It would appear the Shurangama Sutra upholds the imaginary notion of there existing a Tathagarbha as an inherent reality and saying dualistic adventitious mind is different from rather than part of the same Source.
(Which is actually all imaginary anyway)
The following in the seems contradictory to the part about everything not coming from "Awareness". It is very Cittamattra like. In in comparison it would even superficially be like Dzogchen.
In the following three
pages it would appear that phenomena in the ten directions come from the mind.
If we analyze this it would appear that the mind imagines the universe and so within thus without?
How is this different from Shaivism.
Replace "Mind" with "Consciousness" with Shiva. Very similar.
Then add in the non-dual dualism of of Advaita Vedanta i.e "Maya"
and it appears like gzhi and kun gzhi.
Of course practitioners of all three religions would completely disagree because they have received indoctrination into each faith respectively.
Of course there are many variables that don't match up. But over all there is a non dual dualism. Very much like how the
Abrahamic religions view Original Sin and their pure nature before the Fall in the Garden of Eden. To get back to the Oneness with God. To get back to the Oneness with Buddha Nature.
All different religions trying to get back into grace or know their Pristine Awareness.
The Philosophical Foundations of Classical RDzogs Chen in Tibet: Investigating the Distinction Between Dualistic Mind (sems) and Primordial Knowing
Is trying to explain this non-dual dualism
Have you read my link? (My opinion on Shurangama Sutra) I have said that, as Dzogchen teacher Acarya Malcolm Smith has pointed out, the Shurangama Sutra (not to be confused with Shurangama Samadhi Sutra which is 'authentic' and of Indian origins) is actually a Chinese written document, and is not considered authentic in Tibet (or by many masters like Zen Master Dogen). For example it talks about Taoist deities and goal of immortality [nonetheless not as a Buddhist goal but as an object of refutation], which was completely foreign to the Indian pantheons.
I agree that certain parts are prone to eternalist views like non-Buddhists and Advaita, however, certain masters like Ch'an Master Hui Lu who has went through all the Thusness 7 Stages have offered a balanced commentary of it.
This book presents Longchenpa in a non-substantialist manner and is in line with the anatman insight: The Philosophical Foundations of Classical RDzogs Chen in Tibet: Investigating the Distinction Between Dualistic Mind (sems) and Primordial Knowing
And also, it is not correct to say that all religions point to the same insights. Thusness 7 Stages http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/.../thusnesss-six... clearly demonstrates there are different realizations.
These differences [of view] are also clearly reflected by the different doctrines and views of various religions. Hence if one sees with clear eyes and one is not biased towards a perennialist view, it is easy to see that there are clear differences.
John Tan said back in I think 2012:
"Every religion is talking about consciousness. It is the nature of consciousness that is important. It is like talking about “Soh'' from different people. Of course all is pointing to "Soh" but when someone say he is an American, has 10 sisters and is now studying in India… we cannot say that he is correct and it is the same because ultimately we are talking about "Soh".")”
John Tan said more recently:
“Yes sahaja samadhi but that remain as "experience". Just like in taoism, it is all about naturalness 自然 and non-action (action without agent) though there are overlaps but they are different in praxis and view essentially. There is no need to forcefully integrate the various religions into one, that is just more attachment.
Although there is no monopoly over truth as ultimately all is/are talking about one's primordial nature but there are those that much clearer and precise in their system of practice. If the views and philosophies are 90% inherent and dualistic, the result from such a system will at best be a stage to be achieved abiet the emphasis of" natural state.
As I said before, if someone were to say "Soh is a malay, a speckie, used to be a c# programmer, 1.9m tall and has a sister", obviously some informations are correct and some are misleading. Even if you were to stand right in front of him, he will not be able to recognize you. Therefore although all are talking about the natural condition of pristine consciousness, some are exceptionally clearer than others.” – John Tan, 2020
“Soma999 wrote:Hi Malcolm,
I am quiet surprised by your answer.
In the Bhagavad Gita - quiet a major scripture - for exemple, the liberation presented, and which is quiet strongly adopted by many schools, is a freedom from the circle of birth and death.
Malcolm replied: Yes, of course, all Indian schools who propose liberation propose that liberation means freedom from the cycles of birth and death.
Buddha disagreed with all of these schools completely, and taught it was only through adopting right view, i.e., the four truths of nobles, that one could attain freedom from the cycle of birth and death.
He taught that they mistook various types of mental states for liberation, mental states which in some cases last millions and millions of years.
