Early Buddhism and Mahayana

General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
Malcolm
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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Post by Malcolm » Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:18 pm

jeeprs wrote:
Emptiness - the essence of all there is
Regrettably, that is a big no-no in Buddhist philosophy. Emptiness is exactly the absence of essence. In fact the one thing that everything has in common is absence of essence.
Candrakirti clearly says in the Prasannapāda, essencelessness is the essence of everything.

Malcolm
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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Post by Malcolm » Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:19 pm

smcj wrote:
Everyone agrees the absolute is ineffable, therefore all teachings are provisional.
No, the Gelugpas assert it is effable.

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Post by dzogchungpa » Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:55 pm

Malcolm wrote:
smcj wrote:
Everyone agrees the absolute is ineffable, therefore all teachings are provisional.
No, the Gelugpas assert it is effable.
That's effed up.
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

smcj
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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Post by smcj » Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:53 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
smcj wrote:
Everyone agrees the absolute is ineffable, therefore all teachings are provisional.
No, the Gelugpas assert it is effable.
That's effed up.
:rolling: :twothumbsup:
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
2. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

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Koji
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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Post by Koji » Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:00 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote:
we can seperate the 2 terms but I will just quote further proof to connect them back together.
it's not necessary. The fact is that the term dharmadhātu has a limited usage in these sutras. The term dharmadhātu is synonymous with emptiness, which is what you asked me to show. I have shown that. Nothing you can cite will can show the opposite.
Sorry for being a little slow. But what defintion of emptiness are you using? I am only aware of the definition found in the nikayas and agamas.
“Ananda, that which is not there, I view that as empty, but what remains there, I view that as really existing.  Ananda, this is called practising true emptiness” (MA 191).

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cloudburst
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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Post by cloudburst » Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:23 pm

Malcolm wrote:
smcj wrote:
Everyone agrees the absolute is ineffable, therefore all teachings are provisional.
No, the Gelugpas assert it is effable.
If you don't eff it, you're effed.

Malcolm
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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Post by Malcolm » Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:25 pm

Koji wrote: But what defintion of emptiness are you using? I am only aware of the definition found in the nikayas and agamas.

The definition found in Mahāyāna i.e. emptiness means empty of svābhava.

For example, in the Āryākṣayamatinirdeśaṭīkā:
  • "The descriptions from the element of self (atmadhātu) up to the element of all phenomena (sarvadharmadhātu) are the nature of one taste in the ultimate dharmadhātu, emptiness. Since individual characteristics do not exist, all phenomena said to be "equivalent" since they are undifferentiated."

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cloudburst
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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Post by cloudburst » Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:34 pm

Malcolm wrote:
cloudburst wrote: All four traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, when correctly understood, reject substance dualism. The Gelugpas, at least, also present the teachings in such a way as to allow someone prone to substance dualism to benefit from it a provisional stance. I suspect the other traditions do as well. Each tradition is very rich.
Well, it is true that because the five schools [we must include Bon] are tantric,
We should say six, let's not forget the Jonang!
Malcolm wrote: But really, honestly, only in Dzogchen teachings is the substance dualism that is a prime feature of Buddhist thought from abhidharma right up the the lower tantras truly overcome in an explicit fashion.
really, honestly and sincerely not true.

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Post by dzogchungpa » Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:38 pm

cloudburst wrote:If you don't eff it, you're effed.
You're effed if you do and effed if you don't.
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

Malcolm
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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Post by Malcolm » Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:40 pm

cloudburst wrote:
really, honestly and sincerely not true.
The manner in which the other schools resolved this is through recourse to a species of mentalism i.e. the subtle inner madhyamaka, if you will.

Anyway, I think you can agree a separate thread is required.

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cloudburst
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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Post by cloudburst » Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:43 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
cloudburst wrote:If you don't eff it, you're effed.
You're effed if you do and effed if you don't.
rats.

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cloudburst
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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Post by cloudburst » Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:47 pm

Malcolm wrote:
cloudburst wrote:
really, honestly and sincerely not true.
The manner in which the other schools resolved this is through recourse to a species of mentalism i.e. the subtle inner madhyamaka, if you will.
This is a definitional move, and a weak argument in my book.

