Friday, April 22, 2022

Teaching the Relative and Ultimate Truths - 206

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[Two Buddha figures sitting side by side: From the Lotus Sutra: Prabhūtaratna and Shakyamuni in the jeweled stupa. Interpretation: Thich Nhat Hanh states that Prabhūtaratna symbolizes "the ultimate Buddha" and Shakyamuni "the historical Buddha"; the two Buddhas sitting together signifies the non-duality of the ultimate and the historical (conventional / appearance), that at a given moment in the real world, one can touch the ultimate. (i.e. Representing the Equality / Inseparability / Harmony / Union of the Two Truths [U2T].)]

Analysis of "Teaching the Relative and Ultimate Truths" - 206
– A Mahayana Sutra –

Source: https://read.84000.co/translation/toh179.html

[i.e. About the reconciliation of the Two Truths:
Understanding and then directly perceiving / realising / experiencing
the equality / inseparability / interdependence / harmony / Union of the Two Truths [U2T];
and the need to act without acting – more and more in accord with this Union of the Two Truths [U2T].]

More Analysis of Sutras : https://www.gilehtblog.com/2021/03/table-of-content.html


Table of content


SUMMARY

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In Teaching the Relative and Ultimate Truths, the bodhisattva Mañjuśrī is summoned by Buddha Śākyamuni from a faraway buddha realm to teach in a way that demolishes (transcends) all dualistic experience (i.e. not accepting, not rejecting them; just realising their true nature & dynamic is enough).

As Mañjuśrī begins to teach,

THE MAIN MESSAGE of the sūtra unfolds as an explanation of the [inseparable] two truths.

(i.e. and their inter-relation / equality / inseparability / interdependence / harmony / 'Union' – and
the need to act more and more in accord with this 'Union of the Two Truths [U2T]' free from all extremes & middle: ex.

i) Nihilism: not accepting / affirming / seeking / privileging one side / truth (ex. mere-emptiness / nothingness [T2] / nirvana)
while rejecting / negating / abandoning / ignoring / neglecting the other side / truth (ex. appearances [T1] / dependent origination / causality / relativity / functionality / laws / practices / samsara);

ii) Naïve realism: not accepting / affirming / seeking / privileging the other side / truth (ex. mere-appearances [T1] / dependent origination / causality / relativity / functionality / laws / skillful means / practices / the world / samsara)
while rejecting / negating / abandoning / ignoring / neglecting the first side / truth (ex. emptiness [T2] / nirvana);

iii) Dualism: not accepting both sides / truths together as if different and in opposition [2T],

iv) Monism / Oneness: neither: not rejecting both sides / truths as if identical / a cosmic oneness [1T].

It is 'acting without acting': acting in accord with valid conventional / relative truths [T1], but without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points to anything as if existing independently / universally / absolutely / inherently, with inherently existing characteristics / properties / qualities, and in inherently existing relations / oppositions. [T2] [U2T] It is acting in accord with the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle.)

The general theme of Mañjuśrī's discourse is centered on the particular circumstances in Ratnaketu's buddha realm, but the message is equally applicable to the experiences of beings here in this world.


INTRODUCTION

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Teaching the Relative and Ultimate Truths is a sūtra significant in the canon of the Great Vehicle, concerned as it is with

One of the key themes of Buddhist philosophy, the [inseparable] two truths [U2T].

(i.e. and their inter-relation / equality / inseparability / interdependence / harmony / 'Union' – and
the need to act more and more in accord with this 'Union of the Two Truths [U2T]' free from all extremes & middle: ex.

i) Nihilism: not accepting / affirming / seeking / privileging one side / truth (ex. mere-emptiness / nothingness [T2] / nirvana)
while rejecting / negating / abandoning / ignoring / neglecting the other side / truth (ex. appearances [T1] / dependent origination / causality / relativity / functionality / laws / practices / samsara);

ii) Naïve realism: not accepting / affirming / seeking / privileging the other side / truth (ex. mere-appearances [T1] / dependent origination / causality / relativity / functionality / laws / skillful means / practices / the world / samsara)
while rejecting / negating / abandoning / ignoring / neglecting the first side / truth (ex. emptiness [T2] / nirvana);

iii) Dualism: not accepting both sides / truths together as if different and in opposition [2T],

iv) Monism / Oneness: neither: not rejecting both sides / truths as if identical / a cosmic oneness [1T].

It is 'acting without acting': acting in accord with valid conventional / relative truths [T1], but without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points to anything as if existing independently / universally / absolutely / inherently, with inherently existing characteristics / properties / qualities, and in inherently existing relations / oppositions. [T2] [U2T] It is acting in accord with the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle.)

These [inseparable] two principles + are

  • (1) the relative truth (the way things appears to be);
    (i.e. Conventional / relative truths: conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances, merely labeled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma, not complete non-existence / non-functionality / non-causality / uselessness / meaninglessness.)

  • (2) and the ultimate truth (the way things really are; or the emptiness of inherent existence).
    (i.e. The so-called ultimate truth: emptiness of inherent existence, not real existence / functionality / causality / production.)

  • (3 - And the relation between these two truths: an important point is that 'the true nature of Reality as it is / Suchness ' is not mere-emptiness (utter nothingness & non-functionality), but genuine-emptiness free from all extremes & middle; in other words the equality / inseparability / interdependence / harmony / 'Union of these Two Truths [U2T]'.)

  • (4 - And consequently the need to act without acting – that is without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling for any extreme or middle, more and more in accord with the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is, more and more in accord with this 'Union of the Two Truths [U2T]'.)

Since this bifurcation of [in the perception of] reality is one of the frameworks underlying the entirety of Buddhist thought, the message of this sūtra is of importance for all Buddhist traditions, and for the Great Vehicle in particular.

Some readers may be surprised that most of the teaching delivered in this sūtra is spoken not by the Buddha himself, but by his disciple Mañjuśrī. However, as readers familiar with the Great Vehicle sūtras will have noticed, in this literature the Buddha often encourages his students to teach, and subsequently endorses their lectures as bona fide "words of the Buddha" (buddhavacana). In this way Mañjuśrī's teaching becomes authentic scripture through the awakened activity of the Buddha himself. Still, before Mañjuśrī can deliver his eloquent teaching, he must first arrive in this world, as it turns out that he has temporarily taken up residence in a distant buddha realm, known as Jewel World.

The sūtra, which takes place on Vulture Peak Mountain‍ — a hill just outside the ancient city of Rājagṛha, capital of what was then the state of Magadha‍ — begins with a bodhisattva god named Lord of Peace and Calm asking the Buddha where Mañjuśrī might be found. The Buddha announces that Mañjuśrī has moved to a buddha realm many thousands of world systems away. There, the Buddha explains, Mañjuśrī lives in the assembly of another buddha, Ratnaketu. Lord of Peace and Calm politely requests the Buddha to send a signal to Mañjuśrī summoning him to this world, since Mañjuśrī is the only bodhisattva who is able to teach in a way that demolishes (i.e. in a way that transcends: not accepting, not rejecting – directly realising their true nature & dynamic is enough) all dualistic experience or, as the text describes it, experience that involves "reference points."
(i.e. Involving reference points / focus: Involving dualistic experience; extremes & middle, dualistic conceptual proliferations, defining limitations, conditioning / karma; involving good vs. evil; involving acceptation & rejection in absolute terms. Ex the more-absolutist, more-dualistic teachings of the hearers / śrāvaka. Ex. Focusing / fixating on emptiness / non-existence while rejecting / neglecting conventional concepts, ideas, truths, methods, goals.)

The Buddha obliges and immediately sends forth a light from the magical hair between his eyebrows.
(i.e. A miracle-like / magic-like demonstration of the inconceivable power of beings who act more in accord with the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now.)

The light inspires Mañjuśrī to return to this world, this time joined on his travels by an enormous assembly of bodhisattvas from the buddha realm of Ratnaketu. They arrive and, accompanied by much pomp and festivity, they offer proper worship to Buddha Śākyamuni. Once they have settled here in this world,

[THE REQUEST:] Mañjuśrī is asked to give the assembly a teaching
just like the instructions offered by Buddha Ratnaketu in his far-off buddha realm.
(i.e. Asking for a less absolutist, less dualistic, teaching for Bodhisattvas only;
not understandable / acceptable by the extremists who rely on reference points, the hearers / śrāvaka.)

[THE ANSWER:] As Mañjuśrī begins to teach,

THE MAIN MESSAGE of the sūtra unfolds in the form of
an explanation of the [inconceivable true nature & dynamic of the inseparable] Two Truths [U2T].

(i.e. and their inter-relation / equality / inseparability / interdependence / harmony / 'Union' – and
the need to act more and more in accord with this 'Union of the Two Truths [U2T]' free from all extremes & middle: ex.

i) Nihilism: not accepting / affirming / seeking / privileging one side / truth (ex. mere-emptiness / nothingness [T2] / nirvana)
while rejecting / negating / abandoning / ignoring / neglecting the other side / truth (ex. appearances [T1] / dependent origination / causality / relativity / functionality / laws / practices / samsara);

ii) Naïve realism: not accepting / affirming / seeking / privileging the other side / truth (ex. mere-appearances [T1] / dependent origination / causality / relativity / functionality / laws / skillful means / practices / the world / samsara)
while rejecting / negating / abandoning / ignoring / neglecting the first side / truth (ex. emptiness [T2] / nirvana);

iii) Dualism: not accepting both sides / truths together as if different and in opposition [2T],

iv) Monism / Oneness: neither: not rejecting both sides / truths as if identical / a cosmic oneness [1T].

It is 'acting without acting': acting in accord with valid conventional / relative truths [T1], but without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points to anything as if existing independently / universally / absolutely / inherently, with inherently existing characteristics / properties / qualities, and in inherently existing relations / oppositions. [T2] [U2T] It is acting in accord with the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle.)

The general theme of Mañjuśrī's discourse is centered on the particular circumstances in Ratnaketu's buddha realm, but the message is equally applicable to the experiences of beings here in this world.

There are Two [Inseparable] Truths [U2T], Mañjuśrī teaches.

(i.e. According to Mipham, there are two models of the two truths: In one model, the two truths are presented as appearance [T1] and emptiness [T2]. In the other model, they are presented as two modes of experience: the way things appear / the relative and the way things really are / the absolute [U2T]. When talking about the Union of the Two Truths the first model is used. When talking about the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now, the second model is used. The two models are integrated by realising that the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now is the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T] – the Union of appearances [T1] & emptiness [T2] – free from all extremes & middle. On the two models see: Two models of the Two Truths -- Douglas Duckworth - 012)

  • (1) There is the relative truth [T1] in which all types of experiences unfold‍ — good and bad, virtuous and non-virtuous, pleasant and painful, awakened and confused. This truth also includes all the spiritual trainings (i.e. conventional relative adapted skillful means) that take an ordinary being along the path to the state of awakening itself.
    -
    (i.e. Relative Truth: Everything is conventional dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances, merely labeled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma, not completely non-caused / non-existent / non-functional / non-ceasing / useless / meaningless.)

  • (2) And then there is the ultimate truth [T2], in which it is realized that
    all the phenomena experienced on the relative level are, in their most fundamental state, in Mañjuśrī's words, "unborn, unarisen, and unreal."
    This is the truth that is experienced by awakened beings.
    -
    (i.e. Ultimate Truth: Everything is empty of inherent existence, not really caused / existent / functional / ceasing [T2].
    "All phenomena are utterly unborn, utterly unarisen, and utterly unreal" (not coming, not existing, not going).
    Nuances: In reality as it is, everything is not born / caused / produced / arisen / real / ceasing, not unborn / uncaused / unproduced / unarisen / unreal / unceasing, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; so we say that everything is 'unborn / spontaneous / unarisen / unreal' as a temporary imperfect antidote to our usual position. And vice versa, one position is used as the antidote of the other opposite position until we are ready to transcend all extremes & middle together. Reality as it is is beyond all opposites like those. We could use the same reasoning with the two truths themselves.
    Meaning there are no real three stages of becoming -- i. dependent origination / beginning / birth / coming / before / past, ii. duration / middle / life / rebirth / change / staying / during / present, iii. cessation / ending / death / going / after / future - or nirvana extinction of the five aggregates – for anything – physical, conceptual, mental, subject / being, relation / action, object / phenomena –. And no complete absence / non-existence of them either, and no both together, and no neither.
    Those three stages of becoming are empty of inherent existence [T2], not really caused / existent / functional / ceasing <==> because interdependent, co-dependent [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S], not completely non-caused / non-existent / non-functional / non-ceasing / useless / meaningless (and not both existent & non-existent together, not neither). And vice versa, one truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>).
    Those three stages of becoming are like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions: 'There but not there' [U2T].
    These three stages of becoming are not really caused / existent / functional / ceasing, not completely non-caused / non-existent / non-functional / non-ceasing / useless / meaningless, not both together, not neither; not different / separate / multiple / dual / unequal, not identical / united / one / non-dual / equal, not both together, not neither; not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; etc.)

  • (3) [Acting without acting – more and more in accord with the Equality / Union of the Two Truths]
    Still, even though awakened beings perceive the unborn, unarisen, and unreal nature of all phenomena,
    they actively participate in the relative aspect of things [T1].
    In relative terms [T1], awakened beings carry out the trainings on the path,
    guide confused beings toward the liberated state, and perform a multitude of services to beings in general.
    Nevertheless, as Mañjuśrī teaches again and again in this sūtra,
    they train without training, they guide without guiding, and they serve without serving. [U2T]

(i.e. All phenomena are primordially utterly unborn, unarisen, unabiding, unconditioned, unseen, unreal, unceasing -- emptiness, signlessness, wishlessness --: In Reality as it is, there are no real three stages of becoming: i. no real (inherently existing) dependent origination (arising) / beginning / birth / coming / before / past, ii. no real duration / middle / existence / resting-change / during / present, iii. no real cessation / ending / death / going / after / future / non-existence or nirvana extinction of the five aggregates; just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively, just as merely labeled / imputed by the mind. That is the Genuine-emptiness of all phenomena -- free from all extremes & middle --; that is the Equality / Inseparability / Interdependence / Harmony / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]; that is the inconceivable unique all-pervasive timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pristine true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now / Suchness / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / Ground / Basis / Source. All phenomena are like illusions: 'there but not there'. Appearing <==> but empty; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still dependently co-appearing and relatively functional [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S]. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T]. All phenomena are not really caused / existent / functional / ceasing [T1], not completely non-caused / non-existent / non-functional / non-ceasing / useless / meaningless [T2], not both together [2T], not neither [1T]. There is no real impermanence / discontinuity / annihilation of anything, no real permanence / continuity / eternity, not real both together, no real neither – from one moment to the next, from before and after any action / change, from one stage to the next, from one rebirth to the next, from samsara to nirvana. Meaning the true nature & dynamic of all phenomena is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed conditioned dualistic conceptual ordinary mind(s). So there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis to discriminate / rank / differentiate them in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. So there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. In that sense all phenomena -- physical, conceptual, mental -- can be directly perceived as primordially spontaneous, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, enlightened, the inseparable three kayas (trikaya), the true Buddha. In terms of activity / practice / conduct, it means Bodhisattvas should act without acting, in accord with valid conventional / relative / inter-subjective words, concepts, truths, methods, goals [T1]; but also in accord with the emptiness of all dharmas involved [T2], that is without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling for any extreme or middle, while being aware of the true nature & dynamic as it is here & now of everything involved [U2T / U3S / Uopp], not accepting / affirming / seeking / adding / doing anything in absolute terms, not rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / subtracting / not-doing anything in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. [ANTIDOTES:] In reality as it is here & now, all phenomena are: i. not dependently arisen / caused / born / produced / existent / conditioned / perceived / real / ceasing / non-empty, ii. not independently arisen (spontaneous) / uncaused / unborn / unproduced / non-existent / unconditioned / unperceived / unreal / unceasing / empty, iii. not both together, iv. not neither, and there is no fifth; so we say that everything is 'unborn / spontaneous / unarisen / unreal / unceasing / empty' as a temporary imperfect antidote to our usual positions. And vice versa, one position is used as the antidote of the opposite position until we are ready to transcend all extremes & middle together. But if we grasp at the antidotes, then they turn into poisons. Reality as it is is beyond all opposites like those, beyond all adapted skillful means; beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma; even beyond the two truths & their 'Union'.)
-
(Note about repeated comments & words: this box of comments is repeated 22 times in this analysis document; every time there is mention of the 'unborn, unarisen, unceasing'. The sequence 'Union of the Two Truths' is used 0/155 times in the original text / and in this analysis document, the word 'Reality' 17/234 times, 'phenomena' 83/289, 'Union' /282, 'unborn' 47/165, 'unarisen' 45/100, 'unreal' 25/100, 'unseen' 2/25, 'unceasing' 3/105, 'ultimate' 250/337, 'relative' 122/359, 'convention' 12/305, 'truth' 58/471, 'reference points' 53/159,  'U2T' /505,  'Uopp' /87,  'U3S' /95,   'U2T-3S' /60, 'U2T-opp' /59, 'U2T-2T' /42 …)

(i.e. Acting without acting: The path consists of acting more and more in accord with the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now as pointed out by concepts like the inconceivable equality / inseparability / interdependence / harmony / Union of the Two Truths [U2T], the Union of the three spheres [U3S / U2T-3S], the Union of opposites [Uopp / U2T-opp], the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle, etc.
Examples: acting without acting, coming without coming, existing without existing, being without being, changing without changing, going without going, perceiving without perceiving, comprehending without comprehending, understanding without understanding, knowing without knowing, practicing without practicing, meditating without meditating, teaching without teaching, guiding without guiding, thinking without thinking, conceptualising without conceptualising, discriminating without discriminating, liberating without liberating, realising without realising, awakening without awakening, etc.
Acting without acting: without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling for any extremes or middle;
Acting without acting: without any di-vision / separation / opposition / duality between the three spheres;
Acting without acting: with full awareness of the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of the three spheres – ex. i. subject / actor / perceiver / knower / cause / owner-me / mind, ii. relation / action / perception / cognition / causality / ownership, iii. object / result / perceived / known / effect / possession-mine / phenomena –.
Acting without accepting or rejecting anything in absolute terms: adopting the Middle Way in everything – free from all extremes & middle, free from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, free from all limits, free from all conditioning / karma; with nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively if it helps someone get closer to the inconceivable liberating Truth [U2T].
So the Path must consist of using a Union of more and more subtle virtuous adapted skillful means [T1] <==> with more and more wisdom / emptiness [T2]. Developing one aspect alone is not enough; one needs to accumulate both merit & wisdom together. Only then is it efficient in getting closer and closer to the goal / Buddhahood.)

