Talk:Purity in Buddhism

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An extremely minor, almost extinct sect, does not deserve this amount of weight. Mitsube (talk) 19:22, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

That's a matter of opinion. You are not terribly well informed about this either. Did you bother to look at the Jonang article ? Obviously not. The Dalai Lama does not seem to think thet they are quite as minor as you in your great wisdom would have it.
The Jonangpa were until recently thought to be an extinct heretical sect. Thus, Tibetologists were astonished when fieldwork turned up several active Jonangpa monasteries, including the main monastery called Tsangwa located in Tibet, Dzamthang County, Sichuan, China. Almost 40 monasteries, comprising about 5,000 monks, have subsequently been found, including some in the Amdo and Gyarong districts of Qinghai and the Tibet Autonomous Region.
Interestingly, one of the primary supporters of the Jonang lineage in exile has been the 14th Dalai Lama of the Gelugpa. The Dalai Lama donated buildings in Himachal Pradesh state in Shimla, India for use as a Jonang monastery (now known as Thakten Puntsok Ling) and has visited during one of his recent teaching tours. The Karmapa of the Karma Kagyu lineage has visited there as well.
The Jonang tradition has recently officially registered with the Tibetan Government in exile to be recognized as the fifth living Buddhist tradition of Tibet. The 14th Dalai Lama assigned Khalkha Jetsun Dampa Rinpoche or the 'Bogd Gegeen' of Mongolia (who is considered to be an incarnation of Taranatha) as the leader of the Jonang tradition.
Much of the literature of the Jonang has also survived, including the Treatise on Other-Emptiness and the Buddha-Matrix by Döl-bo-ba Śay-rap-gyen-tsen, consisting of arguments (all supported by quotations taken from the generally-accepted orthodox canonical Vaipūlya Sūtra-s) against "self-emptiness" and in favor of "other-emptiness", which has been published in English translation under the title Mountain Doctrine.
Please do not edit articles you know precious little about -- it just makes you look foolish. -- अनाम गुमनाम 00:02, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
It is an extremely minor, almost extinct sect. The information you pasted here is taken from an article without citations, perhaps you could redirect your "exasperation" to sourcing that article. Mitsube (talk) 02:20, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, where is the citation for your claim (from current sources) ? It's neither extremely minor nor almost extinct -- on the contrary, it's undergoing a resurgence after centuries of repression. People like you don't help the situation -- have a think about the effects your comments might have in the real world. Do your homework. Have a look at the Jonang Foundation figures (I suppose they're lying, eh ?) and then factor in the numbers in India. The Dalai Lama does not seem to think that they they are extremely minor, Does he ? It's not my article, but the absence of citations does not make it untrue in the real world outside of Wiki. -- अनाम गुमनाम 03:07, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Tony Page[edit]

Is not a scholar, and has been caught on wikipedia before advocating his own interpretation of Buddhism by flooding article with quotes from his book. Mitsube (talk) 19:22, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

  • This is almost libelous. Since Dr. Tony Page is one of the very few European specialists on the Mahaparinirvana Sutra and Tathagatagarbha sutras, it is almost unavoidable that his work will be referenced in such a connection as this. How ironic it is that in the unsourced section on Prajnaparamita Buddhism (where no references are given in this article, but which supports Mitsube's apparent view of Buddhism) - no labels have been slapped onto the section. The bias is clear for all to see. Suddha (talk) 02:55, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
That material is accurate, not quotes which are so badly out of context that they seem to mean the opposite of what the sutras actually say. Mitsube (talk) 07:09, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
  • It is rather the Gelukpas and their ilk who are notorious for proclaiming black as white and white as black and twisting clear teachings into the opposite of what is actually and clearly stated! But some people prefer distortion to accurate reporting of first-hand material. Suddha (talk) 07:19, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, it is clearly stated. Mitsube (talk) 01:05, 18 October 2008 (UTC)


The problems in the two above sections are most objectionable because a false understanding of the tathagatagarbha idea is being propagandized. Mitsube (talk) 19:22, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

