ADMIN: Please stop discussions on Madhyamaka

Anand Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Jun 28 10:29:13 CDT 2000

On Wed, 28 Jun 2000 03:30:57 +0000, Vidyasankar Sundaresan
<vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:

>Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM> wrote:
>>The threads on Madhyamaka have run their course now and worse are
>>degenerating into name-calling so we must regretfully ask the participants
>>to take them to email or some other forum.
>Good! I was debating whether to post another thing on that topic, but
>noticed that things had become rather muddled.
>Just as a final shot, I would ask people interested in Advaita and in
>Madhyamaka to pay attention to how both schools discuss the issue of human
>memory and recognition. This is intimately tied in to their views of
>consciousness in the three states.

Since I was one of the people guilty of "name calling" in the
heated arguments, I feel I must make one final point with a cool head,
probably at the risk of invoking the wrath of the Administrators!
Studying the (translation of) Gelukba (mAdhyamika) Tibetan texts cleared
up a lot of issues. If someone studies, for example, the work of
Tsong Kha-pa "Essence of True Eloquence", it becomes clear that what
he is talking about as the ultimate state is different from the one
that advaitins describe as the ultimate state. The BIG surprise lies
in something that we completely ignored in the discussions, that of the
role of activity (kriyA) in the ultimate state. And the big surprise is,
in Tsong Khapa's words: "Voidness of reality does NOT preclude the
viability of activity, Whereas when one perceives the opposite, action
is impossible in voidness, voidness is lost in activity, one falls
into anxiety's abyss." (emphasis mine) (page 178 of Robert Thurman's
translation with a foreword by the Dalai Lama). This is what I was trying
to convey earlier. The realization of the fact that everything is
interconnected (pratItya-samutpAda) or in other words the realization
that the universe is a collection of interconnected phenomena or
processes is itself the realization of voidness or shUnyatA. Since
there is activity in those processes, activity is NOT precluded in
shUnyatA. And remember that Tsong Kha-pa traces his lineage to nAgArjuna
through ChandrakIrtI, Aryadeva and others in the mAdhyamika school.

Tsong Kha-pa is specifically  pointing out that in the shUnyatA
(of mAdhyamika), kriyA is not precluded. And he says that to think that
there is no activity in shUnyatA (voidness) is wrong. This is a far cry
from the advaitin's extreme and emphatic claim:
"samuchchayo naasti tayorativirodhataH" there can be no combination
of action/activity and knowledge due to their complete incompatibility.
Whatever shUnya is, it is NOT the Brahman/Self of advaita. I rest my case.


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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