A question on Mahayana philosophical schools

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A question on Mahayana philosophical schools

Postby dyanaprajna2011 » Wed May 15, 2013 1:16 pm

I know that there are three (at least primary) philosophical traditions in Mahayana Buddhism: Madyamaka, Yogacara, and Tathagatagarbha. I know the general ideas behind each one, as well. But I do have a few questions.

1. How are these philosophical schools assimilated into the various practice schools, such as Tibetan, Zen, Pure Land, etc.?
2. Can anyone of these said to be the highest or most profound? (I do realize that the answer to this question may be school specific)

I was in a debate on another forum with a member who argued that Nagarjuna's Madyamaka school was the only philosophical tradition that was truly Buddhist, and the others were just aberrations. I always viewed them as parts to a whole, and one, taken by itself, is not the whole story. Being Zen myself, I do feel a pull more towards Yogacara than the other two, but this doesn't discount any of them.
"If you want to travel the Way of Buddhas and Zen masters, then expect nothing, seek nothing, and grasp nothing." -Dogen

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Re: A question on Mahayana philosophical schools

Postby DGA » Wed May 15, 2013 2:19 pm

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Re: A question on Mahayana philosophical schools

Postby Astus » Wed May 15, 2013 2:59 pm

In India there was only Madhyamaka and Yogacara as distinct branches of Mahayana thought, although we could say that they were not too separate. Tathagatagarbha didn't have its own philosophical system there. In East Asian Buddhism there are two other "philosophical" schools, Tiantai and Huayan, and they are strongly connected to the Tathagaragarbha teachings.

Although it is questionable what can be categorised as a "philosophical school". All Buddhist traditions have their own teachings, and all teachings are connected to practices. There is no such thing as a purely theoretical Buddhism, nor is there a purely pragmatic path.
Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.

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Re: A question on Mahayana philosophical schools

Postby Michael_Dorfman » Mon May 20, 2013 12:45 pm

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Re: A question on Mahayana philosophical schools

Postby Kim O'Hara » Mon May 20, 2013 12:49 pm

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