Author Topic: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.  (Read 15247 times)

Offline TashiNyima

  • Member
  • Posts: 182
  • namo kalyanamitraya
    • View Profile
Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2011, 10:06:44 am »
Dear Yeshe la

mangalam

Madhyamaka proponents postulate that ultimate reality is a "non-affirming negation", and consider that nothing is truly established. This view is known as rangtong (self-emptiness).

Maha Madhyamaka proponents assert that compounded phenomena, adventitiously posited uncompounded phenomena, and self-emptiness are NOT truly established. This is the zhentong (other-empty) view.

We accept Buddha Nature; self-cognizing, self illuminating pristine wisdom; all ultimate Buddha-qualities primordially indwelling intrinsically; other-emptiness; and the immutable thoroughly established nature as truly established.

mangalam
Tashi Nyima

Yeshe

  • Guest
Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2011, 10:21:54 am »
Dear Yeshe la

mangalam

Madhyamaka proponents postulate that ultimate reality is a "non-affirming negation", and consider that nothing is truly established. This view is known as rangtong (self-emptiness).

Maha Madhyamaka proponents assert that compounded phenomena, adventitiously posited uncompounded phenomena, and self-emptiness are NOT truly established. This is the zhentong (other-empty) view.

We accept Buddha Nature; self-cognizing, self illuminating pristine wisdom; all ultimate Buddha-qualities primordially indwelling intrinsically; other-emptiness; and the immutable thoroughly established nature as truly established.

mangalam
Tashi Nyima

Thank you Tashi-la.

I thought this would help the thread and place the discussion in context. :)

maitri

Yeshe

Offline santamonicacj

  • Member
  • Posts: 2268
    • View Profile
Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2011, 11:15:54 am »
Madhyamaka proponents postulate that ultimate reality is a "non-affirming negation", and consider that nothing is truly established. This view is known as rangtong (self-emptiness).
OK, I can hang with you there. The "non-affirming negation" says that it is impossible to establish how phenomena abides, right?

Quote
Maha Madhyamaka proponents assert that compounded phenomena, adventitiously posited uncompounded phenomena, and self-emptiness are NOT truly established. This is the zhentong (other-empty) view.
I didn't understand that at all.

Quote
We accept Buddha Nature; self-cognizing, self illuminating pristine wisdom; all ultimate Buddha-qualities primordially indwelling intrinsically; other-emptiness; and the immutable thoroughly established nature as truly established.
I understand this as saying Ultimate Reality exists as a type of sub-stratum to manifest phenomena. It is eternal and unchanging, so it can be said to be truly "Real". It is empty of anything other than it's own intrinsic qualities of Love, Wisdom, and Power (to love, know and do).

So my next question is: Is manifest phenomena simply an expression of this Ultimate Reality, or how does it abide?
Warning: I'm enough of a fundamentalist Tibet style Buddhist to believe that for the last 1,000 years Tibet has produced a handful of enlightened masters in every generation. I do not ask that YOU believe it, but it will greatly simplify conversations if you understand that about me. Thanks.

Offline TashiNyima

  • Member
  • Posts: 182
  • namo kalyanamitraya
    • View Profile
Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2011, 02:15:58 pm »
Dear Friend

om svasti

Maha Madhyamaka proponents assert that compounded phenomena, adventitiously posited uncompounded phenomena, and self-emptiness are NOT truly established. This is the zhentong (other-empty) view.

Basically, all perceivable dependent, compounded phenomena (those with causes and parts), as well as any mentally constructed independent and uncompounded phenomena (i.e., Ishvara) are false --they are neither independent nor permanent. They are self-empty, lacking inherent existence. They do not exist 'from their own side'.

The view of 'self-emptiness' is also provisional, because it does not and cannot encompass all possibilities. A non-affirming negation of all is perilously close to blatant nihilism, but fortunately self-contradictory. In making THIS statement, it is positing that there is no affirmation...

Does the non-affirming negation not apply to this concept? Is this an affirmation that all is self-empty, or not? If yes, it is self-contradictory. If not, self-emptiness is self-empty. It is not truly established.

Is manifest phenomena simply an expression of this Ultimate Reality, or how does it abide?

The relation berween samsara and nirvana is beautifully illuminated by Kalki Pundarika: Nirvana is like the sun, and samsara like the shadow.

They are not identical. Samsara is impossible without nirvana. Ultimate Reality is the pristine non-dual wisdom, the stainless alaya basis-of-all (not to be confused with the alaya vijnana).

mangalam
Tashi Nyima




Offline francis

  • Member
  • Posts: 1454
    • View Profile
Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2011, 03:11:15 pm »
Dear Friends

om svasti

Not this. Not that.
Not both. Not neither.

