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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:01 pm 
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Virgo wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
From the Prasagika point of view of Tsongkhapa's school It's not in question that an apple exists because it's appearing to a valid mind (we find the apple where we see it on the table, and it performs the function of an apple) but the question is more HOW the apple exists. For Tsongkhapa the purpose of Madhyamaka is not to deny existence but to deny inherent existence, although there is also a lot of disagreement about this between the different Buddhist schools. The apple exists but not outside the mind. Its appearance and functionality is like a wave arising from the ocean of the root mind. Conventionally it appears, but ultimately it can't be found.

Tsongkhapafan help me understand this once and for all. What is the difference between Geluk Prasangika and other schools, from your point of view?

Kevin

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Hi Kevin,

My understanding is that the Prasangikas who follow Gorampa completely deny the validity of conventional truth. For them, conventional truths are completely false objects appearing to an ignorant mind, so when you become enlightened, you do not perceive conventional truths. Tsongkhapa teaches that conventional and ultimate truths are mutually supportive and equally valid (albeit that conventional truths incorrectly appear as inherently existent to non-Buddhas) and that Buddhas realize the union of conventional and ultimate truth simultaneously.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:09 pm 
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Thanks fan, I will read more.

Kevin

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:33 pm 
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Tsongkhapafan wrote:

My understanding is that the Prasangikas who follow Gorampa completely deny the validity of conventional truth. For them, conventional truths are completely false objects appearing to an ignorant mind, so when you become enlightened, you do not perceive conventional truths. Tsongkhapa teaches that conventional and ultimate truths are mutually supportive and equally valid (albeit that conventional truths incorrectly appear as inherently existent to non-Buddhas) and that Buddhas realize the union of conventional and ultimate truth simultaneously.


The difference is that for Tsongkhapa, conventional truths are able to withstand ultimate analysis since all that is being analyzed is the subtle object of negation, inherent existence, not the existence, of a conventional truth.

For Gorampa, they can not, since no phenonena can survive examination via the course object of negation, existence. Gorampa accepts that Candrakiriti specifically identifies (in the Prasannapāda) a subtle object of negation, but according to Gorampa, it is just a formal identification since inherent existence is automatically eliminated when existence itself is analyzed.

According to Tsongkhapa, what is being misperceived by sentient beings in conventional truths is the inherent existence of conventional truths i.e. he claims that when an ordinary person sees a chair, they are seeing an inherently existent chair. However, Tsongkhapa also claims that ordinary sentient beings are incapable of distinguishing between mere existence and inherent existence.

Gorampa points out that Tsongkhapa's first assertion is untrue, since inherent existences does not appear, and Tsongkhapa's second assertion is self-contradictory, sentient being only see existences, not inherent existences.

Tsongkhapa replies that conventional truths are linguistic entities, mental imputations, and that therefore, the notion of inherent existence is embedded in all imputations of conventional truth. Gorampa counters that this interpretation of conventional truth is faulty, since in fact relative truths are first and foremost appearances to a deluded mind, and what such a deluded mind grasps is not a truly existent object, but rather a merely existing object, and imputations of inherency are confined to the philosophical speculations of scholars, not the naive imputations of ordinary persons such as Chai wallas, who would never imagine their tea cups had some intrinsic nature that made them teacups.

So, at base, a large part of the disagreement hinges on how these two masters understand conceptual operations in sentient beings and what they understand Nagarjuna, Buddhapalita and Candrakirti to be saying about such conceptual operations. This is why Tsongkhapa places such importance on seperating and identifying the correct object of negation, and why Gorampa thinks that such an effort misses the point and is unnecessary, since the coarse object of negation is sufficient for removing wrong views via the classic tetralemma (in ordinary persons -- awakened persons have no need of the caturskoti).

N

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:00 pm 
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Thank you. I see the difference now.

Sure I will forumlate more questions soon.

Kevin

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:15 pm 
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Namdrol wrote:
Gorampa points out that Tsongkhapa's first assertion is untrue, since inherent existences does not appear

But don't sentient beings naturally impute or assume this?