I have no idea who this Page person is, but what has been stated in the article actually seems to me to accurately represent the position expounded in those texts, albeit in rather a over-ripe prose style -- I studied a lot of early Mahayana texts in great depth, including the early tathagatagarbha ones in the past. But I agree, the article is quite unbalanced and needs to expanded to cover all schools of Buddhism. The problem is that most scholars dealing with tathagatagarbha, as I have criticized your references before, fail to distinguish the very differing positions within the sutras themselves or have the distorted the meaning of tathagatagarbha according to later Chinese or Tibetan interpretations. Judging by your comments here and elsewhere, I think you possibly do not have a very good grasp of the subject through lack of reliable knowledge -- not your fault really as there is almost nothing available that's reliable. This might change in the next few years as I have heard that there is a major study group collaborating on early tathagatagarbha sutras drawing on scholars from Germany, the USA, Japan and Germany. Also I cannot see that the Jonangpas are being given undue emphasis as you suggest -- they were not that minor historically and their legacy still persists in all Tibetan schools of Buddhism. If they were so minor and unimportant as you suggest, why did Hopkins the renowned Gelugpa specialist bother to translate the book by Dolpopa ? -- अनाम गुमनाम 23:57, 16 October 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Anam Gumnam (talkcontribs)
  • Thank you, Anam Gumnam, for your very fair and sensible comments. It is clear to me from looking at this Mitsube person's 'contributions' to Wikipedia Buddhism that he/she is on a mission to censor as much Buddha-nature/ Tathagatagarbha information as possible, or distort it into Gelukpa-style gloss. What I have written is perfectly accurate, referenced and valid. If this kind of censorship continues, steps for fair redress will need to be taken. Also, the idea that Dr. Tony Page and Dr. Shenpen Hookham are not scholars is utterly absurd and easily refutable. It is quite evident that personal dislike for certain genuine Buddhist doctrines on the part of this Mitsube character is getting in the way of allowing a valid spread of accurate Buddhist information on Wikipedia. Such behaviour is shameful and should be condemned. Suddha. ### —Preceding unsigned comment added by Suddha (talkcontribs) 02:34, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
"Also, the idea that Dr. Tony Page and Dr. Shenpen Hookham are not scholars is utterly absurd and easily refutable." Demonstrate that their material is reliable according to the standards of Wikipedia:RS. Tony Page's material appears to be self-published. Mitsube (talk) 06:10, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
I am not personally very interested in the tathagatagarbha school -- I just know the basics. But I recognize the same ignorant intolerance here as I am finding in my attempts to straighten out the Mahayana related articles. I am interested in fair-play. Too much reliance is placed on a handful of outdated reference books written by people who are not even specialists in the area. -- अनाम गुमनाम 06:15, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
I am a big fan of the tathagatagarbha doctrine. You have not responded to the fact that the sutras define atman in a non-essentialist way. I am waiting for your response. Mitsube (talk) 06:20, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Which sutras are you alluding too ?? For a big fan, you seem rather ill-informed. What are the sources of your tathagatagarbha knowledge, out of interest ? (Apart from that third rate article you always quote - one might even wonder if you wrote it yourself) -- अनाम गुमनाम 06:43, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
I am referring of course to my talk page where you posted and I responded (Atman = Buddha). The article you consistently denigrate is written by the first bhikshuni to receive a PhD in Buddhist Studies from a Western university. That you prefer the unqualifed Tony Page is quite telling. Mitsube (talk) 07:02, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
You are still unwilling to specify which sutras -- either you know or you don't know. For a person claiming to be such a big fan of tathagatagarbha, surely that is not too much to ask for. In the meantime, here's couple of passages from two well known tathagatagarbha texts which took me about 10 minutes to find via the internet. I think you'll agree that they completely undermine your rash assertions about non-essentiality. I can do a search and find more for you if you like. Note in particular the passages I have bolded -- I would love to hear how you would translate them:
तत्र या रूपादिके वस्तुन्य् अनित्ये नित्यम् इति संज्ञा। दुःखे सुखम् इति। अनात्मन्य् आत्मेति। अशुबे शुभम् इति संज्ञा। अयम् उच्यते चतुर्विधो विपर्यासः। एतद् विपर्ययेण चतुर्विध एवाविपर्यासो वेदितव्यः। कतमश्चतुर्विधः। या तस्मिन्नेव रूपादिके वस्तुन्य् अनित्यसंज्ञा। दुःखसंज्ञा। अनात्मसंज्ञा। अशुभसंज्ञा। अयम् उच्यते चतुर्विध विपर्यासविपर्ययः। स खल्वेष नित्यादि लक्षणं तथागतधर्मकयम् अधिकृत्येह विपर्यासो ऽभिप्रेतो यस्य प्रतिपक्षेण चतुराकारा तथागतधर्मकायगुणपारमिता व्यवस्थापिता। तद्यथा नित्यपारमिता सुखपारमितात्मपारमिता शुभपारमितेति। एष च ग्रन्थो विस्तरेण यथासूत्रम् अनुगतव्यः।[Ratnagotra-vibhāga I.36 (Johnston Ed)]
是故說言。諸法無我實非無我。何者是我。若法是實是真是常是主是依性不變易者。是名為我。如彼大醫善解乳藥。如來亦爾。為眾生故說諸法中真實有我。汝等四眾應當如是修習是法。[大般涅槃經 Taisho 374 p378c29-p379a05]
And I don't prefer anybody -- is there anything even written by this Page you keep mentioning ? I can't see any quotes from him. Actually I think what you write displays a distinct lack of understanding of the subject and user Suddha needs to improve his Wiki writing and referencing skills -- the article still needs more balance and contextualization beyond the narrow terms it has at present. See I'm quite evenhanded in my criticisms. I was a lecturer at a reasonably important Asian university in Buddhism and Indic Studies for very many years until car accident injuries forced early retirement, so I do understand the issues rather better than you seem to think. I also supervised many PhDs so I really can comment on the overall quality of Shih's work.
As for your Bhikkhuni Shih, she could be the first bhikkhuni on the moon for all I care. Her paper quoted by you in several places is rather second-rate for reasons I have explained already: i) she seems unaware of the textual stratification issues and so fatally takes a synchronic approach, ii) she thinks that the Lankavatara is authoritative for tathagatagarbha doctrine, iii) she clearly has not bothered to read the source sutras extensively and in depth, iv) her conclusions are largely derivative from Yin-shun's well known work on tathagatagarbha, v) hence her conclusions are mainly based on Chinese interpretations and have little connection with the original Indian context. If you cannot grasp the significance of this, then even if you claim to be a fan of tathagatagarbha, you actually know next to nothing about it. -- अनाम गुमनाम 22:59, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
