Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

General forum on Mahayana.

Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby Aemilius » Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:58 pm

pueraeternus wrote:
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.


We can see avidya in several ways, it also means avidya that exists in the beginning of the kalpa, an obscuration of consciousness that corresponds to the manifestation of world and beings, which means the buddhist view of gradual devolution of the world, from finer levels where beings exist as bodies made of light down to grosser levels of material existence. Avidya is an obscuration existing in mind or consciousness, but in buddhist cosmology before this present existence there have been other forms of existence, other levels of existence. Saying that avidya is mind does not mean it is just the present mind.
Several writers on Yogachara have said that consciousness doesn't exist without an object of consciousness.
In this context the Vijñana that takes rebirth doesn't as yet have the six consciousnesses. We could see it as an impulse that causes the the rebirth, causes the appearance of Name and Form. I would say that it is a billet of manas and the alaya consciousness.
svaha
User avatar
Aemilius
 
Posts: 1432
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:44 am

Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby Aemilius » Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:51 pm

pueraeternus wrote: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.


I have myself also read the Lankavatara and Samdhinirmocana sutras about ten times, -which was more difficult with Lankavatara, I must say, and it took me several years to accomplish. In the commentarial literature there are things you had never anticipated to exist.
There is also modern indian Yogacara, which is worth investigating, for ex: On the Purported Inseparability of Blue and the Awareness of Blue: An Examination of Saholambaniyama, by Arindam Chakrabarti, in Mind Only Choool and Buddhist Logic, publisher: Tibet house and Aditya Prakashan, New Delhi 1990.
In it are yogachara concepts that you have never seen in other works on Chittamatra, maybe there is Chittamatra literature that has survived in India? Arindam Chakrabarti is a brilliantly clear thinker.
I don't see there is anything to fear in the Basic Features of Gelug-Chittamatra System, it is useful.
svaha
User avatar
Aemilius
 
Posts: 1432
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:44 am

Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby pueraeternus » Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:07 pm

Aemilius wrote: Avidya is an obscuration existing in mind or consciousness,


Precisely - Avidya is not a consciousness itself. It is merely obscuration, ignorance.

Aemilius wrote:Several writers on Yogachara have said that consciousness doesn't exist without an object of consciousness.


Oh - but the alayavijnana has no object either. This is where it gets hairy. The doctrine of the alayavijnana underwent changes in its development.

Aemilius wrote:In this context the Vijñana that takes rebirth doesn't as yet have the six consciousnesses. We could see it as an impulse that causes the the rebirth, causes the appearance of Name and Form. I would say that it is a billet of manas and the alaya consciousness.


The manas maybe.
When I set out to lead humanity along my Golden Path I promised a lesson their bones would remember. I know a profound pattern humans deny with words even while their actions affirm it. They say they seek security and quiet, conditions they call peace. Even as they speak, they create seeds of turmoil and violence.

- Leto II, the God Emperor
User avatar
pueraeternus
 
Posts: 690
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:10 pm

Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby pueraeternus » Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:17 pm

Aemilius wrote:I don't see there is anything to fear in the Basic Features of Gelug-Chittamatra System, it is useful.


More and more scholars have come to the realization that Tibetan polemics towards Yogacara are not fair, and misrepresents Yogacara in several ways. A lot of it really came from India, via Candrakirti and Bhavaviveka, and the Tibetan schools developed their string of thought further.

True there is nothing to fear from the Tibetan treatises. One just need to be mindful on such underlying backgrounds.
When I set out to lead humanity along my Golden Path I promised a lesson their bones would remember. I know a profound pattern humans deny with words even while their actions affirm it. They say they seek security and quiet, conditions they call peace. Even as they speak, they create seeds of turmoil and violence.

- Leto II, the God Emperor
User avatar
pueraeternus
 
Posts: 690
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:10 pm

Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby Aemilius » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:51 am

pueraeternus wrote:
Aemilius wrote: Avidya is an obscuration existing in mind or consciousness,


Precisely - Avidya is not a consciousness itself. It is merely obscuration, ignorance.


