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Schools of Buddhism => Vajrayana => New Jonangpa => Topic started by: TashiNyima on April 30, 2010, 10:09:14 pm

Title: Jonangpa
Post by: TashiNyima on April 30, 2010, 10:09:14 pm
Historically, 'bans' do not work. The 5th Dalai Lama declared the Jonangpa heretical, expropriated our monasteries, and banned the publication of our texts... and yet, we are still here.

The lineage survived (barely), and the teachings of our Masters Dolpopa and Taranatha have been preserved within the Nyingma, Sakya, and Kagyu lineages. Even some Gelugpas have Zhentong leanings, and the 14th DL has written prayers for the continued propagation of the Jonang definitive dharma.

It takes more than one spoke to make a wheel.  :r4wheel:
Suffering sentient beings need as many dharma gates as possible.

With the greatest respect for all practitioners, may we focus our awareness on our own beliefs -our own fixed views?- rather than concerning ourselves with the practices and beliefs of others.


Title: Jonangpa
Post by: santamonicacj on April 30, 2010, 10:44:09 pm
Historically, 'bans' do not work. The 5th Dalai Lama declared the Jonangpa heretical, expropriated our monasteries, and banned the publication of our texts... and yet, we are still here.
Wow, a Jonangpa! I've never interacted with one before. Whose your teacher? Where's your center? Do you guys do NgonDro?

I try to consider myself a Shentongpa, in a Kagyu kinda way, but I can't say I clearly understand it. I've perused "The Buddha Within" by Hookam and "Progressive Stages of Emptiness" by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyatso. What texts in translation do you use? Anything simple enough that a dummy can understand it?
Title: Jonangpa
Post by: Caz on May 01, 2010, 03:33:07 am
Historically, 'bans' do not work. The 5th Dalai Lama declared the Jonangpa heretical, expropriated our monasteries, and banned the publication of our texts... and yet, we are still here.

The lineage survived (barely), and the teachings of our Masters Dolpopa and Taranatha have been preserved within the Nyingma, Sakya, and Kagyu lineages. Even some Gelugpas have Zhentong leanings, and the 14th DL has written prayers for the continued propagation of the Jonang definitive dharma.

It takes more than one spoke to make a wheel.  :r4wheel:
Suffering sentient beings need as many dharma gates as possible.

With the greatest respect for all practitioners, may we focus our awareness on our own beliefs -our own fixed views?- rather than concerning ourselves with the practices and beliefs of others.




 :pray:
Title: Jonangpa
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on May 01, 2010, 04:08:51 am
Historically, 'bans' do not work. The 5th Dalai Lama declared the Jonangpa heretical, expropriated our monasteries, and banned the publication of our texts... and yet, we are still here.

The lineage survived (barely), and the teachings of our Masters Dolpopa and Taranatha have been preserved within the Nyingma, Sakya, and Kagyu lineages. Even some Gelugpas have Zhentong leanings, and the 14th DL has written prayers for the continued propagation of the Jonang definitive dharma.

It takes more than one spoke to make a wheel.  :r4wheel:
Suffering sentient beings need as many dharma gates as possible.

With the greatest respect for all practitioners, may we focus our awareness on our own beliefs -our own fixed views?- rather than concerning ourselves with the practices and beliefs of others.




Welcome.  :)

There are quite a few threads here which may be of interest to you and many members here who would, I am sure, be interested in the Zhentong view as it relates to emptiness and rebirth etc.

Good to have you on board. :)

Title: Jonangpa
Post by: TashiNyima on May 01, 2010, 07:50:33 am
Dear Friends

namaste

Thank you for your kind posts and interest in the Jonang.

While the lineage still exists and has secured preliminary 'recognition' by HH the 14th DL (??), it is often the case that its current exponents espouse a doctrine which my Teacher would call "Zhentong light." That is understandable, after centuries of persecution. That doctrine has more in common with the eclecticism of the Rime than with the teachings of Kunchen Dolpopa, which some would label 'radical' Zhentong.

In any case, if one is interested in Zhentong, the Mountain Doctrine of Kunchen Dolpopa is the most thorough exposition of the Great Middle Way. If that text looks intimidating (it is just long, not particularly difficult), the Buddha from Dolpo, by Cyrus Stearns, provides a good summary introduction.

We have some brief texts that would be suitable for posting, if there is interest.

We do not proselytize, and therefore my Teacher, Kyabje Tashi Norbu Rinpoche, was exceedingly private as well as nonsectarian. He was ordained in the Nyingma lineage, and lived simply, preferring the kalyanamitra approach to taming sentient beings over lamaism. He entered parinirvana almost two years ago.

By His instruction, i received Refuge from Lama Tsering, disciple of the Shamarpa of the Karma Kagyu, and Bodhisattva Vows from HH the 14th Dalai Lama. We have a small group in McKinney, Texas, where i attempt to continue my Teacher's compassionate activity.

Tashi Nyima

Title: Jonangpa
Post by: santamonicacj on May 01, 2010, 09:56:28 am

We have some brief texts that would be suitable for posting, if there is interest.


Well I'm interested. But it is certainly off-topic for this thread, so better to start a new one. Or poke around for an existing appropriate thread. :jinsyx:
Title: Jonangpa
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on May 01, 2010, 10:16:37 am
Dear Friends

namaste

Thank you for your kind posts and interest in the Jonang.

While the lineage still exists and has secured preliminary 'recognition' by HH the 14th DL (??), it is often the case that its current exponents espouse a doctrine which my Teacher would call "Zhentong light." That is understandable, after centuries of persecution. That doctrine has more in common with the eclecticism of the Rime than with the teachings of Kunchen Dolpopa, which some would label 'radical' Zhentong.

In any case, if one is interested in Zhentong, the Mountain Doctrine of Kunchen Dolpopa is the most thorough exposition of the Great Middle Way. If that text looks intimidating (it is just long, not particularly difficult), the Buddha from Dolpo, by Cyrus Stearns, provides a good summary introduction.

We have some brief texts that would be suitable for posting, if there is interest.

We do not proselytize, and therefore my Teacher, Kyabje Tashi Norbu Rinpoche, was exceedingly private as well as nonsectarian. He was ordained in the Nyingma lineage, and lived simply, preferring the kalyanamitra approach to taming sentient beings over lamaism. He entered parinirvana almost two years ago.

By His instruction, i received Refuge from Lama Tsering, disciple of the Shamarpa of the Karma Kagyu, and Bodhisattva Vows from HH the 14th Dalai Lama. We have a small group in McKinney, Texas, where i attempt to continue my Teacher's compassionate activity.

Tashi Nyima



I have created a new thread, 'Jonangpa', split off from the Gelugpa topic.

If you think it appropriate I would be delighted to look into creating a new subforum within Vajrayana (?) in which to place any teachings, links and discussion.  If you could think of a suitable title (Jonang, Zhentong or another) I will raise it with the Mods.

It is of course possible to create 'sticky' threads for information only which stay at the top of the subforum, so that any discussion takes place elsewhere in other threads.

I will PM this to you as well. ;)

Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: santamonicacj on May 01, 2010, 04:50:15 pm

While the lineage still exists and has secured preliminary 'recognition' by HH the 14th DL (??), it is often the case that its current exponents espouse a doctrine which my Teacher would call "Zhentong light." That is understandable, after centuries of persecution. That doctrine has more in common with the eclecticism of the Rime than with the teachings of Kunchen Dolpopa, which some would label 'radical' Zhentong.


I've heard of sutra Zhentong and tantric Zhentong, but nothing like 'radical' Zhentong. Care to explain?


We have some brief texts that would be suitable for posting, if there is interest.


I am a pseudo-intellictual. Brief texts suit me just fine.


He was ordained in the Nyingma lineage, and lived simply, preferring the kalyanamitra approach to taming sentient beings over lamaism. He entered parinirvana almost two years ago.


OK, what is "kalyanamitra approach"? I have my own idea of what the term lamaism means. (I also consider myself something of a lamaist, so I have no negative connotations regarding it.) What's yours?
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: heybai on May 01, 2010, 08:51:48 pm
Welcome, TashiNyima.  We look forward to hearing more.
Best wishes,
heybai

Some introductory information for those of us who are encountering Jonagpa for the first time:

"History of the Jonang Tradition" 
http://kalachakranet.org/kalachakra_tantra_jonang_history.html

"The Jonang Tradition: Zhentong & the Kalachakra"
http://www.jonangfoundation.org/node/1177
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: humanitas on May 01, 2010, 08:56:23 pm
Tashi-la, I love your disposition already!  As a Nyingmapa, I'm excited about learning about Jonang.  Should we create a subforum for Jonang specifically?  Would that belong in Vajrayana along with the other Tibetan schools?

