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Simple_Jack

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Thanks for that summary Simple_Jack. I'd be interested to find a more expanded comparison of the views of these schools if anyone could refer me to one?

 

Check out these threads:

 

http://thetaobums.com/topic/33010-nondual-in-buddhadharma/?p=507136

 

http://thetaobums.com/topic/33009-salt/?p=507102

 

http://thetaobums.com/topic/33574-substance-dualism-in-buddhadharma/?p=519642

 

Read Rongzom:

 

http://vajracakra.com/viewtopic.php?p=13827#p13827

 

Rongzom treats the issue as follows in his Theg chen tshul 'jug:

 

  • Now then, in the sravaka system phenomena have no nature of self, and because is also asserted there is no identity existing in any phenomena, all phenomena are established to be empty and without self. Nevertheless since [all phenomena] are asserted as the nature of subject and object, the category “natureless” is not understood.

     

    Since in the yogacāra system the nature of subject and object are not asserted, the natureless is established; since at that time there is no difference between naturelessness and emptiness and selflesness. Nevetheless, since they assert the dependent, arising from cause and conditions, the category of “established as non-arising” is not understood.

     

    Since in the madhyamaka system the ultimate is understood as free from proliferation, non-arising is established. At that time there is no difference between non-arising, naturelessness, [67/b] emptiness and selflessness. Nevertheless, since they assert a true relative truth [Candrakirti established two kinds of relative truth as well], the category of “established as homogenous” is not understood.

     

    Since in the system of secret mantra asserts the two truths to be inseparable, homogeneity is established.At that time there is no difference between homogeneity, non-arising, naturelessness, emptiness and selflessness. Nevertheless, due to anxiety about not being able to practice uniform behavior and not being able to remove that anxiety quickly, for that purpose they undertake ascetic hardships. Therefore, the category “all phenomena are established to be non-dual” is not understood.

     

    Because the system of dzogchen understands four things for all phenomena— understanding what is to be abandoned; understanding what is to be taken up; understanding what can be left in equanimity; and understanding what can never be actualized, it establishes all phenomena as non-dual. At that time there is no difference between non-duality, homogeneity, non-arising, naturelessness, emptiness and selflessness. Since that is so, because this establishment of all phenomena as non-dual is the heart of all intimate instructions, therefore, [dzogchen] is “the heart of all intimate instructions”.

http://www.amazon.com/Establishing-Appearances-Divine-Reasoning-Madhyamaka/dp/1559392886

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Thanks again Simple_Jack. Your quote from Establishing Appearances As Divine shows a series of views in Buddhism that eliminates progressively subtler obscurations. It is probably from having been exposed to this kind of sequence of views in the past that I am interested in seeing where other 'top shelf' views fit into such a schema, especially Advaita Vedanta and Kashmir Shaivism, and also Zen. But in particular I'd also like to see a clear explanation of what is different between Kashmir Shaivism and Dzogchen in terms of view and also (more importantly) in terms of the existential outcome from practicing according to these two traditions.

 

 

Use General Discussion please.

 

I don't know how to move a conversation that's already ongoing, if a moderator wants to do so I'm happy to continue this dialogue wherever.

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Thanks again Simple_Jack. Your quote from Establishing Appearances As Divine shows a series of views in Buddhism that eliminates progressively subtler obscurations.

 

This is also pertinent to the above:

 

http://vajracakra.com/viewtopic.php?p=13857&sid=7e9cb9af938c5d45d61374fb0e9cf61f#p13857

 

He states in Theg chen tshul 'jug:

 

  • As such, when ultimate reality is also asserted to exist in subjects, but not asserted to be something else, the Madhyamikas assert phenomena have no inherent existence, what is the need to assert anything else? Nevertheless, because the thought of the two truths is not given up, the non-dual view is not entered.

 

 

And:

 

  • Now then, in the Madhyamaka system the thorough negation [aka non-affirming negation] is “…The Yogacāra characteristic of the ultimate viewed as existent and being, those are imputations and are non-existent. An ultimate to be proven in a qualified negation [aka affirming negation] is not a madhyamika proof.

     

    As the relative is merely an illusion, the true relative’s efficient ability of arising from cause and condition [55/a] is satisfactory when not investigated; but if investigated cannot bear the weight of reasoning.”

