What Tsongkhapa said

Jeff H
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Re: What Tsongkhapa said

Postby Jeff H » Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:44 pm

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Tsongkhapafan
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Re: What Tsongkhapa said

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:55 pm

DGA wrote:
cloudburst wrote:
DGA wrote:
How would you prove a categorical statement like this?


Since this is a core position of Je tsongkhapa, you would need to understand it to understand his position.


You are avoiding the question. How do you prove that inherent existence appears to all sentient beings, at all times, except for aryas in equipoise?

It's one thing to understand whether or not Je Tsongkhapa makes such a claim. it's another thing to demonstrate that it is so. How would you do it?


It's really simple. You examine your own experience having read the description of what inherent existence is and see if it matches up. It does.

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Malcolm
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Re: What Tsongkhapa said

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:56 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
DGA wrote:
cloudburst wrote:
Since this is a core position of Je tsongkhapa, you would need to understand it to understand his position.


You are avoiding the question. How do you prove that inherent existence appears to all sentient beings, at all times, except for aryas in equipoise?

It's one thing to understand whether or not Je Tsongkhapa makes such a claim. it's another thing to demonstrate that it is so. How would you do it?


It's really simple. You examine your own experience having read the description of what inherent existence is and see if it matches up. It does.


Oh TKF, this only proves you have conditioned yourself with a book. I think I will still prefer our Sakya/Nyingma overnegation any day to your Gelug undernegation.

When you understand that all phenomena are completely equivalent to illusions, you really do not have to worry at all about existence, let alone inherent existence.
Last edited by Malcolm on Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What Tsongkhapa said

Postby Jeff H » Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:58 pm

Malcolm wrote:Oh Jeff
??
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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Re: What Tsongkhapa said

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:59 pm

Jeff H wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Oh Jeff
??


My bad
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Re: What Tsongkhapa said

Postby cloudburst » Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:44 pm

DGA wrote:
cloudburst wrote:
DGA wrote:
How would you prove a categorical statement like this?


Since this is a core position of Je tsongkhapa, you would need to understand it to understand his position.

You are avoiding the question. How do you prove that inherent existence appears to all sentient beings, at all times, except for aryas in equipoise?
It's one thing to understand whether or not Je Tsongkhapa makes such a claim. it's another thing to demonstrate that it is so. How would you do it?


Inherent existence is another way of saying the extreme of existence. It is axiomatic that sentient beings perceive it, for if they did not, they would not be sentient beings, they would be aryas

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conebeckham
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Re: What Tsongkhapa said

Postby conebeckham » Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:47 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
DGA wrote:
cloudburst wrote:
Since this is a core position of Je tsongkhapa, you would need to understand it to understand his position.


You are avoiding the question. How do you prove that inherent existence appears to all sentient beings, at all times, except for aryas in equipoise?

It's one thing to understand whether or not Je Tsongkhapa makes such a claim. it's another thing to demonstrate that it is so. How would you do it?


It's really simple. You examine your own experience having read the description of what inherent existence is and see if it matches up. It does.

Nonsense. As evidenced by this, and other, threads here, it's apparent that inherent existence or inherence, "Svabhava," རང་བཞིན་ ("rang zhin") is not the ordinary assumption of sentient beings. It's a conceptual construct. Ordinary beings perceive a given phenomenon and assume that perceived phenomenon exists. Questions of essence, causation, effect, are conceptual prapanca at one remove from the bare assumption, the error we make when we assume an existent appears before us.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."

May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.

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Malcolm
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Re: What Tsongkhapa said

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:48 pm

cloudburst wrote:
DGA wrote:
cloudburst wrote:
Since this is a core position of Je tsongkhapa, you would need to understand it to understand his position.

You are avoiding the question. How do you prove that inherent existence appears to all sentient beings, at all times, except for aryas in equipoise?
It's one thing to understand whether or not Je Tsongkhapa makes such a claim. it's another thing to demonstrate that it is so. How would you do it?