:headbow:
Ogyen.


Historically, 'bans' do not work. The 5th Dalai Lama declared the Jonangpa heretical, expropriated our monasteries, and banned the publication of our texts... and yet, we are still here.

The lineage survived (barely), and the teachings of our Masters Dolpopa and Taranatha have been preserved within the Nyingma, Sakya, and Kagyu lineages. Even some Gelugpas have Zhentong leanings, and the 14th DL has written prayers for the continued propagation of the Jonang definitive dharma.

It takes more than one spoke to make a wheel.  :r4wheel:
Suffering sentient beings need as many dharma gates as possible.

With the greatest respect for all practitioners, may we focus our awareness on our own beliefs -our own fixed views?- rather than concerning ourselves with the practices and beliefs of others.



Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: TashiNyima on May 01, 2010, 09:15:39 pm
Dear Friends,

namaste

Very briefly:

1. The term 'Radical Zhentong' refers to the teachings of Kunchen Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen, who established through both sutra and tantra the Four Ultimate Truths: True Purity, True Self, True Happiness, and True Permanence. (I can hear the crinkling of the eyebrows! A Buddhist speaking of True Self? Yes! Kunchen Dolpopa even dared use the unspeakable term 'atman.')

Although Zhentong (Shentong) has been embraced by many in the Nyingma, Kagyu, and Sakya lineages --and even by some Gelugpas, most often they espouse the modified Zhentong of Mipham, or of the Rime eclectics, timidly avoiding any terminology that might be wielded against them with the charge of heresy.

2. The kalyanamitra (literally, 'noble friend') approach is a teaching relationship where the Teacher and the disciple do not observe the reverential etiquette typical of the Guru-sishya relationship, and where both walk together on the path as intimate friends. This approach requires a level of personal attention that restricts the number of disciples under the guidance of any particular Teacher.

This does not mean, however, that reverence toward the Teacher is lacking. It is just not formal, but born of 'earned' affection.

mangalam
Tashi Nyima
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: santamonicacj on May 01, 2010, 09:42:13 pm
1. The term 'Radical Zhentong' refers to the teachings of Kunchen Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen, who established through both sutra and tantra the Four Ultimate Truths: True Purity, True Self, True Happiness, and True Permanence. (I can hear the crinkling of the eyebrows! A Buddhist speaking of True Self? Yes! Kunchen Dolpopa even dared use the unspeakable term 'atman.')
I knew it would be cool to talk to a Jonangpa!

The Zhenetong I'm most familiar with is the Kagyu/sutra (Kongtrul) version, which I am sure falls into your 'modified Zhentong' category. They seem to says that the 2nd turning is a prerequisite to understanding Zhentong, as in all manifest phenomena have no self-nature by Prasangika reasoning. But the affirmation of Zhentong is not of self-nature but of, uh, how do I put it, Dharma nature?

Does your school agree with that? (That's not an authoritative representation, just my confused understanding for the purposes of an internet discussion.)

BTW my actual position on this is simple. I brought up the subject with my teacher and he said, "I tend towards the Zhentong view also..." And then he said, "...but the divinity of phenomena is its emptiness, and the emptiness of phenomena is its divinity." End of discussion. We never spoke about it again.

So that is not a synopsis of my personal position, but the entirety of it.
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on May 02, 2010, 02:32:09 am
A 'New Jonangpa' subforum has ben created, so I will move this thread over there.

Looking forward to a learning much more! :)
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: Caz on May 02, 2010, 06:45:35 am
Fantastic to have you here Tashi !  :jinsyx:
Yes it is most unfortunate what the 5th DL did to the Jongmapa lineage, it was a most appauling thing to do.  :bigtears:
However it is nice to see it beging to flourish once more ! Well wishes friend !  :pray:
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: Will on May 02, 2010, 04:16:10 pm

Quote
Tashi Nyima: The term 'Radical Zhentong' refers to the teachings of Kunchen Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen, who established through both sutra and tantra the Four Ultimate Truths: True Purity, True Self, True Happiness, and True Permanence. (I can hear the crinkling of the eyebrows! A Buddhist speaking of True Self? Yes! Kunchen Dolpopa even dared use the unspeakable term 'atman.')

The Tathagata sutras also use these 4 Ultimates & the term "atman".  The Nirvana Sutra is chock full of these notions.  So how different is Jonang view (if at all) from the Tathagata sutras?  Vasubandhu, long before Dolpopa, taught these ideas.  See his Buddha Nature Treatise, trans. by Sallie King.
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: santamonicacj on May 02, 2010, 05:05:08 pm
So how different is Jonang view (if at all) from the Tathagata sutras?  Vasubandhu, long before Dolpopa, taught these ideas.
The Jonang school embraces the Zhentong view exclusively. The Zhentong view is based on the teachings of the Buddha Nature (a.k.a. Tathagata sutras), primarily on the texts by Vasubandhu and Asanga. However even within the Zhentong view there is discussion, debate, and a variety of perspectives. The different Tibetan schools each had their own interpretations.

So yes, Jonang is based on Vasubandhu as well as Asanga. They just took it really far.

See Vasubandhu's Buddha Nature Treatise, trans. by Sallie King.
Can't find it. Is that the correct title?
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: Will on May 02, 2010, 06:07:01 pm
Quote
Skull:  See Vasubandhu's Buddha Nature Treatise, trans. by Sallie King.

Can't find it. Is that the correct title?

For Vasubandhu yes; but Sallie B King's translation is Buddha Nature.  It came out in 1991, so not sure if is still in print.  Check ABE books.
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: TashiNyima on May 03, 2010, 06:18:27 am
Dear Friends

namaste

The Jonang teaching is based on the union of the Profound View and Vast Conduct lineages of the Protectors Nagarjuna and Asanga, neither overestimating nor denigrating either, and is therefore called the 'Definitive Meaning'.

While some schools give 'provisional' status to the First, Second, or Third turnings of the Wheel of Dharma, Kunchen Dolpopa established that the Definitive Meaning can be found in all three if one applies the correct method of analysis and relies on the direct perception of samadhi.

While the Tathagata sutras are certainly embraced (especially the Uttaratantra) by Jonangpas, so are all the Teachings of the Buddha, without exception.

The Noble Vasubandhu's Five Gates is indeed a seminal text, as it is more a padhati (sadhana guide) than a philosophical elaboration. I will see if i can post it here at some point.

mangalam
Tashi Nyima
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: santamonicacj on May 03, 2010, 06:35:25 am

The Jonang teaching is based on the union of the Profound View and Vast Conduct lineages of the Protectors Nagarjuna and Asanga, neither overestimating nor denigrating either, and is therefore called the 'Definitive Meaning'.


I stand corrected. I thought they considered Nagarjuna provisional. I was wrong.


While some schools give 'provisional' status to the First, Second, or Third turnings of the Wheel of Dharma, Kunchen Dolpopa established that the Definitive Meaning can be found in all three if one applies the correct method of analysis and relies on the direct perception of samadhi.


I have never heard anything like that. Thanks.

See TashiNyima, you're doing a valuable job of correcting misimpressions.


While the Tathagata sutras are certainly embraced (especially the Uttaratantra) by Jonangpas, so are all the Teachings of the Buddha, without exception.

The Noble Vasubandhu's Five Gates is indeed a seminal text, as it is more a padhati (sadhana guide) than a philosophical elaboration. I will see if i can post it here at some point.


The Uttaratantra I am familiar with. It seems to be the main one for all Zhentong adherents. I don't think I've ever read anything by Vasubandhu.

Keep up the good work!
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: Will on May 03, 2010, 05:50:12 pm

The Noble Vasubandhu's Five Gates is indeed a seminal text, as it is more a padhati (sadhana guide) than a philosophical elaboration. I will see if i can post it here at some point.

mangalam
Tashi Nyima

Not sure what the Five Gates text is; I was referring to Foxinglun - Treatise on Buddha Nature.  It may be only in Chinese canon.
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: TashiNyima on May 03, 2010, 06:31:01 pm
Thank you for your kind remarks and for your openness.

