What was Tsongkhapa refuting re Theravada?

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What was Tsongkhapa refuting re Theravada?

Postby beautiful breath » Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:25 pm

Hi all,

Exactly what was he refuting? Was it the Dhammas or realities that the Theravadin schools contend exist?

Thanks,

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Re: What was Tsongkhapa refuting re Theravada?

Postby Anders » Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:49 pm

Most likely it wasn't Theravada he refuted but rather one of the other pre-mahayana schools.
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Re: What was Tsongkhapa refuting re Theravada?

Postby kirtu » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:18 pm

beautiful breath wrote:Hi all,

Exactly what was he refuting? Was it the Dhammas or realities that the Theravadin schools contend exist?


Exactly what are you referring to? Tsongkhapa never refuted anything concerning the Theravadin school because he had no idea that it existed and had no contact with it.

He did take his particular interpretation of Prasagika Madhyamika as the highest philosophical view and he did address the views of the "lower" schools extensively.

The primary view in this respect that he addressed was the view that anything exists independently of another thing.

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Re: What was Tsongkhapa refuting re Theravada?

Postby Jinzang » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:11 am

Tsangkhapa was mostly concerned with refuting other interpretations of the Madhyamika then prevalent in Tibet. Like other Tibetan scholars, he refuted the lower philosophical schools of Buddhism as well as Hindu schools. But these were straw men, as there was nobody in Tibet who held these positions. I sometimes wonder if actual Hindus would recognize the views that Buddhists say they hold in their polemics.
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Re: What was Tsongkhapa refuting re Theravada?

Postby beautiful breath » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:34 am

Oh, I stand corrected. I was labouring under the thought that he and Shantideva refuted what I understand as the Theravada take on Emptiness that might not go as far as the Prasangikas. I guess if he wasn't even aware of Theravada then how could he......

...actually how could he not be aware of the Theravada schools as they pre-date Mahayana per se??? :shrug:
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Re: What was Tsongkhapa refuting re Theravada?

Postby kirtu » Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:34 pm

beautiful breath wrote:Oh, I stand corrected. I was labouring under the thought that he and Shantideva refuted what I understand as the Theravada take on Emptiness that might not go as far as the Prasangikas. I guess if he wasn't even aware of Theravada then how could he......

...actually how could he not be aware of the Theravada schools as they pre-date Mahayana per se??? :shrug:


The idea that the Theravada schools predate Mahayana is not correct. The early Sravaka schools were not Theravada. Theravada is the further development of one of 16 early schools.

Tsongkhapa was unaware of the existence of any functional Sravaka school because none existed in Tibet or Nepal in the 1300's.

Shantideva, on the other hand, did refute the Sravaka schools view and did definitely have contact with people who held those views. However Shantideva's works may be polemics wrt the views rather than what we would now regard as serious introspection and analysis.

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