Inherent existence is another way of saying the extreme of existence. It is axiomatic that sentient beings perceive it, for if they did not, they would not be sentient beings, they would be aryas


Thus you admit that existence and inherent existence are synonyms and there is no fault in negating existence rather than inherent existence.
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Re: What Tsongkhapa said

Postby cloudburst » Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:58 pm

Malcolm wrote:
cloudburst wrote:
DGA wrote:You are avoiding the question. How do you prove that inherent existence appears to all sentient beings, at all times, except for aryas in equipoise?
It's one thing to understand whether or not Je Tsongkhapa makes such a claim. it's another thing to demonstrate that it is so. How would you do it?


Inherent existence is another way of saying the extreme of existence. It is axiomatic that sentient beings perceive it, for if they did not, they would not be sentient beings, they would be aryas


Thus you admit that existence and inherent existence are synonyms and there is no fault in negating existence rather than inherent existence.


If people really want to understand this discussion, they need to examine what is meant by these terms. I understand that from your point of view, these two are synonyms, and I have no substantial disagreement with that. Neither term is found in the sutras or tantras, these are english words used by translators.

When you speak of negating existence, I understand what you mean, and I agree. I believe there is huge potential for misunderstanding such a formulation, because saying 'nothing exists' is pure nihilism unless you clarify what "existence" actually means, and show that things do appear and function. For us, followers of Je Tsongkhapa, 'appear and function' is what is denoted by the english word 'exists,' and that which you denote with the term 'exists' is called 'inherent existence.' This indicates an existence that obtains independent of conceptual imputation etc.

This is what is rejected explicitly in Madhyamaka, with many instances of specifying existence by nature, inherence, essence, side of the object and so on. Other places simply the term for existence would be used, but if you look carefully, you can easily discern that there is no difference in meaning in the different usages. Then there are Buddha's own helpful instances of pointing out the meaning, such as my earlier quotation of Buddha saying "when I said 'no production,' what I mean is no inherent production." Je Tsongkhapa's genius lies in his clarification of this point, and of course this is the source of all the upset in the older schools.

So I agree, there is no fault in negating existence if you are clear about what this term means. I personally find that this approach potentially lays one open to huge problems, and I prefer Je Tsongkhapa's approach as I think it is easier to understand and completely exposes the meaning of Buddhas intention. Thus it is good for beginners and takes one right through to the final purport of Buddha. Of course there are potential pitfalls that arise from Je Rinpoche's approach as well, and each tradition has ways of overcoming the problems associated with their approach. As has been pointed out many times, these are just systems and none of them actually encapsulate the final meaning.

conebeckham wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:It's really simple. You examine your own experience having read the description of what inherent existence is and see if it matches up. It does.


Nonsense. As evidenced by this, and other, threads here, it's apparent that inherent existence or inherence, "Svabhava," རང་བཞིན་ ("rang zhin") is not the ordinary assumption of sentient beings. It's a conceptual construct. Ordinary beings perceive a given phenomenon and assume that perceived phenomenon exists. Questions of essence, causation, effect, are conceptual prapanca at one remove from the bare assumption, the error we make when we assume an existent appears before us.


Chandrakirti comments on Aryadeva's 400
delusion acts to superimpose upon things an essence of true existence


So, ordinary beings, who are deluded, superimpose "an essence of true existence."
This indicates that they grasp at inherent existence, and this grasping precedes the conceptuality of which you speak . This is what TKF means when he says "...having read the description of what inherent existence is"

if you examine your own experience, you will indeed see that it matches this description, so his point is not at all nonsensical. It may be different than the way you yourself or your teachers would make the point, but that is no cause for alarm.

I would love to see a clear and well reasoned analysis that shows that the instances of the original indian madhaymikas using qualifiers, and there are many, differ in any substantial way from the instances in which they do not. If you can do this, I think you will have made a strong case for your point. If you cannot, you should cede the point!
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Re: What Tsongkhapa said

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:36 pm

conebeckham wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
DGA wrote:
You are avoiding the question. How do you prove that inherent existence appears to all sentient beings, at all times, except for aryas in equipoise?

It's one thing to understand whether or not Je Tsongkhapa makes such a claim. it's another thing to demonstrate that it is so. How would you do it?


It's really simple. You examine your own experience having read the description of what inherent existence is and see if it matches up. It does.

