第三明自宗所破分三，一 正明所破義，二 於餘所破加不加此之理，三 釋於所破應不應加勝義簡別。
184.108.40.206.3 How our system identifies the object of negation.
This has three parts:
1. The actual identification of the object to be negated
2. When to add qualifications to other objects of negation
3. Whether to add the qualification "ultimate" to the object of negation
220.127.116.11.3.1 The actual identification of the object to be negated.
In general, with regard to objects of negation, there are objects negated by the path and objects negated by reason.
As to the first of these, Maitreya's 《Separation of the Middle from the Extremes》 says:
There are teachings on afflictive obscuration
And on cognitive obscuration.
We hold that all obscurations are among these,
And when they are gone, you are free.
Thus, there are afflictive obscurations and cognitive obscurations. These objects of negation do occur among objects of knowledge, for, if they did not exist, then all embodied beings would escape cyclic existence without exertion.
As for objects negated by reason, Nāgārjuna's 《Refutation of Objections》 says:
Someone thinks that an emanated
Woman is a woman.
Another emanation stops this wrong conception—
This is like that.
In his 《Commentary on the "Refutation of Objections"》 he says:
A woman emanated by some being is empty of the nature of being a woman, but someone else wrongly thinks, "This is ultimately a woman." Therefore, due to that wrong conception, attachment arises. The Tathāgata or a śrāvaka of the Tathâgata emanates another emanation, and thereby stops that person's wrong conception.
Similarly, my words, which are empty like an emanation, stop any apprehension that anything exists intrinsically. All things, like the emanated woman, are empty and do not intrinsically exist.
Thus he speaks of misconceptions as objects of negation and he also treats the intrinsic nature that they apprehend as an object of negation, making two kinds of objects to be negated.
However, the primary object of negation is the latter. For, in order to stop an inaccurate consciousness, you must first refute the object which that consciousness apprehends.
For instance, dependent-arising refutes the essential or intrinsic existence of persons and phenomena. This latter object of negation cannot be among objects of knowledge because, if it did exist, then it could not be refuted.
Still, there are mistaken superimpositions that apprehend it as existing, so you must refute it. This refutation is not like destroying a pot with a hammer; rather, it is a matter of developing certain knowledge that recognizes the nonexistent as nonexistent.
When you develop certain knowledge that it does not exist, the mistaken consciousness that apprehends it as existing will stop.
- p.457 -
Similarly, using reason to establish something is not a matter of newly establishing something that did not exist before, like a seed producing a seedling. Rather, it is the development of certain knowledge that recognizes a phenomenon as it is.
Nāgārjuna's 《Refutation of Objections》 says:
What use is it to establish the negation
Of what does not exist anyway, even without words?
To answer that, the words "does not exist"
Cause understanding; they do not eliminate.
In his Commentary on that Nāgārjuna says:
Qualm: If you are establishing the negation of something that does not exist even without words, without saying anything, then what is the use of your words, "All things lack intrinsic nature"?
Reply: The words, "All things lack intrinsic nature," do not cause things to lack intrinsic nature, but, in the absence of intrinsic nature, they do make it understood that things lack intrinsic nature.
For example, even though Devadatta is not in the house, someone says, "Devadatta is in the house." Someone else, in order to show that Devadatta is not there says, "Devadatta is not there." Those words do not cause Devadatta not to be there, but merely indicate that Devadatta is not in the house.
Similarly, the words, "Things lack intrinsic nature," do not cause things to lack intrinsic nature. All things lack intrinsic nature, like creatures in a magical illusion.
However, childish beings are confused about the absence of real essence in all things, so we make them understand that there is no intrinsic nature in the things that they, confused by ignorance, reify as having intrinsic nature.
Therefore, what you have said—that if there is no intrinsic nature, what use are the words, "There is no intrinsic existence," inasmuch as things would be established as without intrinsic nature even without any words, without saying anything—is not reasonable.
You should understand this in accordance with this very clear statement.
Some hold that to conduct the extensive rational analysis required for refutations and proofs is to meander among mere conventional words, for all phenomena are devoid of refutation and proof, in that, if something exists, it cannot be refuted, and, if it does not exist, it need not be refuted. This is a nonsensical collection of contradictions, showing neither general awareness of how reason establishes and negates things nor general awareness of how the path establishes and negates things. For, you claim that refutation and proof should not be done, while you yourself are refuting your opponent's use of analysis that involves refutation and proof, citing as your reason, "If something exists, it cannot be refuted, and if it does not exist, it need not be refuted."
Furthermore, your stated reason is not an appropriate refutation of an opponent who holds that it is necessary to conduct refutation and proof because according to you, if something exists, it cannot be refuted, and if it does not exist, it need not be refuted.
We carry out refutations with excellent reasoning so as to stop inaccurate and mistaken conceptions;
proof by reasoning is a technique for developing accurate and certain knowledge. Therefore, those who wish to stop the various inaccurate awarenesses and to develop the various accurate awarenesses should pursue the collections of arguments by authors such as Nāgārjuna and should develop minds that have accurate and certain knowledge of refutation and proof.
- p.458 -
Question: If, as you say, refutation by means of reasoning is done in order to develop accurate and certain knowledge by eradicating inaccurate cognitive processes, then reason will cancel out an object as it is apprehended by a certain kind of mind. What is that mind?
Reply: In general, there are a limitless number of conceptual consciousnesses that apprehend the object of negation; however, you should carefully identify the incorrect conceptual consciousness that is the root of all faults and defects and you should eradicate its referent object.
For, if that is stopped, then all faults and defects will be stopped. Moreover, the remedies set forth in sutra for other afflictions, such as attachment, cure a portion of the afflictions, whereas the remedies set forth for ignorance cure all afflictions.
Therefore, ignorance is the basis of all faults and defects.
Candrakirti's 《Clear Words》 says:
The teachings of the buddhas—the sets of sutras and so forth— are based on the two truths.
In nine types they rightly proclaim the vast remedies which correspond to worldly behavior.
Among these, those said to eliminate attachment do not extinguish hostility,
Those said to eliminate hostility do not extinguish attachment,
And those said to extinguish pride and so forth do not overcome other defilements.
Therefore they are not broadly effective, and those scriptures are not of great significance.
Those said to extinguish delusion overcome all afflictions;
The conquerors have said that all afflictions are based upon delusion.
What is this delusion like? It is ignorance, which in this context is an awareness that mistakenly superimposes intrinsic nature; it apprehends internal and external phenomena as existing by way of their own intrinsic character.
Candrakirti's 《Commentary on the "Four Hundred Stanzas"》 says: It is said that one becomes attached to things by the power of an afflictive misunderstanding, a consciousness that superimposes an essence of things, and that one stops cyclic existence by totally stopping that which serves as the seed for the process of cyclic existence.
In order to indicate this, the 《Four Hundred》 says: The seed of worldly existence is a consciousness; Objects are its sphere of activity. When you see that objects lack self, You negate the seed of worldly existence.
Hence, Aryadeva holds that by seeing objects as lacking intrinsic nature, you totally stop the seed of cyclic existence, the consciousness that causes attachment. This stops cyclic existence for Śrāvakas, pratyekabuddhas, and bodhisattvas who have attained forbearance with regard to the teaching of non-production.
This is also called the conception of true existence. For Aryadeva's Four Hundred says: Just as the tactile sensory faculty pervades the body, Delusion lies within all the afflictions. Therefore, by destroying delusion You will destroy all afflictions.
Commenting on this verse, Candrakirti's Commentary on the "Four Hundred Stanzas" says:
Because of confusion brought on by the thought that things truly exist as they appear, delusion acts to superimpose upon things an essence of true existence.
