MADHYAMAKA KARIKA PDF

Hayes, svabhava can be interpreted as either "identity" or as "causal independence". Some of the major topics discussed by classical Madhyamaka include causality , change, and personal identity. In this sense then, emptiness does not exist as some kind of primordial reality, but it is simply a corrective to a mistaken conception of how things exist. Candrakirti compares it to someone who suffers from vitreous floaters that cause the illusion of hairs appearing in their visual field. What is required is a kind of cognitive shift termed realization in the way the world appears and therefore some kind of practice to lead to this shift. Furthermore, if there is neither own-nature nor other-nature, there cannot be anything with a true, substantial existent nature bhava.

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Related Entries 1. There is also broad agreement that language is limited to the everyday level of understanding and that the truth of nirvana is beyond the reach of language and of the conceptualization that makes language possible.

Does careful verbalization and thinking do any good in bringing one closer to nirvana, or is it invariably an obstacle? Is there any room within Madhyamaka for clear thinking and carefully wrought argumentation, or are all attempts to arrive at clear thought and rigorous argumentation ultimately delusional and therefore to be abandoned along with more obvious forms of delusion?

The first hundred verses of the Four Hundred Verse Treatise deal with four illusions that must be dispelled by someone striving to achieve liberation from the root causes of dissatisfaction.

The four illusions are the beliefs that there are permanent things in the world that escape destruction, that impermanent things can provide true satisfaction, that satisfaction can be derived from intrinsically impure things, and that satisfaction can be attained by being preoccupied with oneself. These are standard themes in Buddhist writings. The second set of one hundred verses also deal with standard Buddhist themes, namely, cultivating altruistic motivations, ridding the mind of the afflictions of desire, anger, and delusion, and developing habits of ethical conduct.

While the first half of the treatise is essentially inspirational in nature, the second half provides arguments meant to prove that all things are conditioned and therefore impermanent, that nothing qualifies as an independent and enduring self, and that there are no uncaused causes.

Most of the verses dealing with these topics are polemical in nature and are aimed at refuting the doctrines of Brahmanical schools, Jainism and some of the Buddhist scholastics. His motivation for doing this is suggested in 8. His exercise in showing the untenability of various positions, then, is presumably done not for the sake of refuting others in order to establish his own position, but to help his readers break the habit of firmly holding tenets.

He observes that since a permanent self could not undergo change, it could not be harmed or destroyed, and therefore it is inconsistent for those who believe in such a self to promote ethical guidelines against killing or harming others. For example, he argues that one cannot say that a pot is single, for it has many characteristics, such as color, shape, hardness, odor and so forth.

It also cannot be said that the pot is many pots, because none of the individual characteristics is a pot. It cannot be said that the pot is a single whole with many characteristics, because some of its components are material and therefore capable of contact and location, while others, such as color and odor, are immaterial and have no location; it makes no sense to say that characteristics that have contrary natures form a coherent whole.

And yet to deny that a pot is either one or many is to deny that it exists at all, for an existent thing must have either a property or the absence of that property.

The original Sanskit of this text is not known to exist, but it is still extant in Tibetan translation. There are only four possible relationships: the cause is the same as the effect, the cause is different from the effect, the cause is both the same as and different from the effect, or the cause is neither the same as nor different from the effect.

This fourth position would be tantamount to saying that there is no cause, and that an effect therefore arises out of nothing at all. Each of these four possibilities is rejected in turn, each for a different reason. Identity of cause and effect defeats the very idea of causality. If the effect were different from the cause, on the other hand, then there would be no constraints on what could arise out of what, so long as the cause and the effect were different. A proposition consisting of the conjunction of two false propositions cannot be true.

The fourth possibility, like the first, undermines the very idea of causality. Opponents to the Madhyamaka school were critical of this approach, saying in effect that there is little value in finding fault with a philosophical view unless one is prepared to offer a better view to replace the faulty one. This combination of works comprises eleven chapters. Their different approaches turned out to define two of the three important sub-schools of Madhyamaka.

All phenomena are conditioned, and such natures as they have are natures that they acquire through their conditions rather than on their own. The stock example given in Indian logic is that if a particular mountain is the topic, one can reason on the basis of observing smoke associated with that mountain that there is also a fire associated with that mountain. Attributing an unobserved feature to a topic on the basis of an observed feature is legitimate only if one has previously observed the feature used as evidence together with the feature being inferred, and if one has never seen the feature used as evidence in the absence of the feature being inferred.

In his discussion of MMK 1. If one negates just a predicate, that leaves open the possibility that some other predicate can suitably be applied to the subject in question. Negation of a predicate in a proposition presupposes the existence of the subject of the proposition, whereas negation of the entire proposition need not rest on such a presupposition.

