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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:11 am 
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conebeckham wrote:
Do you understand what I'm getting at?

Glistening networks of conditioned relations?

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:19 pm 
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No, but that's much nicer.
:smile:
For better or worse, the project of attempting to get to the "original source texts of Indian Madhyamika" is a fool's errand for the 99% of us who do not have access to the original, SANSKRIT/INDIC texts, and can read them in their original languages.

Many of the translations into Western languages are done from Tibetan, or Chinese, versions of the originals. It's no secret that there are divergent "translations" of many texts. Then there is the background of the translator to consider--again, it's no secret that the translation, itself, may lean toward a certain interpretation of the source text, based on the training of the translator.

Your list includes examples of all these things. Not to mention the commentary, footnotes, and other explicative apparatus most of these books have, which reflect various, usually Tibetan, pedagogical traditions.

So perhaps it's better to say that one should strive to understand these texts as best one can with as little commentary and explication as possible, but, more importantly, to understand that the process of history has led us to a situation where a question such as "what's the difference between Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika" can be asked in the first place. Such a question could not be asked, were it not for the historical process of commentary, explication, polemics, etc. Another alternative, and one I think is perhaps the best answer to the general question of "how to understand Madhyamika," is to read as much as possible, and to make a conscious attempt to expose oneself to a wide variety of commentary from various pedagogical traditions. Frankly, though, it's only in the last decade that non-Tibetan, non-Sanskrit reading students can do that.

The third alternative, and one I feel the majority of us follow, is to stick to one Tibetan pedagogical tradition.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:34 pm 
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conebeckham wrote:

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.....

Loppon Namdrol provided a list recently when I asked him about this.


This is what he said:

Namdrol: Basically the rang stong/gzhan stong controversy is bullshit, and so is the prasangika/svatantrika controversy.

If you want to understand Madhyamaka, don't read Tibetan accounts of Madhyamaka dating after the 13th century. And here, it is better still just to rely on Indian masters. The sole exception to this is Khenpa Shenga's treatises, which are just Indian commentaries turned into footnoted annotations of root texts.

N

Kevin: Keeping the above in mind, what would you recommend in English?

Namdrol:

The Yogic Deeds of Bodhisattvas
INTRODUCTION TO THE MIDDLE WAY: Chandrakirti's Madhyamakavatara with Commentary by Jamgon Mipham
THE ORNAMENT OF REASON: The Great Commentary to Nagarjuna's Root of the Middle Way
NAGARJUNA'S REASON SIXTY (Yuktisastika) with CANDRAKIRTI'S COMMENTARY (Yuktisastikavrtti)

This is my shortlist.

_________

Kevin

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:40 pm 
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conebeckham wrote:
Many of the translations into Western languages are done from Tibetan, or Chinese, versions of the originals. It's no secret that there are divergent "translations" of many texts. Then there is the background of the translator to consider--again, it's no secret that the translation, itself, may lean toward a certain interpretation of the source text, based on the training of the translator.

Your list includes examples of all these things. Not to mention the commentary, footnotes, and other explicative apparatus most of these books have, which reflect various, usually Tibetan, pedagogical traditions.

So perhaps it's better to say that one should strive to understand these texts as best one can with as little commentary and explication as possible, but, more importantly, to understand that the process of history has led us to a situation where a question such as "what's the difference between Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika" can be asked in the first place. Such a question could not be asked, were it not for the historical process of commentary, explication, polemics, etc.


Well Cone, it still sounds to me like your elaborating (quite well I might add) on glistening networks of conditioned relations. :tongue: Said another way: All languages, texts, authors, readers, and so on, are embedded in their own time and place, and are conditioned by their time and place, i.e. social and cultural conditioning, and other factors probably too numerous to contemplate. This shouldn't be overlooked by anyone. But we can still rely on the Indian texts from within our own embedded context.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:00 pm 
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Thanks. :smile:
I'm glistening with gratitude at the compliment.

I think we agree! I suppose the horse is now not only dead, but, in fact, glue.

Also, thanks to Kevin for re-posting the short list, I had seen that before but forgotten it, and I think it's a good resource.

The Chandrakirti/Mipham book is really, really good, IMO, as is Yogic Deeds...

