Friday, October 03, 2014

Pramanavarttika - FALL 2014 Class 2

The 2nd class of Fall 2014 term was held on Friday, the 3rd day of October. The first term of this course on Chapter 2 of Dharmakirti's Pramāņavarttika is a comprehensive introduction to the material contained in this profound text.

DOWNLOAD PDF files for this CLASS

INTRODUCTION to Pramanavarttika course

[These are the final Text and Charts distributed to students in class on October 13, 2014.  The students in this second class only had the Introduction to the text & the first set of Charts 1-12.  if you want a copy of those, download them from CLASS 1 blog post].

CHARTS & DIAGRAMS used in Class 2.  Download the other two sets of CHARTS from PRAMANA  Course - Term 1  Blog Post

DRAFT Transcript of Class 2 (Oct. 3, 2014) - Text PDF material appears in body of transcript when Geshe-la reads it out loud and, otherwise, in footnotes.

DOWNLOAD Recorded MP3 Tracks of Class 2:

Track 1 - Brief Review of First Class

Biographies or Hagiographies – Life Stories of Dignaga & Dharmakirti.  Conclude Review.
  • Life Story of Gyaltsab Je [Gyaltsab Dharma Rinchen - རྒྱལ་ཚབ་དར་མ་རིན་ཆེན་]
  • Buddhist Criticism of Pramana:
    • Non-Buddhist Philosophies extant in India at the time of Buddha (did not exist later in Tibet or other Buddhist countries) & the study of Pramana.
    • However, except for monastic rules of Vinaya, most Buddhist scriptures are based on logical reasoning.
Track 2 - Dharmakirti’s Seven Treatises on Pramana (ཚད་མ་སྡེ་བདུན་)
  • Commentaries on [Dignaga’s] Compendium of Pramana
  • Of these, Three are compared to a Body; Four are like Branches.
The English & Tibetan translations of the Sanskrit titles of the Seven Treatises are:

    1.    Commentary on [Dignaga's Compendium of] Valid Cognition [tshad ma rnam 'grel - ཚད་མ་རྣམ་འགྲེལ་];
    2.    Ascertainment of Valid Cognition [tshad ma rnam nges - ཚད་མ་རྣམ་ངེས་];
    3.    Drops of Reasoning [rigs thigs - རིགས་ཐིགས་].
    4.    Drops of Logic [gtan tshigs thig pa - གཏན་ཚིགས་ཐིག་པ་];
    5.    Investigating Relations ['brel ba brtag pa - འབྲེལ་བ་བརྟག་པ་];
    6.    Proof of Other [(Mental) Continua [rgyud gzhan grub pa - རྒྱུད་གཞན་གྲུབ་པ་];
    7.    Reasoning of Debate [rtsod pa'i rigs pa - རྩོད་པའི་རིགས་པ་]. 
  • The three treaties like the body teach all Eight Pivotal Points of Logic (tog ge'i tshigs don rgyad - རྟོག་གེའི་ཚིགས་དོན་རྒྱད་), while each of those like branches do not teach all of those points. 
  • Translation Issues: tog gay [རྟོག་གེའི་] and tshig don [ཚིགས་དོན་].
General Introduction 

Importance of Logic to Counter Misperceptions of Reality:
    •    In everyday life, our afflictive emotions are based on reasoning.
    •    We constantly use logical analysis to perform tasks of living.
    •    Correct Logic works because of Interdependence; Incorrect reasoning brings troubles.  [A is B if B is C & A is C.] 
    •    Many of our basic perceptions of reality are wrong, e.g., perceiving permanence rather than impermanent momentary change.

Correct Inferential Reasoning is required to understand Hidden Phenomena:
  • Misunderstanding Hidden Phenomena causes Suffering; that Misunderstanding can only be countered by Correct Inferential Reasoning.
Six Directly Perceiving Consciousnesses & One Conceptual Consciousness (the objects of which are Generic Images):
  • Conceptual Minds must use Correct Inferential Reasoning to realize Hidden phenomena (that are not accessible to sense consciousnesses).

Track 3  - Eight Pivotal Points of Logic (rtog ge'i tshig don rgyad - རྟོག་གེའི་ཚིགས་དོན་རྒྱད་):
1.    Correct Inferential Cognizers (rjes dpag yang dag - རྗེས་དཔག་ཡན་དག་)
2.    False inferential cognizers (rjes dpag ltar snangརྗེས་དཔག་ལྟར་སྣང་)
3.    Correct direct perceivers (mngon sum yang dag - མངོན་སུམ་ཡན་དག་)
4.    False direct perceivers (mngon sum ltar snang - མངོན་སུམ་ལྟར་སྣང་)
5.    Correct proof statements (sgrub ngag yang dag - སྒྲུབ་ངག་ཡན་དག་)
6.    False proof statements (sgrub ngag ltar snang - སྒྲུབ་ངག་ལྟར་སྣང་)
7.    Correct refutations (sun ‘byin yang dag - སུན་འབྱིན་ཡན་དག་)
8.    False refutations (sun ‘byin ltar snang - སུན་འབྱིན་ལྟར་སྣང་)

 Introduction - Inferential Cognizers, Correct Inference &  Correct Syllogisms

Inferential Cognizers & Correct Inferential Cognizer are equivalent. Inferential Cognizers arise from logic & incorrect logic is not logic.

Correct Syllogism [ten dzig yang dag - གཏན་ཚིགས་ཡང་དག་] - explained.

  • Using Correct Syllogisms to overcome clinging to notion of my Self being permanent by generating a correct inferential cognition.
  • Correct inferential cognizers realize their objects irrefutably.

Track 4 - Pivotal Points 1 - 4:

1. Correct Inferential Cognition (rjes dpag yang dag - རྗེས་དཔག་ཡན་དག་) - explanations of the First Tool of Logic.  Before developing correct inferential cognitions, we must identify the misperceptions of reality that lead to our discomforts.  E.g., check your mind when you experience upsets such as irritation that your quiet time has been interrupted and notice how your misperception of permanence/impermanence leads to an exaggerated reaction of an unhappy mind.

 2. False Inferential Cognition (rjes dpag ltar snang - རྗེས་དཔག་ལྟར་སྣང་).
Often, we say we know something is true, when actually we are assuming it is true based on some "authorities" or on the basis of incorrect or false syllogisms [ten dzig ltar snang - གཏན་ཚིགས་ལྟར་སྣང་].

Introduction to Direct Perceivers (mngon sum yang dag - མངོན་སུམ་)
Due to our long familiarity or habituation with misperceptions of reality, they are very deeply ingrained.  Inferential cognizers weaken the strength of those misperceptions, but only Mental Direct Perception can fundamentally eradicate such wrong views.   Direct perceivers and inferential cognizers are two extremely important tools required for Buddhist practice.  Since we need to cultivate these minds, we need to understand them as otherwise, they are very difficult to cultivate.

3. Correct Direct Perceivers (mngon sum yang dag - མངོན་སུམ་ཡན་དག་), and 4. False Direct Perceivers (mngon sum ltar snang - མངོན་སུམ་ལྟར་སྣང་) - Distinguishing the two.

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This is the 2nd class of the Fall 2014 term of
the Pramanavarttika course - which examines the
Second Chapter of Dharmakirti's Commentary's on 
[Dignaga's] Compendium of Valid Cognition


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