I am confused as to your response. You claim that I didn't not name sutras, but in my post, from a week ago it seems clear that I did so. If you gain some satisfaction from bitterly claiming I did not, then please repeat it. Regarding your own background, given your tone, I don't think it wise to accept your claims as true. Perhaps you can see why basing your arguments on unverifiable statements regarding yourself is not convincing. Mitsube (talk) 01:11, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
Ah ! Thanks for the link. I had no idea at all that you had replied because you have posted it on your own Talk Page. I had the impression that it's normal Wiki procedure to post dialogue alternatively on the Talk Pages of each party. I don't monitor your talk page so could either post replies on article Talk Pages or on my own Talk Page. I have to go out soon so I have no time to comment, but at a glance your reply does not seem satisfactory. I'll get back to you with my thoughts later. -- अनाम गुमनाम 01:57, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
If you read posts like this one on this talk page then conversing you would be easier. I am neither interested in continuing to do so nor your judgment regarding my response. Mitsube (talk) 02:05, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
OK, an oversight on my part. My apologies, but I have provided quotations that disprove your assertions, so could I trouble you for your comments. -- अनाम गुमनाम 02:10, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I of course agree with Anam that Mitsube is just showing intolerance and a wish to censor unpalatable (for him) Buddhist information, which is perfectly valid and supported by Taranatha, Dolpopa, Longchenpa, and many others. The 'interpretations' of TG doctrine which Mitsube likes to quote are just that - interpretations (rather than straight, unadorned reporting of the facts), and in fact stray very far from the spirit of the early tathagatagarbha sutras, which were at pains to stress that the Buddha and the Buddha-Nature (while of course containing Dependent Origination, since the BN is present in every sentient being) are changeless, eternal and beyond the processes of causation and result. Even the Perfection of Wisdom sutras indicate that in the final analysis there is no cause and no result (i.e. no dependent origination!). But the key point at issue here is that of unwarranted censorship of sound material, and that is what both myself and the fair-minded and equitable Anam are opposing. Suddha (talk) 07:11, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
The sutras defining what they mean with certain terms is not interpretation. Your interpretation is simply wrong. Mitsube (talk) 07:33, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Once again: please do us a favor and specify which sutras or stop blathering ! Surely you must know their names since you would have read them with great care to be in a position to determine these errors of interpretation. -- अनाम गुमनाम 22:59, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Excellent points by Anam Gumnam. You are right to see intolerance and the wish to censor when it is staring us in the face! I accept your point, Anam, that my entry on Purity on Buddhism is currently not sufficiently balanced, since there needs to be more on Theravada and other forms of Mahayana - that is a valid charge. I tried to put information there on the Theravada and the Perfection of Wisdom, in the hope that it would stimulate others to add more info according to their knowledge. But I still insist - and agree with you - that my basic point about the way the tathagatagarbha sutras see this matter is as I have indicated. Mitsube likes to quote a passage about how beings in the future will have the 32 marks of a superman, etc. Yes, of course, beings do not, in their current tarnished incarnations (tarnished by defilements) display these Buddhic signs. In that sense they do not 'possess' or 'have' (i.e. in full visible flower and full awareness) the Buddha Nature, but will come into that awareness at a later date. Of course! The 'Srimala Sutra' makes it clear that the Dharmakaya is still the same, both before and after Buddhahood (and the Dharmakaya is another word for the tathagatagarbha in that particular sutra). It is just that when it is concealed by countless defilements, it is not manifest and is called the tathagatagarbha - not fully 'possessed' by that being as yet, because not seen and recognised. But it is still there, present within that man or woman, awaiting discovery and once seen, it liberates the being into full-blown, conscious Buddhahood. As you have pointed out, Anam, there are passages in the works of Maitreya (Ratnagotra Vibhaga) and in the early TG sutras which clearly take an essentialist line. I don't know much about how the later Tibetans and Chinese interpreted this concept (maybe they subjected it to some kind of revisionism - I just don't have your knowledge on this, I'm afraid); but I think that it is very clear (except to Gelukpas, who like to obfuscate) that some kind of real spiritual heart or core or essence within beings is being spoken about in these early sutras. Also, Mitsube quotes the idea (from Sallie King, I think) that the TG concept was only taught "for the masses at a given time" - but this is not what the early TG sutras say. To my knowledge they say the opposite: that the teachings are imparted to well-trained Buddhist monks and bodhisattvas (not just the ignorant laity of a particular time-frame). There is not much point in trying to go into more detail here, because all of such ideas from the early TG sutras (a timeless Buddha element or essence in all beings) is well documented in the works of Dolpopa, Taranatha, Longchenpa, certain Sakyapa monks, not to mention much of Ch'an and Zen Buddhism. Dr. Shenpen Hookham gives a very thorough presentation of some of these ideas in her book. I fully understand your exasperation, by the way, Anam, and share it. It is difficult to have an intelligent sharing of information when certain people just want to delete, remove and censor. That type of behaviour brings Wikipedia into disrepute. Thank you again for your constructive comments. Suddha (talk) 02:50, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Response to Mitsube[edit]

