Friday, May 6, 2022

The Ornament of the Light of Awareness - Part I - 219a

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[Pagan Buddha Votive Plaque.
12th century.
Photo via: Jiří Král]

Analysis of "The Ornament of the Light of Awareness (wisdom)
that Enters the Domain of All Buddhas" - 219a
(Jñānālokālaṃkāra / JAA)
– PART I –

Source: https://read.84000.co/translation/toh100.html

("The themes of the JAA are mostly related to the completely purified state,
i.e., a perfect and complete Buddha and his activity.")

[i.e. About the "harmony between Enlightened activity and Emptiness",
between the Two Truths.
All dharmas from both samsara & nirvana – physical / body, conceptual / speech, mental / mind; individual, collective, cosmic; subject / beings, relation / action, object / phenomena, pure or impure; enlightened or not – have the same {inconceivable unique non-dual non-conceptual all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned empty-of-inherent-existence unchanging unceasing pristine equal pure perfect divine free enlightened} true nature & dynamic; and it is the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths free from all extremes & middle [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T]. That is the meaning of "All beings have a Buddha-nature"; all dharmas are the same indivisible unique non-dual non-conceptual pristine Reality. The concept of the Buddha-nature is an antidote for those who are attached to the concept of emptiness; and vice versa. It means that it is not because everything is empty of inherent existence, that one should reject everything and fall into the extremes of nihilism / nothingness / non-activity / mere-emptiness. Emptiness does not deny valid useful conventional words, concepts, ideas, truths, methods, goals, teachings, practices, paths, the Buddhas and their inseparable kayas, qualities and activities. On the contrary the two truths are in perfect harmony. So while most teachings about emptiness insist on the not real existence / functionality aspect of Reality as it is; the teachings about the Buddha-nature insists on the not complete non-existence / non-functionality / uselessness / meaninglessness of Reality as it is. One aspect alone is not enough; Reality as it is is the equality / inseparability / interdependence / harmony / non-duality / Union of those two aspects / truths. So Genuine-Buddha-nature free from all extremes & middle = Genuine-Emptiness free from all extremes & middle = inconceivable Union of the Two Truths free from all extremes & middle = inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now = Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness = the unique principle = the basic element.]

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

[See JAA Part I for the first sections]
[See JAA Part II for the last sections]

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[Note: The two truths are:
T1: conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances, merely labeled / imputed / imagined / created by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma (in cycle), not completely non-existence;
T2: emptiness of inherent existence, not real existence;
U2T: those two truths, like any other pair of apparent opposites, are inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, in 'Union' <==> thus empty of inherent existence.
They are tools to help us to get to the 'inconceivable' by refuting what 'Reality as it is' is not, all extreme views like: existence / dharma, non-existence / non-dharma, both together, neither; difference / manyness / diversity, identity / oneness / sameness, both together, neither; permanence / continuity, impermanence / discontinuity, both together, neither; individual, collective, cosmic, a combination of those, none of those; subject, relation / action / process, object, a combination of those, none of those; etc.

The three spheres: ex.
i. The subject / actor / goer / perceiver / knower / acquirer / owner,
ii. The relation / action / going / perceiving / knowing / acquiring / having
iii. The object / result / destination / perceived / known / acquired / possessions / karma / 5 aggregates / body & speech & mind.

Generalisations:
Whenever it is possible the comments of each section are expressed into a more global context. So they always cover more than just what is said in the various translations. The goal is to make the Big Picture more visible.

Note: All comments within (i.e. …) or [...] are from the commentator (me), not the translators.)




Short Table of content

  • Short Table of Content

  • Detailed Table of Content with Résumés

  • Summary – see: JAA Part I for the first sections

  • Introduction

    • 1. Buddha-nature

    • 2. The question

    • 3. The answer

    • 4. Ratna­gotra­vibhāga

    • 5. Using nine similes

    • 6. Buddha's activity

    • 7. Awakening

    • 8. Influence of the JAA

  • The Translation

    • Homage

    • A Great Assembly

    • QUESTION

    • ANSWER

      • Answer Part I

      • Answer Part II - Nine Similes

        • II-1. The simile of a reflection

        • II-2. The simile of the great Dharma Drum

        • II-3. The simile of a rain cloud

        • II-4. The simile of the god Mahābrahm

        • II.5. The simile of the rays of the sun

        • II-6. The simile of the the wish-fulfilling jewel

        • II-7. The simile of the echo

        • II-8. The simile of the earth as a basis

        • II-9. The simile of space

      • Answer Part III - The Nature of Awakening – see: JAA Part II for the last sections

        • III-1. Awakening – in 23 points.

          • (a) Awakening is the realisation of [Genuine-]emptiness free from all extremes & middle [U2T].

          • (b) Awakening is proper application.

          • (c) Awakening is non-arising.

          • (d) Awakening is the realisation of sameness.

          • (e) Awakening is utter-peace free of all attachments.

          • (f) Awakening is to be at peace, utterly at peace.

