Buddha Nature

General forum on Mahayana.

Re: Buddha Nature

Postby ground » Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:14 am

Pema Rigdzin wrote:Well TMingyur,

Having read and received oral teachings on the paths and stages and the tenet systems and systems of practice, and having done a great deal of reasoning and contemplation of these teachings, I concluded that there is very good reason to believe in the potential of humans to achieve buddhahood, so my interest in Madhyamaka is in its potential to remove the adventitious stains that prevent the realization of buddhahood. I see plenty of reason to find plausible a buddhahood in which one can benefit all sentient beings.

See you seem to have an idea of "buddhahood" in which you find reasons to believe in. That is fine. I can totally accept this since the term "buddhahood" is the expression of a mere idea not accessible to verification since there is a multitude of individual understandings of what this term means and there is no commonly accepted definition. It is of no use to discuss these kinds of "metaphysical" terms in terms of "this is that" and "this is not this".
If we take it as a logical term expressing the negation of "ordinary" thus meaning "non-ordinary" or perhaps a sub-category of "non-ordinary" expressed as "extraordinary" then okay, then I may agree to call "boodhahood" a synonym for "extraordinary". But this just replaces one indefinite term by another indefinite term and there is no benefit at all.
And when you say "potential to remove the adventitious stains" then we perhaps agree that there is the possibility to remove what is kind of "distortion of thusness". But see, here again: indefinite term "thusness" subject to a multitude of understandings.

Pema Rigdzin wrote:Your interest in Madhyamaka obviously only goes so far as it can enable you to disprove (in your mind, at least) the plausibility of things which, for whatever reason, you're uncomfortable with or cannot accept.

In the sphere of reason there can only be "yes" or "no", affirmation or negation. And the criteria for both, affirmation and negation, have to be identical because otherwise reason is just unreasonable "likes" and "dislikes" in disguise.
"Affirmation" is to be restricted to what is found under analysis.
This analysis can be twofold: investigating into conventional/nominal existence or investigating into real existence.
What is not found under analysis investigating into the truth of "real existence" may then be investigated asking for the truth of conventional/nominal existence. And the result of the latter analysis simply depends on your definition of conventional presuppositions. If scripture is included in "reason" then you may conventionally establish many "metaphysical"-like phenomena. If you are excluding scripture then you have to rely on sense perception and inference. That's all.


Pema Rigdzin wrote:Nevermind that the same Madhyamaka masters you seem to look up to, such as perhaps its founder Nagarjuna, have spoken clearly on enlightened mind (see his "In Praise of the Dharmadhatu," for instance).
Your skepticism or agnosticism is of course your prerogative; regardless, there's no useful or worthwhile common ground for us to continue this conversation since our aims and interests are so different. Take care and best wishes.

I am aware of the variety of texts and sayings of different masters. I am also aware of the bias of masters who expounded wonderful logic in certain contexts but completely discarded logic in other contexts of dialectical expositions.
I am preferring the consequent application of logic and reason and I feel that this does not harm "buddhism" at all but that the contrary is true.

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Re: Buddha Nature

Postby muni » Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:36 am

When we do not draw concepts by projections, dissolution of thoughts and then do not analyze those, there is just nothing? How can there be liberation, mind dwelling on some thing to analyze or clinging to it's creations in discursive thoughts?

Okay.
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Re: Buddha Nature

Postby White Lotus » Sat Feb 13, 2010 5:12 pm

it is a shame that no common ground can be found in such an enlightening and interesting thread as this. either of you would make a great teacher.

anyway, i guess this will make room for more interesting threads... to follow... nothing is permanent, except nothing/emptiness.

love, White Lotus. xxx :thanks:
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: Buddha Nature

Postby ground » Sat Feb 13, 2010 5:45 pm

White Lotus wrote:... no common ground can be found ...


How could there be found any ground at all?

It's sankhara that constitutes the difference.

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Re: Buddha Nature

Postby Dexing » Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:51 pm

TMingyur wrote:And when you say "potential to remove the adventitious stains" then we perhaps agree that there is the possibility to remove what is kind of "distortion of thusness".