  • (4) [The inconceivable equality / inseparability / interdependence / harmony / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]:]
    Through such paradoxical expressions, Mañjuśrī describes
    the experiences of those who have direct understanding of
    both the ultimate [T2 - emptiness] and relative truths [T1 - dependent origination / relativity / appearances]
    [together, as equal, in 'Union'].
    -
    (i.e. The true nature of Reality as it is here & now is indescribable / inconceivable, beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptualisation, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma; beyond all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / differentiation, causality / production, matter-energy, space & time.
    So it is even beyond the two truths themselves.
    Enlightenment is not about accepting one truth (ex. mere-dependent-origination / mere-relativity / mere-appearances [T1]) while rejecting the other (ex. emptiness [T2]),
    not vice versa (ex. accepting mere-emptiness / nirvana [T2] while rejecting relativity / appearances / samsara [T1]),
    not about accepting both truths together (ex. "accepting / understanding both the ultimate and relative truths", thinking they are different / separate / two / dual and in opposition or complementarity [2T]),
    not about rejecting both (ex. thinking the two truths are identical / united / non-dual / one cosmic Truth [1T].
    Enlightenment is about transcending those four extremes positions about the two truths [T1-only, T2-only, both together / 2T, neither / 1T]; it is about directly realising without realising the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T].
    That is why we use the concept of the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T], not just the concepts of the Two Truths. [2T]: These two truths are themselves empty of inherent existence <==> because inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, and merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U2T-2T]. They are like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions: 'There but not there' [U2T]. They are not inherently existent, not completely non-caused / non-existent / non-functional / non-ceasing / useless / meaningless, not both together, not neither; not different / separate / multiple / dual / unequal, not identical / united / one / non-dual / equal, not both together, not neither; not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; etc. )

The teaching unfolds organically as Mañjuśrī responds to a series of questions put by several of the bodhisattvas in Buddha Śākyamuni's retinue. Although

THE RECURRING THEME of the teaching remains
the [true] nature [& dynamic] of the [inseparable] Two Truths [U2T],

(i.e. and their inter-relation / equality / inseparability / interdependence / harmony / 'Union' – and
the need to act more and more in accord with this 'Union of the Two Truths [U2T]' free from all extremes & middle: ex.

i) Nihilism: not accepting / affirming / seeking / privileging one side / truth (ex. mere-emptiness / nothingness [T2] / nirvana)
while rejecting / negating / abandoning / ignoring / neglecting the other side / truth (ex. appearances [T1] / dependent origination / causality / relativity / functionality / laws / practices / samsara);

ii) Naïve realism: not accepting / affirming / seeking / privileging the other side / truth (ex. mere-appearances [T1] / dependent origination / causality / relativity / functionality / laws / skillful means / practices / the world / samsara)
while rejecting / negating / abandoning / ignoring / neglecting the first side / truth (ex. emptiness [T2] / nirvana);

iii) Dualism: not accepting both sides / truths together as if different and in opposition [2T],

iv) Monism / Oneness: neither: not rejecting both sides / truths as if identical / a cosmic oneness [1T].

It is 'acting without acting': acting in accord with valid conventional / relative truths [T1], but without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points to anything as if existing independently / universally / absolutely / inherently, with inherently existing characteristics / properties / qualities, and in inherently existing relations / oppositions. [T2] [U2T] It is acting in accord with the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle.)

Mañjuśrī covers a variety of topics specific to the questions asked. In this way he describes the qualities of both the hearers and bodhisattvas in Buddha Ratnaketu's circle and the moral trainings (vinaya) that they observe.

Interestingly, Mañjuśrī teaches that the very same acts that the hearers in the assembly avoid (dualistically reject),
the bodhisattvas adopt (use; do not accept nor reject) as their core training, although with a twist.
For example, while the hearers seek to avoid (dualistically reject) miserliness at all cost,
the bodhisattvas engage (use; do not accept nor reject) precisely in "miserliness,"
albeit with the understanding that it is the welfare of other beings that they refuse to relinquish, rather than any worldly mammon.

(i.e. The Buddha-dharma is not about accepting this while rejecting that. It is about directly perceiving / realising / experiencing the inconceivable true nature & dynamic as it is of everything. So a Bodhisattva can use anything as a platform for this – good or bad –. And, in general, disturbing experiences are more motivating to seek more subtle answers. So Bodhisattvas seek experiences that challenge the status quo in his mind, without harming others.
Why? Because everything is empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> because dependently co-arisen / interdependent [T1], then there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis for any discrimination / differentiation in absolute terms, just conventional / relative / inter-subjective basis. Everything is more like primordially spontaneous, timeless, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, beautiful, enlightened / trikaya – in the non-dual sense of those terms (see the tetralemma). Everything is like the inseparable pure body, speech & mind of the Buddha (trikaya).)

Toward the latter half of the sūtra, the teaching takes on a more personal character as the bodhisattvas interview Mañjuśrī concerning his own personal attainments and practice. In this way we find Mañjuśrī describing his own insights and spiritual prowess, although in somewhat cryptic language.

Accordingly, when Lord of Peace and Calm asks him whether he directly comprehends the unarisen nature of phenomena on the ultimate level,
Mañjuśrī replies, "Divine son, the utterly unarisen does not comprehend the utterly unarisen.
(i.e. Comprehending without comprehending; without grasping at any of the three spheres of comprehension; because they are all empty of inherent existence <==> because dependently co-arisen, merely labeled by the mind.)
And why?
Because, divine son, all phenomena are utterly unborn, utterly unarisen, and utterly unreal."

(i.e. All phenomena are primordially utterly unborn, unarisen, unabiding, unconditioned, unseen, unreal, unceasing -- emptiness, signlessness, wishlessness --: In Reality as it is, there are no real three stages of becoming: i. no real (inherently existing) dependent origination (arising) / beginning / birth / coming / before / past, ii. no real duration / middle / existence / resting-change / during / present, iii. no real cessation / ending / death / going / after / future / non-existence or nirvana extinction of the five aggregates; just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively, just as merely labeled / imputed by the mind. That is the Genuine-emptiness of all phenomena -- free from all extremes & middle --; that is the Equality / Inseparability / Interdependence / Harmony / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]; that is the inconceivable unique all-pervasive timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pristine true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now / Suchness / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / Ground / Basis / Source. All phenomena are like illusions: 'there but not there'. Appearing <==> but empty; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still dependently co-appearing and relatively functional [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S]. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T]. All phenomena are not really caused / existent / functional / ceasing [T1], not completely non-caused / non-existent / non-functional / non-ceasing / useless / meaningless [T2], not both together [2T], not neither [1T]. There is no real impermanence / discontinuity / annihilation of anything, no real permanence / continuity / eternity, not real both together, no real neither – from one moment to the next, from before and after any action / change, from one stage to the next, from one rebirth to the next, from samsara to nirvana. Meaning the true nature & dynamic of all phenomena is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed conditioned dualistic conceptual ordinary mind(s). So there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis to discriminate / rank / differentiate them in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. So there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. In that sense all phenomena -- physical, conceptual, mental -- can be directly perceived as primordially spontaneous, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, enlightened, the inseparable three kayas (trikaya), the true Buddha. In terms of activity / practice / conduct, it means Bodhisattvas should act without acting, in accord with valid conventional / relative / inter-subjective words, concepts, truths, methods, goals [T1]; but also in accord with the emptiness of all dharmas involved [T2], that is without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling for any extreme or middle, while being aware of the true nature & dynamic as it is here & now of everything involved [U2T / U3S / Uopp], not accepting / affirming / seeking / adding / doing anything in absolute terms, not rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / subtracting / not-doing anything in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. [ANTIDOTES:] In reality as it is here & now, all phenomena are: i. not dependently arisen / caused / born / produced / existent / conditioned / perceived / real / ceasing / non-empty, ii. not independently arisen (spontaneous) / uncaused / unborn / unproduced / non-existent / unconditioned / unperceived / unreal / unceasing / empty, iii. not both together, iv. not neither, and there is no fifth; so we say that everything is 'unborn / spontaneous / unarisen / unreal / unceasing / empty' as a temporary imperfect antidote to our usual positions. And vice versa, one position is used as the antidote of the opposite position until we are ready to transcend all extremes & middle together. But if we grasp at the antidotes, then they turn into poisons. Reality as it is is beyond all opposites like those, beyond all adapted skillful means; beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma; even beyond the two truths & their 'Union'.)

At the end of Mañjuśrī's teaching, the Buddha praises and approves what he has taught. Here, the Buddha is asked by several bodhisattvas to elaborate on some of the themes raised by Mañjuśrī. In general, throughout the sūtra, it is clear that the teachings and trainings of the bodhisattvas are considered preferable, superior, and far vaster in scope than those of the hearers. This is here confirmed by the Buddha, using a series of analogies that illustrate the superiority of the bodhisattva vehicle.
(i.e. There are no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing views, methods / paths, goals, teachings, only possible adapted skillful means. So we need to transcend opposites like superiority & mediocrity when we talk about the Mahayana.)

For example, the conceptual wisdom of the hearers is compared to a single drop of water, while the non-conceptual wisdom of the bodhisattvas is taught to be infinitely greater, like the great ocean. The reader is left in no doubt as to where the protagonists in this sūtra stand in terms of their devotional allegiance.

Toward the end of the sūtra, in a final display of his superior spiritual abilities, Mañjuśrī enters an absorption that allows him to alter the perceptions of everyone present, so that they now perceive this world as the buddha realm of Ratnaketu. Encouraged by the Buddha, Mañjuśrī reveals his magically created illusion to everyone, before departing for that distant buddha realm from whence he first arrived.
(i.e. Miracle-Like / Magic-Like / Inconceivable Performances -- using the method of inconceivable transformations that defies our usual limited conditioned absolutist dualistic conceptual understanding of the laws of the Universe, of causality, matter-energy, space & time --: Because Bodhisattvas & Buddhas act more in accord with this true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is, and because this Reality and those activities are incomprehensible / inconceivable for the flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned minds of ordinary beings and disciples, then, for them, those activities look like extra-ordinary miracles, unbelievable magical-tricks, or even deceptions. But they are just more truly natural / realistic than our usual virtual reality, more in accord with Reality as it is. Because everything is limitless, infinitely relative and empty of inherent existence [U2T], then everything is possible. In a sense, it is directly perceiving / realising / experiencing the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now [U2T] that gives Bodhisattvas and Buddhas their apparent immeasurable powers. But they are just more free from their limiting illusions / conditioning / karma.)

At the very end of the sūtra, we find the customary inquiry by Ānanda to the Buddha regarding the title of the sūtra, its benefits to potential devotees, and the right way to propagate it.

The translation was made based on the Degé block print, with reference to other recensions of the sūtra as listed in the Pedurma (dpe bsdur ma) comparative edition of the Kangyur. Unfortunately, it appears that no Sanskrit manuscript remains extant.




The Noble Great Vehicle Sūtra
Teaching the Relative and Ultimate Truths

The Translation

1. [Asking for Mañjuśrī's presence so he could teach without teaching those less-absolutist less-dualistic teachings for Bodhisattvas only; not for hearers, solitary buddhas, and extremists with reference points – attached to absolutes and oppositions.]

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Homage to all buddhas and bodhisattvas!

Thus have I heard at one time. The Blessed One was dwelling in Rājagṛha, on Vulture Peak Mountain, together with a large monastic saṅgha of 8,000 monks and 72,000 bodhisattvas, as well as gods living in the desire and form realms. There, the Blessed One taught the Dharma, surrounded and honored by a retinue of many hundreds of thousands of beings.

Present in the assembly was a god, called Lord of Peace and Calm. He prostrated at the feet of the Blessed One and, bowing with joined palms in the direction of the Blessed One, asked the Blessed One,

[REQUEST:]
"Blessed One, where is Mañjuśrī Kumārabhūta now?
Blessed One, I myself and everyone here would like that sublime being to teach the Dharma."

The Blessed One replied, "Divine son, if one travels east of this buddha realm and passes beyond 18,000 other buddha realms, there is a buddha realm called Jewel World. There, the Thus-gone, worthy, perfect Buddha Ratnaketu at present lives and teaches the Dharma; and Mañjuśrī Kumārabhūta is there now."

The god Lord of Peace and Calm said to the Blessed One, "Blessed One, it would be wonderful if a sign were made such that Mañjuśrī Kumārabhūta, upon seeing it, would wish to return here. The reason is, Blessed One, that Dharma teachings such as those of Mañjuśrī Kumārabhūta (i.e. less-absolutist, less-dualistic teachings for the Bodhisattvas; teaching the Equality / Inseparability / Interdependence / Harmony / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]) are not to be heard from any of the hearers, solitary buddhas, or those bodhisattvas who rely on reference points.
(i.e. Involving reference points / focus: Involving dualistic experience; extremes & middle, dualistic conceptual proliferations, defining limitations, conditioning / karma; involving good vs. evil; involving acceptation & rejection in absolute terms. Ex the more-absolutist, more-dualistic teachings of the hearers / śrāvaka. Ex. Focusing / fixating on emptiness / non-existence while rejecting / neglecting conventional concepts, ideas, truths, methods, goals.)

Except for the Thus-gone One, no one else at all is capable of teaching the Dharma in that manner (i.e. except maybe Vimalakirti). Blessed One, when Mañjuśrī teaches the Dharma, all the dwellings of the demons [extreme views, methods, goals] lose their luster. Moreover, all demons [extreme views, methods, goals] become unable to inflict any harm. All opposition [dualities] is utterly defeated. Those with reference points [attached to this or that] are left without reference [no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis]. The sacred Dharma also remains for a long time. The Thus-gone One will also rejoice in this and approve of it."

[A miracle-like demonstration:] The Blessed One knew that the god Lord of Peace and Calm would make this request, and sent out a beam of light from the ūrṇā hair on his brow. That ray of light illuminated the great trichiliocosm with its intense luminescence and, passing through those 18,000 other buddha realms, its intense radiance spread throughout the Jewel World, the buddha realm of the Blessed, thus-gone, worthy, perfect Buddha Ratnaketu.
(i.e. A miracle-like / magic-like demonstration of the inconceivable power of beings who act more in accord with the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now.)

Witnessing this radiance, some bodhisattva great beings asked the Blessed, thus-gone, worthy, perfect Buddha Ratnaketu who resided there, "Blessed One, there was such a bright light just now; who caused that sign?"

"Son of noble family," replied the Blessed Ratnaketu, "to the west of this buddha realm, past 18,000 buddha realms, is the Sahā world. There, the Blessed, thus-gone, worthy, perfect Buddha Śākyamuni currently lives and teaches the Dharma. The Blessed, thus-gone, worthy, perfect Buddha Śākyamuni sent out a beam of light from the ūrṇā hair on his brow, and the luminescence of that beam of light passed through 18,000 buddha realms and illuminated this world with its intense radiance."

"Blessed One," asked those bodhisattva great beings, "why did that blessed, thus-gone, worthy, perfect buddha emit this beam of light?"

The Blessed Ratnaketu replied, "He did so in order to summon Mañjuśrī Kumārabhūta. And why? To make him return there. In that buddha's retinue there are numerous bodhisattva great beings as well as many gods, nāgas, yakṣas, gandharvas, and so forth. They all want to behold Mañjuśrī Kumārabhūta and hear him teach the Dharma."

The Thus-gone Ratnaketu then said to Mañjuśrī Kumārabhūta, "Mañjuśrī, since the Blessed, Thus-gone Śākyamuni and all those in his retinue would like to see you, you should go to that Sahā world."

"Yes, Blessed One," replied Mañjuśrī. "I had also noticed that sign."

So Mañjuśrī Kumārabhūta, along with ten thousand bodhisattvas, bowed at the feet of the Thus-gone Ratnaketu. They circumambulated the Blessed, thus-gone, worthy, perfect Buddha Ratnaketu three times, and then instantaneously traveled to this Sahā world, arriving as quickly as it takes a strong person to extend and retract his arm. Remaining in midair with their bodies invisible, they sent down a great shower of fragrant, colorful, and delightful flowers, such as had never been seen or heard of before, in order to honor the Blessed, thus-gone, worthy, perfect Buddha Śākyamuni. This great shower of flowers filled the whole great trichiliocosm to knee height.
(i.e. A miracle-like / magic-like demonstration of the inconceivable power of beings who act more in accord with the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now.)

Seeing these flowers, everyone assembled there was amazed and asked, "Blessed One, who caused this great shower of blossoms, so pleasant to behold, to fall?"

The Blessed One replied, "Mañjuśrī Kumārabhūta, accompanied by ten thousand bodhisattvas, has come from the Jewel World to this Sahā world. With their bodies invisible, they all sent down this great shower of flowers to honor the Thus-gone One."

Those in the retinue said, "Blessed One, we would like to see Mañjuśrī Kumārabhūta and those bodhisattva great beings."

