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The Reflexive Nature of Awareness: A Tibetan Madhyamaka Defence

Paul Williams (Author)

According to the Tibetan Tsongkha pa one of the eight difficult points in understanding Madhyamaka philosophy is the way in which Prasangika Madhyamaka does not accept even conventionally that reflexivity is an essential part of awareness - that in being aware (ranging). One of the most systematic and detailed refutations of Tsongkha pa's approach to this issue can be found in the commentary to the ninth chapter of the Bodhicaryavatara by the rNying ma lama Mi pham (1846-1912), together with Mi pham's reveals a vision of what is going on in Madhyamaka which is rather different from the more familiar Tibetan approach of Tsong kha pa.

Paul Williams places this controversy in its Indian and Tibetan context. He traces in detail Mi Pham's position in his commentary on the Bodhicaryavatara, the attack of one of his opponents, and his response, as well as indicating ways in which this controversy over the nature of awareness may be important within the context of Mi pham's rNying ma heritage of rDzogs chen thought and practice.

This book is the first book length study of its subject, and also includes a reprint of a previous paper by Williams on the reflexive nature of awareness, as well as the relevant Tibetan texts from Mi pham. The book will be of interest to all students of Indian and Tibetan Madhyamaka, as well as associated areas of Buddhist thought such as Yogacara, and the philosophy of Dhramakirti. It will also be of value to those concerned with the intellectual foundations of rDzogs chen.

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About the author

Paul Williams

Dr. Paul Williams is Reader in Indo-Tibetan Studies, and Codirector of the Centre for Buddhist Studies, Univeristy of Bristol.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Reflexive Nature of Awareness: A Tibetan Madhyamaka Defence
Author Paul Williams
Format Hardcover
Date published: 31.12.2002
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 8120817141
length 287p., 8.7" X 5.7"