The Five Gates of Vasubandhu is more familiar to followers of the Pure Land schools, as it is a fundamental treatise in early Indian (and later Chinese) Pure Land practice. It should come as no surprise that Pure land thought relies on Zhentong doctrine, as otherwise the Buddhas and their power to deliver sentient beings would be entirely nonexistent.

sarva mangalam
Tashi Nyima
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: santamonicacj on May 03, 2010, 09:33:08 pm

The Five Gates of Vasubandhu is more familiar to followers of the Pure Land schools, as it is a fundamental treatise in early Indian (and later Chinese) Pure Land practice. It should come as no surprise that Pure land thought relies on Zhentong doctrine, as otherwise the Buddhas and their power to deliver sentient beings would be entirely nonexistent.


There's another thread around here where I quoted Robert Thurman as saying Tibetans are polytheistic. And he's a Gelugpa. So it's not just Zhentong and Pure Land.

And the NKT guys thought they were controversial!
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: humanitas on May 04, 2010, 11:27:12 am
Tashi-la,

I find this tradition Jonang very interesting.  Are there any sources online I can research?  I'm interested in learning more about this tradition.

:headbow:
Ogyen.
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: Will on May 04, 2010, 11:29:42 am
Tashi-la,

I find this tradition Jonang very interesting.  Are there any sources online I can research?  I'm interested in learning more about this tradition.

:headbow:
Ogyen.


http://www.jonangfoundation.org/
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on May 04, 2010, 11:36:51 am

The Five Gates of Vasubandhu is more familiar to followers of the Pure Land schools, as it is a fundamental treatise in early Indian (and later Chinese) Pure Land practice. It should come as no surprise that Pure land thought relies on Zhentong doctrine, as otherwise the Buddhas and their power to deliver sentient beings would be entirely nonexistent.


There's another thread around here where I quoted Robert Thurman as saying Tibetans are polytheistic. And he's a Gelugpa. So it's not just Zhentong and Pure Land.

And the NKT guys thought they were controversial!

Thurman seems more concerned with celebrity soundbites than research these days.  I speak as one of those he called 'the Taliban of Buddhism' recently.  He should leave showbiz to his daughter.  Surprisingly, Gelug or otherwise, he lost my respect long ago.

Thank goodness the Vajrayana-bashers don't discriminate.   We're all closet Hindus apparently! LOL :)

P.S  Psssst... Ogyen - there are links in earlier posts. ;)
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: humanitas on May 04, 2010, 11:44:27 am
Oh... lol... i'm slow... don't mind me...
 :teehee:
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: Will on May 04, 2010, 02:17:36 pm
It should come as no surprise that Pure land thought relies on Zhentong doctrine, as otherwise the Buddhas and their power to deliver sentient beings would be entirely nonexistent.

Surely you do not believe that!  Buddhas and their salvic powers do not rely on any doctrine.
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: GoGet on May 04, 2010, 04:31:20 pm
Historically, 'bans' do not work. The 5th Dalai Lama declared the Jonangpa heretical, expropriated our monasteries, and banned the publication of our texts... and yet, we are still here.

Wow!  I've heard that DL5 also persecuted the Kagyu - killing monks, destroying monasteries, etc..  He must have been one hell of a guy!

Despite that, welcome aboard.
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: TashiNyima on May 04, 2010, 05:25:20 pm
It should come as no surprise that Pure land thought relies on Zhentong doctrine, as otherwise the Buddhas and their power to deliver sentient beings would be entirely nonexistent.

Surely you do not believe that!  Buddhas and their salvic powers do not rely on any doctrine.

Dear Friend,

namo buddhaya

Not the Buddhas Themselves, of course. Perhaps i should have stated more precisely that Pure Land thought (that is, the philosophical presentation of PL doctrine) assumes the true establishment of the Buddha(s).

Historically, that view is not found among the Theravadin, and certainly not among the Mahayana rangtongpas. The Noble Vasubandhu in India, the Venerable Shan Tao in China, and all the Jodo and Shin Patriarchs accepted the true establishment (Zhentong) of the Buddhas.

mangalam
TN
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: TashiNyima on May 04, 2010, 06:26:16 pm
Historically, 'bans' do not work. The 5th Dalai Lama declared the Jonangpa heretical, expropriated our monasteries, and banned the publication of our texts... and yet, we are still here.

Wow!  I've heard that DL5 also persecuted the Kagyu - killing monks, destroying monasteries, etc..  He must have been one hell of a guy!

Despite that, welcome aboard.

Dear Friend,

namo buddhaya

Whenever temporal and spiritual power come together, it is very difficult to not sacrifice the principles of the latter for the expediency of the former. The 5th DL perhaps overplayed his hand. I am not, however, making accusations other than stating the historical fact of the Jonang persecution, which is amply documented.

I did not mean to imply that HH the 14th Dalai Lama, for whom i have the greatest respect, is in any way persecuting Shugden practitioners, nor am i equating the two situations. I had hoped that a historical perspective might shed a little light, especially on how Shugden practitioners may tend to view the 'discouragement' of their practices as a ban, for which there is precedent.

Unfortunately, demonization is obscuring the mindstreams of otherwise sincere practitioners. Accusations of insincerity and hypocrisy are countered with charges of collaboration and worse. I am praying that the decibels might be reduced, and that civility, if not fraternal love, might be restored.

May the union of wisdom and compassion arise and abide in all hearts!

mangalam
TN
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: santamonicacj on May 04, 2010, 08:54:56 pm

Historically, that view is not found among the Theravadin, and certainly not among the Mahayana rangtongpas. The Noble Vasubandhu in India, the Venerable Shan Tao in China, and all the Jodo and Shin Patriarchs accepted the true establishment (Zhentong) of the Buddhas.


I think that Rangtongpas have faith just like Zhentongpas. The Gelugpas believe in Chenrezig just as much as the Jonanpas (IMO). Don't ask me to explain that though.
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: santamonicacj on May 04, 2010, 09:00:06 pm

Thurman seems more concerned with celebrity soundbites than research these days.  I speak as one of those he called 'the Taliban of Buddhism' recently.  He should leave showbiz to his daughter.  Surprisingly, Gelug or otherwise, he lost my respect long ago.


I reserve the right to disagree with him. Actually I don't personally rely on him as an authority at all. But he's considered by many to be an authority and he certainly has credentials. And the reason I quoted him is to make the point that credible authorities don't necessarily all agree with Stephen Batchelor.
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: Will on May 04, 2010, 09:13:54 pm
Not the Buddhas Themselves, of course. Perhaps i should have stated more precisely that Pure Land thought (that is, the philosophical presentation of PL doctrine) assumes the true establishment of the Buddha(s).

Historically, that view is not found among the Theravadin, and certainly not among the Mahayana rangtongpas. The Noble Vasubandhu in India, the Venerable Shan Tao in China, and all the Jodo and Shin Patriarchs accepted the true establishment (Zhentong) of the Buddhas.

mangalam
TN

More to the point is the fact that Pure Lands of the Buddhas are accepted as real by all of Mahayana.  Whichever type of emptiness is thought true, is irrelevant to the reality of Buddhas, their powers & their Pure Realms.
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: santamonicacj on May 04, 2010, 11:24:34 pm
I am sure this thread is blowing some people's minds. :lmfao:

                                      :stir:
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on May 05, 2010, 01:46:52 am
Not the Buddhas Themselves, of course. Perhaps i should have stated more precisely that Pure Land thought (that is, the philosophical presentation of PL doctrine) assumes the true establishment of the Buddha(s).

Historically, that view is not found among the Theravadin, and certainly not among the Mahayana rangtongpas. The Noble Vasubandhu in India, the Venerable Shan Tao in China, and all the Jodo and Shin Patriarchs accepted the true establishment (Zhentong) of the Buddhas.

mangalam
TN

More to the point is the fact that Pure Lands of the Buddhas are accepted as real by all of Mahayana.  Whichever type of emptiness is thought true, is irrelevant to the reality of Buddhas, their powers & their Pure Realms.

Well, that is if you ascribe to them an inherent existence.  LOL :)
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: santamonicacj on May 05, 2010, 03:01:47 am
Well, that is if you ascribe to them an inherent existence.  LOL :)
Rangtong (Prasangika Madyamaka) means "self-empty". Empty of self nature, inherent existence.

Zhentong means "other-empty". Which means empty of anything other than its own valid existence. Pure, Real, etc. Comprised of the Buddha Nature. Love, Wisdom, and Power.

Even among Zhentong adherents there is a gamut of interpretation. I'm still kind of waiting to hear the Jonang version, particularly the "Radical Zhentong" version.
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: Caz on May 05, 2010, 03:08:16 am
Well, that is if you ascribe to them an inherent existence.  LOL :)
Rangtong (Prasangika Madyamaka) means "self-empty". Empty of self nature, inherent existence.

