Conceptuality in Buddhism

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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby conebeckham » Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:31 pm

RichardLinde wrote:
conebeckham wrote:Perhaps, but that person is not a Buddha.


I think you are assuming that literally all concepts inherently contain an error, but there's no reason this need be the case. For example, there's no reason that a scientist, with all manner of concepts, can't be a Buddha.

If you want to define the word "concept" to mean something that is necessarily flawed, then that's fine, but I won't be joining you, since the word is far too useful to discard. Likewise with all other words in the language.

If you want to say that "concepts" are necessarily flawed then you will also have to say that every other word in the language necessarily always refers to something that is inherently flawed.

Then you will have to tell the Buddha off for every single word he uses.


It's not that concepts are flawed, Kevin....it's that a sentient being who thinks is not a Buddha.
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby RichardLinde » Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:34 pm

Namdrol wrote:
RichardLinde wrote:
Namdrol wrote:If Buddhas appear to have concepts, that appearance comes from our concepts.


There is only a problem with "concepts" if we define a "concept" to be the projection of inherent existence onto things.


But that is not how a vikalpa (rnam par rtog pa) is defined.


According to this web page vikalpa is "an activity of the deluded and unenlightened mind". This means projecting inherent existence onto things, since that's precisely what makes a mind unenlightened. According to Yogācāra, "it sets up a false dualistic split that is imposed upon reality", which is exactly the effect of projecting inherent existence onto things.

So, according to that web page, at least, vikalpa is defined to be the projection of inherent existence onto things.
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby RichardLinde » Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:42 pm

conebeckham wrote:a sentient being who thinks is not a Buddha.


What is your definition of "sentient being"?

If a "sentient being" is a being who has senses - which is the normal definition - then Buddhas are most definitely sentient beings, since they appear to have senses. Likewise, Buddhas think because they appear to think. So Buddhas are sentient beings who think.

The only way to get around this would be to completely redefine the words "sentient being" and "think", which I don't believe would be at all useful or practical.
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby alwayson » Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:43 pm

I think Buddhas lack a mind wind, or maybe its completely still.
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby RichardLinde » Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:54 pm

alwayson wrote:I think Buddhas lack a mind wind, or maybe its completely still.


Yes, I like your expression. I would say that the mind of a Buddha, so far as its power and variation is concerned, is like the storm of the giant red spot on Jupiter, but is entirely silent.
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby conebeckham » Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:58 pm

the silent storm on Jupiter, eh, Kevin?
:alien:

You don't know what Alwayson means by the "stilling of the wind."
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby conebeckham » Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:00 pm

The Sage has declared that earth, water, fire, and wind, long, short, fine and coarse, good, and so on are extinguished in consciousness ... Here long and short, fine and coarse, good and bad, here name and form all stop.

-Nagarjuna
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:19 pm

RichardLinde wrote:If a "sentient being" is a being who has senses - which is the normal definition - then Buddhas are most definitely sentient beings, since they appear to have senses.
Only their nirmanakaya aspects, and as you very correctly stated, appear to have senses. Have you forgotten the Mahayana concept that the Nirmanakaya aspect of a Buddha is merely a display?
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One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby Mariusz » Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:07 pm

RichardLinde wrote:So, according to that web page, at least, vikalpa is defined to be the projection of inherent existence onto things.


The omniscience is not only the freedom from concepts, but from all the seeming as yogacara explained:

From The Treasury of Knowledge
Book Six, Part Three:
Frameworks of Buddhist Philosophy
Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Tayé

Simply put, the imagination of what is unreal is the aspect of the dependent
nature that creates the sense of duality (gnyis snang). It could also be said that it
is a term used for the dependent nature in its impure state. (See p. 181 for the
two divisions of the dependent nature.) “Imagination” (parikalpa, kun rtog) includes
both conceptual and nonconceptual cognition (rnam rig) or perception (blo) and the
perceived referents, thus “imagination” is not identical with “thought” or “concept”
(vikalpa, rnam rtog).

The dependent and imagined [characteristics] are equal in that they
do not really exist (bden par med); equal in being delusive appearances;
and equal in being conventionalities and false. It is necessary, however,
to distinguish them in terms of their respective characteristics: imagined
[characteristics] do not exist even on a conventional [level], whereas the
dependent do exist conventionally.


Moreover, when return to madhyamaka debate, it is not such thing as projection of inherent existence at all, because inherent existence is always impossible unique for us, not somehow universal and easy to locate like for example acording to Tsongkhapa. Unique inherent existence of any object is always impossible to locate for sentient beings becuse the object always changing during incalculable moments according to limitless causes/conditions (object side perspective) and infinitive relative cognitions of the subject of the perceivers. Inherent existence as universal and somehow separated from the object is by critics of Tsongkhapa like horn-like rabbit example.
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby RichardLinde » Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:25 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
RichardLinde wrote:If a "sentient being" is a being who has senses - which is the normal definition - then Buddhas are most definitely sentient beings, since they appear to have senses.
Only their nirmanakaya aspects, and as you very correctly stated, appear to have senses. Have you forgotten the Mahayana concept that the Nirmanakaya aspect of a Buddha is merely a display?


All things which appear are a display, including you and I. If things didn't display then nothing would appear. The important thing is that any being which appears to have senses is a sentient being, by definition.

The Nirmanakaya is not a lesser body of the Buddha. There's nothing "mere" about it.
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby RichardLinde » Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:43 am

Mariusz wrote:
RichardLinde wrote:So, according to that web page, at least, vikalpa is defined to be the projection of inherent existence onto things.


