Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

smcj
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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by smcj » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:03 pm

Pema Rigdzin wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:50 pm
LoveFromColorado wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:25 am
Chapter 9 of the Kunjed Gyalpo as per The Supreme Source goes so far as to say that "the vehicles based on the principle of cuase and effect" are tied more "to the external" and that "they are erroneous paths" in the sense that they display "an imperfect understanding of the condition of the individual". I get the sense from reading through these chapter summaries that the intent is not to refute karma utterly but to show how it is a "lower" teaching of sorts as it becomes irrelevant when one realizes primordial consciousness.
The vehicles of cause and effect are erroneous insofar as they are conceptual. Dzogchen is beyond concepts, as buddhahood is beyond concepts. We could say that Dzogchen--as in the nature of all that appears--is beyond cause and effect; but until this is fully realized, these are just words, just like saying the horrors of samsara are empty of inherent existence.
I assume “causal vehicles” in this context refers to Sutrayana. There it is believed that in order to get enlightened one must accumulate both merit and wisdom. If you accumulate enough of both you pop.

The next way to look at it is to say that Buddha Nature is always present but is uncreate. In that context virtue is required to create a situation where the already present BN can find full expression. But the merit does not create the BN.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by Pema Rigdzin » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:12 pm

smcj wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:12 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:57 am
There is no primordial state.
You might want to make a somewhat more nuanced post than that. Perhaps try, "A classical Indian philosopher, such as Nagarjuna, would say such an idea is a Hindu heresy." Or perhaps, "That kind of idea crept into certain types of Dharma only late in the game due to a misinterpretation of the teachings on Buddha Nature." At that point there's nothing to refute. Someone might choose to post in support of the opposing viewpoint. But a simple blanket statement like that, denying that the idea exists at all, is not completely accurate.
No one can refute that we have this idea called "the primordial state." But to say that there is an actual primordial state, one would have to be able to attribute some concrete characteristics to it. For instance, where is it located?

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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by smcj » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:13 pm

Actually, the assertion that there is no basis is precisely the meaning of Dzogchen, Mahāmudra, and Prajñāpāramitā.
With Prajnaparamita yes. With Mahamudra and Dzogchen it depends on who you talk to.

In "Myriad Worlds" Kongtrul writes:
What is the fundamental nature of the original primordial ground of being, before buddhas appear by realizing it and before sentient beings appear by not realizing it? To answer this the tradition of Great Perfection states that the claims concerning the ground based on the perspectives of persons who adhere to philosophical tenets are mistaken.
Make no mistake, this book is about Kongtrul's cosmology. He starts with Abhidharma, then the Kalachakra cosmology, then the above is the beginning of his Dzogchen cosmology.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by Pema Rigdzin » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:15 pm

Malcolm,

Usually we speak of the Sutrayana paths as as the causal vehicles, and the mantrayana paths as the resultant vehicles; but does Dzogchen consider Anuyoga and Mahayoga "resultant"?

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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by Malcolm » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:16 pm

Pema Rigdzin wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:15 pm
Malcolm,

Usually we speak of the Sutrayana paths as as the causal vehicles, and the mantrayana paths as the resultant vehicles; but does Dzogchen consider Anuyoga and Mahayoga "resultant"?
Yes.
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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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by KRB80 » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:17 pm

smcj wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:13 pm
Actually, the assertion that there is no basis is precisely the meaning of Dzogchen, Mahāmudra, and Prajñāpāramitā.
With Prajnaparamita yes. With Mahamudra and Dzogchen it depends on who you talk to.

In "Myriad Worlds" Kongtrul writes:
What is the fundamental nature of the original primordial ground of being, before buddhas appear by realizing it and before sentient beings appear by not realizing it? To answer this the tradition of Great Perfection states that the claims concerning the ground based on the perspectives of persons who adhere to philosophical tenets are mistaken.
Make no mistake, this book is about Kongtrul's cosmology. He starts with Abhidharma, then the Kalachakra cosmology, then the above is the beginning of his Dzogchen cosmology.
That Kongtrul quote seems to parallel what Malcolm and Pema are saying, no?
We live in illusion and the appearance of things. There is a reality. We are that reality. When you understand this, you see that you are nothing, and being nothing, you are everything. That is all. - Kalu Rinpoche

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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by Pema Rigdzin » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:18 pm

smcj wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:13 pm
Actually, the assertion that there is no basis is precisely the meaning of Dzogchen, Mahāmudra, and Prajñāpāramitā.
With Prajnaparamita yes. With Mahamudra and Dzogchen it depends on who you talk to.
Every Dzogchen master I've ever met or read has said that the views of Dzogchen, Mahamudra, and Prajnaparamita are identical. It is only the paths that are different.

