By Paul Williams
Williams' paintings is the 1st book-length scholarly examine dedicated completely to Santideva's philosophy and as such it merits our recognition and appreciation. Williams is a proficient and fascinating author a truly fascinating and vigorous book.--Eli Franco, Bulletin of SOAS
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Additional info for Altruism and Reality: Studies in the Philosophy of the Bodhicaryavatara
We can see that Tibetan commentators do not give us direct access to the 'original' 27 Altruism and Reality meaning of an Indian Buddhist text - whatever that might be - but bring to bear a whole net of intepretive theories based on their attempts to synthesise a range of Indian material into complete Buddhist systems. The construction of systems differs as criteria and goals differ. Interpretation occurs in the light of a system which gives meaning, and as systems differ both synchronically and through time so interpretation differs.
Thus this gnosis (jfiana) which is there when subject and obj ect cease and nirva'fJa is attained abandoning the mind which is adventitious consciousness (vijfiana) is the same as that perfect Buddhahood which is the ultimate Gnosis Body. One is reminded here of Sa bzang's previous reference to the adventitious conventional mind. chen the adventitious conventional mind equals vijfiana which is abandoned when one abandons subject and obj ect. This abandonment is nirva'fJa. The attainment of nirva'fJa however not only does not entail the cessation of all gnosis, but is actually the same as the ultimate Gnosis Body, which must equal here the ultimate dharmata, the essence of enlightenment (=tathagatagarbha) , the clear light nature of the mind.
Thus if Bu ston's addition of 'present' refers to the body he faces problems not faced by bSod nams rtse mo in using 'present' for the present time, the present moment, with reference to the wider application. We can make sense in conventional terms of acting in the present moment to protect oneself from future sufferings, without specifying any particular further reference either as to when in the future the sufferings would be expected or to what will be the subj ect ( body or not) which might otherwise undergo the sufferings, in a way that we cannot make sense of protecting the present body against sufferings in future lives.
Altruism and Reality: Studies in the Philosophy of the Bodhicaryavatara by Paul Williams