...He [samantabhadra] criticizes Madhyamaka as follows:

 

 

  • Since phenomena and nonphenomena have always been mixed and are inseparable,

    there is no further need to explain “ultimate phenomena”.

http://vajracakra.com/viewtopic.php?p=13904#p13904

 

Moroever, you will find that in general the Nyingma and Sakya view of Prasanga is grounded mostly on how one is to understand "being free from a proposition" as expounded in the Vigrahavyavartani by Nāgārjuna i.e. "If I had a position, I would be guilty, since I alone have no position, I am innocent." Rongzom understands this statement quite well. He says:

 

  • "...just being free from all grasping to views is the sravaka’s comprehension of the selflessness of persons. The pratyekabuddha’s comprehend apprehended objects do not exist beginning from the appearance of the material aggregate. Yogacārin’s comprehend that neither subject nor object exist. Madhyāmikas’ realize that nothing exists ultimately. Secret mantra recognizes that the two truths are non-dual.” But that is still grasping to views. As such, to be free from grasping views is conventionally designated “the view of dzogchen” and is also called “completely giving up views primordially.”

 

The point is not that Dzogchen criticizes the view of emptiness expounded in Madhyamaka, it does not -- they share the same view of emptiness. What Dzogchen criticizes is the scheme of the two truths, and frankly the Prasanga formulation, especially Tsongkhapa's formulation of Prasangika, is not exempt from that Dzogchen criticism.

 

Because Dzogchen does not share the scheme of the two truths, it cannot be said that Dzogchen and Madhyamaka have the same view for they do not. Rongzom states:

 

  • "Although the system of dzogchen has the capacity to show all tenets of all vehicles separately without confusing them, it is also capable of overthrowing them all."

 

 

It is probably from having been exposed to this kind of sequence of views in the past that I am interested in seeing where other 'top shelf' views fit into such a schema, especially Advaita Vedanta and Kashmir Shaivism, and also Zen.

But in particular I'd also like to see a clear explanation of what is different between Kashmir Shaivism and Dzogchen in terms of view and also (more importantly) in terms of the existential outcome from practicing according to these two traditions.

 

Everything you need to know are in these posts:

 

http://thetaobums.com/topic/33010-nondual-in-buddhadharma/?p=507136

 

http://thetaobums.com/topic/33010-nondual-in-buddhadharma/page-6#entry554158

 

http://thetaobums.com/topic/33574-substance-dualism-in-buddhadharma/?p=533221

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Thanks for that summary Simple_Jack. I'd be interested to find a more expanded comparison of the views of these schools if anyone could refer me to one?

 

Like it said in the post on the previous page, what Dzogchen is dismissing are the two truths:

 

http://thetaobums.com/topic/33466-innate-purity-of-phenomena/?p=522861

 

...Dzogchen rejects the two truths, because relative "truth" is not true, being a deluded cognition. But Dzogchen does not reject appearances which appear to ignorance (ma rig pa).

 

Dzogchen substitutes vidyā and āvidyā (rig pa and ma rig pa) for the term "pāramārtha satya" and "samvṛitti satya".

 

Also one will discover that Dzogchen, in rejecting the two truths, also rejects ultimate truth, as it states in The Mind Mirror of Samantabhadra:

 

  • Since there is no ultimate, also the name “relative” does not exist.

 

And as it says in Soaring Great Garuda:

 

  • Since phenomena and nonphenomena have always been merged and are inseparable,

    there is no further need to explain an “ultimate phenomenon”.

 

So not only is the relative negated in Dzogchen, so is any concept of ultimate. ~ Loppon Malcolm

 

As you can see from these posts in standard Mahayana an "ultimate truth" is unestablished:

 

http://thetaobums.com/topic/33466-innate-purity-of-phenomena/?p=519163

 

"Nirvāṇa is an illusion. Even if there is anything greater than Nirvāṇa, that too will be only an illusion." ~ Aṣṭasāhasrikāprajñapāramitā Sutra

 

http://thetaobums.com/topic/33466-innate-purity-of-phenomena/?p=531522

 

"Good son, the term 'unconditioned' is also a word provisionally invented by the First Teacher. Now, if the First Teacher provisionally invented this word, then it is a verbal expression apprehended by imagination. And, if it is a verbal expression apprehended by imagination, then, in the final analysis, such an imagined description does not validate a real thing. Therefore, the unconditioned does not exist."

