Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

WeiHan
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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Post by WeiHan » Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:21 pm

Ayu wrote:
I'm not sure - if I was, I must have experienced the Buddha's perception at least once - but:
how should a Buddha not perceive anything? My teacher told, a buddha perceives differently than we ordinary people do. He said, a buddha perceives it all at once.

So I suppose, if we agree that we don't know the real meaning and consequences of "to be utterly void of concepts", then there is no need for a long discussion anymore. ;)
How could a Buddha give any lecture if he wasn't able to use concepts as a measure?
He must not be bound by concepts to do so.

erm...flipping back and forth isn't Buddha's perception..remember? It has to be "simultaneous" perception.

I don't intend any long discussion but I feel that I am bad in articulating ideas well so it might be unfair for Gorampa...so maybe one last attempt.

The Buddha does not perceive of anything from their own perspective at all (since there is no more self,"own"). However, all the perspectives of every beings are not excluded from "his knowledge" and he acts beneficially accordingingly to each sentient being perspective..so to sentient beings it might appear that he has full knowledge, omniscient and appears that he is using concepts but in fact those are just spontaneously responses arising out from Dhamakaya.

ok..period for me. if it is a wrong representation of Gorampa's view, is all my fault but I swear that I read it in English ...so probably is the lotsawa's fault.

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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:17 am

Malcolm wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:Since these appearances are inseparable from emptiness and are ultimate truths, and they have a non-conceptual realisation of ultimate truth, they also have a non-conceptual realisation of appearances.
Changing appearances are ultimate truths? Since when?
Conventional truths are manifestations of the self-grasping mind. In truth, all phenomena are mere name or mere appearance, and this mere name is one nature with the ultimate truth of phenomena, not its conventional nature. For a Buddha, forms are ultimate truths because there is no contradiction between how they appears and how they exist.

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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:30 am

Tenzin Dorje wrote:
It's a fundamental Prasangika tenet that a sentient being can not directly realize both conventional and ultimate truth simultaneously.

Another argument is the following: conventional Bodhicitta is a conceptual mind. Therefore, an Arya having abandoned conceptual consciousnesses would entail that there would be no Arya Bodhisattva.
Agreed - only Buddhas perceive appearance and emptiness simultaneously.

I didn't mean that all Aryas have abandoned conceptual minds, I only meant that an Arya in meditative equipoise on emptiness has no conceptual minds.

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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Post by Malcolm » Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:56 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:Since these appearances are inseparable from emptiness and are ultimate truths, and they have a non-conceptual realisation of ultimate truth, they also have a non-conceptual realisation of appearances.
Changing appearances are ultimate truths? Since when?
Conventional truths are manifestations of the self-grasping mind. In truth, all phenomena are mere name or mere appearance, and this mere name is one nature with the ultimate truth of phenomena, not its conventional nature. For a Buddha, forms are ultimate truths because there is no contradiction between how they appears and how they exist.
You still have not explained how impermanent things are ultimate.
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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Post by narraboth » Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:19 pm

plwk wrote:
http://vajrasana.org/jeff01.htm
Now to the matter of Gorampa. To this day, the refutations against Tsongkhapa's Madhyamika view by Gorampa Sonam Senge have not even been replied to by the great Gelugpa scholars of the past few hundred years. Instead, the defenders of Tsongkhapa have attacked the intellectual juniors of Gorampa such as Taktsang Lotsawa, Shakya Chogden and others (see Jeffrey Hopkins, Meditation on Emptiness). Also, Ngorchen Kunga Zangpo (the founder of Ngor), a contemporary, criticized Tsongkhapa's understanding of Tantra.

Please understand that these are not ramblings or sectarian expletives but are commonly known to all who have studied Madhyamika within the greater family of the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition. For the Sakya School Sakya Pandita is the definitive scholar and teacher. Gorampa Sonam Senge is the definitive scholar in explaining the difficult meanings of Sakya Pandita's works.

