Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Dharmakaya and Alaya (kun gzhi)

Jackson Peterson:
Dharmakaya as defined a bit by John Reynolds, translator and Dzogchen scholar:

"As we have pointed out elsewhere, it is true that the Dharmakaya, the dimension of reality, is universal, like infinite space itself. It is one in the sense of transcending all dualities. It is omnipresent and all-pervading and all sentient beings, the enlightened and the unenlightened, equally participate in this single Dharmakaya. But Dharmakaya refers not to mind (sems), but to the Nature of Mind (sems-nyid) and this is a crucial distinction in Dzogchen. Furthermore, the Dharmakaya, which is understood in Dzogchen as the state of Shunyata and the basis of everything (kun-gzhi), is not a mind, let alone the One Mind or the Universal Mind, even though it is the context for the activities of thought. For this reason, the Dharmakaya is compared to the clear open sky, whereas thoughts are compared to the clouds that come to fill the sky. Moreover, there is also the Rupakaya or Form Body, the dimension of form, which is equally the manifestation of Buddhahood and this Rupakaya is always individual in its nature. Therefore, the enlightenment of a Buddha has both a universal aspect, the Dharmakaya, and a particular and individual aspect, the Rupakaya."
Like · · December 30, 2013 at 7:16am
Gonzalo Fernandez likes this.

Kyle Dixon: His comparison of dharmakāya to śūnyatā is okay, but his statement that dharmakāya is the all-basis [kun gzhi] is now known to be inaccurate. The all-basis is synonymous with ignorance in dzogchen and therefore the all-basis would result from non-recognition of dharmakāya.

The comparison of dharmakāya to space is accurate in the sense that it attempts to frame a freedom from extremes. But the example of dharmakāya as a 'space that thought passes through' is misleading in my opinion.
December 30, 2013 at 7:43am · Like · 2

Jackson Peterson: Kyle Dixon, I think John trumps your credentials by maybe a 1000%! Kun Zhi in Dzogchen itself means the Dharmakaya Basis, not the Nampar Kunzhi of the Yogacara. The Dharmakaya is an all pervasive and infinite space from which the Rupakaya's arise. Its the single Essential Mind Space of all Buddhas.
December 30, 2013 at 7:48am · Like

Kyle Dixon: The all-basis [kun gzhi] is the ālaya, and is not dharmakāya or the basis [gzhi].

Nothing arises from dharmakāya, not even dharmakāya itself.
December 30, 2013 at 7:54am · Like · 2

Jackson Peterson: Tulku Urgyen writes in "As It Is":

"Dharmakaya is like space. You cannot say there is any limit in space in any direction. No matter how far you go, you never reach a point where space stops and that is the end of space. Space is infinite in all directions. So is Dharmakaya. Dharmakaya is all-pervasive and totally infinite, beyond any confines or limitations. This is so for the Dharmakaya of all Buddhas. There is no individual Dharmakaya for each Buddha as there is no individual space for each country. You can't say there is more than one space can you? It is all -pervasive and wide open. This is the same the Dharmakaya level of all Buddhas. That's the Dharmakaya sphere within which Sambhogakaya manifests. The three kayas are the basic dimension within which all mundane worlds manifest and disappear."
December 30, 2013 at 8:02am · Like

Kyle Dixon: Right, because dharmakāya is emptiness free from extremes, it is like space.
December 30, 2013 at 8:03am · Like

Jackson Peterson: Kyle Dixon, everything, all appearances, all energies arise from the empty space of the Dharmakaya, and dissolve back into it. That is how "self-liberation" is possible.
December 30, 2013 at 8:05am · Like

Kyle Dixon: You're perhaps describing the dharmadhātu. Dharmakāya is emptiness and therefore indicates non-arising.
December 30, 2013 at 8:07am · Like

Jackson Peterson: Kyle Dixon, you don't understand the background of Dzogchen regarding Maha and Anu yoga. Emptiness means space in the development stage practices of tantra, the empty space in which the mandala and deity appear. That meaning for "space" is the meaning in Dzogchen, not "dependent arising", that's Madhayamaka and lower yana talk.
December 30, 2013 at 8:08am · Edited · Like

Jackson Peterson: That's why I told you that your version of Dzogchen is "hinayana Dzogchen"
December 30, 2013 at 8:09am · Like

Jackson Peterson: Awareness has no borders and pervades the entire universe... that is the "all pervasive rigpa.. kunchyab rigpa
December 30, 2013 at 8:11am · Like

Kyle Dixon: Jackson, the notion of 'space' can have many meanings when compared to certain terms in Dzogchen. Space is sometimes used to translate klong as in 'klong sde'. It's also used to translate 'dbyings' as in chö ying i.e. dharmadhātu, and so on.

