By Jay L. Garfield, Jan Westerhoff
Madhyamaka and Yogacara are the 2 relevant colleges of Mahayana Buddhist philosophy. whereas Madhyamaka asserts the final word vacancy and standard truth of all phenomena, Yogacara is mostly thought of to be idealistic. This selection of essays addresses the measure to which those philosophical ways are constant or complementary.
Indian and Tibetan doxographies usually take those faculties to be philosophical competitors. they're grounded in specified our bodies of sutra literature and undertake what seem to be very assorted positions concerning the research of vacancy and the prestige of brain. Madhyamaka-Yogacara polemics abound in Indian Buddhist literature, and Tibetan doxographies regard them as certain platforms. still, students have attempted to synthesize the 2 positions for hundreds of years. This quantity bargains new essays by way of well-liked specialists on either those traditions, who tackle the query of the measure to which those philosophical techniques will be visible as competitors or as allies. In answering the query of no matter if Madhyamaka and Yogacara might be thought of appropriate, participants interact with a wide diversity of canonical literature, and relate the texts to modern philosophical difficulties.
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31 This preliminary terminological survey is meant to avoid a series of possible interpretive pitfalls, which may derive from somewhat arbitrary reconstructions of the sense of crucial philosophical terms. Madhyamakas were well aware of the different usages of vijñāna and cognate terms in Yogācāra treatises, and adequately respected such distinctions in their arguments. They were especially clear and careful in distinguishing between the (unreal, parikalpita) perceptive aspect of vijñāna in the sense of grāhaka, and the (real) projective aspect of vijñāna in the sense of paratantra (the dependent nature), also called pariṇāma (the transformation of consciousness).
The nature of things is not divided into perceived and perceiver, or expressed and expression”; bzuṅ ba daṅ ni ‘dzan pa daṅ | brjod par bya daṅ rjod par byed | khyad med de bzhin ñid yin no | Dharmadharmatāvibhaṅga 6. Language and Existence in Madhyamaka and Yoga¯ca¯ra 37 perhaps in any Buddhist commentary—and certainly as old as the Abhidharma). , a point of reference and the cognitive structure it propels, respectively) that causes repeated birth to occur. Hence, in both systems, there’s a clear connection between the two senses of “bending towards”: as a misguided cognitive act and as the arising of consciousness in a new realm of rebirth.
In both cases, the basic principle is that vijñaptis constitute the actual referents even of expressions that other Buddhist systems of Abhidharma would consider more directly referential. In the passage quoted two paragraphs earlier, the arising of a moment of vijñāna depends upon a point of reference or support (ālambana); this basic Buddhist doctrine is not disputed by the Yogācāra (although the point of reference may well be a mere projection). Sthiramati makes it clear in his Triṁ śikābhāṣya: (Objection:) If there exists an ālayavijñāna apart from the pravṛttivijñānas, then its point of reference and aspect should be explained.
Madhyamaka and Yogacara: Allies or Rivals? by Jay L. Garfield, Jan Westerhoff