Zhentong means "other-empty". Which means empty of anything other than its own valid existence. Pure, Real, etc. Comprised of the Buddha Nature. Love, Wisdom, and Power.

Even among Zhentong adherents there is a gamut of interpretation. I'm still kind of waiting to hear the Jonang version, particularly the "Radical Zhentong" version.


True self..well i can certainly see why some may have found such a view different. :pray:
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: Will on May 05, 2010, 07:30:27 am
More to the point is the fact that Pure Lands of the Buddhas are accepted as real by all of Mahayana.  Whichever type of emptiness is thought true, is irrelevant to the reality of Buddhas, their powers & their Pure Realms.

Well, that is if you ascribe to them an inherent existence.  LOL :)

Nope, I repeat - it makes no difference whether the Buddhas, their powers & Pure Lands are self-empty or other-empty.  They are plainly evident, and Je Tsongkhapa (a rangtonger) & Dolpopa (a shengtoner) agree.

If one wants to argue over the type of emptiness - fine - but neither theory obstructs the experiential fact and practical function of Buddhas, powers & Their realms. 
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on May 05, 2010, 09:59:03 am
More to the point is the fact that Pure Lands of the Buddhas are accepted as real by all of Mahayana.  Whichever type of emptiness is thought true, is irrelevant to the reality of Buddhas, their powers & their Pure Realms.

Well, that is if you ascribe to them an inherent existence.  LOL :)

Nope, I repeat - it makes no difference whether the Buddhas, their powers & Pure Lands are self-empty or other-empty.  They are plainly evident, and Je Tsongkhapa (a rangtonger) & Dolpopa (a shengtoner) agree.

If one wants to argue over the type of emptiness - fine - but neither theory obstructs the experiential fact and practical function of Buddhas, powers & Their realms. 

Sorry, I was attempting ironic humour, not asking for justification, hence the 'LOL :)'.

Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: santamonicacj on May 05, 2010, 10:52:44 am
I find the contrast between this thread and the thread regarding the Kalama Sutra amusing.

It should be obvious that there are different approaches, and that they do not agree. That isn't a problem. What is right for one person's karma is wrong for another.

And I applaud FreeSangha for the maturity to allow, and even encourage, opinions not normally allowed a venue to express themselves. TashiNyima was probably very tenuous about posting here in the beginning.
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on May 05, 2010, 11:07:01 am

Thurman seems more concerned with celebrity soundbites than research these days.  I speak as one of those he called 'the Taliban of Buddhism' recently.  He should leave showbiz to his daughter.  Surprisingly, Gelug or otherwise, he lost my respect long ago.


I reserve the right to disagree with him. Actually I don't personally rely on him as an authority at all. But he's considered by many to be an authority and he certainly has credentials. And the reason I quoted him is to make the point that credible authorities don't necessarily all agree with Stephen Batchelor.

Berzin is another who seems reliable (IMHO) most of the time, yet he also suffers foot-in-mouth disease, as when branding Theravada as 'Dharma lite'.

So I'm  not alone in wishing the foot in my mouth would occasionally stop the words coming out! LOL :)
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on May 05, 2010, 11:13:27 am
I find the contrast between this thread and the thread regarding the Kalama Sutra amusing.

It should be obvious that there are different approaches, and that they do not agree. That isn't a problem. What is right for one person's karma is wrong for another.

And I applaud FreeSangha for the maturity to allow, and even encourage, opinions not normally allowed a venue to express themselves. TashiNyima was probably very tenuous about posting here in the beginning.

Well said. :)

It is exactly why this forum has a unique place on the web.

Topics, teachings and organisations banned by some forums have been discussed freely here, and yet we've had no huge problems with moderation of the discussions.   Those who ban certain discussions end up having to edit ,delete and ban to a much greater extent.

I welcome this new section, and I am delighted we have the benefit of discovering more. ;)


Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: humanitas on May 07, 2010, 11:48:46 am
Those who say it can't be done should not interrupt those doing it (free discussion)

:headbow:
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: zerwe on May 09, 2010, 06:37:06 am
Wow, I should of followed this thread. A wealth of information answering some questions I have had and then some. Over the last couple days I have been trying to make sense of the Zhentong view of emptiness/self. I think I understand now, but this thread would have made it much easier. And, actually the Zhentong view is probably more appealing to westerners who might struggle with a rangdong notion of emptiness. Thanks, TashiNyima and the rest who have generated this conversation. PS, I have found a Jonangpa center about 3.5 hours away. hmmmmmmm? :namaste: 
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: TashiNyima on May 09, 2010, 05:17:12 pm
Dear Friend

om svasti

Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. I am humbled by the opportunity to share what i have received from my Teachers, and glad that you have found it useful. May you always accept the extreme compassion and causeless kindness of the Buddhas of the ten quarters.

It is wonderful that you have found a Jonangpa center close to you. Is it Dorje Ling in NY or Alabama?

mangalam
Tashi Nyima

Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: zerwe on May 09, 2010, 08:27:19 pm
Dorje Ling--Atlanta, GA.
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: heybai on May 12, 2010, 09:54:27 am
I did not mean to imply that HH the 14th Dalai Lama, for whom i have the greatest respect, is in any way persecuting Shugden practitioners, nor am i equating the two situations. I had hoped that a historical perspective might shed a little light, especially on how Shugden practitioners may tend to view the 'discouragement' of their practices as a ban, for which there is precedent.

Unfortunately, demonization is obscuring the mindstreams of otherwise sincere practitioners. Accusations of insincerity and hypocrisy are countered with charges of collaboration and worse. I am praying that the decibels might be reduced, and that civility, if not fraternal love, might be restored.

May the union of wisdom and compassion arise and abide in all hearts!

Dear Tashi Nyima,

Thank you for this thoughtful post.  It is evident that you have thought about this issue deeply.  I am not as knowledgeable as you or others here, but this conflict troubled me a good deal when I learned about it (and investigated it until I began to feel ill) last year.  I think this forum provides one, albeit modest, venue for people who have been divided by this strife to meet and cultivate goodwill.  That is the hope at least.

I only realized yesterday that you are ordained.  I look forward to reading your posts and hope you will contribute to these discussions when you have time and energy to do so.  Your study and experience are most welcome here, I am sure.

Well wishes to you --
 :namaste:

heybai
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: Caz on May 12, 2010, 04:06:44 pm
Historically, 'bans' do not work. The 5th Dalai Lama declared the Jonangpa heretical, expropriated our monasteries, and banned the publication of our texts... and yet, we are still here.

Wow!  I've heard that DL5 also persecuted the Kagyu - killing monks, destroying monasteries, etc..  He must have been one hell of a guy!

Despite that, welcome aboard.

The 5th DL was especially troublesome for many practitoners, His persecution of Jonang school for one thing was extremly shameful and un buddhist, it amazes me how such people can claim to be practising but yet become heavily distracted by the 8 worldly concerns, Tsongkhapa would be not pleased.  :bigtears:
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: santamonicacj on May 12, 2010, 05:23:57 pm
The 5th DL was especially troublesome for many practitoners, His persecution of Jonang school for one thing was extremly shameful and un buddhist, it amazes me how such people can claim to be practising but yet become heavily distracted by the 8 worldly concerns, Tsongkhapa would be not pleased.  :bigtears:
How much have you heard about the 6th?
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: Caz on May 13, 2010, 02:10:28 am
The 5th DL was especially troublesome for many practitoners, His persecution of Jonang school for one thing was extremly shameful and un buddhist, it amazes me how such people can claim to be practising but yet become heavily distracted by the 8 worldly concerns, Tsongkhapa would be not pleased.  :bigtears:
How much have you heard about the 6th?

1-4 DL where very pure practitoners showed a good example, As soon as worldly concerns mounted the DL lineage became limp spiritually.  :eek:
The 6th DL was also renowned as especially degenerate in his morale conduct.  :eek:
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: heybai on May 13, 2010, 03:21:05 am
Here's the wiki word on the 6th DL:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/6th_Dalai_Lama
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: TashiNyima on May 13, 2010, 06:18:45 am
I did not mean to imply that HH the 14th Dalai Lama, for whom i have the greatest respect, is in any way persecuting Shugden practitioners, nor am i equating the two situations. I had hoped that a historical perspective might shed a little light, especially on how Shugden practitioners may tend to view the 'discouragement' of their practices as a ban, for which there is precedent.

Unfortunately, demonization is obscuring the mindstreams of otherwise sincere practitioners. Accusations of insincerity and hypocrisy are countered with charges of collaboration and worse. I am praying that the decibels might be reduced, and that civility, if not fraternal love, might be restored.