There is the question of the cessation of ignorance, cessation of samskaras, cessation of vijñana, etc...
Vasubandhu says that the alaya ceases with the attainment of arhathood, (or with the attainment of buddhahood, in Tsonkhapa's mature view). If we accept the view of the cessation of alaya with the attainment of nirvana, then it becomes logical to equate it with the avidya, samskara (& vijñana).
There are different views or different expressions, Rangjung Dorje says that the eight vijñanas transform into the Five wisdoms (through samadhi and prajña).
At the same time with saying that the alaya ceases in arhatva, Vasubandhu says that Alaya is non-defiled & non-defined, and morally neutral, (Trimshika karika).
In Lankavatara sutra Buddha says that the Alaya ocean is thoroughly pure in its essential nature, Chapter Six LXXII. In line with Vasubandhu Lankavatara sutra, in an other place, speaks of the destruction of alaya.
svaha
User avatar
Aemilius
 
Posts: 1432
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:44 am

Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby Aemilius » Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:49 am

As before, avidya/ignorance means also the mind in the beginning of a kalpa, when the categories of samsara and nirvana have not yet appeared. This is evident in the Aggañña sutta, as an example. The first beings are ignorant in the sense of not-knowing at all what it is that appears, they are amazed and curious at it, they experience a sense of wonderment. Avidya is also a not-knowing in a pure or neutral sense, it is like innocence, without moral judgements.
The negative judgementally coloured avidya is not really true, it is not the whole truth. Avidya/ignorance is empty of true existence, like the whole samsara is empty of true findable existence. Ignorance is primordial purity.
As in Zen, what is the mind before birth? And: what is the mind before the empty aeon? If you can get to it experientally you'll know a lot more.
svaha
User avatar
Aemilius
 
Posts: 1432
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:44 am

Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby pueraeternus » Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:02 am

Aemilius wrote:There is the question of the cessation of ignorance, cessation of samskaras, cessation of vijñana, etc...
Vasubandhu says that the alaya ceases with the attainment of arhathood, (or with the attainment of buddhahood, in Tsonkhapa's mature view). If we accept the view of the cessation of alaya with the attainment of nirvana, then it becomes logical to equate it with the avidya, samskara (& vijñana).
There are different views or different expressions, Rangjung Dorje says that the eight vijñanas transform into the Five wisdoms (through samadhi and prajña).
At the same time with saying that the alaya ceases in arhatva, Vasubandhu says that Alaya is non-defiled & non-defined, and morally neutral, (Trimshika karika).
In Lankavatara sutra Buddha says that the Alaya ocean is thoroughly pure in its essential nature, Chapter Six LXXII. In line with Vasubandhu Lankavatara sutra, in an other place, speaks of the destruction of alaya.


But you are confusing the seeds contained in the alayavijnana with avidya itself. Avidya itself is never anything else except non-knowing, obscuration, etc. In Dan Lusthaus' Buddhist Phenomology:

avidya.jpg
avidya.jpg (78.83 KiB) Viewed 378 times
When I set out to lead humanity along my Golden Path I promised a lesson their bones would remember. I know a profound pattern humans deny with words even while their actions affirm it. They say they seek security and quiet, conditions they call peace. Even as they speak, they create seeds of turmoil and violence.

- Leto II, the God Emperor
User avatar
pueraeternus
 
Posts: 690
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:10 pm

Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby pueraeternus » Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:09 am

Aemilius wrote:As before, avidya/ignorance means also the mind in the beginning of a kalpa, when the categories of samsara and nirvana have not yet appeared. This is evident in the Aggañña sutta, as an example. The first beings are ignorant in the sense of not-knowing at all what it is that appears, they are amazed and curious at it, they experience a sense of wonderment. Avidya is also a not-knowing in a pure or neutral sense, it is like innocence, without moral judgements.
The negative judgementally coloured avidya is not really true, it is not the whole truth. Avidya/ignorance is empty of true existence, like the whole samsara is empty of true findable existence. Ignorance is primordial purity.


This doesn't mean that avidya is a form of consciousness (going back to the point we were discussing).

Aemilius wrote:If you can get to it experientally you'll know a lot more.


Groan.
When I set out to lead humanity along my Golden Path I promised a lesson their bones would remember. I know a profound pattern humans deny with words even while their actions affirm it. They say they seek security and quiet, conditions they call peace. Even as they speak, they create seeds of turmoil and violence.

- Leto II, the God Emperor
User avatar
pueraeternus
 
Posts: 690
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:10 pm

Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby Aemilius » Tue May 07, 2013 10:53 am

pueraeternus wrote:
Aemilius wrote:As before, avidya/ignorance means also the mind in the beginning of a kalpa, when the categories of samsara and nirvana have not yet appeared. This is evident in the Aggañña sutta, as an example. The first beings are ignorant in the sense of not-knowing at all what it is that appears, they are amazed and curious at it, they experience a sense of wonderment. Avidya is also a not-knowing in a pure or neutral sense, it is like innocence, without moral judgements.
The negative judgementally coloured avidya is not really true, it is not the whole truth. Avidya/ignorance is empty of true existence, like the whole samsara is empty of true findable existence. Ignorance is primordial purity.