I have reposted here something user Mitsube wrote to me (mentioned above) and inconveniently left on his own user page that is relevant and should be anwered here. My comments are indented.

Mitsube writes: As Sallie King (a first rate source) points out, in the Buddha Nature Treatise self is explicitly equated with the complete understanding of the truth of not-self (anātman-pāramitā).

Several problems here. As King acknowledges in her book, the authorship of the BNT is disputed with at least 50% of scholars maintaining that it was a compilation made by Paramartha himself. This is typical for Paramārtha who peppers several of his other translations liberally with his own material. Either way, the BNS is a very late text (6th century CE) that probably did not have circulation in India -- at least 400 years after the main tathāgatagarbha texts were written. The BNS is also syncretic as it incorporates many Yogacara concepts that are alien to the Indian tathāgatagarbha corpus. The ātma/anātma-pāramitā concept is drawn from the Shrimaladevi sutra. According to the Indian corpus of tathāgatagarbha texts, dharmas are empty of self (anātman) and tathatā / dharmakāya is empty of kleshas but is the self, replete with positive qualities. A proper understanding of self avoids attributing a self to what does not have a self and avoids denying a self to that which does have a self. There are numerous sutra passages which will conform this for you. This understanding is the forerunner of what Tibetans call rang-stong and gzhan-stong, as you know.

Peter Harvey in The Selfless Mind says that tathāgatagarbha is the "innate potential for Buddhahood."

Harvey is a good source for his area of specialty which is Pali Buddhism, not tathagatagarbha or even Mahayana. Here he is a tertiary source -- not authoritative.

