Semantics or not..Dharmakaya, Eternalism and the Self of Advaita

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Bakmoon
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Re: Semantics or not..Dharmakaya, Eternalism and the Self of Advaita

Post by Bakmoon » Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:51 am

Stefos wrote:So again to clariy, For me there IS a substratum: Emptiness, Clarity and Bliss

Is this what Sri Nagarjuna taught?
That is not the teaching of Nagarjuna. Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamakakarikas have extensive proofs for how all conditioned phenomena are empty, and Nagarjuna also proves that unconditioned phenomena are empty. For example, he writes:
As arising, abiding, and cessation are not established,
There is nothing that is conditioned.
Since the conditioned lacks any establishment,
How could the unconditioned be established? [VII.33]
For Nagarjuna, the very idea of being conditioned or unconditioned form a pair, and so both depend on one another, and you can't have one without the other. You can't have unconditioned phenomena without conditioned phenomena anymore than you can have north without south, or hot without cold.

I don't know much about Dzogchen, but I know that Longchenpa is considered to be one of the most important Dzogchen teachers in history, and according to him, the view of Dzogchen is equivalent to Prasangika Madhyamaka, so I don't see how Dzogchen could accept any sort of real phenomenon either, whether conditioned or unconditioned.
Stefos wrote:Would reading the above mentioned book: Ornament Of Reason: The Great Commentary To Nagarjuna's Root Of The Middle Way
assist me in understanding the view of emptiness in terms of the Dharmakaya?
Malcolm has recommended this book to people in the past and I've also read it, and it's my favorite commentary on Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamakakarika.

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smcj
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Re: Semantics or not..Dharmakaya, Eternalism and the Self of Advaita

Post by smcj » Sat Jul 01, 2017 1:38 am

Bakmoon wrote:I don't know much about Dzogchen, but I know that Longchenpa is considered to be one of the most important Dzogchen teachers in history, and according to him, the view of Dzogchen is equivalent to Prasangika Madhyamaka, so I don't see how Dzogchen could accept any sort of real phenomenon either, whether conditioned or unconditioned.
I don't know much about Dzogchen either, but I know that Dudjom R. was an important modern teacher of Dzogchen, and he says in his Big Red Book that the Dzogchen view is equivalent to Great Madhyamaka/Shentong.

So it seems that there are multiple possible ways to skin that cat. You can pick whichever one floats your boat--to badly mix metaphors.
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Re: Semantics or not..Dharmakaya, Eternalism and the Self of Advaita

Post by Bakmoon » Sat Jul 01, 2017 2:03 am

smcj wrote:I don't know much about Dzogchen either, but I know that Dudjom R. was an important modern teacher of Dzogchen, and he says in his Big Red Book that the Dzogchen view is equivalent to Great Madhyamaka/Shentong.

So it seems that there are multiple possible ways to skin that cat. You can pick whichever one floats your boat--to badly mix metaphors.
I think it really boils down to the same thing though. Dolpopa's form of Shentong is quite radically different in view from freedom from extremes Madhyamaka, but pretty much every non-Jonang form of Shentong I've come across just seems more complimentary than contradictory in terms of the whole emptiness as a non-affirming negation verses an affirming negation because in the freedom from extremes presentation, the meaning of emptiness is not ultimate nonexistence, but being free from dualistic concepts of existence or nonexistence in the first place. To me when Shentongpas say that Buddha nature is inconceivable and beyond all concepts and therefore is untouched by Madhyamaka analysis, that just sounds like another way of saying the same thing.

Granted there are other snares such as the details of the three natures, but I don't think that really adds up to a difference in view.

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Re: Semantics or not..Dharmakaya, Eternalism and the Self of Advaita

Post by krodha » Sat Jul 01, 2017 2:04 am

smcj wrote:I don't know much about Dzogchen either, but I know that Dudjom R. was an important modern teacher of Dzogchen, and he says in his Big Red Book that the Dzogchen view is equivalent to Great Madhyamaka/Shentong.

So it seems that there are multiple possible ways to skin that cat. You can pick whichever one floats your boat--to badly mix metaphors.
Trotting out the unwarranted "great Madhyamaka" title in reference to gzhan stong yet again?

One would be hard pressed to legitimately demonstrate that Dzogpachenpo and gzhan stong are commensurate. The two views are really quite far apart.

For one, gzhan stong says the kāyas of the result are fully formed at what Dzogchen would term "the time of the basis", this in and of itself demonstrates that the key positions of both systems are irreconcilable. A fully formed result is unheard of in Dzogchen.

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Re: Semantics or not..Dharmakaya, Eternalism and the Self of Advaita

Post by smcj » Sat Jul 01, 2017 2:31 am

krodha wrote: One would be hard pressed to legitimately demonstrate that Dzogpachenpo and gzhan stong are commensurate. The two views are really quite far apart.
Unfortunately my Big Red Book does is in storage, so I cannot cite the exact page number. It is in the chapter about why Dzogchen is superior. If you have a copy you can read Dudjom R's. own words on the subject.

