Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby Jnana » Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:56 pm

Nangwa wrote:Some Tibetans made up the words in order to argue with one another over who was better at intellectual posturing and polemics.

Best answer so far.

:good:
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby ronnewmexico » Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:01 pm

This central issue may serve as the basis for practice, a core teaching for some....others it may be unsubstantial.

Most I would say do not arbitrarily engage it.
So I disagree.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby kalden yungdrung » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:13 pm

DarwidHalim wrote:Dear Members,

What are the exact difference between them?


Tashi delek,

The Sautrantikas have their base on the Sutras who contain for them the teachings.

There are Sautrantikas :
- The followers of the scriptures like Vasubandhu
- Those who reason like Dignaga and Dharmakirti.

Further:
1. Cause and result cannot exist simultaneously
2. Consciousness does not perceive its object “naked”, but is generated due to its imaginations

Here is the latter point the main difference between Prasangika Madyamika and Sautrantika, that regarding the latter above mentioned point 2 , the Prasangika Madyamika are convinced that the external objects do exist in a conventional way. Their conventional way is a part of the 2 Truths (Rog gi ban sde) namely the absolute and the conventional truth.

Convention – (Kun dzob)
- Correct convention ( Yang dag pa’I kun rdzob ) – That which is able to function according to its appearence
- False convention (Log pa’I kun rdzob) – That which lack the ability to function according its appearence

The other schools are not convinced about the point of view of the Prasangikas and adhere to the position that the external objects do not exist as such, as they "APPEAR" to the mind of karma.


But to what they all the Vaibhashika's, Sautrantika's, Chittamatrins and Madyamika's agree to, are these 4 seals:

1. All objects / phenomenon are impermanent and disintegrate at some time
2. All contaminated objects are sorrow etc. . These are the states of consciousness, which relates the objects with an independent existence
3. All phenomenon are without a self because the interdependency they cannot exist on their own.
4. Nirvana is peace

Mutsog Marro
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THOUGH A MAN BE LEARNED
IF HE DOES NOT APPLY HIS KNOWLEDGE
HE RESEMBLES THE BLIND MAN
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby conebeckham » Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:06 pm

kalden yungdrung wrote:Here is the latter point the main difference between Prasangika Madyamika and Sautrantika, that regarding the latter above mentioned point 2 , the Prasangika Madyamika are convinced that the external objects do exist in a conventional way. Their conventional way is a part of the 2 Truths (Rog gi ban sde) namely the absolute and the conventional truth.

Convention – (Kun dzob)
- Correct convention ( Yang dag pa’I kun rdzob ) – That which is able to function according to its appearence
- False convention (Log pa’I kun rdzob) – That which lack the ability to function according its appearence

The other schools are not convinced about the point of view of the Prasangikas and adhere to the position that the external objects do not exist as such, as they appear to the mind of karma.

Mutsog Marro
KY[/color]


I think we need to clarify further...

First off, there's two terms we need to clarify--Svatantrika, which is usually set against Prasangika.....and Sautrantika, which is a further qualifier, in Tibetan terms, of a "type" of Svantatrika Madhyamika (in other words, "Sautrantika-Svatantrika Madhyamikas," as opposed to "Yogacara-Svatantrika Madhyamikas.") Again, as I said earlier, this is all a "post-Indian" development, I think, by Tibetans, in a similar manner to the whole "Rangtong/Shentong" bifurcation--though it's argued that all these "bifurcations" stem from close analysis of various Indic texts by the acknowledged masters.

Actually, Svatantrika Madhyamikas, according to the interpretation I've been taught, attempt to establish their positions regarding conventional truth by direct valid cognition and autonomous arguments,or "reasons." From the POV of convention (deluded mind), there is "conventional existence"-- either that conventional, external phenomena conventionally exist (Sautrantika-Svatantrika), or that all is mind from the POV of conventional truth (Yogacara-Svatantrikas--Keep in mind, they're not asserting the absolute existence of mind, as some would say the Yogacaras or Cittamatrins do...) They then apply the idea of "Function" to conventional truths to determine if they are "correct" or "false," as you outline.

Prasangikas, in contrast, do not assert any existence whatsoever, and take great pains to not posit any thing. They are only concerned with negating any "positive" statement whatsoever.

Your confusion stems from a frankly Geluk-centric position in Western academic circles since the late 1960's. This is because, according to some interpreters and followers of Tsong Khapa, the novel "qualifier" of "Inherent" is used to negate all assertions about any mode of existence on the ultimate level. This tends to leave a sort of "remainder," a "noninherent" existence which is understood to be the conventional truth.