- p.459 -
Qualm: If, as you say, ignorance is the root of cyclic existence, then it would be incorrect for Candrakirti to explain in the 《Commentary on the "Middle Way"》 and in the《Clear Words》 that the view of the perishing aggregates as "I" and "mine" is the root of cyclic existence. For, there cannot be two primary causes of cyclic existence.
Reply: In the section on the person of medium capacity, I have already explained what other masters say about how to assert ignorance and the view of the perishing aggregates.
Therefore, here I will explain the assertions of the master Candrakirti. Other Mādhyamikas consider the conception of things as truly existent to be a cognitive obscuration; he asserts that such a conception is ignorance and, what is more, he asserts that it is afflictive ignorance.
For, as cited above, his 《Commentary on the "Four Hundred Stanzas"》 explains that the conception of true existence is afflictive.
Also, his 《Explanation of the "Middle Way" Commentary》 says:
Because this causes living beings to be confused in their view of the actual state of things, it is delusion; ignorance mistakenly superimposes upon things an essence that they do not have It is constituted so as to block perception of their nature. It is a concealer.
Also: Thus, conventional truths are posited through the force of the afflictive ignorance which is included within the factors of cyclic existence.
Thus, because he explains that it is the first of the twelve factors of dependent-arising, it is an affliction and not a cognitive obscuration.
What are the cognitive obscurations? This will be explained below.
Therefore, he explains that the ignorance which is the first of the twelve factors is the root of cyclic existence and, within that, he also explains that the view of the perishing aggregates is the root of cyclic existence.
Since ignorance is the general category and the view of the perishing aggregates is an instance, there is no contradiction.
Ignorance is the opposite of knowledge, and this does not refer to just any knowledge, but to the wisdom that knows the reality that is selflessness.
The opposite of that cannot simply be the nonexistence of that wisdom, nor can it simply be something other than that wisdom; therefore, it is a conception that is that wisdom's contradictory equivalent. This is the superimposition of self.
There are two types: the superimposition of an objective self and the superimposition of a personal self.
Thus, both the conception of a personal self and the conception of an objective self are ignorance.
Therefore, when he indicates that the view of the perishing aggregates is the root of all other afflictions, this does not mean that ignorance is not the root.
Also, [Nāgārjuna's 《Precious Garland》] says, "As long as you conceive of the aggregates, you will conceive of them as 'I'."
This means that the ignorance that is confusion in regard to an objective self causes confusion with regard to a personal self. Since this places the internal divisions of ignorance in a cause-and-effect relationship,
it does not contradict the teaching that the view of the perishing aggregates is the root of all afflictions other than ignorance.
If you do not understand this way of explaining what the master Candrakirti intended, then it is very difficult to dispel the false impression that he contradicted himself by explaining the root of cyclic existence in two different ways.
Nāgārjuna the Protector also accepts this system of identifying ignorance.
- p.460 -
For, his 《Seventy Stanzas on Emptiness》 says:
The Teacher said that ignorance
Is the conception that, in reality,
Things are produced from causes and conditions.
From this, the twelve factors arise.
Through seeing reality, you know
That things are empty; ignorance does not arise.
This is the cessation of ignorance.
Because of this, the twelve factors cease.
Also, the twenty-sixth chapter of his 《Fundamental Treatise》 says:
When ignorance is stopped
Compositional activity will not arise at all.
That which stops ignorance
Is knowing and meditating on reality.
By stopping this and that earlier factor of dependent-arising,
This and that later factor will not arise.
In this way you thoroughly stop
The whole mass of suffering.
This and the other passage just cited are in agreement and fit together very well with the line in Nāgārjuna's 《Precious Garland》, "As long as you conceive of the aggregates...," which says that the root of cyclic existence is the conception of the aggregates as intrinsically existent.
The noble Aryadeva also asserts this, as is clearly indicated by the passages cited earlier, "Just as the tactile sensory faculty pervades the body..." and also, "The root of cyclic existence is a consciousness...."
When the master Nāgārjuna refutes the object of negation in the 《Fundamental Treatise》, he gives all of his diverse arguments so as to refute an intrinsic nature—delusion's reification of phenomena as essentially existent—and to show that phenomena lack essence.
Thus, Nāgārjuna gives a wide range of arguments only for the sake of eradicating the way that ignorance apprehends things.
Buddhapalita's 《Commentary on the "Fundamental Treatise"》 says: What is the purpose of teaching dependent-arising?
The master Nāgārjuna, whose very nature is compassion, saw that living beings are beset by various sufferings and assumed the task of teaching the reality of things just as it is so that they might be free. He therefore began teaching dependent-arising.
For, it is said: Seeing what is not real, you are bound; Seeing the real, you are free.
What is the reality of things just as it is? It is the absence of essence.
Unskilled persons whose eye of intelligence is obscured by the darkness of delusion conceive of an essence in things
and then generate attachment and hostility with regard to them. When the illumination of the knowledge of dependent-arising clears away the darkness of delusion and the eye of wisdom sees the absence of essence in things, then there is no foundation for the other afflictions, and attachment and hostility do not develop.
Also, in the transition to the twenty-sixth chapter, that same text says:
Question: You have already explained entry into the ultimate through the Mahāyāna texts. Now explain entry into the ultimate through the texts of Śrāvakas.
Reply: [The 《Fundamental Treatise》] says, "Through obscuration by ignorance, cyclic existence recurs...."
And, in the transition to the twenty-seventh chapter Buddhapālita says:
Question: Now illustrate the absence of Wrong views using scriptures that accord with the vehicle of Śrāvakas.
Reply: [The 《Fundamental Treatise》] says, "In the past, I arose...."
These statements make it clear that the master Buddhapālita also asserts that the ignorance which is the first of the twelve factors of dependent-arising is the superimposition of intrinsic nature on things and that even Śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas know the selflessness of objects.
- p.461 -
Therefore, you should understand that the great proof for showing that Śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas know that objects lack intrinsic nature is the fact that the conception of an objective self is counted as the ignorance that is among the twelve factors of dependent-arising.
Aryadeva's 《Four Hundred Stanzas》 says, "Conceptuality sees and you are bound; it should be stopped here."
Even the conceptuality mentioned in that statement does not refer to all conceptual consciousnesses whatsoever, but rather to conceptual consciousnesses that superimpose essential existence on phenomena.
For, commenting on that passage, Candrakirti's 《Commentary on the "Four Hundred Stanzas"》 says, "A conceptual consciousness superimposes an incorrect sense of intrinsic existence."
Further, he asserts that it is afflictive ignorance. Hence, while there are those who claim that reason refutes the object of every conceptual consciousness that thinks, "This is such and such," they have done no detailed investigation of this matter.
If it were otherwise, then, since for ordinary beings the meaning of reality is hidden, they would have no way of apprehending the meaning of emptiness with a non-conceptual consciousness.
Also, if the objects of every conceptual consciousness were contradicted by reason, then even the objects of certain knowledge would be like the intrinsic nature superimposed by a mistaken, wrong consciousness.
This would imply that there is no correct view leading to the state of nirvâna, whereby it would be pointless to do any study or reflection on the Madhyamaka texts.
For, Aryadeva's Four Hundred Stanzas says:
Seeing what is not emptiness as if it were emptiness,
Some say, "I will attain nirvâna," but they will not.
The tathâgatas said that
You do not reach nirvâna through wrong views.
Based on just this [intrinsic nature], the referent object of the way that ignorance apprehends things as explained above, essentialist schools—Buddhist and non-Buddhist—reify many different things.
