By John J. Makransky
To go into the Mahayana Buddhist route to enlightenment is to hunt either to develop into unfastened from our dualistic, deluded global and to stay actively engaged in that international till all others are loose. How are those it seems that contradictory features to be embodied within the attainment of buddhahood (dharmakaya)? How can one's current perform do so? those questions underlie a millennium-old controversy over buddhahood in India and Tibet that facilities round a loved textual content, the Abhisamayalamkara. Makransky exhibits how the Abhisamayalamkara's composite redaction, from Abhidharma, Prajnaparamita, and Yogacara traditions, authorized its interpreters to understand diversified features of these traditions as valuable in its instructing of buddhahood. This enabled Indians and Tibetans to learn very diverse views on enlightenment into the Abhisamayalamkara, wherein they replied to the questions in startlingly alternative ways. the writer indicates how those views offer other ways to unravel a logical pressure on the center of Mahayana inspiration, inscribed within the doctrine that buddhahood ironically transcends and engages our international at the same time. Revealing this stress because the foundation of the Abhisamayalamkara controversy, Makransky exhibits its connection to many different Indo-Tibetan controversies revolving round the related stress: disagreements over buddhahood's wisdom, embodiment, and accessibility to beings (in Buddha nature and during the path). Tracing the resource of anxiety to early Mahayana perform intuitions approximately enlightenment, the writer argues that various views in those controversies show other ways of prioritizing these perform intuitions.
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Additional info for Buddhahood embodied: sources of controversy in India and Tibet
Chapter 13, then, seeks to shed light on the organizing principles behind alternative perspectives on Buddhahood that contributed to the disagreements above. If its suggestions have merit, the history of a wide range of disagreements over Buddhahood can be viewed, at least in part, as a long process of experimentation with different ways to make the doctrine of nonabiding nirvana consistent with normative doctrines from preMahayana Buddhism, so as to establish an authentic Mahayana way to resolve the logical tension that originated with the very rise of the Mahayana and the development of its patterns of systematic thought.
The five skandhas (comprising the mind, body, and conditioned world of beings) were characterized as duhkha, conditioned forms of dissatisfaction and suffering. The completion of the Buddha's path was said to culminate in the attainment of the unconditioned, nirvana, by completely removing the causes of duhkha which are the deepest generative causes of mind and body. Final nirvana (parinirvana), then, the final attainment of the unconditioned upon physical death, involved the complete cessation of all conditioned states of mind and body, the cessation of all participation in this world: "Monks, there is an unborn, unbecome, unmade, unconditioned.
Precisely because it was unconditioned (asamskrta). Precise philosophical formulations of nirvana varied between the Abhidharma schools, but in its primary description, nirvana represented the cessation (nirodhasatya)of the karma (actions) and klesa (passions) that give rise to the cycle of rebirth. Nirvana was, most fundamentally, the state free from the conditions that produced the world and all experience of the world. As noted above, according to the Kosabhasya (at v. 67), the highest bodhi (enlightenment) of arhats (including Buddhas) consisted of two special knowledges: the knowledge of the destruction of the passions (ksayajñana)and the knowledge of no further occurrence of the passions (anutpadajñana).
Buddhahood embodied: sources of controversy in India and Tibet by John J. Makransky