May the union of wisdom and compassion arise and abide in all hearts!

Dear Tashi Nyima,

Thank you for this thoughtful post.  It is evident that you have thought about this issue deeply.  I am not as knowledgeable as you or others here, but this conflict troubled me a good deal when I learned about it (and investigated it until I began to feel ill) last year.  I think this forum provides one, albeit modest, venue for people who have been divided by this strife to meet and cultivate goodwill.  That is the hope at least.

I only realized yesterday that you are ordained.  I look forward to reading your posts and hope you will contribute to these discussions when you have time and energy to do so.  Your study and experience are most welcome here, I am sure.

Well wishes to you --
 :namaste:

heybai


Dear Friend

om svasti

Thank you for your observations and kind encouragement.

 Among the New Jonang, there is a renewed commitment to avoid commingling spiritual and temporal 'authority' of any kind, because the exigencies of the latter can and perhaps inevitably impede the proper manifestation of the former.

Still, there is no need to demonize anyone. We are ordinary beings, and perhaps our defining characteristic is obscuration. If we are unable to extend compassion to others, how will we ourselves be objects of the Victor's compassion?

With folded hands, i pray that our minds become free of afflicted emotions, and that we may accept the faith of others with the utmost respect, especially when it contradicts our own.

Ultimate Truth is non-referential.

mangalam

Tashi Nyima, a follower of Shakyamuni
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: heybai on May 13, 2010, 07:57:08 am
Quote
With folded hands, i pray that our minds become free of afflicted emotions, and that we may accept the faith of others with the utmost respect, especially when it contradicts our own.

Ultimate Truth is non-referential.

This says it all for me.
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: TashiNyima on May 16, 2010, 05:51:36 am
om svasti

There are many wonderful examples in the history of Buddhism that we can emulate. A most striking one is that of Honen Shonin's reaction to his banishment from Kyoto by the Emperor:

"I have labored here in the capital these many years for the spread of the nembutsu, and so I have long wished to get away into the country to preach to those on field and plain, but the time never came for the fulfillment of my wish. Now, however, by the august favor of His Majesty, circumstances have combined to enable me to do so."

How wonderful it would be if we could all perceive apparent setbacks for the real opportunities they constitute of sharing the Dharma with all sentient beings!

EH MA HO

Tashi Nyima
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: santamonicacj on May 16, 2010, 07:52:33 am

How wonderful it would be if we could all perceive apparent setbacks for the real opportunities they constitute of sharing the Dharma with all sentient beings!


Slightly off topic, but along the same lines:

http://viralvideochart.unrulymedia.com/youtube/look_at_yourself_after_watching_thismp4?id=Gc4HGQHgeFE

I believe this guy is more spiritually advanced than I can hope to become in this lifetime, even with all the fancy-dancy exotic meditation practices available to me.

I find it odd that some of the people whose 'spiritual qualities' I admire most seem to have no overt spiritual practice.
                                                                       :jinsyx:
 :focus:

p.s. They show him jumping off a diving board. How the hell does he swim?
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on May 16, 2010, 09:13:26 am

How wonderful it would be if we could all perceive apparent setbacks for the real opportunities they constitute of sharing the Dharma with all sentient beings!


Slightly off topic, but along the same lines:

[url]http://viralvideochart.unrulymedia.com/youtube/look_at_yourself_after_watching_thismp4?id=Gc4HGQHgeFE[/url]

I believe this guy is more spiritually advanced than I can hope to become in this lifetime, even with all the fancy-dancy exotic meditation practices available to me.

I find it odd that some of the people whose 'spiritual qualities' I admire most seem to have no overt spiritual practice.
                                                                       :jinsyx:
 :focus:

p.s. They show him jumping off a diving board. How the hell does he swim?


The way he touched the souls of those kids made me cry. I use the 'soul' word, as I can't think of a better one for those moments when one mind brings realisations to others and touches their deepest spirits.

If someone just seems to possess that quality naturally, without practice, maybe it is practice from previous lives ripening in this one.  If so, there's hope for me yet! :)

In his case, I would say he has done plenty of practice, it's just not apparent to us.  His whole life must involve abandoning self-cherishing ignorance, helping others deal with their delusions, fear and anger;  and spreading joy and compassion in the way shown on Youtube.

As  an aside, I think there is a word for this I've come across in TB. 'Kusali' means an itinerant, a beggar, but it is also sometimes used to describe a person whose practice is so internal that it is invisible to others.

I am reminded of a Geshe I know who seems able to use visualisation for pretty much everything in rituals; we can see nothing of his practice at those times and maybe some assume he is doing nothing as there is no shrine, bell, drum etc. present.  But it is very deep and powerful, I feel, when I observe and join in.  He regards all his practices as forms of Compassion.  Like many Tibetans, he has family who were killed, tortured or injured, or who died on the journey to India. It would be so easy to be full of hatred, yet there is only compassion.  People like him are remarkable.  It's bad enough if you are born with a disadvantage, or are injured, but if you know your torturer and the killer of your family, how much harder it must be not to hate them, with poison in your 'soul'.
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: santamonicacj on June 11, 2010, 09:13:14 am
I suspect that what TashiNyima calls "radical Zhentong" is the idea that all phenomenal are of the Buddha Nature, not just sentient and enlightened beings. One of my teachers said, "Not an atom in the universe vibrates that is not powered by love."

Is that what Jonangpas call "radical Zhentong"?
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: conebeckham on July 02, 2010, 09:12:11 am
Question for the Jonangpas here....Aside from practice of Kalachakra, and view of Shentong, could you provide more detail regarding daily practice...It's my understanding that the Shangpa lineage practices were somehow intertwined with the Jonang lineage, and Taranatha wrote many of the manuals and sadhanas for the Shangpa practices.   Are these practiced currently in Jonang centers, as well?
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: Thao on July 25, 2010, 02:40:32 pm
This has renewed my interest in Buddhism. I felt that there had to be a soul. I also like your view of the guru/disciple relationship being a friendship, walking side by side. We won't get into my disappointment in gurus, not Buddhist ones.

Can you tell me what sutras you base the belief in a soul on? I would like to read them, and I want to learn more, but I am not very good with reading deep things unless it is mysticism. I have put down many a Buddhist book because it was hard to understand, but I often wonder if my belief in the soul and a Consciousness of Love, that I always called God, not the Christian God, was preventing me from even trying to understand.
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: TashiNyima on July 25, 2010, 07:30:11 pm
Dear Friends

om svasti

Please forgive my inattentiveness to this forum. I believed (erroneously) that i would receive notifications whenever there was a new post. Evidently, that was not the case.

I will reply to each of you in separate posts.

mangalam
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: TashiNyima on July 25, 2010, 07:54:33 pm
I suspect that what TashiNyima calls "radical Zhentong" is the idea that all phenomenal are of the Buddha Nature, not just sentient and enlightened beings. One of my teachers said, "Not an atom in the universe vibrates that is not powered by love."

Is that what Jonangpas call "radical Zhentong"?

Dear Friend

om svasti

Through the three centuries of the persecution of the Jonang and the banning of our texts in Tibet, most references to zhentong were polemical attacks by the proponents of rantong (self-emptiness). While the lineage survived in the easternmost regions of Tibet and on the Chinese side of the border, conditions were not suitable for maintaining the pristine teachings of the Omniscient Dolpopa.

Moreover, the designated 'leader' of the Jonangpa through these three centuries, the officially recognized (by the 5th Dalai Lama) 'reincarnation' of Jetsun Taranatha, was (and is to this day) the supreme head of the Gelukpa in Mongolia. As you can well imagine, the doctrine suffered greatly from these circumstances.

It was the great Rime (non sectarian) teachers who, in the 19th and 20th centuries, revived interest in zhentong. However, because they were not Jonangpas by training, ordination, or conviction, their zhentong was admixed with much philosophical genuflection to the dominant Gelukpa Prasangika view, and is much closer to the doctrines espoused by many Karma Kagyupas to this day, such as the Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche.

When Jonangpas speak of "radical zhentong", we mean the undiluted teachings of the Omniscient Dolpopa, as expressed in The General Commentary, Mountain Dharma, and The Fourth Council, and the elucidations of Jetsun Taranatha.