Of course you are not required to personally accept Dudjom R. as a valid authority on the subject. However I think you will need to concede the point that he was a widely recognized and highly regarded Nyingma/Dzogchen teacher. So it is more than simply my own opinion or misunderstanding.

Admittedly there are different views on the subject. Ultimately what is being discussed is ineffable anyway, so If you don't like Dudjom R.'s view you don't have to accept it.

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But back to Stefos' question; Give up on thinking Nargarjuna had that idea. Read Dolpopa instead. But just remember there are lots of people that find Dolpopa offensive and heretical.
Last edited by smcj on Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Semantics or not..Dharmakaya, Eternalism and the Self of Advaita

Post by krodha » Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:04 am

smcj wrote:Admittedly there are different views on the subject. Ultimately what is being discussed is ineffable anyway, so If you don't like Dudjom R.'s view you don't have to accept it.
Everything is ultimately "ineffable", the taste of sugar for example. The word "sweet" does not capture the ineffable taste of sugar, yet at the same time describing that taste as "salty" would be inaccurate.

Indeed there are different views on the subject, that said, Dudjom Rinpoche's is fairly novel as far as I can tell... and given that he was comparing sūtra views to Dzogchen, I really can't imagine he had too much invested in his position on the matter.

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Re: Semantics or not..Dharmakaya, Eternalism and the Self of Advaita

Post by smcj » Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:09 am

krodha wrote:
Indeed there are different views on the subject, that said, Dudjom Rinpoche's is fairly novel as far as I can tell.
From what I understand within the Nyingma camp that's true. Brunnholzl says as much in "When Clouds Part". But then there is the Kagyu take on Dzogchen in which I think it is more widely accepted, Kongtrul being a case in point.

But this thread is not about Dzogchen per se. This is all a digression. :focus:
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Re: Semantics or not..Dharmakaya, Eternalism and the Self of Advaita

Post by Bakmoon » Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:24 am

krodha wrote:For one, gzhan stong says the kāyas of the result are fully formed at what Dzogchen would term "the time of the basis", this in and of itself demonstrates that the key positions of both systems are irreconcilable. A fully formed result is unheard of in Dzogchen.
I don't think all Shentongpas say this. Dolpopa did, but I know that there were at least some figures in the Kagyu Shentong tradition who deny this particular idea, and Jamgong Kongtrul doesn't mention this idea in the Shentong section of his writings on the tenet systems.

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Re: Semantics or not..Dharmakaya, Eternalism and the Self of Advaita

Post by smcj » Sat Jul 01, 2017 4:42 am

Bakmoon wrote:
krodha wrote:For one, gzhan stong says the kāyas of the result are fully formed at what Dzogchen would term "the time of the basis", this in and of itself demonstrates that the key positions of both systems are irreconcilable. A fully formed result is unheard of in Dzogchen.
I don't think all Shentongpas say this. Dolpopa did, but I know that there were at least some figures in the Kagyu Shentong tradition who deny this particular idea, and Jamgong Kongtrul doesn't mention this idea in the Shentong section of his writings on the tenet systems.
In "When Clouds Part" Brunnhölzl shows a number of various views from Karma Kagyu masters over the centuries on the subject. Mikyo Dorje had a pretty weird take on "empty-of-other". For instance he said that sentient beings are what the Buddha Nature is not* (Buddha Nature being empty of anything other than its own perfect qualities). Therefore he would not say that sentient beings had Buddha Nature, which is an interpretation which is contrary to the entire premise from which "empty-of-other" comes from. Regarding the kayas he said that the Dharmakaya was self-empty and that the form kayas were other-empty. That doesn't make sense to me at all.

So even within the narrow confines of the Karma Kagyu the idea has been in flux. I get the impression that since Kongtrul the party line has been pretty stable, but I'm no expert on the subject.
___________________________________
*Obviously this is not a Dzogchen view which sees everything as the perfection of the basis. I'm just using it as an example of how weird views can get.
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Re: Semantics or not..Dharmakaya, Eternalism and the Self of Advaita

Post by krodha » Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:09 am

smcj wrote:*Obviously this is not a Dzogchen view which sees everything as the perfection of the basis.
Not everything. The varying phenomena that appear due to non-recognition of the basis are not seen as perfect, nor even expressions of the basis.

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Re: Semantics or not..Dharmakaya, Eternalism and the Self of Advaita

Post by smcj » Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:18 am

krodha wrote:
smcj wrote:*Obviously this is not a Dzogchen view which sees everything as the perfection of the basis.
Not everything. The varying phenomena that appear due to non-recognition of the basis are not seen as perfect, nor even expressions of the basis.
You sure about that? Doesn't sound right to me, samsara and nirvana being the same and all.