Alternatively, one might take it to be saying that the arising of a phenomenon is not only from itself but rather from something that is partly itself and partly something other than itself. The scope of this non-conceptual insight is everything that is capable of being cognized. Of these, only the transactional truth is capable of being articulated in language.

The highest goal, consisting of a silence of the mind in which there is no conceptual thinking, is naturally inexpressible in language, since language is necessarily bound up with concepts. Where they differed with one another was on the issue of how the teachings of Buddhism, which are communicated in language, relate to the highest goal of Buddhism, which lies outside the scope of language. In other words, what is non-conceptual in nature cannot be known indirectly, and knowledge gained through language is always mediated and indirect.

For this reason, reality is entirely outside the range of language. The statement that phenomena are lacking in inherent natures, for example, does convey useful general information about reality.

Even though reality itself can be known only directly through a non-conceptual awareness, language can be helpful in conveying that very information, namely, that reality can be apprehended only directly and not through language. One aspect is that it is free from volitional thought, pure and beyond the reach of verbal elaborations. Another aspect is that it is volitional in nature, connected with the accumulation of knowledge and meritorious karma, and connected with verbal elaborations and with the transactional knowledge of everyday life.

Modern scholars place him at the beginning of the seventh century. The virtues to be perfected are generosity; good habits of thought, word and deed; patience; courage; meditation; wisdom; proselytizing skill; application of vows; strength of character; and transcendental knowledge.

As for the content of wisdom, it is the realization that no phenomena come into being. Phenomena cannot arise from themselves, since that possibility would make arising unnecessary or redundant; if a thing already exists, it has no need to come into being. If, on the other hand, it were allowed that one being might rise out of a being other than itself, then there would be nothing to prevent one from saying that pitch darkness arises out of light.

Another way of looking at the issue of production from causes is that the effect either already exists in the cause or it does not exist. If it already exists, it has no need or coming into being. If it does not exist, then it cannot be an agent that does the action of coming into being; but if there is no agent, then there is no action.

This leads to a discussion of the two truths. The ultimate truth—that is, truth concerning the highest goal—is that phenomena do not come into being; the conventional transactional truth, on the other hand, is that things do come into being and that their arising is conditioned.

This conventional truth can therefore be understood as a kind of screen, an obstacle that stands in the way of seeing the ultimate truth.

In other words, the putative truths of quotidian life are actually delusions that, if believed, prevent one from attaining the wisdom that is capable of leading to the imperturbable peace of nirvana.

The truth of the highest goal cannot be conveyed in language; it can only be manifested in silence. That notwithstanding, the Buddha gave many teachings in words, so how is one to understand that? It does not follow from grammatical correctness, however, that those words used in sentences have referents. Similarly, even though the Buddha realized that there are no phenomena coming into being and perishing, he spoke the same kinds of sentences used by those who believe that phenomena come into being through conditions and then perish when the conditions that sustain them are no longer operative.

If one is going to use language at all, then one cannot avoid using words and constructions that apparently commit one to accepting the presuppositions upon which language rests. The Buddha, knowing what kinds of beliefs his listeners had, gave doctrines that helped people get past their false beliefs. To people who were inclined to a materialistic monism, the Buddha emphasized the importance of the mind as something that is independent of the body. About this, more will be said below. As was discussed above section 4.

He had also written that he apprehends no objects at all and therefore has no need to affirm or deny anything, and since he neither affirms nor denies any proposition, he need not supply any reasons to justify his stance.

But the very claim that a proposition is warranted by a foundation is itself a proposition, and as such it must either require a warrant of its own or be deemed self-validating. If it requires a warrant of its own, the result will be an infinite regress of propositions needing warrants; if it is declared self-validating, then why not say of all propositions they are self-validating?

In everyday experience, we feel that things arise and perish because of causes and conditions, and we feel that we are conscious subjects on whom an external world is impinging. We communicate with one another in readily comprehensible language. There is no reason to change any of that, no reason to replace everyday language with a more precise technical language that helps avoid misprepresenting the nature of things. At the same time, it is important to be aware that it cannot be shown that things have fixed natures and that there is no reason to believe about any of our beliefs that they are grounded.

Best estimates of the time of his activity place him at the end of the seventh century. All this makes him a good access point into Madhyamaka philosophy for those who are not specialists in Indian philosophy. His claim is that pain and unhappiness are by definition that which those who experience them wish to avoid. Since, however, most of what anyone finds painful and unpleasant arises from the conviction that some objects of experience are inherently undesirable or impure, the best strategy to follow in helping oneself and others overcome pain and suffering is to show that there is no basis for the belief that some objects are inherently undesirable or impure.