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:16 pm 
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http://www.snowlionpub.com/html/product_9594.html
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This is the new version of the earlier "Yogic Deeds of Bodhisattvas" published by Snow Lion.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:28 pm 
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conebeckham wrote:
I think we agree!

I can't remember a time when I've ever had reason to disagree with you Cone.

:buddha1:


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:46 pm 
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Thanks, and ditto!

:smile:

What do folks think about adding Shantideva to the list---surely the Bodhicharayavatara is an important Indian text dealing with Madhyamika?

And what about Shantarakshita?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:14 pm 
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conebeckham wrote:
Thanks, and ditto!

:smile:

What do folks think about adding Shantideva to the list---surely the Bodhicharayavatara is an important Indian text dealing with Madhyamika?

And what about Shantarakshita?


I was wondering why the Bodhicharyavatara wasn't on the list. But Shantarakshita may be too late a development to make the list of ancient Indian source material. So we have him in sources other than Mipham for example?

Kirt

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:05 pm 
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conebeckham wrote:
What do folks think about adding Shantideva to the list---surely the Bodhicharayavatara is an important Indian text dealing with Madhyamika?

Śāntideva's Bodhicaryāvatāra is on the list I offered. A good modern translation of the Śikṣāsamuccaya is still needed. The Śikṣāsamuccaya informs the practical dimension of the Bodhicaryāvatāra in many ways. There are also a few Indian commentaries on the Bodhicaryāvatāra which await translation.

conebeckham wrote:
And what about Shantarakshita?

Yes, another very important Indian author. I would have included both The Adornment of the Middle Way and The Ornament of the Middle Way in the previous list but as they include Tibetan commentaries they didn't really meet the criteria you asked for. IMO no study of Indian Mādhyamaka is complete without the inclusion of Śāntarakṣita and Kamalaśīla. In fact, one of the regrettable consequences of the Tibetan classification scheme of Indian Mādhyamaka authors is to marginalize these two genius Indian mādhyamikas in some circles. Also, if one actually wants to practice Mādhyamaka meditation the stages presented by Śāntarakṣita & Kamalaśīla is an exceptional way to do so, and also nicely paves the way for learning Tibetan chagchen and/or dzogchen meditation.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:03 pm 
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Jnana, what translation are you using for Śikṣāsamuccaya? (I only have a very old translation from the sanskrit by Bendall and Rouse)

Also, besides Prajnakaramati's commentary are you able to provide any more info on the other Indian commentaries of Bodhicaryavatara?

Thanks heaps.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:57 pm 
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Tom wrote:
Jnana, what translation are you using for Śikṣāsamuccaya? (I only have a very old translation from the sanskrit by Bendall and Rouse)

Yeah, that's still the only Western language translation that we have. If one is already knowledgeable of the subject matter it is usable, but it's far from satisfactory for the novice reader. IMO it's to our detriment that we don't have a high quality modern translation of this important text. Paul Harrison has told me that he is planning to make a new translation but thus far has only completed a rough draft of a couple of chapters. However, we do have Richard Mahoney's Of the Progresse of the Bodhisattva: the bodhisattvamarga in the Siksasamuccaya.

Tom wrote:
Also, besides Prajnakaramati's commentary are you able to provide any more info on the other Indian commentaries of Bodhicaryavatara?

Do you have, or can you get your hands on a copy of The Way of the Bodhisattva? The 2008 hardcover revised edition includes a bibliography listing all of the extant Indian commentaries on the Bodhicaryāvatāra which have been translated and preserved in the Tibetan Tengyur. According to this source there are eight complete commentaries and six partial commentaries. The authors of some of the commentaries are unknown. The only complete commentary to survive in Sanskrit is the one written by Prajñākaramati. For a partial list of these commentaries see The Tanjur Bodhicaryāvatāra Auxiliaries.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:06 am 
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Jnana wrote:
Tom wrote:
Jnana, what translation are you using for Śikṣāsamuccaya? (I only have a very old translation from the sanskrit by Bendall and Rouse)

Yeah, that's still the only Western language translation that we have. If one is already knowledgeable of the subject matter it is usable, but it's far from satisfactory for the novice reader. IMO it's to our detriment that we don't have a high quality modern translation of this important text. Paul Harrison has told me that he is planning to make a new translation but thus far has only completed a rough draft of a couple of chapters. However, we do have Richard Mahoney's Of the Progresse of the Bodhisattva: the bodhisattvamarga in the Siksasamuccaya.