The Bhgavada Gita for example, is an example of an eternalist scripture, and it proposes the best way to achieve liberation is through pure devotion to Krishna as embodiment of Godhead, though it lists other paths as well.
Saṃkhya is described as an incorrect view because it proposes that causes and effects are merely transformations of one substance. Yoga also suffers from this view.
Jainism is clearly refuted by the Buddha. This is a no brainer. The Buddha thought that Mahathera was a complete fool.
Nyaya and Vaishesika did not exist during the time of the Buddha, but their eternalist atomism was soundly negated by later Buddhist scholars such as Bhavaviveka and so on.
The Mimamsas do not believe in liberation at all, but rather believe in appeasing the gods through rites in order to assure mundane good fortune.
Advaita also did not exist by name during the time of the Buddha, but it is refuted for proposing that all reality is ultimately one undifferentiated consciousness.
When one reads the sūtras and tantras taught by the Buddha, one can see very clearly that all these schools are refuted either directly or indirectly as wrong views.
Wrong view cannot be lead to liberation.
There is only one right view, and that is the view of dependent origination.” – Acarya Malcolm Smith, 2017
And of course, one should be respectful nonetheless for all religions.
I have many non-Buddhist and Christian friends. I do not preach about Buddhism to them, but sometimes I pass them The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle to them (as it quotes Jesus and Buddha, although he is of the Vedantic view himself) if they are interested and open to meditation and spirituality. I also pass that book to Buddhists, too, because I think there are stuff to be learnt even for Buddhists. Even John Tan found that book inspiring ( http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/.../the-power-of-now-by... ) even though it is not a 'Buddhist' book.
I have great appreciation for the teachings of Taoism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, New Age, etc, particularly the contemplative and mystical teachings. But I do not equate them to Buddhist teachings as there are clear differences. But there are always good things to learn from. John Tan told me to read Tao Te Ching.
- Soh Wei YuAuthorAdminAlso, here are some excerpts taken from the AtR guide on the difference between Buddhist realisations and non-Buddhist ones:“Buddhism is nothing but replacing the 'Self' in Hinduism with Condition Arising. Keep the clarity, the presence, the luminosity and eliminate the ultimate 'Self', the controller, the supreme. Still you must taste, sense, eat, hear and see Pure Awareness in every authentication. And every authentication is Bliss.” - John Tan, 2004“Understand immense intelligence not as if someone is there to act and direct, rather as total exertion of the universe to make this moment possible; then all appearances are miraculous and marvelous.” - John Tan, 2012“The Pristine awareness is often mistaken as the 'Self'. It is especially difficult for one that has intuitively experience the 'Self' to accept 'No-Self'. As I have told you many times that there will come a time when you will intuitively perceive the 'I' -- the pure sense of Existence but you must be strong enough to go beyond this experience until the true meaning of Emptiness becomes clear and thorough. The Pristine Awareness is the so-called True-Self' but why we do not call it a 'Self' and why Buddhism has placed so much emphasis on the Emptiness nature? This then is the true essence of Buddhism. It is needless to stress anything about 'Self' in Buddhism; there are enough of 'Logies' of the 'I" in Indian Philosophies. If one wants to know about the experience of 'I AM', go for the Vedas and Bhagavad Gita. We will not know what Buddha truly taught 2500 years ago if we buried ourselves in words. Have no doubt that The Dharma Seal is authentic and not to be confused.When you have experienced the 'Self' and know that its nature is empty, you will know why to include this idea of a 'Self' into Buddha-Nature is truly unnecessary and meaningless. True Buddhism is not about eliminating the 'small Self' but cleansing this so called 'True Self' (Atman) with the wisdom of Emptiness.” - John Tan, 2005"What you are suggesting is already found in Samkhya system. I.e. the twenty four tattvas are not the self aka purusha. Since this system was well known to the Buddha, if that's all his insight was, then his insight is pretty trivial. But Buddha's teachings were novel. Why where they novel? They were novel in the fifth century BCE because of his teaching of dependent origination and emptiness. The refutation of an ultimate self is just collateral damage." - Lopon MalcolmIn January 2005, John Tan wrote:“[19:21] <^john^> learn how to experience emptiness and no-selfness.[19:22] <^john^> this is the only way to liberate.[19:22] <^john^> not to dwell too deeply into the minor aspect of pure awareness.[19:23] <^john^> of late i have been seeing songs and poems relating to the luminosity aspect of Pure Awareness.[19:23] <^john^> uncreated, original, mirror bright, not lost in nirvana and samsara..etc[19:23] <^john^> what use is there?[19:24] <ZeN`n1th> oic...[19:24] <^john^> we have from the very beginning so and yet lost for countless aeons of lives.[19:25] <^john^> buddha did not come to tell only about the luminosity aspect of pure awareness.[19:25] <^john^> this has already been expressed in vedas.[19:25] <^john^> but it becomes Self.[19:25] <^john^> the ultimate controller[19:26] <^john^> the deathless[19:26] <^john^> the supreme.. etc[19:26] <^john^> this is the problem.[19:26] <^john^> this is not the ultimate nature of Pure Awareness.[19:27] <^john^> for full enlightenment to take place, experience the clarity and emptiness. That's all.”