          • (g) Awakening is by nature luminous.

          • (h) Awakening is without striving or giving anything up.

          • (i) Awakening is without sign or reference point.

          • (j) Awakening is not past, not future, not present.

          • (k) Awakening is bodiless and unproduced.

          • (l) Awakening is a basis of non-division.

          • (m) Awakening is not realized by the body nor by the minds.

          • (n) Awakening cannot be expressed through any dharma.

          • (o) Awakening means to be ungraspable and to have no abode.

          • (p) Awakening is an appellation for [Genuine-]emptiness free from all extremes & middle [U2T].

          • (q) Awakening is the same as the sky.

          • (r) Awakening is a consistent [unchanging] Basis / Ground.

          • (s) Awakening enters the aspect-less by entering an aspect.

          • (t) Awakening is without outflows and without clinging.

          • (u) Awakening is pure, stainless, and without disturbance.

          • (v) Practices (cause), awakening, sentient beings  and the Tathāgata (effect) are non-dual; the two truths are non-dual.

          • (w) Awakening is not about rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / destroying anything.

        • III-2. Praise to the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is (Tathāgata / U2T) – in 44 points.

        • III-3. Getting approval from the Buddha – in 13 points.

      • IV. Merit

  • Colophon




Detailed table of content with résumés of sections

[See JAA Part I for the first sections]
[See JAA Part II for the last sections]

  • Summary[Question: How could an empty / illusion-like Buddha 'function and help' empty / illusion-like sentient beings using adapted skillful means in an empty / illusion-like world? By acting / teaching without acting / teaching, spontaneously effortlessly uninterruptedly, without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling into any extreme or middle, without accepting / affirming or rejecting / negating anything in absolute terms, in perfect accord with the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now, in accord with the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T]. Why? Because Buddhahood is directly realising that everything, including oneself, is this indivisible Reality as it is / Ground / Basis / Source with its inseparable manifestations. Everything, Reality as it is, is trying to teach us the inconceivable liberating Truth: the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now, the Union of the Two Truth [U2T]. Everything is the true compassionate Buddha, the inseparable three pure kayas [U3K] – with or without awareness / wisdom –.
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    A Buddhas can 'function and help' because 'he / Reality as it is' is not not mere-emptiness / nothingness / complete non-existence.
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    The {inconceivable unique non-dual non-conceptual all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned empty-of-inherent-existence unchanging unceasing pristine equal pure perfect divine free enlightened} true nature & dynamic of all dharmas – physical / body, conceptual / speech, mental / mind; individual, collective, cosmic; subject / mind, relation / action, objects / phenomena; pure, impure; enlightened or not; +, ++, +++ – is pointed by the concept of the Union of the Two Truths free from all expremes & middle [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T]. Everything is appearing [T1] but empty [T2]; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma. 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.': not really existent / caused / functional, not completely non-existent / uncaused / non-functional / uselessness / meaninglessness, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned ordinary mind(s).
    -
    The important point, the reason why we talk about a hidden Buddha-nature (in all sentient beings, in everything -- physical / body, conceptual / speech, mental / mind; individual, collective, cosmic; subject / beings, relation / action, object / phenomena, pure or impure; enlightened or not --) and its inseparable pure kayas, qualities and enlightened activities, is that Buddhahood, the true nature of Reality as it is, is not mere-emptiness / nothingness / non-existence / non-functionality / non-acting / non-perception / non-feeling / non-thinking / non-ideation / non-conceptualisation / non-discrimination / non-differentiation / rejecting-all / uselessness / meaninglessness / total escape from samsara / total extinction. Buddhahood is inconceivable – beyond existence / causality / functionality, beyond non-existence / non-causality / non-functionality, beyond both together, beyond neither –, and comes with its inseparable three kayas [U3K], pure qualities & enlightened activities [U2T]. It is devoid of stains (empty of what is not in accord with Reality as it is), but not devoid of the inseparable three pure kayas, pure qualities, and enlightened activities (not empty of what is in accord with the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now [U2T]). Meaning the two truths are not in real opposition, but more like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, in Union [U2T]. With wisdom things can be directly perceived as primordially timeless / equal / pure / perfect / divine / complete / free / enlightened / the inseparable three pure kayas / the true Buddha …, and there is a way to act without acting more and more in accord with the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now [U2T], thus acting more and more efficiently, and accumulating more and more merit & wisdom together. The Buddha-dharma is not about accepting / affirming / seeking / adding / doing / perceiving / knowing anything in absolute terms, not about rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / not-doing / not-perceiving / not-knowing something else in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. It is not about changing / improving / purifying something; or going somewhere else. It is about spontaneously personally non-dualistically non-conceptually directly perceiving / realising / experiencing here & now the inconceivable true nature of all dharma as it is here & now [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T] – ex. the three spheres, the three vajras, apparent opposites, the two truths –. That direct wisdom is what purifies without purifying everything and nothing.]

