“The great Shantarakshita incorporated this Mind Only view of conventional reality in the Yogachara Madhyamaka school, which therefore describes relative reality in precisely the same manner as the Mind Only school. On the absolute level, however, Madhyamaka describes everything as empty. Even mind itself it seen to be empty and devoid of inherent self-existence.
Shantarakshita united these two profound philosophical systems—the Yogachara view of conventional reality and the Madhyamaka view of absolute truth—without any hardship or contradiction. To summarize, on the relative level, everything is a display of mind; on the absolute level, everything is completely beyond all characteristics and complexity.
In the Madhyamakalankara, Khenchen Bodhisattva himself describes the Yogachara Madhyamaka school as “riding the chariot of two great philosophical systems, holding the reins of logic and reasoning.” And what are these two great chariots? They are the profound Madhyamaka system of Nagarjuna and the vast philosophical system of Asanga and Vasubandhu combined together in a single state of practice. Based upon this profound system of logic and reason— applied in meditation—we will proceed directly to the perfect state of buddhahood.”
Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches
Opening the Wisdom Door of the Madhyamaka School (pg 23)
Photo of the Great Master Shantarakshita from the Padma Samye Ling temple murals.
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