The Shurangama Sutra has good pointers that can lead to the I AM realization and then later nondual insight. (even though my impression is that it has subtly substantialist views and I'm not sure if in the end it teaches a nonsubstantialist view or insight)
Even the I AM realization is important so please do not get the impression that I am putting down the value of Shurangama Sutra.
And in March 2006, John Tan said:
<^john^> the different between hinduism and buddhism is they return to the "I AM" and clings to it.
<^john^> always "I" as the source.
<^john^> but in buddhism it is being replaced by "emptiness nature", there is a purest, an entity, a stage to be gained or achieved is an illusion.
<^john^> there is none. No self to be found. No identity to assumed. Nothing attained.
<^john^> this is truly the All.
<^john^> so for a teaching that is so thorough and complete, why must it resort back to a "True Self"?
<ZeN`n1th> hmm but i got a question about just now you say impermanent... but mahayana texts also say tathagathagarbha is permanent right?
<^john^> yes but for other reasons.
<ZeN`n1th> what kind of reasons
<ZeN`n1th> wat you mean
<^john^> first you must know that there is really a very subtle difference between pure subjectivity and emptiness nature.
<^john^> for one that has experienced in full emptiness nature, does he/she need to create an extra "True Self"?
<ZeN`n1th> so wat difference
<^john^> he already knows and experiences and completely understand the arising cause and conditions of why the "true self" was created...
<^john^> will he still be confused?
<^john^> he knows exactly what is happening, the reality of the 'self'.
<^john^> i would say it is due to his compassion to let the other sects have a chance to understand the dharma that he said so.
<^john^> this is what i think.
<^john^> but there is no necessity to preach something extra.
<^john^> in light of emptiness nature, "True Self" is not necessary.
<^john^> the so called "purest" is already understood, there is no clinging.
<^john^> there is hearing, no hearer...etc
<^john^> is already beyond "True Self".
<^john^> yet it exactly knows the stage of "True Self".
<^john^> if there is no hearing...then something is wrong.
<^john^> but there is hearing but no hearer.
<^john^> put your time into practice and understanding of no-self and emptiness.
Also related: https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/MN/MN1.html - Thanissaro Bhikkhu explained how in this teaching Buddha refuted the teaching of a Source/Root based on Samkhya.
The whole teaching of Buddha is revolutionary, it replaces the need for the view of an Essence and explains reality in terms of pure process and dependent origination, and liberation is taught without recoursing to a metaphysical principle, or some kind of deathless Atman-Brahman as the principle or ground for liberation, or as Archaya Mahayogi Shridhar Rana Rinpoche said, “in the Buddhist paradigm, it is not only ‘not necessary’ to have an eternal ground for liberation, but in fact, the belief in such a ground itself is part of the dynamics of ignorance.” (Source: Madhyamika Buddhism Vis-a-vis Hindu Vedanta, https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/.../madhyamika...)
"It's not in my nature to seek Buddhism. I have a strong Taoist background and passion for Hinduism when I was young. So philosophically and culturally, essencelessness is not a view that suits me. But it takes painful experiences to come to a willingness to let go, to see the truth of impermanence and anatta. To challenge and come to an understanding that you don't actually have to do this and that.... (or have an) ultimate here and there to release. But rather to truly accept and look deeply into impermanence, then you will let go and we can come to a new understanding of the relationship of suffering and the truth of suffering having to do with a fundamental paradigm we hold so dearly.
..Your mindset and experience can change, so is your understanding, and you just begin a new path with new understanding. Impermanence from personal, micro and macro view. You see when you see impermanence and use it as a door in practice, your view changes also, from Vipassana observing the minutest sensations in our bodily sensations to appreciating a view in current quantum physics, macro view, to observe events. So our idea changes and we adopt such understand
ing in our life over time. Sometimes it really depends and it needs the right condition and situation to trigger it, just like the case of financial crisis.” - John Tan, 2015, What is an Authentic Buddhist Teaching?, http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/.../what-is...
