas can easily verify for themselves what the Buddha taught back then - so assuming that there were indeed Arhats that came later and only learned the Sravakayana, they would have easily entered samadhi and see for themselves what the Tathagata physically taught, and it won't be difficult, since only a few generations passed. Third, you said "Sravakayana was invented afterwards, and then mostly by worldy powers for political purposes", but a few posts back you said:
Hinayana was a politically acceptable creation of some later arhats, it was created purposefully by arhats who were a split-off group from the original teaching and the original community.

So you consider Arhats to be worldly powers? This is ludicrous.

Saying that Buddha Shakyamuni had explored that realm of samadhi to a vast extent, and that these different samadhis were then expressed in the Mahayana, is not a circular argument. Because there is a continuation of these samadhis through the historical existence of Buddhism, this constitutes yet an other evidence.


What evidence? Samadhis are just numinous states, and these samadhis can just as well be taught much later when Mahayana sutras appear in the scene. These samadhis prove nothing on the question whether the Buddha taught Mahayana during his earthly time or not. You are not making sense here.

There is also the evidence of the Three Dharmacakras: Because the existence of the three turnings of the wheel of Dharma was widely known the Sravakayana compilers had to include it in their sutras. So they invented a teaching that it means that Buddha Shakyamuni taught the Four Noble truths three times!


Point to me where you read about these three turnings of the Sravakayana.

Because there were wordly powers behind the appearance and development of the State Sravakayana, it became well known. And so in the Lotus of the True Law both versions of the three Dharmacakras are included. Actually the Lotus of the True Law also mentions Four Dharmacakras in the verse portion. And so we have also the Fourth Dharmacakra mentioned in the Lotus Sutra.


Mentioning the Lotus Sutra is not going to help here.


There are other things like this, for example: in the teaching of the Twelve Nidanas the third link vijñana means alaya-vijñana. Alaya-vijñana is what reincarnates, and it is where the first and second link are stored. Thus Mahayana is the original and true meaning of the Dharma.


Oh my goodness. The term alayavijnana only appears so much later during Asanga and Vasubhandu's time. There are earlier terms that are cogent with the alayavijnana, such as bhavanga (for Theravada) and bija (Sautrantika), but these are certainly not equated with vijnana and inserted into the twelve nidanas like you do here. Your theory doesn't even make sense, since the 2nd nidana is samskara (fabrications) - so you are saying the alayavijnana is fabricated each time?
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Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby pueraeternus » Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:47 am

Aemilius wrote:According to Sravasti Dhammika somewhere in the Tipitaka Buddha tells to the monks of his travels in distant countries, and how he taught Dharma there. There is a list of sixteen great countries that is found in the Mahayana and Sravakayana texts. It seems fairly certain that Dharma had spread very early outside of the kingdom of Magadha, through Buddha himself and through others, and that therefore the teaching of a one unitary Sangha is really a myth.

I am quite sure that not all sutras have come through Ananda, my feeling is that there are three others through whom the sutras have come from the original period. Red Pine has said that there is someone called Vashpa, who has existed simultaneously with Ananda, and who has also been a transmitter of sutras.

Teachings like Prajñaparamita, Cittamatra, and Mahamudra have existed separately and independently of each other. Otherwise they would have lost their individual qualities. This means that they were taught and practiced far from each other, so that they could exist with individual characteristics, and develop them further.
Prajña paramita, Cittamatra and Mahamudra correspond to the three doors to deliverance: Emptiness, Signlessness, and Wishlessness. They each teach a separate means and a separate door of deliverance.
Signlessess (animittata) is much emphasized in the Lankavatara sutra. The existence of the three characters or natures: parikalpita, paratantra and parinishpanna, is implied by the samadhi of Signlessness.

The list of Sixteen Great Countries and their descriptions is interesting in itself:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahajanapada


None of these are in any sense any sort of proof that the Mahayana was taught by the nirmanakaya Buddha during his earthly time. And you are not even making sense here - even by Mahayana history, Yogacara is certainly not taught by Shakyamuni - it is mainly the teaching of Maitreya to Asanga.

I don't know what else to say to you. You are grasping for straws by making all these dubious connections and convincing yourself it is true.
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

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Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby Aemilius » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:25 pm

The view that the Third link (in Pratitya Samutpada) equals Alaya-vijñana is not my invention, I first encountered it in the explanations of Third Karmapa's Distinguishing Consciousness and Wisdom. Then later, I found that Vasubandhu says in Karma-siddhi-Prakarana that some Sautrantikas accept a retributional consciousness, which carries the karmic seeds from previous lives, and that this subtle level of consciousness continues through one's life.
This same term, retributional consciousness, is also mentioned by the Third Karmapa as one of the synonyms for the Alaya-consciousness. These same explanations say that retributional consciousness is the third nidana in the Pratitya Samutpada. It seems evident that the basic yogachara view has existed in the sutras and in their commentaries from the beginning, long before the time of Asanga.

