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Esoteric Philosophy: Study of the Endless Path of Wisdom

Lord Tsong Khapa and Mind-Only (citta-matra)

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Buddhist Doctrine

We must also look at these words from the same source, "Theosophy does not teach the doctrine of “Mind-Only” (citta-matra).*** It is true that identical terminology is not used by Theosophy or the Ageless Wisdom. This said, it is only the misunderstanding of two systems i.e. the Buddhic tradition and the Ageless Wisdom, which leads one astray and far from the path of comprehension. Once certain basic comparisons of the two are made with the intuitive intellect they have much in common.

The wisdom tradition is understood as the teaching on emptiness or Sunyata, deriving from the lineage of the bodhisattva Manjushri and Någårjuna and the school of Madhyamaka, or the Great Middle Way. It is said by some scholars that the Tibetan teachings from the 'mind only' [Citta-matra] school, and the teachings of the Theosophical 'first fundamental proposition' of H.P.Blavatsky are not in agreement*. Further to this, it has also been stated that the Tibetan lineage teaching on 'emptiness' has no point of agreement or connection with the 'one absolute reality' of HPB**.

We will recall that Tsong Kapa says, "I assign "Thatness" in its use in the direct sense of "absolute reality". Thatness means in context, truth, reality, principle and imminent absoluteness. A wrongly viewed emptiness "destroys the weak intelligence". "Whatever depends on conditions is empty of intrinsic [self] reality". He goes on to say that the Buddhas do teach two realities, the superficial shaping consciousness via language and the "Ultimate absolute" being profound and transcendental and sub standing all things, conflagration between these two miss the profound reality and principle and the very "Thatness" as understood by Tsong Kapa in the teachings of enlightenment.

The term "emptiness" has a "meaning, a "use" and a "sense" as a possible object of experience. Misunderstanding or inadequate spiritual reading of this is condemned by the great sages as bringing "damage" upon the weak mind. We should note the tone and important assertion of the sages.

We must also look at these words from the same source, "Theosophy does not teach the doctrine of “Mind-Only” (citta-matra).*** It is true that identical terminology is not used by Theosophy or the Ageless Wisdom. This said, it is only the misunderstanding of two systems i.e. the Buddhic tradition and the Ageless Wisdom, which leads one astray and far from the path of comprehension. Once certain basic comparisons of the two are made with the intuitive intellect they have much in common.

It is also said that in Madhyamaka the Yogacarins of the yogacara tenants and teaching [śūnyatā] it also means 'absence of duality between perceiving subject and the perceived object'. Therefore the nature of 'absence of inherent exitance' accorded by Tsong Khapa, to meaning "Whatever depends on conditions is empty of intrinsic [self] reality" has therefore an exact correspondence reached through concentration and meditation eventually bringing the reality of this and any 'absence of duality between perceiving subject and the perceived object'.

The two thus become resolved as any absence of inherent exitance becomes known through the absence of duality as reach through concentration and meditation. The thinker or son of mind, works upon the fifth mental plane and with the chitta or mind stuff free from the consciousness of the time phenomena, the physical brain and its limitations within space and the solar system. The true nature of perceived opposites are known through and perceived by the lower concrete and higher abstract mind.

Briefly then, for the perceiving consciousness or Chitta [of the East and Mind of the West] to have "full sway" in the unfolding of human awareness, the lower mind reacts to that which is seen, it perceives an image, action or scene and reacts to perception, assimilates and perhaps compares image to previous memory/image. Then it appears that a moment of stabilisation is made where control of the pervious processes or reactions were registered. This registration must of taken place in a fraction of a second and possibly must be seen as a continual sequence of processes due to the number of actions and events the mind perceives every second of living.

There then is reached a "moment" of response by the mind to the two previous occurrences, giving us an indication of the blindingly fast sequences of time passing by. The mind responds. It has self consciousness and perceives its own processes and registers in self acknowledgement of its registration of the perceiving of its "mental state". We will not always record this due to the speed and repetition of sequence, nor should we. These processes then pass away upon self registration of events and perception and pass into the perceiving consciousness in full and complete registration, faculty of observation and analysis thus entering the discriminative function of mind.