  • Introduction

    • [1. Buddha-nature: It is about the wisdom of directly perceiving / realising / experiencing the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now as pointed out by concepts like: the Buddha-nature, in everybody & everything, with its inseparable three pure kayas, qualities and activities, the Union of the Two Truths [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T], the primordial spontaneity, equality, purity, perfection, divinity, completeness, freedom, enlightenment … of everybody & everything – of all dharmas: physical / body, conceptual / speech, mental / mind; individual, collective, cosmic; subject / beings, relation / action, object / phenomena, pure or impure; enlightened or not –. And about spontaneously compassionately acting more and more accord with it. In opposition to doing nothing because of having fallen into the extreme of mere-emptiness / nothingness / no-thought / no-concept / no-idea / no-action / no-path / nihilism.]

    • [2. The question: What is the meaning of non-arising / unborn / uncaused, non-existent / non-functional, and non-cessation / unceasing? To what does it apply? What is the relation between this and the two truths: dependent origination and emptiness of inherent existence?]

    • [3. The answer: The Tathāgata / true Buddha is the {inconceivable unique non-dual non-conceptual all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned empty-of-inherent-existence unchanging unceasing pristine equal pure perfect divine free enlightened} Ground / Basis / Source / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Suchness / True nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now / Union of the Two Truths free from all extremes & middle [U2T] … and its inseparable spontaneous natural unborn unconditioned empty-of-inherent-existence unchanging unceasing free pristine manifestations [UGM]. It is a ground / basis / source… without being a real ground / basis / source… With awakening / enlightenment, everything is directly perceived / experienced as the inseparable three pure kayas of the Buddha: pure body, speech and mind; pure subjects / minds, relations / actions, objects / environments / worlds. What makes them 'pure' is the direct wisdom of being fully aware of their inconceivable true nature & dynamic as it is here & now [U2T / U3S / Uopp / U2T-2T]; they are 'pure' because there is nothing to accept, nothing to reject in absolute terms.]

    • [4. Ratna­gotra­vibhāga: There is a close relationship between the JAA and the Ratna­gotra­vibhāga – about the Buddha-nature in everybody & everything, with its inseparable three pure kayas, its pure primordial qualities and its enlightened activities. The themes of the JAA are mostly related to the completely purified state (+++), i.e., a perfect and complete Buddha and his activity. "Thus the Ratna­gotra­vibhāga provides some keys for understanding the sūtra according to a number of topical subdivisions and an overall rationale behind its structure."]

    • [5. Using nine similes to describe without describing the inconceivable Tathāgata / Ground / Suchness / U2T; 'It is like a reflection, the Dharma drum, a rain cloud, the god Mahābrahmā, the rays of the sun, the wish-fulfilling jewel, an echo, the earth as a basis, and space.']

    • [6. *** Buddha's activity ***: A Buddha spontaneously acts without acting, without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling into any extreme & middle, without accepting / affirming or rejecting / negating anything in absolute terms; acting in perfect accord with the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now; acting in perfect accord with the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T].
      "So although he is free from delusion in the form of conventions [T2],
      he still appears to engage with conventions in order to benefit others [T1] [U2T]."
      "A buddha is free from mental constructs and intentional mental elaborations [T2],
      yet his teachings are attuned to each and every mindset [T1] [U2T]."
      Although everything is empty of inherent existence [T2],
      there are still conventional / relative valid useful meaningful words, concepts,
      truths, methods, goals, teachings, paths, activities … [T1] [U2T].
      The two truths are not in real opposition, but are more like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, codependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, in Union … One truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].
      -
      The important point, the reason why we talk about a hidden Buddha-nature (in all sentient beings, in everything -- physical / body, conceptual / speech, mental / mind; individual, collective, cosmic; subject / beings, relation / action, object / phenomena, pure or impure; enlightened or not --) and its inseparable pure kayas, qualities and enlightened activities, is that Buddhahood, the true nature of Reality as it is, is not mere-emptiness / nothingness / non-existence / non-functionality / non-acting / non-perception / non-feeling / non-thinking / non-ideation / non-conceptualisation / non-discrimination / non-differentiation / rejecting-all / uselessness / meaninglessness / total escape from samsara / total extinction. Buddhahood is inconceivable – beyond existence / causality / functionality, beyond non-existence / non-causality / non-functionality, beyond both together, beyond neither –, and comes with its inseparable three kayas [U3K], pure qualities & enlightened activities [U2T]. It is devoid of stains (empty of what is not in accord with Reality as it is), but not devoid of the inseparable three pure kayas, pure qualities, and enlightened activities (not empty of what is in accord with the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now [U2T]). Meaning the two truths are not in real opposition, but more like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, in Union [U2T]. With wisdom things can be directly perceived as primordially timeless / equal / pure / perfect / divine / complete / free / enlightened / the inseparable three pure kayas / the true Buddha …, and there is a way to act without acting more and more in accord with the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now [U2T], thus acting more and more efficiently, and accumulating more and more merit & wisdom together. The Buddha-dharma is not about accepting / affirming / seeking / adding / doing / perceiving / knowing anything in absolute terms, not about rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / not-doing / not-perceiving / not-knowing something else in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. It is not about changing / improving / purifying something; or going somewhere else. It is about spontaneously personally non-dualistically non-conceptually directly perceiving / realising / experiencing here & now the inconceivable true nature of all dharma as it is here & now [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T] – ex. the three spheres, the three vajras, apparent opposites, the two truths –. That direct wisdom is what purifies without purifying everything and nothing.]

