Misunderstanding emptiness

General forum on Mahayana.

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:33 pm

Well, after skimming several chapters of MoonShadows, it looks fascinating and addresses my original goals here in spades so ten thousand thanks to zangskar for introducing it in Conventional Reality thread on Dec 11, 2011. Unfortunately, that thread died on Dec 11, 2011. I am left wondering what happened:

1. People took a month long vacation.

2. People took a month long sesshin.

3. People are watching football and don't want to be bothered.

4. The book casts doubt on Tibetan exegecists people learned from, threatening their worldview, so they committed suicide.

5. The book has no pictures. It is boring.

Guess I'll just watch football and wait to see if anyone wants to discuss MoonShadows.

Regards,
Dave.
yadave
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:57 pm

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:25 am

yadave wrote:Well, after skimming several chapters of MoonShadows,



Boring, just more warmed over Gelugpa navel gazing.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
Malcolm
 
Posts: 10217
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:25 am

Namdrol wrote:
yadave wrote:Well, after skimming several chapters of MoonShadows,

Boring, just more warmed over Gelugpa naval gazing.

Hey Namdrol,

From what I gather in Conventional Reality thread, you're a pretty hard-core Nagarjuna no view kind of person. I did purchase Jay Garfield's translation of Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamakakarika (I think you refer to this as MMK, and no, I did not grok it all on first pass) some years ago just because the guy fascinates me, he is like the original deconstructionist. A similar thing I think goes on today where some philosophers create grand metatheories of everything, then postmodernists prove that any such project is impossible, then the metatheorists reply "solvitur ambulando" (it has already been done). Kind of like our discussions here. ;)

Page 151 of MoonShadows restates the Ratnakuta passage that Sunshine and I have been playing with here,

Candrakirti wrote:The world (loka) argues with me. I don’t argue with the world. What is agreed upon (saṃmata) in the world to exist, I too agree that it exists. What is agreed upon in the world to be nonexistent, I too agree that it does not exist.

and explains how this undermines the Madhyamika project.

Regards,
Dave.
yadave
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:57 pm

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby cloudburst » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:48 am

Namdrol wrote:
yadave wrote:Well, after skimming several chapters of MoonShadows,



Boring, just more warmed over Gelugpa navel gazing.


Ugh. agree.

The naked pretension of calling themselves the "Cowherds..." It's embarassing.
User avatar
cloudburst
 
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:49 pm

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby cloudburst » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:51 am

yadave wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
yadave wrote:Well, after skimming several chapters of MoonShadows,

Boring, just more warmed over Gelugpa naval gazing.



From what I gather in Conventional Reality thread, you're a pretty hard-core Nagarjuna no view kind of person.



Don't be silly. Of course Buddha had a view. He stated it at great length over many years. Nagarjuna, Arydeva and Chandrakiriti elaborated upon it extensively, and referred to it many times. The notion that Buddha had no view is a result of excessive literalism derived from lack of imagination.
User avatar
cloudburst
 
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:49 pm

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:44 am

I don't know if Nagarjuna accepted or rejected the Raknakuta sutra. Or if it came after him. Or if he just rejected everything. But that would be odd since he was a Buddhist I think.

Regards,
Dave.
yadave
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:57 pm

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:29 am

Ratnakuta preceded Nagarjuna. Svatantrika and Prasangika distinctions came after Nagarjuna. Nagarjuna founded Madhyamaka, a Mahayana Buddhist school of philosophy. The end.

Regards,
Dave.
yadave
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:57 pm

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:39 am

yadave wrote:
Page 151 of MoonShadows restates the Ratnakuta passage that Sunshine and I have been playing with here,

Candrakirti wrote:The world (loka) argues with me. I don’t argue with the world. What is agreed upon (saṃmata) in the world to exist, I too agree that it exists. What is agreed upon in the world to be nonexistent, I too agree that it does not exist.

and explains how this undermines the Madhyamika project.

Regards,
Dave.