When you negate the referent of ignorance's cognitive process, you completely stop all of these tenet-driven reifications, as though you cut a tree at its root. Therefore, those who have the faculty of wisdom should understand that the referent object of innate ignorance is the basic object of negation and should not devote themselves merely to refuting imaginary constructs that are imputed only by the advocates of philosophical tenets.
Refuting the object of negation in this way is not an idle pursuit. You see that living beings are bound in cyclic existence by a wrong conceptual consciousness that has the object of negation as its object and you then refute its object. What binds all living beings in cyclic existence is innate ignorance;
acquired ignorance exists only among those who advocate philosophical tenets, so it cannot be the root of cyclic existence. It is extremely important to gain specific and certain knowledge of this point.
Hence, the ultimate wrong conceptual consciousness that conceives the object of negation is the innate ignorance which is the first of the twelve factors of dependent-arising.
Acquired objects of negation are merely superimpositions based on this. Thus, it is not at all the case that reason negates all of the cognitive processes through which non-conceptual consciousnesses—e.g., sensory consciousnesses—apprehend things.
- p.462 -
Therefore, only conceptual mental consciousnesses have cognitive processes that are negated by reason;
more specifically, reason refutes the cognitive processes of the two conceptions of self and the cognitive processes of those conceptual consciousnesses that superimpose further attributes on objects that have been imputed by those two conceptions of self. It is not that reason refutes the cognitive processes of all conceptual consciousnesses of any kind.
Question: How does ignorance superimpose intrinsic nature?
Reply. In general, there appear in Candrakirti's texts many usages of verbal conventions such as "nature" or "essence" with regard to objects that exist only conventionally.
However, here in the case of reification by ignorance, there is, with regard to objects, be they persons or other phenomena, a conception that those phenomena have ontological status—a way of existing—in and of themselves, without being posited through the force of an awareness. The referent object that is thus apprehended by that ignorant conception, the independent ontological status of those phenomena, is identified as a hypothetical "self" or "intrinsic nature",
For, Aryadeva's 《Four Hundred Stanzas》 says:
All of this is without its own power;
Therefore there is no self.
Commenting on this, Candrakirti's 《Commentary on the "Four Hundred Stanzas"》 says:
It is that which exists essentially, intrinsically, autonomously, and without depending on another....
Thus, he says that those are synonyms. "Without depending on another" does not mean not depending on causes and conditions. Instead, "other" refers to a subject, i.e., a conventional consciousness, and something is said not to depend on another due to not being posited through the force of that conventional consciousness.
Therefore, "autonomously" refers to the nature of an object that has its own unique ontological status or manner of being. It is just this that is called "essence" or "intrinsic nature."
Take, for example, the case of an imaginary snake that is mistakenly ascribed to a rope. If we leave aside how it is ascribed from the perspective that apprehends a snake and try to analyze what the snake is like in terms of its own nature, since a snake is simply not present in that object, its features cannot be analyzed.
It is similar with regard to these phenomena. Suppose that we leave aside analysis of how they appear—i.e., how they appear to a conventional awareness—and analyze the objects themselves, asking, "What is the manner of being of these phenomena?" We find they are not established in any way.
Ignorance does not apprehend phenomena in this way; it apprehends each phenomenon as having a manner of being such that it can be understood in and of itself, without being posited through the force of a conventional consciousness.
Candrakirti's 《Commentary on the "Four Hundred Stanzas"》 says:
Without any doubt, what exists only through the presence of conceptual thought, and does not exist without conceptual thought, definitely does not exist essentially—as in the case of a snake that is imputed to a coiled rope.
Thus Candrakirti states how phenomena do not essentially exist.
Therefore, what exists objectively in terms of its own essence without being posited through the power of a subjective mind is called "self" or "intrinsic nature."
The absence of this quality in the person is called the selflessness of the person;
its absence in phenomena such as eyes, ears, and so forth is called the selflessness of objects.
- p.463 -
Hence, one may implicitly understand that the conceptions of that intrinsic nature as present in persons and objects are the conceptions of the two selves.
It is as 《Candrakirti's Commentary on the "Four Hundred Stanzas"》 says:
"Self" is an essence of things that does not depend on others; it is an intrinsic nature. The nonexistence of that is selflessness. Because of the division into objects and persons, it is understood as twofold: a "selflessness of objects" and a "selflessness of persons."
Qualm: The conception of persons as existing by way of their intrinsic character cannot be a conception of a personal self.
For if it were, then even observing persons other than oneself and conceiving of them as existing by way of their own intrinsic characteristic would be a conception of a personal self.
If you admit this, then, while it must be a view of the perishing aggregates, it cannot be a view of the perishing aggregates insofar as it is not a conception that thinks, "I."
Reply. As explained earlier, Candrakirti says that an intrinsic nature in persons is a self of persons, so one must accept that a conception of the person as intrinsically existent is a conception of a self of persons.
However, a conception of a self of persons is not necessarily a view of the perishing aggregates.
What is needed in order to have a conception of self that is a view of the perishing aggregates? In the case of the conception of self that is an acquired view of the perishing aggregates, there is no definite rule, as there are many—including some among the Sammitiya schools—who do, as a result of their philosophies, apprehend a self when they observe the aggregates.
However, in the case of the innate view of the perishing aggregates, Candrakirti's 《Commentary on the "Middle Way"》 refutes that the aggregates are the observed object and his 《Explanation of the "Middle Way" Commentary》 says that the dependently imputed self is the observed object. Hence, an innate view of the perishing aggregates does not take the aggregates as its object of observation, but rather observes the mere person.
Moreover, it must be a person who is a basis for the arising of the thought "I." Thus, a person of another continuum of mental and physical aggregates is not the object of observation.
With regard to how that object of observation is apprehended, Candrakirti's 《Explanation of the "Middle Way" Commentary》 says:
Concerning that, a view of the perishing aggregates operates within thoughts of "I" and "mine."
Thus, it is not simply a conception of intrinsic existence, i.e., existence by way of intrinsic character; it must be a conception thinking "I."
The Explanation of the "Middle Way" Commentary also says:
Just the view of the perishing aggregates is to be eliminated, and it is eliminated upon understanding the selflessness of the self.
Thus Candrakirtisays that you eliminate the view of the perishing aggregates by knowing the selflessness—the non-intrinsic existence—of the self that is its object of observation, thereby contradicting the way that it is apprehended by the view of the perishing aggregates. Hence, the view of the perishing aggregates must apprehend the opposite of that wisdom which knows selflessness. Moreover, since a view of the perishing aggregates is a conception of the person as essentially existent, it is a conception of an "I" that exists by way of its intrinsic character. Using this as an example, you should be able to understand the view of the perishing aggregates that is a conception of "mine."
- p.464 -
Even when they do not conceive "I" or "mine," conceptions of the person as substantially existent are still cases of ignorance that misconceives a self of persons, so it is not the case that they are not afflictions.
As in the passage just cited, "self" refers to mere essential or intrinsic existence and also refers to the object of an awareness that simply thinks, "I." Of these two, the former is the object negated by reason, whereas the latter is accepted conventionally, so it is not refuted.
Therefore, this passage indicates that you do not refute the object which is observed by the innate view of the perishing aggregates. However, the way that its aspect is apprehended is as an essentially existent "I," so it is not that you do not refute that way of apprehending.
For example, you do not refute the sound that is the object observed by a conception that sound is permanent, but you do refute the permanent sound that is the referent object of that conception. It is not a contradiction; this case is similar.
The noble father Nāgārjuna, his spiritual son Aryadeva, and the two masters [Buddhapālita and Candrakirti] preface their refutations by saying, "If things existed intrinsically," "If things existed essentially," "If things existed by way of their own intrinsic character," and "If things existed substantially."
You should understand that the "intrinsic nature" and so forth mentioned in those texts is as indicated above.