    • [7. Awakening: Explanation of the nature of Awakening – in 23 points]

    • [8. Influence of the JAA]

[THE TRANSLATION:]

  • [Homage]

  • [A Great Assembly]

  • [QUESTION: Requesting a teaching about non-arising, non-existence and non-cessation, about the Union of the Two Truths [U2T] about the three stages of becoming: origination / beginning / birth / coming, duration / middle / existence / change / staying, cessation / ending / death / going / extinction. Note: In Reality as it is, everything is not really arising / existing / ceasing, not completely non-arising / non-existent / non-ceasing, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning this is indescribable / inconceivable. So we say that everything is 'unborn, non-existent, undying' as a temporary imperfect adapted skillful means / antidote to our usual positions, until we can directly perceive / realise / experience the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T]. Meanwhile we should not grasp at, get attached to, those antidotes, otherwise they turn into poisons. This applies to the Buddha and all things / phenomena; to the Ground and its inseparable manifestations [UGM].]

  • [ANSWER: What is unborn, non-existent and unceasing? The Tathāgata / true Buddha is the {inconceivable unique non-dual non-conceptual all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned empty-of-inherent-existence unchanging unceasing pristine equal pure perfect divine free enlightened} Ground / Basis / Source / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Suchness / True nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now / Union of the Two Truths free from all extremes & middle [U2T] … with its inseparable spontaneous natural unborn unconditioned empty-of-inherent-existence unchanging unceasing free pristine manifestations [UGM]. They are conventionally / relatively arising / born, existing and ceasing / dying [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S], but ultimately unarisen / unborn, empty of inherent existence, unceasing / undying [T2] [U2T]. — With awakening / enlightenment, everything is directly perceived / experienced as the inseparable three pure kayas of the Buddha: pure body, speech and mind; pure subjects / minds, relations / actions, objects / environments / worlds. What makes them 'pure' is the direct wisdom of being fully aware of their inconceivable true nature & dynamic as it is here & now [U2T / U3S / Uopp / U2T-2T]; they are 'pure' because there is nothing to accept, nothing to reject in absolute terms.]

    • [ANSWER PART I:]
      [I. "When the Tathāgata teaches about 'non-arising [, non-existence] and non-cessation,' this expression actually refers to the {inconceivable unique non-dual non-conceptual all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned empty-of-inherent-existence unchanging unceasing pristine equal pure perfect divine free enlightened} Tathāgata / Ground / Basis / Source / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Suchness / True nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] and its inseparable spontaneous natural pristine manifestations (all dharmas / fabrications / appearances – physical / body, conceptual / speech, mental / mind; individual, collective, cosmic; subject / beings, relation / action, object / phenomena, pure or impure; enlightened or not).]

    • [ANSWER PART II:]
      [II. Nine similes demonstrating the meaning of unarisen and unceasing. Nine similes for the {inconceivable unique non-dual non-conceptual all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned empty-of-inherent-existence unchanging unceasing pristine equal pure perfect divine free enlightened} Tathāgata / Ground / Basis / Source / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Suchness / True nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] and its inseparable spontaneous natural pristine manifestations (all dharmas / fabrications / appearances – physical / body, conceptual / speech, mental / mind; individual, collective, cosmic; subject / beings, relation / action, object / phenomena, pure or impure; enlightened or not). — "The nine examples explain what it means for the Tathāgata to be non-arising and non-cessation" [U2T].]