If you want the air to be neither square nor round, just throw the box away. But since emptiness has no location, you should not again insist on removing the place where it "lies". - Shurangama Sutra
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Re: Buddha Nature

Postby White Lotus » Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:29 pm

muni said:
When we do not draw concepts by projections, dissolution of thoughts and then do not analyze those, there is just nothing? How can there be liberation, mind dwelling on some thing to analyze or clinging to it's creations in discursive thoughts?


emptiness is perfectly capable of analysing, but in itself is no-thing. free to move between analysis and pure suchness/thusness. there is the arising of objects/thoughts and images/forms, but in reality both are empty. knowing the root of all things is emptiness, we can become one with the emptiness in an experiential manner by relinquishing all things including the experience of a self. relinquishing thought, is only according with fundamental emptiness, but we live in a world of forms and concepts, these things enable us to relate to our world, though it should be realised that thoughts and concepts are all relative to a subject and are all thoroughly relative, in an objective way.

it is a subjective arising of mind that claims objectivity for its thoughts. in truth it can be said that subjective and objective are both one thing. an arising in the mind, where there is infact no mind, only the appearance of a mind. flowers in the sky... snow-drops.

love White Lotus. xxx


meeting suchness...
the sky is clear, a cloud arises
in the mind ... the sun is obscured.
the rain falls... happy plants,
their leaves are wet. their roots drink.
wipe that umbrella away.
analysis today. suchness tomorrow,
both arisings in emptiness of emptiness. :soapbox:
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: Buddha Nature

Postby muni » Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:50 pm

Radiance of warm heart.
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Re: Buddha Nature

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:04 pm

TMingyur,

There are a multitude of Mahayana texts that give a definition of Buddhahood according to Mahayana. I'm unaware of the ambiguity of the terms that you refer to.

Analysis can only be applied to compounded phenomena, not ultimate truth, to which no discursive thoughts apply. This is because it is beyond discursive thought, and thus duality. Your contention that as soon as we apply a label to anything, ultimate or not, it becomes subject to analysis, is mistaken. The label can be subjected to analysis, but one must keep in mind that applying labels to terms correlating to ultimate truth is just a necessary convention of speech and is only an expedient tool, and doesn't bear on what they are meant to refer to. Ultimate truth can only be accessed once all analysis and discursive thought has been exhausted.

Also, the fact that I referred you to scriptures that treat the topic we've been arguing does not mean I've done so out of blind, pious acceptance of scriptures. In truth, I've read (or heard) them and contemplated their contents and (in some cases) meditated on the understanding I came to. I referred you to them because I feel they offer more than sufficient explanations and reasoning to enable you to see that your own conclusions are not the only viable alternative. You apparently care not to explore that possibility, or to read and contemplate those teachings for yourself and then argue against points whose logic you find fault with. That's your prerogative, although it does not make for helpful discussion.

If I'm to be frank, it seems like all your self-guided "analysis" has done is make you combative, closed-minded and argumentative, and it seems like you prefer striving to prove others wrong over actually exploring all the logical possibilities available and finding "truth."
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Re: Buddha Nature

Postby ground » Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:38 am

Pema Rigdzin wrote:TMingyur,

There are a multitude of Mahayana texts that give a definition of Buddhahood according to Mahayana. I'm unaware of the ambiguity of the terms that you refer to.

First: If this were true and there were a common interpretation then there would be agreement about that in all traditions but there is not such an agreement. The interpretation therefore depends on the convention of the tradition/school/lineage [take whatever term you prefer] you are following.
Second: I said "buddhahood" being a term that conveys indefinite meaning is a mere idea. Even if this idea originates from scripture then it remains a mere idea because neither is the term "buddhahood" entailed by sense perception [if we exclude the reading or hearing of the mere word] nor it is directly entailed by inference because a complex of phenomena is subsumed "buddha" by mere convention.

Pema Rigdzin wrote:Analysis can only be applied to compounded phenomena, not ultimate truth, to which no discursive thoughts apply. This is because it is beyond discursive thought, and thus duality.

This is simply your opening the doorway for ungrounded assertions and to prevent any objections. There is nothing expressible in terms that is not dependent on a convention simply because of being expressed in terms which are dependent on defintions, interpretations of other terms and (in many cases) hidden presuppositions. Thus everything that can be said is subject to analysis.

Pema Rigdzin wrote:Your contention that as soon as we apply a label to anything, ultimate or not, it becomes subject to analysis, is mistaken. The label can be subjected to analysis, but one must keep in mind that applying labels to terms correlating to ultimate truth is just a necessary convention of speech and is only an expedient tool, and doesn't bear on what they are meant to refer to. Ultimate truth can only be accessed once all analysis and discursive thought has been exhausted.

