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About Simple_Jack

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  1. It's very simple: "Where this exists, that exists. With the arising of that, this arises...." Since we cannot in the end find anything but appearances that are found on examination to be empty, all we are left with is appearances that arise in dependence upon other appearances... It is axiomatic in Buddhadharma that there are no first causes. The very notion of pratÄ«tyasamutpada forbids the notion of any first cause, or creator, etc. I already explained this: the basis of imputation is an appearance. Some trends on Madhyamaka then assert that appearances are mind. Since appearances/mind are not findable on analysis, they/it are equated with illusion. Illusions lack any inherent nature because they are dependent originations. Dependent originations are free from extremes and, in the final analysis, inexpressible. None of this is circular in anyway. You ask, what dependently arises -- we can say all kinds of things, but in the end, it boils down to appearance. What are appearances? Dependent arisings. What dependently arises? Appearances. This is not a circularity, it is an equation appearances = dependent origination. If you want to be more specific you can say what appearance? A rope or a car, for example. Upon what is a rope designated? It's parts. Upon what are the parts designated? Their parts, if they have any. If they do not have further parts, then they are designated upon moments, etc., until one runs out of bases of imputation. At that point, you have [intellectually] discovered emptiness, i.e., the absence of a ultimate or final basis of designation. At each stage of the analysis the previous basis of imputation no longer appears since it is has been deconstructed. As Shantideva points out: When an existent or a nonexistent does not exist in the presence of the mind, at that time since there is no other aspect [concepts] are fully pacified as there is no objective support [dmigs pa, ālambana]. ...The arising of appearances needs to explained in some way, hence MMK 1.1 At no time, nowhere do things arise from self, from other, or without a cause. Madhyamaka serves to pacify proliferation through demonstrating dependent origination. This is the mangalaį¹ƒ of MMK states that dependent origination, unceasing, non-arising, etc., is the pacification of proliferation. From your given appearance, one might explain appearances arise causelessly [Carvaka], or from themselves [saį¹ƒkhya], from other [Vaiį¹£eśika], etc. Nāgārjuna's project is twofold: one, to show that accounts of apparent phenomena other than dependent origination are unintelligible. Two, to show that dependently originated phenomena are empty. He does this because of the subject/predicate [dharmin/dharmatā] problem in discussing phenomena in terms of essences. The dharmin in this case is appearances which are dependently arisings. When their predicate is sought, their dharmatā, it is found to be emptiness. Since phenomena are found to be essenceless, they are likened to appearances that everyone accepts are unreal, i.e. illusions, apparitions, space and so on. The Madhyamaka project is to show that as long as one insists that there is an ultimate basis of imputation beyond mere appearances, for that long one will be locked into conceptuality. Since in the final analysis, one can find no basis of imputation at all, and since the object under analysis ceases to appear as either an existent or in this case as a non-existent (since a non-existent cannot be predicated without an existent), one ceases to conceive of things as existents or nonexistents. That is the desiderata. In the end it is very simple, this appearance, for example a sprout, depends on the appearance of that appearance, for example a seed; without the seed there is no sprout. This appearance, butter, depends on that appearance, milk., etc. Dependent origination serves to explain causal processes without invoking essences. Dependent origination is something one can witness with one's own eyes, so in that sense it is not imputation, it is how things exist. In other