The work explores the historical and intellectual context of Tsongkhapa's philosophy and addresses the critical issues related to questions of development and originality in Tsongkhapa's thought. It also deals extensively with one of Tsongkhapa's primary concerns, namely his attempts to demonstrate that the Middle Way philosophy's de-constructive analysis does not negate the reality of the everyday world. The study's central focus, however, is the question of the existence and the nature of self. This is explored both in terms of Tsongkhapa's (...) de-construction of the self and his re-construction of person. Finally, the work explores the concept of reality that emerges in Tsongkhapa's philosophy, and deals with his understanding of the relationship between critical reasoning, no-self, and religious experience. (shrink)
This article examines one highly localized set of developments to the Buddhist doctrine of word meaning that was made by twelfth and thirteenth century Tibetan Buddhist epistemologists primarily schooled at gSaṅ phu Monastery in central Tibet. I will show how these thinkers developed the notion of a concept (don spyi) in order to explain how it is that words are capable of applying to real objects, and how concepts can be used to capture elements of word meaning extending beyond (...) reference to real objects. (shrink)
Yoga came to Tibet from India more than a thousand years ago, and it was quickly absorbed into the culture's rich traditions. In this small book readers will discover Heart Yoga, which developed over the centuries in the Gelukpa tradition of the Dalai Lamas. The program presented here combines popular yoga exercises wtih special Tibetan poses, and methods of working from the inside to give a healthy and a happy heart. Roach discovered a number of previously unknown Tibetan (...) works on yoga in the course of his ongoing efforts to find and preserve ancient Tibetan Buddhist texts. He discusses the ideas and insights presented in these texts and places them within the context of the Buddhist tradition. To help readers incorporate this ancient wisdom in their daily lives, he provides a specific regime of yoga postures and meditations. Combining instructive illustrations with the unique philosophical underpinnings of the Buddhist approach, Geshe Roach has created a unique program for yoga on a physical and spiritual level. (shrink)
Chapters 4–9 are the most important part of the book. Here Liberman displays his interpretive skills to the fullest. He explores various aspects of directly observed, live debate processes, drawing on the work of Schutz, Husserl, Durkheim (to mention just a few), as well as Buddhist thinkers Nagarjuna, Sakya Pandita, Tsongkhapa, and others. Liberman exhaustively explains the organization and mechanics of debates, the public nature of reasoning, negative dialectics employed by debaters, strategies and techniques such as absurd consequences, hand-claps, ridicule, (...) and repetition, and other matters. (shrink)
This reconciliation of the dialectical and contemplative approaches to the buddha-essence is related to and closely resembles Shakchok’s reconciliation of the two approaches to ultimate reality advocated respectively by Niḥsvabhāvavāda (ngo bo nyid med par smra ba, “Proponents of Entitylessness”) system of Madhyamaka and Alīkākāravāda (rnam rdzun pa, “False Aspectarians”) system of Yogācāra. These approaches in turn are connected respectively to the explicit teachings (dngos bstan) of the second dharmacakra (chos ’khor, “Wheel of Dharma”) and the definitive teachings (nges don, (...) nītārtha) of the third dharmacakra that he also presents in a reconciliatory manner. In the same way as the teachings of the last two dharmacakras, as well as the Niḥsvabhāvavāda and Alīkākāravāda systems that derive from them, come to the same point, the dialectical and contemplative traditions also come to the same point. This point is the above-mentioned naturally pure primordial mind luminous by nature, the ultimate reality. In Shakchok’s opinion, application of non-affirming negations is a powerful tool for accessing direct realization of that reality, while its identification as primordial mind (ye shes, jñāna) is important for maintaining that realization and turning it into the basis of unfolding positive qualities on the path to buddhahood. When in the passage above Shakchok says that the two traditions are not contradictory, and when he reconciles the two last dharmacakras together with Alīkākāravāda and Niḥsvabhāvavāda, he is not arguing that their words are non-contradictory. They obviously are! Nevertheless, those systems are non-contradictory in terms of complementing each other in getting access to and maintaining realization of the ultimate reality of primordial mind. (shrink)
The rich and interconnected universe of Śākya Mchog Ldan’s views, including those on the buddha-essence, cannot be limited to or summarized in a few neat categories. Nevertheless, the following two interrelated ideas are crucial for understanding Śākya Mchog Ldan’s interpretation of the buddha-essence: 1) only Mahāyāna āryas (’phags pa) have the buddha-essence characterized by the purity from adventitious stains (glo bur rnam dag).