      • [II-1. The simile of a reflection Although Buddhahood is just like a dream / magical illusion / trick of the sight / mirage / reflection / echo / City of Gandharvas / emanated apparition, non-existent [T2], non-arisen, and non-ceased, does not move, does not think, elaborate, construct, conceptualize, not a construct, not a concept, inconceivable, not a mental placement, peaceful and cool, not seen, not heard, not smelt, not tasted, not touched, not a sign, not a cognition, and not something that can be made known — In short Buddhahood (or Reality as it is) is indescribable / inconceivable (tetralemma: it is not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth, for whatever 'this' is), free from all extremes & middle, free from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, free from all defining limitations, free from all conditioning / karma, free from any origination & duration & change & cessation, free from all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / differentiation, causality / production / action / laws, form / matter-energy, space & time — nevertheless, sentient beings perceive the voice of Dharma (the voice of Reality as it is) due to the maturation of previous karma, according to their individual aspirations and interests, and designate the compassionate Tathāgata accordingly. [T1] [U2T] The Tathāgata (Reality as it is) is still perceived / heard according to one's conditioning / karma or accumulated merit & wisdom; sentient beings still have faith in him, are still inspired by him; he still possesses three inseparable kayas, pure qualities and perform enlightened activities; he is still useful / meaningful / not completely uncaused / not completely non-existent / not completely non-functional … Conclusion: the three Jewels – Buddha, Dharma, Sangha – are NOT about mere-emptiness / nothingness / non-existence / non-functionality / non-acting / non-perception / non-feeling / non-thinking / non-ideation / non-conceptualisation / non-discrimination / non-differentiation / rejecting-all / uselessness / meaninglessness / total escape from samsara / total extinction.
        Although a Buddha is empty of inherent existence [T2], he still possesses three inseparable pure kayas, pure qualities and enlightened activities [T1] [U2T]. He is not arising / existing / real / acting / changing / ceasing, not completely non-arising / non-existing / unreal / non-acting / non-changing / non-ceasing, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning he is indescribable / inconceivable. So we say that everything is 'unarisen, unborn, uncaused, non-existent, unreal, unchanging, non-acting, non-thinking, non-moving, unceasing' as a temporary imperfect adapted skillful means / antidote to our usual positions, until we can directly perceive / realise / experience the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T]. Meanwhile we should not grasp at, get attached to, those antidotes, otherwise they turn into poisons. This applies to the Buddha and all things / phenomena; to the Ground and its inseparable natural spontaneous manifestations [UGM].
        All dharmas are like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions: 'There, but not there.': not really existent / caused / functional / perceptible / acting, not completely non-existent / uncaused / non-functional / imperceptible / non-acting / uselessness / meaninglessness, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned ordinary mind(s).
        All dharmas are appearing [T1] but empty [T2]; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].
        "Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata [Reality as it is] is in the realm of non-arising [not inherently existing]. [T2]
        On the other hand, he appears in the world as a reflected image [T1] [U2T]."
        Add to this that the true Buddha is the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T].
        Because of our ignorance, we perceive Reality as it is, not objectively (that is impossible) or directly (too much noise), but indirectly dualistically conceptually according to our conditioning / karma [U3S].]

      • [II-2. The simile of the great Dharma Drum Although Buddhahood is just like a great Dharma drum, invisible, not to be beheld, bodiless, not true, not real, with no mind, without intention, sign-less, formless, voiceless, non-dual, non-existent, and out of sight [T2] — In short Buddhahood (or Reality as it is) is indescribable / inconceivable (tetralemma: it is not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth, for whatever 'this' is), free from all extremes & middle, free from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, free from all defining limitations, free from all conditioning / karma, free from any origination & duration & change & cessation, free from all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / differentiation, causality / production / action / laws, form / matter-energy, space & time — nevertheless, sentient beings perceive the voice of Dharma (the voice of Reality as it is) due to the maturation of previous karma, according to their individual aspirations and interests, and designate the compassionate Tathāgata accordingly. [T1] [U2T] The Tathāgata (Reality as it is) is still perceived / heard according to one's conditioning / karma or accumulated merit & wisdom; sentient beings still have faith in him, are still inspired by him; he still possesses three inseparable kayas, pure qualities and perform enlightened activities; he is still useful / meaningful / not completely uncaused / not completely non-existent / not completely non-functional … Conclusion: the three Jewels – Buddha, Dharma, Sangha – are NOT about mere-emptiness / nothingness / non-existence / non-functionality / non-acting / non-perception / non-feeling / non-thinking / non-ideation / non-conceptualisation / non-discrimination / non-differentiation / rejecting-all / uselessness / meaninglessness / total escape from samsara / total extinction.
        Although a Buddha is empty of inherent existence [T2], he still possesses three inseparable pure kayas, pure qualities and enlightened activities (like teaching the Dharma) [T1] [U2T]. He is not arising / existing / real / acting / changing / ceasing, not completely non-arising / non-existing / unreal / non-acting / non-changing / non-ceasing, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning he is indescribable / inconceivable. So we say that everything is 'unarisen, unborn, uncaused, non-existent, unreal, unchanging, non-acting, non-thinking, non-moving, unceasing' as a temporary imperfect adapted skillful means / antidote to our usual positions, until we can directly perceive / realise / experience the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T]. Meanwhile we should not grasp at, get attached to, those antidotes, otherwise they turn into poisons. This applies to the Buddha and all things / phenomena; to the Ground and its inseparable natural spontaneous manifestations [UGM].
        All dharmas are like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions: 'There, but not there.': not really existent / caused / functional / perceptible / acting, not completely non-existent / uncaused / non-functional / imperceptible / non-acting / uselessness / meaninglessness, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned ordinary mind(s).
        All dharmas are appearing [T1] but empty [T2]; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].
        "Mañjuśrī, there is no Tathāgata [to grasp as inherently existing, independently, absolutely] [T2].
        However, the designation 'Tathāgata' comes about in the world because of the voice of Dharma [T1] [U2T]."
        Add to this that the true Buddha is the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T].
        Because of our ignorance, we perceive Reality as it is, not objectively (that is impossible) or directly (too much noise), but indirectly dualistically conceptually according to our conditioning / karma [U3S].]

