Candrakirti and the ālaya

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Re: Candrakirti and the ālaya

Postby Malcolm » Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:53 pm

cloudburst wrote:as does the abhidharama where Buddha explained the self and aggregates to exist ultimately.


The Buddha never explained anywhere that the self and the aggregates existed ultimately -- who told you he did? Vasubandhu devotes an entire chapter in the Kosha refuting the person, his main Buddhist target being the Pudgalavadins.
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Re: Candrakirti and the ālaya

Postby conebeckham » Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:09 pm

Also, just to butt in a bit, I don't think Vasubhandu claimed the Alaya, per se, "existed" as an absolute--as for nonconceptual wisdom, the Dharmakaya and the Dharmadhatu, that is a different story. But as for sentient beings, or "persons," they THEMSELVES are the incidental stains.

Now, back to what Chandrakirti may say, regarding the Alaya, and the Afflicted Consciousness.
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Re: Candrakirti and the ālaya

Postby cloudburst » Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:54 pm

Namdrol wrote:I just want to note that I am far more interested in what Candrakirti has to say for himself, and what Jayananda has to say about that; then what Gorampa, or Tsongkhapa or any Tibetan scholar has to say about them from here on out.


Understood. I would like to note that I am interested to see what anyone has to say about this topic, and will try to analyze the arguments based on the merits.

Namdrol wrote:So in other words you accept that aggregates and persons conventionally exist.


I do.

Namdrol wrote:Well, it seems that the ālaya, according to Candra, also exists in that way i.e. conventionally.


We can agree that Chandra accepts the mental consciousness, which he, along with Nagarjuna, sometimes refers to as the alaya.

According to you, did Buddha ever teach that there were 8 consciousnesses?

Namdrol wrote:Persons are only taught by Pudgalavadins. Atoms and moments are the main problem with Vaibhaṣikas and Sautrantikas.


Is it your claim that Buddha never taught that inherent persons exist?

Namdrol wrote:The kliṣṭamanas is never mentioned by Candrakirti at all in any text. This leads me to be believe he has very little interest in rejecting it. The term does occur Jayananda's Tika. I need to read what Jayananda is saying carefully. From what I can tell via a quick scan, Jayananda does not seem reject the kliṣṭamanas outright.


Intersted to see what Jayananda says, if anyone ever translates it.

Namdrol wrote:The Buddha never explained anywhere that the self and the aggregates existed ultimately -- who told you he did?


Mipham ( I know, you don't care about Tibetans and their points of view.)

Namdrol wrote:Vasubandhu devotes an entire chapter in the Kosha refuting the person, his main Buddhist target being the Pudgalavadins.


This does not indicate that Buddha never taught it, though.
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Re: Candrakirti and the ālaya

Postby Malcolm » Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:56 pm

conebeckham wrote:I don't think Vasubhandu claimed the Alaya, per se, "existed" as an absolute


What Maitreyanatha, Asanga and Vasubandhu claim is that the dependent nature is real, it exists. However, the dependent nature = the ālayavijñāna. The ālaya is only called the ālaya as long as there are seeds. When these have been eradicated, the ālaya also ceases; but the dependent nature, being an existent, does not.

Just to recap -- the classical Yogacara(Maitreyanatha, Asanga and Vasubandhu) model holds that parikalpita is non-existent, but paratantra and parinispanna do exist. The late Indian/gzhan stong interpretation is that parikalpita is non-existent, paratantra is merely conventionally existent, and parinispanna exists, mapping the three natures respectively onto false relative truth, true relative truth and ultimate truth.

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Re: Candrakirti and the ālaya

Postby cloudburst » Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:59 pm

conebeckham wrote:Also, just to butt in a bit, I don't think Vasubhandu claimed the Alaya, per se, "existed" as an absolute--as for nonconceptual wisdom, the Dharmakaya and the Dharmadhatu, that is a different story. But as for sentient beings, or "persons," they THEMSELVES are the incidental stains.

Now, back to what Chandrakirti may say, regarding the Alaya, and the Afflicted Consciousness.


I think he must have, since if you look at what the foundation consciousness is according to those non-Prasnagikas who accept it, it's characteristics force one into a cittamatrin framework where the alaya must be inherently existent.