Also, you should understand that the words indicating that those various things do not exist mean that they do not exist as they are conceived by ignorance.
18.104.22.168.3.2 When to add qualifications to other objects of negation
When you say that utter nonexistents such as the horns of a rabbit and the son of a barren woman do not exist, you need not attach a qualification such as "intrinsically."
Similarly, there are things that, although existent among objects of knowledge, exist at sometimes and places and do not exist at other times and places. When you say that these do not exist at a particular time or place, there is also no need to add that qualification.
Furthermore, when refuting imaginary constructs from the unique assertions of Buddhist or non-Buddhist essentialists—things that Mādhyamikas do not accept as conventionally existent—there is no need to newly attach the qualification "essentially" or "intrinsically" to the objects, except in the occasional situation when you should add it, taking into account the opponents' perspective. This is because those proponents of tenets have already asserted the essential existence of those objects.
In any other case whatsoever, where Mādhyamikas do conventionally posit the object, if you fail to add a qualification when refuting it, then the fallacies you adduce will equally apply to your own critique, and hence it will be only a sham of a refutation. Thus, it mustbe added.
Moreover, as explained earlier," neither a reasoning consciousness which analyzes whether something exists intrinsically nor a conventional valid cognition can contradict what the Mādhyamikas posit conventionally.
For, if either did, it would be utterly untenable to make the distinction that we do not conventionally assert things such as a divine creator and yet we do assert forms, sounds, and such.
Hence, there would be no way to make presentations of the mundane or supramundane such as, "This is the path; that is not the path," or "This tenet is correct; that is not correct."
Consequently, the distinguishing feature that all the presentations of cyclic existence and nirvana are tenable within the emptiness of intrinsic existence would be impossible.
- p.465 -
To a skillful philosopher, it is ridiculous to claim that something is refuted even though such valid cognitions do not contradict it. Therefore, when stating that you refute those phenomena such as forms, you should be sure to add a qualifying phrase.
Candrakirti's 《Commentary on the "Four Hundred Stanzas"》 and 《Commentary on "Sixty Stanzas of Reasoning"》very often add a qualifying phrase when refuting the object to be negated.
Such phrases frequently appear in Nāgārjuna's 《Fundamental Treatise》, in Buddhapālita's 《Commentary on the "Fundamental Treatise"》, and in Candrakirti's 《Clear Words》 and 《Commentary on the "Middle Way"》 along with his 《Explanation of the "Middle Way" Commentary》. Thus, those authors regard the repetition of qualifying phrases as excessive verbiage, and they thought that the significance of their having added them at certain points would make it easily understood even when they did not.
You should add it even where they did not because there is not the slightest difference between the places where they did add it and the places where they did not.
Furthermore, they frequently add the qualification of analysis, saying, "When analyzed, it does not exist." As explained above, this means that if something existed essentially, it would have to be found by a reasoning consciousness which analyzes the way it exists; however, it is not found, and therefore, an essentially existent object does not exist. Hence, you should realize that this makes the same point as saying, "It does not exist essentially or intrinsically."
For, it is as Candrakirti's 《Commentary on the "Four Hundred Stanzas"》 says:
since they are deceptive—like the wheel of a firebrand, an emanation, or such—these things become non-things. If they did not, then under exacting rational analysis their essences would be very clearly observable, as in the case of a goldsmith analyzing gold. However, their causes are strictly erroneous, so that when the fire of analysis burns them, they can never be anything but essenceless.
22.214.171.124.3.3 Whether to add the qualification "ultimate" to the object of negation
It is quite unreasonable to claim that adding the qualification "ultimate" to the object of negation is the procedure only in Svatantrika-Madhyamaka.
Candrakirti's 《Explanation of the "Middle Way" Commentary》 cites the 《Perfection of Wisdom Sūtra》 [in Twenty-five Thousand Lines] :
"Venerable Subhuti, is it that there is no attainment and no clear knowledge?"
Subhuti answered, "Venerable Sāriputra, there is attainment and there is also clear knowledge, but not in a dualistic sense. Venerable Sãriputra, attainment and clear knowledge exist as worldly conventions. Also stream-enterers, once-returners, never returners, arhats, pratyekabuddhas, and bodhisattvas exist as worldly conventions. Ultimately, however, there is no attainment and there is no clear knowledge."
Candrakirti's 《Explanation of the "Middle Way" Commentary》 says that you should follow this statement. Do you claim that this is a Svātantrika Sūtra?
It is evident that there are a great many such cases where definitive sutras add the qualification "ultimate."
Also, Nāgārjuna's 《Seventy Stanzas on Emptiness》 says:
Through the force of worldly convention,
And not through the force of reality,
The Buddha spoke of duration, production, and cessation;
Of existence and nonexistence; of what is low, moderate, or Supreme.
Also, Nāgārjuna's 《Precious Garland》says:
It is said that both the self and that which belongs to the self exist.
They do not exist in an ultimate sense.
- p.466 -
How can something be true
When he seed that produces it is false?
Similarly, production and disintegration
Appear in this illusory world,
But ultimately there is no production
And no disintegration.
Thus, such texts often make statements in which they attach "ultimately," "truly," or "in reality" to the negation; even when they do not add those, they very frequently add a qualification that something "does not exist essentially," "does not exist intrinsically," or "does not exist by way of its intrinsic character."
Also, Buddhapālita's 《Commentary on the "Fundamental Treatise"》 says:
Nāgārjuna's 《Fundamental Treatise》:
The teachings given by the buddhas
Rely wholly on the two truths—
Worldly conventional truths
And ultimate truths.
Thus, with the truth of worldly convention, you say, "A pot exists," or "A bamboo mat exists"; and with that same conventional sense you indicate that they are impermanent—"The pot broke," "The bamboo mat burned."
When you begin to contemplate reality, pots and bamboo mats are untenable in that they are dependently imputed objects. In that case, how can it be tenable to regard them as broken or burned?
Furthermore, you indicate the impermanence of even the Tathâgata through the force of the worldly conventions: "The Tathâgata has grown old," and "The Tathâgata has passed from sorrow."
When you contemplate the ultimate, even the Tathāgata is not tenable; in that case, how can his growing old and passing from sorrow be tenable?
Also, the master Candrakirti says that he refutes true production put does not refute mere production.
His 《Commentary on "Sixty Stanzas of Reasoning"》 says:
We do not propound that an apprehension of a reflection—dependently produced and seen strictly as false—is not produced in any way. However, we say that it does not occur in terms of the nature, and we do propound that it is not produced in that sense. What is the nature in terms of which we say that it is not produced? A nature that you can clearly hold as a truth. However, it is not that it is not produced as something false, because we do assert that it arises as that dependently.
Thus, he does not refute production that is false, like an illusion; he does refute true production. He says that it is not contradictory to be both produced dependently and not produced intrinsically.
That same text says:
Therefore, in this way production and non-production have a different scope, so how can they contradict one another?
We contend that dependently produced things are, like reflections, not produced intrinsically. As this is the case, how can your objection stand a chance?
He says this in reply to an objection that it is contradictory for something to be dependently produced and yet not produced intrinsically.
Also, Candrakirti's 《Commentary on the "Middle Way"》 says:
Therefore, through such a process you should understand that primordially
Things are not produced in reality, but are produced in the world.
Thus he attaches the qualification "in reality" to "not produced."
The Commentary on the "Middle Way" also says:
Just as these things—pots and such—do not exist in reality
But do exist in terms of what the world understands,
So it is for all things.
Therefore, it does not follow that they are like the son of a barren woman.
- p.467 -
Thus he says that all internal and external things do not exist in reality but do exist conventionally. Hence, he does not omit the qualification "ultimately" in the negation.
