Buddhahood Embodied - Sources of Controversy in India and Tibet

Buddhahood Embodied - Sources of Controversy in India and Tibet

Product ID: 16679

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Author: John J Makransky
Publisher: Sri Satguru Publications
Year: 1998
Language: English
Pages: 514
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8170305977


To enter the Mahayana Buddhist path to enlightenment is to seek both to become free from our dualistic, deluded world and to remain actively engaged in that world until all others are free. How are these two apparently contradictory qualities to be embodied in the attainment of Buddhahood (Dharmakaya)? How can one's present practice accomplish that? These questions underlie a millennium old controversy over Buddhahood in India and Tibet that centers around a cherished text, the Abhisamayalamkara.

Makransky shows how the Abhisamayalamkara's composite redaction, from Abhidharma, Prajnaparamita, and Yogacara traditions, permitted its interpreters to perceive different aspects of those traditions as central in its teaching of Buddhahood. This enabled Indians and Tibetans to read very different perspectives on enlightenment into the Abhisamayalamkara, through which they responded to the questions in startlingly different ways. The author shows how these perspectives provide alternative ways to resolve a logical tension at the heart of Mahayana thought, inscribed in the doctrine that Buddhahood paradoxically transcends and engages our world simultaneously.

Revealing this tension as the basis of the Abhisamayalamkara controversy, Makransky shows its connection to many other Indo-Tibetan controversies revolving around the same tension: disagreements over Buddhahood's knowledge, embodiment, and accessibility to beings (in Buddha nature and through the path). Tracing the source of tension to early Mahayana practice intuitions about enlightenment, the author argues that different perspectives in these controversies express different ways of prioritizing those practice intuitions.





1. Introduction.
2. The Buddha's body of Dharmas (Dharmakaya) in Sarvastivada Abhidharma.
3. The Buddha's embodiment of Dharma (ta) (Dharmakaya) in Prajnaparamita Sutras.
4. Embodiment of Buddhahood in its own realization: Yogacara Svabhavikakaya as projection of praxis and gnoseology.
5. Enlightenment's paradox: nondual awareness of the unconditioned (Svabhavikakaya) embodied in conditioned activity for beings (Sambhogikakaya, Nairmanikakaya).
6. The Abhisamayalamkara and its eighth chapter on Buddhahood.
7. Literary-critical analysis of Abhisamayalamkara, chapter 8: A map that project the three Kayas of Yogacara onto the Large Prajnaparamita Sutra.
8. Internal evidence that Abhisamayalamkara chapter 8: Teaches the three Yogacara Kayas.
9. Arya Vimuktisena on gnoseology and Buddhology in the Abhisamayalamkara.
10. Haribhadra's analytic-inferential perspective on Buddhahood: Buddha Dharmas as fourth Body.
11. Responses by Indian scholars to Haribhadra's four Buddha bodies.
12. The controversy continues in tibet: Tsong Kha pa and Go ram pa.
13. Sources of controversy--nonabiding Nirvana and the Mahayana quest for authentic reinterpretation of the four noble truths.