      • [II-3. The simile of a rain cloud Although Buddhahood is just like a rain cloud, not arisen, not really existent / unreal [T2], not ceasing, just a designation, merely labeled / imputed by the mind [T1] — In short Buddhahood (or Reality as it is) is indescribable / inconceivable (tetralemma: it is not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth, for whatever 'this' is), free from all extremes & middle, free from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, free from all defining limitations, free from all conditioning / karma, free from any origination & duration & change & cessation, free from all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / differentiation, causality / production / action / laws, form / matter-energy, space & time — nevertheless, sentient beings perceive the voice of Dharma (the voice of Reality as it is) due to the maturation of previous karma, according to their individual aspirations and interests, and designate the compassionate Tathāgata accordingly. [T1] [U2T] The Tathāgata (Reality as it is) is still perceived / heard according to one's conditioning / karma or accumulated merit & wisdom; sentient beings still have faith in him, are still inspired by him; he still possesses three inseparable kayas, pure qualities and perform enlightened activities; he is still useful / meaningful / not completely uncaused / not completely non-existent / not completely non-functional … Conclusion: the three Jewels – Buddha, Dharma, Sangha – are NOT about mere-emptiness / nothingness / non-existence / non-functionality / non-acting / non-perception / non-feeling / non-thinking / non-ideation / non-conceptualisation / non-discrimination / non-differentiation / rejecting-all / uselessness / meaninglessness / total escape from samsara / total extinction.
        Although a Buddha is empty of inherent existence [T2], he still possesses three inseparable pure kayas, pure qualities and enlightened activities (like teaching the Dharma) [T1] [U2T]. He is not arising / existing / real / acting / changing / ceasing, not completely non-arising / non-existing / unreal / non-acting / non-changing / non-ceasing, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning he is indescribable / inconceivable. So we say that everything is 'unarisen, unborn, uncaused, non-existent, unreal, unchanging, non-acting, non-thinking, non-moving, unceasing' as a temporary imperfect adapted skillful means / antidote to our usual positions, until we can directly perceive / realise / experience the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T]. Meanwhile we should not grasp at, get attached to, those antidotes, otherwise they turn into poisons. This applies to the Buddha and all things / phenomena; to the Ground and its inseparable natural spontaneous manifestations [UGM].
        All dharmas are like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions: 'There, but not there.': not really existent / caused / functional / perceptible / acting, not completely non-existent / uncaused / non-functional / imperceptible / non-acting / uselessness / meaninglessness, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned ordinary mind(s).
        All dharmas are appearing [T1] but empty [T2]; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].
        "Mañjuśrī, this word appears among gods and men: Tathāgata [T1].
        However, Mañjuśrī, there is no Tathāgata to be found [T2] [U2T]."
        "Mañjuśrī, when the teaching of the Dharma is taken as a point of reference [T1]
        for an unreal tathāgata who has not arisen nor ceased, and who is non-existent and primordially unborn, [T2]
        the designation 'the Tathāgata, the Arhat, the Perfect and Complete Buddha' becomes established in the world [T1] [U2T]."
        Add to this that the true Buddha is the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T].
        Because of our ignorance, we perceive Reality as it is, not objectively (that is impossible) or directly (too much noise), but indirectly dualistically conceptually according to our conditioning / karma [U3S].]