But it doesn't at all.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
Malcolm
 
Posts: 10217
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:49 am

I read online that "In the Ratnakuta Sutra, the thought of the Middle Way is developed, which later became the basis for the Madhyamaka teaching of Nagarjuna." So Nagarjuna agreed with the Dalai Lama and we can relax.

Namdrol wrote:But [Ratnakuta Sutra] doesn't [undermine Madhyamaka] at all.

I think some scholars disagree. Probably just nasty Gelugpa nonsense but let me look up the problem again.

Regards,
Dave.
yadave
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:57 pm

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:00 am

yadave wrote:I read online that "In the Ratnakuta Sutra, the thought of the Middle Way is developed, which later became the basis for the Madhyamaka teaching of Nagarjuna." So Nagarjuna agreed with the Dalai Lama and we can relax.

Namdrol wrote:But [Ratnakuta Sutra] doesn't [undermine Madhyamaka] at all.

I think some scholars disagree. Probably just nasty Gelugpa nonsense but let me look up the problem again.



Reading Nagarajuna through the lense of 15th century Tibetans is inherently problematical.

The problem is not Tsongkhapa per se, but the extent to which modern Madhyamaka studies centers around Tsongkhapa's interpretation of Madhyamaka.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
Malcolm
 
Posts: 10217
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:34 am

Namdrol wrote:Reading Nagarajuna through the lense of 15th century Tibetans is inherently problematical.

The problem is not Tsongkhapa per se, but the extent to which modern Madhyamaka studies centers around Tsongkhapa's interpretation of Madhyamaka.

Well I'm kind of liking Tsonkhapa but am open to suggestions.

Anyway, here is a potential problem with Nagarjuna's reliance on Ratnakuta Sutra: If we just blindly "accept what the world accepts" then, on the conventional at least, "a Madhyamika's principal epistemic task [is] just to passively acquiesce and duplicate." (MS152.)

It is a trivialization of the idea of truth. If truth means nothing, then qualifying it with "conventional" or "ultimate" adds little.

Regards,
Dave.
yadave
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:57 pm

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:02 am

yadave wrote:
Anyway, here is a potential problem with Nagarjuna's reliance on Ratnakuta Sutra: If we just blindly "accept what the world accepts" then, on the conventional at least, "a Madhyamika's principal epistemic task [is] just to passively acquiesce and duplicate." (MS152.)

It is a trivialization of the idea of truth. If truth means nothing, then qualifying it with "conventional" or "ultimate" adds little.

Regards,
Dave.


First things first -- truths (satyas) are objects of cognitions -- which can be either correct (ultimate) or false (relative). Since you are studying Gelug influenced discourse, this may not be immediately evident to you.

This means that if you see something that you identify as salt, and it functions as salt, this cognition is true in so far as it is efficient.

When you analyze that appearance for some fundamental saltiness in that appearance of salt, that cognition of salt fails because no fundamental saltiness will or can be found. In other words, relative truths are true so long as they are not investigated, that is, so long as the appearance which produces the cognition which lables that appearance is not analyzed to discover whether or not there is an essence which produces the identification of the given appearance in question.

A relative truth is the subject of a cognition that is not in possession of the fact that the given apparent phenomena being perceived as an object of said cognition lacks the identity imputed to it. An ultimate truth is an object of a cogniton which is in possession of the fact that the given apparent phenomena being perceived as an object of said cognition lacks the identity imputed to it and does not perceive the identity which is non-existent in that object of cognition.

The function of the two truths is to lead to the cessation of proliferation about identity. The lack of identity within phenomena and persons alone is emptiness and nothing else.

