Buddha nature vs Soul

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Re: Buddha nature vs Soul

Post by Queequeg » Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:00 pm

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Re: Buddha nature vs Soul

Post by tiagolps » Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:25 pm

Malcolm wrote:
smcj wrote:...
...
Or as summarised by Thich Nhat Hanh:

“Before practicing meditation, we see that mountains are mountains.
When we start to practice, we see that mountains are no longer mountains.
After practicing a while, we see that mountains are again mountains.
Now the mountains are very free. Our mind is still with the mountains,
but it is no longer bound to anything.”
Homage to you, blissful, virtuous and peaceful,
Enjoy the domain of the tranquil nirvana.
Fully possessing the om and the soha,
You overcome even the greatest of evils.

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Re: Buddha nature vs Soul

Post by smcj » Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:28 pm

Ok, then in English I'll say that the 3 natures are imaginary, dependent, and ultimate, with the ultimate as being empty of anything other than its own innate pure qualities and Buddha Nature.

Pretty standard Shentong view and terminology.
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Re: Buddha nature vs Soul

Post by Malcolm » Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:09 pm

smcj wrote:Ok, then in English I'll say that the 3 natures are imaginary, dependent, and ultimate, with the ultimate as being empty of anything other than its own innate pure qualities and Buddha Nature.

Pretty standard Shentong view and terminology.
No, the three natures are the imputed (parikalpita kun brtags), the dependent (paratantra, gzhan dbang), and the perfected nature (paraniṣpanna, yongs grub) .

The way the Tibetans who follow gzhan stong understand things such as Kongtrul, Khyentse Wangpo, and so on understand things — the perfected nature refers to the luminosity of the mind, which is considered to have infinite, ultimate qualities. It does not however refer something apart from the mind.

Khyentse Wangpo states:
  • From among the three natures, both the imputed and dependent nature are temporary phenomena, i.e., the intrinsically empty relative. The two aspects of perfected nature are the pristine consciousness of the dharmadhātu, the extrinsically empty ultimate meaning.

    Among the outer, inner, and alternate; the external container universe and the inhabiting sentient beings are the mutable, temporary dharmin, i.e., the intrinsically empty relative. The alternate is the sugatagarbha, the unchanging fundamental dharmatā, i.e., extrinsically empty ultimate meaning.

    In general, among the basis, path, and result, the basis is the sugatagarbha, the pristine consciousness of the all-basis, the basis of the transformation of all samsara and nirvana— 1) the basis of purification of the aspect of faults and 2) the basis of manifesting the aspect of qualities.

    The path is the method of exhausting the aspect of faults in that basis, and the method of manifesting the aspect of qualities, accompanied by the two accumulations. The accumulation of pristine consciousness removes the covering obscuration of the qualities of the dharmakāya that have always existed as naturally perfected from the beginning. The accumulation of merit gradually develops the qualities of the rūpakāya which did not previously exist.

    The result is 1) the result of separation, the dharmakaȳa, the ultimate meaning, the suchness kāya, and 2) the generated result, the rūpakāya, the symbolic, relative kāya, which exist as the abundance of one's own benefit and other's benefit.
This is all a discussion of one's own dharmatā, not a soul, nor an overarching universal pleroma.
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Re: Buddha nature vs Soul

Post by smcj » Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:32 pm

Malcolm wrote:This is all a discussion of one's own dharmatā, not a soul, nor an overarching universal pleroma.
That's the Mind Only perspective.

As you well know, the same terminology is used in Mind-Only (Cittamatra/Yogacara) and Empty-of-Other (Shentong/Great Madhyamaka). I don't need to tell you this. And I don't need to tell you that (most, but not all, versions of) Shentong has a position that resembles Advaita Vedanta.

In a 2010 post you wrote:
Malcolm wrote:I once forced Khenpo Tsultrim Gyatso to admit (I have a witness, incidentally) that there was no substantial difference between Advaita Vedanta and Gzhan stong in terms of how they presented their view.
https://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f ... eg#p102251

You know Mind Only and Shentong use the same terminology. You know that Shentong posits a universal ground. You know it. I know you know it. You know I know you know it. I know you know I know you know it. Then why do you insist on playing ignorant about it? How is that supposed to work? We've been over this time and again. Do you think that all those old points have been invalidated since they have not been referenced in a while? You'd be better off and more credible saying, "I don't like it" or "I disagree" or "it is the Advaita heresy" than saying "Shentong doesn't say that" when in fact it does.

:shrug:
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Re: Buddha nature vs Soul

Post by Malcolm » Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:57 pm

smcj wrote:[You know that Shentong posits a universal ground. You know it.
I know no such thing. You are completely wrong in your understanding of gzhan stong. Dolbupa is laughing at you right now from whatever Buddhafield he is in.