Heng-Ching Shih has a PhD in Buddhist studies and she says the same thing.

I have explained elsewhere why Shih is not reliable. She is synchronistic in her approach and reads through the eyes of later Chinese exegesis.

The Ratnagotravibhāga has: "O Noble youth, such is the essential nature of the dharma (dharmānāṃ dharmatā), whether the Tathāgatas appear in the world, or whether they do not, these living beings are always possessed of the matrix of the Tathāgata". This is exactly parallel to the statement found in the Sammyutta-nikaya "Whether the 'Tathāgatas' were to appear in the world, the theory of pratītysamutpāda remains." Think about that.

I think it is you who need to think a bit more about it. Are you suggesting that "tathāgatagarbha" is to be read here as an equivalent for 'pratītysamutpāda' ? If so you are completely mistaken. The first part of the statement is found, as you rightly say, from the Samyutta-nikāya and elsewhere, but it is part of Mahāyāna sutra strategy to use those phrases in order to assert the reality of their pet doctrine in hand. You will find exactly the same expression used about mantras and many other things dotted throughout Mahāyāna sutras. If you knew the texts as well as you imply that you do, you would have noticed that many of them implicitly deny the application of pratītysamutpāda to the tathāgatagarbha (or buddhadhātu or ātman) -- they explicitly say that it is ever-present, eternal and unchanging. Therefore it can cannot be subject to pratītysamutpāda. Anybody who claims otherwise, soi-disant scholar or not, has not read the texts themselves, but is projecting later Chinese or Tibetan prejudices onto the Indian tathāgatagarbha doctrines. So it is you who needs to do some thinking -- or better still some studying.

The MPNS itself says: "Good son, there are three ways of having: first, to have in the future, Secondly, to have at present, and thirdly, to have in the past. All sentient beings will have in future ages the most perfect enlightenment, i.e., the Buddha nature. All sentient beings have at present bonds of defilements, and do not now possess the thirty-two marks and eighty noble characteristics of the Buddha. All sentient beings had in past ages deeds leading to the elimination of defilements and so can now perceive the Buddha nature as their future goal. For such reasons, I always proclaim that all sentient beings have the Buddha nature." How can you explain that?

There are problems about this quote. It is found, I believe, in the part of the Nirvana Sutra which most scholars believe was composed in Central Asia (Khotan), even possibly by Dharmaraksa himself. So it is apocryphal and cannot be used as a source at the same level of authenticity as the Indian texts for an understanding of tathāgatagarbha doctrines. It is very well known that many passages in the apocryphal part of the Nirvana completely contradict passages in the authentic Indian portion. I did a search and found this for you:
如是如來性 為不可思議 具三十二相....八十種好故 [Taisho 376 大般泥洹經 885b21]
I am sure you will have no difficulties translating this, but for other reader, it says:
"Thus the buddhadhātu is inconceivable, because it is endowed with the 33 lakṣaṇas and 80 vyañjanas."
To echo your good self, how do you explain that ?

The development of the 'tathāgatagarbha' doctrine signifies the ability of a religious tradition to meet the spiritual needs of the masses aiming at a given time.

Wow ! Did you just work that out by yourself ?! What a truism ! You could say the same for just about any Buddhist doctrine you care to name.

It was formed as a positive approach to counteract the "śūnyaṃ sarvaṃ" (all is empty) view.

And you know this because you were there in ancient India ?? Or are you just parroting again (in good faith, no doubt) what you have read in some secondary or tertiary source ? It's typical of the sort of speculation that keeps some scholars in business. Some of us call this kind of claim a hypothesis. But with that caveat, actually, in this case it would seem to be *partially* true. But only partially.

The 'tathāgatagarbha' strongly articulates a devotional and experiential approach to salvation and provides much to the hope and aspiration of the people at large. It is this positive aspect that was taken up and strongly emphasized in Chinese Buddhism.

Ditto the above. Scholarly speculation again, I'm afraid. All Buddhist practises are experiential, aren't they ? As for Chinese Buddhism, I'm not particularly interested in what they say -- they often drastically misunderstood the Buddha nature stuff from an Indian viewpoint.

But the texts themselves explicitly state how it should be interpreted.