Many Gelugpa monasteries banned outright Gorampa's works from entering their premises. The works of some other Sakya lamas which criticized Tsongkhapa or seemed at odds with those views were banned from publication entirely within Tibet and were only preserved secretly and re-published openly from Bhutan after 1959.
Can anyone elaborate on whether the above are true/factual? :thanks:
"The works of some other Sakya lamas which criticized Tsongkhapa or seemed at odds with those views were banned from publication entirely within Tibet and were only preserved secretly and re-published openly from Bhutan after 1959."

Not sure what those 'works' are and how he defines 'Tibet'. I recently read some letters that Papongka Dechen Nyingpo sent to some Chinese, one of them is chairman Liu, the head of Kham province at that time (during ROC's ruling 1912-1949, Tibet and Kham are two different provinces). He suggested Liu to support monastery but be careful about textbooks that contained wrong views, and he said that some people printed and published those wrong view books including Gorampa's commentaris in Dege, which is very bad for Buddha dharma etc.

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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Post by Sherlock » Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:27 pm

Pabhongkha is a well known sectarian.

Until Rime movement few Tibetans read any Indic originals or Gorampa. Even the first Rime generation depended a lot on Tibetan texts and were gzhan stong pas. Khenpo Zhenga reemphasized Indic studies and freedom from extremes.

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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Post by Malcolm » Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:28 pm

narraboth wrote:
"The works of some other Sakya lamas which criticized Tsongkhapa or seemed at odds with those views were banned from publication entirely within Tibet and were only preserved secretly and re-published openly from Bhutan after 1959."
Primarily the works of Shakya Chogden.
Not sure what those 'works' are and how he defines 'Tibet'. I recently read some letters that Papongka Dechen Nyingpo sent to some Chinese, one of them is chairman Liu, the head of Kham province at that time (during ROC's ruling 1912-1949, Tibet and Kham are two different provinces). He suggested Liu to support monastery but be careful about textbooks that contained wrong views, and he said that some people printed and published those wrong view books including Gorampa's commentaris in Dege, which is very bad for Buddha dharma etc.
Yes, a Sakyapa named Jamyang Lama at Derge gathered all the extant manuscripts of Gorampa's works and had them carved into block prints.
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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Post by Malcolm » Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:29 pm

Sherlock wrote:Khenpo Zhenga reemphasized Indic studies and freedom from extremes.
Maybe to Nyingmapas. Gorampa's view is the official view of the Sakya school, and Shenga studied with Sakya khenpos.
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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Post by Tenzin Dorje » Mon Mar 30, 2015 7:13 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:Conventional truths are manifestations of the self-grasping mind. In truth, all phenomena are mere name or mere appearance, and this mere name is one nature with the ultimate truth of phenomena, not its conventional nature. For a Buddha, forms are ultimate truths because there is no contradiction between how they appears and how they exist.
Disagree.

As one of my teachers says :
Geshe Jamphel Gyaltsen wrote:The word truth is used differently in the context of conventional truth and ultimate truth. A conventional truth is what is called a truth for a concealing mind that is ignorance. Only in the perspective of ignorance is it truth. In ultimate truth, truth means it exist as it appears. Ultimate truth is a truth because it is non-deceptive. It is that since the consciousness knowing the ultimate truth is the wisdom of an arya being in a meditative absorption and for that wisdom the mode of existence and appearance are concordant. Therefore the term truth is used differently.
In brief, there are two different types of objects found by two different types of cognizers (these two different types of cognizers being the same entity only distinguished in relation two objects in the case of the omniscient mind of a Buddha, whereby the long definition of 'ultimate truth' and 'conventional truth').

For these reasons, there is a fault to the assertion that "for a Buddha, forms are ultimate truth" even though they do not appear along with the appearance of true existence to a Buddha.

Malcolm wrote:rtogs pa - avabodha This is usually the term rtogs renders in order to communicate "realize."
True. Why then go against what you yourself say is usual translation?

