Tathagatagarbha, emptiness, rigpa and all the other "terms" that Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu lumps together as mistaken and a source of misapprehension do not fulfil one of the categories in particular: "he conceives ... as 'mine' " There is no 'mine' in Tathagatagarbha, rigpa or emptiness."There is the case, monks, where an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — perceives ... as .... Perceiving ... as ..., he conceives [things] about ..., he conceives [things] in ..., he conceives [things] coming out of ..., he conceives ... as 'mine,' he delights in .... Why is that? Because he has not comprehended it, I tell you.
Astus wrote:I wouldn't say it's just the less talented students who misunderstand certain teachings. In Zen the mind is regarded as the source of all, in Huayan it is the Dharmadhatu, in Mind Only it is the alayavijnana, etc. Vajrayana also has some similar concepts with Primordial Buddha and nature of mind.
Anders Honore wrote:The key is whether they fundamentally hold to this though.
ie, in Zen "all things return to the one, yet do not even hold to the one." Madhymika is elegant in the sense that the structure of its own arguments quite logically undermines itself as being any kind of ultimate or fundamentally true position as well. Other methods of presentation may not have quite the same intellectual elegance, but the same pattern can be found.
Of course, I whiped up that post in five-minutes, others have applied all the wisdom and knowledge they have accumulated over countless lifetimes to these points!Astus wrote:Surely there are further explanations about those terms that makes them fit for a middle way view.
A strict criticism according to whose/what criteria? This can make a crucial difference.However, if we apply a strict criticism of them we find them refuted...
Please explain what you are trying to say here, it is not so clear to me and I don't want to post a reply based on (wrong) assumptions....as skilful means only because they are apparently reificating concepts that objectify nirvana.
The answer lies in the question/statement.Astus wrote:These are views that appear as universal and personal bases of existence.
And this is a perfect example of why in the Vajrayana there is such an overwhelming emphasis on the role of the teacher and the importance of oral explanations. I imagine (know) that a teacher could easily spend a couple of hours analysing this text for you. Sifting through its levels of meaning (from the coarsest to the most subtle) so that you will finally understand EXACTLY what is meant rather than taking the appearance ( the coarse level) as the true (or only) meaning. That's the thing with esoteric/mystical traditions, they tend to be esoteric and mystical!"Long ago, before the split between samsara and nirvana occurred, within the basic spaciousness that is the natural state of everything, exactly as it was since the beginning, glorious Samantabhadra, the self-existing buddha of natural awareness, awakened to true enlightenment in the nature of equality - the very state within which both samsara and nirvana first arise and then again subside. This is why he is known as the primordial buddha, original protector, and as the universal forefather of all samsara and nirvana."
(Wellsprings of the Great Perfection, p. 13)
Astus wrote:Vajrayana also has some similar concepts with Primordial Buddha and nature of mind.
Is the above criticism justified or does it reflect an inability of Theravadins to understand how Mahayanists look at ultimate reality?
Nangwa wrote:Primordial Buddha's, buddha nature, etc. are symbolic and should in no way be interpreted as asserting an identity.
Astus wrote:Nangwa wrote:Primordial Buddha's, buddha nature, etc. are symbolic and should in no way be interpreted as asserting an identity.
Do you take the view that the doctrine of buddha-nature is provisional and a skilful means only...?
Nangwa wrote:Not really. I actually think Buddha-nature is emptiness. That it is in no way an entity or phenomena at all.
Mahayana, and in my opinion, all Buddhism, tend toward metaphysics, as they must.