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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by smcj » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:19 pm

Pema Rigdzin wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:18 pm
smcj wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:13 pm
Actually, the assertion that there is no basis is precisely the meaning of Dzogchen, Mahāmudra, and Prajñāpāramitā.
With Prajnaparamita yes. With Mahamudra and Dzogchen it depends on who you talk to.
Every Dzogchen master I've ever met or read has said that the views of Dzogchen, Mahamudra, and Prajnaparamita are identical. It is only the paths that are different.
Kagyupas and Dudjom R. have a Shentong/Great Madhyamaka view. Kongtrul specifically applies it to Dzogchen.

I do no know of a "Prajnaparamita Path" per se.
Last edited by smcj on Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Malcolm
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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by Malcolm » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:20 pm

smcj wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:13 pm
Actually, the assertion that there is no basis is precisely the meaning of Dzogchen, Mahāmudra, and Prajñāpāramitā.
With Prajnaparamita yes. With Mahamudra and Dzogchen it depends on who you talk to.

In "Myriad Worlds" Kongtrul writes:
What is the fundamental nature of the original primordial ground of being, before buddhas appear by realizing it and before sentient beings appear by not realizing it? To answer this the tradition of Great Perfection states that the claims concerning the ground based on the perspectives of persons who adhere to philosophical tenets are mistaken.
Make no mistake, this book is about Kongtrul's cosmology. He starts with Abhidharma, then the Kalachakra cosmology, then the above is the beginning of his Dzogchen cosmology.
Kongtrul's review of Dzogchen "cosmology" is rather incomplete in the Encyclopedia (he gives a more detailed and complete overview in other places). Also the term "ground of being" has no correlate in Tibetan. It is an erroneous translation of the simple term "gzhi," that is, basis.

Also, the nature of the original basis is ka dag, original purity, i.e., emptiness free from extremes. There are severn presentations of the basis in Dzogchen, the only non-erroneous one is that the basis is originally pure. Original purity is a special term for emptiness which has never been contaminated by ignorance.
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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Malcolm
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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by Malcolm » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:23 pm

smcj wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:19 pm
Dudjom R. have a Shentong/Great Madhyamaka view.
When it comes to sūtra, yes. Not when it comes to Dzogchen. Jigme Lingpa follows Tsongkhapa when it comes to sūtra, but not when it comes to Dzogchen. Dzogchen masters do not privilege sūtra views over Vajrayāna views -- this is a point you seem to have never 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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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by smcj » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:31 pm

Dzogchen masters do not privilege sūtra views over Vajrayāna views -- this is a point you seem to have never understood.
In his "Big Red Book" Dudjom R. explains that Dzogchen is superior specifically because it has the Great Madhyamaka/Shentong view. We have had that discussion before.

I have quoted it before. You know it. I do not accept your dismissal that I do not understand it.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Malcolm
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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by Malcolm » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:33 pm

smcj wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:31 pm
Dzogchen masters do not privilege sūtra views over Vajrayāna views -- this is a point you seem to have never understood.
In his "Big Red Book" Dudjom R. explains that Dzogchen is superior specifically because it has the Great Madhyamaka/Shentong view. We have had that discussion before.

I have quoted it before. You know it. I do not accept your dismissal that I do not understand it.
Chapter and verse?
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

LoveFromColorado
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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by LoveFromColorado » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:35 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:59 pm
LoveFromColorado wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:15 pm
:buddha1: p
Malcolm wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:57 am
There is no primordial state.
Hi Malcolm, unless you are referring to emptiness, then I don't understand what you mean. Throughout The Supreme Source by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu the Base is continually referred to as "the primordial state" (for example, on page 85). Would you mind clarifying?
"Primordial state" is how ChNN translates the term "gzhi." "Gzhi" simply refer to something we have not realized. If there is some real primordial state, then how does it exist, in whom does it exist, and in what way does it exist, without falling into the four extremes. If it does not exist by way of any of the four extremes, for what reason then it is a fault to say there is no basis? Actually, the assertion that there is no basis is precisely the meaning of Dzogchen, Mahāmudra, and Prajñāpāramitā.
Thanks for the clarification Malcolm, that makes perfect sense to me.