Honestly, you should just stop playing at philosophy and do another Ngondro to repair the traces of wrong view you have allowed to infect your mind.
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Re: Buddha nature vs Soul

Post by Malcolm » Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:00 pm

smcj wrote:
Malcolm wrote:I once forced Khenpo Tsultrim Gyatso to admit (I have a witness, incidentally) that there was no substantial difference between Advaita Vedanta and Gzhan stong in terms of how they presented their view.
https://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f ... eg#p102251
Correct, there is a structural similarity with respect to how their arguments are framed. There is no similarity in terms of the basis, path, and result, that was the essence of Khenpo Tsultrim's reply, and I agree with him. There is no buddhahood in Advaita.
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Re: Buddha nature vs Soul

Post by smcj » Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:52 pm

smcj wrote:You know that Shentong posits a universal ground. You know it. I know you know it. You know I know you know it. I know you know I know you know it. Then why do you insist on playing ignorant about it?
Malcolm in [u]2017[/u] wrote:I know no such thing.
Malcolm in [u]2010[/u] wrote:I once forced Khenpo Tsultrim Gyatso to admit (I have a witness, incidentally) that there was no substantial difference between Advaita Vedanta and Gzhan stong in terms of how they presented their view
Ok, well in that case... :shrug:
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Re: Buddha nature vs Soul

Post by Malcolm » Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:02 pm

smcj wrote:
smcj wrote:You know that Shentong posits a universal ground. You know it. I know you know it. You know I know you know it. I know you know I know you know it. Then why do you insist on playing ignorant about it?
Malcolm in [u]2017[/u] wrote:I know no such thing.
Malcolm in [u]2010[/u] wrote:I once forced Khenpo Tsultrim Gyatso to admit (I have a witness, incidentally) that there was no substantial difference between Advaita Vedanta and Gzhan stong in terms of how they presented their view
Ok, well in that case... :shrug:

Yes, there are structural similarities, but a similarity does not mean an absolute equivalence. For example, both a pot and cup are structurally similar in that they both have a bottom, a mouth, and are containers, but pots and cups are not the same thing.

You are taking this notion of no "substantial difference" the wrong way. What I mean is that in Advaita, nirguna brahman is empty of saguna brahmin, it is empty of anything you might call a relative entity. Likewise, in gzhan stong, it is argued that the perfected nature is empty of the two relatives natures. In this way there is a structural similarity between the two systems. But it does not mean, nor did I ever assert that Advaita and gzhan stong were equivalent in every respect. After all, it was my question and I assume I have a better memory of asking it than you do.
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Re: Buddha nature vs Soul

Post by smcj » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:40 pm

There is no similarity in terms of the basis, path, and result, that was the essence of Khenpo Tsultrim's reply, and I agree with him. There is no buddhahood in Advaita.
I'm a Buddhist, not an Advaita Vedantan. We haven't been talking about the similarities in the Path per se. That's a whole other subject which I don't think is very interesting.
But it does not mean, nor did I ever assert that Advaita and gzhan stong were equivalent in every respect.
Nor have I.
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Re: Buddha nature vs Soul

Post by Malcolm » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:04 pm

smcj wrote:
There is no similarity in terms of the basis, path, and result, that was the essence of Khenpo Tsultrim's reply, and I agree with him. There is no buddhahood in Advaita.
I'm a Buddhist, not an Advaita Vedantan. We haven't been talking about the similarities in the Path per se. That's a whole other subject which I don't think is very interesting.
If you assume that the basis of Advaita and gzhan stong are similar, you have really erred in your view.
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Re: Buddha nature vs Soul

Post by smcj » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:36 pm

Malcolm in 2017 wrote: If you assume that the basis of Advaita and gzhan stong are similar, you have really erred in your view.
Malcolm in 2010 wrote:I once forced Khenpo Tsultrim Gyatso to admit.....that there was no substantial difference between Advaita Vedanta and Gzhan stong in terms of how they presented their view
Do you think that post of yours from 2010 was written in disappearing ink? I don't get how you think you can now put forward a different narrative.

I don't have it in front of me, but Brunnhölzl's "When Clouds Part" has over 100 pages of various spins Karma Kagyu masters have said about this. One strange one was Mikyo Dorje HHK VIII. He said that since Buddha Nature is empty of anything other than its own Buddha Qualities, that meant that defiled sentient beings were what the Buddha Nature is NOT. Therefore you could not say that sentient beings either had or were a part of Buddha Nature. That can't fit that into your (current) narrative.

Now that is extreme, and I consider that view an outlier. Buddha Nature was originally taught to say that sentient beings were fundamentally pure. Then came the "empty of other" interpretation of the Buddha Nature teachings. Then Mikyo Dorje took the empty of other idea and put sentient beings on the outside again. It came full circle.