 

(Samdhinirmocana Sutra, ch 2, p 12)

 

These posts do have some interested perspective on dzogchen and a little bit of comparison with the advaita view (from the dzogchen perspective), but I'd still like to see an advaita take on this comparison (all the sources I've found from an advaita perspective seem to regard dzogchen as basically the same as advaita?), and I'm still (more) interested in a kashmir shaivite response...

 

It's not surprising you would find sources claiming that, but if you've seen the thread "Substance Dualism" on the previous page, epistemologically speaking, Dzogchen rejects the dichotomy of mind and matter latent in Buddhism:

 

http://thetaobums.com/topic/33574-substance-dualism-in-buddhadharma/?p=519642

 

While there are of course Dzogchen texts that describe mind and body as separate, in general, the innermost secret cycle holds that the perception that there is a difference between the animate and inanimate is a mistaken one. In the state of ultimate liberation [i.e. samyaksambuddhahood], the distinction between animate and inanimate disappears because it is not true. Further, like other Vajrayāna traditions, Dzogchen provides a physical account for the process of rebirth for example in the Vajramala Tantra: it is proposed that the alayavijñāna, which is inseparable with the mahāprāṇavāyu, is responsible for transmigration; for the appropriation of a new series of aggregates. But Dzogchen goes a step further and explicitly identifies consciousness as the operation of a vāyu in the body. Vāyus of course are the function of the refined element of air inside the human body.

 

http://thetaobums.com/topic/33574-substance-dualism-in-buddhadharma/?p=523639

 

Prior to analyzing phenomena as mind-only, mind and matter are conventionally regarded as a dualism even in Yogacara. Why, because the imputed nature is exactly the conventional world.

 

Also in standard Madhyamaka, on the conventional level mind and matter are regarded as distinct.

 

While the annutarayoga tantras move in the direction of dissolving the distinction between mind and matter, the substance dualism in Buddhism is only satisfactorily resolved in Dzogchen (but not by regarding all phenomena as mind-- which is a point of view rejected by Longchenpa incoherent).

 

In Dzogchen, mind and matter are regarded as seamlessly welded, not that mind has primacy over matter. Dzogchen texts even go so far as to reject the formless realm as truly formless.

 

This is why for example the Khandro Nyinthig states very clearly "Sometimes we say "citta", sometimes "vāyu", but the meaning is the same."Vāyu is just the element of air i.e. motility present in matter. This also accounts for rebirth. In the Guhyasamaja, for example, the ālayavijñāna is wedded to the mahāprāṇavāyu -- this union allows rebirth to happen.

 

~ Loppon Namdrol

 

Once you've become more familiar with Advaita and Kashmir Shaivism, it's possible you'll start to see how this addresses your questions, especially the posts I linked in the previous page (although one of the threads do mention Trika in passing).

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The two truths in Madhyamaka are also eventually abandoned, they are merely a pedagogical methodology;

 

Here, Nāgārjuna can be interpreted as negating either (i) the validity of relative truth, or (ii) the enumerated two truths as a whole:

 

"Since the jīnas have proclaimed nirvāna alone is true, what wise person would not understand the rest is false?"

 

And here, the validity of (the enumerated) ultimate truth:

 

"When the [ultimate] truth is explained as it is, the conventional is not obstructed; Independent of the conventional, no [ultimate] truth can be found."

 

The way Candrakīrti defines the two truths; as the respective objects of deluded (relative) or undeluded (ultimate) cognitions, is also not too far off the mark when compared to the way Dzogpachenpo defines its model.

 

Madhyamaka even goes as far as to differentiate a nominal ultimate truth as delineated in its teachings from the direct and unenumerated ultimate. The enumerated ultimate is treated as a conventional relative truth, and the unenumerated is the direct nonconceptual and experiential realization itself (which is said to be inexpressible).

 

So the two systems aren't all that different in principle... it is just their paths which differ.