The view to which you refer is a doctrine of the Huayan (Avatamsaka) school (end of the Sui and beginning of Tang dynasties in China, c. 600-700 C.E.), that is not found in our teachings, since the Jonang view is that all apparent phenomena are self-empty. Having no intrinsic existence, phenomena cannot possess Buddha Nature. Only Buddha Nature itself is established, or other-empty.

mangalam
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: TashiNyima on July 25, 2010, 08:17:49 pm
This has renewed my interest in Buddhism. I felt that there had to be a soul. I also like your view of the guru/disciple relationship being a friendship, walking side by side. We won't get into my disappointment in gurus, not Buddhist ones.

Can you tell me what sutras you base the belief in a soul on? I would like to read them, and I want to learn more, but I am not very good with reading deep things unless it is mysticism. I have put down many a Buddhist book because it was hard to understand, but I often wonder if my belief in the soul and a Consciousness of Love, that I always called God, not the Christian God, was preventing me from even trying to understand.

Dear Friend

om svasti

EH MA HO  I am happy that your interest in the teachings of the Victor are renewed, and at the same time saddened that you have suffered disappointments in your previous experiences with the Dharma.

Although we do not speak of a 'soul' as such (the term has specific connotations, particularly in the Christian context of the West), we do not hesitate to speak of Pure Self. The term is used frequently and unabashedly in the Mah?y?na Mah?parinirv??a S?tra, Tath?gatagarbha Sutra, ?r?m?l?-S?tra, Anunatva-Apurnatva-Nirde?a S?tra, Angulimaliya S?tra, Ratna-gotra-vibh?ga (Uttaratantra), and many others.

The fundamental texts of the Jonang tradition are Maitreya's Five Treatises, Vasubandhu's Twenty and Thirty Verses, Arya Nagarjuna's In Praise of the Dharmadhatu, and the Omniscient Dolpopa's The General Commentary, Mountain Dharma, and The Fourth Council. Although these are dense texts, the Jonang rely more on oral transmission and meditation practice than on conceptual elaborations.

I would recommend reading The Buddha from Dolpo, by Cyrus Stearns, which provides an accessible introduction to the Jonang view, and includes translations of the two shorter texts by Dolpopa.

I would be happy to correspond with you further at your convenience, either here, or privately.

mangalam
Tashi Nyima

Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: TashiNyima on July 25, 2010, 08:27:46 pm
Question for the Jonangpas here....Aside from practice of Kalachakra, and view of Shentong, could you provide more detail regarding daily practice...It's my understanding that the Shangpa lineage practices were somehow intertwined with the Jonang lineage, and Taranatha wrote many of the manuals and sadhanas for the Shangpa practices.   Are these practiced currently in Jonang centers, as well?

Dear Friend

om svasti

As in other lineages, the practices of individual Jonangpas vary according to the instructions received from the Root Lama. There is no one standard practice for everyone.

However, there are some common practices, such as Ngondro, and the Six-branch Vajrayoga. Vajrasattva and Tara practices are very frequently performed as well. Text recitation, in particular of Dolpopa's The General Commentary, is also most frequent.

You will also find Jonangpas who practice most of the anuttara yogas present in other schools, and --as you correctly indicate-- the sadhanas written by Jetsun Taranatha continue to be practiced.

mangalam
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: santamonicacj on July 25, 2010, 10:56:05 pm
Question for the Jonangpas here....Aside from practice of Kalachakra, and view of Shentong, could you provide more detail regarding daily practice...It's my understanding that the Shangpa lineage practices were somehow intertwined with the Jonang lineage, and Taranatha wrote many of the manuals and sadhanas for the Shangpa practices.   Are these practiced currently in Jonang centers, as well?

Dear Friend

om svasti

As in other lineages, the practices of individual Jonangpas vary according to the instructions received from the Root Lama. There is no one standard practice for everyone.

However, there are some common practices, such as Ngondro, and the Six-branch Vajrayoga. Vajrasattva and Tara practices are very frequently performed as well. Text recitation, in particular of Dolpopa's The General Commentary, is also most frequent.

You will also find Jonangpas who practice most of the anuttara yogas present in other schools, and --as you correctly indicate-- the sadhanas written by Jetsun Taranatha continue to be practiced.

mangalam
So it sounds like Jonangpas are more Mahamudra oriented than Dzog Chen, right?
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: santamonicacj on July 25, 2010, 11:45:54 pm
The view to which you refer is a doctrine of the Huayan (Avatamsaka) school (end of the Sui and beginning of Tang dynasties in China, c. 600-700 C.E.), that is not found in our teachings, since the Jonang view is that all apparent phenomena are self-empty. Having no intrinsic existence, phenomena cannot possess Buddha Nature. Only Buddha Nature itself is established, or other-empty.
So then is Buddha Nature completely disconnected from apparent phenomena? In the other thread about debate you say that (with liberal paraphrasing) the desire for enlightenment is itself an indication of the presence of Buddha Nature in sentient beings.
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: Thao on July 26, 2010, 04:36:22 am
Thank you so much, TashiNyima. I will email you later, not sure when, but will bring up somethings here for all to read:

You wrote:


Although we do not speak of a 'soul' as such (the term has specific connotations, particularly in the Christian context of the West), we do not hesitate to speak of Pure Self.

What is the difference in the Christian and in the Pure Self? Is the Pure Self what Hindus call Atman? I think I can understand Atman better than the Christian concept.

Looked up the Christian: The soul is often believed to exit the body and live on after a person’s death, and some religions posit that God creates souls.

The soul has often been deemed integral or essential to consciousness and personality, and may be synonymous with spirit, mind or self.[3] Although the terms soul and spirit are sometimes used interchangeably, soul may denote a more worldly and less transcendent aspect of a person.


Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: Thao on July 26, 2010, 04:46:40 am
I am having to reply in two parts. for some reason the reply page keeps messing up. i try to write and it jumps so i can't see what i am writing, but only when i use italics.

What I believe, and i could be wrong, is that we have a soul, but that our soul is also the atman. that when we die our consciousness still exists. and then i read, "Consciousness, wherever it is found, is considered a symptom of the soul." And, "Atman refers to the non-material self, which never changes. It is distinct from both the mind and the external body."

I am clarifying what I mean, not that I don't know that you know this.

I always felt that when Buddha said, the soul is not this, the soul is not that, that it meant that the soul was something, just not those things. And I remember reading the Tath and what I read make me believe that it was speaking of a soul.

What is Pure Soul in the Jonanpa tradition?
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: TashiNyima on July 26, 2010, 06:26:58 am
Thank you so much, TashiNyima. I will email you later, not sure when, but will bring up somethings here for all to read:

You wrote:


Although we do not speak of a 'soul' as such (the term has specific connotations, particularly in the Christian context of the West), we do not hesitate to speak of Pure Self.

What is the difference in the Christian and in the Pure Self? Is the Pure Self what Hindus call Atman? I think I can understand Atman better than the Christian concept.

Looked up the Christian: The soul is often believed to exit the body and live on after a person’s death, and some religions posit that God creates souls.

The soul has often been deemed integral or essential to consciousness and personality, and may be synonymous with spirit, mind or self.[3] Although the terms soul and spirit are sometimes used interchangeably, soul may denote a more worldly and less transcendent aspect of a person.




Dear Friend

om svasti

The term 'soul' is usually associated with a belief in creation, which would make it impermanent (that which has a beginning, also has an end) and dependent (meaning, it has no inherent existence).

When the New Jonang speak of Pure Self, we refer to the essential identitity, which is neither created nor dependent, but purely permanent. That is one difference.

The other is that in many (not all) branches of Christianity, 'soul' is used to express an embodied spirit. We understand that, whether embodied or not, the Pure Self is fully established.

The Hindu concepts (there are many versions) of atman are somewhat closer to our view, with the significant distinction that in Hinduism, the atman is individual, whereas the New Jonang view understands the Pure Self to be neither individual nor plural. In its essence (dharmakaya), Pure Self is non-dual, pristine wisdom. By nature (sambhogakaya), Pure Self expresses all Divine Qualities and Activities. In manifestation, Pure Self expresses unlimited love and compassion.

mangalam
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: TashiNyima on July 26, 2010, 06:33:42 am

I always felt that when Buddha said, the soul is not this, the soul is not that, that it meant that the soul was something, just not those things. And I remember reading the Tath and what I read make me believe that it was speaking of a soul.

What is Pure Soul in the Jonanpa tradition?