But basically the empty of other is a positive presentation on reality, or as you've said, "Inert emptiness is not the view of the Vajrayana." Do you need me to source that posting of yours too?
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Re: Buddha nature vs Soul

Post by Malcolm » Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:28 am

smcj wrote:
Malcolm in 2017 wrote: If you assume that the basis of Advaita and gzhan stong are similar, you have really erred in your view.
Malcolm in 2010 wrote:I once forced Khenpo Tsultrim Gyatso to admit.....that there was no substantial difference between Advaita Vedanta and Gzhan stong in terms of how they presented their view
Do you think that post of yours from 2010 was written in disappearing ink? I don't get how you think you can now put forward a different narrative.
You really don't understand the context of the conversation I had with KTG, nor why I asked the question. I have tried to explain this to you many times, but you refuse to listen.

I will explain it one more time. I noticed a similarity in structure between Advaita and gzhan stong arguments, not a similarity in content. I asked him about this, and while he allowed there was a structural similarity, there was no similarity in content.

In other words, the basis is different, the path is different, the result is different.
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Re: Buddha nature vs Soul

Post by Bakmoon » Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:19 am

Dan74 wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Dan74 wrote: On the other hand folks over at the other Wheel argued that this luminosity is simply an aspect of contact, and anything else is overreaching. You can have a look at the thread I linked.

_/|\_

Mahāyāna forum, Mahāyāna rules. :anjali:
Sure thing, but the sutta in question is a Pali sutta, hence the relevance of Theravada view on it. But OK, happy to let this rest.

_/|\_
The classical Theravada understanding of that Sutta (i.e. the understanding of Buddhaghosa) is that this sutta is talking about the bhavanga citta, which is the low level of conciousness that the mind defaults to in between other mindstates. This bhavanga citta is pure, and so the mind only becomes defiled because defilement arises in other mindstates.

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Re: Buddha nature vs Soul

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:48 am

Wayfarer wrote:
Malcolm wrote: The above sutta is precisely a teaching on tathāgatagarbha.

I'm sure that, from the Mahayana perspective, that verse can be taken to refer to Buddha Nature, but does the actual term 'tathāgatagarbha' appear in the Pali? And do you think a Theravadin would agree that that is what is meant by it?

Kind of a loaded question, they have just a partial a way of viewing their own scriptures as we do, it's not as if a Theravadin is necessarily the final say on the meaning on Pali scripture, nor as if there is uniform agreement amongst them at all. You can read Ajan Chah and he seems to talk about some concepts pretty close to BN.
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Re: Buddha nature vs Soul

Post by Wayfarer » Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:45 am

But I wasn't actually trying to make an arcane philosophical point. All I had said was 'buddha nature was not found in the early Buddhist texts'. And it wasn't. So, you can say that actually it was, that was what the 'luminous mind' sutta actually meant, which I guess is true, but it then drags the whole question into arcane interpretive issues. I was trying to keep it simple, although experience should tell me that this kind of question always ends up being anything but, on Dharma Wheel. :thinking:
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Re: Buddha nature vs Soul

Post by Malcolm » Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:48 pm

Wayfarer wrote:But I wasn't actually trying to make an arcane philosophical point. All I had said was 'buddha nature was not found in the early Buddhist texts'. And it wasn't.
This is quite arguable. For example, Asanga claims that the bhavanga citta (which is pure, according to Buddhaghosha) is the ālayavijñāna, and the Lankāvatara Sūtra maintains that tathāgatagarbha is a name for the ālayavijñāna. Now, it may be argued that the bhavanga citta is not that early, but in any case, it is pretty clear that Mahāyānists understand the luminous citta to be what we are terming buddhadhātu.

So, you can say that actually it was, that was what the 'luminous mind' sutta actually meant, which I guess is true, but it then drags the whole question into arcane interpretive issues.
What we can say is that Theravadins do not have interpretive authority over the Pali Canon, as much as they may wish to convince everyone this is the case.

I was trying to keep it simple, although experience should tell me that this kind of question always ends up being anything but, on Dharma Wheel. :
Yes, you should definitely know better.

M
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Re: Buddha nature vs Soul

Post by Bakmoon » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:26 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:You can read Ajan Chah and he seems to talk about some concepts pretty close to BN.
There is a parallel to Buddha nature in the Thai Forest Tradition. They use the term original mind, and the interpretations of it vary quite a bit. The most outlandish understandings of which teach straight up atmavada.

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Re: Buddha nature vs Soul

Post by Wayfarer » Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:08 am

Behoves us all to remember that when the Buddha was asked 'does the self exist, or not' that he didn't answer.
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Re: Buddha nature vs Soul

Post by Malcolm » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:26 pm

Wayfarer wrote:Behoves us all to remember that when the Buddha was asked 'does the self exist, or not' that he didn't answer.


Sure he did.
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