If something exists, people really think it exists. I would think people automatically think of objects as inherently existing, without analysis, just off basic assumption. Even when objects are no more, they think they once really inherently existed. Same with people. Isn't this the case?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:28 pm 
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both would agree that conventional reality is imputation, the question is, is there any"thing" "there" beyond, or "behind" the imputation? is there anything left after you remove the deluded perception? cittamatra posits the alaya and paratantra nature, I believe tsongkhapa's view is that each conventional object has "its own emptiness" (whatever that could possibly mean). but if like in a dream, theres nothing there but the illusory imputations of an illusory consciousness, then once you "wake up" theres nothing there at all. i believe this is behind the idea that buddhas do not perceive conventional reality at all: since it is delusion, and they are completely non-deluded, it doesn't exit for them. (Loppon corrections forthcoming).

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:42 pm 
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gad rgyangs wrote:
both would agree that conventional reality is imputation, the question is, is there any"thing" "there" beyond, or "behind" the imputation? is there anything left after you remove the deluded perception? cittamatra posits the alaya and paratantra nature.
As I quoted the Karmapa in the first post I started to suspect Gorampa also posits "something" "beyond, or "behind"

gad rgyangs wrote:
I believe tsongkhapa's view is that each conventional object has "its own emptiness" (whatever that could possibly mean)...

It is not. "Tsongkhapa's Final Exposition of Wisdom" (By Jeffrey Hopkins; Snow Lion Publications; Ithaca, New York; 2008) quotes:

(page.160) For earlier I have proven in many ways that conceptuality
apprehending true existence is just one class of conceptuality.
(whatever object is chosen)


Last edited by Mariusz on Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:45 pm 
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gad rgyangs wrote:
I believe tsongkhapa's view is that each conventional object has "its own emptiness" (whatever that could possibly mean). but if like in a dream, theres nothing there but the illusory imputations of an illusory consciousness, then once you "wake up" theres nothing there at all. i believe this is behind the idea that buddhas do not perceive conventional reality at all: since it is delusion, and they are completely non-deluded, it doesn't exit for them. (Loppon corrections forthcoming).


Each phenomenon has its own emptiness because it's related to conventional truth. The emptiness of form is not the emptiness of sound. Sound does not arise from the emptiness of form but from the emptiness of sound. This shows the utter inseparability of conventional and ultimate truth because neither can exist without the other.

As for "waking up" it depends what you're waking up from. According to Tsongkhapa what you're waking up from is the ignorance of self-grasping, which is conceiving conventional truths to be inherently existent. When the conception of inherent existence is abandoned, the form that was incorrectly apprehended to be inherently existent does not disappear since it's a valid object, a dependent arising - all that you wake up from is believing that forms and so forth were ever inherently existent. This means that form is not like the child of a barren woman (i.e., a non-existent), only inherently existent form is.

It is not that people perceive things to exist, it's that they perceive things to exist inherently - that is, without depending upon other phenomena. If you check your own experience of objects of eye consciousness and so forth, you will see that is the way in which we hold those phenomena to exist. Reversing that wrong conception is the purpose of meditating on the ultimate. It's also incorrect to say that according to Tsongkhapa, conventional truths can withstand analysis as it is clear that when we search for the inherent entities existing behind conventional truths, there are no such things. Thus conventional truths, when investigated, disappear, but if we do not investigate them, they appear and function.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:51 pm 
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Tsongkhapafan wrote:
The emptiness of form is not the emptiness of sound. Sound does not arise from the emptiness of form but from the emptiness of sound.


like I said, "whatever that could possibly mean".

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:56 pm 
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Virgo wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
Gorampa points out that Tsongkhapa's first assertion is untrue, since inherent existences does not appear

But don't sentient beings naturally impute or assume this?


That is what Tsongkhapa believes and what Gorampa rejects.

You can ask yourself the question very simply-- when you see a cup of coffee, do you think, even for a second, that it exists inherently? Or do you merely accept that it is exists there?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:58 pm 
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Namdrol wrote:
Virgo wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
Gorampa points out that Tsongkhapa's first assertion is untrue, since inherent existences does not appear

But don't sentient beings naturally impute or assume this?


That is what Tsongkhapa believes and what Gorampa rejects.

You can ask yourself the question very simply-- when you see a cup of coffee, do you think, even for a second, that it exists inherently? Or do you merely accept that it is exists there?


Exactly - "inherent" is something that only logicians could ever care about. For everyone else it's a simple choice of "is" and "is not".

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:58 pm 
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Tsongkhapafan wrote:

It is not that people perceive things to exist, it's that they perceive things to exist inherently.


This is the unproven assertion at the heart of Tsongkhapa's system.