N
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
Malcolm
 
Posts: 10217
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby gad rgyangs » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:29 am

this is yogacara:

Namdrol wrote:A relative truth is the subject of a cognition that is not in possession of the fact that the given apparent phenomena (paratantra) being perceived as an object of said cognition lacks the identity imputed to it (parikapita = imputed identity) . An ultimate truth is an object of a cogniton which is in possession of the fact that the given apparent phenomena (paratantra) being perceived as an object of said cognition lacks the identity imputed to it (parikapita)and does not perceive the identity which is non-existent in that object of cognition (parinispanna= paratantra empty of parikalpita).
Thoroughly tame your own mind.
This is (possibly) the teaching of Buddha.
User avatar
gad rgyangs
 
Posts: 737
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:53 pm

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:37 am

gad rgyangs wrote:this is yogacara:


No, since Yogacara rejects the appearance itself as being a mere cognition.

Here, the appearance is not being rejected, only the correct or false cognition of the object.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
Malcolm
 
Posts: 10217
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby gad rgyangs » Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:07 am

Namdrol wrote:
gad rgyangs wrote:this is yogacara:


No, since Yogacara rejects the appearance itself as being a mere cognition.

Here, the appearance is not being rejected, only the correct or false cognition of the object.


paratantra is not a mere cognition.
Thoroughly tame your own mind.
This is (possibly) the teaching of Buddha.
User avatar
gad rgyangs
 
Posts: 737
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:53 pm

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Josef » Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:24 am

gad rgyangs wrote:
paratantra is not a mere cognition.


Its conditioned and relative.
Josef
 
Posts: 1565
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:44 pm

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:32 pm

gad rgyangs wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
gad rgyangs wrote:this is yogacara:


No, since Yogacara rejects the appearance itself as being a mere cognition.

Here, the appearance is not being rejected, only the correct or false cognition of the object.


paratantra is not a mere cognition.



Parikalpita, however, is. That is what appears in the three nature scheme. Madhyamaka on the other hand accepts external phenomena according to common consensus i.e. if it appears for everyone, it is not questioned further until analysis.

Basically, what I stated above is straight out of Madhyamaka-avatara.

N
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
Malcolm
 
Posts: 10217
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Virgo » Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:24 pm

yadave wrote:Hey Namdrol,

From what I gather in Conventional Reality thread, you're a pretty hard-core Nagarjuna no view kind of person.

Dave.

From what I know he is more of a get grounded in any view of emptiness that you can and then practice tantra so that you can actually realize it.

I'm pretty sure he just posts here in threads about emptiness just to try and help preserve the doctrinal tradition a little bit, so it's passed on better.

But I'm generally wrong about things so I don't know.

Kevin
ओं मणिपद्मे हूं
http://www.ripple.org

Kevin
. . .
User avatar
Virgo
 
Posts: 1383
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:47 am
Location: Globe

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Acchantika » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:00 pm

cloudburst wrote:Don't be silly. Of course Buddha had a view. He stated it at great length over many years. Nagarjuna, Arydeva and Chandrakiriti elaborated upon it extensively, and referred to it many times. The notion that Buddha had no view is a result of excessive literalism derived from lack of imagination.


As I understand it, a view is a complex of memetic ideations, attachments and conceptual fabrications that are implied onto experience and filter incoming perceptions. They are a product of conditions. It doesn't mean what it means in everyday English. I think this is what people mean when they say "Buddhas don't have views". But perhaps I am mistaken.
...
Acchantika
 
Posts: 292
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 5:04 am

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby gad rgyangs » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:31 pm

Namdrol wrote:
gad rgyangs wrote:
paratantra is not a mere cognition.



Parikalpita, however, is. That is what appears in the three nature scheme. Madhyamaka on the other hand accepts external phenomena according to common consensus i.e. if it appears for everyone, it is not questioned further until analysis.

Basically, what I stated above is straight out of Madhyamaka-avatara.

N


as soon as you posit "something" that is either given an imaginary nature by erroneous cognition, or understood as empty of that imaginary nature by correct cognition, it is trisvabhava.

you said "the given apparent phenomena being perceived as an object", which is saying "something" ("phenomena") is being perceived as an object, i.e. paratantra is being perceived as parikalpita.
Thoroughly tame your own mind.
This is (possibly) the teaching of Buddha.
User avatar
gad rgyangs
 
Posts: 737
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:53 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Mahāyāna Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: sozenithurts and 4 guests

>