More vague assertions. Which texts ?? Which statements ??
And one last thing -- I am still waiting patiently for Mitsube's comments on the Sanskrit and Chinese passages I quoted above disproving his assertions. He must realize that he can't make drastic edits to articles without fully discussing them. justifying them and reaching a consensual agreement. We are still far from that position, so running away and hiding won't help. -- अनाम गुमनाम 23:17, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
As I said above, I am not interested in discussing this with you. I don't care about your opinions. If you can find (qualified and not self-published) scholars that contradict the scholars I have quoted, we can include both views with attribution. Mitsube (talk) 01:25, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Again Anam Gumnam makes highly accurate, rational and pertinent points. Anam quotes from primary sources and successfully rebuts and refutes the wrong-headed and inappropriate interpretations (rather than any straight factual reporting of early TG doctrine) made by persons such as Sallie B. King. To claim that the early TG sutras equate the Buddha nature with dependent arising is laughable: it means that the Buddha nature is a source of suffering, for that is what dependent arising is chiefly linked with in the Pali scriptures and even in Mahayana: it is something that is very much undesirable and needs to be brought to an end. That is not the case (according to the TG sutras) with the Buddha nature - obviously. The problem with some people on Wiki is that they seem to think that referring back to clear primary sources to explain a particular concept that is under discussion is completely forbidden and totally disallowed by Wikipedia rules - which, of course, is not the case. Anam, as far as I can see, you have made your case very cogently. I just hope that others will have the good grace to accept what you have written here. Suddha (talk) 04:19, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
There is a reason why we have prohibitions against original research, and quoting primary sources out of context with no secondary source is likely to imply an interpretation of the primary source, and constitute original research. No one has equated the tathagatagarbha with dependent origination. The tathagatagarbha is introduced with language parallel to that used to describe dependent origination because Buddhahood is dependently originated. The tathagatagarbha is the innate potential to develop into a Buddha as the sutras state. Mitsube (talk) 05:13, 19 October 2008 (UTC)


Please give the specific quote from her book. It seems that the other book being used here is self-published by a person without qualifications, if not let me know. Mitsube (talk) 17:19, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