I wish there were a fantastic translation of Vasubhandu with a clear insightful commentary, I am sure it would be very helpful to many. Perhaps Namdrol will offer something in time, he seems to cherish the abhidharma...
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Re: Candrakirti and the ālaya

Postby Malcolm » Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:15 pm

cloudburst wrote:
Is it your claim that Buddha never taught that inherent persons exist?



There are some who thought the Buddha taught such a thing aka the Pudgalavadins. I myself have never seen a sutra statement, for example, in the Pali canon, where the Buddha unambiguously claims there is an ultimate self of the kind proposed by Pudgalavadins.


Namdrol wrote:The Buddha never explained anywhere that the self and the aggregates existed ultimately -- who told you he did?


Mipham ( I know, you don't care about Tibetans and their points of view.)


Perhaps you can send me a citation by PM where he says such a thing. To me it seems a little strange and not in accordance with what I have understood about the Buddha's teaching in the Pali canon, etc.

Namdrol wrote:Vasubandhu devotes an entire chapter in the Kosha refuting the person, his main Buddhist target being the Pudgalavadins.


This does not indicate that Buddha never taught it, though.
[/quote]

Vasubandhu shows how the key citations Pudgalavadins use to support their view is misunderstood by them. I suggest you read the Kosha, Chapter nine. If you think the Buddha taught such an ultimate self, or the aggregate(!?) as ultimate, please tell me where.

N
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Re: Candrakirti and the ālaya

Postby cloudburst » Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:23 pm

I am sure you have your reasons as to why you refuse to answer this question post after post. So that we can know that you are not answering just to avoid having to admit that he did teach that, would you kindly answer?

According to you, did Buddha ever teach that there were 8 consciousnesses?
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Re: Candrakirti and the ālaya

Postby cloudburst » Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:25 pm

cloudburst wrote:
conebeckham wrote:Also, just to butt in a bit, I don't think Vasubhandu claimed the Alaya, per se, "existed" as an absolute--as for nonconceptual wisdom, the Dharmakaya and the Dharmadhatu, that is a different story. But as for sentient beings, or "persons," they THEMSELVES are the incidental stains.


Namdrol wrote:What Maitreyanatha, Asanga and Vasubandhu claim is that the dependent nature is real, it exists. However, the dependent nature = the ālayavijñāna. The ālaya is only called the ālaya as long as there are seeds. When these have been eradicated, the ālaya also ceases; but the dependent nature, being an existent, does not.

Just to recap -- the classical Yogacara(Maitreyanatha, Asanga and Vasubandhu) model holds that parikalpita is non-existent, but paratantra and parinispanna do exist. The late Indian/gzhan stong interpretation is that parikalpita is non-existent, paratantra is merely conventionally existent, and parinispanna exists, mapping the three natures respectively onto false relative truth, true relative truth and ultimate truth.
I think he must have, since if you look at what the foundation consciousness is according to those non-Prasnagikas who accept it, it's characteristics force one into a cittamatrin framework where the alaya must be inherently existent.


Yeah. That.
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Re: Candrakirti and the ālaya

Postby conebeckham » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:02 pm

I know I'm a bit off-topic, and I do want to hear what Chandra says, but could you clarify something?

Asanga, in the Mahayanasamgraha, VIII.21:

There is no difference between prajnaparamita and nonconceptual wisdom.


Namdrol, your statement-
What Maitreyanatha, Asanga and Vasubandhu claim is that the dependent nature is real, it exists. However, the dependent nature = the ālayavijñāna. The ālaya is only called the ālaya as long as there are seeds. When these have been eradicated, the ālaya also ceases; but the dependent nature, being an existent, does not.


--equates the ālayavijñāna with the paratantra, the dependent nature. If the Alaya ceases, then how does the dependent nature not cease, if they are the same?

If the dependent is, on the other hand, conventionally (and thus temporarily) containing the stains we call "seeds," and including the dualistic experience which we experience as sentient beings and phenomena, I'd say that the eradication of the seeds would mean the ceasing of the ālayavijñāna.

....but not the ceasing of mere cognizance, which is the nonconceptual wisdom, an aspect of the perfect nature(parinispanna). This is the same as the dependent (paratantra) purified of false imagination (and not merely the parakalpita), in this case, as you pointed out before, the ceasing of the duality implicit in the other-dependent, as well as afflictions and all "seeds." The paranispanna, the perfection of wisdom and it's outflow, two aspects of the Ultimate, are that which comprises the Dharmakaya and Dharmadhatu, by way of conventional explanation. The perfection of wisdom is equal, according to Asanga, with nonconceptual wisdom, which is the the Dharmakaya, which we agree the early Yogacaras posit as Ultimate.