MN 1 Mūlapariyāya Sutta | The Root Sequence
MN 1 Mūlapariyāya Sutta | The Root Sequence
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- Michael HernandezNot at all. All sutras are simply based on previous ideas put together to make a new one.It is really not possible for any human to have a completely independent idea.The Buddha got his ideas from other ones and put together his own.Dependent
Michael HernandezSoh Wei Yu interestingly though the Shurangama Samadhi Sutra apparently speaks of having a "true self" or "svabhava" which is in agreement with the Nirvana Sutra.I've not had the opportunity to read the Shurangama Samadhi Sutra. But I have read much of the Nirvana Sutra.It would appear to be as conceptually proliferative than the Chinese Shurangama Sutra. Maybe even more so.Being older in origin doesn't actually make it more authentic when it comes to insight"Not at all. All sutras are simply based on previous ideas put together to make a new one.It is really not possible for any human to have a completely independent idea.The Buddha got his ideas from other ones and put together his own.Dependent"The Buddha realized directly beyond intellectual conjectures, so it is not at all an idea to him."The Perfect One is free from any theory, for the Perfect One has understood what the body is, and how it arises, and passes away. He has understood what feeling is, and how it arises, and passes away. He has understood what perception is, and how it arises, and passes away. He has understood what the mental formations are, and how they arise, and pass away. He has understood what consciousness is, and how it arises, and passes away.Therefore, I say, the Perfect One has won complete deliverance through the extinction, fading away, disappearance, rejection, and getting rid of all opinions and conjectures, of all inclination to the vainglory of I and mine.- Majjhima Nikaya, 72""Shurangama Samadhi Sutra apparently speaks of having a "true self" or "svabhava" which is in agreement with the Nirvana Sutra."Most people who read Nirvana Sutra without having right views will fall into eternalist views no different from Hindus.But as Sixth Ch'an Patriarch Hui-Neng has pointed out, these people have fallen into extreme views and mistaken the Buddha-nature teachings for non-Buddhist views. When explaining Nirvana Sutra, he pointed out that the true meaning of it is that Impermanence is Buddha-Nature: http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/.../impermanence-is...
Ven Hui Lu also gave good commentaries about this topic in http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2012/12/true-mind-and-unconditioned-dharma_18.html
By synchronicity I just posted the post on Impermanence is Buddha Nature by the Sixth Patriarch yesterday. And of course, Dogen has made much commentaries on this essential teaching 'Impermanence is Buddha-Nature'.As Malcolm pointed out:Acarya Malcolm Smith:"The term bdag nyid, atman, just means, in this case, "nature", i.e. referring to the nature of reality free from extremes as being permanent, blissful, pure and self. The luminosity of the mind is understood to be this.There are various ways to interpret the Uttaratantra and tathāgatagarbha doctrine, one way is definitive in meaning, the other is provisional, according to Gorampa Sonam Senge, thus the tathāgatagarbha sutras become definitive or provisional depending on how they are understood. He states:In the context of showing the faults of a literal [interpretation] – it's equivalence with the Non-Buddhist Self is that the assertion of unique eternal all pervading cognizing awareness of the Saṃkhya, the unique eternal pristine clarity of the Pashupattis, the unique all pervading intellect of the Vaiśnavas, the impermanent condition, the measure of one’s body, in the permanent self-nature of the Jains, and the white, brilliant, shining pellet the size of an atom, existing in each individual’s heart of the Vedantins are the same.The definitive interpretation he renders as follows:Therefor, the Sugatagarbha is defined as the union of clarity and emptiness but not simply emptiness without clarity, because that [kind of emptiness] is not suitable to be a basis for bondage and liberation. Also it is not simple clarity without emptiness, that is the conditioned part, because the Sugatagarbha is taught as unconditioned.Khyentse Wangpo, often cited as a gzhan stong pa, basically says that the treatises of Maitreya elucidate the luminosity of the mind, i.e. its purity, whereas Nāgarjuna's treatises illustrate the empty nature of the mind, and that these two together, luminosity and emptiness free from extremes are to be understood as noncontradictory, which we can understand from the famous Prajñāpāramita citation "There is no mind in the mind, the nature of the mind is luminosity"."1One should also take into account what the Lankavatara Sutra said about the Buddha Nature -- the Buddha rejected its equivalence with non-Buddhist atman-brahman, and