Prasangikas, other than Tsong Khapa, and in my opinion this includes Chandakirti, as well as many Tibetan scholars, say that conventional truth is the mere appearance of phenomena, about which nothing further can be posited conceptually. Ultimate Truth is the lack of existence of conditioned phenomena.
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby kalden yungdrung » Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:20 pm

conebeckham wrote:
kalden yungdrung wrote:Here is the latter point the main difference between Prasangika Madyamika and Sautrantika, that regarding the latter above mentioned point 2 , the Prasangika Madyamika are convinced that the external objects do exist in a conventional way. Their conventional way is a part of the 2 Truths (Rog gi ban sde) namely the absolute and the conventional truth.

Convention – (Kun dzob)
- Correct convention ( Yang dag pa’I kun rdzob ) – That which is able to function according to its appearence
- False convention (Log pa’I kun rdzob) – That which lack the ability to function according its appearence

The other schools are not convinced about the point of view of the Prasangikas and adhere to the position that the external objects do not exist as such, as they appear to the mind of karma.

Mutsog Marro
KY[/color]


I think we need to clarify further...

First off, there's two terms we need to clarify--Svatantrika, which is usually set against Prasangika.....and Sautrantika, which is a further qualifier, in Tibetan terms, of a "type" of Svantatrika Madhyamika (in other words, "Sautrantika-Svatantrika Madhyamikas," as opposed to "Yogacara-Svatantrika Madhyamikas.") Again, as I said earlier, this is all a "post-Indian" development, I think, by Tibetans, in a similar manner to the whole "Rangtong/Shentong" bifurcation--though it's argued that all these "bifurcations" stem from close analysis of various Indic texts by the acknowledged masters.

Actually, Svatantrika Madhyamikas, according to the interpretation I've been taught, attempt to establish their positions regarding conventional truth by direct valid cognition and autonomous arguments,or "reasons." From the POV of convention (deluded mind), there is "conventional existence"-- either that conventional, external phenomena conventionally exist (Sautrantika-Svatantrika), or that all is mind from the POV of conventional truth (Yogacara-Svatantrikas--Keep in mind, they're not asserting the absolute existence of mind, as some would say the Yogacaras or Cittamatrins do...) They then apply the idea of "Function" to conventional truths to determine if they are "correct" or "false," as you outline.

Prasangikas, in contrast, do not assert any existence whatsoever, and take great pains to not posit any thing. They are only concerned with negating any "positive" statement whatsoever.

Your confusion stems from a frankly Geluk-centric position in Western academic circles since the late 1960's. This is because, according to some interpreters and followers of Tsong Khapa, the novel "qualifier" of "Inherent" is used to negate all assertions about any mode of existence on the ultimate level. This tends to leave a sort of "remainder," a "noninherent" existence which is understood to be the conventional truth.

Prasangikas say that conventional truth is the mere appearance of phenomena, about which nothing further can be posited conceptually. Ultimate Truth is the lack of existence of conditioned phenomena.




Tashi delek,

Thanks for your reply.

Yes i know there are some more explanations possible regarding Madyamika, but i did choose for "my" most clear interpretation about it.

Yes sure Prasangika is a forced pushed Geluk philosophy inside Tibet from before 1959. The Tibetans did develop out of the Indian system their clarifications about the Madyamika philosophy so there arose the Rangtong and Shentong and many more. :shock:

All philosophy is based on the Vaibhashika, Sautrantika / Svatantrika etc. the Nikaya forms of Indian Buddhism and some were accepted by the conciles and some conciles were not accepted as valid like the 4th Concile of Kashmir where the Mahayana arose.

Confusing? Yes sure but not so for me after a long period of studying. So after all did i accept the Dzogchen point of view regarding emptiness (Tong Pa Nyid) and not so the (Prasangika) Madyamika philosophy. And here i did make real progress, how is that possible?

Why? Because that Madyamika philosophy is one sided and therefore confusing. But i would prefer anyway Dolpopas Shentong point of view regarding Madyamika philosophy. Others more Rangtong.......

What do you prefer in the bush of trees of Madyamika emptiness?

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THOUGH A MAN BE LEARNED
IF HE DOES NOT APPLY HIS KNOWLEDGE
HE RESEMBLES THE BLIND MAN
WHO WITH A LAMP IN THE HAND CANNOT SEE THE ROAD
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby Tom » Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:40 am

Sometimes I think with Madhyamaka it is more helpful to relate positions to different masters and their works rather than talk about different schools, for example discussing how Nagarjuna explains svabahva in MMK compared with how Candrakirti explains the same topic in PP, even what did Tsongkhapa say Candrikirti had to say etc.

