How is enlightenment achieved in madhamaka and tiantai?

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Malcolm
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Re: How is enlightenment achieved in madhamaka and tiantai?

Post by Malcolm » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:43 pm

DGA wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:54 pm
what book does Nyingma or Gelug uphold?
Generally, the Prajñāpāramita Sūtras are the dominant sūtras in Tibet, as they were in India.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

ItsRaining
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Re: How is enlightenment achieved in madhamaka and tiantai?

Post by ItsRaining » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:22 am

DGA wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:54 pm
DGA wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:58 pm
Anders wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:14 am


The third truth stands out.

A broader range of practices and somewhat broader range of texts being relied upon. Zhi Yi held up the lotus and avatamsaka sutras as the perfected teachings, Nagarjuna more or less explained away the lotus sutra in the bodhisambara.

Roughly speaking, it can be said that Zhi Yi attempted a comprehensive Chinese hermeneutic based on Ekayana that could explain the vast and divergent corpus of Mahayana texts they now had access to, in a manner that was still congruent and faithful to Nagarjuna. The degree to which is succeeded is perhaps up for debate, but I believe this was Zhi Yi's self-understanding of the project.
I agree with all of these.

I'd also assert that the most innovative positions Zhiyi takes are the least convincing ones, starting with the Five Periods.
I'd like to elaborate on this point a bit.

I don't mind the five-fold categorization of Dharma teachings that Zhiyi put together as the Five Periods. If you understand the Five Periods metaphorically and not temporally, then I probably agree with you except on one other point: I think it was a consequential error on Zhiyi's part to identify each of the five periods with a particular text or texts, because for a literal-minded thinker, it precludes the possibility that the "perfect" teaching may be found outside of this or that book.

You see this in some discussions in and around Japanese Buddhism and it introduces problems. If Kegon is an Avatamsaka school, and Tendai is a Lotus Sutra school, then... what book does Nyingma or Gelug uphold? Neither of those schools are limited to particular books, but they do prefer certain doctrines (which may or may not align with what Zhiyi taught as the "perfect"). This is one way Zhiyi's intellectual edifice leaves some problems in its wake.

With all that said, if you need a belief structure, a narrative to believe in, then it's perfectly serviceable. If you think belief is useless, then the Five Periods model will also be useless to you. I fall into the latter category. YMMV.
I think you are misinterpreting the Five Periods. They aren't exactly a set period of time, Ouyi Zhixu in his introductory text to the Tiantai school specifically collected a set of quotes from Zhangan Guanding to dispell this specific misconception.
It is said in the second period 12 years were spend teaching the separated teaching of the three vehicles, then if after twelve years would teachings of the Four Truths, Twelves Links, and Six Paramitas not be spoken to those who would benefit from them? - Zhangan Guanding

People of the present day spread misconception such as that the agamas were only taught for 12 years or the Valpyua only for 8, the dangers of this is great. - Ouyi Zhixu

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Queequeg
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Re: How is enlightenment achieved in madhamaka and tiantai?

Post by Queequeg » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:30 am

DGA wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:54 pm
I don't mind the five-fold categorization of Dharma teachings that Zhiyi put together as the Five Periods. If you understand the Five Periods metaphorically and not temporally, then I probably agree with you except on one other point: I think it was a consequential error on Zhiyi's part to identify each of the five periods with a particular text or texts, because for a literal-minded thinker, it precludes the possibility that the "perfect" teaching may be found outside of this or that book.
The Perfect Teaching is found in all periods except the Tripitaka. It is in the Avatamsaka, Vaipulya, Prajnaparamita and Lotus periods. The Sudden is found in the Avatamsaka, Prajnaparamita and Lotus periods. The difference with the Lotus is simply that in the Lotus Period, only the Sudden and Perfect is taught.

Again, these categories are primarily shorthand about substantive content. The message about sequence is really about a progressive teachings that lead incrementally to the pure Sudden and Perfect teaching.

No offense, Dan, but I don't think you understand these teachings. Not that its particularly important if its not something you are interested in. You are misrepresenting these teachings though.
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

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: How is enlightenment achieved in madhamaka and tiantai?

Post by Coëmgenu » Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:20 am

Anders wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:14 am
DGA wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:35 pm
Separate topic, perhaps:

what is in TienTai that is not in Nagarjuna?
The third truth stands out.
Perhaps there is a tendency to confuse the two truths of Madhyamaka and the threefold contemplation of the dharmadhātu in Tiāntāi.