All fixed views are necessarily incomplete (including this one!). They express a narrowing of awareness that we call consciousness.

And then there's Great Madhyamaka (dbUma chenpo)...

mangalam
Tashi Nyima



OK.  I'll ask  :)  : 

Please could you explain what Great Madhyamaka teaches please ?


To understand the Madhyamaka it’s best to read the Indian sources, and avoid the later Tibetan developments, because there is no Zhentong in any of the original Indian Madhyamaka.

Catch you all later :)

"Enlightenment, for a wave in the ocean, is the moment the wave realises it is water." - Thich Nhat Hanh

Offline TashiNyima

  • Member
  • Posts: 182
  • namo kalyanamitraya
    • View Profile
Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2011, 03:41:19 pm »
Dear Friend

om svasti

Evidently, the term zhentong is Tibetan. It does not follow that the view it represents is Tibetan. It was coined to correct a mistaken view, bordering on nihilism.

Are the writings of the Regent Maitreya, Arya Nagarjuna, Arya Asanga, and Arya Vasubandhu 'later Tibetan developments'?

When such 'advice' is proferred, some substantiation would be in order. Merely stating a sectarian opinion does not contribute to a serious discussion.

mangalam
Tashi Nyima


Offline francis

  • Member
  • Posts: 1454
    • View Profile
Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2011, 04:11:57 pm »
Dear Friend

om svasti

Evidently, the term zhentong is Tibetan. It does not follow that the view it represents is Tibetan. It was coined to correct a mistaken view, bordering on nihilism.

Are the writings of the Regent Maitreya, Arya Nagarjuna, Arya Asanga, and Arya Vasubandhu 'later Tibetan developments'?

When such 'advice' is proferred, some substantiation would be in order. Merely stating a sectarian opinion does not contribute to a serious discussion.

mangalam

Tashi Nyima


Cheers Tashi, the Zhentong] Rangtong debate, is an interesting discussion.  Sorry, I will be away for week or so, and don’t have time to answer your questions about the Indian masters.  Certainly, Nagarjuna didn’t subscribe to the Zhentong school of thought. It also depends on what you mean by nihilism, which is thrown around loosely, and also does not contribute to a serious discussion.





"Enlightenment, for a wave in the ocean, is the moment the wave realises it is water." - Thich Nhat Hanh

Offline catmoon

  • Member
  • Posts: 1599
    • View Profile
Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2011, 03:12:05 pm »
 Hi Tashi

What do you mean by 'truly established"? Does this mean logically established beyond any possibility of doubt? Or is it more like something being established by a valid cognizer?
Sergeant Schultz was onto something.

Offline TashiNyima

  • Member
  • Posts: 182
  • namo kalyanamitraya
    • View Profile
Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #23 on: April 23, 2011, 07:41:05 am »
Hi Tashi

What do you mean by 'truly established"? Does this mean logically established beyond any possibility of doubt? Or is it more like something being established by a valid cognizer?

Dear Friend

om svasti

"Truly established" is perhaps an imperfect term (but widely used) to denote that which cannot be refuted. It is also equivalent to "ultimately real".

In Buddhist doxography, schools are differentiated on the basis of that which they propose as 'truly established'.

In the Hearer Vehicle, the Vaibhasika (Great Exposition) school considers compounded phenomena, uncompounded phenomena, conventional phenomena, and ultimate phenomena as truly established, while the Sautrantika (Sutra) school considers only present minute particles and present moments of consciousness as truly established.

In the Bodhisattva Vehicle, the Yogachara (not to be confused with so-called 'Mind Only') school considers consciousness devoid of apprehended object and apprehending subject as truly established; the Madhyamaka (both Svatantrika and Prasangika) schools do not accept anything as truly established; and the Maha Madhyamaka school accepts Buddha Nature, self-cognizing & self illuminating pristine wisdom, all ultimate Buddha-qualities primordially indwelling intrinsically, other-emptiness, and the immutable thoroughly established nature as truly established.

BTW, anyone claiming that the Noble Nagarjuna did not propose zhentong (evidently, not using that Tibetan term, as he wrote in Sanskrit) has not read his In Praise of the Dharmadhatu. Arya Nagarjuna is an early patriarch of the Maha Madhyamaka school.

mangalam
Tashi Nyima


« Last Edit: April 23, 2011, 07:43:12 am by TashiNyima »