Dear Friend

om svasti

Pure Self, in the Jonang view, is one of the Four Marks of Ultimate Reality:

True Purity: the luminous clarity of emptiness, free from subject, free from object

True Self: pristine non-dual identity, endowed with all the qualities of enlightenment (the ten forces, the four guarantees, the four perfect awarenesses, and the eighteen unshared qualities)

True Bliss: non-referential, non-temporal, and non-local

True Permanence: spontaneous compassion

The truth body (dharmakaya) is permanent by essence.
The glorious body (sambhogakaya) is permanent by nature.
The manifest body (nirmanakaya) is permanent by continuity.

mangalam
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: Thao on July 26, 2010, 07:34:10 am
Oooooh, the "soul" is impermanent in Christianity. I didn't realize that, but then now that I think of it the Bible says that "the soul that is sinning, it itself will die," which causes confusion, and with that, being created, then I don't believe in that definition of  soul. While I think that the Universe had a beginning, I think that Consciousness always existed. I  believe that Consciousness created the material Universe. (Is this too one of your beiefs?) Soul always existed to me, and I can understand when you said that Pure Self is non dual.

I will keep your comments.  I like how Pure Self is described not only as Love, but Wisdom, Compassion, etc.
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: TashiNyima on July 26, 2010, 04:36:30 pm
While I think that the Universe had a beginning, I think that Consciousness always existed. I  believe that Consciousness created the material Universe. (Is this too one of your beiefs?) Soul always existed to me, and I can understand when you said that Pure Self is non dual.

I will keep your comments.  I like how Pure Self is described not only as Love, but Wisdom, Compassion, etc.

Dear Friend

om svasti

The material universe, being impermanent, arises in dependence on the karma of ordinary beings. In that sense, it has a beginning. However, there is no way to determine what is its duration, since karma is, in a sense, beginningless.

While i'm sure this is just a question of semantics, Jonangpas use the term 'consciousness' to mean an afflicted (deluded) mental function. Consciousness is always 'consciousness of something'. There can be no consciousness without an apprehender and an apprehended, or a subject and an object. This is the very essence of duality, which gives rise to the concepts of self and other, 'me' (aham) and 'mine' (mamata). From these concepts arise attachment, aversion, and indifference, the three root poisons.

We thus prefer the term 'wisdom' (jnana) --and more specifically, 'pristine non-dual wisdom'-- when describing the ground or basis of all phenomena and individual persons, to avoid identifying duality as a real existent.

mangalam
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: Thao on July 27, 2010, 07:00:57 am
Hi,

The first paragraph is real clear to me.

I can see how Consciousness can be dual in that creation is dual.

I am deeply thinking about what "wisdom" would be. Ever how deep it is that I think. Would not it be a type of Consciousness or is Consciousness only active when it is creating?

This Love that mystics feel is a Consciousness, and in some of the quantum mechanic books I have they say that we have an Aware Universe that Consciousness is in everything. But if a person becomes enlightened, would not this person want to live in bliss, which some I have heard tell me is Love? and would not this be Awareness and Wisdom? If it isn't Conscious then it would not know it existed, and if it didn't know this, then I would not wish to be enlightened. It feels like it would be better to be on this earth helping others.

I just feel that there has to be a Consciousness beyond the individual, beyond this Universe.

Am I making sense on what I am asking?
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: TashiNyima on July 27, 2010, 07:22:17 am
Dear Friend

om svasti

We are just using different terminology. We distinguish wisdom (or non-dual awareness) from consciousness, because the latter always implies a dualism of subject and object.

Are enlightened beings blissful? Certainly? Are they self-conscious? No. In fact, being self-conscious is an impediment to the fullness of bliss. While enlightened beings are aware of other's perceptions, they do not share in their delusions.

Let me give an example that might make this a bit more clear, although please bear in mind that an example is never to be confused with the ultimate truth of what is exemplified.

The compassion of ordinary beings has a subject (their view of themselves), an object (their view of the recipient of compassion), and an action (their view of the compassionate act). An enlightened being spontaneously acts for the welfare of others, without willfully considering him/herself, the recipient, or the act.

For example, if someone's hand is being burnt on a hot stove, an ordinary being (the subject) might feel compassion for the person being hurt (the recipient), and move that person's hand away from the stove (the compassionate act). This is conscious compassion.

An enlightened being will achieve the same result without reference to those three, just as when we inadvertently place our own hand on a hot stove, we (as subjects) need not feel compassion for the hand (as a separate being) before removing it from the stove (the act). It is an automatic, spontaneous response. There is no consciousness of separation.

In the same way, the bliss of an enlightened being is spontaneous, without the conscious thought "I am blissful."

mangalam
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on July 27, 2010, 09:28:16 am
Dear Friend

om svasti

We are just using different terminology. We distinguish wisdom (or non-dual awareness) from consciousness, because the latter always implies a dualism of subject and object.

Are enlightened beings blissful? Certainly? Are they self-conscious? No. In fact, being self-conscious is an impediment to the fullness of bliss. While enlightened beings are aware of other's perceptions, they do not share in their delusions.

Let me give an example that might make this a bit more clear, although please bear in mind that an example is never to be confused with the ultimate truth of what is exemplified.

The compassion of ordinary beings has a subject (their view of themselves), an object (their view of the recipient of compassion), and an action (their view of the compassionate act). An enlightened being spontaneously acts for the welfare of others, without willfully considering him/herself, the recipient, or the act.

For example, if someone's hand is being burnt on a hot stove, an ordinary being (the subject) might feel compassion for the person being hurt (the recipient), and move that person's hand away from the stove (the compassionate act). This is conscious compassion.

An enlightened being will achieve the same result without reference to those three, just as when we inadvertently place our own hand on a hot stove, we (as subjects) need not feel compassion for the hand (as a separate being) before removing it from the stove (the act). It is an automatic, spontaneous response. There is no consciousness of separation.

In the same way, the bliss of an enlightened being is spontaneous, without the conscious thought "I am blissful."

mangalam

An act may be natural or instinctive, as an expression of compassion, but can Bliss ever be spontaneous, lacking in cause which gives rise to it?  Bliss itself is surely not spontaneously proactive or reactive, arising or disappearing - it is a constant state in an enlightened being which is why no subject/object process is required.   

My experience with a few different groups leads me to conclude that whatever they are supposed to believe as Gelugpas, having proven a view through logical discourse, there is actually a wide range of views based on experience, and also an understanding that the Madhyamaka Prasangika is of little practical use except as a gateway through which one is introduced to such practical applications of that constantly moving 'reality' through Highest Yoga Tantra.   On a mundane level, understanding of the logic of Madhyamaka Prasangika is far from experiential 'knowledge' of ultimate truth.
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: Thao on July 27, 2010, 09:32:30 am
Thank you TashiNyima,

Your explanation of this is so clear. It certainly changed my view.
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: zerwe on July 27, 2010, 09:47:41 am
Dear Friend

om svasti

We are just using different terminology. We distinguish wisdom (or non-dual awareness) from consciousness, because the latter always implies a dualism of subject and object.

Are enlightened beings blissful? Certainly? Are they self-conscious? No. In fact, being self-conscious is an impediment to the fullness of bliss. While enlightened beings are aware of other's perceptions, they do not share in their delusions.

Let me give an example that might make this a bit more clear, although please bear in mind that an example is never to be confused with the ultimate truth of what is exemplified.

The compassion of ordinary beings has a subject (their view of themselves), an object (their view of the recipient of compassion), and an action (their view of the compassionate act). An enlightened being spontaneously acts for the welfare of others, without willfully considering him/herself, the recipient, or the act.

For example, if someone's hand is being burnt on a hot stove, an ordinary being (the subject) might feel compassion for the person being hurt (the recipient), and move that person's hand away from the stove (the compassionate act). This is conscious compassion.

An enlightened being will achieve the same result without reference to those three, just as when we inadvertently place our own hand on a hot stove, we (as subjects) need not feel compassion for the hand (as a separate being) before removing it from the stove (the act). It is an automatic, spontaneous response. There is no consciousness of separation.

In the same way, the bliss of an enlightened being is spontaneous, without the conscious thought "I am blissful."

mangalam

An act may be natural or instinctive, as an expression of compassion, but can Bliss ever be spontaneous, lacking in cause which gives rise to it?  Bliss itself is surely not spontaneously proactive or reactive, arising or disappearing - it is a constant state in an enlightened being which is why no subject/object process is required. 

I think that the use of 'spontaneous' is intended to convey that Bliss, in an enlightened being, is constant and unforced. I think that Bodicitta is often described at the highest level to be unforced where one doesn't even have a choice but to feel compassion and help others.
Shaun :namaste:
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: TashiNyima on July 27, 2010, 09:51:25 am
An act may be natural or instinctive, as an expression of compassion, but can Bliss ever be spontaneous, lacking in cause which gives rise to it?  Bliss itself is surely not spontaneously proactive or reactive, arising or disappearing - it is a constant state in an enlightened being which is why no subject/object process is required.  