Edition of the Tibetan text of the Madhyamakārthasaṃgraha attributed to Bhāviveka (based on the Co-ne, sDe-dge, dGa’-ldan and sNar-thaṅ versions), along with an Italian translation and an introductory philosophical study.
Although sophistry has been characterized as separable from real philosophy, formal analysis does not work without it and one cannot always identify just where philosophy leaves off and sophistry begins. Whether sophistry offers anything to thinking reason has to do with what parties in dialogue do with sophistries. Sophistries can close down or open up philosophical perspectives, depending on the local work that sophistic strategies accomplish. Such local work of philosophers is rarely available to analyses of docile texts, but they (...) can be furthered by ethnomethodological studies of illustrative philosophical argumentation presented and analyzed in videotaped format. (shrink)
The doctrine of the two truths - a conventional truth and an ultimate truth - is central to Buddhist metaphysics and epistemology. The two truths (or two realities), the distinction between them, and the relation between them is understood variously in different Buddhist schools; it is of special importance to the Madhyamaka school. One theory is articulated with particular force by Nagarjuna (2nd ct CE) who famously claims that the two truths are identical to one another and yet distinct. One (...) of the most influential interpretations of Nagarjuna's difficult doctrine derives from the commentary of Candrakirti (6th ct CE). In view of its special soteriological role, much attention has been devoted to explaining the nature of the ultimate truth; less, however, has been paid to understanding the nature of conventional truth, which is often described as "deceptive," "illusion," or "truth for fools." But because of the close relation between the two truths in Madhyamaka, conventional truth also demands analysis. Moonshadows, the product of years of collaboration by ten cowherds engaged in Philosophy and Buddhist Studies, provides this analysis. The book asks, "what is true about conventional truth?" and "what are the implications of an understanding of conventional truth for our lives?" Moonshadows begins with a philosophical exploration of classical Indian and Tibetan texts articulating Candrakati's view, and uses this textual exploration as a basis for a more systematic philosophical consideration of the issues raised by his account. (shrink)
Dīpaṃkaraśrījñāna (982–1054 c.e.), more commonly known under his honorific title of Atiśa, is a renowned figure in Tibetan Buddhist cultural memory. He is famous for coming to Tibet and revitalizing Buddhism there during the early eleventh century. Of the many works that Atiśa composed, translated, and brought to Tibet one of the most well-known was his “Entry to the Two Realities” (Satyadvayāvatāra). Recent scholarship has provided translations and Tibetan editions of this work, including Lindtner’s English translation (1981) and (...) Ejima’s Japanese translation (1983). However, previously there was no known Indian or Tibetan commentary to this work. This article identifies for the first time a brief commentary to the Satyadvayāvatāra and discusses its content and purport in relation to early Madhyamaka philosophy in Tibet, and provides an annotated translation of the work. This early Tibetan commentary on the two realities (satyadvaya) provides important insight into how late eleventh century or early twelfth centuries Tibetan followers of Atiśa understood the tenets of Buddhist philosophy, the nature of valid cognition (tshad ma), and the importance of spiritual authority. The early Tibetan commentary to Atiśa’s Satyadvayāvatāra provides direct textual evidence of the beginnings of scholasticism in Tibet and offers an early perspective on the formative developments in the intellectual history of Tibetan Madhyamaka. (shrink)
Death and Philosophy presents a wide ranging and fascinating variety of different philosophical, aesthetic and literary perspectives on death. Death raises key questions such as whether life has meaning of life in the face of death, what the meaning of "life after death" might be and whether death is part of a narrative that can be retold in different ways, and considers the various types of death, such as brain death, that challenge mind-body dualism. The essays also include explorations of (...) Chinese, Japanese and Tibetan perspectives on death and why death in some cultures, such as in Mexico's day of the dead, is celebrated. (shrink)
There is unanimous agreement that Nāgārjuna (ca 150–250 AD) is the most important Buddhist philosopher after the historical Buddha himself and one of the most original and influential thinkers in the history of Indian philosophy. His philosophy of the “middle way” (madhyamaka) based around the central notion of “emptiness” (śūnyatā) influenced the Indian philosophical debate for a thousand years after his death; with the spread of Buddhism to Tibet, China, Japan and other Asian countries the writings of Nāgārjuna became an (...) indispensable point of reference for their own philosophical inquiries. A specific reading of Nāgārjuna's thought, called Prāsaṅgika-Madhyamaka, became the official philosophical position of Tibetan Buddhism which regards it as the pinnacle of philosophical sophistication up to the present day. (shrink)
