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Gyalwang J e does just that. This approach has hardly, if at all, been seen in print in English so far, so the text here is quite important. It is evident from reading Gyalwang] e that his ability to argue using the logical forms that fit with the sutra tradition syllogism, and so on is just as good as any scholar. In other words, just because he has aligned himself with and finally prefers the unique system of the tantras, he is not scholastically corrupt. If anything, it seems the other way around.

It is stated over and again in the tantric tradition that direct, non-logical access to reality does not consist of insight primarily into emptiness, as presented by some followers of the sutras. I am resorting to the slightly more sutra-flavoured words here so that the moderately informed reader can easily follow. It does not refer at all to the wisdom of a person with a lot of experience or learning.

That is, it is not like saying that someone is a wise man because he is knowledgeable of the ways of the world. It is a special word that means literally "knowing" but is used only to refer to that type of knowing which is at the very core of what ordinary people call mind. It is the kind of knowing that a person is continued If you have not seen this, it can be hard to understand, but I have been with many great beings of the Kagyu and Nyingma traditions who, even though they do not have the intellectual knowledge of a subject, are able to produce the understanding necessary to overcome an opponent on the spot and purely on the basis of the non-conceptual wisdom that they have.

It is exactly that kind of knower which a buddha has. The word jfHina was translated into Tibetan with "ye shes" meaning the kind of consciousness which is there from the beginning, even before a being has made the fundamental mistake of developing a dualistic mind. It has been translated as "primordial awareness", and so on but it has the meaning of that kind of knowing which was there before dualistic mind, which is there at the root of dualistic mind, and will be there after dualistic mind is gone.

A person who has access to his own wisdom in this sense of the word has access to an unrestricted ability to know and understand. That ability can be quite magical compared to the abilities of a person who only has recourse to a dualistic mind, no matter how sharp the faculties of the dualistic mind might be.

In the end, a person with access to his own wisdom knows reality as it is, whereas a person using the logic of intellect can only ever conjecture about that reality. This is the very essence of this book and the very essence of the view that GyalwangJe is expressing.

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Wisdom in the end is what knows reality directly and fully. That can never be achieved by staying within logical means and those logical means can never in the end withstand the arguments brought on by wisdom. Overall, the presentations of the view that Gyalwang Je makes here are often given using the forms of logical scholarship but are not mere scholarship or polemics. The logical forms are always used to highlight the point that logical scholarship does not and cannot get to the profound meaning.

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Again and again he uses logic only to go past it and point to the core of ultimate realization. It is obvious from his style of teaching that he is teaching a view coming from realization and not just from books. In Buddhism, there are two main ways to present the view.

There is the conventional approach of the sutra teachings in which "the view" always refers to the conceptual understanding of reality that a practitioner develops and uses as a basis for his practice. There is also the non-conventional approach of the tantric teachings in which "the view" refers to the same reality but this time known in direct perception rather than the dualistic perception that goes with logic. The latter is ultimate validation and the former, no matter how well argued, cannot stand against it.

Gyalwang Je raises this point repeatedly in his debates with the scholars who visit him to argue about the view using a very logical approach and uses it very effectively to defeat them.

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The text of his teachings records his brilliant way of doing so. This fact that direct perception of the view immedjately defeats logical interpretations of the same is a major point in this book. Importantly, the issues related to it are drawn out into the open as Gyalwang Je debates with his visitors who are clinging to their logically understood view of reality.

The highest tantric teachings for deity practice, called the Unsurpassed Yoga Tantras5, are divided into three types: mother tantra, father tantra, and non-dual tantra. The division occurs because each of the three emphasizes a particular approach towards realizing the ultimate view. Because of their differing emphases, the uninformed might think that the ultimate view is different for each group. However, the ultimate view of all these tantras is the same-it is just that the path to realizing that view has a different emphasis in each case.

The second Drukchen lays out these 5 Skt. This in turn serves to clarify the view and meditation of the Kagyu tradition. The Kagyu schools as a whole emphasize mother tantra and generally give their explanations of the view and meditation accordingly. Anyone practising the Kagyu teaching will be familiar with this mother tantra approach. However, because it so pervasive, the same follower might not even realize that it is mother tantra approach and quite possibly will think that what is actually mother tantra approach is the approach common to all tantras.

The teachings here of the second Drukchen clarify the views and approaches of all three types of tantra in a way that will help Kagyu practitioners to understand their own view and meditation more clearly. Of the three types of Unsurpassed Yoga Tantra, it is non-dual tantra which has the most direct presentation of the ultimate view, not mother or father tantra. The first was at the time of the first spread of Buddhadharma in Tibet. The tantras brought in at that time were connected with the ultimate view expressed through teachings called Maha Ati Dzogchen.

The Nyingma school ofTibetan Buddhism is connected with them. The second wave was at the time of the second spread of Buddhadharma in Tibet. The tantras brought in at that time were connected with the continued These two features will be useful in terms of exposing the specific style of the non-dual view and in terms of giving more detail about Kalachakra in general.

The Kagyu View is the Other Emptiness View There is another, especially important facet of the Kagyu view that is clearly and neatly expounded in the second Drukchen's teachings but which will not be evident without explanation. This is the "Empty of Other" or "Other Emptiness" system of the view. However, not all Kagyu schools use the name Other Emptiness when discussing the view and the Drukpa Kagyu is one that does not. There are many non-dual tantras that came in the first wave and are connected with the Maha Ati expression of the view but there is only one that came with the second wave and is connected with its Mahamudra teachings, that of Kalachakra.

