emptiness is pure

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akuppa
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emptiness is pure

Post by akuppa »

Some Mahayana sources talk about emptiness as purity, or phenomena being "pure".

For example, I read in this thread: viewtopic.php?t=19600
"The Śatasāhasrika-prajñāpāramitā, beginning with matter, ending with omniscience and including everything in between, states:

Due to matter being naturally luminous, it is pure and non-afflicted…due to omniscience of all aspects being naturally luminous, it is pure and non-afflicted."
Also in this translation of the Heart Sutra: https://throssel.org.uk/wp-content/uplo ... eatwis.mp3

In non-Mahayana "mainsteam" (for lack of a better word) Buddhism, phenomena are not pure, they are conditioned, suffering and non-self. This is the meaning of emptiness and dependent origination there.

But in Mahayana emptiness is unconditioned, phenomena are unborn and non-arising (epithets of Nibbana in mainstream sources). This is why they are said to be pure.

How far off am I in my understanding here?
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Queequeg
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Re: emptiness is pure

Post by Queequeg »

akuppa wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:27 pm Some Mahayana sources talk about emptiness as purity, or phenomena being "pure".
You're confusing categories. Dharmas are empty. Empty things are "pure" because nothing that can definitively be thought or said about empty things other than that they are empty. Emptiness marks every dharma, so when you see that, dharmas are pure.
"The Śatasāhasrika-prajñāpāramitā, beginning with matter, ending with omniscience and including everything in between, states:

Due to matter being naturally luminous, it is pure and non-afflicted…due to omniscience of all aspects being naturally luminous, it is pure and non-afflicted."
The mind that is pure, meaning, it doesn't have confusion about dharmas, knowing them as empty, makes dharmas pure. Dharmas don't exist on their own in any state, pure, impure, or neutral.
In non-Mahayana "mainsteam" (for lack of a better word) Buddhism, phenomena are not pure, they are conditioned, suffering and non-self. This is the meaning of emptiness and dependent origination there.
By mainstream, you mean Theravada? Theravada is not mainstream Buddhism in Tibet or East Asia. Its just a relative term.
But in Mahayana emptiness is unconditioned, phenomena are unborn and non-arising (epithets of Nibbana in mainstream sources). This is why they are said to be pure.
Dharmas are neither pure nor impure. Only the mind is pure or impure. Depending on the mind, dharmas take their cue as pure or impure.

I don't know what "Mainstream" Buddhism says. Mahayana says, understand correctly and everything else is resolved.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
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Re: emptiness is pure

Post by confusedlayman »

akuppa wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:27 pm Some Mahayana sources talk about emptiness as purity, or phenomena being "pure".

For example, I read in this thread: viewtopic.php?t=19600
"The Śatasāhasrika-prajñāpāramitā, beginning with matter, ending with omniscience and including everything in between, states:

Due to matter being naturally luminous, it is pure and non-afflicted…due to omniscience of all aspects being naturally luminous, it is pure and non-afflicted."
Also in this translation of the Heart Sutra: https://throssel.org.uk/wp-content/uplo ... eatwis.mp3

In non-Mahayana "mainsteam" (for lack of a better word) Buddhism, phenomena are not pure, they are conditioned, suffering and non-self. This is the meaning of emptiness and dependent origination there.

But in Mahayana emptiness is unconditioned, phenomena are unborn and non-arising (epithets of Nibbana in mainstream sources). This is why they are said to be pure.

How far off am I in my understanding here?
emptiness cannot be defined in qualities...
Malcolm
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Re: emptiness is pure

Post by Malcolm »

akuppa wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:27 pm
In non-Mahayana "mainsteam" (for lack of a better word) Buddhism, phenomena are not pure, they are conditioned, suffering and non-self. This is the meaning of emptiness and dependent origination there.

But in Mahayana emptiness is unconditioned, phenomena are unborn and non-arising (epithets of Nibbana in mainstream sources). This is why they are said to be pure.

How far off am I in my understanding here?
In common Mahāyāna, like Hinayāna schools, relatively speaking, phenomena, other than path dharmas, are still compounded, suffering, and not-self, and hence impure. Their ultimate nature, emptiness, is pure.

In uncommon Mahāyāna Secret Mantra, phenomena are rendered pure through special methods which change our attitude towards phenomena.
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Re: emptiness is pure

Post by Malcolm »

Queequeg wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:37 pm

...mainstream...
This term, when used by the EBT crew, invokes the idea that the "eighteen schools," who supposedly regarded the agamas and the nikayas as the only authentic buddhavacana, was the dominant form of Buddhism in India. Of course, the largest of these schools were the Pudgalavādins, who also advocated the notion of inexpressible self, neither the same as nor different from the aggregates.