This volume brings together Paul Williams's previously published papers on the Indian and Tibetan interpretations of selected verses from the eighth and ninth chapters of the Bodhicaryavatara. In addition, there is a much longer version of the paper 'Identifying the Object of Negation', and nearly half the book consists of a wholly new essay, 'The Absence of Self and the Removal of Pain', subtitled 'How Santideva Destroyed the Bodhisattva Path'. This book will be of interest to those concerned with (...) the history and interpretation of Indian and Tibetan philosophy. (shrink)
This book is the outgrowth of a panel of papers on the theme of "memory," presented at the 1987 Annual Meeting of the Buddhism Section of the American Academy of Religion. Four of the contributors to this volume, including Western phenomenologist Edward Casey from SUNY Stony Brook, participated in that panel, though the papers were obviously further developed since that inceptional presentation. The book focusses on the crucial but heretofore almost entirely overlooked topic of memory and remembrance as it appears (...) in the Indian and Tibetan Buddhist traditions. There are 11 papers here, plus an editor's introduction, and though some of them seem to overlap somewhat, none makes any of the others completely redundant or unnecessary. The result is a very thorough and novel treatment of a crucially important subject for Buddhologists, and is further a fine example of Comparative Philosophy. (shrink)
The doctrine of the two truths - a conventional truth and an ultimate truth - is central to Buddhist metaphysics and epistemology. The two truths (or two realities), the distinction between them, and the relation between them is understood variously in different Buddhist schools; it is of special importance to the Madhyamaka school. One theory is articulated with particular force by Nagarjuna (2nd C CE) who famously claims that the two truths are identical to one another and yet distinct. One (...) of the most influential interpretations of Nagarjuna's difficult doctrine derives from the commentary of Candrakarti (6th C CE). In view of its special soteriological role, much attention has been devoted to explaining the nature of the ultimate truth; less, however, has been paid to understanding the nature of conventional truth, which is often described as "deceptive," "illusion," or "truth for fools." But because of the close relation between the two truths in Madhyamaka, conventional truth also demands analysis. Moonshadows, the product of years of collaboration by ten cowherds engaged in Philosophy and Buddhist Studies, provides this analysis. The book asks, "what is true about conventional truth?" and "what are the implications of an understanding of conventional truth for our lives?" Moonshadows begins with a philosophical exploration of classical Indian and Tibetan texts articulating Candrakati's view, and uses this textual exploration as a basis for a more systematic philosophical consideration of the issues raised by his account. (shrink)
This compelling study of the Ri-me movement and of the major Buddhist lineages of Tibet is comprehensive and accessible. It includes an introduction to the history and philosophy of the Ri-me movement; a biography of the movement's leader, the meditation master and philosopher known as Jamgon Kongtrul the Great; helpful summaries of the eight lineages' practice-and-study systems, which point out the different emphases of the schools; an explanation of the most hotly disputed concepts; and an overview of the old and (...) new tantras. Jamgon Kongtrul the Great (1813-1899) is a giant in Tibetan history, renowned for his scholarly and meditative achievements, but also for his energetic yet evenhanded work to unify and strengthen the different lineages of Buddhism. The Ri-me movement, led by Kongtrul and several other leading scholars of the time, was a unifying effort to cut through interscholastic divisions and disputes that were occurring between the different lineages. These leaders sought appreciation of the differences and acknowledgment of the importance of variety in benefiting practitioners with different needs. The Ri-me teachers also took great care that the teachings and practices of the different schools and lineages, and their unique styles, did not become confused with one another. This lucid survey of the Ri-me movement will be of interest to serious scholars and practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism. (shrink)