Nonsense. As evidenced by this, and other, threads here, it's apparent that inherent existence or inherence, "Svabhava," རང་བཞིན་ ("rang zhin") is not the ordinary assumption of sentient beings. It's a conceptual construct. Ordinary beings perceive a given phenomenon and assume that perceived phenomenon exists. Questions of essence, causation, effect, are conceptual prapanca at one remove from the bare assumption, the error we make when we assume an existent appears before us.


Existence is not the problem because the union of appearance and emptiness exists in that it is perceived and experienced by a Buddha's exalted wisdom.

Do you really know what inherent existence is? Have you studied descriptions of it? It describes our 'reality', the experience of ordinary beings.

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Re: What Tsongkhapa said

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:59 pm

cloudburst wrote:Chandrakirti comments on Aryadeva's 400
delusion acts to superimpose upon things an essence of true existence



He also says:

    The term "permanence" is descriptor for a nature (rang bzhin), truth (bden pa), essence (snying po), existence (dngos po), and substance (rdzas). Since those do not exist, the conditioned is natureless, untrue, essenceless, nonexistent, insubstantial, possesses a deceptive identity, and is a mundane delusion of the immature.
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So called “sentient beings” are merely delusions self-appearing from the dhātu of luminosity.

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conebeckham
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Re: What Tsongkhapa said

Postby conebeckham » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:39 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
conebeckham wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
It's really simple. You examine your own experience having read the description of what inherent existence is and see if it matches up. It does.

Nonsense. As evidenced by this, and other, threads here, it's apparent that inherent existence or inherence, "Svabhava," རང་བཞིན་ ("rang zhin") is not the ordinary assumption of sentient beings. It's a conceptual construct. Ordinary beings perceive a given phenomenon and assume that perceived phenomenon exists. Questions of essence, causation, effect, are conceptual prapanca at one remove from the bare assumption, the error we make when we assume an existent appears before us.


Existence is not the problem because the union of appearance and emptiness exists in that it is perceived and experienced by a Buddha's exalted wisdom.

Do you really know what inherent existence is? Have you studied descriptions of it? It describes our 'reality', the experience of ordinary beings.

As I have stated previously, I have indeed studied Tsongkhapa's approach, with a Geshe, which of course necessitates an understanding of the term "inherent existence." It is my belief that it is you who do not understand the difference between "existence" and "inherent existence."

Ordinary beings perceive phenomena, and assume that these phenomena exist. Full stop.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."

May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.

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Re: What Tsongkhapa said

Postby Jeff H » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:33 pm

conebeckham wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
conebeckham wrote:Nonsense. As evidenced by this, and other, threads here, it's apparent that inherent existence or inherence, "Svabhava," རང་བཞིན་ ("rang zhin") is not the ordinary assumption of sentient beings. It's a conceptual construct. Ordinary beings perceive a given phenomenon and assume that perceived phenomenon exists. Questions of essence, causation, effect, are conceptual prapanca at one remove from the bare assumption, the error we make when we assume an existent appears before us.


Existence is not the problem because the union of appearance and emptiness exists in that it is perceived and experienced by a Buddha's exalted wisdom.

Do you really know what inherent existence is? Have you studied descriptions of it? It describes our 'reality', the experience of ordinary beings.

As I have stated previously, I have indeed studied Tsongkhapa's approach, with a Geshe, which of course necessitates an understanding of the term "inherent existence." It is my belief that it is you who do not understand the difference between "existence" and "inherent existence."

Ordinary beings perceive phenomena, and assume that these phenomena exist. Full stop.

Cloudburst stated it here exactly as I understand it. To your point, Cone, I think he may not have emphasized the point that, yes, ordinary beings coarsely assume existence, full stop -- but Tsongkhapa begins right there. His method can help an ordinary being make a subtle distinction between the functional, non-substantial appearance of interactive phenomena in daily life, and the hidden, underlying imposition of a false reality on top of that, which skews our ability to deal effectively with those functional interactions. All the teachings I've received emphasized the importance of not thinking that "mere existence" implies any kind of existence from the side of any phenomenon whatsoever.