words, at no time has anyone ever witnessed the arising of something that did not depend on a cause. It is worthwhile here to repost the master's own words from his own magnum opus, Prasannapāda: Therefore, that being the case, here when the Bhagavan [the Buddha] clarified the production of things depending on cause and condition, he refuted the production of things causelessly, from a single cause, a dissimilar cause, or generated by self and other. Since those were refuted, the intrinsic nature of relative things was taught according to how they exist relatively. Please compare this with what I stated above: Conventionally or relatively speaking, Candra[kirti] eliminates arising without a cause, from single causes, dissimilar causes or from self or other, leaving only arising from conditions as the only valid option. It's pretty clear from Candra's language that there should be an object to be seen correctly or falsely. This means there must be an appearance about which one is either mistaken or unmistaken. When one unmistakenly sees the apparent objects which serves as the basis for imputation (hearkening back to your original qualm), depending on which strand of Tibetan Madhyamaka one is following: a) the objects themselves do not actually arise in truth and are considered to be no more than illusions, and so on the objects themselves arise from causes and conditions conventionally (i.e. not causelessly, from single causes, from self, other, or dissimilar causes). What objects do not do is arise inherently. [<--- Gelug POV] Candra presupposes a Sautrantika epistemology where sense consciousnesses only arise when sense objects are encountered by contact with sense organs. For Candra, a sense consciousness will never arise in absence of a sense object or a sense organ, and this is clearly stated in the Madhyamakāvatara. Thus, the question of what the delusion actually is remains a matter of debate amongst Mādhyamika proponents... ...if we allow production from dissimilar causes we will have NO BASIS FOR REFUTING CREATION BY GOD. In that case, one will undermine the entire basis of Buddhadharma. If you suggest that there can be production from dissimilar causes, a claim explicitly rejected in all Madhyamaka texts, you are allowing, for example, that unconditioned phenomena, for example God, can produce conditioned phenomena, for example, the world. I also gave you the example of the production of maize from wheat seeds, chickens from cows and so on... There is inexpressible and then there is inexpressible; how one arrives at inexpressibility is critical. Hindus also claim that their ultimate is beyond predicates. ~ Loppon Namdrol [<--- a trained Sakya Loppon who can read/translate Sanskrit and Classical Tibetan] ... "...In that case, one will undermine the entire basis of Buddhadharma", if one accepts the above conclusions of dependent origination, that too will undermine eternalist doctrines, and vice versa. If it's the case that someone does accept the above conclusons of dependent origination, then logically they could not accept phenomena arising from a first cause, dissimilar cause, from itself, etc. The dialectic of buddhadharma is airtight about this. Likewise, if someone accepted the arising of phenomena from a first cause and so on, then they could not logically accept the conclusions of dependent origination in buddhadharma. According to this scenario, a person cannot have his or her cake and eat it too; no "ifs, ands, or buts" about it. If a person is honest with themself, it would be evident that they could only logically accept the view of one or the other, since accepting the respective view of one premise contradicts and outright cancels the other premise, and vice versa.
  2. As for the necessity of removing doubts through study and reflection, the Dharma Lord [sakya Pandita] said, "This is extremely important. Some now say, 'I'm going to stay in the mountains for all the years of my life.' They will have no [genuine] experiences whatsoever. If you listen to me, and if you study for ten years and then meditate, the genuine [experiences] will arise." - Tsogom Kunga Pel
  3. Jhana - suttas vs commentaries