stated clearly and unequivocally: "O Mahāmati, with a view to casting aside the heterodox theory, you must treat the tathāgatagarbha as not self (anātman)."Dzogchen teacher Acarya Malcolm Smith:Here, the Nirvana sutra clearly and precisely states that buddha-svabhaava, the "nature of a Buddha" refers not to an actual nature but a potential. Why, it continues:"Child of the lineage, I have said that ‘curd exists in milk’, because curd is produced from milk, it is called ‘curd’.Child of lineage, at the time of milk, there is no curd, also there is no butter, ghee or ma.n.da, because the curd arises from milk with the conditions of heat, impurities, etc., milk is said to have the ‘curd-nature’."So one must be quite careful not to make an error. The Lanka states unequivocably that the tathagatagarbha doctrine is merely a device to lead those who grasp at a true self the inner meaning of the Dharma, non-arising, the two selflessnesses and so on, and explains the meaning of the literal examples some people constantly err about:"Similarly, that tathaagatagarbha taught in the suutras spoken by the Bhagavan, since the completely pure luminous clear nature is completely pure from the beginning, possessing the thirty two marks, the Bhagavan said it exists inside of the bodies of sentient beings.When the Bhagavan described that– like an extremely valuable jewel thoroughly wrapped in a soiled cloth, is thoroughly wrapped by cloth of the aggregates, aayatanas and elements, becoming impure by the conceptuality of the thorough conceptuality suppressed by the passion, anger and ignorance – as permanent, stable and eternal, how is the Bhagavan’s teaching this as the tathaagatagarbha is not similar with as the assertion of self of the non-Buddhists?Bhagavan, the non-Buddhists make assertion a Self as “A permanent creator, without qualities, pervasive and imperishable”.The Bhagavan replied:“Mahaamati, my teaching of tathaagatagarbha is not equivalent with the assertion of the Self of the non-Buddhists.Mahaamati, the Tathaagata, Arhat, Samyak Sambuddhas, having demonstrated the meaning of the words "emptiness, reality limit, nirvana, non-arisen, signless", etc. as tathaagatagarbha for the purpose of the immature complete forsaking the perishable abodes, demonstrate the expertiential range of the non-appearing abode of complete non-conceptuality by demonstrating the door of tathaagatagarbha.Mahaamati, a self should not be perceived as real by Bodhisattva Mahaasattvas enlightened in the future or presently.Mahaamati, for example, a potter, makes one mass of atoms of clay into various kinds containers from his hands, craft, a stick, thread and effort.Mahaamati, similarly, although Tathaagatas avoid the nature of conceptual selflessness in dharmas, they also appropriately demonstrate tathaagatagarbha or demonstrate emptiness by various kinds [of demonstrations] possessing prajñaa and skillful means; like a potter, they demonstrate with various enumerations of words and letters. As such, because of that,Mahaamati, the demonstration of Tathaagatagarbha is not similar with the Self demonstrated by the non-Buddhists.Mahaamati, the Tathaagatas as such, in order to guide those grasping to assertions of the Self of the Non-Buddhists, will demonstrate tathaagatagarbha with the demonstration of tathaagatagarbha. How else will the sentient beings who have fallen into a conceptual view of a True Self, possess the thought to abide in the three liberations and quickly attain the complete manifestation of Buddha in unsurpassed perfect, complete enlightenment?"Thus, the Lanka says:All yaanas are includedin five dharmas, three natures,eight consciousnesses,and two selflessnessesIt does not add anything about a true self and so on.If one accepts that tathaagatagarbha is the aalayavij~naana, and one must since it is identified as such, then one is accepting that it is conditioned and afflicted and evolves, thus the Lanka states:Tathaagatagarbha, known as ‘the all-base consciousness’, is to be completely purified.Mahaamati, if what is called the all-base consciousness were (37/a) not connected to the tathaagatagarbha, because the tathaagatagarbha would not be ‘the all-base consciousness’, although it would be not be engaged, it also would not evolve; Mahaamati, it is engaged by both the childish and Aaryas, that also evolves.Because great yogins, the ones not abandoning effort, abide with blissful conduct in this at the time of personally knowing for themselves…the tathaagatagarbha-all basis consciousness is the sphere of the Tathaagatas; it is the object which also is the sphere of teachers, [those] of detailed and learned inclinations like you, and Bodhisattva Mahaasattvas of analytic intellect.And:Although tathaagatagarbhapossesses seven consciousnesses;always engaged with dualistic apprehensions[it] will evolve with thorough understanding.If one accepts that the tathaagatagarbha is unconditioned and so on, and one must, since it is identified as such other sutras state:"`Saariputra, the element of sentient beings denotes the word tathaagatagarbha.