These verses continue the imagined dialogue between the Chittamatrin and Madhyamika philosophers, debating through negation whether the mind exists independently of the sense objects.
Shantideva firmly presents the Madhyamaka philosophy, bringing the reader along the Middle Way view of emptiness and countering any argument for mind existing independently of causes and conditions.
He points out that thoughts are dependent upon mind, even though they are illusory, because they would not arise if mind was a self contained independent entity. This challenges the Chittamatra view that samsara must be based on something that is real. Interdependence, Shantideva says, is the cause of impermanence and change; and so the debate teases out the various arguments for and against mind as existing separate from phenomena, arriving at the understanding that everything is impermanent, arising and disappearing and that this interdependence is the basis for samsara.
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