The Indian philosopher Acarya Nagarjuna (c. 150-250 CE) was the founder of the Madhyamaka (Middle Path) school of Mahayana Buddhism and arguably the most influential Buddhist thinker after Buddha himself. Indeed, in the Tibetan and East Asian traditions, Nagarjuna is often referred to as the "second Buddha." This book presents a survey of the whole of Nagarjuna's philosophy based on his key philosophical writings. His primary contribution to Buddhist thought lies in the further development of the concept of sunyata (...) or "emptiness." For Nagarjuna, all phenomena are without any svabhava, literally "own-nature" or "self-nature," and thus without any underlying substance. Particular emphasis is put on discussing Nagarjuna's thinking as philosophy. The present discussion shows how his thoughts on metaphysics, epistemology, the self, language, and truth present a unified theory of reality with considerable systematic appeal. The book offers a systematic account of Nagarjuna's philosophical position. It reads Nagarjuna in his own philosophical context, but also shows that the issues of Indian and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy have at least family resemblances to issues in European philosophy. (shrink)
Tibetan Buddhist writings frequently state that many of the things we perceive in the world are in fact illusory, as illusory as echoes or mirages. In Twelve Examples of Illusion , Jan Westerhoff offers an engaging look at a dozen illusions--including magic tricks, dreams, rainbows, and reflections in a mirror--showing how these phenomena can give us insight into reality. For instance, he offers a fascinating discussion of optical illusions, such as the wheel of fire (the "wheel" seen when a (...) torch is swung rapidly in a circle), discussing Tibetan explanations of this phenomenon as well as the findings of modern psychology, and significantly clarifying the idea that most phenomena--from chairs to trees--are similar illusions. The book uses a variety of crystal-clear examples drawn from a wide variety of fields, including contemporary philosophy and cognitive science, as well as the history of science, optics, artificial intelligence, geometry, economics, and literary theory. Throughout, Westerhoff makes both Buddhist philosophical ideas and the latest theories of mind and brain come alive for the general reader. -/- "This delightful book offers a rich and satisfying philosophical feast to anyone interested in the phenomenon of illusion itself or in the Buddhist analysis of the human condition. Westerhoff draws together classical Buddhist scholarship, contemporary cognitive science and his own judicious philosophical reflection in a serious but refreshingly accessible engagement with the Buddhist tradition in the exploration of the role of illusion in our cognitive and emotional lives." Jay L. Garfield, author of Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way: Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamakakarika -/- "Jan Westerhoff creatively juxtaposes an important Buddhist study of illusion with fascinating modern researches on illusory experiences, using the latter to illuminate the former. The result is a revealing account of the pervasiveness of illusion in our cognitive experience and the very structure of our cognitive apparatus. It brings to life the Buddhist discussion of illusion, making it relevant to our everyday experience instead of being high-minded intellectual exercises only." -/- Tao Jiang, author of Contexts and Dialogue: Yogacara Buddhism and Modern Psychology on the Subliminal Mind -/- "The twelve similes for the illusory nature of this world are very profound, and Westerhoff does them wonderful justice in this excellent book." -/- Robert Thurman, Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Buddhist Studies, Columbia University. (shrink)
"This paper examines Kant's moral theory and compares it with certain key aspects of oriental (especially Buddhist) moral philosophy. In both cases, we focus on the suggestion that there may be a connection between a person's physical health and moral state. Special attention is paid to the nature of pain, illness, and personal happiness and to their mutual interrelationships. A frequently ignored feature of Kant's approach to morality is his preoccupation with health, and his attempt to interpret it in terms (...) of the moral law. An obvious antithesis of the health-moral imperative would be an illness-pathological imperative; we will regard both as forms imposed on our experience by the human mind. We demonstrate that the Kantian path to understanding the “moral metaphysics of medicine” can be supported by Tibetan medicine and Buddhist ethics. What Buddhism understands as moral law, or “Sila”, corresponds directly to Kant's theory. In both cases, health is the supreme judge that demonstrates whether or not our moral state is justifiable. Our principal intention is to show that, through the power of mind, a person’s moral state can--and in fact does--influence the body, having as its expression either health or illness. By considering the relevance of the Kantian interpretation of morality to medicine, we regard proper attention to the former as the surest path to the goal of maintaining personal health.". (shrink)
Indian schools -- Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism -- The Nyingma tradition -- The Kadam tradition -- The Kagyü tradition -- The Shijé tradition -- The Sakya tradition -- The Jonang and minor traditions -- The Geluk tradition 1: Tsongkhapa -- The Geluk tradition 2: Tsongkhapa's successors -- The Geluk tradition 3: the distinctiveness of Geluk -- The Bon tradition -- Chinese traditions 1: non-Buddhist -- Chinese traditions 2: Buddhist -- Central Asian traditions.