Edited by asunthatneversets

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The two truths in Madhyamaka are also eventually abandoned, they are merely a pedagogical methodology;

 

Yep, so as I understand it madhyamaka, like dzogchen, advaita vedanta, kashmiri shaivism and zen all culminate in some kind of recognition of non-duality, regardless of what conceptual methods they use to get there. The nyingma schema of the nine yanas regards dzogchen to be superior to madhyamaka in that it represents a refinement of the view with subsequent implications in practice and fruition. But what of kashmiri shaivism, or advaita? Maybe its impossible to place these in a sequence of progressively more refined buddhist views, but in terms of their ontological or soteriological outcome, ie the 'enlightenment' produced, what can be said? Is the perenialist view correct, that all traditions lead to the same place? Or is there genuine, albeit subtle distinctions between the outcomes of these traditions? Certainly the traditions mentioned all revolve around similar experiential insights, but is it fair to say that some traditions represent a clearer apprehension of that insight? And if so, how can the claims of different traditions be compared? I guess what I'm trying to establish in my own mind is some kind of meta-theory of comparative soteriology, which may be impossible without accepting at least some of the claims of one tradition or another. Any thoughts, anyone?

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Once you've become more familiar with Advaita and Kashmir Shaivism, it's possible you'll start to see how this addresses your questions, especially the posts I linked in the previous page (although one of the threads do mention Trika in passing).

That mention of trika basically equates it (dismissively) with advaita. But they're not the same, and it doesn't really satisfy my curiosity. You point though, I guess, is that I should clarify my understanding of the dzogchen view and then compare it with advaita and kashmir shaivism myself. Probably that's what I'll do, but I'm sure there are others who have looked into this point and I'd like to find out what they have to say about it. John Myrdhin Reynolds does touch on it a bit in his "Golden Letters" book. Alexis Sanderson probably has something to say about it too, although I haven't seen the issue thoroughly addressed.

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Any thoughts, anyone?

 

Unless you're writing a college paper choose whichever one resonates most with you.

 

That mention of trika basically equates it (dismissively) with advaita. But they're not the same, and it doesn't really satisfy my curiosity. You point though, I guess, is that I should clarify my understanding of the dzogchen view and then compare it with advaita and kashmir shaivism myself. Probably that's what I'll do, but I'm sure there are others who have looked into this point and I'd like to find out what they have to say about it. John Myrdhin Reynolds does touch on it a bit in his "Golden Letters" book. Alexis Sanderson probably has something to say about it too, although I haven't seen the issue thoroughly addressed.

 

It's ultimately up to you what to make of this, but this link is one place on the net which makes those comparisons, albeit from the perspective of "direct experience", though that is only if you choose to put any stock in the words of random persons on the internet: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/.

 

The only way to really satisfy your curiosity is by going through the experiential process yourself, and with that I leave you with some advice worth remembering: "Trust your experience, but keep refining your view" -- via Rob Burbea

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This is also pertinent to the discussion:

 

http://thetaobums.com/topic/33466-innate-purity-of-phenomena/?p=518225

 

Indeed, from the perspective of Madhyamaka a thing and its nature are identical. This is not so for those in lower schools.


To elaborate, conditions are merely an appearance. The notion of conditioned and unconditioned arises out of the substantialist roots of the substantialist tenet systems. By showing that the essence of phenomena is unconditioned, you are essentially showing that phenomena are in truth unconditioned. This is why the Prajñāpāramita makes statements like:

Any teaching by the Bhagavan that matter lacks inherent existence, does not arise, does not cease, is peace from the beginning and is parinirvana by nature, all such teachings are not the indirect meaning, nor the intentional meaning, but must be understood literally. (Ārya-pañcaśatikā-prajñāpāramitā)

 

~ Loppon Namdrol

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Phenomniverse's incisive summation that....

 

"Nobody really takes the position that an arahant is the same as a vidyadhara, for example."

 

.... Gets right to the heart of this entire thread - he cuts to the quick with his incisive concision.

 

How in the world could any of us even imagine that anyone could possibly take such a position?

 

Kudos to Phenomniverse for highlighting that truism!.

 

An arahant the 'same' as a vidyadhara?

 

NEVER!!!

:(

The very thought of such an occurrence must be anathema to all right minded TTB subscribers.

 

 

 

That such a position might be taken by anyone , of very necessity; must have sent shock waves throughout the multiverse.

 

If Phenomniverse is referring to this term as used in Vajrayana (http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Four_vidyadhara_levels), then he's not in the wrong, because this refers to the basic difference between Hinayana and Mahayana, that is arahants representing a non-affllictive ignorance.

Edited by gatito
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