Offline Sunya

  • Member
  • Posts: 241
    • View Profile
Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #24 on: April 23, 2011, 05:17:55 pm »
"Emptiness is proclaimed by the victorious one as the refutation of all viewpoints;
But those who hold "emptiness" as a viewpoint—the true perceivers have called those "incurable" (asadhya)" (Nagarjuna, MMK 13.8)

http://www.orientalia.org/article492.html

Offline TashiNyima

  • Member
  • Posts: 182
  • namo kalyanamitraya
    • View Profile
Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #25 on: April 26, 2011, 07:54:38 pm »
"Emptiness is proclaimed by the victorious one as the refutation of all viewpoints;
But those who hold "emptiness" as a viewpoint—the true perceivers have called those "incurable" (asadhya)" (Nagarjuna, MMK 13.8)

http://www.orientalia.org/article492.html


EH MA HO

Offline White Lotus

  • Member
  • Posts: 103
    • View Profile
Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #26 on: April 27, 2011, 12:09:20 pm »
once all view points are refuted, one has a clear and ordinary mind, only uncluttered.

emptiness is not only not taking a philosophical position during a discussion. it is also perceived when one has dropped nothingness and anythingness. not being one nor many. it has absolutely no name and no position. once this is seen there is a complete dissapearance of subject. ones subject, inner awareness completely vanishes. it is no longer possible to look within. only the objective world of tathata is apprehenable to the awareness. in a way... seeing the nameless, one is annihilated, and yet awareness of the objective world remains. since this is the annihilation of ones own nature, the subject (not the self) it can be said that subjective awareness of buddha nature is not permanent, only objective awareness (and actually, not even that under certain circumstances). it is accurate to say that the apparent 'self' and more significantly the subjective 'within' are both impermanent, and though empty may both be perceived, particularly after their abscence (annihilation).

in soto zen, the annihilation of the subjective 'own' nature is known as the attainment of the Great Ichantika, the dissapearance of the Buddha nature within one. however purer still is to embrace the Self of True Loving Kindness and so one returns from a postion of subjective annihilation to having again a nature, that has gone beyond 'true nature'.

best wishes, Tom.

Yeshe

  • Guest
Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #27 on: April 27, 2011, 12:40:13 pm »
In your OP you wrote:
''I have for a long while known of the great value placed on Madhyamaka and so i utter my respect for it here, but not knowing its basic method, this utterance is without understanding.''

Were you looking for advice as someone who does not understand the basics, or looking to show off how much you really know?

if you wanted a deep and meaningful debate,why not say so at the outset and save members from wasting time?

maitri

Yeshe. _/\_

Offline santamonicacj

  • Member
  • Posts: 2268
    • View Profile
Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #28 on: April 27, 2011, 01:31:21 pm »
From Tashi Nyima:
Quote
The relation berween samsara and nirvana is beautifully illuminated by Kalki Pundarika: Nirvana is like the sun, and samsara like the shadow.
Sounds like Plato's cave!

BTW when Plato's cave was explained to (the previous) Kalu R. he said something like, "Yeah, and I'm the guy that got up and turned around to look at the light source."
Warning: I'm enough of a fundamentalist Tibet style Buddhist to believe that for the last 1,000 years Tibet has produced a handful of enlightened masters in every generation. I do not ask that YOU believe it, but it will greatly simplify conversations if you understand that about me. Thanks.

Offline francis

  • Member
  • Posts: 1454
    • View Profile
Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #29 on: April 27, 2011, 10:30:02 pm »
.. BTW, anyone claiming that the Noble Nagarjuna did not propose zhentong (evidently, not using that Tibetan term, as he wrote in Sanskrit) has not read his In Praise of the Dharmadhatu. Arya Nagarjuna is an early patriarch of the Maha Madhyamaka school.

mangalam
Tashi Nyima 


Hi Tashi, as I was just pointing out, before I went away for Easter, that there are two schools of thought on this topic: the Rangtong and the Shentong.  Neither is exclusive, and both are valid.

I have not read the Dharmadhatustava (The Praise of the Dharmadhatu) so I looked it up.  It seems that many books have been attributed to Nagarjuna, but there is only one book that all agree was actually written by him, and that book is the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā or The Fundamental Verses on the Middle Way. 

Apparently, in the later chapters of the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā, Nagarjuna asserts that the emptiness is of all things (ie. all things, including the Buddha, have no inherent existence).  Therefore, I find that attributing the Dharmadhatustava (The Praise of the Dharmadhatu) as being actually written by Nagarjuna as rather doubtful.  Paul Williams, in Mahāyāna Buddhism: the doctrinal foundations, also suggests that while the text was popular with Tibetans like Dolboba, it was probably not written by Nagarjuna, nor does it cohere with the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā.  Therefore, I suggest that anyone who proposes that Nagarjuna supported the “concept" of a Buddha nature should read the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā where Nagarjuna states that Buddha-nature is shunyata (empty).
 

"Enlightenment, for a wave in the ocean, is the moment the wave realises it is water." - Thich Nhat Hanh

 


SimplePortal 2.3.3 © 2008-2010, SimplePortal