Author Topic: Zhentong  (Read 6553 times)

Offline namumahaparinirvanasvaha

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Re: Zhentong
« Reply #30 on: July 29, 2013, 08:23:17 am »
I am a little (or more than a little) confused.   If a^tman is (is is akin to) Buddha Nature, how can the highest form of emptiness be atman?


(Don't know how to type in the diacritical marks over "a" in "atman.)

Emptiness in Shentong is viewed as a Negation(hence "other" Emptiness)
which is why it is said Buddha Wisdom/Enlightenment/True Self is "empty" of all defilements but it is not empty of itself (the proper term used is Not-Empty or empty of other)

since emptiness is an negation it really isn't akin to anything(but the junk that is being gotten rid of)


Offline BlueSky

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Re: Zhentong
« Reply #31 on: July 29, 2013, 08:26:43 am »
And this shentong view has a big drawback.

Why?

Because emptiness doesn't not negate anything.

Heart sutra has said that:

Form is not other than emptiness. Emptiness is not other than Form.

Similarly,

Defilements is not other than buddha nature. Buddha nature is not other than defilements. Why?

Because the nature of defilements is the buddha nature itself.

That is criticize heavily by Mipham.

Emptiness does not negate anything.

Why?

Because emptiness is the nature of everything.

« Last Edit: July 29, 2013, 08:29:30 am by BlueSky »
Enlightenment is simply the clearing away of misunderstanding. When mistaken thinking is gone, liberation has happened. (Gampopa)


When we verbally indicate a thing as 'this' or 'that', our words, like rabbits's horns, are hollow names, mere fictive imputation upon what does not exist. (Longchenpa)

Offline namumahaparinirvanasvaha

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Re: Zhentong
« Reply #32 on: July 29, 2013, 08:35:16 am »
And this shentong view has a big drawback.

Why?

Because emptiness doesn't not negate anything.

Heart sutra has said that:

Form is not other than emptiness. Emptiness is not other than Form.

Similarly,

Defilements is not other than buddha nature. Buddha nature is not other than defilements. Why?

Because the nature of defilements is the buddha nature itself.

That is criticize heavily by Mipham.

Emptiness does not negate anything.

Why?

Because emptiness is the nature of everything.

okay and where is that taught??

Offline BlueSky

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Re: Zhentong
« Reply #33 on: July 29, 2013, 08:39:37 am »
Which taught?

You shall study Beacon of Certainty.

Emptiness cannot become negation.

Why?
Because emptiness is the nature. It is not negation.

Form is empty. Emptiness is form.

Emptiness does not negate form. Form does not negate emptiness.

Enlightenment is simply the clearing away of misunderstanding. When mistaken thinking is gone, liberation has happened. (Gampopa)


When we verbally indicate a thing as 'this' or 'that', our words, like rabbits's horns, are hollow names, mere fictive imputation upon what does not exist. (Longchenpa)

Offline namumahaparinirvanasvaha

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Re: Zhentong
« Reply #34 on: July 29, 2013, 08:41:26 am »
Which taught?

You shall study Beacon of Certainty.

Emptiness cannot become negation.

Why?
Because emptiness is the nature. It is not negation.

Form is empty. Emptiness is form.

Emptiness does not negate form. Form does not negate emptiness.

yes and in what text is that taught?????

Offline BlueSky

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Re: Zhentong
« Reply #35 on: July 29, 2013, 08:45:08 am »
Beacon of Certainty.
Enlightenment is simply the clearing away of misunderstanding. When mistaken thinking is gone, liberation has happened. (Gampopa)


When we verbally indicate a thing as 'this' or 'that', our words, like rabbits's horns, are hollow names, mere fictive imputation upon what does not exist. (Longchenpa)

Offline heybai

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Re: Zhentong
« Reply #36 on: July 29, 2013, 08:56:25 am »
Which taught?

You shall study Beacon of Certainty.

Emptiness cannot become negation.

Why?
Because emptiness is the nature. It is not negation.

Form is empty. Emptiness is form.

Emptiness does not negate form. Form does not negate emptiness.