At that point, Mañjuśrī Kumārabhūta and the ten thousand bodhisattvas descended from the sky. Having prostrated at the Blessed One's feet, Mañjuśrī Kumārabhūta and the bodhisattva great beings each sat down on their own miraculously emanated seat.

Then the god Lord of Peace and Calm bowed to the Blessed One and said, with joined palms,
"Blessed One, all of us would like to listen, so please ask Mañjuśrī Kumārabhūta to teach."

The Blessed One replied, "Divine son, you yourself should make that request."

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2. [Asking Mañjuśrī to teach the Dharma – 1st lesson: nothing to accept nothing to reject in absolute terms]

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[REQUEST:]
So the god said, "Mañjuśrī, it would be wonderful if you could give us a Dharma teaching
similar to what is taught in the buddha realm of the Blessed, Thus-gone Ratnaketu."

[ANSWER - 1st LESSON:]
Mañjuśrī replied,
"Ultimately, the Dharma is not about generating attachment (accepting); nor is it about bringing attachment to an end (rejecting).
Ultimately, it is not about generating anger (accepting); nor is it about bringing anger to an end (rejecting).
Ultimately, it is not about generating delusion (accepting); nor is it about bringing delusion to an end (rejecting).
Ultimately, it is not about generating wisdom (accepting); nor is it about bringing wisdom to an end (rejecting)."

(i.e. The Dharma is not about accepting / generating in absolute terms anything, not about rejecting / bringing to an end in absolute terms anything like the three poisons, or five poisons, defilements, or thoughts, feelings, emotions, perceptions, conceptualisation, discrimination, creation, karma formations, etc. It is about directly perceiving / realising / experiencing their true nature & dynamic as it is here & now, as pointed out by concepts like: the Union of the Two Truths [U2T]; the Union of the three spheres[U3S / U2T-3S]; the Union of apparent opposites [Uopp / U2T-opp]; the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle – with nothing to accept, nothing to reject in absolute terms; the primordial spontaneity, timelessness, limitlessness, equality, purity, perfection, divinity, completeness, freedom, beauty, enlightenment, inseparable three pure kayas (trikaya) of everything – in the non-dual sense of those terms. The karmic cycle is transcended by directly perceiving / realising / experiencing its true nature & dynamic as it is here & now, not by opposing good vs. evil, not with better discrimination / differentiation in absolute terms, not by accepting this while rejecting that.)

(i.e. It is about acting – actions of the body, speech & mind – more in accord with the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now, in accord with the Union of the Two Truths [U2T], in accord with the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle: there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / not-do in absolute terms, because the true nature & dynamic of everything is the Union of the Two Truths.)

The god said, "Mañjuśrī, how is that?"

Mañjuśrī replied, "Divine son, in the unborn [reality as it is], there is no birth [, existence] or ending whatsoever.

Ultimately, divine son, the bodhisattva great beings have no [inherently existing] thoughts at all,
(i.e. Note: this is not about generating thoughts nor bringing thoughts to an end;
but about realising that those thoughts are not inherently existing <==> but always dependently co-arisen / relative / interdependent, like illusions: 'there but not there'.)
none that have arisen (past), none that are arising (present), and none that will arise (future).
And why is that?
Because ultimately all phenomena are inherently unborn."

(i.e. Why? Because there is no real / inherently existing attachment, anger, delusion, wisdom, thoughts, ideas, feelings, perceptions, concepts, views, methods, goals, subject / self, relation / action , objects / phenomena, etc. Because everything is empty of inherent existence [T2], not really caused / existent / functional / ceasing <==> because everything is conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma [U3S], not completely non-caused / non-existent / non-functional / non-ceasing / useless / meaningless. And vice versa, one aspect / truth implies / proves the other (<==>) [U2T]. So there are no real three stages of becoming for anything – physical, conceptual, mental (ex. attachment, anger, delusion) –: i. origination / beginning / birth / coming / before / past, ii. duration / middle / abiding / lasting / change / during / present, iii. cessation / ending / death / going / extinction / after / future. Not is there total absence of them; they are not existent, non non-existent, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. And there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis for discrimination / differentiation in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. Apparent opposites – like wholesome and unwholesome thoughts – are not really in opposition, but more like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended / in harmony <==> thus empty of inherent existence. So we cannot really judge, accept or reject, those attachment, anger, delusion, wisdom, thoughts, ideas, feelings, perceptions, concepts, views, methods, goals, subject / self, relation / action , objects / phenomena, etc. … in absolute terms. We may as well perceive everything as primorially spontaneous, timeless, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, beautiful, enlightened, the inseparable three pure kayas of a Buddha (trikaya), the true Buddha.)

(i.e. All phenomena are primordially utterly unborn, unarisen, unabiding, unconditioned, unseen, unreal, unceasing -- emptiness, signlessness, wishlessness --: In Reality as it is, there are no real three stages of becoming: i. no real (inherently existing) dependent origination (arising) / beginning / birth / coming / before / past, ii. no real duration / middle / existence / resting-change / during / present, iii. no real cessation / ending / death / going / after / future / non-existence or nirvana extinction of the five aggregates; just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively, just as merely labeled / imputed by the mind. That is the Genuine-emptiness of all phenomena -- free from all extremes & middle --; that is the Equality / Inseparability / Interdependence / Harmony / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]; that is the inconceivable unique all-pervasive timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pristine true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now / Suchness / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / Ground / Basis / Source. All phenomena are like illusions: 'there but not there'. Appearing <==> but empty; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still dependently co-appearing and relatively functional [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S]. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T]. All phenomena are not really caused / existent / functional / ceasing [T1], not completely non-caused / non-existent / non-functional / non-ceasing / useless / meaningless [T2], not both together [2T], not neither [1T]. There is no real impermanence / discontinuity / annihilation of anything, no real permanence / continuity / eternity, not real both together, no real neither – from one moment to the next, from before and after any action / change, from one stage to the next, from one rebirth to the next, from samsara to nirvana. Meaning the true nature & dynamic of all phenomena is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed conditioned dualistic conceptual ordinary mind(s). So there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis to discriminate / rank / differentiate them in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. So there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. In that sense all phenomena -- physical, conceptual, mental -- can be directly perceived as primordially spontaneous, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, enlightened, the inseparable three kayas (trikaya), the true Buddha. In terms of activity / practice / conduct, it means Bodhisattvas should act without acting, in accord with valid conventional / relative / inter-subjective words, concepts, truths, methods, goals [T1]; but also in accord with the emptiness of all dharmas involved [T2], that is without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling for any extreme or middle, while being aware of the true nature & dynamic as it is here & now of everything involved [U2T / U3S / Uopp], not accepting / affirming / seeking / adding / doing anything in absolute terms, not rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / subtracting / not-doing anything in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. [ANTIDOTES:] In reality as it is here & now, all phenomena are: i. not dependently arisen / caused / born / produced / existent / conditioned / perceived / real / ceasing / non-empty, ii. not independently arisen (spontaneous) / uncaused / unborn / unproduced / non-existent / unconditioned / unperceived / unreal / unceasing / empty, iii. not both together, iv. not neither, and there is no fifth; so we say that everything is 'unborn / spontaneous / unarisen / unreal / unceasing / empty' as a temporary imperfect antidote to our usual positions. And vice versa, one position is used as the antidote of the opposite position until we are ready to transcend all extremes & middle together. But if we grasp at the antidotes, then they turn into poisons. Reality as it is is beyond all opposites like those, beyond all adapted skillful means; beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma; even beyond the two truths & their 'Union'.)

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3. [Practitioners need to transcend the apparent opposition between the two truths, between dependent origination / relativity / appearances [T1] and emptiness of inherent existence [T2], between existence and non-existence, between acceptable and unacceptable, between samsara and nirvana – 2nd lesson]

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The god asked, "Mañjuśrī, so what does that Thus-gone One wish to see abandoned through his teaching the Dharma?"

(i.e. Question: If the Dharma is not about accepting nor rejecting the three poisons – attachment, anger, delusion –, or wisdom …,
what is it about accepting and/or rejecting?
Answer: It is about ceasing to discriminate between apparent opposites in absolute terms in general,
and especially ceasing to oppose the two truths themselves [2T].
Like neglecting conventional truths and getting attached to mere-emptiness / non-existence [2T].
Like thinking conventional truths are false, while emptiness is the only superior true ultimate [2T].
That is dualistic thinking applies to the two truths [2T]; not the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T].)

(i.e. What was said also applies to the apparent opposition between the two truths: We need to transcend the apparent opposition between apparent opposites in general; and especially the apparent opposition between the two truths. It is not about accepting one opposite / truth while rejecting the other opposite / truth; preferring one, thinking it is superior.
We need to understand the relation / equality / inseparability / interdependence / harmony / Union of apparent opposites like the Two Truths [U2T], not just understanding the emptiness of all dharmas [T2 / 2T].)

Mañjuśrī said, "That Thus-gone One teaches (without teaching) the Dharma because
ultimately things are neither inherently born (origination), nor do they inherently end (cessation)

And why?
Because bodhisattva great beings apply themselves assiduously to the ultimate truth [T2].
However, they do not apply themselves diligently to the relative truth [T1]."
(i.e. accepting / grasping at emptiness / nirvana; while rejecting / neglecting the conventional reality / samsara)

(i.e. It is not about rejecting / extinguishing all dharmas [T1] except emptiness [T2]; it is not about rejecting samsara for nirvana.
[U2T-2T:] The two truths themselves are both empty of inherent existence <==> because inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S] as complementary temporary imperfect antidotes to each other, until one is ready to spontaneously non-dualistically non-conceptually directly perceive / realise / experience the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now – as pointed by the concept of the inconceivable equality / Union of the Two Truths.)

(i.e. Why is there this specific teaching? Because most young disciples are missing the subtle point about the two truths: their interrelation / equality / inseparability / interdependence / harmony. They discriminate between the two truths in absolute terms. They think conventional truths are false while emptiness is the only superior ultimate truth. They accept / prioritise one and reject / neglect the other.)

(i.e. The Path must consist of accumulating both merit and wisdom together, just one is not enough. Bodhisattvas must understand without understanding that the relative and ultimate truths as equal / inseparable / interdependent / in harmony / in 'Union'; one alone is not enough. Enlightenment is not about accepting / preferring one (ex. the ultimate / emptiness of inherent existence / nirvana) while rejecting / neglecting the other (ex. the relative / appearances / samsara). That is dualistic and not in accord with the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it.)

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4. [The true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is is the inconceivable unique all-pervasive timeless unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing pristine Gound / Basis / Source / Suchness / the 'inseparability / interdependence / harmony / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]' free from all extremes & middle: the Union of conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1] <==> and emptiness of inherent existence [T2]; or, more generally, the Non-duality / the Union of apparent opposites [Uopp] of any duality / triad / quads / etc. [ex. U2T / U3S / Uopp / U2T-2T].]

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The god said, "Mañjuśrī, what is the [genuine] ultimate truth?"

(i.e. According to Mipham, there are two models of the two truths: In one model, the two truths are presented as appearance [T1] and emptiness [T2]. In the other model, they are presented as two modes of experience: the way things appear / the relative and the way things really are / the absolute [U2T]. When talking about the Union of the Two Truths the first model is used. When talking about the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now, the second model is used. The two models are integrated by realising that the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now is the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T] – the Union of appearances [T1] & emptiness [T2] – free from all extremes & middle. On the two models see: Two models of the Two Truths -- Douglas Duckworth - 012)

(i.e. The true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed conditioned dualistic conceptual ordinary mind(s). Still, we point to it using concepts like the inconceivable unique all-pervasive timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pristine Ground / Basis / Source / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] – all free of all extremes & middle, free from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, free from all defining limitations, free from all conditioning / karma; beyond all description / conceptualisation & non-description / non-conceptualisation, discrimination / differentiation & non-discrimination / non-differentiation, causality / production & non-causality / non-production, form & non-form, matter-energy, space & time (and their opposites). All fingers pointing at the moon, not the moon itself. In other words:
The ultimate truth 'in the sense of Reality as it is', the Buddha-nature of everything, the Genuine-emptiness of everything free from all extremes & middle, is the inconceivable equality / inseparability / interdependence / harmony / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] beyond all extremes & middle. Where these two truths – dependent origination [T1] and emptiness [T2] – are not different / separate / multiple / dual / unequal, not identical / united / one / non-dual / equal, not both together, not neither. Meaning the Union of the Two Truths is inconceivable. It is not like bringing two things together.
For more on the Ground see "The View / Ground - Dudjom Rinpoche - 097".)

Mañjuśrī said,
"Divine son, if, on the ultimate level, (i.e. On the ultimate level = at the level of the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T].)
ultimate truth becomes an object of body, speech, or mind, (i.e. if it becomes a dualistic objects of the senses, including of the mind)
that is not 'ultimate truth' (i.e. then it is not really the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now)
but relative truth itself. (i.e. but a fabricated conditioned dualistic concept / image / representation)
Rather, divine son, on the ultimate level, ultimate truth transcends all conventions.

(i.e. The true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now, the Union of the Two Truths, is indescribable / inconceivable, beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma – individual, collective, cosmic –.)

It is without specific instances; it does not arise, does not cease, and is free from something to be expressed, an expression, something to be known, and knowledge.

(i.e. All phenomena are primordially utterly unborn, unarisen, unabiding, unconditioned, unseen, unreal, unceasing -- emptiness, signlessness, wishlessness --: In Reality as it is, there are no real three stages of becoming: i. no real (inherently existing) dependent origination (arising) / beginning / birth / coming / before / past, ii. no real duration / middle / existence / resting-change / during / present, iii. no real cessation / ending / death / going / after / future / non-existence or nirvana extinction of the five aggregates; just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively, just as merely labeled / imputed by the mind. That is the Genuine-emptiness of all phenomena -- free from all extremes & middle --; that is the Equality / Inseparability / Interdependence / Harmony / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]; that is the inconceivable unique all-pervasive timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pristine true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now / Suchness / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / Ground / Basis / Source. All phenomena are like illusions: 'there but not there'. Appearing <==> but empty; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still dependently co-appearing and relatively functional [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S]. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T]. All phenomena are not really caused / existent / functional / ceasing [T1], not completely non-caused / non-existent / non-functional / non-ceasing / useless / meaningless [T2], not both together [2T], not neither [1T]. There is no real impermanence / discontinuity / annihilation of anything, no real permanence / continuity / eternity, not real both together, no real neither – from one moment to the next, from before and after any action / change, from one stage to the next, from one rebirth to the next, from samsara to nirvana. Meaning the true nature & dynamic of all phenomena is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed conditioned dualistic conceptual ordinary mind(s). So there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis to discriminate / rank / differentiate them in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. So there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. In that sense all phenomena -- physical, conceptual, mental -- can be directly perceived as primordially spontaneous, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, enlightened, the inseparable three kayas (trikaya), the true Buddha. In terms of activity / practice / conduct, it means Bodhisattvas should act without acting, in accord with valid conventional / relative / inter-subjective words, concepts, truths, methods, goals [T1]; but also in accord with the emptiness of all dharmas involved [T2], that is without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling for any extreme or middle, while being aware of the true nature & dynamic as it is here & now of everything involved [U2T / U3S / Uopp], not accepting / affirming / seeking / adding / doing anything in absolute terms, not rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / subtracting / not-doing anything in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. [ANTIDOTES:] In reality as it is here & now, all phenomena are: i. not dependently arisen / caused / born / produced / existent / conditioned / perceived / real / ceasing / non-empty, ii. not independently arisen (spontaneous) / uncaused / unborn / unproduced / non-existent / unconditioned / unperceived / unreal / unceasing / empty, iii. not both together, iv. not neither, and there is no fifth; so we say that everything is 'unborn / spontaneous / unarisen / unreal / unceasing / empty' as a temporary imperfect antidote to our usual positions. And vice versa, one position is used as the antidote of the opposite position until we are ready to transcend all extremes & middle together. But if we grasp at the antidotes, then they turn into poisons. Reality as it is is beyond all opposites like those, beyond all adapted skillful means; beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma; even beyond the two truths & their 'Union'.)

(i.e. The true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now is beyond all extremes / opposition / dualities like existence / functionality / causality, non-existence / non-functionality / non-causality, both together, neither; beyond true & false; beyond dependence & independence…, beyond emptiness & non-emptiness…, beyond the first truth & the second truth…; beyond the three stages of becoming – arising, existing, ceasing –, and their complete absence – non-arising, non-existence, non-ceasing –...; beyond subject / actor / perceiver / knower / acquirer & object / result / perceived / known / acquired; beyond samsara & nirvana; beyond being describable and non-describable…; beyond being conceivable and inconceivable…; beyond being knowable and unknowable…; etc.… the same for any possible dualistic qualifier. Beyond all defining limitations: positive, negative or neutral.)

Divine son, the ultimate truth transcends everything up through the domain of omniscient wisdom that is endowed with the supreme of all aspects.
Divine son, it has no engagement with (accepting), nor any turning back of (rejecting), concepts and thoughts.

(i.e. In Reality as it is here & now, since the true nature & dynamic of everything is the Union of the Two Truths [U2T], there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / discard / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively if it helps someone to get closer to the inconceivable liberating Truth [U2T]. So the Dharma is not about accepting or rejecting anything physical, conceptual or mental; like attachment, anger, delusion, wisdom, thoughts, ideas, feelings, perceptions, concepts, views, methods, goals, subject / self, relation / action , objects / phenomena, etc. We may as well perceive everything as primorially spontaneous, timeless, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, beautiful, enlightened, the inseparable three pure kayas of a Buddha (trikaya), the true Buddha.)