The threefold contemplation seems to be intended to realize this, in practice:

涅槃與世間            無有少分別
[between] nirvāna and this world   [there is] not [even] a slight disparity

世間與涅槃            亦無少分別
this world and nirvāṇa   also no[t even a] slight disparity

涅槃之實際            及與世間際
[from] nirvāṇa's true apex   towards this world's apex

如是二際者            無毫釐差別
like this there are two apices   [like this there is] not the smallest sliver of disparity
(Madhyamakaśāstra T1564.35c27)


The "third" truth is just this relation between the two truths. It was already in the Kārikā.
佛子。如來智慧。無相智慧。無閡智慧。具足在於眾生身中。但愚癡眾生顛倒想覆。不知不見不生信心。
O, sons and daughters. The Thus-Gone's wisdom. The signless wisdom. The unobstructed wisdom. It perfectly dwells within all sentient beings’ minds. Yet in ignorance, sentient beings err and think it covered. Not knowing, not seeing, not giving rise to faith.
Āryamaitreyanāthasyottarekayānaratnagotraśāstra T1611.827b20

narhwal90
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Re: How is enlightenment achieved in madhamaka and tiantai?

Post by narhwal90 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:42 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:30 am
DGA wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:54 pm
I don't mind the five-fold categorization of Dharma teachings that Zhiyi put together as the Five Periods. If you understand the Five Periods metaphorically and not temporally, then I probably agree with you except on one other point: I think it was a consequential error on Zhiyi's part to identify each of the five periods with a particular text or texts, because for a literal-minded thinker, it precludes the possibility that the "perfect" teaching may be found outside of this or that book.
The Perfect Teaching is found in all periods except the Tripitaka. It is in the Avatamsaka, Vaipulya, Prajnaparamita and Lotus periods. The Sudden is found in the Avatamsaka, Prajnaparamita and Lotus periods. The difference with the Lotus is simply that in the Lotus Period, only the Sudden and Perfect is taught.

Again, these categories are primarily shorthand about substantive content. The message about sequence is really about a progressive teachings that lead incrementally to the pure Sudden and Perfect teaching.

No offense, Dan, but I don't think you understand these teachings. Not that its particularly important if its not something you are interested in. You are misrepresenting these teachings though.

I think its fairly easy to take the 5 Periods as authoritative. Nichiren uses it to make the Lotus Sutra preeminent essentially to the exclusion of others as provisional. It may be his position on the Periods is more nuanced but that doesn't come across as obviously.

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Malcolm
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Re: How is enlightenment achieved in madhamaka and tiantai?

Post by Malcolm » Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:24 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:20 am
Anders wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:14 am
DGA wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:35 pm
Separate topic, perhaps:

what is in TienTai that is not in Nagarjuna?
The third truth stands out.
Perhaps there is a tendency to confuse the two truths of Madhyamaka and the threefold contemplation of the dharmadhātu in Tiāntāi.

The threefold contemplation seems to be intended to realize this, in practice:

涅槃與世間            無有少分別
[between] nirvāna and this world   [there is] not [even] a slight disparity

世間與涅槃            亦無少分別
this world and nirvāṇa   also no[t even a] slight disparity

涅槃之實際            及與世間際
[from] nirvāṇa's true apex   towards this world's apex

如是二際者            無毫釐差別
like this there are two apices   [like this there is] not the smallest sliver of disparity
(Madhyamakaśāstra T1564.35c27)


The "third" truth is just this relation between the two truths. It was already in the Kārikā.
The MMK 24:8-9 is pretty clear:

The doctrine taught by the Buddha
is correctly predicated upon two truths:
the relative truth of the world,
and the truth of the sublime meaning.

Thos who do not know the difference
between those two truths,
do not know the the profound reality
of the doctrine of the Buddha.


Samsara and nirvana are both relative truths, and that is why there is not even a subtle distinction that can be made between them.

The doctrine of the two truths is supported on the basis of the Meeting of the Father and Son Sūtra, the locus classicus for restricting the number of truths the Buddha taught in Mahāyāna to the two truths. The Buddha himself never taught a third truth. There was never any need. Why? Because as the sūtra mentioned above states, the doctrine of the two truths arose out of the Buddha's direct perception and personal experience.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Coëmgenu
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Re: How is enlightenment achieved in madhamaka and tiantai?

Post by Coëmgenu » Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:02 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:24 pm
Coëmgenu wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:20 am
Anders wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:14 am


The third truth stands out.
Perhaps there is a tendency to confuse the two truths of Madhyamaka and the threefold contemplation of the dharmadhātu in Tiāntāi.