When space is associated with dharmakāya it is to denote the absence of extremes and non-arising (emptiness) of dharmas.
December 30, 2013 at 8:22am · Like · 1

Kyle Dixon: Emptiness in Dzogchen means the same thing as emptiness in Madhyamaka.
December 30, 2013 at 8:23am · Like · 1

Jackson Peterson: No Kyle, that is the lower yanas view. Awareness as in omniscience is an awareness that pervades the entire dimension of all universes without limit. A master has a very wide physical perimeter of awareness and can see and sense things from great distances. That's because awareness has no boundaries in time and space.
December 30, 2013 at 8:25am · Like · 1

Kyle Dixon: platypus wrote:
I see the dharmakaya explained as where all buddhas emanate from like a ground of being...

Malcolm wrote:
Buddhism does not propose a truly existent ground of being.

Enochian wrote:
What about a dependently originated ground of being?

Malcolm wrote:
That is a contradiction in terms -- from what causes and conditions would such a ground of being originate?

Buddhist logic on this is airtight. There is nothing in the universe that is not dependently originated. Whatever is dependently originated is free from the extremes of existence and non-existence. Since there are no beings in a dependently originated universe, there also no ground of being. What is the use of a ground of being if there are no beings for which it is purported to be a ground?


platypus wrote:
that's what advaita says too, that jiva are ultimately one with brahman and simply maya.

Malcolm wrote:
There is no jiva, from a Buddhist POV. Nor is there Brahmin.


platypus wrote:
So all dharmas do not arise from dharmakaya?

Malcolm wrote:
No, they do not.
December 30, 2013 at 8:25am · Like · 1

Jackson Peterson: Malcolm is completely wrong. He also has also been hamstrung with lower yana views. Tulku Urgyen discusses a non-dependent "awareness" that is ever present. Malcolm and you think all "awareness" is dependently arisen and is an subject object duality. Tulku Urgyan: "When you say original wakefulness, yeshe or wisdom, it by definition means a knowing for which there is no object." You shouldn't be taking lessons from Malcolm, but rather real teachers like Tulku Urgyan and his sons for starters.
December 30, 2013 at 8:30am · Edited · Like

Kyle Dixon: As for the all-basis and dharmakāya:

The Reverberation of Sound Tantra explains the etymology of 'all-basis':

"The etymology of 'kun' [all] lies in its subsuming everything.
The etymology of 'gzhi' [basis] lies in its accumulation and hoarding (of karmic traces and propensities)."

The same text continues:

"Here I will explain the all-basis to start off:
It is the ground of all phenomena and non-phenomena."

The Tantra of the Self-Arisen Vidyā states:

"The all-basis [skt. ālaya, tib. kun gzhi] is adulterated by diverse cognitive processes
By force of its sustaining neurotic conceptuality;
The all-basis is the real ignorance [skt. avidyā, tib. ma rig pa]."

Jigme Lingpa in 'Distinguishing The Three Essential Points of Dzogchen' states:

"The ālaya [kun gzhi] is the basis of all samsara and nirvana;
It is not unlike muddy water.
[In it], because of confusion led by latent ignorance,
The brightness of wisdom [ye shes] and vidyā [rig pa] has become hidden."

He continues:

"Those who, not understanding this, mistake the ālaya [kun gzhi] for the dharmakāya, are like blind men wandering in the desert without a guide. Because of their confusion about the vital points of the basis and result, they have come to a standstill on the path that accomplishes buddhahood in one lifetime."
December 30, 2013 at 8:30am · Like · 1

Jackson Peterson: You may not know this Kyle, but its not new news... Dzogchen has two Zhi... Your quotes describe the yogacara Zhi. Only Dzogchen describes its Zhi as kadag... duh!
December 30, 2013 at 8:35am · Edited · Like

Kyle Dixon: Yes, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche is saying that ye shes i.e. wisdom denotes a species of knowledge which apperceives non-arising, meaning; free of objects (emptiness).

As Candrakirti states [per Malcolm]:

"Since all of the dried fire wood of knowledge objects
have been burned, that peace is the dharmakāya of the victors;
at that time there is no arising, no cessation;
that cessation of the mind is the direct perception of the kāya."
December 30, 2013 at 8:44am · Like · 2

Kyle Dixon: The kun gzhi in Dzogpa Chenpo is not a Yogācāra gzhi. Those quotes are from the Dzogchen tantras so they are not referencing Yogācāra.

