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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:25 am 
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Yeshe D. wrote:


tobes wrote:
For some reason, there is a strong desire to deny this, when it is really an uncontroversial assertion

The previous quotations from Atīśa's Satyadvayāvatāra fully accords with what I've been trying to get at: The union of the two truths does not entail affirming arising, abiding, and dissolution. And Atīśa, along with Maitrīpa, held Candrakīrti in highest regard. Again, Atīśa states:

    3. We hold the correct conventional truth to be
    The phenomenon which arises and perishes, and
    Is capable of producing meaning, and
    Is attractive only when (left) unexamined.

    4. There is only one ultimate truth;
    Although others hold it is of two kinds;
    But if true-nature is not established anywhere,
    Why would there be two, or three, or more?

    5. One does use (conventional) words to show this,
    Stating it is non-arising and non-perishing, etc.,
    But in the mode of undifferentiated ultimate truth,
    There is no phenomenality and no true-nature.

    6. Differentiation in emptiness itself
    Has not the slightest possibility of existing;
    And when one realizes this non-conceptually,
    It is described as “seeing emptiness.”

    7. The most profound sūtras say that
    It is seeing the unseen itself, and
    In it there is no seeing and no seer;
    It is beginningless and endless calm.

    8. Substance and non-substance are rejected,
    There is no conceptualization, no basis for it;
    There is no abiding and nothing to abide;
    No going, no coming, and no analogy for it.

    9. It is inexpressible and unseeable;
    It is changeless and unconditioned.
    If a yogin realizes this, he is rid of
    The obscuration of his afflictions and of his knowledge.

    18. The teacher Candrakīrti says this:
    “Relative truth acts as the means,
    From the means arises the ultimate truth.
    Whoever does not know the difference between the two,
    And understands them wrongly, falls to bad destinies.”

    19. “Without trusting in (this) difference
    There will be no realization of the ultimate.
    To endeavor to reach the upper story
    Of the palace of correctness
    Without the stairs of correct relative (truths),
    Is impossible for a learned man.”

    20. If one investigates with logical examination
    What this relative truth appears to be,
    The very finding of nothing (there) is the ultimate (truth):
    The true-nature that abides from eternity.

All the best,

Geoff


It is the only the last verse that I have trouble accepting. I assume that you interpret that as: the relative truth disappears upon apprehension of the ultimate; it is therefore merely a necessary stepping stone to reach that point. Language, concepts, ethics, causality are all merely pedagogical devices which lead one into the true-nature, at which point they are properly understood to be nothing.

What worries me about that interpretation is the importance Atisha holds to the Gelugpa's, who are ostensibly a continuation of the Kadampa tradition, and the very great weight he places on ethics.

I would need to see other translations, but the line "the very finding of nothing (there) is the ultimate (truth)" probably does not imply that the relative disappears or is ultimately nothing. I think that it is far more likely that this means "the very finding of nothing [truly existent] there is the ultimate truth."

And therefore, the ultimate is precisely this endlessly abiding emptiness of true existence.

In any case, that would be how the Gelugpa's would present it.

Maitripa is a different kettle of fish. The former reading is much more plausible in that case.

:namaste:


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:18 am 
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Sherab wrote:
It is not accurate nor logical because who is to say that the sutra was not one of those that contributed to Yogācāra/Tathāgatagarbha viewpoint?


The author, when talking about the general "flavor" of the Sūtra, also just said it has a "dash of Yogācāra". That statement merely shows a slight similarity with the language of other doctrines. It says nothing about its origin.

Regardless, it is not considered a core Yogācāra text, and is spoken by Śākyamuni Buddha, not Vasubandhu or anyone later. To say it only came from the Yogācāra school, is to say that Śākyamuni Buddha didn't speak it. Which may be a questionable historical viewpoint.

But the implications of that is to say that nothing in it actually took place. Which is ultimately saying that whoever wrote it is a liar, slandering the Buddha by saying he said what he didn't. And in that case, they are unable to even hold basic precepts, and should not be listened to at all.

I don't know if I would go that far.

:namaste:

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:30 am 
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tobes wrote:
Dexing wrote:

You should check the thread on Yogācāra/Mādhyamaka Confusion.

Granted perhaps many people throughout history have debated the doctrines of the two schools, but I do not find in their core texts any place where they are at odds. If you do, then please present it.

:namaste:


Well, if you interpret Madhyamakins such as Chandrakirti as commensurate with Yogacara, then nothing I can present on the matter is likely to change your mind.


Notice where I said "their core texts", not words of later followers who came along centuries later and debated between the two schools.

Quote:
We could have a long debate about this, but I post it here simply to demonstrate that Madhyamakins such as Chandrakirti actually establish their position by critiquing Yogacara, and therefore, there is something of a problem in holding them to be commensurate.


I honestly don't care what later folks say. My point, which you have missed, is that in the core texts of the two schools I see no difference.