In brief, if you in no way accept the addition of the qualification "ultimately" to the negation, then you will have no way to distinguish the two truths, and you will not be able to say, "Ultimately, it is such and such; conventionally, it is such and such." There is no explanation of such a Madhyamaka anywhere, so it is simply a wrong idea.
Candrakirti's 《Clear Words》 refutes the addition of the qualification "ultimately" to the negation in the context of refuting production from self, not in the context of refuting mere production. This is very clear in that commentary.
Also, as Candrakirti's 《Explanation of the "Middle Way" Commentary》 says:
The master Nāgārjuna refutes production from self in general without using a qualification, saying, "There is no production from self." There is someone [i.e., Bhāvaviveka] who uses the qualification, "Things are not produced from self ultimately because of existing, like a living being." I think that this use of the qualification "ultimately" is senseless.
Consequently, we do not distinguish Svātantrika-Madhyamaka and Prasañgika-Madhyamaka by way of whether they add the qualification "ultimately" to the negation. Instead, they differ in whether they refute essential or intrinsic existence conventionally.
Hence, when refuting the essential or intrinsic existence of internal and external phenomena, Prasañgikas say that it is unnecessary to add on new qualifications such as "ultimately," "in reality," or "truly." This is because if there were essential or intrinsic existence, it would have to be established as an ultimate, etc.
Svātantrikas say that if you do not attach "ultimate" or the like to them then they cannot be refuted, so they add "ultimately," "in reality," or "truly." However, neither Madhyamaka system asserts that you can refute [conventionally existent things, such as] production, cessation, bondage, release, and so forth without adding some qualification such as "ultimately" or "essentially."
What is the meaning of "does not exist ultimately" (don dam par medpa)? Here, "object" (don) means something knowable, and "highest" (dam pa) means supreme; an ultimate (don dam) is a common locus of both.
In another way, "highest" refers to a non-conceptual sublime wisdom and the ultimate is the object of the highest (don dam) because it is the object or domain of that.
In yet another way, the wisdom concordant with the non-conceptual sublime wisdom tha' directly knows the ultimate is called the ultimate.
[Bhavaviveka's Heart of the Middle Way] says:
Earth and such Are not elements ultimately.
Commenting on this, his Blaze of Reasons says:
Regarding the term "ultimate" (don dam pa, paramārtha), it is an "object" (don, artha) because it is something to be known; it is synonymous with "something to be examined" and "something to be understood."
"Highest" (dampa, parama) is a term that means "supreme." Joined in the compound "highest object" (don dam paramartha), this means that because emptiness is an object and also the highest, it is the ultimate.
In another way, ultimate means "object of the highest" (dam pa'i don, paramasya artha). Because emptiness is the object of the highest—a non-conceptual sublime wisdom—it is the ultimate.
In another way, it means that which is "concordant with the ultimate." Because that ultimate exists for a wisdom that is concordant with direct knowledge of the ultimate, it is said to be concordant with the ultimate.
- p.468 -
When they say that something "does not exist ultimately" or "is nonexistent ultimately," it has the last of these three meanings,
because that same text says:
Qualm: The ultimate is beyond all awarenesses, but the refutation of an essence of things is in the realm of letters. Thus, would not the refutation be nonexistent for that reason?
Reply: There are two types of ultimate. One of these operates without conceptual activity; it is supramundane, stainless, and without elaborations. The second operates with conceptual activity and is concordant with the collections of merit and wisdom; it is called "sublime wisdom in the world" and it does involve elaborations. Here we hold this latter to be the qualifier in the thesis, "does not exist ultimately," so there is no fallacy.
Take this as referring to wisdom based on study and reflection that properly analyzes reality and to consciousnesses above that; it does not refer only to a noble being's post-equipoise condition.
Also, Kamalaśīla's 《Illumination of the Middle Way》 says:
The meaning of a statement such as "Production does not exist ultimately" is as follows: All consciousnesses that arise from study, reflection, and meditation on reality are accurate subjects. They are therefore called "ultimate" in that they are the ultimate of those consciousnesses. They differ in whether they work directly or indirectly, but the force of their thought makes it understood that all these things are strictly not produced. Therefore, we explain the phrase, "Production does not exist ultimately," as meaning that knowledge of reality does not establish that these things are produced.
This seems to agree with what is stated [in Bhavaviveka's Blaze of Reasons].
Also, Kamalaśīla's 《Commentary on the Difficult Points of [Śāntaraksita's] "Ornament for the Middle Way"》 says:
To the qualm, "In what way is it that things do not exist intrinsically?" Śāntaraksita said, "In reality." The term "reality" refers to the status of things just as they are, something that is known by an inference based on facts. This is the same as saying that things are empty when you analyze them just as they are. This explains the phrases "in reality," "ultimately," and so forth.
In another way, terms such as "reality" may refer only to knowledge of reality because that is what it observes. Knowledge of reality, not conventional knowledge, provides the understanding that allows us to say that things do not exist intrinsically.
Both Bhavaviveka's 《Lamp for [Nāgārjuna's] "Fundamental Treatise"》 and his 《Blaze of Reasons》 often add qualifications such as "in reality" to the absence of intrinsic existence.
In particular, the 《Lamp for the "Fundamental Treatise"》, commenting on the fifteenth chapter of the 《Fundamental Treatise》, says:
Objection: If things have no essence, how can they be things? If they are things, then they are not without essence. Thus, you have the fallacy of mistakenly denying those objects with the very words within your thesis.
The objection is that within the thesis, "Things do not have essence," Bhāvaviveka contradicts his own words.
In that same text he replies:
We did not claim that things ultimately have essence and then advance the thesis of essencelessness. Therefore, we do not on that account mistakenly deny the object of our thesis. Thus, since this is not a case where the meaning of the reason is not established, we have no fault.
He holds that he does not mistakenly deny things due to his assertion that things lack essence ultimately, so it is clear that he asserts that it would be a mistaken denial to say that they lack essence— that is, do not essentially exist— conventionally.
- p.469 -
That same text also says:
Ultimately, internal things lack essence because they are produced and also because this distinctive statement of their being produced indicates that they are contingent upon the dependent. For example, they are like the human beings, etc. that a conjurer has emanated.
Thus he definitely adds the qualification "ultimately" in the refutation of intrinsic existence.
With regard to this, all of these masters agree that something's not existing ultimately means that when a reasoning consciousness properly analyzing its ontological status places it under scrutiny, that consciousness does not establish its existence.
Therefore, even the texts of Bhavaviveka, in positing conventionalities, say such things as, "Without engaging in analysis that accords with perception of reality..."; when refuting intrinsic existence they often say, "...does not exist under rational analysis." Thus, these statements and those of the former masters are similar.
However, these masters do not agree as to whether something that exists essentially must be held capable of withstanding scrutiny by rational analysis of its ontological status. As I have explained at length above, the two masters Buddhapalita and Candrakirti hold that something that exists essentially must be able to withstand scrutiny by rational analysis of reality, and hence must also be established ultimately.
破所破時應成自續，以誰而破分二，一 明應成自續之義，二 身生正見當隨誰行。
126.96.36.199 Whether to carry out that refutation with a Svātantrika Procedure or with a Prāsangika procedure.
This has two parts:
188.8.131.52.1 The meaning of Svātantrika and Prāsangika
184.108.40.206.2 Which system to follow so as to develop the right philosophical view in your mind-stream
220.127.116.11.1 The meaning of Svātantrika and Prāsangika
It is not clear that the commentary of the master Buddhapālita sets up a Prāsaṁgika system, distinguishing Prāsangika from Svātantrika.