The threefold contemplation seems to be intended to realize this, in practice:

涅槃與世間            無有少分別
[between] nirvāna and this world   [there is] not [even] a slight disparity

世間與涅槃            亦無少分別
this world and nirvāṇa   also no[t even a] slight disparity

涅槃之實際            及與世間際
[from] nirvāṇa's true apex   towards this world's apex

如是二際者            無毫釐差別
like this there are two apices   [like this there is] not the smallest sliver of disparity
(Madhyamakaśāstra T1564.35c27)


The "third" truth is just this relation between the two truths. It was already in the Kārikā.
The MMK 24:8-9 is pretty clear:

The doctrine taught by the Buddha
is correctly predicated upon two truths:
the relative truth of the world,
and the truth of the sublime meaning.

Thos who do not know the difference
between those two truths,
do not know the the profound reality
of the doctrine of the Buddha.


Samsara and nirvana are both relative truths, and that is why there is not even a subtle distinction that can be made between them.

The doctrine of the two truths is supported on the basis of the Meeting of the Father and Son Sūtra, the locus classicus for restricting the number of truths the Buddha taught in Mahāyāna to the two truths. The Buddha himself never taught a third truth. There was never any need. Why? Because as the sūtra mentioned above states, the doctrine of the two truths arose out of the Buddha's direct perception and personal experience.
The 'third' truth is simply the first two truths. The "three truths" are contemplations of the dharmadhātu specific to Ven Zhiyi's classifications of meditations. I don't actually think they are supposed to be a reworking of Madhyamaka with an extra-non-dual spin or something like that. I think that this is demonstrable when looking at the actual presentation of the three truths from Swansons's recent translation of Mahāśamathavipaśyanā T1911 published as Clear Serenity, Quiet Insight.

Our first significant mention comes on page 186 of the Swanson text:
From the viewpoint of the distinct teachings, you understand reality as "identical to emptiness, identical to the conventional existence, and identical to the middle", but understand that these are progressive and sequential stages, and that each stage is different than the others. At this level tthe hree phrases all being empty means all things are empty because (1) they are without an autonomous self; (2) they are empty because they exist provisionally constructed; and (3) they are empty because they are of the middle and not of the extremes of annihilationism or eternalism, or being and nothingness. That the three types are all conventionally existent means that all things are conventionally existent because they all exist only as provisional verbal constructs. That these three phrases are all the middle means that they are all endowed with the middle because the first phrase represent the middle as the real truth, the second phrase represent the middle as the capacity of sentient beings, and the third phrase represents the middle as reality as-it-is.
(T1911.7b12)

It seems to be more properly three contemplations of ways that things can be empty than three truths about how things exist, don't exist, etc.
佛子。如來智慧。無相智慧。無閡智慧。具足在於眾生身中。但愚癡眾生顛倒想覆。不知不見不生信心。
O, sons and daughters. The Thus-Gone's wisdom. The signless wisdom. The unobstructed wisdom. It perfectly dwells within all sentient beings’ minds. Yet in ignorance, sentient beings err and think it covered. Not knowing, not seeing, not giving rise to faith.
Āryamaitreyanāthasyottarekayānaratnagotraśāstra T1611.827b20

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Malcolm
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Re: How is enlightenment achieved in madhamaka and tiantai?

Post by Malcolm » Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:20 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:02 pm

The 'third' truth is simply the first two truths.
No, I don't think you can make such a reductionist statement.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Coëmgenu
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Re: How is enlightenment achieved in madhamaka and tiantai?

Post by Coëmgenu » Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:56 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:20 pm
Coëmgenu wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:02 pm

The 'third' truth is simply the first two truths.
No, I don't think you can make such a reductionist statement.
I think I can.
佛子。如來智慧。無相智慧。無閡智慧。具足在於眾生身中。但愚癡眾生顛倒想覆。不知不見不生信心。
O, sons and daughters. The Thus-Gone's wisdom. The signless wisdom. The unobstructed wisdom. It perfectly dwells within all sentient beings’ minds. Yet in ignorance, sentient beings err and think it covered. Not knowing, not seeing, not giving rise to faith.
Āryamaitreyanāthasyottarekayānaratnagotraśāstra T1611.827b20

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Malcolm
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Re: How is enlightenment achieved in madhamaka and tiantai?