This seems clearer than discussing different philosophical systems which are attributed different positions depending on the yigcha you are reading. Of course within systems these different philosophical systems are pedagogically useful for bringing a student to a certain understanding but it is for this reason that they might give a less than accurate portrayal of a particular school or particular master and it is better to go straight to the source. This is what I have found anyways.
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby Jnana » Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:54 am

Tom wrote:it is better to go straight to the source.

A bit of advice I received from Namdrol years ago has served me pretty well thus far: In all cases rely on the Indian source texts.
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby conebeckham » Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:19 pm

Well, the thread wouldn't exist if we relied only on the Indian Texts...the question, I feel, wouldn't even have existed.

But perhaps that's an important point in itself, eh?
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby Josef » Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:46 pm

conebeckham wrote:Well, the thread wouldn't exist if we relied only on the Indian Texts...the question, I feel, wouldn't even have existed.

But perhaps that's an important point in itself, eh?

Thats exactly the point I was trying to make at the beginning of the thread.
These intellectual distinctions are completely unnecessary. People make madhyamika far more complicated than it has to be. We have Tibetan polemics to thank for the confusion.
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby Jnana » Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:55 pm

conebeckham wrote:Well, the thread wouldn't exist if we relied only on the Indian Texts...the question, I feel, wouldn't even have existed.

But perhaps that's an important point in itself, eh?

I'm not suggesting that we should rely only on the Indian authors' texts. Rather, use the Indian texts as primary and representative of the author in question, and use the Tibetan texts and classification schemes as secondary or supplementary. We know that this Mādhyamaka classification scheme isn't an Indian creation, and we also know that there is no uniform agreement among Tibetan authors as to which Indian mādhyamika authors fall into which classification. In short, the Indian authors works speak for themselves and this classification scheme is rather unnecessary.
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby ronnewmexico » Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:56 pm

I agree intellectual distinctions are unnecessary. Real distinctions are however necessary. Nameing...how important is that? What this or that may be called or from where......but we must name it seems and such is this thread.

It may touch on important issues...N's particular comment may hint at that. NOt the named thing the thing.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby Jnana » Tue Nov 01, 2011 6:00 pm

Nangwa wrote:These intellectual distinctions are completely unnecessary. People make madhyamika far more complicated than it has to be. We have Tibetan polemics to thank for the confusion.

Agreed. And can prejudice a student's opinions on some really excellent Indian Mādhyamaka.
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby Malcolm » Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:12 pm

conebeckham wrote:Well, the thread wouldn't exist if we relied only on the Indian Texts...



Yes and that would be wonderful...
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby conebeckham » Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:48 pm

...but unlikely. :smile:
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby conebeckham » Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:54 pm

Seriously, folks....the VAST majority of published work available in Western languages, where, after all, most of us are first exposed to Madhyamika, contains "bias" or "Interpretation" of one sort or another, based on Tibetan commentarial tradition. For better or worse, primary sources, uncolored by Tibetan exposition, are thin on the ground.

I'd venture that 99% of people who've even heard or read the word "Madhyamika" encountered it via some Tibetan presentation of Nagarjuna or Chandrakirti, or some academic presentation, colored by the influence of one or more Tibetan expository traditions.

Anyone care to suggest books in Western languages that avoid such things, and stick to the Indian Texts? That may be helpful for those reading this thread.....
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Tue Nov 01, 2011 9:08 pm

Doesn't stick to the Indian sources, but this is the best noob intoduction out there IMHO:

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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby Jnana » Tue Nov 01, 2011 9:54 pm

conebeckham wrote:Seriously, folks....the VAST majority of published work available in Western languages, where, after all, most of us are first exposed to Madhyamika, contains "bias" or "Interpretation" of one sort or another, based on Tibetan commentarial tradition. For better or worse, primary sources, uncolored by Tibetan exposition, are thin on the ground.

I'd venture that 99% of people who've even heard or read the word "Madhyamika" encountered it via some Tibetan presentation of Nagarjuna or Chandrakirti, or some academic presentation, colored by the influence of one or more Tibetan expository traditions.

Anyone care to suggest books in Western languages that avoid such things, and stick to the Indian Texts? That may be helpful for those reading this thread.....

