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Jones' research on tathagatagarbha/atman

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:15 am
by dzogchungpa
Since the original thread in which I pointed out his work was "Open Dharma-ed" away, I thought I would start a new thread here. Mods, please do not allow it to be hijacked.

A summary of his thesis, "The use of, and controversy surrounding, the term atman in the Indian Buddhist tathagatagarbha literature", is available here:
https://khyentsefoundation.org/2017-dissertation-award/

His paper "Beings, Non-Beings, and Buddhas: Contrasting Notions of tathāgatagarbha in the Anūnatvāpūrṇatvanirdeśaparivarta and *Mahābherī Sūtra" is available here:
http://jocbs.org/index.php/jocbs/article/view/133

His 2015 lecture at the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, "Shadows of a former Self: the ‘True Self’ taught by the Tathāgatagarbha Literature", can be heard here:
https://ocbs.org/shadows-of-a-former-se ... erature-2/

Re: Jones' research on tathagatagarbha/atman

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:44 am
by smcj
From the summary of his thesis:
...this study is concerned with understanding how some Mahāyānist authors of the tathāgatagarbha tradition felt it appropriate to depart from the anātman position of wider Buddhism, and declare that the tathāgatagarbha can be considered the ātman of sentient beings.

Re: Jones' research on tathagatagarbha/atman

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:16 am
by Anonymous X
dzogchungpa wrote:Since the original thread in which I pointed out his work was "Open Dharma-ed" away, I thought I would start a new thread here. Mods, please do not allow it to be hijacked.

A summary of his thesis, "The use of, and controversy surrounding, the term atman in the Indian Buddhist tathagatagarbha literature", is available here:
https://khyentsefoundation.org/2017-dissertation-award/

His paper "Beings, Non-Beings, and Buddhas: Contrasting Notions of tathāgatagarbha in the Anūnatvāpūrṇatvanirdeśaparivarta and *Mahābherī Sūtra" is available here:
http://jocbs.org/index.php/jocbs/article/view/133

His 2015 lecture at the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, "Shadows of a former Self: the ‘True Self’ taught by the Tathāgatagarbha Literature", can be heard here:
https://ocbs.org/shadows-of-a-former-se ... erature-2/
:thanks: :reading: :stirthepot:

Re: Jones' research on tathagatagarbha/atman

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:43 pm
by dzogchungpa
dzogchungpa wrote:His 2015 lecture at the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, "Shadows of a former Self: the ‘True Self’ taught by the Tathāgatagarbha Literature", can be heard here:
https://ocbs.org/shadows-of-a-former-se ... erature-2/
I listened to this last night and found it quite stimulating. It provides a nice taste of his research and IMO is definitely worth a listen.

Here is the description:
The Indian tathāgatagarbha literature of the Mahāyāna has attracted disapproval for its use of the term ātman to designate a permanent, unchanging ‘Buddha-nature’ possessed by all beings: clearly more reminiscent of extraneous religious traditions, and seemingly at odds with the ‘seal of the dharma’ that is anātman. In evident awareness of the imagery of the upaniṣad-s (and other accounts of a fixed selfhood), some of its authors declared the tathāgatagarbha to be the ‘true’ self for which extraneous religious teachers and practitioners, the so-called tīrthika-s, had sought.

In defense of their own use of this language, these tathāgatagarbha authors attempted not just to undermine analogous, non-Buddhist doctrines, but also to explain them away. I will speak about two texts of the tathāgatagarbha literature, perhaps the earliest sūtra-s to discuss a ‘true self’, and present passages that imply the reduction of non-Buddhist teachings to their own ‘Buddhist self’. More revealing still, these texts imply that the ideas of these non-Buddhists teachers are themselves produced by the Buddha. This not only suggests an important function of the apparent ātmavāda leanings of this tradition, but also betrays a model of the metaphysical Buddha’s expanding influence that helps us situate the tathāgatagarbha doctrine closer to its likely origins in the milieu of the Lotus Sūtra.

Re: Jones' research on tathagatagarbha/atman

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:33 am
by Anonymous X
I also listened to the lecture, but found his style of delivering this rather academic, dry, and without any deep insight into the subject other than an historical perspective. I realize he tried to cram into the 50 minutes or so, way too much information that tended to overload my poor brain trying to keep up! I do think this is a subject worth contemplating and will undoubtedly lead to murderous intent with some debaters. You know who you are. :woohoo:

Re: Jones' research on tathagatagarbha/atman

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:41 am
by amanitamusc
Alex Jones?

Re: Jones' research on tathagatagarbha/atman

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:00 am
by dzogchungpa
amanitamusc wrote:Alex Jones?
No, Christopher V. Jones, see: http://www.orinst.ox.ac.uk/staff/isa/jones.html.

Re: Jones' research on tathagatagarbha/atman

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:49 pm
by PuerAzaelis
amanitamusc wrote:Alex Jones?
Yes. Apparently the atman is responsible for chemtrails.