Malcolm wrote: cloudburst wrote:
In clear words, Chandrakirti speaks of the difference in the views of ucchedavadins and Madhyamakas:
Clear Words wrote:Qualm: Even so, their views are similar in one way, becasue nihilists consider the absence of an essence in things to be non-existence.
Reply:This is not so. They are not similar because Madhyamikas assert that things without essence exist conventionally; these nihilists do not assert them at all.
You may reflect on how this quotation also neatly puts paid to your assertions that 1) madhaymikas do not make assertions, and 2) the Gelug view is that ultimate truth is a non-existent, as Je Tsongkhapa follows Chadrakirti precisely on this point and Chadrakirti here rejects that explicit assertion.
The rendering you are using is a somewhat inaccurate gloss.
The text says:
saṁvṛtyā mādhyamikairastitvenābhyupagamānna tulyatā
"Because Mādhyamikas agree to existence in the relative..."
The text does not say they "assert" ['dod pa], or established [sgrub pa], etc. It says ābhyupagamā, which means assent, agree, etc.
right, they agree to the existence in the relative (the only way anything could exist ....) of emptiness.
Malcolm wrote:However, this passage is a clarification about what exists relatively, not ultimately.
It would be more accurate to say that it clarifies the existence first of the conventional, then
First Chandrakirti explains that someone thinks madhayamikas are no different that nihilists becasue "They claim virtuous and non-virtuous actions, agents, results and all worlds are empty of inherent existence., and also atheists also claim those things do not exist. Therefore, mādhyamikas are no different" than nihilists. Chandrakirti says this is not correct, because Madhymikas propound depndent arising, which is to say he accepts that they are produced concventionally.
Having answered that, he does not say the same again, does he? This time, a new objection is posited.... madhyamikas and nihilists are the same in that
Chandrakirti wrote:they conceive the absence of existence in the intrinsic nature of things
that is, emptiness, "as non-existence." Chandrakirti rejects this because mādhyamikas "agree to existence in the relative" and because nihilists do not.
So, claiming emptiness is the same as non-existence is rejected. Emptiness exists conventionally as a designation.
In the Avatarabhasya, Chandrakirti says
Chandrakirti wrote:Is there nature has such qualifications as the master Nagarjuna claims? Yes, is the “reality” of which the Bhagavan spoke extensively, saying, “Whether the tatgagatas appear or not, the reality of phenomena remains.” What is this “reality “? Is the nature of things such as these eyes. And, what is the nature? Is that in them which is not a fabricated nor dependent upon something else; it is their identity as known by knowledge free from the impairment of ignorance. Does it exist or not? If it did not exist for what purpose would bodhisattvas cultivate the path of the perfections? Why would bodhisattvas undergo hundreds of hardships in order to know reality?
So when you say "Tsongkhapa asserts the non-existence of inherent existence is the ultimate," you are correct, Je Tsongkhapa says that just as Buddhapalita Chandrakirti et al do.
Now you might argue that non-existence exists, as I am sure you will
and I have, following the examples of Chandrakirti, Aryadeva etc. So if Gelugpas are Nihilists, then so are Buddha and all the great Madhyamikas. I think it more likely that you are slightly eternalistic and haven't seen it yet.
Malcolm wrote:Finally, this passage does not defend your assertion that Tsongkhapa does not himself assert the ultimate is a non-existence, since we have already seen that you admit he does assert a non-existence as ultimate i.e. the non-existence of inherent existence in the ultimate.
Je Tsongkhapa explains, exactly as the indian masters do, the the ultimate is a mere absence of essence. That is not the same as non-existence, and this quotaion does precisely support that. Also, since even in your tranlation Chandrakiriti is "propounding " dependent origination, you can stop claiming madhyamakas don't make assertions.