I have no idea what the "Beacon of Certainty", but you seem to be quoting/paraphrasing the Heart Sutra, which teaches that the aggregates are empty -- i.e. this is the teaching on anatta, non-self.

As I understand it, Zhentong goes a step further (or simply underscores the point of emptiness teaches) by point to the an absolute beyond emptiness:

"What is relative is empty of other-nature as well as empty of self- nature. What is ultimate is empty only of other nature. This way of teaching is called the Great Middle Way." (Taranatha).


Offline heybai

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Re: Zhentong
« Reply #37 on: July 29, 2013, 08:58:08 am »
I am a little (or more than a little) confused.   If a^tman is (is is akin to) Buddha Nature, how can the highest form of emptiness be atman?


(Don't know how to type in the diacritical marks over "a" in "atman.)

Emptiness in Shentong is viewed as a Negation(hence "other" Emptiness)
which is why it is said Buddha Wisdom/Enlightenment/True Self is "empty" of all defilements but it is not empty of itself (the proper term used is Not-Empty or empty of other)

since emptiness is an negation it really isn't akin to anything(but the junk that is being gotten rid of)

Thanks.  I guess I understood that, but songhill's unique way of expressing the idea (if that is what he is doing) disarmed me.  :)

Offline namumahaparinirvanasvaha

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Re: Zhentong
« Reply #38 on: July 29, 2013, 09:09:49 am »
Beacon of Certainty.
yea i'm guessing you are quoting from the heart sutra or another 2nd turning sutra.
apparently you didn't get what i was saying when I mentioned the Lotus sutra(2nd and 3rd chapters)
as you can see
"that view/understanding of emptiness being the highest" was shown to be skillful means and NOT Enlightenment :cheesy:

In chapter 2 of the Lotus Sutra those five thousand monks left because of their arrogance. In the next chapter Shariputra says,

"Formerly, I was attached to false views
And was a teacher of brahmans.
The Bhagavat, knowing my mind,
Removed the false views and taught nirvana.
I got rid of false views completely

And attained the teaching of emptiness.
At that time I considered myself
To have attained nirvana.

But now I have become aware
That this was not the real nirvana.
When I become a buddha
I shall be endowed with the thirty-two marks,
And be honored by devas, humans, yakṣas, and nāgas.
Only then can it be said that I have
Permanently attained nirvana without residue."



now before you even decide to post 2nd turning texts you might want to read their current position and understand that you are quoting skillful means

Chapt 1 LS 21
And so I know that now this present Buddha
is about to preach the Lotus Sutra.
The signs now are like those of the earlier auspicious portent,
this is an expedient means used by the Buddhas.
Now when the Buddha emits this beam of brightness
he is helping to reveal the meaning of the true entity of
phenomena.
Human beings now will come to know it

CHAPT 2 LS 26

The world-honored One has long expounded his doctrines
and now must reveal the truth.

CHAPT 7 pg 142 LS
The Buddhas through the power of expedient means
make distinctions and preach three vehicles,
but there is only the single Buddha vehicle--
the other two nirvanas are preached to provide a resting place.
Now I expound the truth for you-
what you have attained is not extinction.

CHAPT 3 LS pg 55
"Now you turn the wheel of the most wonderful,
the unsurpassed great Dharma.
This Dharma is very profound and abstruse;
there are few who can believe it.
Since times past often we have heard
the World-Honored One's preaching,
but we have never heard this kind of profound, wonderful and superior Dharma"

CHAPT 4 LS pg 86
delighting in and clinging to lesser doctrines. But today the World-Honored One causes us to ponder carefully, to cast aside such doctrines, the filth of frivolous debate.

"We were diligent and exerted ourselves in this matter until we had attained nirvana, which is like one day's wages. And once we had attained it, our hearts were filled with great joy and we considered that this was enough. At once we said to ourselves, "Because we have been diligent and exerted ourselves with regard to the Buddhist Dharma, we have gained this breadth and wealth of understanding."