The Twelve Links describe the appearence of subject and object, the appearance of world and beings. It explains the manifestation of the six worlds and the beings therein, or the manifestation of the three planes of existence. Traditional explanations of the eighth and ninth link say that they include meritorious, non-meritorius and unmoving action. The last one, unmoving action, is the state of dhyana, it produces the dhyana heavens; the Rupadhatu and the Arupa-dhatu.

If you leave out the manifestation of the environment from the Twelve Links, you will be half hindu and half buddhist in your views. Is that not so?
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Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby LastLegend » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:16 pm

Did Sakyumuni Buddha teach Mahayana? I would say yes.

1) All Buddhas teach the same Dharma. Why did he only teach Sravakayana?

2) Capacities...I notice that Mahayana Buddhists are prone to philosophical discussion. Perhaps Mahayana fits these individual better.

3) When comparing the basic teachings of Buddha, whether they are Sravakayana or Mahayana texts, there are no discrepancies. The teachings of emptiness, dependent origination, no self, and pointing to the mind of Chan are all consistent. All point to the same thing.
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Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby pueraeternus » Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:31 am

Aemilius wrote:The view that the Third link (in Pratitya Samutpada) equals Alaya-vijñana is not my invention, I first encountered it in the explanations of Third Karmapa's Distinguishing Consciousness and Wisdom. Then later, I found that Vasubandhu says in Karma-siddhi-Prakarana that some Sautrantikas accept a retributional consciousness, which carries the karmic seeds from previous lives, and that this subtle level of consciousness continues through one's life.
This same term, retributional consciousness, is also mentioned by the Third Karmapa as one of the synonyms for the Alaya-consciousness.
These same explanations say that retributional consciousness is the third nidana in the Pratitya Samutpada. It seems evident that the basic yogachara view has existed in the sutras and in their commentaries from the beginning, long before the time of Asanga.


I don't recall the Third Karmapa's text stating that the bija consciousness is the same as the alayavijnana. However, you are right that certain strains of Yogacara do state this - I think from the Sthiramati subschool, but not the main Asanga-Vasubhandu lineage.

Aemilius wrote: The Twelve Links describe the appearence of subject and object, the appearance of world and beings. It explains the manifestation of the six worlds and the beings therein, or the manifestation of the three planes of existence. Traditional explanations of the eighth and ninth link say that they include meritorious, non-meritorius and unmoving action. The last one, unmoving action, is the state of dhyana, it produces the dhyana heavens; the Rupadhatu and the Arupa-dhatu.

If you leave out the manifestation of the environment from the Twelve Links, you will be half hindu and half buddhist in your views. Is that not so?


That is absolutely not true - how did you even infer that from my statements?
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Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby Aemilius » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:30 am

pueraeternus wrote:
Aemilius wrote:The view that the Third link (in Pratitya Samutpada) equals Alaya-vijñana is not my invention, I first encountered it in the explanations of Third Karmapa's Distinguishing Consciousness and Wisdom. Then later, I found that Vasubandhu says in Karma-siddhi-Prakarana that some Sautrantikas accept a retributional consciousness, which carries the karmic seeds from previous lives, and that this subtle level of consciousness continues through one's life.
This same term, retributional consciousness, is also mentioned by the Third Karmapa as one of the synonyms for the Alaya-consciousness.
These same explanations say that retributional consciousness is the third nidana in the Pratitya Samutpada. It seems evident that the basic yogachara view has existed in the sutras and in their commentaries from the beginning, long before the time of Asanga.


I don't recall the Third Karmapa's text stating that the bija consciousness is the same as the alayavijnana. However, you are right that certain strains of Yogacara do state this - I think from the Sthiramati subschool, but not the main Asanga-Vasubhandu lineage.


"The retributional consciousness" is in Steven Anacker's Seven Works of Vasubandhu. I don't think it is the same as bija-consciousness, where does this bija-consciousness come from? Do you mean that the third link in Pratitya Samutpada is called bija-consciousness?
Vasubandhu also says that the alaya is not different from the fifth skandha,Vijñana. So if the skandhas of the previous life are a cause and a condition for the arising of the skandhas of this life, alaya-vijñana is being implied or included, according to Vasubandhu.
And Vasubandhu says that even some Sautrantikas accept this concept, which means that it must be present in the Sutras in the view of Sautrantikas, who are known for not accepting the Abhidharma.