Disc 1. Life's great questions: Asian perspectives ; The Vedas and Upanishads: the beginning -- Disc 2. Mahavira and Jainism: extreme nonviolence ; The Buddha: the middle way -- Disc 3. The Bhagavad Gita: the way of action ; Confucius: in praise of sage-kings -- Disc 4. Laozi and Daoism: the way of nature ; The Hundred Schools of preimperial China -- Disc 5. Mencius and Xunzi: Confucius's successors ; Sunzi and Han Feizi: strategy and legalism -- Disc 6. Zarathustra (...) and Mani: dualistic religion ; Kautilya and Ashoka: Buddhism and empire -- Disc 7. Ishvarakrishna and Patanjali: Yoga ; Nagarjuna and Vasubandhu: Buddhist theories -- Disc 8. Sima Qian and Ban Zhao: history and women ; Dong Zhongshu and Ge Hong: eclecticism -- Disc 9. Xuanzang and Chinese Buddhism ; Prince Shotoku, Lady Murasaki, Sei Shonagon -- Disc 10. Saicho to Nichiren: Japanese Buddhism ; Shankara, Ramanuja, Madhva: Hindu Vedanta -- Disc 11. Al-Biruni: Islam in India ; Nanak and Sirhindi: Sikhism and Sufism -- Disc 12. Han Yu to Zhu Xi: Neo-Confucianism ; Wang Yangming: The study of heart-mind -- Disc 13. Dogen and Hakuin: Zen Buddhism ; Zeami and Sen no Rikyu: Japanese aesthetics -- Disc 14. Wonhyo to King Sejong: Korean philosophy ; Padmasambhava to Tsongkhapa: Tibetan ideas -- Disc 15. Science and technology in premodern Asia ; Muhammad Iqbal and Rabindranath Tagore -- Disc 16. Mohandas Gandhi: Satyagraha, or soul-force ; Fukuzawa Yukichi and Han Yongun -- Disc 17. Kang Youwei and Hu Shi ; Sun Yat-sen and Mao Zedong -- Disc 18. Modern legacies ; East and West. (shrink)
Indian philosophical thought on Pramana (valid cognition) is a rich achievement that merits attention not only for its technical brilliance and variety but also for the ways in which it reverberates with contemporary discussions in science. In a spirit of free and open enquiry, Tibet House collaborated with the Drepung Monastic University at Mundgod, Karnataka to organize a monastic debate that was both traditional and contemporary. This debate was special in that it grew upon the pre-Buddhist traditions of thought on (...) this critical question on logic while also incorporating a perspective that leapt across the centuries: that of contemporary physics. While the different schools such as Vedanta, Sankhya, Nyayavaisesika, Purvamimamsa, and Jaina were represented by scholars from academia, there was a lively interaction with monks being trained in traditional Tibetan philosophy at monasteries across India. The seminar was multilingual—with presentations and queries in Tibetan, Hindi, Sanskrit and English. While this book presents lightly edited versions of the key papers presented there, the lively debates in Tibetan could not be transcribed due to logistical difficulties. Hence, this bilingual volume attempts to make available to the scholarly community and curious students a valuable resource for understanding this crucial issue in logic from a rich, multifaceted, comparatist perspective. (shrink)
The problem of empty terms is one of the focal issues in analytic philosophy. Russell’s theory of descriptions, a proposal attempting to solve this problem, attracted much attention and is considered a hallmark of the analytic tradition. Scholars of Indian and Buddhist philosophy, e.g., McDermott, Matilal, Shaw and Perszyk, have studied discussions of empty terms in Indian and Buddhist philosophy. But most of these studies rely heavily on the Nyāya or Navya-Nyāya sources, in which Buddhists are portrayed as opponents to (...) be defeated, and thus do not truly reflect Buddhist views on this issue. The present paper will explore how Dignāga, the founder of Buddhist logic, deals with the issue of empty subject terms. His approach is subtle and complicated. On the one hand, he proposes a method of paraphrase that resembles Russell’s theory of descriptions. On the other, by relying on his philosophy of language—the apoha theory, he tends to fall into a panfictionalism. Through the efforts of his follower Dharmakīrti, the latter approach would become more acceptable among Indian and Tibetan Buddhists. Dignāga’s Chinese commentators, who were free from the influence of Dharmakīrti, dealt with the empty term issue in three ways: (1) by adhering to Dignāga’s method of paraphrase; (2) by allowing exceptions for non-implicative negation; and (3) by indicating the propositional attitude of a given proposition. Among these, the third proved most popular. (shrink)