"But the World-Honored One, knowing from past times how our minds cling to unworthy desires and delight in lesser doctrines, pardoned us and let us be, not trying to explain to us by saying, You will come to possess the insight of the Tathagata, your portion of the store of treasures!' Instead the World-Honored One employed the power of expedient means, preaching to us the wisdom of the Tathagata in such a way that we might heed the Buddha and attain nirvana, which is only day's wages. And because we considered this to be a great gain, we had no wish to pursue the Great Vehicle.

"In addition, though we expounded and set forth the Buddha wisdom for the sake of the Bodhisattvas, we ourselves did not aspire to attain it. Why do I say this? Because the Buddha, knowing that our minds delight in lesser doctrines, employed the power of expedient means to preach in a way that was appropriate for us. So we did not know that we were in truth the sons of the Buddha. But now at least we know it.

(PS) sorry it took so long to reply this info takes time to find and present.

Offline namumahaparinirvanasvaha

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Re: Zhentong
« Reply #39 on: July 29, 2013, 09:12:06 am »
Which taught?

You shall study Beacon of Certainty.

Emptiness cannot become negation.

Why?
Because emptiness is the nature. It is not negation.

Form is empty. Emptiness is form.

Emptiness does not negate form. Form does not negate emptiness.

I have no idea what the "Beacon of Certainty", but you seem to be quoting/paraphrasing the Heart Sutra, which teaches that the aggregates are empty -- i.e. this is the teaching on anatta, non-self.

As I understand it, Zhentong goes a step further (or simply underscores the point of emptiness teaches) by point to the an absolute beyond emptiness:

"What is relative is empty of other-nature as well as empty of self- nature. What is ultimate is empty only of other nature. This way of teaching is called the Great Middle Way." (Taranatha).

 :jinsyx: :jinsyx: :jinsyx:

Offline namumahaparinirvanasvaha

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Re: Zhentong
« Reply #40 on: July 29, 2013, 09:45:00 am »
According to a Shentongpa (proponent of Shentong), the emptiness of ultimate reality should not be characterized in the same way as the emptiness of apparent phenomena because it is prabhāsvara-saṃtāna, or "clear light mental continuum," endowed with limitless Buddha qualities. It is empty of all that is false, not empty of the limitless Buddha qualities that are its innate nature.

the Moutain Doctrine Tibet's Fundamental Treatise on Other-Emptiness and the Buddha Matrix By: Dolpopa.
Moreover the Angulimala Sutra says:
"Manjushri, an empty home in a built-up city is called empty due to the absence of humans. A pot is empty due to the absence of water. A river is empty due to water not flowing. Is a village that is without householders called "empty, empty?" Or are the households empty in all respects? They are not empty in all respects; they are called empty due to the absence of humans. Is a pot empty in all respects? It is not empty in all respects; it is called "empty" due to the absence of water. Is a river empty in all respects? It is not empty in all respects; it is called "empty" because water is not flowing. Similarly, liberation is not empty in all respects; it is called "empty" because of being devoid of all defects. A Buddha, a supermundane victor, is not empty but is called "empty" because of being devoid of defects and due to the absence of humanness and godhood that have ten of millions of afflictive emotions.
Alas, venerable Manjushri, acting out the behavior of a bug, you do not know the real meaning of empty and non-empty. The naked ones" also meditate on all as empty. Do not say anything, you bug of the naked ones!

[Dolpopa's Commentary]
The passage from "The Buddha is like space" through "How could you, Angulimala, understand/ Empty nothingness!"which indicates, in accordance with the assertions of some, that everything is a self-emptiness of nothingness is an introduction by Manjushri. It leads to Angulimala's delineating the difference between self-emptiness and other-emptiness, despite the fact that Manjushri actually knows the difference.
Then, using the example of hail-stone becoming non-existent upon melting, he teaches that the final liberation, Buddhahood, is not empty,This teaches that the ultimate supermundane truth, the body of attributes,is not empty of its own entity. Using the example of an empty home, an empty vase, and an empty river, he teaches an emptiness of all defects; this teaches that the final liberation is other-emptiness. All descriptions of non-emptiness/ "Liberation is not empty in all respects," "A supermundane victor is not empty," "Non-empty phenomena are other," and so forth-- mean that the ultimate noumenon is not itself empty of itself. 