My experience with a few different groups leads me to conclude that whatever they are supposed to believe as Gelugpas, having proven a view through logical discourse, there is actually a wide range of views based on experience, and also an understanding that the Madhyamaka Prasangika is of little practical use except as a gateway through which one is introduced to such practical applications of that constantly moving 'reality' through Highest Yoga Tantra.   On a mundane level, understanding of the logic of Madhyamaka Prasangika is far from experiential 'knowledge' of ultimate truth.

Dear Friend

om svasti

Thank you for this contribution.

Yes, there is a difference between a spontaneous physical act (such as removing a burning hand from the fire) and an internal feeling (such as Bliss). However, for an ordinary being, a feeling does involve an act or series of acts, in the sense that its perception is a function accomplished by the mental consciousness, stored in the ground consciousness, and referred to the self-consciousness.

Because the enlightened beings have transcended duality (all sense of apprehender and apprehended), it is in that sense that Jonangpas speak of true bliss as being spontaneous and self-arising --that is, lacking in referents.

The example given was not intended to illustrate this specific point as much as to provide a basis for the elucidation of the difference between a 'conscious' act and one self-arising from wisdom or pure awareness.

Your comment on the understanding of many Gelukpa Prasangika practitioners (as opposed to mere dialectitians) regarding the practical application of that view is also most welcome.

Your contributions are always beneficial. Thank you!

mangalam
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: TashiNyima on July 27, 2010, 09:57:27 am

So then is Buddha Nature completely disconnected from apparent phenomena? In the other thread about debate you say that (with liberal paraphrasing) the desire for enlightenment is itself an indication of the presence of Buddha Nature in sentient beings.

Dear Friend

om svasti

Buddha Nature (absolute reality) is the ground or container of all relative appearance, but is not identical with it. Its essential quality is fundamentally different.

A traditional example: the nature of the sky is emptiness, and its quality is non-obstruction. Yet, it is precisely because it is empty and offers no resistance, that clouds can appear. Thus, the sky is the 'ground' for clouds, but is fundamentally different in essence and qualities.

Regarding your question about similarities between the Jonangpa teachings and Dzogchen or Mahamudra, i am inclined to say that there is less difference in actual practice than in description. However, as i am not expert in either Mahamudra or Dzogchen, i cannot say with certainty if Jonang teaching and practice are more or less like one or the other.

Thank you!

mangalam
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: catmoon on July 27, 2010, 10:42:13 am


 but can Bliss ever be spontaneous, lacking in cause which gives rise to it? 


Nope, bliss arises when the conditions and causes are in place for it to occur. However, if you want to take a purely conventional point of view, once the causes and conditions are in place, it might very well appear to arise spontaneously.
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on July 27, 2010, 10:54:41 am


 but can Bliss ever be spontaneous, lacking in cause which gives rise to it? 


Nope, bliss arises when the conditions and causes are in place for it to occur. However, if you want to take a purely conventional point of view, once the causes and conditions are in place, it might very well appear to arise spontaneously.

That would appear to be the case with ordinary beings, but with fully enlightened beings it is a constant state, therefore needing no consciousness or sense awareness to arise. 

The causes for it to arise in the first instance would of course be those which led to the enlightenment of that holy being who, once enlightened is freed, in a state of ultimate Bliss, Wisdom and Compassion.

I don't post often here as I enjoy reading so much.  LOL :)

TashiNyma should author a book.  Such wisdom is rare and precious and if I post on a Jonangpa thread I feel exactly as I do with a precious Lama - cautious in case I disrupt with a stupid question and reveal my considerable lack of 'Yeshe' by being attached to such thoughts!

Maitri
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: TashiNyima on July 27, 2010, 02:18:48 pm
Dear Friend

om svasti

You are most kind. It is my good fortune and privilege to have your association, and that of so many sincere sons and daughters of the Victor.

At one time, Honen Shonin asked a disciple if his (Honen's) recollection of the Buddha (nembutsu) was better or worse than that of an apparently lesser follower of the Jodoshu. His disciple replied that, of course, Honen's must be superior. Honen was saddened and distressed by that answer, because he held that the nembutsu does not depend on any external cause for its quality. Its potency is intrinsic. It is not affected by incidental stains.

In a similar way, your wisdom (yeshe) is an aspect of your intrinsic Buddha Nature. How could it be lacking in any way? It is ever pure and perfectly luminous. It is your fully established nature, True Purity. Through the path of separation, any adventitious veils will simply dissipate.

mangalam
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on July 27, 2010, 02:27:16 pm
Dear Friend

om svasti

You are most kind. It is my good fortune and privilege to have your association, and that of so many sincere sons and daughters of the Victor.

At one time, Honen Shonin asked a disciple if his (Honen's) recollection of the Buddha (nembutsu) was better or worse than that of an apparently lesser follower of the Jodoshu. His disciple replied that, of course, Honen's must be superior. Honen was saddened and distressed by that answer, because he held that the nembutsu does not depend on any external cause for its quality. Its potency is intrinsic. It is not affected by incidental stains.

In a similar way, your wisdom (yeshe) is an aspect of your intrinsic Buddha Nature. How could it be lacking in any way? It is ever pure and perfectly luminous. It is your fully established nature, True Purity. Through the path of separation, any adventitious veils will simply dissipate.

mangalam

My friend

You are indeed performing a most useful function here in drawing back those veils for me, for which I thank you.

I am unaware of any Jongangpa in the UK.  Is there an 'organisation' as such, or are there teachers to be approached?

maitri
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: humanitas on July 27, 2010, 02:37:24 pm
I don't post often here as I enjoy reading so much.  LOL :)

TashiNyma should author a book.  Such wisdom is rare and precious and if I post on a Jonangpa thread I feel exactly as I do with a precious Lama - cautious in case I disrupt with a stupid question and reveal my considerable lack of 'Yeshe' by being attached to such thoughts!

Maitri

I also approach the Jonangpa threads exactly the same way because my first experience has been this genuine and deep because of Tashi Nyima's skill with explanation.  I also tread cautiously for fear of disrupting a very precious stream.

:headbow:
Ogyen.

Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: TashiNyima on July 27, 2010, 02:56:40 pm
Dear Friends

om svasti

The closest Jonagpas come to having an 'organization' is the Jonang Standing Council and its liaison, the Jonang Foundation. The Dorje Ling Centres (NY and Alabama) of HH Tashi Gyaltsan also have an online presence, as do some of his projects (LittleLama.org, for example).

I'm afraid that organization is not one of our strong suits. Survival of the teachings has been an imperative for so long, that all else has been relegated to secondary status.

We are elated by the revival of interest in the Jonangpa teachings, as exemplified most recently by the re-publication of The Buddha from Dolpo, by Cyrus Stearns (highly recommended). Kunkhyen Dolpopa's Mountain Dharma: Ocean of Definitive Meaning is also available in English, as is Jetsun Taranatha's Essence of Other Emptiness.

If i can be of any assistance, please know that i am always willing (if not necessarily qualified or able).

mangalam
Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: heybai on October 09, 2011, 05:53:19 am
(http://www.zhaxizhuoma.net/IMAGES/TIBET/yarthangMonastery126.jpg)

Jonang Akyong Yarthang Monastery, Tibet.

Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: heybai on October 09, 2011, 06:00:34 am
Great blog entry with photos about the Takten Damcho Ling monastery, at

(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-hoAiXusUwdY/TWYhyUb9cUI/AAAAAAAAAys/JM4v5vyOy4Y/s1600/jonang.12.jpg)

"Don Croner's World Wide Wanders":
http://www.doncronerblog.com/search/label/Jonang (http://www.doncronerblog.com/search/label/Jonang)


And another on the Great Stupa of Jonang:

(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XQZ2k8tlM6w/TWXZpfrecRI/AAAAAAAAAyg/7CGMRJOjA7U/s1600/jonang.09.jpg)

http://www.doncronerblog.com/2011/02/tibet-jonang-monasteries.html (http://www.doncronerblog.com/2011/02/tibet-jonang-monasteries.html)





Title: Re: Jonangpa
Post by: wmw111 on April 19, 2012, 12:05:48 am
I was under the impression that the Jonangs flourished in Mongolia, Taranatha was one of the great lamas of the Jonang order he went to Mongolia towards the end of his life.

http://www.jonangpa.com/node/1445 (http://www.jonangpa.com/node/1445)
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