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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by florin » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:37 pm

Pema Rigdzin wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:12 pm
smcj wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:12 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:57 am
There is no primordial state.
You might want to make a somewhat more nuanced post than that. Perhaps try, "A classical Indian philosopher, such as Nagarjuna, would say such an idea is a Hindu heresy." Or perhaps, "That kind of idea crept into certain types of Dharma only late in the game due to a misinterpretation of the teachings on Buddha Nature." At that point there's nothing to refute. Someone might choose to post in support of the opposing viewpoint. But a simple blanket statement like that, denying that the idea exists at all, is not completely accurate.
No one can refute that we have this idea called "the primordial state." But to say that there is an actual primordial state, one would have to be able to attribute some concrete characteristics to it. For instance, where is it located?
One of the special features of primordial state is that it doesn't exist. Can we talk like this ? Sure. What does this even mean ? Well, this needs to be explained further because this instruction that "the state doesn't exist" is specifically aimed so that the practitioner understands correctly how to practice so falling onto one side is avoided.
The nature of diverse phenomena is non-dual. This means that both pure vision and impure vision are a manifestation of the energy of the primordial state. Even though in reality there is no duality, everything manifests separately. KG

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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by smcj » Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:23 pm

Page 300 of "The Big Red Book" in the chapter titled "Superiority of Atiyoga". Remember, he is not discussing sutra here. He is discussing Dzogchen and why it is superior to the lower 8 yanas.

Also worthy of note is the fact that he says that Nagarjuna/2nd Turning and Asanga/3rd Turning are both contained in Dzogchen. That is to be expected and does not negate my point. All Shentong view includes Nagarjuna. Elsewhere he explains that his interpretation of the 3rd Turning is "Great Madhyamaka" (a.k.a Shentong). Interestingly he includes the Dharmadhaturstava ("In Praise of Dharmadhatu") as one of Nagarjuna's. It certainly is not like Nagarjuna's other writings.

Now concerning this natural expression of the Great Perfection: The Sugata, during the intermediate promulgation of the transmitted precepts*, did not reveal the structure of the fundamental reality, though he did extensively teach the inconceivable, abiding nature without referring to symbols of elaborate conception. And, during the final promulgation**, though he did reveal the structure of the fundamental reality, he did not teach the characteristic path through which it is actualized. Therefore, the conclusive intention of the Two Promulgators*** actually abides without contradiction in the nature of the Great Perfection. This intention comprises the unaltered intention of the Collection of Madhyamaka Reasoning,, which consists of the commentaries on the intermediate promulgation by the sublime and supreme Nagarjuna; and his [Collection of Eulogies] including the Eulogy to the Expanse of Reality****, and the commentaries by the regent Maitreya, the sublime and supreme Asanga, and his brother [Vasabandhu] and so forth, which together form the intention of the final [promulgation]. If one were to ask why this is the case, it is because these masters did not claim anything other than the profound abiding nature of natural reality, and because the Great Perfection itself is none other than that.
(bolding/underlining mine)

So he says, "... during the intermediate promulgation of the transmitted precepts, did not reveal the structure of the fundamental reality".

But he then say of Asanga/Vasabandhu, "....because these masters did not claim anything other than the profound abiding nature of natural reality...,"

So he accepts the 3rd Turning as being "profound abiding nature of natural reality, and because the Great Perfection itself is none other than that.

So Dudjom R. had no problem utilizing the 3 Turning paradigm to explain and define how Dzogchen is superior to the other yanas. Since he saw it as appropriate, so do I.


*****

*a.k.a. The 2nd Turning of the Wheel of Dharma
**a.k.a. The 3rd Turning of the Wheel of Dharma
*** Nagarjuna and Asanga
****Available in English as "In Praise of Dharmadhatu"

******

All this is in regards to Dudjom R's interpretation of Dzogchen. Evidently he is an outlier in this among Nyingmapas. However Kongtrul also has a Shentong view of Dzogchen, and he is not an outlier among Karma Kagyupas. So at least one major school supports that idea within the context of Dzogchen specifically.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by Pema Rigdzin » Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:54 pm

smcj wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:31 pm
In his "Big Red Book" Dudjom R. explains that Dzogchen is superior specifically because it has the Great Madhyamaka/Shentong view. We have had that discussion before.
It seems to me that what Dudjom Rinpoche is actually saying here is that the 2nd turning, aka Prajnaparamita, and the 3rd turning, aka Buddha Nature, each fell to one side, and that Dzogchen provides the complete explanation AND a path that encompasses the knowledge of both systems. He doesn't appear to be saying anything about Dzogchen's superiority being due to supposedly having a shentong view.

*I edited this completely, because I realized I'd initially come to the wrong conclusion. Sorry if I don't get this re-submitted before you see it and respond.
Last edited by Pema Rigdzin on Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by smcj » Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:11 pm

