nagarjuna two truths to tientai threefold truth. How?

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.
Post Reply
nichiren-123
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:07 pm

nagarjuna two truths to tientai threefold truth. How?

Post by nichiren-123 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:02 pm

So I get the two truths theory formulated by Nagarjuna. There is ultimate truth (i.e. insight into emptiness) and then there is conventional truth, which, which useful, is ultimately false. So there is a sort of hierarchy: ultimate truth > conventional truth

But then in in tientai there are three truths: emptiness, conventional truth and the middle way. These three are not only equal but also imply the other two. Now I've been reading tientai for months and I still don't get anything I've said in this paragraph...

I don't get anything about the threefold truth. I can make sense of the two truths but not the threefold truth...?

User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 1601
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:35 pm
Location: Whitby, Ontario

Re: nagarjuna two truths to tientai threefold truth. How?

Post by Coëmgenu » Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:01 pm

nichiren-123 wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:02 pm
So I get the two truths theory formulated by Nagarjuna. There is ultimate truth (i.e. insight into emptiness) and then there is conventional truth, which, which useful, is ultimately false. So there is a sort of hierarchy: ultimate truth > conventional truth

But then in in tientai there are three truths: emptiness, conventional truth and the middle way. These three are not only equal but also imply the other two. Now I've been reading tientai for months and I still don't get anything I've said in this paragraph...

I don't get anything about the threefold truth. I can make sense of the two truths but not the threefold truth...?
The non-differentiation between samsara and nirvana of Ven Nagarjuna is treated as it's own "truth" in Tiantai. A "third".
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः
उत्पन्नाजातुविद्यन्तेभावाःक्वचनकेचन

User avatar
takso
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 11:08 am

Re: nagarjuna two truths to tientai threefold truth. How?

Post by takso » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:08 pm

nichiren-123 wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:02 pm
I don't get anything about the threefold truth. I can make sense of the two truths but not the threefold truth...?
It simply means one plus one equals to three... :smile:

TRUTH 1 - Ultimate Truth (an insight into one side of the coin).
TRUTH 2 - Conventional Truth (an insight into another side of the coin).
TRUTH 3 - Middle Way Truth (an insight into the two sides of the same coin concurrently).

The wise Buddha has laid emphasis that one should see in all angles of things or matters while pursuing the ultimate truth. Without it, any conclusions made out of one’s observation would not be balanced or in a wholesome nature. In Buddhism, wholesome would mean in totality of perspective (skillful) and unwholesome would mean in non-totality of perspective (unskillful). There is no holy or sinful thought or act in the eyes of the Buddha.

In fact, the Buddha has recommended Middle Path as an ideal approach when addressing a problem. Middle Path is all about focusing on core, neutral, balance and upright. It means to investigate and break through the core of life and all things without any attitudes of favouritism. Any investigations must commence based on unbiased grounds i.e. on neutral and upright positions. In other words, one needs to investigate the problem from various angles, analyse the findings, understand the truth thoroughly, and find a reasonable conclusion.

So, the TRUTH 3 lies within the so-called 'reasonable conclusion'.

:anjali:
~ Ignorance triumphs when wise men do nothing ~

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 5733
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: nagarjuna two truths to tientai threefold truth. How?

Post by Queequeg » Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:04 pm

See Swanson's Tientai Philosophy and Ng's Tientai and Early Madhyamika.

Also, you might find Jikai's notes and the discussion in the MoHo Chih Kuan discussion thread interesting.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

Post Reply

Return to “Mahāyāna Buddhism”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 31 guests