Nonetheless, consider his commentary on the opening lines of the 《Fundamental Treatise》:
There is no sense in which anything
Has ever been produced
Either from itself, from something else,
From both, or without a cause.
Here he negates the four types of production by pointing out the faults of other systems.
The master Bhavaviveka refutes him, claiming that Buddhapalita's arguments have no power to establish his own position or to repudiate the positions of others.
Now the master Candrakirti extensively comments on why Buddhapālita's own system does not suffer from such faults, and in so doing he states that Màdhyamikas should employ reductio ad absurdum (prasanga) arguments, not autonomous (svatantra) arguments, as their method for instilling the Madhyamaka view in others. In this way Candrakirti elucidates the Prasañgika position through a refutation of autonomous argument.
安立應成自續兩派分二，一 破除他宗，二 安立自宗。
This section on how to posit such a Svātantrika/ Prāsaṁgika distinction has two parts:
18.104.22.168.1.1The refutation of others' positions
22.214.171.124.1.2 Setting forth our own position
初又分二，一 出計，二 破執。
The refutation of others' positions has two parts:
126.96.36.199.1.1.1 Stating what others believe
188.8.131.52.1.1.2 Refuting those positions
184.108.40.206.1.1.1 Stating what others believe
There have been many ways of defining reductio arguments and autonomous arguments; who could explain all of them? That is why I focus on only a few of them.
[(1) The first misinterpretation]
Jayananda advocates the following position. In his Explanation of [Candrakirti's] "Commentary on the 'Middle Way" (Madhyamakavatarațīkā) he says:
Question: If you consider reductio ad absurdum argument to be a syllogistic reasoning, then does valid cognition establish it? If so, then it would be established for both parties, so how can you say that it is "what the other party asserts"? If not, then since it would be inappropriate for the other party to assert what is not established, how can you say that it is "what the other party asserts"?
- p.470 -
Reply: Some might answer, "Whatever valid cognition establishes is established for both sides," but that is precisely what we do not know. When one party posits something as a probative reason, even though valid cognition may establish it for the one who posits the syllogism, how can that person be certain that valid cognition establishes it for the other party? After all, the particulars of another person's mind are objects of neither perception nor inference. And how can you be certain that valid cognition establishes it even for yourself, for it is possible that you could be deceived, inasmuch as you have been under the influence of error for an exceedingly long time. Therefore, I accept the nature of things on the strength of both the proponent and opponent accepting such as valid. Hence, I refute the positions of others in terms of their own assertions.
The proponent of any syllogism does not know whether the opponents have established the reason for themselves by means of a valid cognition. This is because neither of the two types of valid cognition [valid sense-type cognition and valid cognition based on a reason] give the proponent access to what the opponent is thinking.
You cannot be certain that valid cognition establishes the reason even for yourself, for even when you determine that you have established it by valid cognition, it is possible that you have been deceived. Therefore, since there are no validly established reasons, the debate is founded on what the parties accept as valid.
Hence, it is proper to refute opponents in terms of what they accept, even though valid cognition does not establish anything for either party. This is how he explains it.
And again, this same 《Explanation of [Candrakirti's] "Commentary on the Middle Way"》 continues:
According to the partisans of autonomous reasoning, what makes something an autonomous probative reason is that valid cognition establishes the pervasion between the reason and the probandum. Yet that pervasion is not established. A valid cognition that establishes a pervasion is either a perception or an inference. Let us take them one at a time. A perception cannot establish the pervasion. Through what is perceived and what is not perceived, you can know that there is a necessary conditional relationship between fire and smoke in a kitchen, so that if one exists, the other will also, and if one does not exist, neither will the other. However, you cannot deduce the existence of fire from the existence of smoke in all places.
Nor can you use inference to establish the pervasion, for that too is limited to certain domains. The domain of inference is not universal because knowledge that something is impermanent, for example, will arise only when there is a reason related to the probandum and not in all places and times. Therefore, the pervasion is established only by way of what the world accepts, and not by means of a valid cognition. Hence, how can it be wrong to use reductio syllogistic reasoning to refute the opposition?
So if valid cognitions did establish pervasions—such as the presence of fire wherever there is smoke or the impermanence of all that is produced—then autonomous arguments would be acceptable, but they do not.
If valid cognitions established pervasions, then the pervasions concerning the existence of fire wherever there is smoke and impermanence wherever there is production would have to be established in all places and times. However, since perception and inference establish those pervasions only in relation to specific domains, such as kitchens and pots, the scope of those pervasions is limited. Therefore, mere acceptance and not valid cognition must establish even the pervasions.
This is what Jayananda says. Evidently he believes that if a proof uses a reason for which valid cognition has established the three criteria, then it is an autonomous argument; if a proof is made just on the basis of the parties accepting the fulfillment of the three criteria, then it is a reductio argument.
[(2) The second misinterpretation]
Some translators, students of that scholar [Jayananda], argue as follows: Mādhyamikas have no theses of their own. They only refute what others believe.
- p.471 -
Since the elements of a syllogism such as the subject are not agreed upon—that is, accepted by both parties—autonomous arguments are not tenable. The only result of reasoned analysis is that others give up their tenets. Apart from this, since Mādhyamikas have no beliefs of their own, the autonomous syllogism should not be used under any circumstances. Therefore, only reductio arguments are permissible.
Indeed, since those reductio arguments which establish a positive position ultimately derive from autonomous syllogisms, only reductios that negate the position of opponents are permissible. Since this latter type of reductio is a reductioin which both the reason and the pervasion are merely accepted by both parties or derived from the mere assertions of the parties, correct valid cognition does not establish the reason and pervasion.
It is based on such a reductio that they eliminate the claims or elaborations of others, and they do this with four types of arguments.
Of these, the "reductio argument expressing a contradiction" works in the following way. The opponents accept that production, for example, is purposeful and finite, and they also believe that things are produced from themselves. But if a thing is produced from itself, since that would mean that something that already exists is being produced, production would be purposeless and endless, and it would be incorrect to hold that it is purposeful and finite. If they accept that, then it would be incorrect for them to accept that things are produced from themselves. When the contradictions are assembled in this way, the only result is that the opponents understand them and abandon this tenet.
"Inference based on what others accept" refutes the opponent using a subject, a reason, and so forth that are accepted by that opponent. For example, the seedling that you accept as produced from itself is not produced from itself because it is its own very self. Even though the Mādhyamikas state that it is not produced from itself, this is merely are futation of the others' claim that things arise from themselves; it does not establish for the Mādhyamikas themselves the nonexistence of production from self, and hence the Mādhyamikas have no theses.
The argument called "the similarity of probative reason and probandum" involves showing how none of the examples or signs that the opponents state in order to prove their position can be proven relevant to that position.
The "argument from the parallelism of similar reasons" involves parallelism between indistinguishable reasons, such that if you accept one, you accept the other.
Objection: Well then, do you or do you not believe such refutations of what the opponent accepts? If you do, then that in itself constitutes your thesis and there would be an autonomous reason proving that position. If you do not, it is pointless for you to give arguments that refute what the other party accepts.
Reply by the followers of Jayānanda: When you analyze the ultimate, if you accept a predicate such as "lacks intrinsic existence" or "is not produced," then you have to accept autonomous theses and reasons. However, since we do not accept such predicates, we have no fault.
If simply believing something means that you have a thesis, then everyone would have theses about everything.
That is how [the followers of Jayānanda] explain their position. Evidently they believe that even though they have nothing to prove from their own side, they can merely refute others' positions; that even though they have beliefs, they have no theses;
and that they have no position of their own, avoiding theses such as the absence of intrinsic existence when analyzing the ultimate. Apparently, they consider as Svātantrikas those who do not believe that there is nothing at all that can be asserted and who therefore, when analyzing the ultimate, assert the predicate "lacks intrinsic nature" and establish that as their own position. Those who do not assert such predicates, but engage only in the refutation of what others accept, they consider Prāsangikas.