N

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:07 pm 
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Namdrol wrote:
Virgo wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
Gorampa points out that Tsongkhapa's first assertion is untrue, since inherent existences does not appear

But don't sentient beings naturally impute or assume this?


That is what Tsongkhapa believes and what Gorampa rejects.

You can ask yourself the question very simply-- when you see a cup of coffee, do you think, even for a second, that it exists inherently? Or do you merely accept that it is exists there?

Just that it exists, but before I studied I thought there was actual "cup" and not just rūpa.

Kevin

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:11 pm 
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Virgo wrote:
Just that it exists, but before I studied I thought there was actual "cup" and not just rūpa.

Kevin

What is the difference between "actual" and "exists"? Nothing substantive, as far as I can tell.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:15 pm 
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Namdrol wrote:
Virgo wrote:
Just that it exists, but before I studied I thought there was actual "cup" and not just rūpa.

Kevin

What is the difference between "actual" and "exists"? Nothing substantive, as far as I can tell.

My perception, Loppon, is that a 'cup' that I am drinking coffee from right now, "exists" on a conventional level, yes. That is to say, I see a "cup", you can see a "cup". I can "like your cup" and have real attachment to it, and so on. So conventionally yes. Ultimately I think it is a deluded imputation of mind placed on rūpa. No cups, no persons, just whatever nama and rupa arise and perform their respective functions, based on conditions. Of course, this is not the average way that people perceive things.

Kevin

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:33 pm 
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in the west, it was Heidegger who pointed out that in our everyday lives, we don't really notice the cup at all: we just use it. we take it from the cupboard, pour tea in it, drink from it, wash it and put it away without ever thinking about it at all! so not only do we not perceive a cup's "inherent existence" , we normally don't even perceive its existence as an object for a subject at all! its only when the handle falls off or it breaks that we even notice the cup as a cup, it puts us in an entirely different state of consciousness in relation to the cup. the point is that the "philosophical" activity of contemplating the cup's existence or lack of it, is a quite artificial one to begin with. So, if conventional reality is defined in Madhyamaka as the way the world unthinkingly goes about its business with "objects" that function, then its really more the way Heidegger says it is, and certainly not the way tsongkhapa says. "inherent existence" is an abstract concept only appearing to an onto-analytical consciousness of a philosopher, and even then not usually when he's drinking tea!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:52 pm 
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gad rgyangs wrote:
in the west, it was Heidegger who pointed out that in our everyday lives, we don't really notice the cup at all: we just use it. we take it from the cupboard, pour tea in it, drink from it, wash it and put it away without ever thinking about it at all! so not only do we not perceive a cup's "inherent existence" , we normally don't even perceive its existence as an object for a subject at all! its only when the handle falls off or it breaks that we even notice the cup as a cup, it puts us in an entirely different state of consciousness in relation to the cup. the point is that the "philosophical" activity of contemplating the cup's existence or lack of it, is a quite artificial one to begin with. So, if conventional reality is defined in Madhyamaka as the way the world unthinkingly goes about its business with "objects" that function, then its really more the way Heidegger says it is, and certainly not the way tsongkhapa says. "inherent existence" is an abstract concept only appearing to an onto-analytical consciousness of a philosopher, and even then not usually when he's drinking tea!


Nagarjuna was critiquing the notion that a cup is there. He was critiquing how common everyday language is misleading. Hence his famed refutation of movement:

"Apart having moved or not having moved, there is no present movement".

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:59 pm 
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What is 'inherently existent' defined as by Tsongkhapa? Surely he would not mean inherently existing as in not caused by causes or bearing a permanent existence or nature apart from it's parts and so on.

Kevin

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:06 pm 
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Virgo wrote:
I see a "cup", you can see a "cup". I can "like your cup" and have real attachment to it, and so on. So conventionally yes.
It is not, but maybe for Gorampa it is. Sure not for the Karmapa, as I understand Mikyo Dorje. You can not see the "cup" even conventionally because always the unique and different during the incalculable time and other conditions.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:10 pm 
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gad rgyangs wrote:
"inherent existence" is an abstract concept only appearing to an onto-analytical consciousness of a philosopher, and even then not usually when he's drinking tea!


No - inherent existence is an emotional grasping to objects. If someone broke a favourite cup then this causes emotional distress with most people who liked that cup. Grasping to inherent existence of phenomena takes place before conscious thought and is a product of momentary ignorance of impermanence and dependant origination.

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