By Paul Williams
Brings jointly Paul Williams' formerly released papers at the Indian and Tibetan interpretations of chosen verses from the 8th and 9th chapters of the Bodhicaryavatara.
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Additional info for Altruism and Reality : Studies in the Philosophy of the Bodhicaryavatara
34 The image here is of the investigating mind returning to that from which it came and of which it always is a part - the dharmata. It follows from what Mi pham says that the investigating mind itself must be fundamentally, by nature, the dharmata. The conventional is the ultimate, and the actual attainment of nirva1fa through following the path and the primordial natural state of nirvafJa turn out to be not substantially different. In spite of his employment of the expression rang bzhin gyis mya ngan las 'das in glossing Bodhicaryavatara 9: 1 1 1 the perspective of Mi pham is very different from that of rGyal tshab rje, and it is clear that the dharmata here of which the investigating mind is a part cannot be the same as emptiness as understood by rGyal tshab rj e.
As Buddhaghosa puts it in the Visuddhimagga, if there were identity curds could not come from milk, for there can be no causal relationship between two things which are numerically identical, but the same unwelcome consequence would also apply for different reasons if there were absolute otherness as well. Absolute otherness involves a denial of all causal relationships ( Visuddhimagga 1 7: 1 67). It is clear therefore that the denial of difference here is a denial of complete acausal otherness.
Bu ston had argued that the opponent would be unable to protect the present body against the sufferings of future bodies. We have seen that this is problematic, for it seems unlikely that anyone could argue coherently for protecting the present body against the sufferings of future bodies . Prima facie rGyal tshab could argue much more plausibly for protecting the present person - in other words, say, Archibald - against the sufferings of future persons, that is, the person Archibald will be in his future life/lives .