Tom wrote:
Also, besides Prajnakaramati's commentary are you able to provide any more info on the other Indian commentaries of Bodhicaryavatara?

Do you have, or can you get your hands on a copy of The Way of the Bodhisattva? The 2008 hardcover revised edition includes a bibliography listing all of the extant Indian commentaries on the Bodhicaryāvatāra which have been translated and preserved in the Tibetan Tengyur. According to this source there are eight complete commentaries and six partial commentaries. The authors of some of the commentaries are unknown. The only complete commentary to survive in Sanskrit is the one written by Prajñākaramati. For a partial list of these commentaries see The Tanjur Bodhicaryāvatāra Auxiliaries.


Awesome - appreciate the references - thanks heaps!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 3:36 pm 
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conebeckham wrote:
The third alternative, and one I feel the majority of us follow, is to stick to one Tibetan pedagogical tradition.

I think it is better to stick to Nagarajuna and Aryadeva. Nagarjuna and Arydeva are straighyforward and easy to understand. This is the "pedagogical tradition" of Khenpo Shenga.


N

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:44 pm 
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Namdrol wrote:
conebeckham wrote:
The third alternative, and one I feel the majority of us follow, is to stick to one Tibetan pedagogical tradition.

I think it is better to stick to Nagarajuna and Aryadeva. Nagarjuna and Arydeva are straighyforward and easy to understand. This is the "pedagogical tradition" of Khenpo Shenga.


N


...which is really just using Vasubandu's commentaries, mainly, to "flesh out" the rather terse original texts, in most instances, is it not?

I'm reading the translation of Maitreya/Asanga's Madhyantavibhaga currently, which has Khenpo Shenga's commentary as well as a commentary by Mipham. This particular text is more terse, perhaps, than Nagarjuna and Aryadeva's originals, but I'm sure glad Mipham wrote his commentary.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:47 am 
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Namdrol wrote:
conebeckham wrote:
I think it is better to stick to Nagarajuna and Aryadeva. Nagarjuna and Arydeva are straighyforward and easy to understand.


They aren't to me.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 12:41 pm 
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Jinzang wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
conebeckham wrote:
I think it is better to stick to Nagarajuna and Aryadeva. Nagarjuna and Arydeva are straighyforward and easy to understand.


They aren't to me.


What do you find difficult about them?

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 12:43 pm 
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conebeckham wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
conebeckham wrote:
The third alternative, and one I feel the majority of us follow, is to stick to one Tibetan pedagogical tradition.

I think it is better to stick to Nagarajuna and Aryadeva. Nagarjuna and Arydeva are straighyforward and easy to understand. This is the "pedagogical tradition" of Khenpo Shenga.


N


...which is really just using Vasubandu's commentaries, mainly, to "flesh out" the rather terse original texts, in most instances, is it not?

I'm reading the translation of Maitreya/Asanga's Madhyantavibhaga currently, which has Khenpo Shenga's commentary as well as a commentary by Mipham. This particular text is more terse, perhaps, than Nagarjuna and Aryadeva's originals, but I'm sure glad Mipham wrote his commentary.



Hi Cone:

This is but one text out of many. The text you are referring has nothing to do with Madhyamaka, despite Mipham's bold attempt to make it fit into a Madhyamaka mold by riding roughshod over the text.
Shenga's MMK commentary consists of wrapping the MMK in Buddhapalita's commentary.

N

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:57 pm 
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Namdrol wrote:
This is but one text out of many.

Just to add for anyone unfamiliar with his commentaries: Khenpo Shenga's list of Thirteen Great Texts includes the following which pertain to Mādhyamaka:

    Mūlamadhyamakakārikā by Nāgārjuna
    Catuḥśataka by Āryadeva
    Madhyamakāvatāra by Candrakīrti
    Bodhicaryāvatāra by Śāntideva


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:02 am 
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Namdrol wrote:
What do you find difficult about them?


Generally speaking, I find the arguments tortured and difficult to follow. As an example, the critique of motion in the second chapter of the MMK, which starts out clearly (if not convincingly) but quickly goes downhill.

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