• nyanasagara
    I was wondering how this relates to Yogachara. If reality is non-dual, and if it is mind-only, then how is it not the same? I guess I don't understand how reality could be composed of multiple mind streams that are interconnected without that all just being activity in awareness.
    Śāntarakṣita and Kamalaśīla have an interesting take on this. I'll just copy and paste Jha's translation here for you to read. I'm not sure how much I agree with it, but it certainly is intriguing. Śāntarakṣita's root text will be bolded and Kamalaśīla's commentary will not be.
    The error in the view of these philosophers is a slight one,—due only to the assertion of eternality (of cognition); as diversity is clearly perceived in the cognitions of colour, sound and other things.—If all these cognitions were one, then, colour, sound, taste and other things would be cognisable all at once; as in an eternal entity there can be no different states.—(330-331)
    ‘The error is a slight one’;—as they postulate only Cognition (Consciousness, as the only entity), which is quite reasonable.
    “If that is so, then what is even the ‘slight error’ in their view?”
    It is due to the assertion of ‘eternality’,
    “But why should not the acceptance of ‘eternality’ be reasonable?”
    Answer—Diversity is clearly perceived etc. etc.;—‘Eternality’ connotes remaining in the same state always, and ‘non-eternality’ connotes not remaining in the same state always; and as a matter of fact, the Cognition that manifests (apprehends) Colour, Sound and other things is not found to be in one and the same state always;—actually it appears at one time as manifesting Colour and at another time, as manifesting Sound and other things, in a certain order of sequence. Under the circumstances, if all these things, Sound and the rest, were manifested by a single Eternal Cognition, then all of them would appear (be Cognised) simultaneously, like the bedspread of variegated colours; as the Cognition manifesting them would (ex hypothesi) be always there.
    It may be held that “the Cognition of Sound and other things are different ‘states’ of it appearing one after the other,—so that the apprehension of Sound etc. could not be simultaneous”.
    The answer to this is—‘In an Eternal Entity there can be no different states’;—because the ‘states’ are not different from the Entity to which they belong; so that the Entity to which the states belong would be liable to ‘production and destruction’,—appearance and disappearance,—in the same way as the States are liable; or, conversely, the states also would be eternal, like the Entity to which they belong.—If, on the other hand, the states are different from the entity to which they belong, then there can be no idea of the states belonging to this entity; as there is no benefit conferred by the one on the other; and this alternative (of the states being different from the Cognitions) would also be contrary to the doctrine that the eternal Cognition is the only one Entity.—(330-331)
    Further, if the Eternal Cognition existed, it could be known either through Perception or through Inference; that it cannot be known through Perception is shown in the following—[see verse 332 next]
    Cognition or consciousness is never apprehended as anything distinct from the cognitions of colour and other things; and inasmuch as these latter undergo variations every moment, what remains there that could be lasting (permanent, eternal)?—(332)
    Yogachara / Mind Only, Non-Dual, and the Other
    Yogachara / Mind Only, Non-Dual, and the Other
    Yogachara / Mind Only, Non-Dual, and the Other

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  • Soh Wei Yu
    As a matter of fact, apart from the Cognitions of Colour etc., which appear one after the other, we do not apprehend, any lasting Consciousness, eternal and one,—whereby it could be held to be known through Perception.—Then, inasmuch as it is well known that the Cognitions of Colour and otherngs are apprehended one after the other, and are destroyed every moment—it has to be explained what remains there that is non-different from those Cognitions? Thus, inasmuch as there is no apprehension of any such Cognition, which would be apprehended if it were there,—it cannot but be regarded as ‘non-existent This is what the Text means.
    Nor can it be held that the said Eternal Cognition is known through Inference. Because such an Inference would be based either upon the nature of the Cognition itself, or upon that of its effects. It cannot he the former, as there is nothing which can prove that such is the nature of the said Eternal Cognition; on the contrary, there is Perception itself which precludes any such notion.
    Thus the doctrine that ‘the world is the illusory modification of the Eternal Consciousness’ is not right.—(332)
    Then again, under this doctrine, the notions of ‘Bondage’ and ‘Liberation’ are not possible.—This is what is shown in the following—[see verse 333 next]
    There can be no distinction in cognition as ‘wrong’ and ‘right’—if the ‘soul’ consists of a single (eternal) cognition; how then can there be any ‘bondage’ and ‘liberation’?—(333)
    For one who holds the view that—Cognition is in perpetual flux, different with different persons, undergoing variations in a series,—the notion of ‘Bondage and Liberation’ is quite reasonable, as being due to the coming about of a series of cognitions, wrong and right; and through the practice of yoga, gradually purer and purer Cognitions coming about, the series of impure cognitions cease and the final Aim (of Liberation) is attained; and thus the attempt at Liberation becomes fruitful.—For you, on the other hand, the ‘Soul’ is of the nature of one Eternal Cognition; how then can there be any ‘Bondage’ and ‘Liberation’ for such a Soul? Because if the one Cognition is eternally wrong, then, as there could be no other state for it, there could be no possibility of ‘Liberation’; on the other hand, if the one Cognition were eternally right, then as it would be always pure, there could be no ‘Bondage’.—As regards our doctrine, the Cognition is held to be defective (wrong) or pure (right), in accordance with the varying character of the Series (in which it appears), and hence the notion of ‘Bondage and Liberation’ is entirely reasonable. This has been thus declared—‘Cognition is defective and free from defects, beset with impurities and free from impurities; if it were never impure, then all embodied beings would be always liberated; if it were never pure, then the attempt to secure Liberation would be fruitless’.—(333)
    What could the mystic set aside or accomplish by the practice of yoga? What too is there that could be rejected? As wrong cognition also is of the nature of the same (eternal cognition).—The knowledge of truth also cannot be something to be brought about; as, being of the nature of cognition, it is always there.—So that the entire practice of yoga also is entirely fruitless.—(334-335)
    If it be held that ‘Bondage and Liberation are only assumed, not real’;—then it becomes necessary to explain the basis of this assumption. What this basis is under the doctrine of ‘Cognitions being non-eternal’ has been shown above. Thus the Effort—in the form of the contemplation of Truth,—that you put forth for the attaining of the ‘Ultimate Aim’ and for passing beyond the cycle of Birth and Death, can only lead to futile fatigue.—This is shown in the following—[see verses 334-335 above]
    If, by the contemplation of Truth, the Mystic could set aside, or bring about, anything, then his Effort would be fruitful. As it is however, he can never set aside Wrong Cognition, because it is of the nature of the same,—i.e. of the nature of Eternal Cognition.—For the same reason it cannot be rejected; because what is eternal cannot be destructible and hence its rejection is impossible.—How can the Yogin accomplish—bring about—the Knowledge of Truth? Being of the nature of Eternal Cognition, the Knowledge of Truth would be always there.—Thus the doctrine in question cannot be right.—(334-335)
    That is the section on the relationship between Yogācāra and the Advaitin view in Tattvasaṃgrahapañjikā, composed by Śāntarakṣita and his student Kamalaśīla, a work generally taken to be written from a Yogācāra point of view (though both were actually followers of Madhyamaka in their final analysis, holding Yogācāra to have instrumental value).
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