`Saariputra, that word ‘tathaagatagarbha’ denotes Dharmakaaya.And:`Saariputra, because of that, also the element of sentient beings is not one thing and the Dharmakaaya another; the element of sentient beings itself is Dharmakaaya; Dharmakaaya itself is the element of sentient beings.Then one cannot accept it as the aalayavij~naana-- or worse, one must somehow imagine that something conditioned somehow becomes conditioned.Other sutras state that tathaagatagarbha is the citta, as the Angulimaala suutra does here:"Although in the `Sraavakayaana it is shown as ‘mind’, the meaning of the teaching is ‘tathaagatagarbha’; whatever mind is naturally pure, that is called ‘tathaagatagarbha’.So, one must understand that these sutras are provisional and definitive, each giving different accounts of the tathaagatagarbha for different students, but they are not defintive. Understood improperly, they lead one into a non-Buddhist extremes. Understood and explained properly, they lead those afraid of the profound Praj~naapaaramitaa to understanding it's sublime truth. In other words, the Buddha nature teaching is just a skillful means as the Nirvana sutra states"Child of the lineage, buddha-nature is like this; although the ten powers and the four fearlessnesses, compassion, and the three foundations of mindfulness are the three aspects existing in sentient beings; [those] will be newly seen when defilements are thoroughly conquered. The possessors of perversion will newly attain the ten powers (44/b) and four fearlessness, great compassion and three foundations of mindfulness having thoroughly conquered perversion.Because that is the purpose as such, I teach buddha-nature always exists in all sentient beings.When one can compare and contrast all of these citations, and many more side by side, with the proper reading of the Uttataratantra, one will see the propositions about these doctrines by the Dark Zen fools and others of their ilk are dimmed like stars at noon.............Lankavatara Sutra then states:"O Mahāmati, with a view to casting aside the heterodox theory, you must treat the tathāgatagarbha as not self (anātman).Also see this link for my comments on the Nirvana sutra:How should we understand Mahāyāna Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra?AWAKENINGTOREALITY.COMHow should we understand Mahāyāna Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra?In light of the teachings above, where even 'Self' is understood to be merely conventional (and hence empty) in the Nirvana sutra (Nirvana Sutra: "If selflessness is demonstrated, the immature grasp to the explanation thinking there is no self. The intelligent on the other hand think "The [self] exists conventionally, there is no doubt."), one should also understand that if an essence (svabhava) is taught, it should be understood to mean essenceless.Malcolm:"Then not only are you ignorant of the English language, but you are ignorant of Candrakīrti where, in the Prasannapāda, he states that the only nature is the natureless nature, emptiness.Then, if it is asked what is this dharmatā of phenomena, it is the essence of phenomena. If it is ask what is an essence, it is a nature [or an inherent existence, rang bzhin]. If it is asked what is an inherent existence [or nature], it is emptiness. If it is asked what is emptiness, it is naturelessness [or absence of inherent existence]. If it is asked what is the absence of inherent existence [or naturelessness], it is suchness [tathāta]. If it is asked what is suchness, it is the essence of suchness that is unchanging and permanent, that is, because it is not fabricated it does not arise in all aspects and because it is not dependent, it is called the nature [or inherent existence] of fire, etc."" - http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/.../wetness-and-water.htmlAlso here is how definitive Mahayana sutras are defined:Sūtra of Definitive Meaning vs Sūtra of Provisional MeaningQuoted from Kyle:The Āryākṣayamatinirdeśa-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra sets out the criteria for a sūtra of definitive meaning:'Any sūtrānta which explains in a variety of different terms a self, a sentient being, a living being, a personality, a person, an individual, one born from a human, a human, an agent, an experiencer — teaching an owner in what is ownerless — those sutras are called "of provisional meaning". Any sūtrānta which teaches emptiness, the signless, the wishless, the unconditioned, the non-arisen, the unproduced, the insubstantial, the non-existence of self, the non-existence of sentient beings, the non-existence of living beings, the non-existence of individuals, the non-existence of an owner up to the doors of liberation, those are called "definitive meaning". This is taught in the sūtrāntas of of definitive meaning but is not taught in the sūtrāntas of the provisional meaning.'