As Dzogchen evolved it did begin to implement a dual bases model. The basis [gzhi] and all-basis [kun gzhi]. Ka dag is the essence of the gzhi.
December 30, 2013 at 8:50am · Like · 1

Kyle Dixon: Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche:

"The recognition of emptiness is accomplished the moment you look. 'Seeing no thing is the supreme sight.'...
...When śamatha is destroyed or disintegrates, then there is true emptiness, an uncultivated emptiness, a natural emptiness. This primordial emptiness is dharmakāya indivisible from sambhogakāya and nirmanakāya."
December 30, 2013 at 10:19am · Like · 3

Soh: "his statement that dharmakāya is the all-basis [kun gzhi] is now known to be inaccurate"

Probably because he is a Bon Dzogchenpa. Terminology differences, right?
December 30, 2013 at 11:47am · Like · 1

Kyle Dixon: Yeah that could be it, some Bönpos do refer to the gzhi as 'kun gzhi', I'm not sure why. Though Löpon Tenzin Namdak does differentiate the two bases.
December 30, 2013 at 12:07pm · Like · 1

Jackson Peterson: Kyle Dixon, again you are mistaken. Dzogchen adopted the Yogacarya description of the Alayavijnana, but because its model was limited to a "dependently originated" Alaya, Dzogchen had to clarify that the real Zhi or Alaya is Kadag and Lhundrub, not karmic. It is that Zhi we are introduced to, recognizing that Zhi is rigpa. The Alayavijnana is like a boat that is filled with karmic stuff, the boat is floating on the pure water of the Zhi. This is the traditional example used. It's not just Bon pa by any means!
December 30, 2013 at 6:56pm · Like

Jackson Peterson: Soh, Kyle is wrong, not John, as explained above.
December 30, 2013 at 6:58pm · Like

Kyle Dixon: The ālaya is not the gzhi in Dzogchen, nor does Dzogchen state that the ālaya is the true basis. The ālaya is ignorance in Dzogchen.

The statement was that some Bön refer to the gzhi as 'kun gzhi' i.e. the ālaya. Whereas the Nyingma adamantly separate the two bases; the gzhi being the pure basis and kun gzhi being the impure basis. That was the only point Soh was making; sometimes the Bön simply refer to the gzhi as 'kun gzhi', when kun gzhi is generally not held to be the gzhi the Bön suggest it is.
December 30, 2013 at 11:53pm · Like · 1

Kyle Dixon: The ālaya, being ignorance, is dependently originated in Dzogchen as well.
December 30, 2013 at 11:54pm · Like · 1

Kyle Dixon: At any rate, it's not about who's wrong or right. We each have our opinions and I respect yours! I'd rather just get along and agree to disagree, I don't have anything to prove so these discussions (which I am enjoying) don't need to escalate to a bad place.
December 31, 2013 at 12:12am · Edited · Like · 1

Jackson Peterson: Kyle ok, but if you say 3+3=5, then I can't say ok.., we just have different opinions. Now I am forced to post multiple quotes where the use of Zhi as Alaya, not as alaya vijnana is explained both by Nyingma and Bon masters. I really hate to take so much of my time to fetch and copy these quotes time and time again. I explained the often used boat example for Zhi and kunzhi nampar shes pa. I only argue points that I am 100.% certain about textually. It's like you don't read my responses and then research their validity. More importantly, I really don't have interest in your opinions any more, you have been proven wrong on virtually ever point we have argued.
December 31, 2013 at 4:19am · Like

Kyle Dixon: The gzhi is never promoted as the kun gzhi. Some refer to the gzhi as 'kun gzhi', but that does not mean that the gzhi is the kun gzhi [ālaya].

When the tantras speak of the kun gzhi [ālaya], they are not speaking of the kun gzhi rnam shes [ālayavijñāna]. The ālaya and ālayavijñāna are two different aspects of samsaric experience, neither are the gzhi.
December 31, 2013 at 4:25am · Like · 1

Jackson Peterson: Zhi in Dzogchen is the pure and Kadag Basis and is not samsaric. Stop!
December 31, 2013 at 4:32am · Like

Kyle Dixon: I never said it was.
December 31, 2013 at 5:10am · Like

Kyle Dixon: The kun gzhi, is not the gzhi. Some Bönpos sometimes refer to the gzhi as 'kun gzhi', but that doesn't mean the gzhi is the kun gzhi. It just means those select individuals call the gzhi; 'kun gzhi'.

Traditionally however, as far as Dzogchen goes; the kun gzhi is ignorance, the kun gzhi rnam shes is one of the eight consciousnesses which arise from ignorance, and the gzhi is wisdom.
December 31, 2013 at 5:15am · Like

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