[Nirvana Sutra]
V224.   "How can the Tathagata be one eternal and unchanging?" O Kasyapa! One who reproaches me thus commits slander, which is wrong. O Kasyapa! You must not entertain such a notion and say that the nature of the Tathagata perishes. O Kasyapa! We do not place the annihilation of illusion in the category of matter [rupa]. Why not? Because of the fact of the ultimacy of Eternity. Hence, we say Eternal. [Nirvanic] quietude has nothing to supercede it. All phenomenal existences are done away with, with nothing remaining. This indicates what is fresh, clear, eternal, and unretrogressive. That is why we say that Nirvana is eternal. It is the same with the Tathagata. He is eternal, with no change. "Stars sweep". This refers to illusion. Once swept, all is gone and no trace remains of any existence. This indicates that all Tathagatas are those who have done away with illusion and are no longer in the five realms. This means that the Tathagata is one eternal and that there is no change [with him]. Also next, O Kasyapa! It is the Dharma which is the teacher of all Buddhas. Hence, the Tathagata respectfully makes offerings. As the Dharma is eternal, so too are all Buddhas eternal."

V225.   Bodhisattva Kasyapa said again to the Buddha: "If the flame of illusion dies out, the Tathagata must also die out. This indicates that there can be no ground where the Tathagata is eternal. This is similar to the situation in which hot iron slag can no longer be seen when the red colour disappears. The same with the Tathagata and illusion. Gone, there is no other pace to go to. And it is like the case of iron. The heat and the red colour gone, there remains nothing to be seen. The same with the Tathagata. Once extinguished, what remains is non-eternal. The fire of illusion done away with, he enters Nirvana. This tells us that the Tathagata is non-eternal." "O good man! The iron you speak of refers to common mortals. Illusion done away with, the common mortal comes about again. That is why we say non-eternal. This is not the case with the Tathagata. Gone, there is no coming about. Hence, eternal." Kasyapa further said to the Buddha: "If we place the colour-robbed iron back into the fire, the red colour will return. It it is thus with the Tathgata, illusion will again form. If illusion again forms, this is nothing but the non-eternal." V226.   The Buddha said: "O Kasyapa! Do not say that the Tathagata is non-eternal. Why not? Because the Tathagata is one Eternal. O good man! When wood is burnt, extinction comes about, and there remain behind the ashes. When illusion is done away with, there remains Nirvana. All such parables as of the torn garment, beheading and broken earthenware enunciate the same truth. All such things have such names as torn garment, beheading, and broken earthenware. O Kasyapa! The iron that has become cold can be made hot again. But this is not the case with the Tathagata. Illusion once done away with, what there is is utmost purity and coolness. The blazing flame never comes back again. O Kasyapa! Know that the situation of innumerable beings is like that of the iron. With the blazing fire of Wisdom free from the “asravas” [defilements], I now burn off the bonds of illusion of all beings."

V251.   Kasyapa said further: "O Tathagata! Why do we say eternal? You, the Buddha, say that when the light of a lamp has gone out, there is no direction or place to be named [as to where it has gone]. The same is the case with the Tathagata. Once dead, there can be no direction or place that can be named." The Buddha said: "O Kasyapa! You should not say: "When the light of a lamp has gone out, there is not direction or place to be named. The same is the case with the Tathagata. When there is extinction, there can be no direction or place to be named." O good man! When a lamp is lit by a man or woman, any lamp, big or small, [has to be] filled with oil. When there is oil [there], the lamp keeps alight. When the oil is spent, the light also disappears, along with it. That light going out can be compared to the extinction of illusion. Although the light has gone out, the utensil [vessel, lamp-holder] remains behind. The same is the case with the Tathagata. Although illusion has gone, the Dharma-Body remains forever. O good man! What does this mean? Does it mean that both the light and and the lamp disappear? Is it so?"

V291.   "Also, emancipation is the not-empty. For example, the body of bamboo and reed is empty inside. This is not the case with emancipation. Know that emancipation is the Tathagata.