Michael HernandezSoh Wei Yu agreed.If the mind is illusory then all appearances are i.e imaginary.Reality is mind simply making imagined sense of perceived patterns externally.Humans observered fire in nature and utilized Prometheus (forethinking).That is to say the imagination.Culturally we tend to belittle the imagination. However it is not only humanities greatest asset it is its worst enemy.Wherever speaking of "ignorance" this is the meaning. And as such it arises from all perception with phenomena including our own bodies.We imagine we are because we feel it. Without any other complex imaginary conceptual superimpositions.We simply feel and imagine our existence.On analysis it is empty of inherent existenceThere is however an unfabricated clarity free from projections, the recognition of which is the initial unripened rigpa, but realizing that unfabricated clarity is also distinct from realizing its empty nature, which is called rigpa coming to full maturity in Dzogchen ( http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/.../the-degrees-of... ).Although conceptual superimposition of inherent existence is a key issue that arises out of ignorance which generates all suffering, it cannot be suspended permanently via shamatha or practicing non-conceptuality but it requires prajna wisdom to pierce through, to see through the conventions and delusion of inherent existence by direct insight. As you mentioned 'on analysis'... so it is analytical wisdom that is key that leads to analytical cessation, otherwise it is simply non-analytical cessation like a state of mundane samadhi without wisdom. Therefore the Thusness 7 phases are all important to go through.ReplyRemove Preview
AuthorAdminAnalytical wisdom is also in the beginning inferential, but eventually direct realization arises on the path.Michael HernandezSoh Wei Yu that "there is a fifth corner" is extreme."That there is no fifth corner" is another extremeJohn LaneIN WHAT WAY DOES THE BOOK ALIGN ANATTA INSIGHT AND DZOGCHEN CLEARLY? (John Tan quote in the OP)In this book (The Philosophical Foundations ……................) all mention of the words “anātma” and “no self” in the text, are in the section titled “Klong chen pa' s Hermeneutics of The 3 Turnings” (pages 266-268)In that section of the book, Longchenpa (Klong chen pa) regards “no self' (anātma) and 'emptiness' (sūnyatā)” as “merely correctives to [the beliefs in a] self and non-emptiness” and “are not of definitive meaning.” and after they have been used to undermine the reification of selves and things, they (themselves being reifications) must subside for “spontaneously present unfabricated buddha nature (understood as self-occurring primordial knowing replete with inborn qualities) to come to the fore”••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••KLONG CHEN PA’S HERMENEUTICS OF THE 3 TURNINGS (pages 266-268)Given Klong chen pa's emphasis on the primacy of primordial knowing and his construal of the path as the clearing of what obscures it, it is not surprising that in his interpretation of the so-called three turnings of the wheel of the dharma (dharmacakra), the meditative practices, of de-identification formulated in second turning teachings, on emptiness and no self are considered to be of merely provisional meaning (drang don) or in need of further interpretation. On the other hand, those third turning teachings that emphasize one's natural condition (yin lugs), primordial knowing, buddha nature are taken as definitive (nges don). In his Sems nyid ngal gso 'grel, Klong chen pa outlines his position on the three turnings:Those who put on false airs and who are blind-folded by the golden veil of wrong views tum their back on the intended meanings of sūtras and tantras that are of definitive meaning. They declare that what is of quintessential meaning is of provisional meaning and that the main import [of the teachings] is that the 'effect' [goal-realization] occurs only if one trains in its 'causes'. Hey handsome one, wearing your lotus garland, you truly do not understand the intentions that were conveyed in the three turnings of the buddha-word. You are certainly attached to the extreme of emptiness! In this regard, the first turning of the buddha-word was intended for those who were neophytes and who were of lower capacity. Thus in order to have them tum away from samsāra by taking the four truths in terms of things to be be abandoned [suffering and its cause] and their antidotes [the cessation of suffering and the path], [the first turning] was a skilful means for them to gain complete liberation from what is to be abandoned.The middle [turning] was intended for those who had thoroughly cleared away [these impediments] and who were of medium capacity. Thus it taught sky-like emptiness together with the eight examples (used to illustrate the emptiness of all phenomena: dream, magical illusion, reflected image, mirage, moon's reflection on water, echo, Gandharva city and apparition. Note 653) as skilful means to free them from the fetter of becoming attached to these antidotes . The final [turning] for the sake of those who had reached fulfilment and who were of sharpest capacity taught the nature of all that is knowable, as it really is. As such, it bears no similarity to the self (ātman) of the Hindu heretics because (a) these people in their ignorance speak of a "self' that does not actually exist, being a mere imputation superimposed on reality; (b) they take it as something measurable; and (c) they do not accept it is a quality of