Plus, I've indicated a number of translations (such as ascertain, know, understand, and so forth) and since you know what rtogs pa is, we don't need to argue on the translation. It is exactly like the fact that there is no need to argue on the term of "compassion" when we know the Buddhist definition, function, divisions of it, on the pretext that its Latin etymology of it as to do with "to suffer with..."
Malcolm wrote:A self-sufficient substantial entity would be an inherent existence, from our POV. But Tsongkhapa argues that is not the basis of negation, instead it is the inherent existence which is different than existence. From our point of view, existence is the coarse object of negation[...]
In fact, we say the basis is either phenomena or a person. The subtle object of negation is the same in both cases, though.

To go closer to you, Tsongkhapa asserts that if the selflessness of person is easier to realized than that of phenomena, it is because it's easier to realize the person as empty of being self-sufficient substantially existent.

Still, I don't understand what you mean by 'existence is the coarse object of negation'.
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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Post by Crazywisdom » Mon Mar 30, 2015 7:20 pm

JKhedrup wrote:Throwing sutra out completely in favour of tantra caused all sorts of problems for Buddhism at several points in its history.

I realize ethics such as avoiding the Ten Non-Virtues are not as sexy as arising as a yidam etc. But they are necessary.

I truly believe that in the West with its sensual culture that without a foundation in Sutra Vajrayana will become a free for all, an excuse for all sorts of weirdness. We see this starting already.
Tantra subsumed sutra.
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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Post by Crazywisdom » Mon Mar 30, 2015 7:23 pm

Malcolm wrote:
jiashengrox wrote: I could quote from Ngari Panchen's Ascertaining the Three Vows on this issue:

"An upholder of lay ordination who is also a pure-awareness holder must,except for signs and rituals of complete ordination, practice all that remains" (page 26)

It summarises the need for us to adhere to fundamental pratimoksha precepts (in fact in a stricter sense, coz in that context, he mentioned the need to follow the bhikkhu's conduct, with exception of ceremonies performed by bhikkhus or ordained ones, the "outer signs of ordination", as commented on by Dudjom Rinpoche).
RIght, that I disagree with completely -- this was already rejected by Sakya Pandita in sdom gsum. One only needs to follow the vows which one receives in a given rite.

The intention here comes from symbolic initiation into bhikṣu pratimokṣa in the Anuyoga grand empowerment.

Samayas of the higher vehicle subsume the lower.
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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Post by Malcolm » Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:56 pm

Tenzin Dorje wrote:
Malcolm wrote:rtogs pa - avabodha This is usually the term rtogs renders in order to communicate "realize."
True. Why then go against what you yourself say is usual translation?
Because here I do not think rtogs is being used to translate, or has the same sense as 'avabodha". It is a clumsy way to translate the passage.


Plus, I've indicated a number of translations (such as ascertain, know, understand, and so forth) and since you know what rtogs pa is, we don't need to argue on the translation. It is exactly like the fact that there is no need to argue on the term of "compassion" when we know the Buddhist definition, function, divisions of it, on the pretext that its Latin etymology of it as to do with "to suffer with..."
The point is that the term rtogs renders any number of Sanskrit terms — in general in Tibetan "rtogs pa" actually means "understand" or "know" (shes pa). When it is used in the sense of "realize", it is being used in the sense of avabodha, but here it is not being used in that sense of avabodha.
Malcolm wrote:A self-sufficient substantial entity would be an inherent existence, from our POV. But Tsongkhapa argues that is not the basis of negation, instead it is the inherent existence which is different than existence. From our point of view, existence is the coarse object of negation[...]
In fact, we say the basis is either phenomena or a person. The subtle object of negation is the same in both cases, though.
It doesn't matter, the subtle object of negation is not the actual object of negation in Madhyamaka, Candra only introduces it as a formality.
Still, I don't understand what you mean by 'existence is the coarse object of negation'.
No one perceives inherent existence, which is a philosophical abstraction. People do perceive existence, and that is what is negated through Madhyamaka analysis because that is what people perceive. But negating existence is not enough, one must also negate nonexistence, both and neither. When one is an ārya, however, one does not need to proceed through the four-fold negation.