Ultimately, there is no 'far shore (nirvana to accept / seek),' there is no 'this shore (samsara to reject / abandon),' nor is there a middle (both, or neither).
(i.e. The Dharma is not about accepting nirvana / the unconditioned while rejecting samsara / the conditioned / appearances in absolute terms.)
Divine son, although one indeed makes the exaggerated claim, 'This is ultimate truth,' [T1]
that is not the same as saying, 'Ultimate truth is like this.' [T2] [U2T]

(i.e. We may use various concepts for 'the ultimate truth' but they are not really 'the ultimate truth'; they are just pointers to 'the inconceivable ultimate truths'. We can use those concepts, but without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling for any extreme or middle about any notion / concept / duality / sphere, while being aware of their true nature & dynamic as it is here & now [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T], not accepting / affirming / seeking / adding / doing anything in absolute terms, not rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / subtracting / not-doing anything in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. Acting this way could generate an inconceivable amount of super-good-karma / merit & wisdom united, because it is acting more and more in accord with the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T]. It is more and more beneficial because it is getting us closer and closer to the inconceivable liberating Truth: the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now, the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths free of all extremes & middle, the Buddha-nature of everything. – see the Diamond Sutra for more about this.)

Divine son,
ultimately, reality is unborn [U2T]; thus, no conventions apply to it.

(i.e. Example: We may use concepts like 'the unborn' / 'Genuine-emptiness' / 'Buddha-nature' / 'the inconceivable' / 'the Union of the Two Truths' / 'the ultimate' / 'the unestablished' / etc. to point to it, but 'the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now' is even beyond all of those dualistic concepts. Ex. In Reality as it is, everything is not born, not unborn, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; that is why we say that everything is 'unborn' as a temporary imperfect antidote to our usual position: thinking that everything is born / caused / produced. The same for many other concepts pointing to the inconceivable: ex. inconceivability, spontaneity, timelessness, purity, perfection, divinity, completeness, freedom, enlightenment, Buddha-nature, emptiness, the ultimate, the unestablished …)

That to which, on the ultimate level, no conventions apply, divine son, is ultimate truth.
(i.e. the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now)
Thus, that is not like saying, 'Ultimate truth is like this.'
(i.e. An ultimate truth that is not an ultimate truth, so we call it the ultimate truth. [U2T about the ultimate truth])

Divine son, the Thus-gone, worthy, perfect Buddha also says that
ultimately all phenomena and all terms are false and deceptive phenomena."

(i.e. Conclusion: The Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas: The true nature & dynamic of all dharmas – physical, conceptual mental; individual, collective, cosmic; subject / beings, relations / actions / processes, objects / phenomena; pure or impure – is like an inconceivable Union of being empty of inherent existence [T2], not really caused / existent / functional / ceasing <==> because of being conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma [U3S], not completely non-caused / non-existent / non-functional / non-ceasing / useless / meaningless (and not both existent and non-existent together, not neither existent nor non-existent). And vice versa; one aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T]. One aspect is the antidote of the other. All dharmas are like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions: 'There but not there' [U2T].
The true nature & dynamic of all phenomena is beyond being true or false, beyond being reality or illusion, beyond causality & non-causality, beyond emptiness & non-emptiness, beyond appearances & emptiness, beyond the way they appear and the way they really are, beyond diversity / manyness & unicity / oneness, beyond permanence & impermanence, etc.)

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5. [The Buddha, the Dharma, the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now, the inconceivable genuine ultimate truth [U2T], the Union of the Two Truths … are beyond apparent opposites like being true or false, being existent or non-existent, being conventional / relative or absolute / ultimate, being two / dual or one / non-dual, to be accepted or to be rejected. Why? Because everything is empty of inherent existence <==> because dependently co-arisen / interdependent. Even the Union of the Two Truths.]

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The god said, "How is it then, Mañjuśrī, that the Dharma taught by the Thus-gone One is not false?"

(i.e. In reference to the last statement "ultimately all phenomena and all terms are false and deceptive phenomena".)

(i.e. The Buddha is using dualistic words / concepts / ideas / teachings to teach without teaching, without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling for any extreme & middle, without accepting or rejecting anything in absolute terms, in perfect accord with the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T, the Middle Way], fully aware of the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of everything involved [U2T]: words, concepts, ideas, teachings, views, methods, goals, apparent opposites, three spheres of teaching, subject / beings, relation / actions, objects / phenomena, cause, causality, effect, the karmic cycle, enlightenment, the relative & ultimate, the two truths — all dharmas: physical, conceptual, mental; individual, collective, cosmic. All of his activities of the body, speech and mind are done this way.
He is not teaching any absolutes, but using various temporary imperfect adapted skillful means: words, concepts, teachings, views, methods, goals.
So, since everything is the Union of the Two Truths, even the two truths and their Union, although his teachings may be relatively useful [T1], they are not true or false in absolute terms [T2] [U2T / U2T-2T].)

Mañjuśrī said, "Divine son, on the ultimate level (i.e. at the level of the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now),
the Thus-gone One does not speak falsely. Nor does he speak truly.
And why is that? Ultimately, divine son, the Thus-gone One has not arisen [U2T].
And so, ultimately he speaks neither falsely nor truly. (i.e. not truly, not falsely, not both together, not neither.)

Divine son, what do you think? Are explanations given by magical creations of the Thus-gone One true or false?"

The god said, "Mañjuśrī, explanations given by magical creations of the Thus-gone One are not true, nor are they false.
Why is that?
Mañjuśrī, ultimately there is nothing truly established [U2T] in that which is emanated by the Thus-gone One."

Mañjuśrī said, "Divine son, so it is. The Thus-gone One knows that all phenomena are unestablished [U2T] in the ultimate sense.
Whatever is unestablished [U2T] in the ultimate sense should not be called true nor should it be called false in the context of the ultimate. (i.e. at the level of the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now)
Why is that?
Because ultimately all phenomena are unborn [U2T]." (i.e. at the level of the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now)

(i.e. The Buddha teaches without teaching: without grasping at anything. Not using / teaching any absolutes – independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing words, concepts, ideas, views, methods & goals – but merely using / teaching various temporary imperfect adapted skillful means: conventional relative words, concepts, ideas, views, methods, goals. Because he is fully aware of their true nature & dynamic as pointed out by the concept of the Union of the Two Truths [U2T] about them.)

(i.e. Conclusion: The Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas: One should act without acting while being aware, as much as possible, of the true nature & dynamic of all dharmas – physical, conceptual mental; individual, collective, cosmic; subject / beings, relations / actions / processes, objects / phenomena; pure or impure – which is like a Union of being empty of inherent existence [T2], not really caused / existent / functional / ceasing <==> because of being conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma [U3S], not completely non-caused / non-existent / non-functional / non-ceasing / useless / meaningless (and not both existent and non-existent together, not neither existent nor non-existent). And vice versa; one aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T]. All dharmas are like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions: 'There but not there' [U2T].
The true nature & dynamic of all phenomena is beyond being true or false, beyond being reality or illusion, beyond causality & non-causality, beyond emptiness & non-emptiness, beyond appearances & emptiness, beyond the way they appear and the way they really are, beyond diversity / manyness & unicity / oneness, beyond permanence & impermanence, beyond causality, matter-energy, space & time, etc.)

(i.e. All phenomena are primordially utterly unborn, unarisen, unabiding, unconditioned, unseen, unreal, unceasing -- emptiness, signlessness, wishlessness --: In Reality as it is, there are no real three stages of becoming: i. no real (inherently existing) dependent origination (arising) / beginning / birth / coming / before / past, ii. no real duration / middle / existence / resting-change / during / present, iii. no real cessation / ending / death / going / after / future / non-existence or nirvana extinction of the five aggregates; just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively, just as merely labeled / imputed by the mind. That is the Genuine-emptiness of all phenomena -- free from all extremes & middle --; that is the Equality / Inseparability / Interdependence / Harmony / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]; that is the inconceivable unique all-pervasive timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pristine true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now / Suchness / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / Ground / Basis / Source. All phenomena are like illusions: 'there but not there'. Appearing <==> but empty; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still dependently co-appearing and relatively functional [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S]. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T]. All phenomena are not really caused / existent / functional / ceasing [T1], not completely non-caused / non-existent / non-functional / non-ceasing / useless / meaningless [T2], not both together [2T], not neither [1T]. There is no real impermanence / discontinuity / annihilation of anything, no real permanence / continuity / eternity, not real both together, no real neither – from one moment to the next, from before and after any action / change, from one stage to the next, from one rebirth to the next, from samsara to nirvana. Meaning the true nature & dynamic of all phenomena is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed conditioned dualistic conceptual ordinary mind(s). So there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis to discriminate / rank / differentiate them in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. So there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. In that sense all phenomena -- physical, conceptual, mental -- can be directly perceived as primordially spontaneous, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, enlightened, the inseparable three kayas (trikaya), the true Buddha. In terms of activity / practice / conduct, it means Bodhisattvas should act without acting, in accord with valid conventional / relative / inter-subjective words, concepts, truths, methods, goals [T1]; but also in accord with the emptiness of all dharmas involved [T2], that is without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling for any extreme or middle, while being aware of the true nature & dynamic as it is here & now of everything involved [U2T / U3S / Uopp], not accepting / affirming / seeking / adding / doing anything in absolute terms, not rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / subtracting / not-doing anything in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. [ANTIDOTES:] In reality as it is here & now, all phenomena are: i. not dependently arisen / caused / born / produced / existent / conditioned / perceived / real / ceasing / non-empty, ii. not independently arisen (spontaneous) / uncaused / unborn / unproduced / non-existent / unconditioned / unperceived / unreal / unceasing / empty, iii. not both together, iv. not neither, and there is no fifth; so we say that everything is 'unborn / spontaneous / unarisen / unreal / unceasing / empty' as a temporary imperfect antidote to our usual positions. And vice versa, one position is used as the antidote of the opposite position until we are ready to transcend all extremes & middle together. But if we grasp at the antidotes, then they turn into poisons. Reality as it is is beyond all opposites like those, beyond all adapted skillful means; beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma; even beyond the two truths & their 'Union'.)

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6. [Teaching without teaching the inconceivable genuine ultimate truth [U2T] without any attachment, and gaining acceptance in this Truth. Because of the Union of the three spheres of teaching [U3S / U2T-3S]: the three spheres are empty of inherent existence <==> because they are interdependent / co-dependent / co-evolving; and vice versa.]

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The god said, "Mañjuśrī, how does the Thus-gone One teach the [genuine] ultimate truth [U2T]?"

(i.e. In reference to the last section about "the Buddha-dharma that is not true not false".)

Mañjuśrī said, "The ultimate truth [U2T], divine son, cannot be taught (in absolute terms).
And why? Because [the three spheres:] the topic (object), the teacher (subject), the method of teaching (relation / action), the student, and the reason for teaching are all ultimately utterly unborn [U3S / U2T-3S]. Phenomena that are utterly unborn cannot themselves express utterly unborn phenomena." (i.e. What is beyond the conditioned & unconditioned taught from the conventional / relative / conditioned point of view. One has to go beyond both truths to realise the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now [U2T] beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma.)

When Mañjuśrī Kumārabhūta had given this teaching on the ultimate truth without teaching,
the minds of five hundred monks were freed from defilements without further clinging.
Countless bodhisattva great beings developed, without developing it, the [confidence /] acceptance that phenomena are unborn [U2T].

(i.e. Bodhisattvas should teach without teaching: without grasping at anything. Not using / teaching any absolutes – independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing words, concepts, ideas, views, methods & goals – but merely using / teaching various temporary imperfect adapted skillful means: conventional relative words, concepts, ideas, views, methods, goals. Because they are aware of their true nature & dynamic as pointed out by the concept of the Union of the Two Truths [U2T] about them.)

(i.e. Teaching without teaching the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now: the Union of the Two Truths [U2T]; the Union of the three spheres [U3S / U2T-3S]; the union of opposites [Uopp / U2T-opp / Non-duality]; the Middle Way; the Tetralemma; the Ground / Basis / Source; the primordial spontaneity, timelessness, limitlessness, equality, purity, perfection, divinity, completeness, freedom, beauty, enlightenment, trikaya of everything – in the non-dual sense of those terms; etc.
Teaching without teaching, without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling for any extreme & middle, without accepting or rejecting anything in absolute terms, more and more in accord with the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T, the Middle Way], with more and more awareness of the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of everything involved [U2T]: words, concepts, ideas, teachings, views, methods, goals, apparent opposites, three spheres of teaching, subject / beings, relation / actions, objects / phenomena, cause, causality, effect, the karmic cycle, enlightenment, the relative & ultimate, the two truths — all dharmas: physical, conceptual, mental; individual, collective, cosmic. All activities of the body, speech and mind should be done this way.
The genuine ultimate truth, the true nature of Reality as it is here & now, the Union of the Two Truths [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T], is not like an ordinary dualistic conceptual piece of ordinary knowledge that can be discussed objectively, and taught in a science or philosophy classroom; even if this is not useless. It is a truth that transcends all ordinary knowledge; it is meta-knowledge.)

(i.e. Example: We may use concepts like 'the unborn' / 'Genuine-emptiness' / 'Buddha-nature' / 'the inconceivable' / 'the Union of the Two Truths' / 'the ultimate' / 'the unestablished' / etc. to point to it, but 'the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now' is even beyond all of those dualistic concepts. Ex. In Reality as it is, everything is not born, not unborn, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; that is why we say that everything is 'unborn' as a temporary imperfect antidote to our usual position: thinking that everything is born / caused / produced. The same for many other concepts pointing to the inconceivable: ex. inconceivability, spontaneity, timelessness, purity, perfection, divinity, completeness, freedom, enlightenment, Buddha-nature, emptiness, the ultimate, the unestablished …)

(i.e. All phenomena are primordially utterly unborn, unarisen, unabiding, unconditioned, unseen, unreal, unceasing -- emptiness, signlessness, wishlessness --: In Reality as it is, there are no real three stages of becoming: i. no real (inherently existing) dependent origination (arising) / beginning / birth / coming / before / past, ii. no real duration / middle / existence / resting-change / during / present, iii. no real cessation / ending / death / going / after / future / non-existence or nirvana extinction of the five aggregates; just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively, just as merely labeled / imputed by the mind. That is the Genuine-emptiness of all phenomena -- free from all extremes & middle --; that is the Equality / Inseparability / Interdependence / Harmony / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]; that is the inconceivable unique all-pervasive timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pristine true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now / Suchness / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / Ground / Basis / Source. All phenomena are like illusions: 'there but not there'. Appearing <==> but empty; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still dependently co-appearing and relatively functional [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S]. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T]. All phenomena are not really caused / existent / functional / ceasing [T1], not completely non-caused / non-existent / non-functional / non-ceasing / useless / meaningless [T2], not both together [2T], not neither [1T]. There is no real impermanence / discontinuity / annihilation of anything, no real permanence / continuity / eternity, not real both together, no real neither – from one moment to the next, from before and after any action / change, from one stage to the next, from one rebirth to the next, from samsara to nirvana. Meaning the true nature & dynamic of all phenomena is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed conditioned dualistic conceptual ordinary mind(s). So there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis to discriminate / rank / differentiate them in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. So there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. In that sense all phenomena -- physical, conceptual, mental -- can be directly perceived as primordially spontaneous, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, enlightened, the inseparable three kayas (trikaya), the true Buddha. In terms of activity / practice / conduct, it means Bodhisattvas should act without acting, in accord with valid conventional / relative / inter-subjective words, concepts, truths, methods, goals [T1]; but also in accord with the emptiness of all dharmas involved [T2], that is without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling for any extreme or middle, while being aware of the true nature & dynamic as it is here & now of everything involved [U2T / U3S / Uopp], not accepting / affirming / seeking / adding / doing anything in absolute terms, not rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / subtracting / not-doing anything in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. [ANTIDOTES:] In reality as it is here & now, all phenomena are: i. not dependently arisen / caused / born / produced / existent / conditioned / perceived / real / ceasing / non-empty, ii. not independently arisen (spontaneous) / uncaused / unborn / unproduced / non-existent / unconditioned / unperceived / unreal / unceasing / empty, iii. not both together, iv. not neither, and there is no fifth; so we say that everything is 'unborn / spontaneous / unarisen / unreal / unceasing / empty' as a temporary imperfect antidote to our usual positions. And vice versa, one position is used as the antidote of the opposite position until we are ready to transcend all extremes & middle together. But if we grasp at the antidotes, then they turn into poisons. Reality as it is is beyond all opposites like those, beyond all adapted skillful means; beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma; even beyond the two truths & their 'Union'.)

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7. [Learning / understanding without learning / understanding the inconceivable genuine ultimate truth [U2T] without any attachment, and gaining conviction / faith in the Buddha-dharma without gaining conviction / faith in any absolutes]

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The god said, "Mañjuśrī, it is difficult to feel conviction in the ultimate truth [U2T]." (i.e. Not something to grasp as usual. Not like ordinary knowledge.)

(i.e. In reference to the last statement "Countless bodhisattva great beings developed, without developing it, the acceptance that phenomena are unborn [U2T]".)

Mañjuśrī said, "Divine son, it is difficult for anyone who relies on reference points to feel conviction in the ultimate truth [U2T]."
(i.e. "Those with reference points [attached to this or that] are left without reference [no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis].)
(i.e. Involving reference points / focus: Involving dualistic experience; extremes & middle, dualistic conceptual proliferations, defining limitations, conditioning / karma; involving good vs. evil; involving acceptation & rejection in absolute terms. Ex the more-absolutist, more-dualistic teachings of the hearers / śrāvaka. Ex. Focusing / fixating on emptiness / non-existence while rejecting / neglecting conventional concepts, ideas, truths, methods, goals.)

The god said, "Mañjuśrī, it is difficult to understand the ultimate truth [U2T]."

Mañjuśrī said, "Divine son, it is difficult for those who do not exert themselves to understand the ultimate truth [U2T]."