I'm not saying it's the only system or a universal "best" system. But it has been the best system for me. And I agree with cloudburst that it would be interesting to hear how Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti mean something different in the passages where they use "inherent existence" as opposed to where they use "existence".
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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Re: What Tsongkhapa said

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:42 pm

Jeff H wrote:
I'm not saying it's the only system or a universal "best" system. But it has been the best system for me. And I agree with cloudburst that it would be interesting to hear how Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti mean something different in the passages where they use "inherent existence" as opposed to where they use "existence".


It quite depends on whether they are using the word prakriti or svabhāva. Unfortuntately Patshab Nyima Dragpa changed all instances of ngo bo nyid (svabhāva) in the MMK to rang bzhin without carefully distinguishing prakriti and svabhāva in the original. To Tsongkhapa's credit actually, his realization is supposed to have dawned as a result of reading the Buddhapalitavṛtti, which was translated in the early period by Cogro and carefully preserves this distinction, though there are other faults with it.
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So called “sentient beings” are merely delusions self-appearing from the dhātu of luminosity.

-- Ju Mipham

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Re: What Tsongkhapa said

Postby Kenneth Chan » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:44 am

Malcolm wrote:
Jeff H wrote:I'm not saying it's the only system or a universal "best" system. But it has been the best system for me. And I agree with cloudburst that it would be interesting to hear how Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti mean something different in the passages where they use "inherent existence" as opposed to where they use "existence".

It quite depends on whether they are using the word prakriti or svabhāva. Unfortuntately Patshab Nyima Dragpa changed all instances of ngo bo nyid (svabhāva) in the MMK to rang bzhin without carefully distinguishing prakriti and svabhāva in the original. To Tsongkhapa's credit actually, his realization is supposed to have dawned as a result of reading the Buddhapalitavṛtti, which was translated in the early period by Cogro and carefully preserves this distinction, though there are other faults with it.

Malcolm, why do you think that just because a word is in Sanskrit, its literal meaning is therefore rigidly cast in stone? Any word, used under different contexts, can mean different things, whether it is in English, Sanskrit, or any other language. Context is always important. Also, remember that language evolves.

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Re: What Tsongkhapa said

Postby conebeckham » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:13 am

Kenneth Chan wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Jeff H wrote:I'm not saying it's the only system or a universal "best" system. But it has been the best system for me. And I agree with cloudburst that it would be interesting to hear how Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti mean something different in the passages where they use "inherent existence" as opposed to where they use "existence".

It quite depends on whether they are using the word prakriti or svabhāva. Unfortuntately Patshab Nyima Dragpa changed all instances of ngo bo nyid (svabhāva) in the MMK to rang bzhin without carefully distinguishing prakriti and svabhāva in the original. To Tsongkhapa's credit actually, his realization is supposed to have dawned as a result of reading the Buddhapalitavṛtti, which was translated in the early period by Cogro and carefully preserves this distinction, though there are other faults with it.

Malcolm, why do you think that just because a word is in Sanskrit, its literal meaning is therefore rigidly cast in stone? Any word, used under different contexts, can mean different things, whether it is in English, Sanskrit, or any other language. Context is always important. Also, remember that language evolves.


These are technical terms, Kenneth....highly technical terms. If misunderstood, and/or mistranslated, the meaning of the passage will surely change. You must realize that. Context is no doubt important, but why would such realized beings as Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti choose one highly technical term over another, especially when the chosen term subsumes others, if they meant another highly technical term? Do you think Nagarjuna meant "inherent existence" but just chose to say "existence" instead?
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."

May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.

Kenneth Chan
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Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:35 am

Re: What Tsongkhapa said

Postby Kenneth Chan » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:40 am

conebeckham wrote:
Kenneth Chan wrote:
Malcolm wrote:It quite depends on whether they are using the word prakriti or svabhāva. Unfortuntately Patshab Nyima Dragpa changed all instances of ngo bo nyid (svabhāva) in the MMK to rang bzhin without carefully distinguishing prakriti and svabhāva in the original. To Tsongkhapa's credit actually, his realization is supposed to have dawned as a result of reading the Buddhapalitavṛtti, which was translated in the early period by Cogro and carefully preserves this distinction, though there are other faults with it.