[(3) The third misinterpretation]
According to those who today consider themselves Prāsangika Mādhyamikas, there is nothing to accept even conventionally in one's own system, neither as regards the ultimate nor as regards the conventional.
If you have such a thesis, then you have to accept the examples and reasons that prove it, and in that case you are a Svātantrika.
Therefore, Prasañgikas have no system of their own at all. For, Nāgārjuna's 《Refutation of Objections》 states:
If I had any thesis,
Then I would suffer from that fault,
But as I have no theses,
I alone am without faults.
If sensory perception and so forth
Could actually perceive something
Then there would be something to prove or to refute.
But as they do not,
I cannot be faulted.
Also, Nāgārjuna's 《Sixty Stanzas of Reasoning》 says:"
Mahātmas have no positions,
They have no arguments.
How can those who have no positions themselves
Have positions vis-à-vis others?
- p.472 -
Also, Aryadeva's 《Four Hundred Stanzas》 says:
No matter how long you try
You can never rebut
Those who have no position
In regard to existence, nonexistence, or both.
All of these are sources showing that a Madhyamika has no position or thesis.
The 《Clear Words》 states:
If you are a Mādhyamika, it is not right to make an autonomous argument, for we do not accept the positions of others.
And also: The opposite of the absurd consequence in a reductio pertains to the opponent, but not to ourselves, for we have no theses.
Also, Candrakirti's 《Commentary on the "Middle Way"》 states:
Does a refutation work to refute by contacting what it refutes? Or does it refute without making contact?
This problem is inevitable for those who have positions, But since I do not, this reductio argument does not apply to me.
These passages state that because Mādhyamikas have no position, those faults do not apply to them.
Therefore, all Madhyamaka expositions are put forward only in terms of the perspective of the other party.
For, as Candrakirti's 《Commentary on the "Middle Way"》 states:
While you accept real dependent entities
I do not accept them even conventionally;
For effect, I say they exist even though they do not.
Taking the perspective of the world, I speak of a self.
What is more, Nāgārjuna's 《Refutation of Objections》 says:
Since there is nothing to be refuted,
I refute nothing.
Therefore, in saying that I refute something,
You insult me.
[(4) The fourth misinterpretation]
Some earlier Mādhyamikas, Tibetan scholars who follow the master Candrakirti, argue as follows: We completely reject these systems that claim that Mādhyamikas have no positions of their own and no valid cognitions to establish them.
Our own system is as follows. We refute both the perceptual and inferential "valid cognitions based on real fact" of those who put forward presentations of valid cognition and the objects it cognizes in terms of intrinsic character that can withstand rational analysis. Accepting conventionally, without analysis, the valid cognitions and cognized objects familiar to the world,
- p.473 -
we Mādhyamikas demonstrate that things lack true existence with sound reasoning by making a proof statement to the opponent. Even so, we are not Svātantrikas, for we posit the lack of true existence by means of valid cognitions that are familiar to the world, unanalyzed.
220.127.116.11.1.1.2 Refuting those positions
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Refuting the first misinterpretation
In the system of Jayānanda's 《Explanation of [Candrakirti's] "Commentary on the 'Middle Way'"》, valid cognition does not establish the reason and the pervasion. Jayānanda claims that valid cognition does not establish the reason, but his justification is deficient for the following reasons:
(1) Even in a system that holds that both proponent and opponent must have previously established the reason with valid cognition, something does not cease to be considered a reason simply because the proponent is not certain that the reason is established for the opponent. Hence, Jayānanda's rationale does not vitiate against the necessity of the opponent's establishing the reason by means of a valid cognition.
(2) If you claim that you do not know whether a reason is established for an opponent because you do not know the mind of the opponent, then it follows that you cannot even be certain that the other party has accepted a particular point; therefore, it would be impossible to refute opponents in terms of what they accept, etc.
Why? Even if you have perceptual certainty about the opponents' words when they say, "This is what we accept," following your logic you would not have certain knowledge that they actually accept what they have stated because you do not know the minds of other beings.
The justification that Jayānanda gives for why valid cognition does not establish the pervasion is also inadequate. The kitchen is the object based upon which you understand the pervasion, "in the kitchen, when there is smoke there is fire." The thing understood with respect to that basis is the bare pervasion, "when there is smoke, there is fire." It is certainly not that you are to apprehend the pervasion, "where there is kitchen smoke, there is kitchen fire." Hence, how could it be that you apprehend a pervasion limited to a particular time and place?
Or else, if the pervasion were limited in that way, since kitchen would not work as the basis for ascertaining such a limited pervasion, you would have to adduce some other basis in relation to which ascertainment of the limited pervasion is needed.
For example, impermanence—a predicated quality that is ascertained with respect to sound—must apply to both sound and pots. A form of impermanence that is sound's alone cannot be posited as the predicated quality.
This same line of reasoning demonstrates that it is incorrect to hold that the inference establishing the pervasion is not a valid cognition.
He also claims that only the proponent's and opponent's acceptance of the pervasion establishes it inasmuch as valid cognition does not establish it. This also is incorrect.
Why? If you treat the mere acceptance of a position as justification for it, then you cannot refute the opponent, for the opponent's assertion of a point would establish it, and neither side has any valid cognition that can refute it.
Question: But what if you were to distinguish between different types of acceptance, wherein one type could and the other could not establish the reason, pervasion, etc.?
Reply: If you justify such a distinction by the mere fact that it has been asserted, then your argument resembles what you are trying to prove and you have not advanced your position. If, however, you make the distinction on the basis of whether there is a valid cognition to back up an assertion, then you have strayed from your belief that there are no valid cognitions.
(2) Refuting the second misinterpretation. You hold that avoiding autonomous theses means that when analyzing reality you do not assert the thesis that there is no intrinsic nature.
- p.474 -
But in not accepting that thesis, is it because the thesis is not established by the reasoned knowledge analyzing whether there is intrinsic nature? Or, in not accepting that thesis, do you adduce the reason that this is an occasion in which reality is being analyzed? Which do you hold?
In the first case, if reasoned knowledge does not establish the referent of the thesis, the lack of intrinsic nature, then reasoned knowledge could also not refute the referent of the thesis "intrinsic nature exists," for similar reasons.
And it is utterly incorrect of you to think that the referent of the thesis "intrinsic nature exists" is not refuted when reality is being analyzed, for the following reasons:
(1) You claimed previously that reasoned analysis refutes the others' systems. (2) Non-analytical [i.e., conventional] knowledge cannot refute others' systems.
(3) Otherwise, if analysis did not refute the thesis "intrinsic nature exists," then why would you have to specify, "We accept no thesis in our own system"? For in that case you would not even accept reductio arguments that refute the others' systems.
When you use a reductio argument to eliminate the tenets of the other party, then the refutation of the existence of intrinsic nature should itself establish the absence of intrinsic nature. I made this point above in regard to a previously cited passage from the 《Refutation of Objections》 and its commentary. There is no third alternative.
Were this not the case, someone might claim just the opposite of your position, saying, "I am establishing the absence of intrinsic nature; I am not refuting the existence of intrinsic nature." What response could you give? If you think that affirming the absence of intrinsic nature must, without a doubt, negate intrinsic nature, then it should also be the case that negating the existence of intrinsic nature must, without a doubt, similarly affirm the absence of intrinsic nature.
If you think that theses such as the absence of intrinsic nature are improper because this is an occasion in which reality is being analyzed, give your justification for this now. You may suppose that one cannot accept such beliefs because something that exists when reality is being analyzed must ultimately exist, but this conclusion is incorrect.