I see it reasonable that the idea of alaya-vijñana is in the original dispensation of Dharma by the Buddha. Don't grasp the letter, grasp the meaning. Dharma of words and letters is a finger pointing at the Moon (of Reality).

I have heard the explanations of Tenga Rimpoche on the Third Karmapa's Differentiating Consciousness and Wisdom, and I have read Thrangu Rimpoche's explanations of it, published by Namo Buddha Publications. I remember reading and encountering this idea there.


By the way, there is a very subtle conditional consciousness, which acts as a condition for the arising of world and beings, in one of the canonical works of the Threravada Abhidharma, namely Patthana or Conditional Relations. Which is regarded as the Word of the Buddha by the Theravada. This means that there is an equivavent of the alaya-vijñana in the Sravakayana canonical literature.
There is a short chapter about this, equivalents of alaya-vijñana in the Nikaya buddhism, in History of Indian Buddhism from Shakyamuni to Early Mahayana, of Hirakawa Akira and Paul Groner.
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Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby pueraeternus » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:08 pm

Aemilius wrote:"The retributional consciousness" is in Steven Anacker's Seven Works of Vasubandhu. I don't think it is the same as bija-consciousness, where does this bija-consciousness come from? Do you mean that the third link in Pratitya Samutpada is called bija-consciousness?
Vasubandhu also says that the alaya is not different from the fifth skandha,Vijñana. So if the skandhas of the previous life are a cause and a condition for the arising of the skandhas of this life, alaya-vijñana is being implied or included, according to Vasubandhu.
And Vasubandhu says that even some Sautrantikas accept this concept, which means that it must be present in the Sutras in the view of Sautrantikas, who are known for not accepting the Abhidharma.


"Retributional consciousness" = alayavijnana. "Bija consciousness" is from the Sautrantikas - Vasubhandhu wrote it about it in the Abhidharmakosabhasya, and in function is similar to the alaya.


Aemilius wrote: I see it reasonable that the idea of alaya-vijñana is in the original dispensation of Dharma by the Buddha. Don't grasp the letter, grasp the meaning. Dharma of words and letters is a finger pointing at the Moon (of Reality).


Well, it depends on what you mean by "original dispensation". In Sandhinirmocana, the Buddha did say that he did not teach the alayavijnana before so that sentient beings will not confuse it with an atman.


Aemilius wrote:I have heard the explanations of Tenga Rimpoche on the Third Karmapa's Differentiating Consciousness and Wisdom, and I have read Thrangu Rimpoche's explanations of it, published by Namo Buddha Publications. I remember reading and encountering this idea there.


Then you probably got it through commentaries on the Third's Differentiating Consciousness and Wisdom, since the text itself didn't mention this (as far as I can tell).

Aemilius wrote:By the way, there is a very subtle conditional consciousness, which acts as a condition for the arising of world and beings, in one of the canonical works of the Threravada Abhidharma, namely Patthana or Conditional Relations. Which is regarded as the Word of the Buddha by the Theravada. This means that there is an equivavent of the alaya-vijñana in the Sravakayana canonical literature.
There is a short chapter about this, equivalents of alaya-vijñana in the Nikaya buddhism, in History of Indian Buddhism from Shakyamuni to Early Mahayana, of Hirakawa Akira and Paul Groner.


The term used in Theravada is the bhavanga. Such a base consciousness is not taught in the Nikayas, but is inferred, hence mentioned in the Abhidhamma. Yes, there are several works that talks about the similarity of bhavanga, bija and alayavijnana.
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Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby Aemilius » Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:07 am

You could say that the Essence of Dharma formula "Ye dharma hetu prabhava etc..." expresses it. Because it means that you see how things, ie self and the world, arise and how they cease. Reality is the same: things, dharmas or existents rise and cease similarly (in the original period and in the later period of Dharma).
Vasubandhu in some places uses the Vijñana in the sense of Alaya-vijñana. There is one chapter in the Samdhinirmocana where Vijñana consistently means Alaya-vijñana. And Lankavatara sometimes uses the word citta in the sense of alaya-vijñana.
You can say the basic idea without ever mentioning the word alaya, or store consciousness.
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Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby pueraeternus » Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:53 pm

Aemilius wrote:You could say that the Essence of Dharma formula "Ye dharma hetu prabhava etc..." expresses it. Because it means that you see how things, ie self and the world, arise and how they cease. Reality is the same: things, dharmas or existents rise and cease similarly (in the original period and in the later period of Dharma).
Vasubandhu in some places uses the Vijñana in the sense of Alaya-vijñana. There is one chapter in the Samdhinirmocana where Vijñana consistently means Alaya-vijñana. And Lankavatara sometimes uses the word citta in the sense of alaya-vijñana.
You can say the basic idea without ever mentioning the word alaya, or store consciousness.