Malcolm, why do you think that just because a word is in Sanskrit, its literal meaning is therefore rigidly cast in stone? Any word, used under different contexts, can mean different things, whether it is in English, Sanskrit, or any other language. Context is always important. Also, remember that language evolves.

These are technical terms, Kenneth....highly technical terms. If misunderstood, and/or mistranslated, the meaning of the passage will surely change. You must realize that. Context is no doubt important, but why would such realized beings as Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti choose one highly technical term over another, especially when the chosen term subsumes others, if they meant another highly technical term? Do you think Nagarjuna meant "inherent existence" but just chose to say "existence" instead?

Conebeckham, you have to understand that they are trying to convey the meaning of emptiness, something that cannot be exactly and literally conveyed through the technical meaning of words. If that is possible, what need is there for the large number of texts and commentaries?

Therefore, to rigidly apply the technical meaning of individual words, just because they are in Sanskrit, as though their meaning is cast in stone, is inappropriate. Context is crucial. Words, in any language, including Sanskrit, can mean different things in different contexts, especially when used by different authors and translators at different times.

We need to try to understand the meaning that any particular author is trying to convey, and not try to discredit any author based merely on the technical meaning of individual words taken out of context, as though the technical meaning of any particular word is permanently set by the gods for eternity, so that it can mean one thing, and one thing only, regardless of context.
Last edited by Kenneth Chan on Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What Tsongkhapa said

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:45 am

Kenneth Chan wrote:Malcolm, why do you think that just because a word is in Sanskrit, its literal meaning is therefore rigidly cast in stone? Any word, used under different contexts, can mean different things, whether it is in English, Sanskrit, or any other language. Context is always important. Also, remember that language evolves.


It is not a question of rigid definitions, it is, as Cone notes, a question of terminology as it was used at that time in India in a very specific technical context. But since you are not a translator, and have no expertise in either Tibetan or Sanskrit technical literature of any kind , your naive attitude towards language is forgivable.
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So called “sentient beings” are merely delusions self-appearing from the dhātu of luminosity.

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Re: What Tsongkhapa said

Postby Bakmoon » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:36 am

conebeckham wrote:Nonsense. As evidenced by this, and other, threads here, it's apparent that inherent existence or inherence, "Svabhava," རང་བཞིན་ ("rang zhin") is not the ordinary assumption of sentient beings. It's a conceptual construct. Ordinary beings perceive a given phenomenon and assume that perceived phenomenon exists. Questions of essence, causation, effect, are conceptual prapanca at one remove from the bare assumption, the error we make when we assume an existent appears before us.

In the Gelug system, ordinary beings are incapable of distinguishing between the inherent existence that is refuted by reasoning on the one-hand, and the conventional existence that isn't refuted, so in a sense, Gelugpas would agree with you. The way in which beings take things to be 'real' is to be refuted. The only difference is that Gelugpas qualify this upfront to make it absolutely clear that this refutation doesn't prevent the conventional acceptance of things.

Bakmoon
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Re: What Tsongkhapa said

Postby Bakmoon » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:43 am

Kenneth Chan wrote:Conebeckham, you have to understand that they are trying to convey the meaning of emptiness, something that cannot be exactly and literally conveyed through the technical meaning of words. If that is possible, what need is there for the large number of texts and commentaries?

Therefore, to rigidly apply the technical meaning of individual words, just because they are in Sanskrit, as though their meaning is cast in stone, is inappropriate. Context is crucial. Words, in any language, including Sanskrit, can mean different things in different contexts, especially when used by different authors and translators at different times.

We need to try to understand the meaning that any particular author is trying to convey, and not try to discredit any author based merely on the technical meaning of individual words taken out of context, as though the technical meaning of any particular word is permanently set by the gods for eternity, so that it can mean one thing, and one thing only, regardless of context.

Yes, one must be sensitive to context, but you haven't shown how the context in question leads to a different result. The burden of proof is on you to show based on context etc... that a word is being used in one of its more unusual senses. You cannot insist on whatever meanings you please and then criticize anyone who disagrees with you as a blind literalist. Such a methodology would allow anyone to give whatever interpretation they like to anything without the need for proof or evidence of any kind.


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