Malcolm
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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Post by Malcolm » Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:14 pm

cloudburst wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
cloudburst wrote:
really, honestly and sincerely not true.
The manner in which the other schools resolved this is through recourse to a species of mentalism i.e. the subtle inner madhyamaka, if you will.
This is a definitional move, and a weak argument in my book.

No, seriously -- for example, Khyentse Wangchuk declares that there is no difference between mind and matter because everything is established as mind. This is perfectly acceptable thing to say in a Lamdre context. I have seen the same statement [everything is established as mind] coming from Gelugpas when they explain how one is to practice Vajrayāna, as opposed to how the Gelug sutra view is formed and asserted. This is also how the Kagyus phrase things.

This is not how Dzogchen deals with the issue at all. Please bear in mind that not everything said by Nyingmapas necessarily reflects the view of Dzogchen.

M

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Koji
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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Post by Koji » Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:37 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Koji wrote: But what defintion of emptiness are you using? I am only aware of the definition found in the nikayas and agamas.

The definition found in Mahāyāna i.e. emptiness means empty of svābhava.

For example, in the Āryākṣayamatinirdeśaṭīkā:
  • "The descriptions from the element of self (atmadhātu) up to the element of all phenomena (sarvadharmadhātu) are the nature of one taste in the ultimate dharmadhātu, emptiness. Since individual characteristics do not exist, all phenomena said to be "equivalent" since they are undifferentiated."
Sorry for asking another question. Is nirvana also empty of svābhava?

smcj
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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Post by smcj » Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:49 pm

Sorry for asking another question. Is nirvana also empty of svābhava?
While we are asking questions, what do you mean by "substance dualism"?
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
2. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Post by dzogchungpa » Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:54 pm

smcj wrote:
Sorry for asking another question. Is nirvana also empty of svābhava?
While we are asking questions, what do you mean by "substance dualism"?
Or by "substance', for that matter.
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:09 pm

Substance dualism as far as I know is usually a Christian platonic term..that asserts that mind is a fundamentally different substance from matter.

I'm interested also to hear about the nuances of it from Malcolm.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

Malcolm
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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Post by Malcolm » Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:13 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Substance dualism as far as I know is usually a Christian platonic term..that asserts that mind is a fundamentally different substance from matter.

I'm interested also to hear about the nuances of it from Malcolm.

Substance dualism is a description of Descartes viewpoint. It holds that mind is non-physical substance. So does Buddhism in general. For example, Vasubandhu defines mind as a dravya, which in general can be understood as "substance". In general, in Buddhism nama and rūpa are held to be different in kind and substance though mutually conditioning.

Malcolm
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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Post by Malcolm » Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:13 pm

Koji wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Koji wrote: But what defintion of emptiness are you using? I am only aware of the definition found in the nikayas and agamas.

The definition found in Mahāyāna i.e. emptiness means empty of svābhava.

For example, in the Āryākṣayamatinirdeśaṭīkā:
  • "The descriptions from the element of self (atmadhātu) up to the element of all phenomena (sarvadharmadhātu) are the nature of one taste in the ultimate dharmadhātu, emptiness. Since individual characteristics do not exist, all phenomena said to be "equivalent" since they are undifferentiated."
Sorry for asking another question. Is nirvana also empty of svābhava?

Yes, of course, since it is a dharma.

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:18 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:Substance dualism as far as I know is usually a Christian platonic term..that asserts that mind is a fundamentally different substance from matter.

I'm interested also to hear about the nuances of it from Malcolm.

Substance dualism is a description of Descartes viewpoint. It holds that mind is non-physical substance. So does Buddhism in general. For example, Vasubandhu defines mind as a dravya, which in general can be understood as "substance". In general, in Buddhism nama and rūpa are held to be different in kind and substance though mutually conditioning.

Got it, how does Dzogchen differ here? Beyond the obvious I mean... i have an inkling but i'm not sure. Also..this might be splitting hairs, but it seems like the difference between nama and rupa in "standard" Buddhism..whatever that means, is actually just a conventional one anyway, since by definition such a difference could only be conventional. What about them "having no differentiating marks"..etc.?

It seems like one can only be a substance dualist if one proposed inherently existing substances in the first place...

I'm fighting outside my weight here, so pardon if the answer is obvious and I just lack the background to know it.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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