The Sakyas maintain that the difference between Bhavaviveka and Candra is pedagogical only.
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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:47 pm

Sherlock wrote:Pabhongkha is a well known sectarian.
There is nothing sectarian about distinguishing truth from falsity. Indeed, that's what we have to do to achieve enlightenment. If certain books contain wrong views, then that should be said and there's nothing wrong with saying it. The problem only comes when you mistreat people who have views different to your own. Not all views are to be accepted but all practitioners are.
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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:55 pm

Malcolm wrote: You still have not explained how impermanent things are ultimate.
Tantra teaches the union of appearance and emptiness, which is what Buddhas perceive. Appearances, which are impermanent, are one nature with emptiness and are ultimate truths for a Buddha. As it says in the Heart Sutra, "Form in empty, emptiness is form". Everything is an ultimate truth for a Buddha because everything appears exactly as it exists. However, we perceive impermanent things as inherently existent. These are conventional truths and are creations of self-grasping ignorance. They are hallucinations. For a Buddha there are no conventional truths because they have abandoned self-grasping and the imprints of self-grasping causing the appearance of inherent existence.

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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:01 am

Tenzin Dorje wrote: Disagree.

As one of my teachers says :
Geshe Jamphel Gyaltsen wrote:The word truth is used differently in the context of conventional truth and ultimate truth. A conventional truth is what is called a truth for a concealing mind that is ignorance. Only in the perspective of ignorance is it truth. In ultimate truth, truth means it exist as it appears. Ultimate truth is a truth because it is non-deceptive. It is that since the consciousness knowing the ultimate truth is the wisdom of an arya being in a meditative absorption and for that wisdom the mode of existence and appearance are concordant. Therefore the term truth is used differently.
In brief, there are two different types of objects found by two different types of cognizers (these two different types of cognizers being the same entity only distinguished in relation two objects in the case of the omniscient mind of a Buddha, whereby the long definition of 'ultimate truth' and 'conventional truth').

For these reasons, there is a fault to the assertion that "for a Buddha, forms are ultimate truth" even though they do not appear along with the appearance of true existence to a Buddha.
Your objection is not very clear to me. The quote from Geshe Gyaltsen doesn't contradict what I'm saying. We are both saying the conventional truths are not truths - they don't exist for Buddhas who perceive form and emptiness to be the same nature.

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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Post by conebeckham » Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:09 am

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Tenzin Dorje wrote: Disagree.

As one of my teachers says :
Geshe Jamphel Gyaltsen wrote:The word truth is used differently in the context of conventional truth and ultimate truth. A conventional truth is what is called a truth for a concealing mind that is ignorance. Only in the perspective of ignorance is it truth. In ultimate truth, truth means it exist as it appears. Ultimate truth is a truth because it is non-deceptive. It is that since the consciousness knowing the ultimate truth is the wisdom of an arya being in a meditative absorption and for that wisdom the mode of existence and appearance are concordant. Therefore the term truth is used differently.
In brief, there are two different types of objects found by two different types of cognizers (these two different types of cognizers being the same entity only distinguished in relation two objects in the case of the omniscient mind of a Buddha, whereby the long definition of 'ultimate truth' and 'conventional truth').

For these reasons, there is a fault to the assertion that "for a Buddha, forms are ultimate truth" even though they do not appear along with the appearance of true existence to a Buddha.
Your objection is not very clear to me. The quote from Geshe Gyaltsen doesn't contradict what I'm saying. We are both saying the conventional truths are not truths - they don't exist for Buddhas who perceive form and emptiness to be the same nature.
I'm okay with your statement up until "perceive form and emptiness to be the same nature." Buddhas do not perceive forms, or so I've been told. In fact, it could be argued that the very word "perceive" does not apply to a Buddha's experience.
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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Post by michaelb » Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:14 am

Tsongkhapafan wrote:we perceive impermanent things as inherently existent.
I don't and I doubt if anyone else does really.