This doesn't mean that avidya is a form of consciousness (going back to the point we were discussing).




You probably haven't thought about it carefully, when You say that a mental state (avidya) is not a form of consciouseness! This equals saying that it is not a mental state !!
Do you envision avidya kind of floating around in empty space ??

There are different forms of being, other than the human body and mind. We are only very much identified with our bodies and minds, and therefore we can't imagine or experience other kinds of existence. Like the Arupyadhatu, as an example.

In Abhidharma kosha Vasubandhu describes different forms of being in terms of 22 faculties (indriya). Other forms of being have less faculties, like the beings in Rupadhatu and Arupyadhatu, but they all arise as is described by the 12 Nidanas. When one is born as a human, at conception one has only two faculties, the faculty of vitality and the mental faculty of indifference, the other faculties develop gradually thereafter, (says Abhidharma kosha).

In his explantion of the 12 Nidanas Vasubandhu says that the 3. link, Vijñana, is the period from conception to the point of actual birth, and 4. link, Namarupa, is existence from birth to disintegration.
This supports the view that third link is Alaya-vijñana, and that Manas and sense consciousnesses develop in the links following after it.
svaha
User avatar
Aemilius
 
Posts: 1432
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:44 am

Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby pueraeternus » Wed May 08, 2013 1:58 am

Aemilius wrote:
You probably haven't thought about it carefully, when You say that a mental state (avidya) is not a form of consciouseness! This equals saying that it is not a mental state !!
Do you envision avidya kind of floating around in empty space ??


Avidya is not a form of consciousness (vijnana) - it is always described as a non-knowing, lack of insight, etc. I think you are going off on tangents and reifying things that does not need to be reified.
When I set out to lead humanity along my Golden Path I promised a lesson their bones would remember. I know a profound pattern humans deny with words even while their actions affirm it. They say they seek security and quiet, conditions they call peace. Even as they speak, they create seeds of turmoil and violence.

- Leto II, the God Emperor
User avatar
pueraeternus
 
Posts: 690
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:10 pm

Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby Aemilius » Tue May 14, 2013 10:21 am

pueraeternus wrote:
Aemilius wrote:
You probably haven't thought about it carefully, when You say that a mental state (avidya) is not a form of consciouseness! This equals saying that it is not a mental state !!
Do you envision avidya kind of floating around in empty space ??


Avidya is not a form of consciousness (vijnana) - it is always described as a non-knowing, lack of insight, etc. I think you are going off on tangents and reifying things that does not need to be reified.


This discussion is not leading anywhere. You could study Mind and Mental Factors in buddhism, and come up with something better. To my knowledge no school in Dharma says what You imply or say, i.e. that ignorance exists outside of mind, or independent of mind!
In the absolute truth there is no mind, nor is there a body. There is no ignorance, nor anything arisen from ignorance. Where does it leave us?
svaha
User avatar
Aemilius
 
Posts: 1432
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:44 am

Re: Sri Simha in Zen/Chan lineage

Postby Aemilius » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:43 am

pueraeternus wrote:What will lead you astray is the insistence that the nirmanakaya Buddha 2500 years ago spoke every word of the Mahayana sutras, and that there is a massive cover-up by devious Arhats and historians who purposely twist historical facts. Ok, maybe the first part by itself is not so bad, but together with the second part, that is something else.

You really have to provide more backing to your theory here, in terms of scriptural or archaeological evidence, even indirect ones where you can argue based on inference.




Back to the same old issue, recently I found in Abhidharmakosha a place where Vasubandhu uses the epithet ancient masters, who turn out to be the yogacarins! This means that at the time of Vasubandhu the Vibhasha, Sarvastivada, Sautrantika, etc.. were the new schools, and that Yogacarins were the ancient ones.
If you think of the tradition of australian aboriginals, who had something like 220 doctrinal & philosophical schools with 220 different languages, with nothing of it ever written down, you should be able to infer that the oral traditions have really existed, all over the world, not just in Australia, or in Africa etc.
It is a question of style and clothing, the new schools in India represent a new cultural style, there may have been some european influence in the birth of the sravakayana schools.
svaha
User avatar
Aemilius
 
Posts: 1432
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:44 am

Previous

Return to Mahāyāna Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 13 guests

>