I am in fact reflecting on the operation of the 'mind only' in usual constant everyday function and not so much on a meditation state. The Buddhist observation as regards phenomena is “Na me so atta” (this/these are not my soul), which is the offering of Gautama Buddha in the Nikayas. It concerns the science of union through the subjugation of the psychic nature and restraint of the mind stuff for the yogi to know himself "as he is in reality". Concentration of the function of the mind regarding such sense perceptions brings steadiness and a realisation from the atom to the atma or expansion of the mind into infinity through study of knowledge and wisdom.

"Disciples in the olden days were the product of more peaceful times. The "chitta" (or mind-stuff as Patanjali calls it in his famous Book of Rules) was neither so highly developed nor was it tinctured by so much thought or potentially so illumined. Today, knowledge is widespread and many, many people are already thinking for themselves. The material for discipleship with which the Masters have to deal and the type of person which has to be developed and led on towards illumination is of a higher quality and grade, if I may employ so inadequate a term." DINA1 6.

The teachings of Patenjali's Hindu 'yoga sutras' [c 150 BCE] and the Yogacara tradition reconcile much as 'one whose practice is yoga'. "Yoga" in Hinduism composes of inner contemplation and a system of meditation, ethics, metaphysics, and devotion to Ishvara or soul. This is identical to true Buddhism as taught by the Lord Buddha, Theosophy and the Ageless Wisdom tradition. Citta and Chitta are phonetically connected as well as philosophically so. Chitta is the source of all mentality and therefore all consciousness.

In Yogacara, ultimately the entire universe is Chitta or Citta with various Vedic connotations such as heart, mind, consciousness and intelligence or pure heart-mind consciousness the "mind-stuff" or mindfulness of Patenjali. Theosophy examines the process of freeing oneself from the natural tenancies of karmic experience to repeat material conditions until the yogi is able to perform such actions as to release him from the inertia of karmic limitations. Such mindful action is known in theosophy as Chit "Chitta suddhi", or purification of the mind. This process of mindfullness is taught as the capacity of "perceiving spiritual truths". It also said by The Tibetan Master to be the 'energy of wisdom'. DK describes it thus:

"It is the very substance of manifestation itself. God, the planetary Life or Logos, however, works with the higher correspondence of this mind-stuff and the forces of the mental plane are the reflection or rather the densification of this higher mental substance. These forces, this mind-stuff, is constantly in flux and in motion." DINA1 68.

"The student should here note that each of the methods outlined above concerns certain centers. There are seven methods of attainment mentioned and therefore we can infer that the seven centers are involved.

Method I. Sutra 33. Solar plexus center.

The peace of the chitta (or mind stuff) can be brought about through the practice of sympathy, tenderness, steadiness of purpose, and dispassion in regard to pleasure or pain, or towards all forms of good or evil.

Method II. Sutra 34. Center at the base of the spine.

The peace of the chitta is also brought about by the regulation of the prana.

Method III. Sutra 35. Center between the eyebrows.

The mind can be trained to steadiness through those forms of concentration which have relation to the sense perceptions.

Method IV. Sutra 36. Head center.

By meditation upon Light and upon Radiance, knowledge of the Spirit can be reached and thus peace can be achieved.

Method V. Sutra 37. Sacral center.

The chitta is stabilized and rendered free from illusion as the lower nature is purified and no longer indulged.

Method VI. Sutra 38. Throat center.

Peace (steadiness of the chitta) can be reached through meditation on the knowledge which dreams give.

Method VII. Sutra 39. Heart center.

Peace can also be reached through concentration upon that which is dearest to the heart." LOS 82.

*The Doctrinal Position of the Wisdom Tradition: Great Madhyamaka. Eastern Tradition Research Institute. David Reigle.

**Tsongkhapa and the Teachings of the Wisdom Tradition. "We are therefore unable to find any point of agreement, as we would expect to find, between the teachings of Tsongkhapa and the first fundamental proposition of the Secret Doctrine, an omnipresent, eternal, boundless, and immutable principle." David Reigle.

***The Doctrinal Position of the Wisdom Tradition: Great Madhyamaka. Eastern Tradition Research Institute. David Reigle. Thus, even though all schools accepted the Yogacara teachings on compassion, they did not accept as ultimately true the Yogacara doctrinal position. This position was characterized as Citta-matra, “Mind-Only,” meaning that there is nothing but mind. Rather, following the basic Madhyamaka teaching of emptiness, Tibetan Buddhists held that the mind is empty of any inherent or ultimate existence.

16/11/08.

JPC.