If you reject the very occasion during which reality is being analyzed, then you will have to accept the impossibility of a time period during which a Madhyamika analyzes things with reason.
But if you admit to such an occasion, then you definitely must also accept the existence of the analyzer, the analyzing reasoning, the basis of the analysis, the opponent with whom you are analyzing, etc.
Hence, why is it necessary for everything that exists at that time to exist ultimately?
Nor is it satisfactory to claim that insofar as a mere reductio involves only what is asserted by the opponent, or what can ultimately be derived from those assertions, you are constructing a reductio even though there are no valid cognitions. Therefore, I refute your view just as I refuted the first system above.
Moreover, it is not appropriate to claim that you have no assertions while reality is being analyzed, but that you do have assertions conventionally.
This is because the occasion during which reality is analyzed cannot be an ultimate thing; hence, it must be a conventionality, and that contradicts your thesis.
Also, if not existing while reality is being analyzed means not existing ultimately, then having no assertions while reality is being analyzed could not be a distinguishing characteristic of Prasangika—for no Madhyamikas of any sort hold that they have assertions ultimately.
(3) Refuting the third misinterpretation
As previously explained, those who claim that the Madhyamikas have no theses, even conventionally, have not properly identified the object that reason negates.
- p.475 -
Hence, they refute the opponent with arguments that refute intrinsic nature, and then, when the situation is reversed, they see those arguments as applying in exactly the same way to their own system as well. In setting forth their own system they have no idea of how to avoid error. Hence, all dependent-arisings—whether of cyclic existence or nirvana—end up having an ontological status like that of non-Buddhists' fabrications such as a divine creator. Therefore, that interpretation slanders the Mādhyamikas and merits utter contempt. I have already explained at length the refutation of that position.
Those who analyze whether Madhyamikas assert anything must agree that a Mādhyamika is posited as one who has the "middle way."
Hence, they will have to accept that a Mādhyamika understands the meaning of dependent-arising—that ultimately not even a particle exists, while conventionally all is like illusion. So there is something to assert.
Moreover, you must posit this by refuting the vile claims that are the reverse of those positions, namely, the belief that things ultimately exist and the belief that they do not exist even conventionally.
Therefore, there is valid cognition that knows what is proven and what is refuted, and there is a discourse in which Madhyamikas, based on their own knowledge, accurately teach others.
Because of this, and because the opponents have no philosophically coherent response to the points that they set forth, this system is exceedingly pure.
Accordingly, even if you do not know how to set forth the perfect system of Mādhyamika scholars, you should at least not slander it by claiming that it does not exist. The very acceptance of the reasoning of dependent-arising cuts through all of the entanglements of wrong views.
The intelligent who heed this will avoid all Contradiction in setting forth the Madhyamaka system and will not trust those who spread such lies.
Candrakirti's 《Clear Words》 states:
Thus, our position is completely pure of any logical flaw and definitely does not contradict any traditional presentation of conVentional or ultimate reality, while your position has obvious and severe flaws and does contradict those traditional presentations. Through utter foolishness, you do not see these faults and good Points accurately. Those faults that you attribute to me are yours.
The Madhyamaka system mentioned in this previously cited passage is an irrefutable presentation deriving both from valid cognitions that determine what is ultimate and from conventional valid cognitions. Hence you can be certain that it is completely pure of logical flaw and that it allows you to make a complete exposition of cyclic existence and nirvāna.
Or else, if the claim "Mādhyamikas have no system of their own" were considered irrefutable, then the claim "Everything that you say is a lie" could also not be refuted even to the slightest degree, for similar reasons.
Objection: Those who claim to assert nothing are not subject to analysis as to whether or not they have any assertions. So, because we accept nothing at all, no one can refute us.
Reply: This too is untenable. For if it were tenable, then even in the case of those who claim, "All claims are false," one could not show that they have contradicted their own words because their claim that all words are false would by your logic preclude analysis of the veracity of those very words.
- p.476 -
It is also not tenable because Candrakirti's 《Commentary on the "Middle Way"》 states: If there were some self that existed in reality, then it would be something That exists with the body, as does the mind; it would not be ineffable.
In response to the Vatsiputriyas' belief that there is a substantially existent self that cannot be described as either the same as or different from the aggregates,
this passage says that if the self exists substantially, it must be susceptible to description either as the same as or as different from the aggregates. But if you are right, then it would be possible for the Vatsiputriyas to answer, "You cannot engage in an analysis of that kind."
Suppose you argue that you can engage in analysis as follows: "If the Vatsiputriyas claim that the person substantially exists, it is incorrect for them to hold that the person cannot be described in terms of those aggregates, as this would contradict their view that the person is neither the same as the aggregates nor different from them." If you do make this argument, then by the same token the very statement, "If I assert nothing, I have no assertion," constitutes a sincere claim.
You might argue that the following two situations are similar: (1) saying, "We have no wealth," and receiving the reply, "Give me that wealth which is no wealth"; and (2) saying, "We accept nothing," and receiving the reply, "The acceptance of nothing is itself accepting something."
However, in making this argument you misunderstand our position. We are not claiming that not having assertions is itself an assertion.
Well then, what are we saying? We are demonstrating that by sincerely claiming that you assert nothing you necessarily assert that you assert nothing. As a result, you inevitably cancel out your own words.
If claims like the ones you make do not belong to the Madhyamaka system, then you contradict yourself by proving them through the citation of passages from the works of the noble Nāgārjuna and his spiritual son Āryadeva.
Also, such claims cannot be considered the system of Candrakirti, nor the system of any other Buddhist. Thus, they fall outside of the teaching.
Those who claim to advocate the Madhyamaka system, and in particular the system of Candrakirti, contradict themselves by claiming to have no system of their own.
Likewise, it is also incorrect to claim that everything that you set forth is posited only in terms of the perspective of others, in this way hoping to free yourself from asserting anything.
When you say that you must assert the existence of things such as form only in terms of the perspective of others, you may not be asserting the existence of things such as form, but you certainly must be asserting that you posit form and such in terms of the perspective of others, so you have not freed yourself from all assertions.
You have to assert that at that time there is (1) another person in terms of whose perspective you posit things, and (2) yourself, the one who posits them.
Therefore, the claim that you accept things only in terms of the perspective of others not only fails to imply that you have no system of your own, it actually vitiates against such a notion.
Objection: We do not even claim that we have no system or that we assert theses only in terms of the perspective of others. However, from your point of view it appears that we make these claims.
Reply: This position denies sensory experience that even the Lokayatas cannot deny. When you do not even experience what you yourself claim, how surprising that you should know what we have heard.
If you do deny the evidence of sensory experience, then why do you need to insist that you have no assertion? For no matter what you claim, you can deny it later and thus never be faulted.
- p.477 -
Opponent: We posit even reductio arguments only in terms of the perspective of others. We do not accept them in our own system.
Reply: Then what does it mean for you to repudiate the Svātantrika system and to have faith in the system of Candrakirti, the textual founder of the Prasangika system?
For, just as the autonomous syllogism is inadmissible in your own system, so too reductio arguments are inadmissible;
just as reductio arguments are admissible in terms of the perspective of others, you also end up using autonomous syllogisms, as needed, in terms of the perspective of others.
We cannot call those persons Cittamātrins who accept mind-only philosophy in terms of the perspective of others, but who do not accept it in their own system. Likewise, we cannot call those persons Prasañgikas who, while not allowing in their own system reductio arguments that establish the meaning of the middle way, nonetheless posit them in terms of the perspective of others. And since those who advocate this position are also not Svātantrikas, this clearly shows that they are not Mādhyamikas.
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