True Heart News: Exploring the Stealing of Buddhist terms by Tibetan “Buddhism”:Article XVI - Dependent arising without intrinsic nature (Reproduced)

© True Heart News, 2012/01/03

(By the True Heart News Interviewing team in Taipei) Zhang Gonpu, CEO of The True Enlightenment Education Foundation, indicates that Tsongkhapa, founder of the Geluk Sect of Tibetan “Buddhism,” regards that every dharma “arises” merely depending on “conditions” and its “intrinsic nature” is “empty.” And the practice method for the fundamental doctrine of Tibetan “Buddhism” is the couple practice of copulation in the “Highest Yoga Tantra,” in which the union of a male’s and a female’s sexual organs is a necessary “condition” for the tactile bliss to “arise”; the conscious mind itself is empty and formless, yet it can cognize the sensual pleasure, and therefore the state is called the “Union of Bliss and Emptiness.” Up to this day, the 14th Dalai Lama also considers the concept of “dependent arising without intrinsic nature” in “Prasangika Madhyamika,” “the emptiness of every dharma,” and the conscious mind all to be the ultimate Buddhism. He negates that there exists an “everlasting and never ceasing” true mind, the wondrous dharma of the eighth vijnana Tathagatagarbha. This is a fatal misconception that makes Tibetan “Buddhism” a non-Buddhist cult.

CEO Zhang further indicates: the fundamental doctrine of Tibetan Tantrism is essentially the couple practice of copulation in the “Highest Yoga Tantra”; its doctrine regards that a human life “arises” depending on the “condition” of parental sexual intercourse. It is also stated in medical science that a “fertilized egg” is formed after a man’s sperm successfully penetrates into the woman’s ovum, thereby leading to a newborn life after ten months’ pregnancy. From such a viewpoint, it merely focuses on the “arising condition” of the newborn life but ignores the “root-cause” of how a new life is generated. In other words, if the “fertilized egg,” a combination of the father’s sperm and the mother’s ovum, is all that needed for a newborn life, then the so-called “law of causality” in the Buddha dharma cannot be substantiated. In reality, a new life can only be born following another sentient being’s death and its transmigration afterwards; to be more specific, an individual is not dead “once and for all”; instead, one will transmigrate to the next life “under the law of causality.” If a person possessed only the first six vijnanas [six sense-consciousnesses], when his physical body decays after death, his conscious mind that can cognize every dharma would decay accordingly as well, and all dharmas would cease to exist; in that case, how can life be carried on to “fulfill the law of causality”? As a matter of fact, there has to be an “everlasting and never ceasing” dharma entering and dwelling in the “fertilized egg,” and it is the real cause for a new life to arise depending on “conditions.”

The view of “dependent arising without intrinsic nature” in Tibetan Tantric “Buddhism” is similar to the heretic theory of nihilism in Buddhism; both viewpoints fall into the nihilistic theory of “no-cause and no-effect.” If every dharma were to arise simply depending on “conditions” and devoid of the “everlasting and never ceasing” true mind--the eighth vijnana--as the “root-cause,” how would the theory of the “reincarnated soul boy” in Tibetan “Buddhism” be justified? That the 14th Dalai Lama himself claims to be the reincarnation of Bodhisattva Avalokitêśvara, in fact, cannot be rationalized either.

The Madhyamika [middle-way view] of Tibetan “Buddhism” regards the concept of dependent arising without intrinsic nature as the ultimate dharma; nevertheless, Tibetan “Buddhism” sometimes reverses its statement by claiming that the conscious mind is not a dharma of dependent arising without intrinsic nature, but is the main entity of births-and-deaths in samsara. Such a statement not only violates Buddha Sakyamuni’s true teaching, but is also against the fact that the conscious mind can only exist in one lifetime in the phenomenal world. In addition, such a statement by itself already contradicts their theory that every dharma is merely of dependent arising without intrinsic nature; the statement also falls back into the theory of eternalism held by the non-Buddhists. As a result, the Prasangika Madhyamika of Tibetan “Buddhism” indeed belongs to the erroneous views of both nihilism and eternalism. Obviously contradictory to each other, both statements are simultaneously existent in Tibetan “Buddhism”; strangely enough, none of the lamas, ancient and modern alike, has discovered the contradiction.