This paper examines the Buddhist’s answer to one of the most famous (and more intuitive) objections against the semantic theory of “exclusion” ( apoha ), namely, the charge of circularity. If the understanding of X is not reached positively, but X is understood via the exclusion of non-X, the Buddhist nominalist is facing a problem of circularity, for the understanding of X would depend on that of non-X, which, in turn, depends on that of X. I distinguish in this paper (...) two strategies aiming at “breaking the circle”: (i) conceding the precedence of a positive understanding of X, from which a negative understanding (i.e., the understanding of “non-X”) is derived by contrast, and (ii) denying any precedence by proposing a simultaneous understanding of both X and non-X. I consider how these two options are articulated respectively by Dharmakīrti in his Pramāṇavārttika cum Svavṛtti and by one of his Tibetan interpreters, Sa skya Paṇḍita, and examine the requirements for their workability. I suggest that Sa skya Paṇḍita’s motivation to opt for an alternative solution has to do with his criticism of notions shared by his Tibetan predecessors, an outline of which is given in Appendix 1. In Appendix 2, I present the surprising use of the charge of circularity by an early Tibetan logician against his coreligionists. (shrink)
: The thirteenth-century Tibetan thinker Sakya Pandita was a diehard supporter of nominalism with respect to abstract entities. Here, two arguments given by Sakya Pandita against the robust existence of concepts (don spyi) are analyzed and elucidated. The first argument is rooted in the Buddhist idea that conceptual thought is unsound, whereas the second argument arises from considerations of intersubjectivity and verification. By presenting these arguments we gain both a fuller picture of the central role played by concepts within (...) the Tibetan tradition of philosophy of mind and a better appreciation of the philosophical acuity of the Tibetan polymath Sakya Pandita. (shrink)
Abstract The tshogs zhing, or field of assembly, is an important subject in Tibetan religious art. Typically, it focuses on one's own guru, seated at the crest of a great tree, with the gurus preceding him ranged in the sky above him and the deities of one's tradition ranged on the tree below him. The tshogs zhing is an object of visualisation in Tibetan guru yoga practices, and serves as both a ?map? of the Tibetan sacred cosmos (...) and as an index of the guru's crucial role in the tradition as a mediator between the practitioner on the one hand and the diachronic lineage of teachers and the synchronie pantheon of deities, on the other. (shrink)
In Buddhist texts authored in Indian and Tibetan traditions of scholasticism, one is regularly directed to check one’s understanding against “scripture and reasoning.” To date, however, comparatively little attention has been given to the usage of the latter term of this pair (Skt. yukti , Tib. rigs pa) in Indian Buddhist texts. Building on the work of Scherrer-Schaub, Kapstein and others, this paper discusses divergent glosses of the term yukti as found in Indian Buddhist texts. By highlighting continuities and (...) discontinuities in these accounts, the paper aims to stimulate reflection on the ways in which our assumptions regarding reasoning—and, by extension, what is to count as “Buddhist philosophy”—are represented in, and perhaps contested by, thematizations offered within the tradition. (shrink)
This essay presents a critique of dialetheist readings of Madhyamaka based on the philosophy of the fifteenth-century Tibetan scholar, Gorampa Sonam Senge (Go rams pa bSod nams Seng ge) (1429-1489). In brief, dialetheism is the acceptance that in a logical system there can be at least some cases in which a statement and its negation are true; that is, it involves the acceptance of true contradictions. Jay Garfield and Graham Priest's "Nāgārjuna and the Limits of Thought" attempts to reconcile (...) apparent contradictions in Nāgārjuna's Madhyamaka writings by appealing to dialetheism.1 Tom Tillemans' response to that article, "How do Mādhyamikas Think?" advocates an interpretation of Nāgārjuna that relies on a weaker .. (shrink)