    SOW, you've already summed up the differences in the inclusion of ekaggata. Leigh Brasington has article on this which also briefly mentions "unification of mind" in the first jhana:
  4. Analysis of Loving-kindness practice

    Distinguishing it from non-Buddhist paths also since the 4 bramaviharas are found in the "Yoga Sutras of Patanjali" (a Hindu shastra) too: Without bodhicitta, teachings on the view and meditation, however profound they may seem will be no use at all for attaining perfect Buddhahood. Tantric practices like the generation phase, the perfection phase and so on, practiced within the context of bodhicitta lead to complete Buddhahood in one lifetime. But without bodhicitta they are no different from the methods of the tirthikas. Tirthikas also have many methods for meditating on deities, reciting mantras, and working with the channels and energies; they too behave in accordance with cause and effect. But it is solely because they do not take refuge or arouse bodhicitta that they are unable to achieve liberation from the realms of samsara. ~ Patrul Rinpoche
  5. Analysis of Loving-kindness practice

    Basically, it's the motivation which sets the precedent for the cultivation of the 4 immeasurables which distinguishes Hinayana and Mahayana.
  6. Favorite Quotes from Buddha.

    Bodhisattvas must be expert in all treatises. That is the entrance to omniscience. ~Ārya-niį¹£į¹­hāgantabhagavajjƱānavaipÅ«lya-sÅ«traratnānanta-nāma-mahāyāna-sÅ«tra:
  7. Please do not lose the view in favor of activities. If you do, being tied to existential characteristics, you will not attain liberation. Please do not lose activities in favor of the view. If you do, there arises a situation of absence of both virtues and vices and one falls into the extreme of nihilism, and one's spiritual life becomes irreparable. O great king, as my tantras possess extensive teachings on view, in the future many people who know the words of the view, but lack the confidence of the view in their mental continuum could stray into inferior realms. - Padmasambhava - Advice to King Thrisong Deutsen Since you don't know what is needed in this life, study all the topics of knowledge! Ignorance is the darkest defilement: light the lamp of study and reflection! To teach that there is no need to study and reflect diminishes the already low level of knowledge and increases the already present ignorance. - Advice From the Lotus Born First, become well versed in all fields of knowledge, Later, discourse eloquently before learned gatherings, Finally, meditate diligently on all that you have learntā€” This is the approach of all the buddhas of the three times. - The Treasury of Valid Reasoning - Sakya Pandita
  8. Analysis of Loving-kindness practice

    Vasubandu states in the the Vyākhyāyukti: Whoever listens with faith obtains the merit of the joy of higher realms. Some develop the seed of the discerning wisdom that attains nirvana. Since there is nothing more virtuous than studying the Dharma, as Maitreya states in the Uttaratantra: When someone always offers the Dharmarāja golden buddhafields studded with jewels equal with the number of atoms in a buddhafield for the purpose of awakening, and someone else hears just a single word of this text and has faith arising from such hearing, the latter obtains much greater merit than the virtue that arises from that generosity. When an intelligent person who wishes for unsurpassed awakening guards their stainless discipline without mental, verbal or physical effort for many eons, and someone else hears just a single word of this text and has faith arising from such hearing, the latter obtains much greater merit than the virtue that arises from that discipline. When someone cultivates the concentration that destroys the fire of afflictions of the three realms in this life, cultivating the method of unchanging full awakening, surpassing the deva and brahma realms, and someone else hears just a single word of this text and has faith arising from such hearing, the latter obtains much greater merit than the virtue that arises from that concentration. And: Why? Generosity accomplishes enjoyments. Discipline cultivates higher realms and abandons afflictions. Discerning wisdom completely abandons the afflictions, therefore, this is the best, and hearing is the cause of this. ~ Loppon Namdrol
  9. Analysis of Loving-kindness practice

    Liking the posts bubbles! Aetherous, the meaning behind those words goes deep, so any and all explorations of that meaning is beneficial: Bodhisattvas must be expert in all treatises. That is the entrance to omniscience. ~ Ārya-niį¹£į¹­hāgantabhagavajjƱānavaipÅ«lya-sÅ«traratnānanta-nāma-mahāyāna-sÅ«tra
  10. Analysis of Loving-kindness practice

    FYI Zoom, I accidentally clicked the "like" button twice. Thank you for the thoughtful sentiments, lol. You guys are awesome! Really!
  11. Analysis of Loving-kindness practice

    Zoom, it seems you and ralis are trying to get a rise out of me by posting, so in relation to the hypocrisy in breaking discipline I post this: Though an Indian trumpet flower has wilted, it is unrivaled by other common flowers, Though one of my followers has broken his discipline he is unrivaled by common tÄ«rthikas. Daśacakrakį¹£itigarbha-nāma-mahāyāna-sÅ«tra
  12. Analysis of Loving-kindness practice

    Since the 4 immeasurables have been brought up in the context of Vajrayana: I assume people aren't going to stick solely with mind training and are going to eventually engage in the special preliminaries (ngondro), the path of creation and perfection stages, etc., in order to actualize buddhahood.
  13. Analysis of Loving-kindness practice

    You guys need to distinguish the 4 immeasurables as they are taught in Theravada and how they are taught in Mahayana.
  14. Analysis of Loving-kindness practice

    Though an Indian trumpet flower has wilted, it is unrivaled by other common flowers, Though one of my followers has broken his discipline he is unrivaled by common tÄ«rthikas. ā€” Daśacakrakį¹£itigarbha-nāma-mahāyāna-sÅ«tra
  15. Analysis of Loving-kindness practice

    Ralis you're missing the point: everyone is susceptible to varying degrees of delusion for as long as they don't attain buddhahood. That means arhats up to 10th stage bodhisattvas.