(i.e. Bodhisattvas learn / understand without learning / understanding: without grasping at anything. Not learning / understanding any absolutes – independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing words, concepts, ideas, views, methods & goals – but merely learning / understanding various temporary imperfect adapted skillful means: conventional relative words, concepts, ideas, views, methods, goals. Because they are aware of their true nature & dynamic as pointed out by the concept of the Union of the Two Truths [U2T] about them.)

(i.e. Learning / understanding without learning / understanding the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now: the Union of the Two Truths [U2T]; the Union of the three spheres [U3S / U2T-3S]; the union of opposites [Uopp / U2T-opp / Non-duality]; the Middle Way; the Tetralemma; the Ground / Basis / Source; the primordial spontaneity, timelessness, limitlessness, equality, purity, perfection, divinity, completeness, freedom, beauty, enlightenment, trikaya of everything – in the non-dual sense of those terms; etc.
Learning / understanding without learning / understanding, without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling for any extreme & middle, without accepting or rejecting anything in absolute terms, more and more in accord with the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T, the Middle Way], with more and more awareness of the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of everything involved [U2T]: words, concepts, ideas, teachings, views, methods, goals, apparent opposites, three spheres of teaching, subject / beings, relation / actions, objects / phenomena, cause, causality, effect, the karmic cycle, enlightenment, the relative & ultimate, the two truths — all dharmas: physical, conceptual, mental; individual, collective, cosmic. All activities of the body, speech and mind should be done this way.
The genuine ultimate truth, the true nature of Reality as it is here & now, the Union of the Two Truths [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T], is not like an ordinary dualistic conceptual piece of ordinary knowledge that can be discussed objectively, and learned in a science or philosophy classroom; even if this is not useless. It is a truth that transcends all ordinary knowledge; it is meta-knowledge.)

(i.e. Note about 'Reference points / Focus': This is the big bad wolf of this sutra. It is the grasping / attachment / being slave to come particular appearances -- physical, conceptual, mental --. It is implicitly assuming that those appearances, their properties / characteristics / qualities, and their inter-relations or oppositions, are existing inherently / independently / separately / universally / absolutely.
So, here, 'reference points' / 'Focus' is related to the imperfect basic implicit assumptions for the normal working of our conventional conceptual dualistic mind -- on the relative level --. It is implicitly assuming that the three spheres of any activity -- ex. subject / mind, relation / action, object / phenomena -- are independent, separate, inherently existing and in real opposition.
The problem is not our 5 aggregates, or our body & speech & mind (ex. the normal functioning of our conventional mind), or our physical & conceptual & mental fabrications. The problem is ignoring their true nature & dynamic while normally using them; the problem is to have forgotten that we have imagined / created them all.
The problem is not our thoughts, concepts, dualities, normal activities, tools & objects ..., no more than our nose; because, ultimately, they are all empty of inherent existence, and thus not bad, not good, not both together, not neither (we say that they are all equal / already pure / perfect / divine here & now). The problem is ignorance of their true nature & dynamic, and the consequential grasping & attachment. So, the solution is not to reject / negate / abandon / not-do / subtract them from our lives but to directly realise their true nature & dynamic. So "being free from reference points" means being able to use our tools (body, speech & mind) without any grasping / attachment, without becoming slave to them, without assuming they are inherently existing and in real opposition / duality. That is the goal of meditation: Union samatha <==> vipashyana.)

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8. [Practicing / developing without practicing / developing the Bodhicitta motivation, the four immeasurable attitudes, the six paramitas … exerting oneself without any attachment to any concepts, views, methods, goals.]

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The god said, "Mañjuśrī, how do monks exert themselves?" (i.e. Exerting oneself without exerting oneself, without using any absolute views & methods, without aiming for any absolute milestones & goals.)

(i.e. In reference to the last statement "Divine son, it is difficult for those who do not exert themselves to understand the ultimate truth [U2T]".)

Mañjuśrī said, "Divine son, ultimately, when they are without exertion that aims to understand, relinquish, cultivate, or actualize, that is how monks exert themselves without exerting themselves.
And why?
Because one might think, 'Ultimately, this is to be understood, this is to be relinquished (rejected), this is to be cultivated (accepted), and this is to be actualized.'
However, such thinking involves conceptual marks and elaborations.
It involves reference points and disturbing emotions.
It involves tumult and fear.
It involves illness and suffering.
It involves pain and poison.
Thus, engagement of that type is not authentic."

(i.e. Bodhisattvas practice / develop without practicing / developing: without grasping at anything. Not practicing / developing / using any absolutes – independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing words, concepts, ideas, views, methods & goals – but merely using various temporary imperfect adapted skillful means: conventional relative words, concepts, ideas, views, methods, goals. Because they are aware of their true nature & dynamic as pointed out by the concept of the Union of the Two Truths [U2T] about them.)

(i.e. Practicing / developing without practicing / developing the Bodhicitta motivation, the four immeasurable attitudes, the six paramitas … without any attachment, exerting oneself without any attachment to any concepts, views, methods, goals.
Practicing / developing without practicing / developing, without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling for any extreme & middle, without accepting or rejecting anything in absolute terms, more and more in accord with the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T, the Middle Way], with more and more awareness of the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of everything involved [U2T]: words, concepts, ideas, teachings, views, methods, goals, apparent opposites, three spheres of teaching, subject / beings, relation / actions, objects / phenomena, cause, causality, effect, the karmic cycle, enlightenment, the relative & ultimate, the two truths — all dharmas: physical, conceptual, mental; individual, collective, cosmic. All activities of the body, speech and mind should be done this way.
The genuine path is not like an ordinary dualistic method that can be discussed objectively, and learned in a science or philosophy classroom; even if this is not useless. It is a path that transcends all ordinary paths; it is a meta-path.)

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9. [Authentic engagement in the Equality / Union of apparent opposites in general [Uopp] on the ultimate level,
in the Equality / Union of the three spheres [U3S] on the ultimate level, and especially
in the Equality / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] on the ultimate level
– on the level of the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now / Suchness –.]

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The god said, "Mañjuśrī, what is authentic engagement?"

(i.e. In reference to the last statement "Thus, engagement of that type is not authentic".)

Mañjuśrī said, "Divine son, (i.e. On the ultimate level = at the level of the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T].)
whatever is the same [Uopp] as suchness, the sphere of reality, and the utterly unborn [T2 - emptiness] on the ultimate level is also the same as the five acts with immediate consequence [T1] [U2T]. (i.e. Equality / Union of good & evil.)

"Whatever is the same [Uopp] as suchness, the sphere of reality, and the utterly unborn [T2 - emptiness] on the ultimate level is also ultimately the same as views [T1] [U2T]. (i.e. Equality / Union of ordinary views & suchness.)

"Whatever is the same [Uopp] as suchness, the sphere of reality, and the utterly unborn [T2 - emptiness] on the ultimate level is also ultimately the same as the dharmas of ordinary beings [T1] [U2T].

"Whatever is the same [Uopp] as suchness, the sphere of reality, and the utterly unborn [T2 - emptiness] on the ultimate level is also ultimately the same as the dharmas of those who are training [T1] [U2T].

"Whatever is the same [Uopp] as suchness, the sphere of reality, and the utterly unborn [T2 - emptiness] on the ultimate level is also ultimately the same as the dharmas of those who are no longer training [T1] [U2T]. (i.e. Equality / Union of all levels of realisation.)

"Whatever is the same [Uopp] as suchness, the sphere of reality, and the utterly unborn [T2 - emptiness] on the ultimate level is also ultimately the same as the dharmas of the completely perfect Buddha [T1] [U2T]. (i.e. Equality / Union of ordinary beings & Buddha.)

"Whatever is the same [Uopp] as the dharmas of the completely perfect Buddha on the ultimate level is also ultimately the same as suchness, the sphere of reality, and the utterly unborn.

"Whatever is the same [Uopp] as the dharmas of the completely perfect Buddha on the ultimate level is also ultimately the same as nirvāṇa.

"Whatever is the same [Uopp] as nirvāṇa on the ultimate level is also ultimately the same as saṃsāra. (i.e. Union of samsara & nirvana) (i.e. Equality / Union of samsara & nirvana.)

"Whatever is the same [Uopp] as saṃsāra on the ultimate level is also ultimately the same as affliction.

"Whatever is the same [Uopp] as affliction on the ultimate level is also ultimately the same as purification. (i.e. Equality / Union of pure & impure.)

"Whatever is the same [Uopp] as purification on the ultimate level is also ultimately the same as all phenomena. (i.e. Equality / Union of the way things appear & the way things really are.)

"A monk who genuinely engages in the equality of all phenomena on the ultimate level in this way, divine son, is called one with authentic engagement on the ultimate level. However, it is not like the way it is expressed."

(i.e. True engagement on the ultimate level, on the level of the inconceivable true nature & dynamic Reality as it is here & now, is engaging in the equality / non-duality of all phenomena on the ultimate level. It is understanding and later directly perceiving / realising / experiencing the equality / inseparability / interdependence / harmony / non-duality / Union of apparent opposites in general [Uopp / U2T-opp] in all cases / dualities / triads / quads / etc.; example: the equality / Union of samsara & nirvana; example: the equality / inseparability / interdependence / harmony / non-duality / Union of the three spheres [U3S / U2T-3S] – i. subject / actor / perceiver / knower / acquirer, ii. relation / action / perception / cognition / acquisition, iii. object / result / perceived / known / acquired –; and especially the equality / inseparability / interdependence / harmony / non-duality / Union of the Two Truths [U2T / U2T-2T]. Like the apparent opposites of any duality / triad, those two truths – the conventional / relative / apparent and the emptiness of inherent existence or the ultimate truth –, are not really in opposition, but more like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony – in the non-dual sense of those terms: ex. the two truths are not different / separate / multiple dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; not equal, not unequal, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. So we say that they are 'equal / same' as a temporary imperfect antidote to our usual position: that everything is unequal / different / separate / in opposition. So, one truth is not superior to the other one; they are both "truth" equally.
True engagement on the ultimate level is acting more and more in accord with the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now, moe and more in accord with the Union of the Two Truths [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T[.
It is acting without acting, without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling for any extreme & middle, without accepting or rejecting anything in absolute terms, more and more in accord with the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T, the Middle Way], with more and more awareness of the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of everything involved [U2T]: words, concepts, ideas, teachings, views, methods, goals, apparent opposites, three spheres of teaching, subject / beings, relation / actions, objects / phenomena, cause, causality, effect, the karmic cycle, enlightenment, the relative & ultimate, the two truths — all dharmas: physical, conceptual, mental; individual, collective, cosmic. All activities of the body, speech and mind should be done this way.)

(i.e. All phenomena are primordially utterly unborn, unarisen, unabiding, unconditioned, unseen, unreal, unceasing -- emptiness, signlessness, wishlessness --: In Reality as it is, there are no real three stages of becoming: i. no real (inherently existing) dependent origination (arising) / beginning / birth / coming / before / past, ii. no real duration / middle / existence / resting-change / during / present, iii. no real cessation / ending / death / going / after / future / non-existence or nirvana extinction of the five aggregates; just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively, just as merely labeled / imputed by the mind. That is the Genuine-emptiness of all phenomena -- free from all extremes & middle --; that is the Equality / Inseparability / Interdependence / Harmony / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]; that is the inconceivable unique all-pervasive timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pristine true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now / Suchness / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / Ground / Basis / Source. All phenomena are like illusions: 'there but not there'. Appearing <==> but empty; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still dependently co-appearing and relatively functional [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S]. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T]. All phenomena are not really caused / existent / functional / ceasing [T1], not completely non-caused / non-existent / non-functional / non-ceasing / useless / meaningless [T2], not both together [2T], not neither [1T]. There is no real impermanence / discontinuity / annihilation of anything, no real permanence / continuity / eternity, not real both together, no real neither – from one moment to the next, from before and after any action / change, from one stage to the next, from one rebirth to the next, from samsara to nirvana. Meaning the true nature & dynamic of all phenomena is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed conditioned dualistic conceptual ordinary mind(s). So there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis to discriminate / rank / differentiate them in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. So there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. In that sense all phenomena -- physical, conceptual, mental -- can be directly perceived as primordially spontaneous, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, enlightened, the inseparable three kayas (trikaya), the true Buddha. In terms of activity / practice / conduct, it means Bodhisattvas should act without acting, in accord with valid conventional / relative / inter-subjective words, concepts, truths, methods, goals [T1]; but also in accord with the emptiness of all dharmas involved [T2], that is without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling for any extreme or middle, while being aware of the true nature & dynamic as it is here & now of everything involved [U2T / U3S / Uopp], not accepting / affirming / seeking / adding / doing anything in absolute terms, not rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / subtracting / not-doing anything in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. [ANTIDOTES:] In reality as it is here & now, all phenomena are: i. not dependently arisen / caused / born / produced / existent / conditioned / perceived / real / ceasing / non-empty, ii. not independently arisen (spontaneous) / uncaused / unborn / unproduced / non-existent / unconditioned / unperceived / unreal / unceasing / empty, iii. not both together, iv. not neither, and there is no fifth; so we say that everything is 'unborn / spontaneous / unarisen / unreal / unceasing / empty' as a temporary imperfect antidote to our usual positions. And vice versa, one position is used as the antidote of the opposite position until we are ready to transcend all extremes & middle together. But if we grasp at the antidotes, then they turn into poisons. Reality as it is is beyond all opposites like those, beyond all adapted skillful means; beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma; even beyond the two truths & their 'Union'.)

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10. [Apparent opposites – including the three spheres, and the two truths themselves – are equal / non-dual / in Union [Uopp / Uopp-2T / Uopp-3S] because their true nature & dynamic is the Union of the Two Truths [U2T-opp / U2T-3S / U2T-2T] – dependently co-arisen and empty of inherent existence –. Because there are no real three stages of becoming – dependent origination, duration, cessation –. Because there is no independent / universal / inherently existing basis to discriminate / rank / differentiate them in absolute terms.]

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The god said, "Mañjuśrī, what is the sameness by which everything up to purification is said to be ultimately the same, and also to be ultimately the same as all phenomena?"

(i.e. In reference to the previous section about "the sameness / equality / non-duality / Union of apparent opposites".)

Mañjuśrī said,
"Ultimately, all phenomena are the same in that they are unarisen.
Ultimately, all phenomena are the same in that they are unborn.
Ultimately, all phenomena are the same in that they are unreal. [U2T]

Therefore, divine son, ultimately all phenomena are the same. And why is that?
Since ultimately, divine son, all phenomena are unarisen [U2T],
they cannot be distinguished [discriminated / differentiated in absolute terms,
just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively].

"Divine son, it is like this analogy.
The space within a clay vessel and the space within a precious vessel are both the element of space;
ultimately, not the slightest distinction can be made between them.
Divine son, in the very same way, disturbing emotions are themselves unarisen on the ultimate level. (i.e. On the ultimate level = at the level of the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T].)
Purification itself is also unarisen on the ultimate level.
Ultimately, saṃsāra itself is also unarisen.
Ultimately, all phenomena up through nirvāṇa itself are unarisen.
Ultimately, not even a slight distinction can be made with respect to these (in absolute terms).
And why?
Because ultimately all phenomena are unarisen [U2T]."

(i.e. Equality / Sameness / Non-duality / Union of apparent opposites [Uopp / U2T-opp]: The same but not the same: Apparent opposites in all dualities / triads / quads / etc., including the three spheres and the two truths, cannot be distinguished in absolute terms [T2] – just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively [T1] – because they are all empty of inherent existence / unreal [T2] <==> because all dependently co-arisen / interdependent [T1] [U2T]; because all of them have no real origination / birth, duration, cessation / death; and no total absence of those. In reality as it is, apparent opposites are not inherently existent, not completely non-caused / non-existent / non-functional / non-ceasing / useless / meaningless, not both together, not neither; not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / the-same / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth, so we say that apparent opposites are 'the same' as a temporary imperfect antidote to our usual position. All dharmas are not arisen / lasting / ceasing, not non-arisen / non-lasting / non-ceasing, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth, so we say that everything is 'unarisen / unborn' as a temporary imperfect antidote to our usual position.)

(i.e. All phenomena are primordially utterly unborn, unarisen, unabiding, unconditioned, unseen, unreal, unceasing -- emptiness, signlessness, wishlessness --: In Reality as it is, there are no real three stages of becoming: i. no real (inherently existing) dependent origination (arising) / beginning / birth / coming / before / past, ii. no real duration / middle / existence / resting-change / during / present, iii. no real cessation / ending / death / going / after / future / non-existence or nirvana extinction of the five aggregates; just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively, just as merely labeled / imputed by the mind. That is the Genuine-emptiness of all phenomena -- free from all extremes & middle --; that is the Equality / Inseparability / Interdependence / Harmony / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]; that is the inconceivable unique all-pervasive timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pristine true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now / Suchness / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / Ground / Basis / Source. All phenomena are like illusions: 'there but not there'. Appearing <==> but empty; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still dependently co-appearing and relatively functional [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S]. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T]. All phenomena are not really caused / existent / functional / ceasing [T1], not completely non-caused / non-existent / non-functional / non-ceasing / useless / meaningless [T2], not both together [2T], not neither [1T]. There is no real impermanence / discontinuity / annihilation of anything, no real permanence / continuity / eternity, not real both together, no real neither – from one moment to the next, from before and after any action / change, from one stage to the next, from one rebirth to the next, from samsara to nirvana. Meaning the true nature & dynamic of all phenomena is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed conditioned dualistic conceptual ordinary mind(s). So there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis to discriminate / rank / differentiate them in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. So there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. In that sense all phenomena -- physical, conceptual, mental -- can be directly perceived as primordially spontaneous, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, enlightened, the inseparable three kayas (trikaya), the true Buddha. In terms of activity / practice / conduct, it means Bodhisattvas should act without acting, in accord with valid conventional / relative / inter-subjective words, concepts, truths, methods, goals [T1]; but also in accord with the emptiness of all dharmas involved [T2], that is without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling for any extreme or middle, while being aware of the true nature & dynamic as it is here & now of everything involved [U2T / U3S / Uopp], not accepting / affirming / seeking / adding / doing anything in absolute terms, not rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / subtracting / not-doing anything in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. [ANTIDOTES:] In reality as it is here & now, all phenomena are: i. not dependently arisen / caused / born / produced / existent / conditioned / perceived / real / ceasing / non-empty, ii. not independently arisen (spontaneous) / uncaused / unborn / unproduced / non-existent / unconditioned / unperceived / unreal / unceasing / empty, iii. not both together, iv. not neither, and there is no fifth; so we say that everything is 'unborn / spontaneous / unarisen / unreal / unceasing / empty' as a temporary imperfect antidote to our usual positions. And vice versa, one position is used as the antidote of the opposite position until we are ready to transcend all extremes & middle together. But if we grasp at the antidotes, then they turn into poisons. Reality as it is is beyond all opposites like those, beyond all adapted skillful means; beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma; even beyond the two truths & their 'Union'.)