Well then. Are you making ultimate claims or conventional claims when asserting "buddha nature" or "buddhahood"?
If those are ultimate claims then you are contradicting yourself because you are applying discursive thoughts.
If those are conventional claims then these are dependent on a specific convention one may follow or not and are therefore subject to criticism from the perspective of another convention.

Pema Rigdzin wrote:Also, the fact that I referred you to scriptures that treat the topic we've been arguing does not mean I've done so out of blind, pious acceptance of scriptures. In truth, I've read (or heard) them and contemplated their contents and (in some cases) meditated on the understanding I came to. I referred you to them because I feel they offer more than sufficient explanations and reasoning to enable you to see that your own conclusions are not the only viable alternative.

And are you so assuming that I have not done the same because I have come to a different conclusion and do not follow your system of beliefs?

Pema Rigdzin wrote:You apparently care not to explore that possibility, or to read and contemplate those teachings for yourself and then argue against points whose logic you find fault with. That's your prerogative, although it does not make for helpful discussion.

Conventional dialectical teachings have to be based on reason. If what you consider to be "reason" includes certain [interpretations of] scripture then that's your prerogative. If you do not have a rationale for this I can provide you with one: You can argue that you consider these interpretations being the manifestation of the direct perception of wisdom beings who have the capacity to perceive phenomena that are completely hidden for yourself and that therefore you rely on that. Okay? I mean from whatever perspective you look at it it is belief/faith. But there is nothing bad about belief/faith so you do not necessarily have to feel inferior because your position is based on belief/faith.
But why should follow your system of belief when I consider only logical reason being compliant with dialectical teachings?


Pema Rigdzin wrote:If I'm to be frank, it seems like all your self-guided "analysis" has done is make you combative, closed-minded and argumentative, and it seems like you prefer striving to prove others wrong over actually exploring all the logical possibilities available and finding "truth."

There is no need to argue in this way simply because you cannot accept that I do not follow your system of beliefs and are making public statements about that. My analysis is not "self-guided" but guided by teachings. It is not "combative, closed-minded" simply because you cannot accept that it is not compliant with the convention you are following. It is "argumentative" in the sense that it does not accept anything as "given" but is based on the relativity of all conventional expressions which can be exposed by means of logical reason.
Your understanding of "buddha nature" simply is not shared in all buddhist mahayana traditional conventions and I have decided against your system of conventional beliefs in the context of this thread because logical reason has priority in the conventional dialectical system I find the most skillful one. "Skillful" understood as being "removal of the fabricated" but not addition of it.

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Re: Buddha Nature

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:43 am

1) Please enlighten me as to the different definitions of buddhahood that abound in the different Mahayana schools, then. Do not each of the Chittamatra-based traditions find Asanga and Vasubhandu among their principle lineage masters as Madhyamaka-based schools find Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti among theirs?

2) Nothing truly accurate can be said about ultimate truth, because it is not an object of discursive thought, and what is said is only a finger pointing to the moon, not the ultimate truth itself.For this reason, Prasangika Madhyamaka does not involve itself with analyzing ultimate truth and instead simply removes all fabricated views so the ultimate can be nakedly experienced. However, in order to counter the nihilistic tendencies of some beings who would misconstrue emptiness as merely a state of negation, the Buddha and some of his lineage heirs spoke of this experience in order to show that once the veils of delusion have been removed, qualities correlating to this removal of delusion are evident. In other words, buddhahood is not a blank nothingness, nor is it functionless. This is why masters like Nagarjuna, who primarily focused on what came to be known as Madhyamaka, also took the time to write treatises focusing on the qualities of buddhahood.

3) Since you claim to be basing your views on actual Buddhist teachings, which teachers and texts are you basing them on? If your views are more than your own half-baked analysis, then you should be able to cite your sources.

4) If your true nature involves no knowing aspect, i.e. wisdom, inseparable from emptiness, how did your present mind come about and what will happen to it once you realize emptiness?
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Re: Buddha Nature

Postby ground » Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:49 am

Pema Rigdzin wrote:1) Please enlighten me as to the different definitions of buddhahood that abound in the different Mahayana schools, then. Do not each of the Chittamatra-based traditions find Asanga and Vasubhandu among their principle lineage masters as Madhyamaka-based schools find Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti among theirs?

