avidya, avarana and vikshepa

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anjali
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avidya, avarana and vikshepa

Postby anjali » Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:23 am

First, some background. I'm doing a bit of personal research and would like to get some input from the dharmawheel community. The research topic is models for avidya in different traditions. In particular, I would like to present a simplified model of avidya from vedanta and ask if there is an analog or alternative model in the different Buddhist traditions (tibetan/chan/zen/theravada). I will likely post this over on dhammawheel, so I am most interested here in Tibetan/Chan/Zen models for avidya. However, if someone has a theravada perspective, feel free to contribute here. FYI, I'm not interested in debating different models for avidya. I'm interested discovering different models for avidya. For example, what models of avidya do Dzogchen, Mahamudra, and Chan have? Now, on the model.

In the vedanta tradition, avidya is modeled as having two aspects: avarana shakti and vikshepa shakti. Avarana is the active concealing/darkening/dulling power of avidya that keeps the knowledge of one's true nature from arising. Vikshepa is the projecting/distracting power of avidya that results in distracted pursuit of illusory multiplicity. There are further breakdowns of these two shaktis within the vedanta model, but let's start here and see how the thread progresses.

I know that in several Buddhist traditions there are shamatha/vipashyana practices that discuss working with dull and distracted states of mind, but I can't find any discussion that avidya itself has different aspects. So, are there similar notions to avarana and vikshepa (with a buddhist slant of course)? If so, what are they, and are they broken down into other aspects? If not, maybe there is another model for avidya? Looking forward to your replies!
All things are unworthy of clinging to (sabbe dhammā nâla abhinivesāyā). --Shakyamuni Buddha
Wanting to grasp the ungraspable, you exhaust yourself in vain. --Gendun Rinpoche

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viniketa
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Re: avidya, avarana and vikshepa

Postby viniketa » Sat Sep 08, 2012 2:56 am

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Greg
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Re: avidya, avarana and vikshepa

Postby Greg » Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:38 am


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Leo Rivers
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Re: avidya, avarana and vikshepa

Postby Leo Rivers » Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:50 pm


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anjali
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Re: avidya, avarana and vikshepa

Postby anjali » Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:23 pm

Thank you all for your replies. Leo, thank you for the excellent Muller reference on the two hindrances. I look forward to reading it in more detail. I happened to stumble across an online copy of one of the bibliographic references mentioned in that article: Swanson, Paul L. "Chih-I's Interpretation of jñeyāvaraṇa: An Application of the Three-Fold Truth Concept.". You may already have the link, but just in case you don't, here it is: .

I find the klesa-jneya-avarana model very interesting. What little reading I've done on the model so far, I see it is the basis for differentiating arhats from buddhas and bodhisattvas.
All things are unworthy of clinging to (sabbe dhammā nâla abhinivesāyā). --Shakyamuni Buddha
Wanting to grasp the ungraspable, you exhaust yourself in vain. --Gendun Rinpoche

Greg
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Re: avidya, avarana and vikshepa

Postby Greg » Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:05 pm

The passage to which I linked in Buddhist Phenomelogy also discusses them in relation to avidya in particular, and how it originally seems to have encompassed both avaranas but then came to be associated particularly with jneya avarana as Buddhism got more "intellective."

Regarding Dzogchen, the scenario is different. Malcolm has discussed the nature of avidya and how it relates to other things in various places. I tried to turn up something relevant for you but did not manage to in the time I have.

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anjali
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Re: avidya, avarana and vikshepa

Postby anjali » Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:42 pm

All things are unworthy of clinging to (sabbe dhammā nâla abhinivesāyā). --Shakyamuni Buddha
Wanting to grasp the ungraspable, you exhaust yourself in vain. --Gendun Rinpoche

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viniketa
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Re: avidya, avarana and vikshepa

Postby viniketa » Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:48 am

First, I should correct my typo in my post above, which should read: (note: in Yogācāra, 'defilements' (kleśa) are considered avidya).

Thank you all for your posts, but especially for the link to the Paul Swanson article. Once again, those time-space relationals (prepositions, in English) prove problematic. Not taking jñeyāvaraṇa as a tatpuruṣa explains the widely varying interpretations of this 'covering' avidya that I've encountered.

:namaste:
. ~

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anjali
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Re: avidya, avarana and vikshepa

Postby anjali » Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:29 pm

All things are unworthy of clinging to (sabbe dhammā nâla abhinivesāyā). --Shakyamuni Buddha
Wanting to grasp the ungraspable, you exhaust yourself in vain. --Gendun Rinpoche

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viniketa
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Re: avidya, avarana and vikshepa

Postby viniketa » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:10 am

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