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11. [Meditating without meditating on Union of the Two Truths. Acting / exerting without acting / exerting oneself with respect to the Two Truths [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp] without any attachment to any of the two truths alone [T1 or T2 ], nor to both of them together [2T], nor to neither of them [1T]. But considering them as tools / adapted skillful means. Ex. Not getting attached to emptiness / nirvana as if it was a separate superior ultimate truth / state, while rejecting / neglecting conventional truths / appearances / samsara. Considering that the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now is the inconceivable Equality / Non-duality / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]. And considering acting more and more in accord with it.]

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The god said, "Mañjuśrī, how should bodhisattva great beings exert themselves with respect to the [Two] Truths of the noble ones?"

(i.e. In reference to the previous sections about "the equality / non-duality / harmony / Union of the Two Truths". How to act in accord with it?)

Mañjuśrī said, "Divine son, if bodhisattva great beings did not apply themselves to the [two] truths of the noble ones, how could they teach, without teaching, the Dharma to the hearers?
Yet, divine son, although indeed that is the case, the bodhisattva great beings' meditation on the truths involves consideration [i.e. careful thought], while the hearers' meditation on the truths does not involve consideration.
Why is that?
Divine son, on the relative level [T1] the bodhisattva great beings consider all sentient beings. (i.e. They are not trying to escape samsara alone.)
Although they do meditate on the truths without meditating, they do not actualize the limit of reality (i.e. true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now) by focusing on lack of substance [mere-emptiness]. (i.e. They are not getting attached to emptiness / nirvana.)
On the relative level, in order to acquire skill in means, the bodhisattva great beings meditate on the truths without meditating. (i.e. They are acting without acting, more and more in accord with the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T].)
On the relative level they do not discard the truths of saṃsāra, nor of nirvāṇa. (i.e. They have nothing to accept / seek, nothing to reject / abandon in absolute terms.)
On the relative level, in order to individually discriminate the wisdoms of the buddhas, the bodhisattva great beings meditate on the truths without meditating.

(i.e. Learning / teaching / using / meditating without learning / teaching / using / meditating on the Union of the Two Truths [U2T], the Union of the three spheres [U3S], the Union of opposites [Uopp], without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling for any extreme & middle, without accepting or rejecting anything in absolute terms, more and more in accord with the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T, the Middle Way], with more and more awareness of the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of everything involved [U2T]: words, concepts, ideas, teachings, views, methods, goals, apparent opposites, three spheres, subject / beings, relation / actions, objects / phenomena, cause, causality, effect, the karmic cycle, enlightenment, the relative & ultimate, the two truths — all dharmas: physical, conceptual, mental; individual, collective, cosmic. All activities of the body, speech and mind should be done this way.)

[ANALOGIES: Hearers / 2T vs. Bodhisattvas / U2T]

"Divine son, it is as in the following analogy.
A person who had been caught by many strangers flees. He escapes from among those many strangers and enters a jungle. But he becomes frightened, panics, and leaves the jungle, never to return. Divine son, in the same way the hearers are frightened of saṃsāra and flee in panic. They do not return to this world but meditate one-pointedly on the truths in solitude (i.e. rejecting conventions / appearances / the world / samsara for nirvana / no-self). Thus, since they lack the intelligence of various methods, they do not consider all sentient beings, and so forth up to not considering the wisdom of omniscience.

"Divine son, it is like the following analogy.
A leader acquires many servants and all necessary provisions. Thinking that he should set out to gather many goods, he rounds up many people and, without fear or panic, he leaves the wild forest. Similarly, divine son, the bodhisattva great beings resemble that great leader as they engage in worldly conduct on the relative level (i.e. not rejecting conventions / appearances / the world / samsara for an illusory nirvana / emptiness). Thereby, they provide for all sentient beings and engage with great compassion, which can be likened to the many servants. They acquire all the roots of virtue, which are the provisions. They possess the great profit that is comprised of the six perfections, the means of attracting disciples, and unsurpassed merit and wisdom. They act for the welfare of all realms of sentient beings and proceed from buddha realm to buddha realm. Thus, they provide for sentient beings and meditate on the truths through being skilled in means.

"Divine son, consider this analogy.
If one infuses a hempen cloth with campaka and vārṣika flowers, their scent fades quickly. Divine son, similarly, the hearers' meditation on the truths is observed for just a short period of time. Passing quickly into nirvāṇa, they do not bring forth the fragrance of the buddhas' discipline, hearing, absorption, knowledge, and wisdom. Furthermore, they are unable to relinquish the disturbing emotions that are conjoined with the habitual tendencies.

"Divine son, now consider another analogy.
If one were to infuse a cloth of precious Benares silk for hundreds of thousands of great aeons with the scent of perfume and flowers from the human and divine realms, its divine fragrance would be experienced in perpetuity, and that pure aroma would overwhelm both gods and men. Divine son, similarly, the bodhisattva great beings without meditating meditate on the truths for incalculably many hundreds of thousands of eons. They do not relinquish doing so until they have attained omniscient wisdom endowed with the supreme of all aspects and pass into complete nirvāṇa. And so, without reference points (i.e. Involving reference points / focus: Involving dualistic experience; extremes & middle, dualistic conceptual proliferations, defining limitations, conditioning / karma; involving good vs. evil; involving acceptation & rejection in absolute terms. Ex the more-absolutist, more-dualistic teachings of the hearers / śrāvaka. Ex. Focusing / fixating on emptiness / non-existence while rejecting / neglecting conventional concepts, ideas, truths, methods, goals.), they become exceedingly fragrant with the scent of omniscient wisdom endowed with the supreme of all aspects. In terms of worldly conventions, they abandon all their habitual tendencies toward the disturbing emotions and attract the worlds of gods, men, and demigods."

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12. [A higher class of hearer / śrāvakas / arhants: The hearers born in Buddha Ratnaketu's Buddha-field are free from reference points – without any attachment to anything, not even emptiness / nirvana / the ultimate truth – without accepting / seeking or rejecting / abandoning anything in absolute terms. Acting / practicing without acting / practicing. Only bodhisattva great beings who are free from reference points are born there without being born.]

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Then the god Lord of Peace and Calm asked Mañjuśrī Kumārabhūta, "Mañjuśrī, how is the spiritual community of hearers that belong to the Blessed, thus-gone, worthy, perfect Buddha Ratnaketu?"

(i.e. In reference to the previous section about "the hearer's exertion with respect to the Two Truths [2T – Hearers of this world consider them as separate, in opposition, not as in a Union]". Are the hearers of this other Buddha-land different?)

Mañjuśrī replied, (i.e. They are acting / being / training without acting / being / training, more and more in accord with the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths, the Union of conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances – physical, conceptual, mental – <==> and emptiness of inherent existence.)

"Ultimately, they are not devoted followers, but they are also not devotedly turning to someone else. (i.e. not accepting, not rejecting)
Ultimately, they are not followers of the family, but neither do they ultimately abandon the family of the Thus-gone One.
Ultimately, they are not following the Dharma; indeed, ultimately they do not observe any Dharma at all.
Ultimately, they do not possess the eight mistaken dharmas, but neither are they relatively free from them.

"Ultimately they are not stream-enterers, yet in terms of the conventional truth of the world, they are beyond all the lower realms. Ultimately they are not once-returners, yet relatively they do return in order to ripen beings. (i.e. not this, not non-this)
Ultimately they are not non-returners, yet relatively from all phenomena there is no return.
Ultimately they are not worthy ones, yet according to worldly conventions they are supremely worthy of veneration by the world along with its gods.
Ultimately they are not hearers, yet, without conceptually apprehending them, they do listen to all the blessed buddhas. (i.e. listening without listening)

"Ultimately they are not without attachment, yet relatively they are unharmed by the torments of attachment. (i.e. not with / without)
Ultimately they are not without anger, yet relatively they are unharmed by the torments of anger.
Ultimately they are not without delusion, yet relatively all phenomena are free from darkness.
Ultimately they are not without disturbing emotions, yet relatively they endeavor to tame the disturbing emotions of all beings.
Ultimately they have abided definitively in non-origination from the very beginning, yet relatively they consciously take up existence. (i.e. no attachment to either truths, to samsara or nirvana)
Relatively they embrace cyclic existence, yet ultimately there is no grasping to or abandoning of any phenomenon. (i.e. not accepting, not rejecting any phenomena – physical, conceptual, mental –)

"Ultimately, without intense mindfulness regarding all phenomena, they see without seeing. Relatively, however, they train in the foundations of mindfulness. (i.e. not acting / training in absolute terms, not abandoning all activities / trainings)
Ultimately, without knowing, they know that all phenomena are unborn and unceasing. In terms of worldly experience, however, they train in the thorough relinquishments. (i.e.not acting / training in absolute terms, not completely non-acting / training)
Ultimately, they have neither body nor mind yet, in the relative truth of the world, they have accomplished the bases of miraculous power.
Ultimately they are without any faculties, yet relatively they have accomplished all the faculties.
Ultimately, without seeing, they see that all phenomena are unreal. However, in order to eradicate the conceit and conceptual apprehension of everyone who is conceited and engages in conceptual apprehension, they train, without training, in the powers. (i.e. not acting / training in absolute terms, not abandoning all activities / trainings)
Ultimately, in order to make it understood that all phenomena are unreal, they train, without training, in the branches of awakening.
Although ultimately utterly unreal, relatively they train in the path by means of not training. (i.e. not acting / training in absolute terms, not abandoning all activities / trainings)
Ultimately, they accomplish tranquility within the limit of reality (Reality as it is here & now).
Ultimately, by not training, they see insight to be utterly unarisen.
Ultimately, their knowledge is born through not apprehending ignorance as something to be exhausted.
Ultimately, neither exhaustion nor arising is observed.

"Although they see all beings and all buddha realms with their physical eye, ultimately they see nothing whatsoever.
Although they see all the deaths, transmigrations, and rebirths of all beings so clearly with their divine eye, ultimately they see nothing whatsoever.
Although they know all the experiences and movements of the minds of all beings with their eye of wisdom, ultimately they know nothing whatsoever.
Although they see all dharmas with their dharma eye, ultimately they see nothing whatsoever.
Although they perform all the acts of a buddha with their buddha eye, ultimately they perform nothing whatsoever.
Although with their divine ear they hear the teachings of all the blessed buddhas, ultimately they hear nothing whatsoever.
Although with their single mind they view the minds of all beings, ultimately they view nothing whatsoever.
Although with their wisdom of recollection they surely recollect the very dawn of time, ultimately they recollect nothing whatsoever.
Although they visit the inconceivable buddha realms by means of their miraculous powers, ultimately there is no coming or going.
Although their defilements are exhausted, ultimately there is nothing to be exhausted.

"Although they appear as beings (body), ultimately their bodies are devoid of true existence.
Although they speak (speech), ultimately their speech is not pronounced in the form of syllables.
Although they think (mind), ultimately thought is not something that can be expressed as mind or mental phenomena.
Ultimately they do not appear as form, but relatively they are adorned with the thirty-two marks and ornamented with the excellent signs of great beings. They are adorned with the accumulations of merit and wisdom. Their splendor is dazzling. Their speech resounds. They have been anointed with the unguent of discipline. Words spoken with ill intent cause them no disturbing emotions. They sport in clairvoyant powers. Their learning sets them free. With their eloquence they make declarations.

"Relatively, they produce emanations by means of wisdom; with the light of wisdom they dispel all darkness; with knowledge they illuminate; their teaching knows no limit, and is assimilated as realization.
Relatively, for all beings they are the refuge, and because of their awakening they constantly consider beings‍
— who are continuously beheld by the blessed buddhas, but who are not considered by the hearers, solitary buddhas, and the extremists with reference points — so that, relatively, their teaching knows no exhaustion, their mindfulness is like the ocean, their absorption is comparable to the central mountain, and their patience is like the earth.

"Relatively, they are courageous when it comes to clearing away all thoughts; they shine like the sun to dispel the deep darkness of ignorance; they shine like the moon in order to illuminate the world.
Relatively, they are like a ruler in order to attract others.
Relatively, they are like Brahmā in order to master the mind.
Relatively, they are incomparable in order to master space.
Relatively they have followed, but ultimately there is no one who goes, comes, or remains.

Why is that?
Because ultimately all phenomena are utterly unarisen [U2T].

(i.e. All phenomena are primordially utterly unborn, unarisen, unabiding, unconditioned, unseen, unreal, unceasing -- emptiness, signlessness, wishlessness --: In Reality as it is, there are no real three stages of becoming: i. no real (inherently existing) dependent origination (arising) / beginning / birth / coming / before / past, ii. no real duration / middle / existence / resting-change / during / present, iii. no real cessation / ending / death / going / after / future / non-existence or nirvana extinction of the five aggregates; just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively, just as merely labeled / imputed by the mind. That is the Genuine-emptiness of all phenomena -- free from all extremes & middle --; that is the Equality / Inseparability / Interdependence / Harmony / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]; that is the inconceivable unique all-pervasive timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pristine true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now / Suchness / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / Ground / Basis / Source. All phenomena are like illusions: 'there but not there'. Appearing <==> but empty; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still dependently co-appearing and relatively functional [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S]. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T]. All phenomena are not really caused / existent / functional / ceasing [T1], not completely non-caused / non-existent / non-functional / non-ceasing / useless / meaningless [T2], not both together [2T], not neither [1T]. There is no real impermanence / discontinuity / annihilation of anything, no real permanence / continuity / eternity, not real both together, no real neither – from one moment to the next, from before and after any action / change, from one stage to the next, from one rebirth to the next, from samsara to nirvana. Meaning the true nature & dynamic of all phenomena is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed conditioned dualistic conceptual ordinary mind(s). So there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis to discriminate / rank / differentiate them in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. So there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. In that sense all phenomena -- physical, conceptual, mental -- can be directly perceived as primordially spontaneous, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, enlightened, the inseparable three kayas (trikaya), the true Buddha. In terms of activity / practice / conduct, it means Bodhisattvas should act without acting, in accord with valid conventional / relative / inter-subjective words, concepts, truths, methods, goals [T1]; but also in accord with the emptiness of all dharmas involved [T2], that is without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling for any extreme or middle, while being aware of the true nature & dynamic as it is here & now of everything involved [U2T / U3S / Uopp], not accepting / affirming / seeking / adding / doing anything in absolute terms, not rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / subtracting / not-doing anything in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. [ANTIDOTES:] In reality as it is here & now, all phenomena are: i. not dependently arisen / caused / born / produced / existent / conditioned / perceived / real / ceasing / non-empty, ii. not independently arisen (spontaneous) / uncaused / unborn / unproduced / non-existent / unconditioned / unperceived / unreal / unceasing / empty, iii. not both together, iv. not neither, and there is no fifth; so we say that everything is 'unborn / spontaneous / unarisen / unreal / unceasing / empty' as a temporary imperfect antidote to our usual positions. And vice versa, one position is used as the antidote of the opposite position until we are ready to transcend all extremes & middle together. But if we grasp at the antidotes, then they turn into poisons. Reality as it is is beyond all opposites like those, beyond all adapted skillful means; beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma; even beyond the two truths & their 'Union'.)

"Divine son, such is the spiritual community of hearers belonging to the Blessed, thus-gone, worthy, perfect Buddha Ratnaketu. Moreover, the dharma that they possess is even more inconceivable than that."

When Mañjuśrī Kumārabhūta delivered this teaching in a manner beyond reference points (i.e. beyond any absolute & opposition), five hundred monks, five hundred laypeople, and five thousand gods who held reference points all made this supplication:
"Blessed One, may we also become hearers belonging to the Blessed, thus-gone, worthy, perfect Buddha Ratnaketu."

Mañjuśrī replied, (i.e. There are requirements to be born in this Buddha-field.)
"Well, my friends, in that buddha realm no-one with reference points is born!
My friends, only bodhisattva great beings who are free from reference points (i.e. beyond any absolute & opposition) are born there without being born.
My friends, if you aspire to that realm, you must strive in the perfection of knowledge in a manner free from reference points (i.e. beyond any absolute & opposition).
My friends, when you strive in the perfection of knowledge in a manner that is free from reference points (i.e. beyond any absolute & opposition),
then, my friends, it will not be difficult to discover omniscient wisdom that is endowed with the supreme of all aspects.
So what need is there to mention that you will also be born in the pure buddha realms!"
(i.e. Involving reference points / focus: Involving dualistic experience; extremes & middle, dualistic conceptual proliferations, defining limitations, conditioning / karma; involving good vs. evil; involving acceptation & rejection in absolute terms. Ex the more-absolutist, more-dualistic teachings of the hearers / śrāvaka. Ex. Focusing / fixating on emptiness / non-existence while rejecting / neglecting conventional concepts, ideas, truths, methods, goals.)