      • [II-4. The simile of the god Mahābrahm Although Buddhahood is just like a dream / magical illusion / trick of the sight / mirage / reflection / echo / City of Gandharvas / emanated apparition, empty [T2], dependent [T1] [U2T], unreal, without syllables, without voice, without place, not an existent thing, inconceivable, without signs, and free from mentality, mind, and consciousness, non-arisen, non-existent and unceasing [T2] — In short Buddhahood (or Reality as it is) is indescribable / inconceivable (tetralemma: it is not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth, for whatever 'this' is), free from all extremes & middle, free from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, free from all defining limitations, free from all conditioning / karma, free from any origination & duration & change & cessation, free from all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / differentiation, causality / production / action / laws, form / matter-energy, space & time — nevertheless, sentient beings perceive the voice of Dharma (the voice of Reality as it is) due to the maturation of previous karma, according to their individual aspirations and interests, and designate the compassionate Tathāgata accordingly. [T1] [U2T] The Tathāgata (Reality as it is) is still perceived / heard according to one's conditioning / karma or accumulated merit & wisdom; sentient beings still have faith in him, are still inspired by him; he still possesses three inseparable kayas, pure qualities and perform enlightened activities; he is still useful / meaningful / not completely uncaused / not completely non-existent / not completely non-functional … Conclusion: the three Jewels – Buddha, Dharma, Sangha – are NOT about mere-emptiness / nothingness / non-existence / non-functionality / non-acting / non-perception / non-feeling / non-thinking / non-ideation / non-conceptualisation / non-discrimination / non-differentiation / rejecting-all / uselessness / meaninglessness / total escape from samsara / total extinction.
        Although a Buddha is empty of inherent existence [T2], he still possesses three inseparable pure kayas, pure qualities and enlightened activities [T1] [U2T]. He is not arising / existing / real / acting / changing / ceasing, not completely non-arising / non-existing / unreal / non-acting / non-changing / non-ceasing, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning he is indescribable / inconceivable. So we say that everything is 'unarisen, unborn, uncaused, non-existent, unreal, unchanging, non-acting, non-thinking, non-moving, unceasing' as a temporary imperfect adapted skillful means / antidote to our usual positions, until we can directly perceive / realise / experience the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T]. Meanwhile we should not grasp at, get attached to, those antidotes, otherwise they turn into poisons. This applies to the Buddha and all things / phenomena; to the Ground and its inseparable natural spontaneous manifestations [UGM].
        All dharmas are like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions: 'There, but not there.': not really existent / caused / functional / perceptible / acting, not completely non-existent / uncaused / non-functional / imperceptible / non-acting / uselessness / meaninglessness, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned ordinary mind(s).
        All dharmas are appearing [T1] but empty [T2]; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].
        "Mañjuśrī, through this explanation you should understand that 'non-arising and non-cessation'
        is an appellation of the Tathāgata [Reality as it is]."
        "The Tathāgata is a reflected image
        Of the wholesome Dharma without.
        Yet here there is no tathatā and no Tathāgata, [T2]
        While an image is seen in the entire world." [T1] [U2T]
        Add to this that the true Buddha is the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T].
        Because of our ignorance, we perceive Reality as it is, not objectively (that is impossible) or directly (too much noise), but indirectly dualistically conceptually according to our conditioning / karma [U3S].]

      • [II.5. The simile of the rays of the sun Although Buddhahood is just like the rays of the sun, everywhere the same, neutral, without concepts, and does not make any distinctions, beyond all constructs, concepts, and elaborations [T2] — In short Buddhahood (or Reality as it is) is indescribable / inconceivable (tetralemma: it is not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth, for whatever 'this' is), free from all extremes & middle, free from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, free from all defining limitations, free from all conditioning / karma, free from any origination & duration & change & cessation, free from all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / differentiation, causality / production / action / laws, form / matter-energy, space & time — nevertheless, sentient beings perceive the voice of Dharma (the voice of Reality as it is) due to the maturation of previous karma, according to their individual aspirations and interests, and designate the compassionate Tathāgata accordingly. [T1] [U2T] The Tathāgata (Reality as it is) is still perceived / heard according to one's conditioning / karma or accumulated merit & wisdom; sentient beings still have faith in him, are still inspired by him; he still possesses three inseparable kayas, pure qualities and perform enlightened activities; he is still useful / meaningful / not completely uncaused / not completely non-existent / not completely non-functional … Conclusion: the three Jewels – Buddha, Dharma, Sangha – are NOT about mere-emptiness / nothingness / non-existence / non-functionality / non-acting / non-perception / non-feeling / non-thinking / non-ideation / non-conceptualisation / non-discrimination / non-differentiation / rejecting-all / uselessness / meaninglessness / total escape from samsara / total extinction.
        Although a Buddha is empty of inherent existence [T2], he still possesses three inseparable pure kayas, pure qualities and enlightened activities [T1] [U2T]. He is not arising / existing / real / acting / changing / ceasing, not completely non-arising / non-existing / unreal / non-acting / non-changing / non-ceasing, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning he is indescribable / inconceivable. So we say that everything is 'unarisen, unborn, uncaused, non-existent, unreal, unchanging, non-acting, non-thinking, non-moving, unceasing' as a temporary imperfect adapted skillful means / antidote to our usual positions, until we can directly perceive / realise / experience the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T]. Meanwhile we should not grasp at, get attached to, those antidotes, otherwise they turn into poisons. This applies to the Buddha and all things / phenomena; to the Ground and its inseparable natural spontaneous manifestations [UGM].
        All dharmas are like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions: 'There, but not there.': not really existent / caused / functional / perceptible / acting, not completely non-existent / uncaused / non-functional / imperceptible / non-acting / uselessness / meaninglessness, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned ordinary mind(s).
        All dharmas are appearing [T1] but empty [T2]; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].
        Add to this that the true Buddha is the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T].
        Because of our ignorance, we perceive Reality as it is, not objectively (that is impossible) or directly (too much noise), but indirectly dualistically conceptually according to our conditioning / karma [U3S].]