The concept of the Alayavijnana underwent several development and changes, even within the early Yogacara corpus. The earlier concept of alayavijnana (eg during the yogacarabhumisastra phase) seems to only designate it as a repository of seeds, hence it is equated to similar teachings in other schools - such as the mulavijnana of the Mahasamghikas, bija of the Sautrantikas and the bhavangacitta of the Theravadins.

Personally, having vijnananga = alayavijnana in pratityasamutpada creates some problems. The one that strikes me immediately is that it would mean pratityasamutpada would not involve the other seven cognitions at all - from alayavijnana, it goes to namarupa then immediately goes to the ayatanas. To go on a limb here, I think the alayavijnana is probably better positioned between the 1st and 2nd link - between avidya and samskara, since alayavijnana is impure and exceedingly subtle.
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Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby Aemilius » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:23 am

If you consider The Trimshika Karika of Vasubandhu, he describes there how consciousness goes through three transformations, the first being the Alaya, then Manas, and finally the Six sense consciousnesses. It is easy to correlate this with the Pratitya Samutpada, what incarnates is not yet a fully individualized consciousness, hence the Manas would gradually appear in the link Name and Form, and the six sense consciousnesses appear in the links following it.
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Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby Aemilius » Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:15 am

I'll refine my position alittle:

If we see the Third link as the consciousness before this life, then Manas arises in Name and Form. It is a consciousness that hasn't taken a form/body in any of the six realms of Samsara. Manas arises when consciousness assumes a form in any of the six realms in cyclic existence. Manas is a mental event that lasts from birth to death. It is peculiar to the world and to the class of beings one has taken rebirth in. The Third link is a consciousness before differentation into one of the classes of beings in the six realms of cyclic life. It thus performs the function of Alaya-vijñana.

This explanation of Manas is from the Thirty Stanzas of Vasubandhu, Trimshika Karika. I have studied two different translations of it.

If we see the Third link as the first moment of consciousness in this life, then Manas is included. Then the the two preceding links, Ignorance and Karmic Formations, will be Alaya-vijñana. They are performing the function of Alaya-consciousness.
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Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby pueraeternus » Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:54 am

Aemilius wrote:I'll refine my position alittle:

If we see the Third link as the consciousness before this life, then Manas arises in Name and Form. It is a consciousness that hasn't taken a form/body in any of the six realms of Samsara. Manas arises when consciousness assumes a form in any of the six realms in cyclic existence. Manas is a mental event that lasts from birth to death. It is peculiar to the world and to the class of beings one has taken rebirth in. The Third link is a consciousness before differentation into one of the classes of beings in the six realms of cyclic life. It thus performs the function of Alaya-vijñana.

This explanation of Manas is from the Thirty Stanzas of Vasubandhu, Trimshika Karika. I have studied two different translations of it.

If we see the Third link as the first moment of consciousness in this life, then Manas is included. Then the the two preceding links, Ignorance and Karmic Formations, will be Alaya-vijñana. They are performing the function of Alaya-consciousness.


The Trimsika talks about the transformations of consciousness in three ways, and then about the threefold nature. It doesn't talk about its placement in pratityasamutpada. Of the key Yogacara texts, only the Mahayanasutralamkara explicitly mentions alayavijnana as the vijnananga.

I don't doubt that manas and the six vijnanas "perform the function of alayavijnana", but placing the alayavijnana as the vijnananga seems to be going too far. In any case, your recent thinking is then more or less similar to mine, since I think it is more congruent to consider the vijnananga as manovijnana or pravrttivijnana (all six regular consciousness). This will also not be at odds with the earlier teachings of the Buddha in the agamas. Also, the alayavijnana is considered a very subtle and almost non-reactive basal consciousness, hence the more active functions are achieved by the other 7 vijnanas (esp the usual 6, which are considered the waves of the ocean). Hence to speak of a dynamic process like pratityasamtpada, the 6 or 7 vijnanas would be more suitable agents.
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Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby Aemilius » Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:20 pm

pueraeternus wrote:
Aemilius wrote:I'll refine my position alittle:

If we see the Third link as the consciousness before this life, then Manas arises in Name and Form. It is a consciousness that hasn't taken a form/body in any of the six realms of Samsara. Manas arises when consciousness assumes a form in any of the six realms in cyclic existence. Manas is a mental event that lasts from birth to death. It is peculiar to the world and to the class of beings one has taken rebirth in. The Third link is a consciousness before differentation into one of the classes of beings in the six realms of cyclic life. It thus performs the function of Alaya-vijñana.

