Filippo Brambilla at the 2019 Tathāgatagarbha Symposium

From Buddha-Nature

< Media

LibraryMultimediaFilippo Brambilla at the 2019 Tathāgatagarbha Symposium

Filippo Brambilla at the 2019 Tathāgatagarbha Symposium
Video
Video
Description
Filippo Brambilla examines how a broad range of philosophical views translated to Tsoknyi Gyatso's (1880–1940) position on buddha-nature. On the basis of key passages from two of his major philosophical works, Brambilla argues that Tsoknyi Gyatso sought to harmonize the orthodox perspective of his own (Jonang) tradition on this subject with that of the Gelukpas.

Abstract from the Author

Empty of True Existence, Yet Full of Qualities. Tshogs gnyis rgya mtsho (1880–1940) on Buddha Nature
Without ever straying more than a few kilometres from the valleys of the 'Dzam thang area of southern A mdo where he was born, a stronghold of the Jo nang tradition, Tshogs gnyis rgya mtsho (1880–1940) had a very sedentary life. Still, he was exposed to a broad range of philosophical views through teachers, such as 'Ba' mda' Dge legs (1844–1904) and Ngag dbang chos 'byor (1846–1910), who also appreciated Dge lugs scholasticism and who had studied with some of the most prominent Bka' brgyud and Rnying ma authorities of the 19th century, such as Kong sprul (1813–1899), Dpal sprul (1808–1887), and Mi pham (1846–1912). This paper examines how this broad range of views translated to Tshogs gnyis rgya mtsho’s position on the polarizing topic of buddha-nature. On the basis of key passages from two of his major philosophical works, the Illuminating Light (Rab gsal snang ba) and Removing the Anguish of Holding to Extremes (Mthar 'dzin gdung 'phrog), I will argue that he sought to harmonize the orthodox perspective of his own tradition on this subject with that, essentially opposite, of the Dge lugs pas. In line with the latter, Tshogs gnyis rgya mtsho presents buddha-nature as immanent in all sentient beings inasmuch as it is nothing but the mind’s emptiness of inherent existence that is determined through logical-analytical investigation. On the other hand, he does not depart from the fundamental view of Dol po pa (1292–1361) and elaborates on that same buddha-nature qua emptiness in positive terms. Accordingly, he maintains that, once it is directly realized in the meditative equipoise of the noble ones of Mahāyāna in which all adventitious stains are naturally exhausted, buddha-nature becomes manifest as primordially existent, replete with qualities, and transcending all conceptual elaborations.

Sources Mentioned

People Mentioned

Ngawang Tsoknyi Gyatso
1880 ~ 1940
Bamda Gelek
1844 ~ 1904
Ngawang Chöjor Gyatso
1846 ~ 1910
Featuring Filippo Brambilla
Creator University of Vienna, Tsadra Foundation
Event Tathāgatagarbha Across Asia (17 July 2019, University of Vienna, Austria)
Related Website Buddha-Nature Project
Video Web Location Tathāgatagarbha Across Asia
Creation Date 17 July 2019
Citation Brambilla, Filippo. "Empty of True Existence, Yet Full of Qualities. Tshogs gnyis rgya mtsho (1880–1940) on Buddha Nature." Paper presented at the University of Vienna Symposium, Tathāgatagarbha Across Asia, Vienna, Austria, July 2019. Video, 41:47. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1cTYaIFa4g