Tibetan Tantric Buddhists talk about “reincarnation” while they negate the existence of the root-cause for “reincarnation.” If all dharmas were to become empty eventually, then the statement of “reincarnation” would never be substantiated, and all the Buddhist cultivation would be meaningless talk as well.

CEO Zhang again says that the “law of dependent-arising” means there must be an “everlasting and never ceasing” dharma as the root origin of “dependent-arising” and all the other dharmas can then be generated depending on the supporting “conditions.” For example, the waves must have the sea water as their main entity, while the phenomenal winds blow as the supporting conditions to form the waves; the sea water represents the “everlasting and never ceasing” main entity and it encounters the phenomenal winds as the “supporting conditions” to “bring forth” its waves; hence, the waves are dharmas of dependent arising without intrinsic nature and the sea water is their root cause. When the sea is calm, the sea water remains tranquil without the waves. If a phenomenal wind blows as the “supporting condition,” a wave is then created. As such, “arising depending on the cause and conditions” and “ceasing depending on the cause and conditions,” the change is merely in the shapes of the waves. The waves themselves are dependent arising without intrinsic nature, but the sea water is “everlasting and never ceasing” and is the fundamental cause for the formation of the waves.

The “dependent arising and dependent cessation” of life is also the same. Just like the changing waves, every individual possesses a different physical body and different six vijnanas (including the conscious mind, and so on) in each lifetime, and thereby with different bodily, verbal, and mental deeds. After one’s passing away, a new life will be born depending on the supporting “conditions” by the “everlasting and never ceasing” dharma, the eighth vijnana, in accordance with the karmic deeds of the past life. The new life is a dharma of dependent arising without intrinsic nature, but one’s eternal eighth vijnana is everlasting and never ceasing. Due to the permanent and never ceasing existence of the true mind as the fundamental cause of life, a new physical body will be born depending on various supporting conditions in the future lifetimes. Nevertheless, the new life is not necessarily a human; it could possibly become God or a celestial being (deva) enjoying blessed rewards of heavens or sometimes it could fall into the three evil paths as animals, hungry ghosts or hell beings. Every new life will be always different; the former life cannot go to the afterlife. Therefore, every new life is dependent arising without intrinsic nature, but the everlasting and never ceasing Tathagatagarbha remains the same all the time.

In terms of “dependent arising without intrinsic nature” in Tibetan “Buddhism,” its entire view of the “Buddha” dharma is based within the scope of the conscious mind, and utterly discards the “everlasting and never ceasing” dharma. Regarding the Couple-Practice of the “Highest Yoga Tantra,” its sexual climax has to be perceived by the conscious mind. As such a dharma of sexual tactile pleasure is “generated” through the contact of a male’s and a female’s sexual organs as the supporting "condition"; once the sexual organs are parted, the sexual tactile pleasure would cease to exist immediately, for this is an arising-and-ceasing, changing and impermanent dharma. Could anyone define the “dependently arising-and-ceasing” dharma generated by sensual pleasure of sexual satisfaction as the path “to attain Buddhahood in a lifetime”? Even worse, an “illegitimate child” could be born in consequence of the male party’s accidental ejaculation; since “the birds and the bees” is merely the worldly common parenthood, how could it have anything to do with the Buddha dharma?

Finally, CEO Zhang indicates: In Buddhism, the path to Buddhahood refers to the "everlasting and never ceasing" dharma, namely the eighth vijnana, Alayavijnana, which can bring forth the conscious mind, the sixth vijnana, which is used by the Tibetan Tantric “Buddhists” for perceiving the sexual orgasm. In reality, the Alayavijnana exists since eons without a beginning; it possesses true intrinsic natures and is able to bring forth all dharmas in the Three Realms depending on the supporting “conditions.” The theory of “dependent arising without intrinsic nature” can only work on the premise that the Alayavijnana brings forth all existing dharmas. Similarly, during the Couple-Practice of the “Highest Yoga Tantra,” children will be born once the male party ejaculates; it is because every sentient being possesses the "everlasting and never ceasing" Alayavijnana, which can enter the embryo and generate a human physical body; depending on the physical body, one can perform good or evil deeds in everyone’s life until senior age, and even passes away. Accordingly, this current life is “dependently arising and ceasing,” but everyone’s Alayavijnana will carry on with the retribution within “the six paths of transmigration” in accordance with the karmic deeds of one’s past lives to fulfill the “law of causality.” This is the true meaning of “dependent arising without intrinsic nature.”