In other words, the Alaya is not inherently existent, but is merely the collection of incidental stains obscuring the Dharmakaya.
Mahayanasutralamkara, XIII.19:

It is held that mind, which is always naturally luminous,
is [only] blemished by adventitious flaws.
It is stated that there is no other mind apart from
The naturally luminous mind of dharmata.


I don't see how this quote posits an existent Alaya--it posits an existent "luminous mind of dharmata," for sure....but this is not the ālayavijñāna.
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Re: Candrakirti and the ālaya

Postby Mariusz » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:40 pm

Namdrol wrote:What Maitreyanatha, Asanga and Vasubandhu claim is that the dependent nature is real, it exists. However, the dependent nature = the ālayavijñāna. The ālaya is only called the ālaya as long as there are seeds. When these have been eradicated, the ālaya also ceases; but the dependent nature, being an existent, does not.


Can I ask two implications please? I cannot find more.

Is it means the dependent nature (gzhan dbang; paratantra) has no seeds at all during its "existence" with or without the ālayavijñāna? Or is it means the dependent nature (gzhan dbang; paratantra) has seeds somehow more subtle than the ālayavijñāna which are still "existent" even after the eradication of the ālayavijñāna?
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Re: Candrakirti and the ālaya

Postby Malcolm » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:51 pm

cloudburst wrote:I am sure you have your reasons as to why you refuse to answer this question post after post. So that we can know that you are not answering just to avoid having to admit that he did teach that, would you kindly answer?

According to you, did Buddha ever teach that there were 8 consciousnesses?


I did not answer directly because I already mentioned that fact that while svāsaṃvedana is not mentioned in the sutras, ālayavijñāna was. Since I stated that ālayavijñāna was mentioned as something taught by the Buddha, by implication we can understand the other seven were also taught since ālayavijñāna is never taught in absence of the other seven, no?
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Re: Candrakirti and the ālaya

Postby Malcolm » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:39 pm

Mariusz wrote:
Namdrol wrote:What Maitreyanatha, Asanga and Vasubandhu claim is that the dependent nature is real, it exists. However, the dependent nature = the ālayavijñāna. The ālaya is only called the ālaya as long as there are seeds. When these have been eradicated, the ālaya also ceases; but the dependent nature, being an existent, does not.


Can I ask two implications please? I cannot find more.

Is it means the dependent nature (gzhan dbang; paratantra) has no seeds at all during its "existence" with or without the ālayavijñāna? Or is it means the dependent nature (gzhan dbang; paratantra) has seeds somehow more subtle than the ālayavijñāna which are still "existent" even after the eradication of the ālayavijñāna?


It means that while the ālayavijñāna depends on seeds for the name "ālaya", the dependent nature does not depend on seeds for the name "dependent nature". But please, if you want to talk yogacara, start another thread.
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Re: Candrakirti and the ālaya

Postby Malcolm » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:44 pm

conebeckham wrote:
I don't see how this quote posits an existent Alaya--it posits an existent "luminous mind of dharmata," for sure....but this is not the ālayavijñāna.


You are totally off-topic. But this is just like saying dirty/clean cloth. The question is where the cloth is real, not whether it is dirty or clean, it's state of being clean or dirty is incidental; the question of its conventional or ultimate existence is not.

BTW. I can only handle so many threads at a time. Looking up answers takes time.
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Re: Candrakirti and the ālaya

Postby Mariusz » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:38 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Mariusz wrote:
Namdrol wrote:What Maitreyanatha, Asanga and Vasubandhu claim is that the dependent nature is real, it exists. However, the dependent nature = the ālayavijñāna. The ālaya is only called the ālaya as long as there are seeds. When these have been eradicated, the ālaya also ceases; but the dependent nature, being an existent, does not.


Can I ask two implications please? I cannot find more.

Is it means the dependent nature (gzhan dbang; paratantra) has no seeds at all during its "existence" with or without the ālayavijñāna? Or is it means the dependent nature (gzhan dbang; paratantra) has seeds somehow more subtle than the ālayavijñāna which are still "existent" even after the eradication of the ālayavijñāna?


