Objects of Cognition: Advanced Gelug and Non-Gelug Presentations

The various Indian schools of Buddhist tenets differ slightly in their explanations of cognition. The Tibetan traditions take the Sautrantika explanation as a basis and then refine it with the explanations of the more sophisticated tenet systems. Accordingly, here is a presentation of some points regarding the Sautrantika system of cognition, supplemented with explanations from other systems when they significantly differ. Explanations also fall broadly into the two divisions: Gelug and non-Gelug, however neither Gelug nor non-Gelug presents a uniform explanation of cognition theory. Several masters within each camp have explained specific points slightly differently in their commentaries. Here, as a foundation for more advanced study, is an overview of the two general positions regarding the main points.