Sure. Reading Tibetan certainly helps, as any modern translation is going to contain interpretation of some sort. But here are a few translations of Indian texts listed in chronological order (caveat: some of the translations are certainly not great, which is again why it's very helpful to read Tibetan):

Nagarjuna's Precious Garland: Buddhist Advice for Living and Liberation
Causality & Emptiness: The Wisdom of Nagarjuna
The Dispeller of Disputes: Nagarjuna's Vigrahavyavartani
Bhavaviveka's Prajnapradipa: Six Chapters
Bhaviveka and His Buddhist Opponents: Chapters 4 and 5 of the verses on the Heart of the Middle Way with the Commentary
Nagarjuna's Reason Sixty (Yuktisastika) with Candrakirti's Commentary
The Way of the Bodhisattva by Shantideva
Jnanagarbha's Commentary on the Distinction Between the Two Truths
Madhyamika and Epistemology: A Study of Kamalasila's Method for Proving the Voidness of all Dharmas
Meditation and the Concept of Insight in Kamalaśīla's Bhāvanākramas
The Stages of Meditation by Vimalamitra
The Complete Works of Atisa, The Lamp for the Path & Commentary
Elaborations on Emptiness (All Eight Extant Indian Commentaries on the Heart Sutra)

There are other published texts poorly translated that are not worth opening. There have also been materials translated in Academic Journals over the years, again of varying quality.
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby Tom » Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:18 pm

Actually, I think the Tibetan masters had a lot of important things to say about resolving ignorance. I also think it is contradictory to consider them realized masters and totally disregard their works on emptiness. However, if you want to understand Madhyamaka read Nagarjuna and best do in Sanskrit.
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby conebeckham » Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:08 pm

Jnana wrote:
conebeckham wrote:Seriously, folks....the VAST majority of published work available in Western languages, where, after all, most of us are first exposed to Madhyamika, contains "bias" or "Interpretation" of one sort or another, based on Tibetan commentarial tradition. For better or worse, primary sources, uncolored by Tibetan exposition, are thin on the ground.

I'd venture that 99% of people who've even heard or read the word "Madhyamika" encountered it via some Tibetan presentation of Nagarjuna or Chandrakirti, or some academic presentation, colored by the influence of one or more Tibetan expository traditions.

Anyone care to suggest books in Western languages that avoid such things, and stick to the Indian Texts? That may be helpful for those reading this thread.....

Sure. Reading Tibetan certainly helps, as any modern translation is going to contain interpretation of some sort. But here are a few translations of Indian texts listed in chronological order (caveat: some of the translations are certainly not great, which is again why it's very helpful to read Tibetan):

Nagarjuna's Precious Garland: Buddhist Advice for Living and Liberation
Causality & Emptiness: The Wisdom of Nagarjuna
The Dispeller of Disputes: Nagarjuna's Vigrahavyavartani
Bhavaviveka's Prajnapradipa: Six Chapters
Bhaviveka and His Buddhist Opponents: Chapters 4 and 5 of the verses on the Heart of the Middle Way with the Commentary
Nagarjuna's Reason Sixty (Yuktisastika) with Candrakirti's Commentary
The Way of the Bodhisattva by Shantideva
Jnanagarbha's Commentary on the Distinction Between the Two Truths
Madhyamika and Epistemology: A Study of Kamalasila's Method for Proving the Voidness of all Dharmas
Meditation and the Concept of Insight in Kamalaśīla's Bhāvanākramas
The Stages of Meditation by Vimalamitra
The Complete Works of Atisa, The Lamp for the Path & Commentary
Elaborations on Emptiness (All Eight Extant Indian Commentaries on the Heart Sutra)

There are other published texts poorly translated that are not worth opening. There have also been materials translated in Academic Journals over the years, again of varying quality.


First off, why would it be good to read Tibetan if we're talking about Sanksrit texts?
(This is not a question for which I expect an answer--it's a question that the reader should ponder for him or herself....but "Why Tibetan? Why not Sanskrit?")

Second, how many of these volumes you've listed, do you think, have "extensive commentarial apparatus" which is influenced by one or more Tibetan Expository traditions? I've read a few of them, which is why I raise the question....again, for our readers, and not for an answer here. Do you understand what I'm getting at?

The ones I've read were quite good, BTW, and I think this is a good list...
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby Mariusz » Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:35 am

I don't think there is "archeological" need for finding Indian Madhyamaka again. I wonder if it is even possible? The same is for Indian Vajrayana, which is now tibetan "modified". Madhyamaka can be investigated successfully now and in tibetan version works compatible with the tibetan Mahamudra or Dzogchen today.
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