V307.   "Moreover, emancipation is termed that which severs all conditioned phenomena [samskrta-dharmas], gives rise to all untainted [anasrava], wholseome qualities / phenomena and eliminates the various paths/ approaches, that is to say, Self, non-Self, not-Self and not non-Self. It merely severs attachment and does not sever the view of the Self/ the seeing of the Self/ the vision of the Self [atma-drsti]. The view of the Self is termed the 'Buddha-dhatu' [Buddha-Nature]. The Buddha-dhatu is true emancipation, and true emancipation is the Tathagata.
V308.   "Also, emancipation is the "not-empty-empty". "Empty-empty" is non-possession. Non-possession is the emancipation which the tirthikas and Nirgrantha Jnatiputras [Jains] presume upon [base themselves upon]. But, in truth, the Nirgranthas do not possess emancipation. So we say "empty-empty". Not-empty-empty is true emancipation. True emancipation is the Tathagata.
"Also, emancipation is the "not-empty". The pot in which we put water, drink, milk, cream, butter, honey, etc., can well be called the water pot and suchlike, even when there is no water, drink, cream, butter, honey or any other thing in it. And yet, we cannot say that the pot is either empty or not-empty. If we say empty, there cannot be any colour, smell, taste or touch. If we say not-empty, what we see is that there is nothing in it such as water, drink or any other thing. We can say neither matter ["rupa"] nor non-matter ["arupa"]; we can say neither empty nor not-empty. If we say empty, there can be no Eternity, Bliss, Self, and Purity. If not-empty, who is the one blessed with Eternity, Bliss, Self, and Purity? Thus, we should say neither empty nor not-empty. Empty will entail [the notion] that the 25 existences, all illusions, suffering, the phases of life, and all actual actions do not exist. When there is no cream in the pot, we may say empty. Not-empty points to Truth, to whatever is Good, Eternal, Bliss, Self, Pure, Immovable and Unchanging. It is as in the case of taste and touch regarding the pot. That is why we say not-empty. In consequence, we may say that emancipation is as in the case of the pot. The pot will break in certain circumstances. But this is not so with emancipation. It cannot break. What is indestructible is true emancipation. True emancipation is the Tathagata.

371.   "A person [might] say that all gets extinguished, implying that the entrance of the Tathagata into Nirvana constitutes extinction.
"A person [might] say that all is non-eternal, meaning that even Nirvana is non-eternal, and the same with suffering, void, and non-self too. That is why we say that such is non-grasping of the import of the sutras. One cannot depend upon such. O good man! There might be a person who says that the Tathagata, pitying all beings, looks to what is apt for the occasion. As he knows what is right for the occasion, he speaks of what is light as heavy and what is heavy as light.

Offline songhill

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Re: Zhentong
« Reply #41 on: July 29, 2013, 12:59:03 pm »
The Buddha’s definition in the Small Emptiness Sutra (MA 191 {Chinese}) goes as follows:

Quote
Ananda, that which is not there, I view that [remainder] as empty [of it], but what remains there, I view that as really existing.  Ananda, this is called practising true emptiness. (Brackets are mine.)

Clearing this up a bit to make the notion of emptiness more concise and understandable, the Buddha is saying, for example, that in this lonely forest, that which is not there such as a village full of people, I view [the lonely forest] as really existing [the village doesn’t].  We learn from this that emptiness doesn’t mean absolutely nothing.  Asanga says of emptiness rightly understood:

Quote
“Wherever and in whatever place [e.g., a jar] something is not [cookies], one rightly observes that place [a jar] to be empty of that thing [cookies]. (Brackets and slight modifcation from the original are mine, Janice Dean Willis, On Knowing Reality, p. 117.)

Emptiness can only be correctly understood in relative terms. There is no emptiness without there first being something such as a plot of land, a wallet, or mind that can be empty of something, say a house, money or adventitioius defilements.  It is, therefore, impossible to negate everything away so that what remains is the impossibility of anything, including a real Buddha-nature and real nirvana.  This leads directly to nihilism in which a nihilist believes in the nothingness of everything.

