Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Class 18 - Debate imprecise assertion re Buddha Jewels

Download PDF's of Class Handouts, Notes, and MP3 Tracks from the 18th class of Spring 2012 term held on Wednesday, May 23.

DOWNLOAD Handouts - text for Class 18:

Handout 16 - Decisive Analysis by Panchen Sonam Drakpa - dialectical analysis of the Three Jewels categorized into:  I. Refuting Others' Systems; & II. Presenting Our Own System.  I. Refuting Other Systems’ definitions of the (1) Buddha Jewel, (2) Dharma Jewel, and (3) Sangha Jewel.  I.  REFUTING OTHERS’ DEFINITIONS of (1) Buddha Jewel (“A source of refuge that possesses the eight qualities of being conditioned, and so forth.”)  [Generalities & Instances].  Cont. next classes.

ALL SPRING 2012 PDF Handouts are HERE.

Track 1 - Review.
  • Accumulating Merit (a Non-Associated Compositional Factor) & Purifying Negativities – essence of Buddhist Practice.
Introduction to Debate – Terminology, Definitions & Reality – Imputation:  
  • Decisive Analysis – Panchen Sonam Drakpa’s debate manual mode of presentation.  HANDOUT 16.
    • Note: on class Handouts, a black Dot in the left margin indicates that ‘someone’ is presenting a view that will be disputed in debate.
  • Four Seals – include all of Buddhist philosophy:
All contaminated phenomena are in the nature of suffering.
All conditioned, compounded phenomena are impermanent
All phenomena are Empty and Selfless
Nirvana is peace.
Track 2 - Definition (མཚན་ཉིད་) & Definiendum (མཚོན་བྱ་) & Imputation:
  • That which is defined is called the Definiendum.  
  • A Definition has a Definiendum 
  • Definition and Definiendum need to be related so that: 
    • Whatever accords with the Definition must be that Definiendum, and
    • Whatever is the Definiendum must accord with that Definition. ….
Debating Wrong Views
  • Structure of Debate:  Dialectical analysis of the Three Jewels is categorized into:
    1. Refuting others' systems
    2. Presenting our own system
Refuting Wrong Views re the Three Objects of Refuge per Decisive Analysis

I.  Buddha Jewel

Someone asserts the definition of a Buddha Jewel is:
"a source of refuge that has the Eight Qualities of being unconditioned, and so forth as their qualities."
HANDOUT 12 – The ‘meaning’ of Buddha Jewel is:
“a perfected source of refuge that is endowed with the Eight Qualities, such as the quality of the unconditioned, and so forth.”  (General Meaning)
  • Decisive Analysis gives very precise definitions. 
  • The General Meaning text provides more general meanings.
  • Review:  A Buddha Jewel is any quality (kaya) of the Buddha; not necessarily a Buddha person (imputed upon those kayas/qualities).
Track 3Refutation by Distinguishing:

Arya Mahayanist & Buddha Jewel.
  • Panchen Sonam Drakpa says the:
definition (of Buddha Jewel) is not correct because an Arya Mahayanist (i.e., an Arya who is on any of the three Arya Mahayana paths) is not a Buddha Jewel but accords with the definition.”
  • Review meanings of Arya Mahayanist, an Arya, a Mahayanist.
Hinayana Arhat, Mahayana Arhat & Arhat

   Arhats are distinguished by their Foes:

  • Hinayana Arhat destroys the foe of Afflictive Obstructions.
  • Mahayana Arhat has destroyed the foe of Cognitive Obstructions (on the Eighth Ground of the Path of Meditation).
  • Arhat can refer to either of those two.
    • After Afflictive Obstructions (produced by the root Ignorance) are eliminated, Cognitive Obstructions remain to be eliminated in order to attain omniscience of Buddhahood.

    • Cognitive Obstructions are the persistent imprints of the mind that grasps onto inherent existence. 
    • Due to Cognitive Obstructions, for Hinayana Arhats and Eighth Ground Arya Bodhisattvas the 'appearance' of inherent existence remains and prevents their simultaneous perception of Two Truths. 

Track 4Generalities & Instances

  • Know qualities of Generalities (e.g., person) via its Instances (e.g., man / woman). 
  • Confusing Generalities & Instances causes lots of problems (e.g., Racism). 

  • Debating Generalities (Buddha Jewel) & Instances  (Mahayana Arya).  
    • Example of Debate based on Panchen Sonam Drakpa's rebuttal above.  
Note:  When the debaters are students who are studying the same textbook author, they must accept the definitions of that author.
  • Absurd consequence of overly broad meaning of Buddha Jewel presented by Panchen Sonam Drakpa:
[It follows that] Arya Mahayanists are a source of refuge that have the Eight Qualities of being unconditioned, and so forth, as their qualities.  
Arya Mahayanists have the Eight Qualities, such as being unconditioned, and so forth as their qualities because Arya Buddhas have these eight as their qualities. If Arya Buddhas have these eight as their qualities, Arya Mahayanists must also have them as their qualities because Arya Buddhas are Arya Mahayanists.
This argument is similar to saying that someone who has lost a leg has two legs because of being a human being and since "human beings have two legs".

NOTES of Class 18 (May 23) rough draft transcript of class offered for what it's worth.  

If any of the LINKS don't work, please leave a COMMENT or notify us by E-Mail.
This is the 18th class of the Spring 2012 term Perfection of Wisdom course
which addresses Refuge, the 3rd sub-topic of the 2nd Topic
(Mahayana Practice Instructions) of Chapter 1 of Maitreya's
Ornament for Clear Realizations - Abhisamayalamkara.

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