Interpretation implies definition.
There are different interpretations e.g. with reference of a so called "buddha" and his perception of conventional reality. There are different interpretations as to the difference between "buddha" and "arhat".
I may simply refer you to e.g. "Zen" and the different tibetan lineages, e.g. Gelug and comparable views on the one side and the ones that hold views similar to yours on the other side.

Pema Rigdzin wrote:2) Nothing truly accurate can be said about ultimate truth, because it is not an object of discursive thought, and what is said is only a finger pointing to the moon, not the ultimate truth itself.

Your view is not consistent. One can say something true about ultimate truth. However all that is said about ultimate truth belongs to the sphere of conventional truth.
You are mixing up "saying about" from an objectivying perspective and subjective experience. This seems to be your main inconsistency which I have already pointed out above.
Nobody every has said that describing a taste as "sweet" is equivalent to tasting the taste called "sweet". However "sweet" is an accurate, i.e. valid, conventional description of the corresponding taste.

Pema Rigdzin wrote:For this reason, Prasangika Madhyamaka does not involve itself with analyzing ultimate truth and instead simply removes all fabricated views so the ultimate can be nakedly experienced.

Prasangika Madhyamaka following Tsongkhapa's exposition logically and consistently infers emptiness being the lack of inherent existence. Actually it is the only lineage ever that transformed Nagarjuna's emptines teachings into a logically intelligible format. This is really a supreme achievement. But I am not a Gelug practitioner. It is just that the Gelug tradition really is the only one who has not skipped and condemned logical reasoning to the same extent others have done this. So it remains the only refuge for one who appreciates logical reasoning and holds it to be primacy.
"lack of inherent existence" being defined as being the phenomenon that conventionally valid phenomena cannot be found under analysis investigating into the mode of existence.
This is logical inference of ultimate truth in conventional terms. You must not consider this to be "analyzing ultimate truth" because it is simply inference of ultimate truth. Period.

Pema Rigdzin wrote:However, in order to counter the nihilistic tendencies of some beings who would misconstrue emptiness as merely a state of negation, the Buddha and some of his lineage heirs spoke of this experience in order to show that once the veils of delusion have been removed, qualities correlating to this removal of delusion are evident. In other words, buddhahood is not a blank nothingness, nor is it functionless.
This is why masters like Nagarjuna, who primarily focused on what came to be known as Madhyamaka, also took the time to write treatises focusing on the qualities of buddhahood.

Of course if - for the sake of simplicity and to have something to talk about - we define "buddhahood" as being a subjective state of an individual of having removed of all fabrications from experience - this is not "blank nothingness". Would could it be "blank nothingness" since this sentient being will still experience? And how could it be functionless since this sentient being still breathes, moves etc.

Pema Rigdzin wrote:3) Since you claim to be basing your views on actual Buddhist teachings, which teachers and texts are you basing them on? If your views are more than your own half-baked analysis, then you should be able to cite your sources.

To name the teachings with reference to reasoning and logic should suffice in this context: Dharmakirti and the lineage from Nagarjuna up to Candrakirti, Tsongkhapa and his Gelug successors who actually have integrated Dharmakirti's system of thought with Madhyamaka. Please be aware that I am referring to the system of reasoning and logic exlusively here. I am not necessarily refering to the many other teachings of these masters that may teach different subjects.

Pema Rigdzin wrote:4) If your true nature involves no knowing aspect, i.e. wisdom, inseparable from emptiness, how did your present mind come about and what will happen to it once you realize emptiness?

From an objectivying perspective my ultimate nature is emptiness (due to speaking in conventional terms it is conventionally labelled "ultimate nature"). Why? Because I cannot find an "I" and cannot find any "mine" under analysis. Neither can I find a "mind" nor a "body". But although I cannot find a "mind" thoughts continue to arise and I am continually aware of something which is my subjective experience. So combining objectivying perspective and subjective experiencing my conventional "nature" may be described as emptiness on the one objectivied side and moments of "being aware of" on the other subjectivied side.
But my ultimate nature still is emptiness because under analysis these conventional phenomena cannot be found.
From the fact that "I" am imprisoned in an inevitable circularity due to "mind" being the observer and "mind" being the observed at the same time the only valid conclusion is that "being a sentient being" is another aspect of my conventionally true nature. But - just to repeat - my true nature is emptiness and only emptiness because "sentient being" cannot be found either.

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Re: Buddha Nature

Postby White Lotus » Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:18 pm

this is very thorough! Spockky couldnt have provided a clearer analysis.