Offline BlueSky

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Re: Zhentong
« Reply #42 on: July 29, 2013, 05:51:24 pm »

"What is relative is empty of other-nature as well as empty of self- nature. What is ultimate is empty only of other nature. This way of teaching is called the Great Middle Way." (Taranatha).

As long as emptiness is proposed as negation, it is a mistake.

Form does not negate emptiness, emptiness does nit negate form.

What is ultimate cannot be eempty of only others, because the scope of ultimate also include those others.

That is why it can be called ultimate.
Enlightenment is simply the clearing away of misunderstanding. When mistaken thinking is gone, liberation has happened. (Gampopa)


When we verbally indicate a thing as 'this' or 'that', our words, like rabbits's horns, are hollow names, mere fictive imputation upon what does not exist. (Longchenpa)

Offline songhill

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Re: Zhentong
« Reply #43 on: July 29, 2013, 06:26:09 pm »

"What is relative is empty of other-nature as well as empty of self- nature. What is ultimate is empty only of other nature. This way of teaching is called the Great Middle Way." (Taranatha).

As long as emptiness is proposed as negation, it is a mistake.

Form does not negate emptiness, emptiness does nit negate form.

What is ultimate cannot be eempty of only others, because the scope of ultimate also include those others.

That is why it can be called ultimate.

Form is like the empty cookie jar, it is empty of peanut Buddha svabhâva cookies. :D In the commentary to this, according to Vimalamitra, emptiness of form means the emptiness of  the city of gandharvas, hence, also like the emptiness of a dream, or of the moon in the water. Positing emptiness as something in its own right would we reifying it. This is a no-no.

Offline heybai

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Re: Zhentong
« Reply #44 on: July 29, 2013, 11:03:33 pm »
According to a Shentongpa (proponent of Shentong), the emptiness of ultimate reality should not be characterized in the same way as the emptiness of apparent phenomena because it is prabhāsvara-saṃtāna, or "clear light mental continuum," endowed with limitless Buddha qualities. It is empty of all that is false, not empty of the limitless Buddha qualities that are its innate nature.

the Moutain Doctrine Tibet's Fundamental Treatise on Other-Emptiness and the Buddha Matrix By: Dolpopa.
Moreover the Angulimala Sutra says:
"Manjushri, an empty home in a built-up city is called empty due to the absence of humans. A pot is empty due to the absence of water. A river is empty due to water not flowing. Is a village that is without householders called "empty, empty?" Or are the households empty in all respects? They are not empty in all respects; they are called empty due to the absence of humans. Is a pot empty in all respects? It is not empty in all respects; it is called "empty" due to the absence of water. Is a river empty in all respects? It is not empty in all respects; it is called "empty" because water is not flowing. Similarly, liberation is not empty in all respects; it is called "empty" because of being devoid of all defects. A Buddha, a supermundane victor, is not empty but is called "empty" because of being devoid of defects and due to the absence of humanness and godhood that have ten of millions of afflictive emotions.
Alas, venerable Manjushri, acting out the behavior of a bug, you do not know the real meaning of empty and non-empty. The naked ones" also meditate on all as empty. Do not say anything, you bug of the naked ones!

[Dolpopa's Commentary]
The passage from "The Buddha is like space" through "How could you, Angulimala, understand/ Empty nothingness!"which indicates, in accordance with the assertions of some, that everything is a self-emptiness of nothingness is an introduction by Manjushri. It leads to Angulimala's delineating the difference between self-emptiness and other-emptiness, despite the fact that Manjushri actually knows the difference.
Then, using the example of hail-stone becoming non-existent upon melting, he teaches that the final liberation, Buddhahood, is not empty,This teaches that the ultimate supermundane truth, the body of attributes,is not empty of its own entity. Using the example of an empty home, an empty vase, and an empty river, he teaches an emptiness of all defects; this teaches that the final liberation is other-emptiness. All descriptions of non-emptiness/ "Liberation is not empty in all respects," "A supermundane victor is not empty," "Non-empty phenomena are other," and so forth-- mean that the ultimate noumenon is not itself empty of itself. 


... [etc.]


Oh Good Man!

Thank you for the excellent compilation of quotation and your digest of Zhentong principles embodied here.

heybai

 


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