Coëmgenu wrote: ↑
Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:25 pm
Malcolm wrote: ↑
Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:00 pm
Coëmgenu wrote: ↑
Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:54 pm
That's what I figured. It doesn't really seem to be a "school" in the sense of Yogācāra or Madhyamaka, or at least if it ever was, its distinctiveness is hard to find account of, other than the practice of naming Buddha-nature.
I think there is evidence it was a school in India, one to which there is a critical response in both Madhyamaka and Yogacāra sources (such as the Lanka).
It is my opinion that the Uttaratantra shows that it was a distinctive school. Given how much Indian literature was destroyed in the late 5th century by invasions, it is not surprising we have a limited view of Mahāyāna schools in India.
This is very interesting. I presume that they were not a 'sūtra-school' in the East Asian sense (most alleged 'sūtra-schools' aren't)
, how were they distinctive? I presume they held the Tathāgatagarbhasūtrāṇi in high regard, but why are they named after them? Are they the specific 'school'/'body'/'community' that preserved this specific Buddhavacana, the 'Tathāgatagarbha ones', and proliferated it over the course of the Great Vast-Expansion/Mahāvaipulya?
Mahāyāna schools in India were "doctrine" schools, that is, they followed the lead of esteemed commentators like Nāgārjuna and Maitreyanatha for guidance in how to understand the contents of whole classes of sūtras.
It may be the case that at one time there were sūtra schools, but we have no records of such movements.
Basically, Maitreyanath identified three main streams of Mahāyāna thought, Tathāgatagarbha, Prajñāpāramitā, and Yogacāra, and wrote independent commentaries on each main stream. He then synthesized these three streams in his Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra. I call this the Maitreyan synthesis, since it was the most radical thing in Mahāyāna since Nāgārjuna. It indelibly stamped how Mahāyāna was studied in Indian Universities after the 6th century; and after these treatises were introduced to Tibet are the major source of controversy in Tibetan Buddhism.
It appears that in India the Uttaratantra received very little attention in India. The most attention was paid to the Abhisamayālaṃkāra, since it treated the Prajñāpāramitā, and proposed to unpack the stages of the path that were present in a hidden form within the Prajñāpāramitā sūtras. There is a rich commentarial tradition of debate between Madhyamaka and Yogacāra authors about this text.
Thus, in Tibetan Buddhism, there are three main controversies: 1) how are we to understand the Uttaratantra— is it definitive or provisional; 2) how are we to understand differences among various Indian Madhyamakas, the so-called prasanga/svatantra controversy; and 3) how are we to understand the three natures theory of the Yogacārins.
The texts which are followed in a manner similar to East Asian Buddhists are the tantras: the main exegetical tantra of both the Sakya and Kagyu school is the Hevajra Tantra and its commentaries; the Gelugpas base their exegesis of Vajrayāna on Guhyasamaja, the Nyingmapas on the Guhyagarbha (which can be classified as a tathāgatagarbha influenced text), and the Jonangpas base themselves on the Kalācakra Tantra.