Tibetan “Buddhism” negates the existence of the “everlasting and never ceasing” Alayavijnana, and its statement about “dependent arising without intrinsic nature” becomes essentially a nihilistic and fallacious theory. As a result, it is absolutely impossible for Tibetan Buddhists to explain the law of cause and effect in Buddhism. In fact, “the conscious mind, which they claim to be everlasting, indestructible, and able to bring forth the five-aggregates” can only exist in this life, but cannot go to the afterlife by entering and dwelling in the embryo. The conscious mind of the next life belongs only to the next life, and it does not come from this life. The same is true of this current conscious mind, which did not transmigrate from the former life either. Therefore, after Tibetan “Buddhism” has negated the existence of the everlasting eighth vijnana, which stores the seeds of the five-aggregates and the seeds of the good and evil deeds, their teachings about the view of dependent arising without intrinsic nature essentially become nihilistic and fallacious. Apart from those ordinary people who would agree to their view of dependent arising without intrinsic nature under “the theory of six vijnanas,” all those who have realized the true Buddha dharma will definitely not agree to it at all. (Reported by the interviewing team) 20120103

Editor's Note: This article is an English version of the Chinese edition published on October 8, 2011.

Reference Source: http://foundation.enlighten.org.tw/trueheart_en/22


  1. Hllo Mr.TK

    I like your blog which condimned the deviant nature of Vajrayana Buddhism from the true Buddhism

    I just have a question about the teaching of your Buddhist doctrine(true enlightment education foundation)

    I see one of their site, they saide that realizing Nirvana(enlightment) is same like realizing self or brahma


    but I am not sure if this is the teaching of true enlightment foundation or not?

    if yes, I would like to learn more about the concept of divine-self or brahma-self in buddhism

    thank you very much

    1. Hi, thanks for checking this blog.

      You mean the citation from The Correct Meanings of “The Agama Sutras,” Vol. 1:

      “In remainderless-nirvana, there is not any dharma of the eighteen-divisions of sense, and is completely no self. Nevertheless, there is an imperishable Reality all alone. This Original Reality, sometimes named Self, Reality, or Great Brahma, etc., exists alone in remainderless-nirvana, independent of all dharmas of the three-realms. It is not subject to any state of mind, nor does It have self and the belongings of self within three-realms. Due to the existence of Original Reality, remainderless-nirvana is not nihilistic.”(無餘涅槃之中雖無十八界法之任何一界存在,雖是完全無我,然有實際不滅而獨存,然有本際或名為我、或名為如、或名實際、或名大梵……者,離三界萬法厥然獨存,不受一切境界,無一切三界我之我與我所,故非斷滅。《阿含正義》第一輯)

      This is an explanation of “The Agama Sutras”. I have tried to find out the Original Text, but not found. To show you the original sutras will be better. Since I did not find it, I share with you what I realize.

      As I realize, a Buddhist practitioner has to observe that his physical body (色) is illusory and that the sensation aggregate (受蘊), perception aggregate (想蘊), formation aggregate (行蘊), and vijnana aggregate (識蘊) are illusory as well. After he follows the Buddha’s teachings and observes mindfully, he will realize that everything will eventually cease to exist and thus cannot be relied on; as a result, he will feel a sense of aversion and the urge to detach himself from everything. Eventually, he has to believe in the Buddha’s teachings: Every individual possesses the eighth vijnana (= Alayavijnana), which neither arises nor ceases. Then he will entirely abandon selfhood and become an Arhat. After his death, the Arhat will have abandoned the five aggregates of form, sensation, perception, formation and vijnana, and will not go through the next rebirth. He will not appear in the human realm nor in the heavenly realm. The arhat is therefore liberated from the cycle of births and deaths and will enter nirvana.

      Comparing to the non-substantiality of Five Aggregates, the eighth vijnana (= Alayavijnana) is named Original Self, Self or Great Brahma… etc. The “Great Brahma” here is not the concept of divine-self or brahma-self as you mentioned. On the contrary, it means the life of Mahabrahman comes from his eighth vijnana (= Alayavijnana). Further more, the source of life is the individual eighth vijnana (= Alayavijnana), not the Great Brahma.