That strategy also works, of course, when unhappiness arises from the frustration of not getting things that one falsely believes are inherently desirable and pure. A key verse in this chapter is 9. The ordinary people are those who see the world in terms of presences and absences, being and non-being, but the conventional truths in which they trade are set aside by the truths of the meditators. The principal delusion of those who rely on conventional truths is that they mistakenly believe that prospositions conventionally accepted as truth are grounded in the natures of things.

Meditators, on the other hand, come to realize that things do not have inherent natures. That things do not have inherent natures cannot be established directly, but attempts to show that things do have inherent natures can be shown to be faulty.

One who has cultivated the intention to become enlightened in order to lead others out of their delusion-driven suffering uses language to help people realize the limitations of language and conceptual thinking.

A true belief, then, is one that does not deceive one by promising to lead to a desired goal and then failing somehow to lead to that goal. Therefore, one can say that conceptual thinking, when done carefully, can be of great value.

Clear and careful thinking has the capacity to identify which of the ideas that arise in consciousness are ungrounded and delusional and therefore unlikely to motivate successful action. Clear and careful thinking about what one hears others say enables one to discard teachings that, if acted upon, are unlikely to produce expected results and to follow teachings that, if acted upon, will lead one to a desired goal, even the goal of the stillness of a mind that is not dealing in narratives and concepts.

While language operates within an ontology of causes and effects and various other kinds of relationship, such as temporal and spatial relationships, it can be shown that those relationships are all untenable if one thinks about them carefully and investigates them deeply enough. There are four possibilities.

Either many conditions produce a single effect, or many conditions produce many effects, or a single condition produces many effects, or a single condition produces a single effect. His presentation of an explanation for why each of these possibilities is untenable is in places terse and difficult to decipher. A single thing, such as vision, cannot be the effect of many conditions, such as the eye, visible color, an attentive mind and so forth, he says, because the effect has the feature of being one, while the causes are many, but there is nothing to account for what causes the reduction of many things to one.

Without some coherent account of how a manifold can be reduced to a singularity, this hypothesis ends up being merely an assertion. If one imagines that a manifold set of causes produces a complex multiplicity of effects, then one is saying in effect that each component of the complex cause is producing one component of the complex effect, and this amounts to saying that there are many instances of one cause producing one effect. On the other hand, if one thinks that each aspect of the complex effect is a single effect of the totality of features within the complex cause, then one is saying that a single effect has many conditions, which has already been ruled out.

Moreover, one faces the problem of explaining how the same totality of causes can have many distinct effects, each of which is a feature of the complex effect putatively arising from the causal complex. If one imagines that a multiplicity, such as the manifold universe, arises out of a single cause, such as God or Brahman or consciousness, then one must provide a coherent account of what causes the differentiation among the many effects.

What one would expect is that some auxiliary condition combines with the single cause to produce different effects; but if that is the case, then a single cause plus an auxiliary condition is not really just a single cause.

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Madhyamaka

Fenrigor The same insight is madhuamaka in the basic monastic curriculum of dGe-lugs-pa monasteries, which is structured around five topics defined by representative Indian texts: An accessible study of the East Asian reception and interpretation of Madhyamaka. In order to guide beginners a method is taught, comparable to the steps of a staircase that leads to perfect Buddhahood. Madhyamaka Buddhist Philosophy Madhyamaka forms an alternative to the perennialist and essentialist neo- Advaita understanding of nondualism or modern spirituality. Regarding the svatantrika prasangika debate, Ju Mipham explained that using positive assertions in logical debate may serve a useful purpose, either while debating with non-Buddhist schools or to move a student from a coarser to a more subtle view. Unlike most orthodox Sakyas, the philosopher Sakya Chokdena contemporary of Gorampa, madbyamaka promoted a form of shentong as being complementary to rangtong. According to Gaudapada, this absolute, Brahmancannot undergo alteration, so the phenomenal world cannot arise from Brahman.

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MADHYAMAKA KARIKA PDF

Related Entries 1. There is also broad agreement that language is limited to the everyday level of understanding and that the truth of nirvana is beyond the reach of language and of the conceptualization that makes language possible. Does careful verbalization and thinking do any good in bringing one closer to nirvana, or is it invariably an obstacle? Is there any room within Madhyamaka for clear thinking and carefully wrought argumentation, or are all attempts to arrive at clear thought and rigorous argumentation ultimately delusional and therefore to be abandoned along with more obvious forms of delusion? The first hundred verses of the Four Hundred Verse Treatise deal with four illusions that must be dispelled by someone striving to achieve liberation from the root causes of dissatisfaction. The four illusions are the beliefs that there are permanent things in the world that escape destruction, that impermanent things can provide true satisfaction, that satisfaction can be derived from intrinsically impure things, and that satisfaction can be attained by being preoccupied with oneself.

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