Pema, there are a multitude of arisings in the mind, yours is one, Tmingyur's is another and mine is another... were we all identical no one would debate the finer material of dharma.

one school discourages thought and concept, another encourages thought and concept, these two positions are really both the same, simply arisings in emptiness of emptiness. the mind is empty and empty of inherent existence, but for reasons of convention we use the term 'mind'. infact i find that there is no mind on inspection, there are actually not even arisings or cessations of thought, though once it appeared that there were.

i will now print out both of your posts for study later. :reading:

thank you, and appreciated.

with love, from, White Lotus. xxx
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: Buddha Nature

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:44 pm

White Lotus I agree, this is fabulous dialogue :)

Kindly,
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Re: Buddha Nature

Postby Dexing » Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:11 pm

White Lotus wrote:infact i find that there is no mind on inspection


No mind that can be inspected perhaps.

Because all things that can be inspected are objects of mind, not mind itself. Of course you cannot find mind in those objects (sights, sounds, smells, tastes, tangibles, ideas).

However, I type, that's my mind. You read, that's your mind.

While everything in a dream is illusory (objects of mind), there is the capacity to dream (mind).

"All things are created by mind alone" is the Mahayana phrase.

But this "mind" we speak of in conventional terms is also but an idea, which is just another object of mind (thought-consciousness) and not mind itself.

"The eye can't see itself, and the mind can't know itself."

However, you should be able to deduce a mind able to dream, from the fact that there is obviously dreaming, albeit the objects in a dream (including I, me, my) are total illusion.

Otherwise you fall into complete emptiness-delusion, concluding that since all is illusory and you cannot find mind, that there is absolutely nothing, not even mind capable of dreaming. This however doesn't stand to reason.

If you want to see mind, you cannot use mind. How can a camera take a picture of itself?

Meanwhile, I type, you read.....

:namaste:
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Re: Buddha Nature

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:19 am

PR's edit: accidental double post
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Re: Buddha Nature

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:20 am

1) You have not answered my first question, only re-stated that there are supposedly different "interpretations of what buddha means." I'm asking you to specify what those differences are, since you claim to know of them.

2) My view is entirely consistent. Let me reiterate it for you. One can say accurate things (with respect to valid cognition or valid inferred cognition) about conventional phenomena. However, the ultimate truth is not an object of the conventional minds (discursive thought) and can only be nakedly experienced once the discursive mind has exhausted itself. Therefore, ultimate truth is not an object of analysis and anything one says about it -such as saying that emptiness is not blank but is inseparable from wisdom devoid of subject an object- is merely an expedient means of communication to stave off wrong views (such as that emptiness is nothingness and devoid of wisdom).

3) So let me get this straight... according to you, Dharmakirti, Nagarjuna, Chandrakirti, and Tsongkhapa and the Gelugpas deny the inseparability of emptiness and wisdom and merely use emptiness to negate everything but emptiness? Are you really sure any of these masters ever said that analytical reasoning trumped primordial wisdom??? Or did they in fact say that analytical reasoning can take one's discursive mind to its very limits, at which point primordial wisdom can be laid bare?

4) Since you did not answer my previous 4th question, but instead just reiterated something about emptiness being mere negation, I'll restate the question: If your true nature involves no knowing aspect, i.e. wisdom, inseparable from emptiness, how did your present mind come about and what will happen to it once you realize emptiness?

5) You said:
TMingyur wrote:Of course if - for the sake of simplicity and to have something to talk about - we define "buddhahood" as being a subjective state of an individual of having removed of all fabrications from experience - this is not "blank nothingness". Would could it be "blank nothingness" since this sentient being will still experience? And how could it be functionless since this sentient being still breathes, moves etc.

That's of course your own definition, but for the sake of argument, when such a sentient being dies, does this "buddhahood" die with him or her?

6) You have said that upon analysis, you cannot find your mind. In what way was it unable to be found?

7) What is it that cognizes emptiness?
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Re: Buddha Nature

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:00 am

White Lotus wrote:one school discourages thought and concept, another encourages thought and concept, these two positions are really both the same, simply arisings in emptiness of emptiness.