:rolling:
akuppa
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Re: emptiness is pure

Post by akuppa »

Malcolm wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:50 pm
In common Mahāyāna, like Hinayāna schools, relatively speaking, phenomena, other than path dharmas, are still compounded, suffering, and not-self, and hence impure. Their ultimate nature, emptiness, is pure.

In uncommon Mahāyāna Secret Mantra, phenomena are rendered pure through special methods which change our attitude towards phenomena.
How can something be impure if its ultimate nature is pure?
akuppa
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Re: emptiness is pure

Post by akuppa »

Malcolm wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:53 pm
Queequeg wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:37 pm

...mainstream...
This term, when used by the EBT crew, invokes the idea that the "eighteen schools," who supposedly regarded the agamas and the nikayas as the only authentic buddhavacana, was the dominant form of Buddhism in India. Of course, the largest of these schools were the Pudgalavādins, who also advocated the notion of inexpressible self, neither the same as nor different from the aggregates.

:rolling:
Just for clarification I am not a part of the "EBT crew", but I'm trying to find a unbiased term for those schools to compare with Mahayana teaching. Obviously I failed :jumping:
akuppa
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Re: emptiness is pure

Post by akuppa »

Malcolm wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:50 pm
In common Mahāyāna, like Hinayāna schools, relatively speaking, phenomena, other than path dharmas, are still compounded, suffering, and not-self, and hence impure. Their ultimate nature, emptiness, is pure.

In uncommon Mahāyāna Secret Mantra, phenomena are rendered pure through special methods which change our attitude towards phenomena.
Also, if emptiness is unconditioned, and phenomena are empty, does that mean phenomena are unconditioned?
akuppa
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Re: emptiness is pure

Post by akuppa »

Malcolm wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:50 pm
In common Mahāyāna, like Hinayāna schools, relatively speaking, phenomena, other than path dharmas, are still compounded, suffering, and not-self, and hence impure. Their ultimate nature, emptiness, is pure.

In uncommon Mahāyāna Secret Mantra, phenomena are rendered pure through special methods which change our attitude towards phenomena.
Also, how is the realisation that phenomena are pure (if we can gloss empty as pure), or rendering them as pure (as in Vajrayana) supposed to liberate one from craving? I would have thought it would have the opposite effect.
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Re: emptiness is pure

Post by Queequeg »

akuppa wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:03 pm
Malcolm wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:50 pm
In common Mahāyāna, like Hinayāna schools, relatively speaking, phenomena, other than path dharmas, are still compounded, suffering, and not-self, and hence impure. Their ultimate nature, emptiness, is pure.

In uncommon Mahāyāna Secret Mantra, phenomena are rendered pure through special methods which change our attitude towards phenomena.
Also, if emptiness is unconditioned, and phenomena are empty, does that mean phenomena are unconditioned?
If they were unconditioned, then they would have self. They're just empty.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
akuppa
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Re: emptiness is pure

Post by akuppa »

Queequeg wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:13 pm
akuppa wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:03 pm
Malcolm wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:50 pm
In common Mahāyāna, like Hinayāna schools, relatively speaking, phenomena, other than path dharmas, are still compounded, suffering, and not-self, and hence impure. Their ultimate nature, emptiness, is pure.

In uncommon Mahāyāna Secret Mantra, phenomena are rendered pure through special methods which change our attitude towards phenomena.
Also, if emptiness is unconditioned, and phenomena are empty, does that mean phenomena are unconditioned?
If they were unconditioned, then they would have self. They're just empty.
But emptiness is said to be unconditioned in Mahayana, is it not?
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Re: emptiness is pure

Post by Ayu »

akuppa wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:14 pm
Queequeg wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:13 pm
akuppa wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:03 pm

Also, if emptiness is unconditioned, and phenomena are empty, does that mean phenomena are unconditioned?
If they were unconditioned, then they would have self. They're just empty.
But emptiness is said to be unconditioned in Mahayana, is it not?
I was told emptiness is dependend on something that is empty. Therefore even emptiness is not unconditoned.
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:
akuppa
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Re: emptiness is pure

Post by akuppa »

Ayu wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:18 pm
akuppa wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:14 pm
Queequeg wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:13 pm

If they were unconditioned, then they would have self. They're just empty.
But emptiness is said to be unconditioned in Mahayana, is it not?
I was told emptiness is dependend on something that is empty. Therefore even emptiness is not unconditoned.
I mean from my perspective it does not make sense to talk of unconditioned in regard to emptiness. After all, even if we were to imagine something free from conditions, it would depend on the conditioned, like two sides of the same coin. Both are empty and cannot be found ultimately. But I was given to understand (I read it on this forum, or perhaps from a book), that in the Mahayana, space, the two Nirvanas and emptiness are considered unconditioned phenomena. Perhaps even including the Dharmakaya and Tathagatagarbha in there too.
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Re: emptiness is pure

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akuppa wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:14 pm
Queequeg wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:13 pm
akuppa wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:03 pm

Also, if emptiness is unconditioned, and phenomena are empty, does that mean phenomena are unconditioned?
If they were unconditioned, then they would have self. They're just empty.
But emptiness is said to be unconditioned in Mahayana, is it not?
To be empty is to be conditioned.