The omniscience is not only the freedom from concepts, but from all the seeming as yogacara explained:


You are mistaken to suggest that Buddhas are free from concepts for the reasons previously explained. Any planning for the future requires the use of concepts.

Concepts are not "imagination of the unreal", and nor are they necessarily the result of such an imagination.


When return to madhyamaka debate, it is not such thing as projection of inherent existence at all, because inherent existence is always impossible unique for us


"Projected inherent existence" means imagined inherent existence.
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby Tom » Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:20 am

RichardLinde wrote:
You are mistaken to suggest that Buddhas are free from concepts for the reasons previously explained. Any planning for the future requires the use of concepts.



Planning and omniscience - I have to ask how those fit together?
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby RichardLinde » Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:25 am

Tom wrote:
RichardLinde wrote:
You are mistaken to suggest that Buddhas are free from concepts for the reasons previously explained. Any planning for the future requires the use of concepts.



Planning and omniscience - I have to ask how those fit together?


The kind of omniscience the Buddha has doesn't give him 100% certain knowledge of detailed events in the future.

For example, the Buddha claims that he doesn't know with certainty what will happen after the Dharma dies out.

Neither is the Buddha omnipotent, and the Buddha's lack of omnipotence is tied to his lack of ability to know the future.
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby Tom » Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:40 am

RichardLinde wrote:
Tom wrote:
RichardLinde wrote:
You are mistaken to suggest that Buddhas are free from concepts for the reasons previously explained. Any planning for the future requires the use of concepts.



Planning and omniscience - I have to ask how those fit together?


The kind of omniscience the Buddha has doesn't give him 100% certain knowledge of detailed events in the future.

For example, the Buddha claims that he doesn't know with certainty what will happen after the Dharma dies out.

Neither is the Buddha omnipotent, and the Buddha's lack of omnipotence is tied to his lack of ability to know the future.


One of the results of repeated familiarization with the realization of the madhyamaka view is said to be the elimination of all knowledge obstacles - so for this discussion anyways omniscience does refer to 100% certain knowledge
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby RichardLinde » Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:54 am

Tom wrote: . . . the elimination of all knowledge obstacles


The "obstacles" being refered to here are those obstacles arising from delusion, and not any other kind of obstacles.

The "knowledge" being refered to is knowledge of the true nature of things. Such a knowledge does give a person a lot greater ability to predict the future than a normal person, but predictions of detailed future events can never be certain.
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby Tom » Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:56 am

RichardLinde wrote:
Tom wrote: . . . the elimination of all knowledge obstacles


The "obstacles" being refered to here are those obstacles arising from delusion, and not any other kind of obstacles.


Not true - there are afflictive obstacles and knowledge obstacles. A Buddha has eliminated both.
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby RichardLinde » Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:17 am

Tom wrote:There are afflictive obstacles and knowledge obstacles. A Buddha has eliminated both.

A Buddha has eliminated both.


Afflictions are generally held to be things like suffering. This is certainly eliminated by wisdom.

But what is meant by "knowledge obstacles" needs to be understood.

The knowledge of the future is NOT an obstacle, because it is an impossibility. A Buddha does not seek to have a certain knowledge of future events, because it is impossible. And that which we don't seek to overcome is not an obstacle.
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby Malcolm » Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:22 am

RichardLinde wrote:
Tom wrote: . . . the elimination of all knowledge obstacles


The "obstacles" being refered to here are those obstacles arising from delusion, and not any other kind of obstacles.

The "knowledge" being refered to is knowledge of the true nature of things. Such a knowledge does give a person a lot greater ability to predict the future than a normal person, but predictions of detailed future events can never be certain.



You are going to need to start providing citations for your opinions. Thus far, all you have presented are opinions -- but the rules of this specific forum require citations.

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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby Tom » Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:32 am

RichardLinde wrote:
Tom wrote: . . . the elimination of all knowledge obstacles


The "obstacles" being refered to here are those obstacles arising from delusion, and not any other kind of obstacles.

The "knowledge" being refered to is knowledge of the true nature of things. Such a knowledge does give a person a lot greater ability to predict the future than a normal person, but predictions of detailed future events can never be certain.


Sorry didn't see the second part of your comment.

Not sure where your getting your info from. These are the terms I am referring to.

Obstructions to liberation / क्लेशावरण / ཉོན་མོང་པའི་སྒྲིབ་པ
Obstructions to omniscience / ज्ञेयावरण / ཞེས་བྱའི་སྒྲིབ་པ

Anyways, The eight chapter of Maitreya's Ornament of Clear Realization defines the wisdom truth body as "a final exalted wisdom consciousness perceiving all modes and varieties of objects of knowledge." It mentions 146 exalted wisdom consciousnesses of the wisdom truth body, three of which are the unimpeded direct knowledge of all objects of knowledge of the past, the unimpeded direct knowledge of all objects of knowledge of the present, and the unimpeded direct knowledge of all objects of knowledge of the future.
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Re: Madyamika Sautrantika vs Prasangika

Postby RichardLinde » Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:45 am

Namdrol wrote:You are going to need to start providing citations


I did cite the Buddha saying that he doesn't know with certainty what will happen after the Dharma is extinguished. He doesn't give the reasons why he doesn't have this certainty, but we can work the reasons out for ourselves easily enough.

If you would like me to run through the reasons why it is impossible for anyone to know the future with certainty, just let me know.
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