Actually, no, this is just a mistaken notion of TMingyur's. He thinks that Tsongkhapa and the Gelugpas think reasoning trumps non-conceptual, non-dual, primordial wisdom (or even worse, that they deny it!) and he thinks that the other Tibetan traditions discourage and condemn reasoning. None of these ideas could be further from the truth. All Tibetan Buddhist schools combine strong traditions of reasoning and strong traditions of getting to the heart of the matter through direct experience in meditation. They all place Prasangika Madhyamaka as the pinnacle view and none of them claim one can "think" non-dual primordial wisdom. And no Tibetan Buddhist tradition denies primordial wisdom or tries to make it into some conventional phenomena so they can claim it is or isn't an object of valid conventional cognition like TMingyur does.

Let me give you some proof. TMingyur claims he traces his views back to the Indian masters Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti, so let me provide a quote from Chandrakirti's Madhyamakavatara (Introduction to the Middle Way) which is his commentary on Nagarjuna's Mula-Madhyamaka-karikas (Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way). Mind you, these two texts are the central pillar of the Madhyamaka tradition TMingyur claims he follows and which he claims agrees with him. In chapter 11 (The Ultimate Ground of Buddhahood), beginning at stanza 15, Chandrakirti states:

"As when a sturdy potter plies his wheel and labors long and hard to get it turning well, it later spins without his further work, and pots are seen to be produced thereon.

It is the same for those who dwell within the dharmakaya -- all exertion ends. Yet through their special prayers* and beings' merit, deeds arise beyond imagining.

The tinder of phenomena is all consumed, and this is peace, the dharmakaya of the Conquerors. There is no origin and no cessation. The mind is stopped, the kaya manifests.

This peaceful kaya, radiant like the wishfulfilling tree, is like the wishing jewel that without forethought lavishes the riches of the world on beings till they gain enlightenment. It is perceived by those who are beyond conceptual constructions."


Chandrakirti then goes on to define buddhahood as possessing 10 strengths. This whole chapter on the qualities of buddhahood comes at the end of a whole book on the qualities of each of the bodhisattva bhumis preceding buddhahood and shows how buddhahood exceeds them all. If TMingyur wishes, I can include the commentary on this text by Nyingma master Mipham Rinpoche, a scholar and yogi famous for his expositions on valid reasoning and Madhyamaka, as well as a master of the utterly non-conceptual Dzogchen or Great Perfection.

*special prayers (from above in Chandrakirti's quote): Chandrakirti is referring to prayers that buddhas made while still bodhisattvas on the path. It is said that when the accumulation of wisdom is complete, one attains buddhahood and the realization of the dharmakaya is one's own benefit. At the same time, on the strength of the vast accumulation of merit and aspirational prayers one accumulated over one's career as a bodhisattva and dedicated to the liberation of the field of infinite sentient beings, the unceasing appearance and activities of form kayas arises spontaneously and effortlessly for the benefit of beings until they've all been liberated.
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Re: Buddha Nature

Postby Huifeng » Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:58 am

Maybe the thread name should be changed to "Buddha Nature - According to the Tibetans".

If one takes the time to read the original post, Dharmakid states that s/he is a former practitioner of Zen. Focusing on a range of sutras (and maybe some sastras) of the Tathagatagarbha class is probably going to be more to the point.

Too much talk about Vasubandhu and Asanga, or Nagarjuna and especially Candrakirti (who was basically a non-figure in East Asian Buddhism) (let alone Tsong Khapa and the Gelugs) is probably not going to answer Dharmakid's questions about Buddha Nature with a Zen style point of view. Not to say that the above discussion is not useful, but don't you think that we are kind of getting a bit off topic?
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Re: Buddha Nature

Postby Huifeng » Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:01 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
Buddha-datu = 如来蔵
Tathagatagarba = 佛性

Just messin' with ya' :tongue:
(I don't know Chinese, I just pasted them off of wikipedia.)



:oops: It should be the other way around:

Buddha-datu = 佛性
Tathagatagarba = 如来蔵
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Re: Buddha Nature

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:22 am

Huifeng,

To be fair, my only original intention was to introduce the bodhisattva Maitreya's treatise on buddha nature which according to Mahayana tradition was written down and brought into this world by Asanga. Then TMingyur started in with his accusations of the tathagatagarbha being a self and contradictory to the Mahayana teachings on emptiness, and I felt the need to disprove that. I think the relationship between emptiness and qualities is entirely pertinent to the discussion of what buddha nature is and people's questions about it. However, I shouldn't have let myself get drug into a debate about TMingyur's misunderstanding of some Tibetan masters' views about all this. It's just difficult not to when these topics are so intertwined in the realm of actual discussion in the Tibetan schools and that is my orientation.
Pema Rigdzin
 
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