jmlee369 wrote:As someone whose practice is rooted in the Gelug tradition, I've tended to avoid discussions about Madhyamaka since I'm not well versed in it, but I think it's worth making a few points after following most (but not all) of this thread.
First, I think it is necessary for people on the Gelug side to actually quote directly from the root text, authoritative Indian commentaries, and the works of Lama Tsongkhapa and show the relations between the three to back up our assertions, especially the reasoning Lama Tsongkhapa used when he strayed from mainstream Tibetan Prasangika Madhyamaka.
Matt J wrote:I think there is a tendency to make these things too complicated. I don't think that Madhyamaka is that complicated--- the core concepts are rather simple. What is difficult is truly absorbing it so that it isn't just an idea but a lived experience.jmlee369 wrote:Second, I think it is rather unfair that the non-Gelugpas have someone as learned as Loppon Malcolm, while the Gelugpas don't have a geshe around to defend our view. With all due respect, I can't help but feel that the Gelugpas here have a limited understanding of the Gelug position given very few non-Tibetan/Mongolians have access to the formal training that our lineage is known for.
If one needs a geshe degree to understand the Gelug position, then it would have little relevance to the vast majority of the world. I don't believe it, and I don't think the Gelugs do, either otherwise they wouldn't be teaching it to lay Westerners.
Correct. I do not hold a Geshe degree and I am not “expert” in Tsongkhapa’s way. I am an ordinary practitioner trying to find my way according to Buddha’s instructions. My entire association with Tibetan Buddhism has been by means of the Gelug tradition. My training in that tradition is not insignificant but I cannot match the scholars and long-term practitioners of DW in debate. Nevertheless, I believe I have reason to think that this path has great merit. I am open to the new ideas I read about on DW, especially Dzogchen, but Gelug Prasangika is my ladder. Even if I may be reaching the top step of its utility for me, I see no reason to kick that ladder out from under myself as I explore and reach for another method.
My point in all these threads has been simply this: 1) Tsongkhapa’s teachings are solid, appropriate, and efficacious for a great many people, myself included; and 2) I resent the lengths people on DW go to to undermine the faith that people like us have in this 600-year old system which has served many masters very well and is quite alive today.
It is one thing to point out that a certain school has limits, but in my opinion, the opposition goes far beyond the skillful means of encouraging people to look deeper and reach further. Instead the efforts seem to be aimed at utterly destroying any confidence in Tsongkhapa's teachings. That is why I consider this an important topic.
I’m starting this thread –- in the Gelug sub-forum (mods please don’t move it, it’s our ground) –- to at least try to answer the challenge of jmlee369 and Matt J. I’m beginning to go back over my notes of Geshe Tashi Tsering’s Lam Rim Chenmo course in the hope of mounting a better-supported argument. I hope others will join me.