Pema Rigdzin wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:54 pm
smcj wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:31 pm
In his "Big Red Book" Dudjom R. explains that Dzogchen is superior specifically because it has the Great Madhyamaka/Shentong view. We have had that discussion before.
It seems to me that what Dudjom Rinpoche is actually saying here is that the 2nd turning, aka Prajnaparamita, and the 3rd turning, aka Buddha Nature, each fell to one side, and that Dzogchen provides the complete explanation AND a path that unifies the knowledge of both systems.
Right.
He doesn't appear to be saying anything about Dzogchen's superiority being due to suposedly having a shentong view.
The title of the chapter is called "The Superiority of AtiYoga". The quoted paragraph is the heart of that explanation.
*I edited this completely, because I realized I'd initially come to the wrong conclusion. Sorry if I don't get this re-submitted before you see it and respond.
Thanks. I replied and then deleted.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by Pema Rigdzin » Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:30 pm

smcj wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:11 pm
Pema Rigdzin wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:54 pm
He doesn't appear to be saying anything about Dzogchen's superiority being due to suposedly having a shentong view.
The title of the chapter the paragraph came from is "The Superiority of AtiYoga".
I get that, but I think the implication isn't that the nonconceptual Dzogchen view is superior because of shentong, a conceptual view, but rather that shentong is superior to rangtong because, unlike rangtong, shentong talks not only of emptiness but also of appearance. In other words, I think he felt that shentong came closer to Dzogchen's presentation of nondual kadag and lhundrup, and rangtong focused entirely on kadag. In any case, all of this seems moot since there's no distinction of rangtong and shentong in meditation on the natural state, only in choosing how much one feels one should say about it when teaching about it.

*Actually, aside from my very last statement in this post, I'm not sure *what* I think lol, because it's been so long since I studied prasangika vs svatantrika and rangtong vs shentong that I can't remember enough about the latter two to know if I'm conflating them with the former two.

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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by smcj » Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:00 pm

...there's no distinction of rangtong and shentong in meditation on the natural state, only in choosing how much one feels one should say about it when teaching about it.
That's the only importance point to the whole discussion.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Re: Immutable Nature of the Primordial State

Post by krodha » Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:02 am

smcj wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:23 pm
Page 300 of "The Big Red Book" in the chapter titled "Superiority of Atiyoga". Remember, he is not discussing sutra here. He is discussing Dzogchen and why it is superior to the lower 8 yanas.

Also worthy of note is the fact that he says that Nagarjuna/2nd Turning and Asanga/3rd Turning are both contained in Dzogchen. That is to be expected and does not negate my point. All Shentong view includes Nagarjuna. Elsewhere he explains that his interpretation of the 3rd Turning is "Great Madhyamaka" (a.k.a Shentong). Interestingly he includes the Dharmadhaturstava ("In Praise of Dharmadhatu") as one of Nagarjuna's. It certainly is not like Nagarjuna's other writings.

Now concerning this natural expression of the Great Perfection: The Sugata, during the intermediate promulgation of the transmitted precepts*, did not reveal the structure of the fundamental reality, though he did extensively teach the inconceivable, abiding nature without referring to symbols of elaborate conception. And, during the final promulgation**, though he did reveal the structure of the fundamental reality, he did not teach the characteristic path through which it is actualized. Therefore, the conclusive intention of the Two Promulgators*** actually abides without contradiction in the nature of the Great Perfection. This intention comprises the unaltered intention of the Collection of Madhyamaka Reasoning,, which consists of the commentaries on the intermediate promulgation by the sublime and supreme Nagarjuna; and his [Collection of Eulogies] including the Eulogy to the Expanse of Reality****, and the commentaries by the regent Maitreya, the sublime and supreme Asanga, and his brother [Vasabandhu] and so forth, which together form the intention of the final [promulgation]. If one were to ask why this is the case, it is because these masters did not claim anything other than the profound abiding nature of natural reality, and because the Great Perfection itself is none other than that.
(bolding/underlining mine)

So he says, "... during the intermediate promulgation of the transmitted precepts, did not reveal the structure of the fundamental reality".

But he then say of Asanga/Vasabandhu, "....because these masters did not claim anything other than the profound abiding nature of natural reality...,"

So he accepts the 3rd Turning as being "profound abiding nature of natural reality, and because the Great Perfection itself is none other than that.

So Dudjom R. had no problem utilizing the 3 Turning paradigm to explain and define how Dzogchen is superior to the other yanas. Since he saw it as appropriate, so do I.


*****

*a.k.a. The 2nd Turning of the Wheel of Dharma
**a.k.a. The 3rd Turning of the Wheel of Dharma
*** Nagarjuna and Asanga
****Available in English as "In Praise of Dharmadhatu"

******

All this is in regards to Dudjom R's interpretation of Dzogchen. Evidently he is an outlier in this among Nyingmapas. However Kongtrul also has a Shentong view of Dzogchen, and he is not an outlier among Karma Kagyupas. So at least one major school supports that idea within the context of Dzogchen specifically.
Is the “third turning” gzhan stong or just Yogācāra? Seems only Yogācāra is being referenced in the excerpt despite the assertion that his use of “third turning” is supposed to be a reference to gzhan stong.

In any case, gzhan stong as a view in itself is at odds with Dzogchen... however describing Dzogchen as a Madhyamaka-Yogācāra synthesis is perfectly acceptable.

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