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Presentations of Absolute Truth in Buddhist Philosophy

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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As presented by The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche in the Nalandabodhi Mahayana View Curriculum

Absolute Truth
Hinayana Schools Mahayana Schools
Vaibhashika

Indestructible atoms
Indivisible moments of consciousness

Sautrantika

Phenomena not labelled by conceptual mind
ie. Direct experience and its objects

All relative phenomena arise from the interaction

between atoms and consciousness

Share Vaibhashika view of atoms and consciousness

Assert 5 sense consciousnesses and reflexive awareness

Real objects can be directly observed Real objects can not be observed

We only perceive a relative aspect of objects

Chittamatra

Neither consciousness nor its objects truly exist
Self-aware and luminous aspect of mind is truly existent

Assert 8 consciousnesses

All appearances are projections of mind, 3 natures

All experience is unique to the individual

No real objects exist, everything is a projection of mind

Madhyamaka

Free of all assertions of existence or non-existence
Proposes the two truths

Rangtong

Relative truth is mere appearance
Absolute truth is inaccesible to conceptual recognition

Shentong

Assert Sugatagarbha Relative is simply absolute nature stained by defilements

Svatantrika

Based on Bhavaviveka's Commentary
Two classifications of relative truth

Prasangika

Based on Buddhapalita's Commentary
No distinction between types of relative truth

Sautrantika

Follows Sautrantika analysis of relative truth
Accepts particles and consciousness as realtive

Yogachara

Based on Shantarakshita's teachings
Follows Chittamatra analysis of relative truth

Source

mi-lam.org