If you are referring to the translation of the Mahayana Parinirvana maha-sutra that is mentioned here and elsewhere, I have checked what this is. Apparently, a Japanese scholar, Dr Kosho Yamamoto, translated and published this in three large volumes in Japan in the 1980s, but it has been out of print for many years. I vaguely remember seeing a copy years ago and recollect that the translation was reasonably accurate but had a fair number of English mistakes. According to Page's website, he had permission from the estate trustees of Kosho Yamamoto to correct the errors of English and reprint Yamamoto's translation. I don't know whether it is actually self-published or not, but it is actually little more than a reprint of an earlier out-of-print non-self-published version. So rather than being all sniffy about this, I think you should be grateful that somebody has used their time, if not their money, for this purpose. Certainly makes a big change from the usual tight-fisted Western Buddhists I have met over the years. I suggest you leave any references to this translation, whatever the printing, and wait until Dr Marc Blum's translation is published in a year or so. As for other work attributed to Page, I suppose it is down to you to provide proof by way of references / citations that it is self-published. -- अनाम गुमनाम 23:15, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
No, the burden is on the person who wants to keep it. It is guilty until proven innocent. I do not know whether or not Yamamoto was an academic. If he was, then his work could be used for commentary. However, quoting a primary source to advance a personal interpretation, which is what has been done in a very strange and off-putting manner in many Mahayana articles around here, is against wikipedia policies of no original research. So, even if Tony Page were qualified and "Nirvana Publications" were an academic press, this quoting from the intricately written original texts would not be acceptable.
Regarding Tony Page's book, the situation is even worse, because there is nothing in his background which speaks to the reliability of his work. Further the publisher's bona fides are quite suspect. I hope you can see why it is strange to have someone attacking professors on the one hand, which you have done at a variety of talk pages, even to the point of casting aspersions on Warder's personal character, while on the other defending an unqualified, self-published author. Mitsube (talk) 23:29, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Again, please give the quote from Hookham's book. Mitsube (talk) 00:46, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Yamamoto is the only translator of the Nirvana Sutra and his translation is stocked by all relevant university libraries and is included on course reading lists, so I don't what the problem is here. You allude to "a personal interpretation", but I really cannot see anything here which contradicts the explicit and clear doctrines of this text, despite the flowery language used sometimes. I am not defending anybody, but stating things as I see them and based on my own knowledge of Mahayana doctrines and sutras. If you indicate what you think is "a personal interpretation", I think you can easily be shown to be in error. I personally think that you are slanting these articles to your own POV which itself is based on rather limited knowledge. There is no Wiki rule about summarizing or even translating a primary source -- that does not count as original research. You also say, "quoting the intricately written original texts would not be acceptable": where is the Wiki rule that says one cannot make quotes from primary sources ? You seem intent on pushing your POV interpretation, which as I have already shown by some additions elsewhere is one-sided.
I am not defending this Page as you seem to think -- I really couldn't care less who he is. I am just pointing out that the source itself seems quite acceptable in view of the circumstances I mention above. As I said, you will have to wait for Blum's translation to come out -- when you might like to compare the two versions for substantial deviations. As for casting aspersions on your sources, I am professionally qualified to do so, having taught Buddhism and Indic Studies in tertiary education for many years. I choose not to say more about myself because I value my privacy, but I assure I do know very well what I am talking about even if you find it difficult to accustom yourself to that idea. -- अनाम गुमनाम 02:09, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
Given the fact that the sutras define their terms quite specifically giving them specific, unusual meanings, it is original research to make the judgment that these parts of the sutra which provide the vital context needed to understand them are "inauthentic" and the desired quotes can be put here out of context. That is the original research. Mitsube (talk) 02:14, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
To be quite honest, I can hardly make out what you are trying to say here. What you have written does not make much sense to me. Are you complaining that I pointed out that certain quotations or theories advanced by you and / or your reference are dubious because they make use of a portion of the Dharmaraksa translation of the Nirvana-sutra which is considered suspect ? In that case, here is a quotation from "Formation of the Tathāgatagarbha Theory" (Shunjusha 1974) by Jikido Takasaki (as you will know, the leading Japanese scholar on tathāgatagarbha theory). After outlining the problems of the transmission of Dharmarakṣa's 40 chuan translation of the Nirvāṇa Sutra (the contradictions in the transmission accounts, the mysterious trip for 2 years to Khotan etc), he goes on to say,
"In terms of Dharmarakṣa's 40 chuan version, the Tibetan translation (Q788) and the translation by Faxian (T376) of the Nirvāṇa-sūtra correspond to just the first 10 chuans. The Tibetan translation, as well as the version by Faxian and the first 10 chuans of the version by Dharmarakṣa, under consideration here is clearly of Indian origin. On the other hand, there is no evidence that remaining 30 chuans of Dharmarakṣa's translation from the 11th chuan onwards, togther with the 2 chuan "Supplement" (T377) are Indian in origin." [Takasaki, p129]
Takasaki adds a footnote (footnote 02, p163) giving further reasons accepted by scholars for the non-Indian origin of chuans 11 -- 40: "The reasons for this are as follows: i) no Sanskrit manuscript fragments have been found that correspond to this portion, and ii) although the Nirvāṇa-sūtra is quoted in later Indian works, no quotations corresponding to this latter portion of Dharmarakṣa are to be found."

You also seem to be arguing that material can only be included in the article if it matches your understanding and level of knowledge, or else that it must be subjected to some kind of official imprimatur decided by yourself -- as I said, you last message is rather garbled. You also seem to mention something about "out of context" -- but who are you to decide whether something is in or out of context ? Are you an expert on these texts or have you personally read all the sutras in question ? -- अनाम गुमनाम 22:21, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

I am basing my understanding on the work of qualified scholars, as you know. The sutra is a work of fiction, I don't see why it matters where certain parts of it were written. Mitsube (talk) 04:23, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree with Anam Gumnam that Mitsube is invoking Wikipedia rules that do not actually exist! There is no rule that states that quoting from primary texts is forbidden. I also agree with Anam that Mitsube is clearly trying to slant certain doctrines in one particular way (and doing so in a very unreasonable and intolerant manner) and is not taking into account the alternative information that Anam (who is obviously knowledgeable regarding Mahayana Buddhism - as should be apparent to anyone who has more than two brain cells functioning in unison) has provided on the various Talk Pages. Suddha (talk) 03:17, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I see that Mitsube has just removed a large portion of material from the Buddha-nature article - without a by-your-leave, quite unjustifiably and merely at his biased and ignorant whim (he clearly knows next to nothing about these doctrines). This behaviour is quite unacceptable and must cease forthwith. Suddha (talk) 04:17, 22 October 2008 (UTC)