Post by Malcolm » Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:41 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:56 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:20 pm
Coëmgenu wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:02 pm

The 'third' truth is simply the first two truths.
No, I don't think you can make such a reductionist statement.
I think I can.
The MMK 24:17-19 could not be more clear:

Whatever arises in dependence,
that is explained as emptiness;
that [emptiness] is dependently designated,
that is the middle way.

Why? There exist no phenomena
that are not dependently originated,
Therefore, there are no phenomena
that are not empty.

If all of this is not empty,
there could not no arising and perishing,
and consequently, for you
the four noble truths would not exist.


This whole discussion of what is the middle way comes directly after the discussion of how the Buddha only teaches two truths. The two truths are themselves the middle way, the latter is not a third truth. The whole purpose of this discussion in MMK 24 is to explain how the four noble truths are possible only if dependently originated phenomena are understood to be emptiness.

There is no fault in studying Chih-I, but there is a fault if one reads Chih-I into Nāgārjuna. It's best to leave Chih-I out of Madhyamaka altogether. Chih-I generated his own school, and is how he should be understood.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Coëmgenu
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Re: How is enlightenment achieved in madhamaka and tiantai?

Post by Coëmgenu » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:03 am

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:41 pm
Coëmgenu wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:56 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:20 pm


No, I don't think you can make such a reductionist statement.
I think I can.
The MMK 24:17-19 could not be more clear:

Whatever arises in dependence,
that is explained as emptiness;
that [emptiness] is dependently designated,
that is the middle way.

Why? There exist no phenomena
that are not dependently originated,
Therefore, there are no phenomena
that are not empty.

If all of this is not empty,
there could not no arising and perishing,
and consequently, for you
the four noble truths would not exist.


This whole discussion of what is the middle way comes directly after the discussion of how the Buddha only teaches two truths. The two truths are themselves the middle way, the latter is not a third truth. The whole purpose of this discussion in MMK 24 is to explain how the four noble truths are possible only if dependently originated phenomena are understood to be emptiness.

There is no fault in studying Chih-I, but there is a fault if one reads Chih-I into Nāgārjuna. It's best to leave Chih-I out of Madhyamaka altogether. Chih-I generated his own school, and is how he should be understood.
The ultimate truth, in Tiantai, appears to be adhyatma sunyata, the conventional, bahirdha sunyata, and the middle seems to be sunyata sunyata. After the above quotation (Mohezhiguan, not MMK). IMO

I am preparing a more substantial reply but it is taking a while. This short post will have to suffice for now.
佛子。如來智慧。無相智慧。無閡智慧。具足在於眾生身中。但愚癡眾生顛倒想覆。不知不見不生信心。
O, sons and daughters. The Thus-Gone's wisdom. The signless wisdom. The unobstructed wisdom. It perfectly dwells within all sentient beings’ minds. Yet in ignorance, sentient beings err and think it covered. Not knowing, not seeing, not giving rise to faith.
Āryamaitreyanāthasyottarekayānaratnagotraśāstra T1611.827b20

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Malcolm
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Re: How is enlightenment achieved in madhamaka and tiantai?

Post by Malcolm » Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:08 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:03 am
Malcolm wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:41 pm
Coëmgenu wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:56 pm

I think I can.
The MMK 24:17-19 could not be more clear:

Whatever arises in dependence,
that is explained as emptiness;
that [emptiness] is dependently designated,
that is the middle way.

Why? There exist no phenomena
that are not dependently originated,
Therefore, there are no phenomena
that are not empty.

If all of this is not empty,
there could not no arising and perishing,
and consequently, for you
the four noble truths would not exist.


This whole discussion of what is the middle way comes directly after the discussion of how the Buddha only teaches two truths. The two truths are themselves the middle way, the latter is not a third truth. The whole purpose of this discussion in MMK 24 is to explain how the four noble truths are possible only if dependently originated phenomena are understood to be emptiness.

There is no fault in studying Chih-I, but there is a fault if one reads Chih-I into Nāgārjuna. It's best to leave Chih-I out of Madhyamaka altogether. Chih-I generated his own school, and is how he should be understood.
The ultimate truth, in Tiantai, appears to be adhyatma sunyata, the conventional, bahirdha sunyata, and the middle seems to be sunyata sunyata. After the above quotation (Mohezhiguan, not MMK). IMO

I am preparing a more substantial reply but it is taking a while. This short post will have to suffice for now.
You should not use untranslated terms. In any case, śūnyatā is an ultimate truth, always, since it represents the culmination of a given analysis of a given thing.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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