Whatever is dependently co-arisen
That is explained to be emptiness.
That, being a dependent designation,
Is itself the middle way.
-Nagarjuna, MMK XXIV, 18.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
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Queequeg
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Re: emptiness is pure

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akuppa wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:13 pm Also, how is the realisation that phenomena are pure (if we can gloss empty as pure), or rendering them as pure (as in Vajrayana) supposed to liberate one from craving? I would have thought it would have the opposite effect.
The argument goes, if you see things are empty, you have no inclination to grasp at them. Its the grasping that leads to samsara. Why would you desperately grasp at a mirage you know is a mirage? You just wouldn't.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
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Re: emptiness is pure

Post by LastLegend »

akuppa wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:27 pm Some Mahayana sources talk about emptiness as purity, or phenomena being "pure".

For example, I read in this thread: viewtopic.php?t=19600
"The Śatasāhasrika-prajñāpāramitā, beginning with matter, ending with omniscience and including everything in between, states:

Due to matter being naturally luminous, it is pure and non-afflicted…due to omniscience of all aspects being naturally luminous, it is pure and non-afflicted."
Also in this translation of the Heart Sutra: https://throssel.org.uk/wp-content/uplo ... eatwis.mp3

In non-Mahayana "mainsteam" (for lack of a better word) Buddhism, phenomena are not pure, they are conditioned, suffering and non-self. This is the meaning of emptiness and dependent origination there.

But in Mahayana emptiness is unconditioned, phenomena are unborn and non-arising (epithets of Nibbana in mainstream sources). This is why they are said to be pure.

How far off am I in my understanding here?
I was once a Samurai....just kidding.

Unconditioned is a description just like ‘no thing’ as emptiness, so is pure and unpure. If it needs to be something, the question needs to be asked what makes it to be that way? No?
Make personal vows.

End of the day: I don’t know.
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Re: emptiness is pure

Post by Grigoris »

akuppa wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:14 pmBut emptiness is said to be unconditioned in Mahayana, is it not?
Emptiness denotes a lack of intrinsic nature, a phenomenon is empty because it is dependently arisen.

Emptiness is not a noun, it is an adjective.

Emptiness is not a thing.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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Re: emptiness is pure

Post by Minobu »

Emptiness is not a thing.
It's not some underlying pure thing .

The very nature of the teaching shows us not to label or search for something.

although common mortals do tend to want to label in order to comprehend.

making it a nice thing like
Malcolm wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:50 pm
In common Mahāyāna, like Hinayāna schools, relatively speaking, phenomena, other than path dharmas, are still compounded, suffering, and not-self, and hence impure. Their ultimate nature, emptiness, is pure.
.
he has connected dots .labeled .and missed it all.
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Re: emptiness is pure

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

akuppa wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:56 pm
Malcolm wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:50 pm
In common Mahāyāna, like Hinayāna schools, relatively speaking, phenomena, other than path dharmas, are still compounded, suffering, and not-self, and hence impure. Their ultimate nature, emptiness, is pure.

In uncommon Mahāyāna Secret Mantra, phenomena are rendered pure through special methods which change our attitude towards phenomena.
How can something be impure if its ultimate nature is pure?
Confusion, I.e. samsara, that’s what Samsara is, a kind of vision, not a place or thing.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
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Re: emptiness is pure

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akuppa wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:13 pm
Malcolm wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:50 pm
In common Mahāyāna, like Hinayāna schools, relatively speaking, phenomena, other than path dharmas, are still compounded, suffering, and not-self, and hence impure. Their ultimate nature, emptiness, is pure.

In uncommon Mahāyāna Secret Mantra, phenomena are rendered pure through special methods which change our attitude towards phenomena.
Also, how is the realisation that phenomena are pure (if we can gloss empty as pure), or rendering them as pure (as in Vajrayana) supposed to liberate one from craving? I would have thought it would have the opposite effect.
Pure Vision involves no craving, pretty much by definition. Tantra is literally designed to alter the relationship to (for instance) sense phenomena and habitual attachment, beyond that you the answer to this pretty experiential.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
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