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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Post by Paul » Wed Apr 01, 2015 1:00 am

michaelb wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:we perceive impermanent things as inherently existent.
I don't and I doubt if anyone else does really.
The fact that 'inherent existence' has to be explained at some length to most people would make me think you are right. I (and just about anyone else not informed by madhyamaka) see things as existent or non-existent. No modifier is necessary.
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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Post by Ayu » Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:47 am

michaelb wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:we perceive impermanent things as inherently existent.
I don't and I doubt if anyone else does really.
Maybe the term "inherent existent" is understood differently.
As I learned in Lamrim teachings, the illusion of "inherent existence" is the same like feeling the things are permanent. People know intellectually, they have been born and they have to die. But the feeling is "I was here all the while" and "death happens only to the others".
Especially non-buddhist religions insist in believing in permanence. This is what is tried to put in words by "inherent existence".
If nobody believed in inherent existence, why are they shocked when somebody dies or gets sick? It's normal to die, but people react as if this should never happen.
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Re: Gorampa & Tsongkhapa

Post by Tenzin Dorje » Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:13 am

Ayu wrote:
michaelb wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:we perceive impermanent things as inherently existent.
I don't and I doubt if anyone else does really.
Maybe the term "inherent existent" is understood differently.
As I learned in Lamrim teachings, the illusion of "inherent existence" is the same like feeling the things are permanent. People know intellectually, they have been born and they have to die. But the feeling is "I was here all the while" and "death happens only to the others".
Especially non-buddhist religions insist in believing in permanence. This is what is tried to put in words by "inherent existence".
If nobody believed in inherent existence, why are they shocked when somebody dies or gets sick? It's normal to die, but people react as if this should never happen.
Well, it's not about "believing" or not in inherent existence.

Afflictive ignorance is not just not-knowing (or believing something false to be true, or something true to be false), it is a mode of apprehension. If phenomena were inherently existent, they would not be merely imputed by mind. They would be findable.
I'm okay with your statement up until "perceive form and emptiness to be the same nature." Buddhas do not perceive forms, or so I've been told. In fact, it could be argued that the very word "perceive" does not apply to a Buddha's experience.
According to Gelug-pa, there is no object of knowledge (that is 'no existent') that is not known by a Buddha. Form being an object of knowledge (that is, it does exist conventionally) it must be known by a Buddha. Then, there is what we call 'pure conventionalities' (such as the truth body of a Buddha) and 'impure conventionalities' (such as my contaminated aggregates, or a cup). It is said that a Buddha knows pure conventionalities from his own viewpoint, and impure ones from the viewpoint of others. Khedrup Je's A dose of Emptiness goes into much details on the topic.
Your objection is not very clear to me. The quote from Geshe Gyaltsen doesn't contradict what I'm saying. We are both saying the conventional truths are not truths - they don't exist for Buddhas who perceive form and emptiness to be the same nature.
I agree with you that form (1) doesn't appear along with the appearance of inherent existence and (2) is not apprehended as inherently existent but (3) is directly realized as being a conventionality, that is as being empty of inherent existence, by a Buddha. However, that doesn't make form an ultimate.

Also, conventional and ultimate truth have always been of the same entity, two isolates.

The long definition of conventional and ultimate truth is there because although the omniscient mind of a Buddha realizes all objects of knowledge simultaneously (that means also form and its emptiness) there is an aspect of omniscient that realizes conventional truth and another aspect of that very same omniscient mind that realizes emptiness.

A table is not an object found by a mind distinguishing the ultimate, with regard regard to which that mind distinguishing the ultimate becomes a mind distinguishing the ultimate.

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