In fact, the reverse is true. The teachings of the second Drukchen show this point clearly. Furthermore, the great antagonists of Other Emptiness have always been the schools who are famed for their scholarship and not for their practice. The great proponents of Other Emptiness have been the schools famed for practice first and scholarship after that, such as the Kagyu.

The interaction of a scholar attempting to prove his view logically and a master of the view who defeats him effortlessly with his Other Emptiness realization seen in direct perception can be seen in the earlier chapters of Gyalwang Je's teachings. These interactions are perfect demonstrations of how these antagonists and protagonists of the Empty of Other view have faced off over the centuries.

This demonstration of the interaction between the two has been talked about but not appeared so lucidly anywhere in English to this point. It should be very helpful to anyone trying to understand Other Emptiness and the Tibetan history surrounding it. The word "zhantong" is a Tibetan word which is not found in the Indian Buddhist tradition. It started out as a phrasing of several Tibetan words in a statement made in the thirteenth century by a great Kalachakra yogin.

The phrasing turned out to be a very good way to indicate a certain understanding of the view, so it was condensed to the Tibetan word "zhantong". That word entered the language and became a key term when describing that view. Thus, when the Gelugpa tradition presents the view according to its own system, it simply does not have the term "Other Emptiness" in the vocabulary used to make its presentation.


Amongst their many refutations of the view connected with Other Emptiness, they say that the term has never existed in the words coming from the Buddha. This is specious argument because the term itself is a descriptive one, a convenience that points at a certain approach to the view. Since that is so, anyone claiming that there is something wrong with the term is effectively saying that one could never use the devices of one's own language to try to highlight the meaning of the Buddha's words.

Taken to the absurd, it would mean that Tibetans themselves could not use Tibetan words that did not exist in India to discuss the Buddha's teaching. Despite the position of the established church of Tibet on the subject of Other Emptiness, the Kagyu and Nyingma traditions and some Sakya scholars too, do support the view of Other Emptiness and do claim that this is the view of their tradition. How do the Drukpa Kagyu approach this and what does Gyalwang Je say?

None of the early presentations of the Buddhist traditions of Tibet used the word Other Emptiness simply because the phrase was not part of Indian Buddhist terminology and because the term had not yet been coined and come into use in Tibet. Later presentations of the view in both Kagyu and Nyingma sometimes explicitly use the word and sometimes not, though the basic presentations are still the same and still are what came to be called Other Emptiness. They are a school who just use the original words of their tradition as they have been handed down since the time of Marpa and Milarepa.

The Karma Kagyu tradition on the other hand came to use the term Other Emptiness regularly as a way of describing the Kagyu view. Authors such as Karmapa Rangjung Dorje, Karmapa Mikyo Dorje, and Jamgon Kongtrul the Great used the term in their texts on the view and made many clear statements to the effect that their predecessors, the forefathers of the Kagyu had exactly that view. Thus Gyalwang Je's text is interesting because it shows the original Kagyu way of presenting its empty of other view without using the name Other Emptiness. This can be clearly seen in the first teaching where he gives a classic presentation of the Kagyu view, showing how the school views the three, outer turnings of the wheel of dharma and the fourth, inner turning of it, but without a mention of Other Emptiness.

This is the approach of the early Kagyu and several Kagyu schools, including the Drukpa Kagyu, stay with this approach. What might not be apparent in the first teaching is the elegance of his simultaneous presentation of his own school's view and incisive refutation of the position of the established church. The brilliance of this piece is not just that he does both at once with a great economy of expression but that he does not go out of his way to defend himself or negate anyone else's position.


He presents his view clearly and precisely, at the same time speaking in such a way that his opponent's views are negated without him uttering a negative word. A further demonstration of Gyalwang Je's presentation of the Kagyu view which other Kagyu schools such as Karma Kagyu explicitly call Other Emptiness but which his Drukpa Kagyu tradition does not is found in his teaching on page A further demonstration that his Kagyu view is indeed the Other Emptiness view even if his Drukpa Kagyu tradition does not refer to it that way is contained in his teaching on page 1 7 3.

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Loden Sherab's way of asserting it is the way that all Kagyu experts and Other Emptiness advocates proclaim it. This short teaching is very interesting because it is generally believed that Loden Sherab translated the Highest Continuum in a way that did not fit with the Other Emptiness approach but which did fit with Tsongkhapa's later presentations that are so different from the Other Emptiness approach.

Juggernaut of the Non-Dual View : Tony Duff :

I have seen a number of cases where the teachings of Atisha, which are the source of the Kadampa and later Gelugpa traditions, do not seem to fit with Tsongkhapa's later way of asserting things that is supposedly based on the Kadampa system. Loden Sherab spent many years with Atisha.

It seems that Atisha did teach him the progression of meaning that the Kagyu and Nyingma accept but which Tsongkhapa later denied. These points are important in that they help to show that Tsongkhapa's presentations do not fit with the presentations of these crucial matters when they first came into 'fibet. All this talk about Other Emptiness is not given because the Kagyus need to be convinced of their view.

They do not! Gyalwang J e's style in summary is that he presents the Kagyu view as it has been done from the beginning within the lineage. As mentioned earlier, some Tibetan schools, or at least some powerful people in or related with those schools, did try to refute and destroy other religious traditions in Tibet. The Drukpa Kagyu tradition, which originally flourished in Central Tibet; was nearly destroyed when powerful figures in the central government who only believed in the teachings of the established church headquartered in Central Tibet walked in and simply took over many of the Drukpa Kagyu monasteries in the central region, replacing the spiritual system in force with the one, just mentioned, of their own liking.

There is an interesting point here. One well-known activity of the established church, the Gelugpa tradition, was that it vigorously attempted to destroy anything connected with the system of Other Emptiness. If one turns that logic back on the established church, you get the following.