spiritual embodiment and primordial knowing (sku dang ye shes). But even this preoccupation with 'no self' (anātma) and 'emptiness' (sūnyatā) [concerns what are] merely correctives to [the beliefs in a] self and non-emptiness but which are not of definitive meaning. –Sems nyid ngal gso 'grel vol.I 329 f.Indian and Tibetan theories of the three dharmacakras reflect varying attempts to hierarchically distinguish stages of the Buddha's teachings in line with corresponding levels of intellectual-spiritual acumen and maturation in his audience. Klong chen pa's interpretation of the three turnings regards the first two turnings as remedial steps intended to clear the way for an undistorted understanding of one's natural condition. On this account, the Buddhist emptiness and no self doctrines were initially formulated within a religio-philosophical climate rife with speculations concerning the existence of a creator God, permanent true self or selves and an unknowable absolute reality. Against this background, the Buddha's discourses concerning anātma (no self) and sūnyatā (emptiness) were offered as corrective measures with the express aim of invalidating and eliminating wrong views and extreme conclusions, particularly those based on the proclivity to take things as enduring and independently existing.The doctrine of 'no self' was expounded both as 1) a sectarian critique of various Hindu and Jain beliefs in a self - i.e. beliefs that there is a permanent, singular, self-sufficient individuating principle that underlies and anchors the swirling flux of experience and survives death, and 2) as a psychological account of how the coarser elements of our 'sense of self' - those rooted in the sense we have of being a psychic unity that transcends actual experience - constitute fabrications or superimpositions added to our most basic experience of things and beings around us. The doctrinal belief in self can be seen to depend on the psychological sense of self; and both are undermined by realizing that things and persons lack any inherent independent nature.Now the target of Klong chen pa's critique of reificationism is not only the first order reification of 'selves' (viz. identities of things and persons) but also the second order reifications of those very means (e.g. teachings on emptiness, no self) used to undermine first order reifications. The point being that spontaneously present unfabricated buddha nature – understood as self-occurring primordial knowing replete with inborn qualities - comes to the fore only to the extent that all such reifications have subsided. So, far from being comparable to the ontologized self of Hindu and Jain speculations, buddha nature is precisely what remains when dualistic superimpositions, especially the habitual sense of a self anchoring our everyday experiences, subsides. Buddha nature is the indivisibility of awareness and its expanse (dbyings dang ye shes 'du bral med pa) and of clarity and emptiness (snang stong dbyer med).In sum, the Sems ye dris lan 's clear and concise formulation of what would become an increasingly central focus of the author's later works - the distinction between conditioned and unconditioned modes of being and awareness (sems versus ye shes) - and his attempt to show its affiliation with major currents of Buddhist thought make this text an indispensable source for understanding the development of this distinction and its place in classical rNying ma thought.—Klong chen pa's Hermeneutics of The 3 Turnings (Pages 266-268)1Longchenpa’s definition of buddha nature as the union of emptiness and clarity and rejection of non buddhist views is consistent with what I have said above about the provisional vs definitive meaning of buddha nature.Also, Malcolm wrote before:“In general, it (Soh: Mahaparinirvana Sutra) should be considered provisional even by Longchenpa since it contains the doctrine of the icchantika. It is also considered provisional because it uses intentional language to discuss a self, permanence, and so on.What Longchenpa holds to be definitive is the doctrine of tathāgatagarbha, but there are some problems if we take the whole of those ten sūtras to be "definitive."Then of course, there is the issue of whether the tathāgatagarbha doctrine is actually definitive. Arguably, the Uttaratantra itself holds the tathāgatagarbha doctrine to be provisional.”Malcolm also wrote:“They are for Gorampa as well, providing tathāgatagarbha is properly understood. But if for example the nine examples are not correctly understood, he states the TTG sūtras are provisional.Also, the reason Longchenpa claims the TTG sūtras are definitive has to do with how he understands them in relation to Dzogchen. He also defines Prasanga Madhyamaka as the definitive view.In general, however, the Buddha himself declares the tathāgatagarbha doctrine provisional, that is interpretable, in the Lanka Sūtra.”Malcolm:“Longchenpa had no problem reconciling Prasanga Madhyamaka, which he maintains is the definitive view, with tathāgatagarbha sūtras, which he maintains are the definitive sūtras. Likewise Gorampa asserts that properly understood the tathāgatagarbha doctrine is definitive and does not contradict Madhyamaka, but wrongly understood leads to a wrong view. Thus, these are not examples of squeezing tathāgatagarbha into Madhyamaka, if anyone is doing any squeezing, it is the gzhan stong pas who try to squeeze Madhyamaka, Yogacāra and tathātagatagarbha all into the same box, without much success, frankly.”
- Soh Wei Yu
Labels: Stages of Enlightenment