(i.e. Bodhisattvas should act without acting: without grasping at anything. Not acting in relation to any absolutes – independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing words, concepts, ideas, views, methods & goals – but merely using various temporary imperfect adapted skillful means: conventional relative words, concepts, ideas, views, methods, goals. Because they are aware of their true nature & dynamic as pointed out by the concept of the Union of the Two Truths [U2T] about them.)

(i.e. Acting without acting more and more in accord with the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now: the Union of the Two Truths [U2T]; the Union of the three spheres [U3S / U2T-3S]; the union of opposites [Uopp / U2T-opp / Non-duality]; the Middle Way; the Tetralemma; the Ground / Basis / Source; the primordial spontaneity, timelessness, limitlessness, equality, purity, perfection, divinity, completeness, freedom, beauty, enlightenment, trikaya of everything – in the non-dual sense of those terms; etc.
Acting without acting, without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling for any extreme & middle, without accepting or rejecting anything in absolute terms, more and more in accord with the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T, the Middle Way], with more and more awareness of the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of everything involved [U2T]: words, concepts, ideas, teachings, views, methods, goals, apparent opposites, three spheres of teaching, subject / beings, relation / actions, objects / phenomena, cause, causality, effect, the karmic cycle, enlightenment, the relative & ultimate, the two truths — all dharmas: physical, conceptual, mental; individual, collective, cosmic. All activities of the body, speech and mind should be done this way.)

(i.e. Note about 'Reference points / Focus': This is the big bad wolf of this sutra. It is the grasping / attachment / being slave to come particular appearances -- physical, conceptual, mental --. It is implicitly assuming that those appearances, their properties / characteristics / qualities, and their inter-relations or oppositions, are existing inherently / independently / separately / universally / absolutely.
So, here, 'reference points' / 'Focus' is related to the imperfect basic implicit assumptions for the normal working of our conventional conceptual dualistic mind -- on the relative level --. It is implicitly assuming that the three spheres of any activity -- ex. subject / mind, relation / action, object / phenomena -- are independent, separate, inherently existing and in real opposition.
The problem is not our 5 aggregates, or our body & speech & mind (ex. the normal functioning of our conventional mind), or our physical & conceptual & mental fabrications. The problem is ignoring their true nature & dynamic while normally using them; the problem is to have forgotten that we have imagined / created them all.
The problem is not our thoughts, concepts, dualities, normal activities, tools & objects ..., no more than our nose; because, ultimately, they are all empty of inherent existence, and thus not bad, not good, not both together, not neither (we say that they are all equal / already pure / perfect / divine here & now). The problem is ignorance of their true nature & dynamic, and the consequential grasping & attachment. So, the solution is not to reject / negate / abandon / not-do / subtract them from our lives but to directly realise their true nature & dynamic. So "being free from reference points" means being able to use our tools (body, speech & mind) without any grasping / attachment, without becoming slave to them, without assuming they are inherently existing and in real opposition / duality. That is the goal of meditation: Union samatha <==> vipashyana.)

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13. [Comparing the moral trainings (vinaya) of the hearers and of the bodhisattvas – with more compassion & wisdom together.]

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The god Lord of Peace and Calm then asked Mañjuśrī Kumārabhūta,
"Mañjuśrī, what is the vinaya of the hearers like? And how is the vinaya of the bodhisattva great beings?"

Mañjuśrī replied,
"Divine son, the vinaya that is well known in the three worlds is the vinaya of the hearers.
However, on the relative level, the vinaya of the bodhisattva great beings gathers all accumulations of roots of virtue, comforts all beings, and tames them by taking birth in the three realms.

"The vinaya of the hearers opposes all disturbing emotions.
However, relatively, the vinaya of the bodhisattva great beings goes further in order to eliminate the disturbing emotions of all beings.

"The vinaya of the hearers is aware of just one place.
However, relatively, the vinaya of the bodhisattva great beings is aware of all the limitless and boundless worlds in the ten directions.

"The vinaya of the hearers maintains equanimity with regard to all demons.
However, relatively, the vinaya of the bodhisattva great beings disturbs all classes of demons in all the limitless and boundless worlds in the ten directions, and conquers all hostile forces.

"The vinaya of the hearers clarifies one's own mind stream.
However, relatively, the vinaya of the bodhisattva great beings clarifies the mind streams of all beings, causes the wisdom of omniscience to manifest, and causes the vision of stainless wisdom with regard to all phenomena to manifest.

"The vinaya of the hearers is contemplated by individual minds.
However, relatively, the vinaya of the bodhisattva great beings is the intent of all the buddhas in the past, the present, and the future.

"The vinaya of the hearers is like a stone that cannot be repaired when broken.
However, relatively, the vinaya of the bodhisattva great beings is like gold and silver, which can be mended when broken.

"The vinaya of the hearers does not contain all the teachings of the Buddha, and it also lacks skillful means.
However, relatively, the vinaya of the bodhisattva great beings has great skillful means and comprises all the teachings of the Buddha.

"The vinaya of the hearers does not embody the ten strengths, the various types of fearlessness, the unique qualities, or omniscient wisdom.
However, relatively, the vinaya of the bodhisattva great beings contains the ten powers, the various types of fearlessness, the unique qualities, and omniscient wisdom.

"The vinaya of the hearers is like escaping from being burned by a fire.
However, relatively, the vinaya of the bodhisattva great beings is to be delighted by the joy of Dharma, just as one would enjoy a park or a palace.

"The vinaya of the hearers does not interrupt the stream of habitual patterns.
However, relatively, the vinaya of the bodhisattva great beings overcomes all habitual patterns.

"Divine son, in short, the vinaya of the hearers is derived from a Dharma that is limited and confined.
However, relatively, the vinaya of the bodhisattva great beings follows a Dharma that is limitless and beyond measure.

"The vinaya of the hearers brings the attainment of limited discipline, learning, absorption, knowledge, liberation, and vision of the wisdom of liberation.
However, relatively, the vinaya of the bodhisattva great beings knows no bounds, possesses limitless qualities, and makes one attain limitless discipline, learning, absorption, knowledge, liberation, and vision of the wisdom of liberation."

(i.e. Training / following without training / following moral trainings (vinaya): without grasping at anything. Not training / following moral trainings (vinaya) in relation to any absolutes – independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing words, concepts, ideas, views, methods & goals – but merely using various temporary imperfect adapted skillful means: conventional relative words, concepts, ideas, views, methods, goals. Because they are aware of their true nature & dynamic as pointed out by the concept of the Union of the Two Truths [U2T] about them.)

(i.e. Training / following without training / following moral trainings (vinaya), more and more in accord with the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now: the Union of the Two Truths [U2T]; the Union of the three spheres [U3S / U2T-3S]; the union of opposites [Uopp / U2T-opp / Non-duality]; the Middle Way; the Tetralemma; the Ground / Basis / Source; the primordial spontaneity, timelessness, limitlessness, equality, purity, perfection, divinity, completeness, freedom, beauty, enlightenment, trikaya of everything – in the non-dual sense of those terms; etc.
Following without following moral trainings (vinaya), without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling for any extreme & middle, without accepting or rejecting anything in absolute terms, more and more in accord with the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T, the Middle Way], with more and more awareness of the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of everything involved [U2T]: words, concepts, ideas, teachings, views, methods, goals, apparent opposites, three spheres of teaching, subject / beings, relation / actions, objects / phenomena, cause, causality, effect, the karmic cycle, enlightenment, the relative & ultimate, the two truths — all dharmas: physical, conceptual, mental; individual, collective, cosmic. All activities of the body, speech and mind should be done this way.)

At this point, the Blessed One expressed his approval of Mañjuśrī Kumārabhūta:
"Well said, Mañjuśrī! You have explained the vinaya of the bodhisattva great beings well on the relative level.
Well done, well done.

Now, Mañjuśrī, in order to illustrate the meaning of this, I will give you some examples.

Mañjuśrī, imagine two men: one of them praises the hoofprints of an ox, while the other man praises the ocean. Mañjuśrī, what do you think? How extensively would the first man be able to praise the hoofprints of an ox?"

Mañjuśrī replied, "Blessed One, since all ox hoofprints are so small, what is even the use of praising them?"

The Blessed One said, "Just as the ox hoofprints are small, so you should view the vinaya of the hearers.

Now, Mañjuśrī, what do you think? Would the other man be able to express a fitting praise of the ocean?"

Mañjuśrī replied, "Blessed One, the praises of the ocean could be incredibly numerous, limitless, and inconceivable."

The Blessed One said, "Mañjuśrī, just as the praises of the ocean are boundless, so you should view the vinaya of the bodhisattvas on the relative level."

As he delivered this teaching without teaching, 12,000 gods, without ultimately forming anything, formed the wish for unexcelled and completely perfect awakening. They all declared, "Blessed One, without training, we will practice the trainings of the bodhisattvas."

The god Lord of Peace and Calm asked Mañjuśrī Kumārabhūta,
"Mañjuśrī, do you train in the vinaya of the hearers or in the vinaya of the bodhisattvas?"

Mañjuśrī answered, "Divine son, what do you think? Is there any water that cannot be contained in the ocean?"

The god replied, "No, Mañjuśrī, there is no water anywhere that cannot be contained in the ocean."

Mañjuśrī said, "Divine son, in the same way the vinaya of the bodhisattva great beings is like the ocean (i.e. it contains all practices)."

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14a. [Bodhisattvas' vinaya – with more compassion & wisdom together: It is not about controlling emotions, accepting this while rejecting that in absolute terms, but about understanding and then directly perceiving / realising / experiencing (knowing without knowing) their inconceivable true nature & dynamic as it is here & now: the Union of the Two Truths [U2T] about emotions, the Union of the three spheres [U3S] about emotions, the Union of opposites about emotions [Uopp]. This way we transcend / pacify / liberate without transcending / pacifying / liberating all emotions without any attachment, without falling for any extreme concepts, ideas, views, actions and goals about them.]

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The god asked, "Mañjuśrī, that word vinaya, what does that mean?"

Mañjuśrī answered, "Divine son,
on the relative level vinaya refers to taming the disturbing emotions.
Vinaya also means understanding disturbing emotions."

The god said, "Mañjuśrī,
how does one tame the disturbing emotions?
How does one understand disturbing emotions?"

Mañjuśrī said,

"Ultimately, all phenomena are unborn, unarisen, and unreal [U2T].

(i.e. All phenomena are primordially utterly unborn, unarisen, unabiding, unconditioned, unseen, unreal, unceasing -- emptiness, signlessness, wishlessness --: In Reality as it is, there are no real three stages of becoming: i. no real (inherently existing) dependent origination (arising) / beginning / birth / coming / before / past, ii. no real duration / middle / existence / resting-change / during / present, iii. no real cessation / ending / death / going / after / future / non-existence or nirvana extinction of the five aggregates; just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively, just as merely labeled / imputed by the mind. That is the Genuine-emptiness of all phenomena -- free from all extremes & middle --; that is the Equality / Inseparability / Interdependence / Harmony / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]; that is the inconceivable unique all-pervasive timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pristine true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now / Suchness / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / Ground / Basis / Source. All phenomena are like illusions: 'there but not there'. Appearing <==> but empty; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still dependently co-appearing and relatively functional [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S]. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T]. All phenomena are not really caused / existent / functional / ceasing [T1], not completely non-caused / non-existent / non-functional / non-ceasing / useless / meaningless [T2], not both together [2T], not neither [1T]. There is no real impermanence / discontinuity / annihilation of anything, no real permanence / continuity / eternity, not real both together, no real neither – from one moment to the next, from before and after any action / change, from one stage to the next, from one rebirth to the next, from samsara to nirvana. Meaning the true nature & dynamic of all phenomena is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed conditioned dualistic conceptual ordinary mind(s). So there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis to discriminate / rank / differentiate them in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. So there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. In that sense all phenomena -- physical, conceptual, mental -- can be directly perceived as primordially spontaneous, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, enlightened, the inseparable three kayas (trikaya), the true Buddha. In terms of activity / practice / conduct, it means Bodhisattvas should act without acting, in accord with valid conventional / relative / inter-subjective words, concepts, truths, methods, goals [T1]; but also in accord with the emptiness of all dharmas involved [T2], that is without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling for any extreme or middle, while being aware of the true nature & dynamic as it is here & now of everything involved [U2T / U3S / Uopp], not accepting / affirming / seeking / adding / doing anything in absolute terms, not rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / subtracting / not-doing anything in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. [ANTIDOTES:] In reality as it is here & now, all phenomena are: i. not dependently arisen / caused / born / produced / existent / conditioned / perceived / real / ceasing / non-empty, ii. not independently arisen (spontaneous) / uncaused / unborn / unproduced / non-existent / unconditioned / unperceived / unreal / unceasing / empty, iii. not both together, iv. not neither, and there is no fifth; so we say that everything is 'unborn / spontaneous / unarisen / unreal / unceasing / empty' as a temporary imperfect antidote to our usual positions. And vice versa, one position is used as the antidote of the opposite position until we are ready to transcend all extremes & middle together. But if we grasp at the antidotes, then they turn into poisons. Reality as it is is beyond all opposites like those, beyond all adapted skillful means; beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma; even beyond the two truths & their 'Union'.)

Yet this absence is misunderstood on the relative level [T1] [U2T].
Misunderstanding this absence produces concepts and thoughts.
Out of concept and thought appears mistaken conceptual activity.
Mistaken conceptual activity then gives rise to the superimposition of a self.
From the superimposition of a self comes the manifestation of views.
Based on the manifestation of views, disturbing emotions appear.

"Divine son, whoever knows, without knowing, that ultimately all phenomena are utterly unborn, utterly unarisen, and utterly unreal [U2T], is unmistaken in terms of the ultimate.
(i.e. On the ultimate level = at the level of the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T].)
Whoever is unmistaken in terms of the ultimate does not form concepts or thoughts.
Whoever does not form concepts or thoughts is applying himself correctly.
Whoever applies himself correctly does not ultimately form superimpositions of a self.
When superimpositions of a self do not ultimately arise, manifest views also do not arise, and ultimately even the views related to passing beyond suffering do not arise.
In that way one comes to experience the unborn [U2T], and pacifies disturbing emotions in a manner free from views.
Divine son, this is what is meant by taming disturbing emotions.

"Divine son, disturbing emotions are ultimately utterly empty, utterly signless and utterly wishless due to the insight and wisdom to which no disturbing emotions ever appear.
When one has the insight that ultimately they are utterly unborn, utterly unarisen, and utterly unreal [U2T],
then, divine son, one knows disturbing emotions in a manner free from knowing.

(i.e. Note: this is not about generating emotions nor bringing emotions to an end;
but about realising that those emotions (positive, negative or neutral) are not inherently existing, but always dependently co-arisen / relative / interdependent, like illusions: 'there but not there'.)

"Divine son, consider this analogy.
If you chant an incantation against a viper's venom, it is possible to neutralize the snake's poison. Divine son, in the same way, whoever understands the types of disturbing emotions will neutralize his disturbing emotions in a manner that is beyond reference points (i.e. beyond any absolute & opposition)." (i.e. Involving reference points / focus: Involving dualistic experience; extremes & middle, dualistic conceptual proliferations, defining limitations, conditioning / karma; involving good vs. evil; involving acceptation & rejection in absolute terms. Ex the more-absolutist, more-dualistic teachings of the hearers / śrāvaka. Ex. Focusing / fixating on emptiness / non-existence while rejecting / neglecting conventional concepts, ideas, truths, methods, goals.)

(i.e. The Dharma is not about accepting / generating in absolute terms anything, not about rejecting / bringing to an end in absolute terms anything like the three poisons, or five poisons, defilements, or thoughts, feelings, emotions, perceptions, conceptualisation, discrimination, creation, karma formations, etc. It is about directly perceiving / realising / experiencing their true nature & dynamic as it is here & now, as pointed out by concepts like: the Union of the Two Truths [U2T]; the Union of the three spheres[U3S / U2T-3S]; the Union of apparent opposites [Uopp / U2T-opp]; the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle – with nothing to accept, nothing to reject in absolute terms; the primordial spontaneity, timelessness, limitlessness, equality, purity, perfection, divinity, completeness, freedom, beauty, enlightenment, inseparable three pure kayas (trikaya) of everything – in the non-dual sense of those terms. The karmic cycle is transcended by directly perceiving / realising / experiencing its true nature & dynamic as it is here & now, not by opposing good vs. evil, not with better discrimination / differentiation in absolute terms, not by accepting this while rejecting that.)

(i.e. Why? Because there is no real / inherently existing attachment, anger, delusion, wisdom, thoughts, ideas, feelings, perceptions, concepts, views, methods, goals, subject / self, relation / action , objects / phenomena, etc. Because everything is empty of inherent existence [T2], not really caused / existent / functional / ceasing <==> because everything is conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma [U3S], not completely non-caused / non-existent / non-functional / non-ceasing / useless / meaningless. And vice versa, one aspect / truth implies / proves the other (<==>) [U2T]. So there are no real three stages of becoming for anything – physical, conceptual, mental (ex. attachment, anger, delusion) –: i. origination / beginning / birth / coming / before / past, ii. duration / middle / abiding / lasting / change / during / present, iii. cessation / ending / death / going / extinction / after / future. Not is there total absence of them; they are not existent, non non-existent, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. And there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis for discrimination / differentiation in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. Apparent opposites – like wholesome and unwholesome thoughts – are not really in opposition, but more like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended / in harmony <==> thus empty of inherent existence. So we cannot really judge, accept or reject, those attachment, anger, delusion, wisdom, thoughts, ideas, feelings, perceptions, concepts, views, methods, goals, subject / self, relation / action , objects / phenomena, etc. … in absolute terms. We may as well perceive everything as primorially spontaneous, timeless, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, beautiful, enlightened, the inseparable three pure kayas of a Buddha (trikaya), the true Buddha.)