To narrow it down, take for example the earlier texts attributed to Nāgārjuna and Vasubandhu, which are considered the core texts of the two schools. If you can demonstrate where they are at odds, please do so.

As a point of interest, in the Indian Patriarchal lineage of Dhyāna, both Nāgārjuna and Vasubandhu are in the same line of transmission. Which means I'm not the only one who doesn't see where they are so at odds.

:namaste:

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:45 am 
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tobes wrote:
It is the only the last verse that I have trouble accepting.

.........

I would need to see other translations, but the line "the very finding of nothing (there) is the ultimate (truth)" probably does not imply that the relative disappears or is ultimately nothing. I think that it is far more likely that this means "the very finding of nothing [truly existent] there is the ultimate truth."


Not to butt in on this, and I don't mean to sound condescending, but allow me to kindly point out that this is what I was referring to when I spoke of you wishing to "skew meanings back into your comfort zone".

Numerous Mahāyāna Sūtras and Śāstras speak like this very explicitly no matter the language. Can it be that the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas lack basic linguistic expression skills, something that can be fixed and made very understandable with just a few words?

Or is it just because it feels so uncomfortable and against the normal logic we have learned from classical Buddhist teachings, that our skepticism keeps us from searching its deeper meaning?

:namaste:

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:34 am 
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tobes wrote:
Yeshe D. wrote:





Nagarjuna does not assert a primordial Buddha, the dharmakaya, an inherent Buddha nature and so forth.


I agree and would like to concur with

The whole primordial Buddha is a misnomer don't you think. For one has to be awakened from the samsaric condition to become awakened.

when speaking of an inherent Kaya in terms of Sunyata,it doesn't really make sense for even the Kayas are something that is not independent and is a coarising...

and this leads to thoughts for me like;
If one gets into the whole belief in a Primordial Buddha it becomes like something inherent in existence and God the creatorish....

instead of an expedient created by the awakened ones...


would the Dharmakaya body be won or created as a expedient?...i dunno

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:09 am 
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tobes wrote:
How do we read him? It is not such an easy question to answer.

From the perspective of Mahāyāna hermeneutics he needs to be read in the context of the main Prajñāpāramitā Sūtras, and the Samādhirāja Sūtra (Candrapradīpa Sūtra), the Kāśyapaparivarta Sūtra (Ratnakūṭa Sūtra), and so on. All of the outstanding Indian mādhyamikas such as Candrakīrti, Śāntideva, Śāntarakṣita, Kamalaśīla, Vimalamitra, Maitrīpa, Atīśa, etc., backed their readings of Nāgārjuna with references to these sūtras.

tobes wrote:
What worries me about that interpretation is the importance Atisha holds to the Gelugpa's, who are ostensibly a continuation of the Kadampa tradition, and the very great weight he places on ethics.

The Gelugpas don't have a monopoly on Atīśa. :D Ethics are obviously extremely important, as is extensive solitary retreat practice, and a life of voluntary simplicity. There isn't going to be any meaningful, sustainable prajñā without śīla and samādhi. And this does indeed need to be emphasized.

tobes wrote:
I would need to see other translations, but the line "the very finding of nothing (there) is the ultimate (truth)" probably does not imply that the relative disappears or is ultimately nothing. I think that it is far more likely that this means "the very finding of nothing [truly existent] there is the ultimate truth."

The Tibetan is:

    ma rnyed pa nyid don dam yin

    ma rnyed pa (not finding) nyid (the very) don dam (ultimate) yin (is)

    the very not finding is the ultimate

tobes wrote:
In any case, that would be how the Gelugpa's would present it.

Well, not everyone agrees that a pot is still a pot and a pillar is still a pillar.... But this has been debated for hundreds of years.

All the best,

Geoff


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:48 am 
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I think I have made my position clear.

Thank's especially to Dexing and Yeshe.D for an interesting and fruitful dialogue.

:namaste:


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:44 am 
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tobes wrote:
I think I have made my position clear.

Are you admitting that you have a thesis?

Just kidding. :D

All the best to you too Tobes.

:namaste:


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:05 am 
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:thanks:

:bow:

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:38 pm 
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What I meant was that whatever "enlightenment" means to us - since we cannot speak for it other than how we understand it - is our own private concept, and whatever we "see" when we behold such concept, is an idea, infact the notion itself, infused with our own understanding of that very idea.

Quite like looking in a mirror. The difference when it comes to the idea of enlightenment, is that we expect to see anyone but ourselves in it (no-self, no-mind, etc), whenever we "look" (practice), which is logically impossible. Any practice with the intent to abolish our own mirror image is surely doomed to fail.

Sherab wrote:
norman wrote:
What is needed is perhaps a new definition of the meaning and purpose of practice.
Obviously we are all pretty clear as to what the purpose may be, but maybe that is why all of us ends up with such poor results? "Enlightenment" seems to be our own private mirror that we all polish with such dedication that we all hope to see anyone but ourselves in it. Maybe if I hold it in another angle...?

I don't get what you are saying. I have to trouble you to elaborate.


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