This paper examines the role of a proper opponent (phyi rgol yang dag) in debate from the standpoint of the Tibetan Buddhist theory of argumentation. A proper opponent is a person who is engaged in the process of truth-seeking. He is not a debater who undertakes to refute the tenets of a proponent. But rather, he is the model debater to whom a proponent can teach truth by using a probative argument in the most effective way. A proper opponent (...) is thus the model thinker conceived by Tibetan Buddhist scholars, especially by the dGe lugs pa exegetes, to explain the idea of “inference for others.” The term phyi rgol yang dag figures in many text books of the dGe lugs pa school. And the germ of the dGe lugs pa's idea of ``proper opponent'' is found in early Tibetan tshad ma literature, too. The present paper shows that the dGe lugs pa scholars are largely concerned with the process by which one obtains an inferential knowledge about the unknown object, and also that they, when talking about a proper opponent, emphasize the pedagogical role of dialectic conversation rather than the competitive feature of debates. (shrink)
In this paper, I discuss the problem of how empty persons can make distinctions between right and wrong within the two-truths doctrine of the Buddhist tradition. To do so, I rely on the teachings of the fifteenth- century founder of Tibetan Buddhism, Tsong kha pa Lo sang drak pa. I summarize Tsong kha pa’s exposition of the Buddhist tradition on this question, and then show how he held that profound emptiness, the ultimate truth found under scrupulous analysis of how (...) things exist, must be understood as complementing and fulfilling, rather than canceling, the principles of moral action, based as they are, primarily, on valid conventional distinctions. Along the way, I highlight Tsong kha pa’s major contribution to the history of Tibetan philosophy, namely, that conventional realities are not obviated by their profound emptiness of essence but have their own kind of validity; I then outline his criteria for saying that something exists conventionally. (shrink)
Great bliss clarified -- Six verses on co-emergence -- Utterly clear teaching of unification -- Definitive teaching on dreams -- Clear teaching on utter non-dwelling -- Full teaching of suchness -- Six verses on Madhyamaka.
An earlier article (Apple, J Indian Philos 41(3): 263–329, 2013) identified for the first time a brief Tibetan commentary to Atiśa Dīpaṃkaraśrījñāna’s (982–1054 c.e.) well-known “Entry to the Two Realities” (Satyadvayāvatāra) and provided an annotated translation of the work. This article provides an annotated diplomatic edition of the Tibetan commentary. The manuscript of the commentary is a facsimile reprint located in the recently published “Collected Works of the Bka’-gdams-pas” (bka’ gdams gsung ’bum). The early Tibetan commentary to (...) Atiśa’s Satyadvayāvatāra provides direct textual evidence of the beginnings of scholasticism in Tibet and offers an early perspective on the formative developments in the intellectual history of Tibetan Madhyamaka. (shrink)
Heidegger attempted a “hermeneutics of human experience” that, by switching from the ontic to the ontological dimension, yet maintaining a phenomenological εποχη would bring to light the true meaning of being and, by the same stroke, ascertain the structures of being in human experience. It is now well known that Heidegger drew from Buddhism. However, in human experience being and its structures appear to be ultimately true, and since Heidegger at nopoint went beyond samsara, he failed to realize the phenomenon (...) of being to be one of the two essential aspects of the most basic of delusive phenomena, which is the threefold apparitional structure produced by the threefold thought structure (Tibetan, ’khor-gsum), and therefore, instead of achieving a genuinely ontological understanding of being and its structures, he came to the wrong view of identifying being (the understanding of which was a priori in a somehow non-Kantian sense that will not be discussed here) with truth and taking the ontological structures of samsara to be somehow given. The problem is that he used the term Being (das Sein) roughly as a synonym of Buddha-nature, Tao and so on: whereas the latter is unthinkable and inexpressible, for Heidegger the word “being” is not an empty word, for it has its “appellative force.” In fact, for him it is not a mere sound or written sign that brings nothing to our mind; on the contrary, it causes us to immediately conceive something, and what we thus conceive manifests in our experience as a (non-Kantian) phenomenon. (shrink)