It means that while the ālayavijñāna depends on seeds for the name "ālaya", the dependent nature does not depend on seeds for the name "dependent nature". But please, if you want to talk yogacara, start another thread.

Thank you. You meant imaginary nature is cruicial here also? Maybe starting another thread is good. BTW, I'm sure you are aware for the translation of indian texts very helpful are also the oral transmissions and the contemporary unbroken lineage commentaries which these days are tibetan mainly. Tibetan madhyamaka/yogacara is more safe than alone translations.
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Re: Candrakirti and the ālaya

Postby conebeckham » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:43 pm

I think it'd be a good idea to start a thread on Alaya, etc.---sorry for the tangent, I really would like to hear more about Chandra and his positions on the existence, conventional or ultimate (!), of the Alaya. Soooooo.....nevermind.
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Re: Candrakirti and the ālaya

Postby Malcolm » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:44 pm

Mariusz wrote:
Namdrol wrote:Tibetan madhyamaka/yogacara is more safe than alone translations.


Both have their hazards.
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Re: Candrakirti and the ālaya

Postby cloudburst » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:09 am

Namdrol wrote:I did not answer directly because I already mentioned that fact that while svāsaṃvedana is not mentioned in the sutras, ālayavijñāna was. Since I stated that ālayavijñāna was mentioned as something taught by the Buddha, by implication we can understand the other seven were also taught since ālayavijñāna is never taught in absence of the other seven, no?


ah, ok thank you. I must've gotten confused.

My hesitation in accepting many of your points is that it seems that you want to have it that Buddha never did teach that, and eighth consciousness that was inherently existent, as a storehouse perfumed by the traces, like a river etc.

Is it your point of view that Buddha did teach the alaya, but that he meant the mental consciousness knowing emptiness? This was misunderstood by yogacharins and the idea of an inherent storehouse consciousness was "born."
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Re: Candrakirti and the ālaya

Postby conebeckham » Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:04 am

Cloudburst-

Doesn't it make more sense to "birth" a storehouse consciousness, inherent or not, due to things such as "memories," "habits," etc., than to create the notion of ālayavijñāna as that which is merely the "mental consciousness knowing emptiness?"
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Re: Candrakirti and the ālaya

Postby Malcolm » Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:21 am

cloudburst wrote:Is it your point of view that Buddha did teach the alaya, but that he meant the mental consciousness knowing emptiness? This was misunderstood by yogacharins and the idea of an inherent storehouse consciousness was "born."


Well, techinally the Yogacarins don't really treat the ālayavijñāna as "inherent", since if you read the Mahāyānasaṃgraha, Asanga clearly maintains that when the seeds are exhausted, the ālayavijñāna ceases to exist. So then the question becomes not so much about the this consciousness, the ālayavijñāna, but paratantra, dependent nature.

These interperative difficulties are adressed somewhat by Candrakirti in the verses that cover the dependent nature, 47-72.

As to your first question -- definitely this is Jayananda's interpretation. Given the way Candrakirti cites the Lanka to this effect, it is probable that this is Candra's point of view as well, though I would not swear to it. Given that the Budddha of the Lanka also treats the Ālaya as an interpretable doctrine, the Buddha (as presented in this sutra) seems to have presented ālayavijn̄āna to just a consciousness that apprehends emptiness, but it is not so clearly stated. All the Buddha really says there is that "know that only emptiness is indicated by the [the term] ālayavijñāna".

To really get at the guts of what Candra thinks about this one would need to read the lenghthy discussions of both commentaries covering the ground between 47-72.

I am sorry but I will have to spend some serious amount of time with these things before I really can respond any further. But I will. Jayananda has an exhaustive presentation of his perspective on Yogacara that fills his commentary.

Candra sticks more to the his own text.

N
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Re: Candrakirti and the ālaya

Postby Malcolm » Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:25 am

conebeckham wrote:Cloudburst-

Doesn't it make more sense to "birth" a storehouse consciousness, inherent or not, due to things such as "memories," "habits," etc., than to create the notion of ālayavijñāna as that which is merely the "mental consciousness knowing emptiness?"


Hi Cone:

The ālaya is emptiness, that is all that is needed for karma to function. No consciousness that stores seeds is required. But consciousness can know that emptiness, this is how Jayananda is glossing things because of the Lanka passage which describes the ālayavijñāna as subtle and deep, and easily mistaken for a self and also the Lanka passage to declares ālayavijñāna is emptiness.

N
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