This explanation of Manas is from the Thirty Stanzas of Vasubandhu, Trimshika Karika. I have studied two different translations of it.

If we see the Third link as the first moment of consciousness in this life, then Manas is included. Then the the two preceding links, Ignorance and Karmic Formations, will be Alaya-vijñana. They are performing the function of Alaya-consciousness.




I don't doubt that manas and the six vijnanas "perform the function of alayavijnana", but placing the alaya-vijnana as the vijnananga seems to be going too far.


No! No! I said that the Third link performs the function of the alaya-vijñana, because it is the basis for the arising of life, or body, mind and environment (nama rupa). Third link is the basis for the arising of Manas and the six vijñanas, which develop after it.
As an alternative explanation I said that avidya and samskara perform the function of alaya-vijñana.
If they perform the function of Alaya-consciousness, they are the Alaya for all practical purposes.
The Twelve links and the Three transformations of consciousness describe the same thing, i.e. how existence arises or how it manifests. They are necessarily related or overlapping descriptions of the manifestation of cyclic existence.

You could also say that all of the first three links (ignorance, karmic formations and consciousness) are Alaya-vijñana.
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Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby pueraeternus » Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:51 pm

Aemilius wrote: No! No! I said that the Third link performs the function of the alaya-vijñana, because it is the basis for the arising of life, or body, mind and environment (nama rupa). Third link is the basis for the arising of Manas and the six vijñanas, which develop after it.
As an alternative explanation I said that avidya and samskara perform the function of alaya-vijñana.
If they perform the function of Alaya-consciousness, they are the Alaya for all practical purposes.
The Twelve links and the Three transformations of consciousness describe the same thing, i.e. how existence arises or how it manifests. They are necessarily related or overlapping descriptions of the manifestation of cyclic existence.

You could also say that all of the first three links (ignorance, karmic formations and consciousness) are Alaya-vijñana.


Avidya is not a vijnana. This would render discrimination of individual components of pratityasamutpada meaningless, since in actuality, the all is merely transformation of consciousness and vijnaptimatra.
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

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Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby Aemilius » Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:31 pm

Avidya is mind, or consciousness, it is not something outside of mind or consciousness.
Something more fruitful, I hope: I'd like to hear Your opinion of Alex Berzin's Basic Features of the Gelug-Chittamatra System, I have read it more than five times (only), and I'm still perplexed by it, there are interesting views and topics of the Chittamatra in it. What do You make of it?
http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/sutra/level5_analysis_mind_reality/chittamatra_mind/basic_features_gelug/basic_feat_gelug_chittamatra_01.html
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Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby pueraeternus » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:03 am

Aemilius wrote:Avidya is mind, or consciousness, it is not something outside of mind or consciousness.


Avidya is just non-knowing - its a quality of obscuration in consciousness, not a consciousness by itself. Which is why I said that when it comes to discussing the pratityasamutpada within the context of Yogacara, the subtext would be that it is all vijnaptimatra - this goes without saying. So what does the vijnananga specifically refers to? Personally I think it is the most active components of the eight consciousnesses - the traditional sadvijnana (six consciousnesses), or just the manovijnana itself.

Aemilius wrote: Something more fruitful, I hope: I'd like to hear Your opinion of Alex Berzin's Basic Features of the Gelug-Chittamatra System, I have read it more than five times (only), and I'm still perplexed by it, there are interesting views and topics of the Chittamatra in it. What do You make of it?
http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/sutra/level5_analysis_mind_reality/chittamatra_mind/basic_features_gelug/basic_feat_gelug_chittamatra_01.html


Berzin is always a wonderful source. I am still studying the core Yogacara texts, so for the moment am trying not to read too much into traditional Tibetan exegetical literature, which I have been warned before, might muddle the waters and leave sectarian biases in one's understanding, before one approach the key texts itself.

At the moment I am studying more of Karl Brunnholzl's works on Yogacara. Ok, you can also consider his work a form of exegetical literature, but from what I have learned he has taken a critical approach towards the traditional Tibetan biases against Yogacara, so that is refreshing. Plus, he is an excellent scholar and practitioner.
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

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