      Everything one possesses will eventually cease to exist. But everyone has one thing which is immortal: the eighth vijnana (= Alayavijnana). This is the main teaching of Buddha Sakyamuni which is taught by the true enlightment education foundation.

      If you read Chinese, this will be helpful:

      For your reference, the cultivation center in Los Angeles, USA:
      Tel: (626) 454 0607
      Address: 17979 Arenth Avenue #B, City of INdustry, CA91748

      If you have any other question, I will try my best to communicate with you. Thank you.

  2. thank you very much for writing the answers in details

    I know that the great brahma is different from the concept of universal spirit of brahman(absolute god)

    but because the site saide "original self" which is the same of the concept of brahma-self, so I confuse between the two

    any way, my question, is the Buddha nature(Tathagatagarbha) is same like brahma-self?

    I see article that criticize master sheng yen for not consider tathagatagarbha to be realized personaly, or being not the same as divine self or brahma self, in this link:


    For me, I can't read Chinese language, also I exist in Kuala lumpor, not USA

    thanks again

    1. In order to help followers realize the Eighth Vijnana, Buddha Sakyamuni gives many names to describe it, eg. Alayavijnana, Tathagatagarbha, Original Reality, Original-Self, Self…

      It’s the same with the “name” - Brahma-Self. The Brahmanism insists the source of life is Mahabrahman which contradicts the reality. Buddha Sakyamuni uses this name “Brahma-Self” to correct them: Even the life of Mahabrahman is born by his Alayavijnana (Tathagatagarbha).

      So, to your question: Is the Buddha nature (Tathagatagarbha) same like brahma-self?

      The answer: No. Tathagatagarbha≠brahma-self. Brahma-self belongs to consciousness (= the 6th vijnana) and will eventually cease to exist; But Tathagatagarbha (Alayavijnana) is the source of life, it will never cease to exist, it is immortal.

      As to the link you mentioned… The article criticizes the Venerable Sheng-yen does not really realize what Alayavijnana is. He uses also the name Alayavijnana, but takes consciousness (= the 6th vijnana) in mistake for Alayavijnana. This is the most serious mistake for a Buddhist. For example, if you want to go to Kuala lumpor, you has to know where it is. If you take USA in mistake for Kuala lumpor, you will never arrive Kuala lumpor.

      Due to the limit of my English ability, I am afraid you will not understand me exactly. If you have any other question, please do not hesitate to tell me. Thank you.

  3. thanks again for answers

    sorry for delaying, because I am so busy

    I just want to point out, that according to Lord Buddha, brahma-self is equal to Nirvana, like in Pali Tripitaka or agamas, its same

    [Atthakanipata-Att. 5.72] “To become Brahman is to become highest Svabhava (Self-nature).”

    [It 57] “Become-Brahman is the meaning of Tathagata.”, and many other suttas

    as I read many of Tripitaka, which buddha clearly indicate to brahman as one of the many words that is synonym to nirvana, like Dharmakaya or Tathagathagarbha, etc..

    if you don't think that, what about Nikaayas or Agamas, which buddha saide that?

    thanks again for your attention

    1. Very good of you.

      Perhaps you do read the Lankavatara Sutra?
      A chapter states, “Mahamati, I have three incalculable hundred thousands names in this Saha world, the unwise ones hear my names and accordingly call my different names but do not know the true essence of them. Mahamati, some call me Tathagatagabha, some call me Buddha, some call me Savior, some call me Self-enlightened, some call me Leaders,some call me Braham… some call me Atam…some call me Emptiness… some call me True-Suchness... (CBETA, T16, no. 670, p. 506, b4-14)

      Languages and terms are for communicating with each other. Words are very limited indeed. You are right with your statement, in a way; however, you have to know the "true essence of them." Especially what does "Tathagatagabha" actually stand for?

      Do you know true Buddhist cultivation is to personally "witness" the Tathagatagarbha, but an individual has to foster proper prajna knowledge before he can "witness" his Buddha nature. In terms of Buddhism, this refers to "awakening."

      Apart from reading the Sutras, an individual needs to have a truly good knowledgeable advisor to start with. That is my own experience, just for your reference. Thank you.