(i.e. Taming / pacifying / knowing without taming / pacifying / knowing emotions: without grasping at anything. Not taming / pacifying / knowing emotions in relation to any absolutes – independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing words, concepts, ideas, views, methods & goals – but merely using various temporary imperfect adapted skillful means: conventional relative words, concepts, ideas, views, methods, goals. Because they are aware of their true nature & dynamic as pointed out by the concept of the Union of the Two Truths [U2T] about them.)

(i.e. Taming / pacifying / knowing without taming / pacifying / knowing emotions, more and more in accord with the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now: the Union of the Two Truths [U2T]; the Union of the three spheres [U3S / U2T-3S]; the union of opposites [Uopp / U2T-opp / Non-duality]; the Middle Way; the Tetralemma; the Ground / Basis / Source; the primordial spontaneity, timelessness, limitlessness, equality, purity, perfection, divinity, completeness, freedom, beauty, enlightenment, trikaya of everything – in the non-dual sense of those terms; etc.
Taming / pacifying / knowing without taming / pacifying / knowing emotions, without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling for any extreme & middle, without accepting or rejecting anything in absolute terms, more and more in accord with the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T, the Middle Way], with more and more awareness of the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of everything involved [U2T]: words, concepts, ideas, teachings, views, methods, goals, apparent opposites, three spheres of teaching, subject / beings, relation / actions, objects / phenomena, cause, causality, effect, the karmic cycle, enlightenment, the relative & ultimate, the two truths — all dharmas: physical, conceptual, mental; individual, collective, cosmic. All activities of the body, speech and mind should be done this way.)

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14b. [Disturbing emotions are (dependently co-arisen relatively functional and empty of inherent existence) emotions based on ignorance of the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now [U2T]. They are tamed by transmuting ignorance into wisdom.]

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The god said, "Mañjuśrī, what are the types of disturbing emotions?"

Mañjuśrī said,
"Divine son, ultimately all phenomena are utterly unborn, utterly unarisen, and utterly unreal. [U2T]

Any conceptualization of that state is a form of disturbing emotion [T1].
Ultimately, there are no conceptualizations, so therefore there are also no disturbing emotions whatsoever [T2].
Divine son, because there are no disturbing emotions, there is no all-ground.
Because there is no all-ground, there is ultimately no abiding.
Because there is no abiding, there is ultimately no scorching.
Because there is ultimately no scorching, there is said to be peace.
On the ultimate level, things are not as they are expressed in words.
(i.e. On the ultimate level = at the level of the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T].)
Still, divine son, relatively this is how disturbing emotions are tamed [T1] [U2T]."

(i.e. All phenomena are primordially utterly unborn, unarisen, unabiding, unconditioned, unseen, unreal, unceasing -- emptiness, signlessness, wishlessness --: In Reality as it is, there are no real three stages of becoming: i. no real (inherently existing) dependent origination (arising) / beginning / birth / coming / before / past, ii. no real duration / middle / existence / resting-change / during / present, iii. no real cessation / ending / death / going / after / future / non-existence or nirvana extinction of the five aggregates; just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively, just as merely labeled / imputed by the mind. That is the Genuine-emptiness of all phenomena -- free from all extremes & middle --; that is the Equality / Inseparability / Interdependence / Harmony / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]; that is the inconceivable unique all-pervasive timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pristine true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now / Suchness / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / Ground / Basis / Source. All phenomena are like illusions: 'there but not there'. Appearing <==> but empty; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still dependently co-appearing and relatively functional [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S]. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T]. All phenomena are not really caused / existent / functional / ceasing [T1], not completely non-caused / non-existent / non-functional / non-ceasing / useless / meaningless [T2], not both together [2T], not neither [1T]. There is no real impermanence / discontinuity / annihilation of anything, no real permanence / continuity / eternity, not real both together, no real neither – from one moment to the next, from before and after any action / change, from one stage to the next, from one rebirth to the next, from samsara to nirvana. Meaning the true nature & dynamic of all phenomena is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed conditioned dualistic conceptual ordinary mind(s). So there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis to discriminate / rank / differentiate them in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. So there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. In that sense all phenomena -- physical, conceptual, mental -- can be directly perceived as primordially spontaneous, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, enlightened, the inseparable three kayas (trikaya), the true Buddha. In terms of activity / practice / conduct, it means Bodhisattvas should act without acting, in accord with valid conventional / relative / inter-subjective words, concepts, truths, methods, goals [T1]; but also in accord with the emptiness of all dharmas involved [T2], that is without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling for any extreme or middle, while being aware of the true nature & dynamic as it is here & now of everything involved [U2T / U3S / Uopp], not accepting / affirming / seeking / adding / doing anything in absolute terms, not rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / subtracting / not-doing anything in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. [ANTIDOTES:] In reality as it is here & now, all phenomena are: i. not dependently arisen / caused / born / produced / existent / conditioned / perceived / real / ceasing / non-empty, ii. not independently arisen (spontaneous) / uncaused / unborn / unproduced / non-existent / unconditioned / unperceived / unreal / unceasing / empty, iii. not both together, iv. not neither, and there is no fifth; so we say that everything is 'unborn / spontaneous / unarisen / unreal / unceasing / empty' as a temporary imperfect antidote to our usual positions. And vice versa, one position is used as the antidote of the opposite position until we are ready to transcend all extremes & middle together. But if we grasp at the antidotes, then they turn into poisons. Reality as it is is beyond all opposites like those, beyond all adapted skillful means; beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma; even beyond the two truths & their 'Union'.)

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15. [All phenomena – physical, conceptual, mental; including the three spheres of any relation / action, the apparent opposites of any duality / triad / quads / etc., even the two truths themselves –, and feelings about them, are transcended / pacified / liberated without being transcended / pacified / liberated by understanding without understanding and then directly perceiving / realising / experiencing without perceiving / realising / experiencing their inconceivable true nature & dynamic as it is here & now [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T].]

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The god said, "Mañjuśrī, how are disturbing emotions tamed?
Are they something (existent)? Or nothing (non-existent)?"

(i.e. In reference to the previous sentence "Still, divine son, relatively this is how disturbing emotions are tamed".)

(i.e. All emotions are tamed / pacified / transcended without being tamed / pacified / transcended by understanding without understanding and then directly perceiving / realising / experiencing without perceiving / realising / experiencing their inconceivable true nature & dynamic as it is here & now. Everything – ex. all dharmas (physical, conceptual, mental), the three spheres, apparent opposites, even the two truths themselves – are Reality as it is / Suchness as pointed out by concepts like the Union of the Two Truths [U2T] free from all extremes & middle – extremes like: existence / functionality / appearance, non-existence / non-functionality / emptiness, both together, neither; subject / subjectivism, object / objectivism, relation / action / relationism / processism, a combination of those / dualism, none of those / monism / oneness.)

(i.e. Taming / pacifying / transcending without taming / pacifying / transcending emotions, more and more in accord with the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now: the Union of the Two Truths [U2T]; the Union of the three spheres [U3S / U2T-3S]; the union of opposites [Uopp / U2T-opp / Non-duality]; the Middle Way; the Tetralemma; the Ground / Basis / Source; the primordial spontaneity, timelessness, limitlessness, equality, purity, perfection, divinity, completeness, freedom, beauty, enlightenment, trikaya of everything – in the non-dual sense of those terms; etc.
Taming / pacifying / transcending emotions, without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling for any extreme & middle, without accepting or rejecting anything in absolute terms, more and more in accord with the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T, the Middle Way], with more and more awareness of the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of everything involved [U2T]: words, concepts, ideas, teachings, views, methods, goals, apparent opposites, three spheres of teaching, subject / beings, relation / actions, objects / phenomena, cause, causality, effect, the karmic cycle, enlightenment, the relative & ultimate, the two truths — all dharmas: physical, conceptual, mental; individual, collective, cosmic. All activities of the body, speech and mind should be done this way.)

Mañjuśrī said, "Divine son, this is how it is.
Imagine a man who has a nightmare in which he is bitten by a venomous viper.
Although he is suffering, he is treated with an antidote and recovers.
As the poison is neutralized, his pain disappears. [T1]
Divine son, what do you think? Was this man actually bitten or not?"

The god said, "Mañjuśrī, ultimately it did not truly happen." [T2]

Mañjuśrī said, "Divine son, how was the poison neutralized?"

The god said, "Mañjuśrī, just as the bite was not truly real, the neutralization of the poison was also not truly real." [T2]

Mañjuśrī said,

"Divine son, in the same way the noble ones view, without viewing, all disturbing emotions on the ultimate level.
(i.e. On the ultimate level = at the level of the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T].)

Divine son, you ask how disturbing emotions are tamed.
Well, divine son, just as the ego (subject) ultimately is egoless, so, divine son, disturbing emotions (objects) are not ultimately disturbing emotions [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp].

Divine son, ultimately this self (subject) is suchness [U2T].

(i.e. Everything – ex. all subjects / beingsis the inconceivable unique all-pervasive timeless unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing pristine true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now / Suchness / Ground / Basis / Source / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Dharmadhatu / Dharmata / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]. All inseparable pure manifestations of the Ground.)

Therefore, divine son, disturbing emotions (objects) also ultimately become  [are] suchness [U2T].

(i.e. Everything – ex. all objects / phenomena, physical conceptual mentalis the inconceivable unique all-pervasive timeless unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing pristine true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now / Suchness / Ground / Basis / Source / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Dharmadhatu / Dharmata / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]. All inseparable pure manifestations of the Ground.)

Divine son, in this way, the self [T1] is not ultimately the self (subject / being) [T2] [U2T].

(i.e. Subjects are like illusions: 'there but not there, functional but not functional'. Not really caused / existent / functional / ceasing [T2], not completely non-caused / non-existent / non-functional / non-ceasing / useless / meaningless [T1], not both together, not neither. [U2T])

Therefore, divine son, disturbing emotions [T1] are also not ultimately disturbing emotions (mental objects / phenomena) [T2] [U2T].

(i.e. Objects are like illusions: 'there but not there, functional but not functional'. not really caused / existent / functional / ceasing [T2], not completely non-caused / non-existent / non-functional / non-ceasing / useless / meaningless [T1], not both together, not neither. [U2T])

Divine son, whoever focuses on taming disturbing emotions on the ultimate level is not ultimately focusing on anything.

(i.e. All actions / relations are also suchness [U2T]. Everything – ex. all relations / actions / processes – is the inconceivable unique all-pervasive timeless unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing pristine true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now / Suchness / Ground / Basis / Source / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Dharmadhatu / Dharmata / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]. All inseparable pure manifestations of the Ground.)

(Relations / actions are also not relations / actions.)

(i.e. Relations / actions are like illusions: 'there but not there, functional but not functional'. not really caused / existent / functional / ceasing [T2], not completely non-caused / non-existent / non-functional / non-ceasing / useless / meaningless [T1], not both together, not neither. [U2T])

Why? (i.e. On the ultimate level = at the level of the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T].)
Divine son, because on the ultimate level nothing manifests, and therefore all phenomena are pacified.
Divine son, on the ultimate level, there is no grasping, and therefore all phenomena are fully pacified.
Divine son, on the ultimate level, all phenomena are free from superimposition, and therefore all phenomena are completely pacified.
Divine son, on the ultimate level, all phenomena are utterly unborn, and therefore they are also beyond ceasing.
Divine son, the ultimate level is utterly unreal and therefore all phenomena are utterly unborn."

(i.e. Even the two truths themselves – dependent origination / relativity and emptiness of inherent existence – are like illusions: 'there but not there, functional but not functional'. Not really caused / existent / functional / ceasing [T2], not completely non-caused / non-existent / non-functional / non-ceasing / useless / meaningless [T1], not both together, not neither. [U2T] The two truths themselves are conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional appearances, merely labeled / imputed by the mind, not completely non-caused / non-existent / non-functional / non-ceasing / useless / meaningless <==> empty of inherent existence, not really caused / existent / functional / ceasing.This is the Union of the Two Truths about the two truths [U2T-2T].)
(i.e. Everything – all dharmas, the three spheres (subject, relation / action, object), apparent opposites, even the two truths themselvesis the inconceivable unique all-pervasive timeless unborn unchanging unconditioned unceasing pristine true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now / Suchness / Ground / Basis / Source / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Dharmadhatu / Dharmata / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]. All inseparable pure manifestations of the Ground.)

(i.e. All phenomena are primordially utterly unborn, unarisen, unabiding, unconditioned, unseen, unreal, unceasing -- emptiness, signlessness, wishlessness --: In Reality as it is, there are no real three stages of becoming: i. no real (inherently existing) dependent origination (arising) / beginning / birth / coming / before / past, ii. no real duration / middle / existence / resting-change / during / present, iii. no real cessation / ending / death / going / after / future / non-existence or nirvana extinction of the five aggregates; just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively, just as merely labeled / imputed by the mind. That is the Genuine-emptiness of all phenomena -- free from all extremes & middle --; that is the Equality / Inseparability / Interdependence / Harmony / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]; that is the inconceivable unique all-pervasive timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pristine true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now / Suchness / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / Ground / Basis / Source. All phenomena are like illusions: 'there but not there'. Appearing <==> but empty; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still dependently co-appearing and relatively functional [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S]. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T]. All phenomena are not really caused / existent / functional / ceasing [T1], not completely non-caused / non-existent / non-functional / non-ceasing / useless / meaningless [T2], not both together [2T], not neither [1T]. There is no real impermanence / discontinuity / annihilation of anything, no real permanence / continuity / eternity, not real both together, no real neither – from one moment to the next, from before and after any action / change, from one stage to the next, from one rebirth to the next, from samsara to nirvana. Meaning the true nature & dynamic of all phenomena is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed conditioned dualistic conceptual ordinary mind(s). So there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis to discriminate / rank / differentiate them in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. So there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. In that sense all phenomena -- physical, conceptual, mental -- can be directly perceived as primordially spontaneous, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, enlightened, the inseparable three kayas (trikaya), the true Buddha. In terms of activity / practice / conduct, it means Bodhisattvas should act without acting, in accord with valid conventional / relative / inter-subjective words, concepts, truths, methods, goals [T1]; but also in accord with the emptiness of all dharmas involved [T2], that is without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling for any extreme or middle, while being aware of the true nature & dynamic as it is here & now of everything involved [U2T / U3S / Uopp], not accepting / affirming / seeking / adding / doing anything in absolute terms, not rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / subtracting / not-doing anything in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. [ANTIDOTES:] In reality as it is here & now, all phenomena are: i. not dependently arisen / caused / born / produced / existent / conditioned / perceived / real / ceasing / non-empty, ii. not independently arisen (spontaneous) / uncaused / unborn / unproduced / non-existent / unconditioned / unperceived / unreal / unceasing / empty, iii. not both together, iv. not neither, and there is no fifth; so we say that everything is 'unborn / spontaneous / unarisen / unreal / unceasing / empty' as a temporary imperfect antidote to our usual positions. And vice versa, one position is used as the antidote of the opposite position until we are ready to transcend all extremes & middle together. But if we grasp at the antidotes, then they turn into poisons. Reality as it is is beyond all opposites like those, beyond all adapted skillful means; beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma; even beyond the two truths & their 'Union'.)

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16a. [Both truths are gateways to all dharmas – to understanding and then directly perceiving / realising / experiencing the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of all dharmas [U2T].]

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The god said, "Mañjuśrī, what is the gateway to all dharmas?"

Mañjuśrī said, "Divine son,

  • the relative truth, which employs all forms of statements, speech, cognition, objects of cognition, activities, conventions, and acts, is a gateway to all dharmas.

  • the ultimate truth, which is so because it is the opposite of all forms of speech, statements, cognition, objects of cognition, activities, conventions, and acts, is a gateway to all dharmas.

"Moreover, divine son,
on the relative level, the incorrect conceptual workings of the mind are a gateway to (a conventional cause for a conventional effect:) saṃsāra.
On the relative level, the correct conceptual workings of the mind are a gateway to (a conventional cause for a conventional effect:) nirvāṇa.

"On the relative level, doubt is a gateway to (a conventional cause for a conventional effect:) obscuration.
On the relative level, liberation is a gateway to (a conventional cause for a conventional effect:) the absence of obscuration.

"On the relative level, conceptuality is a gateway to (a conventional cause for a conventional effect:) disturbing emotions.
On the relative level, non-conceptuality is a gateway to (a conventional cause for a conventional effect:) the absence of disturbing emotions.

"On the relative level, distraction is a gateway to (a conventional cause for a conventional effect:) thought.
On the relative level, tranquility is a gateway to (a conventional cause for a conventional effect:) peace.

"On the relative level, holding views is a gateway to (a conventional cause for a conventional effect:) pride.
On the relative level, emptiness is a gateway to (a conventional cause for a conventional effect:) the absence of pride.

"On the relative level, relying on evil company is a gateway to (a conventional cause for a conventional effect:) all roots of non-virtue.
On the relative level, relying on a virtuous spiritual friend is the gateway to (a conventional cause for a conventional effect:) all roots of virtue.

"On the relative level, wrong view is a gateway to (a conventional cause for a conventional effect:) all suffering.
On the relative level, correct view is a gateway to (a conventional cause for a conventional effect:) all happiness.

"On the relative level, miserliness is a gateway to (a conventional cause for a conventional effect:) poverty.
On the relative level, generosity is a gateway to (a conventional cause for a conventional effect:) great wealth.

"On the relative level, a bad character is a gateway to (a conventional cause for a conventional effect:) all lower realms.
On the relative level, discipline is a gateway to (a conventional cause for a conventional effect:) all human and divine births.