At this point it would be nice if Malcolm weighed in on this.
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Re: Semantics or not..Dharmakaya, Eternalism and the Self of Advaita

Post by krodha » Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:23 am

smcj wrote:
krodha wrote:
smcj wrote:*Obviously this is not a Dzogchen view which sees everything as the perfection of the basis.
Not everything. The varying phenomena that appear due to non-recognition of the basis are not seen as perfect, nor even expressions of the basis.
You sure about that? Doesn't sound right to me, samsara and nirvana being the same and all.

At this point it would be nice if Malcolm weighed in on this.
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    the whole outer universe and inhabitants are mistakes.
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Re: Semantics or not..Dharmakaya, Eternalism and the Self of Advaita

Post by smcj » Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:44 am

krodha wrote:
  • From the seed of attachment and aversion,
    the whole outer universe and inhabitants are mistakes.
    - Uprooting Delusion Tantra [per Malcolm]
At this point I don't think my dear departed teacher would approve of anything else I might post on the subject. So my conscience won't let me continue.
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Re: Semantics or not..Dharmakaya, Eternalism and the Self of Advaita

Post by krodha » Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:48 am

You deleted your post, and I'll do you the courtesy of not quoting it, but I had written this in response and figure it can help in moving the discussion forward:

Suffering is not seen as "perfect." Suffering does indeed arise as a result of the dynamism of the basis, but it is not a part of the basis. Much like clouds that obscure the sun arise as a result of the sun's dynamism, but are not part of the sun itself.

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Re: Semantics or not..Dharmakaya, Eternalism and the Self of Advaita

Post by smcj » Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:04 pm

krodha wrote:You deleted your post, and I'll do you the courtesy of not quoting it
...but I had written this in response and figure it can help in moving the discussion forward:

Suffering is not seen as "perfect." Suffering does indeed arise as a result of the dynamism of the basis, but it is not a part of the basis. Much like clouds that obscure the sun arise as a result of the sun's dynamism, but are not part of the sun itself.
If I may approach the question from a completely different angle, as part of my daily Chenrezig practice I do the 7 Branch Offering. One of the sections is "beseeching the Buddhas to not pass into Nirvana". Presumably Buddhas are full of compassion for sentient beings, so for them to be look at sentient beings and feel free to pass into Nirvana they would have to see the suffering of sentient beings as somehow appropriate or acceptable, or maybe even perfect.

I believe it is even in the Pali Suttas that Shakyamuni was not inclined to teach after his enlightenment. In part it was because what he understood was too subtle for people to correctly understand. Presumably he would also have to see the status quo as being somehow acceptable. The tradition holds that it was Indra, or maybe some other god, that saw Shakyamuni had become enlightened and requested him to start teaching. So the implication is that from Shakyamuni's perspective it was not necessary to say anything.

I personally see this as a type of confirmation or validation that the premise of the highest teachings as being present in the Pali Suttas. But that is just a personal aside.
Suffering does indeed arise as a result of the dynamism of the basis, but it is not a part of the basis.
If I'm not mistaken that was Mikyo Dorje's view I referenced above stated in a different way. But then he concluded that it meant sentient beings neither possessed or were part of the Buddha Nature. I just can't grok that.
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Re: Semantics or not..Dharmakaya, Eternalism and the Self of Advaita

Post by Malcolm » Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:39 pm

smcj wrote: But then there is the Kagyu take on Dzogchen in which I think it is more widely accepted, Kongtrul being a case in point.
Maybe among Kagyus.
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Re: Semantics or not..Dharmakaya, Eternalism and the Self of Advaita

Post by smcj » Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:20 pm

Malcolm wrote: Maybe among Kagyus.
Ah, good that you dropped in.

The question I'd like to ask you is: how is suffering seen/understood in Dzogchen?
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Re: Semantics or not..Dharmakaya, Eternalism and the Self of Advaita

Post by Malcolm » Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:05 pm

smcj wrote:
Malcolm wrote: Maybe among Kagyus.
Ah, good that you dropped in.

The question I'd like to ask you is: how is suffering seen/understood in Dzogchen?
A mistake. Delusion is not part of the basis at all.
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Re: Semantics or not..Dharmakaya, Eternalism and the Self of Advaita

Post by smcj » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:03 pm

Malcolm wrote:
smcj wrote: The question I'd like to ask you is: how is suffering seen/understood in Dzogchen?
A mistake. Delusion is not part of the basis at all.
Ok.
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Re: Semantics or not..Dharmakaya, Eternalism and the Self of Advaita

Post by Malcolm » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:20 pm

smcj wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
smcj wrote: The question I'd like to ask you is: how is suffering seen/understood in Dzogchen?
A mistake. Delusion is not part of the basis at all.
Ok.
One's primordial state aka the basis is originally pure. Pure of what? Delusion. It was never deluded, it is not deluded now, and will never be deluded later on.

The sense in which Dzogchen has a gzhan stong view is that delusion is absent in one's primordial state— it is empty of delusion, delusion is extraneous to it. Samsara and nirvana all arise because one did not see one's nature.
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