      • [II-6. The simile of the the wish-fulfilling jewel Although Buddhahood is just like the wish-fulfilling jewel, inconceivable, free from what can be conceived, free from mind, mentality, and consciousness, non-grasping, the act of not holding on, not obtained, not obtainable, has eliminated arbitrary truths as well as attachment, aversion, and delusion, neither true nor false, neither permanent nor impermanent, neither shining nor not shining, neither worldly nor non-worldly, without deliberation or analysis, non-arisen and unceasing, inconceivable, imponderable, essence-less, not possibly an essence, empty of non-existence, free from striving or giving anything up, cannot be clung to, not a conventional expression, the cutting off of conventional expressions, not bliss,free from bliss, the destruction of bliss, cannot be counted, free from counting, not movement, has reached non-movement, has cut off [is beyond] all movement, has cut off [is beyond] all conventional expressions, cannot be seen or beholden, ungraspable, not space, not lack of space, not visible, not to be described, not an assemblage, not a non-assemblage, neither mentally constructed nor not mentally constructed, not established, shown, afflicted, or purified, not name, not form, not sign, not karma, not the maturation of karma, not past, not future, not present, nothing whatsoever, without impurity, without syllables, without voice, beyond a voice, not speech, not a characteristic, he is free from all characteristics, not perceived inside, outside, or in between – In short Buddhahood (or Reality as it is) is indescribable / inconceivable (tetralemma: it is not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth, for whatever 'this' is), free from all extremes & middle, free from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, free from all defining limitations, free from all conditioning / karma, free from any origination & duration & change & cessation, free from all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / differentiation, causality / production / action / laws, form / matter-energy, space & time — nevertheless, sentient beings perceive the voice of Dharma (the voice of Reality as it is) due to the maturation of previous karma, according to their individual aspirations and interests, and designate the compassionate Tathāgata accordingly. [T1] [U2T] The Tathāgata (Reality as it is) is still perceived / heard according to one's conditioning / karma or accumulated merit & wisdom; sentient beings still have faith in him, are still inspired by him; he still possesses three inseparable kayas, pure qualities and perform enlightened activities; he is still useful / meaningful / not completely uncaused / not completely non-existent / not completely non-functional … Conclusion: the three Jewels – Buddha, Dharma, Sangha – are NOT about mere-emptiness / nothingness / non-existence / non-functionality / non-acting / non-perception / non-feeling / non-thinking / non-ideation / non-conceptualisation / non-discrimination / non-differentiation / rejecting-all / uselessness / meaninglessness / total escape from samsara / total extinction.
        Although a Buddha is empty of inherent existence [T2], he still possesses three inseparable pure kayas, pure qualities and enlightened activities [T1] [U2T]. He is not arising / existing / real / acting / changing / ceasing, not completely non-arising / non-existing / unreal / non-acting / non-changing / non-ceasing, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning he is indescribable / inconceivable. So we say that everything is 'unarisen, unborn, uncaused, non-existent, unreal, unchanging, non-acting, non-thinking, non-moving, unceasing' as a temporary imperfect adapted skillful means / antidote to our usual positions, until we can directly perceive / realise / experience the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T]. Meanwhile we should not grasp at, get attached to, those antidotes, otherwise they turn into poisons. This applies to the Buddha and all things / phenomena; to the Ground and its inseparable natural spontaneous manifestations [UGM].
        All dharmas are like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions: 'There, but not there.': not really existent / caused / functional / perceptible / acting, not completely non-existent / uncaused / non-functional / imperceptible / non-acting / uselessness / meaninglessness, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned ordinary mind(s).
        All dharmas are appearing [T1] but empty [T2]; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].
        "Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata is the same, neutral, without concepts, and does not make any distinctions."
        Add to this that the true Buddha is the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T].
        Because of our ignorance, we perceive Reality as it is, not objectively (that is impossible) or directly (too much noise), but indirectly dualistically conceptually according to our conditioning / karma [U3S].]

      • [II-7. The simile of the echo Although Buddhahood is just like a dream / magical illusion / trick of the sight / mirage / reflection / echo / City of Gandharvas / emanated apparition, not past, future, or present, not perceived inside, outside, or in between, non-arisen & not non-arisen…, not existent & not non-existent…, not empty & not non-empty…, not ceasing & not unceasing…, not accepted & not rejected…, not permanent & not impermanent…, not endowed with awareness & not without awareness…, not wisdom & not non-wisdom…, not knowledge and not ignorance…, not liberation & bondage…, not blameworthy & not free from blame…, not recollection & not non-recollection…, not placed & not unplaced…, not sitting & not non-sitting…, not the earth element, not the water element, not the fire element, and not the wind element…, not co-produced & not unproduced…, not free from elaboration & not with elaboration…, not speech & not non-speech…, not visible & not invisible…; without syllables, free from non-syllables, without voice, beyond voice, without comparison, beyond comparison, not a characteristic, free from characteristics; neither peace nor not peace, neither long nor short, neither sentient nor insentient, and neither mental nor not mental; neither to be beheld, nor not to be beheld; empty of the nature of seeing, non-recollection, non-mental-placement, not deliberation, not analysis, free from mind, mentality, and consciousness, the same, neutral, without concepts, does not make any distinction, beyond the three time — In short Buddhahood (or Reality as it is) is indescribable / inconceivable (tetralemma: it is not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth, for whatever 'this' is), free from all extremes & middle, free from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, free from all defining limitations, free from all conditioning / karma, free from any origination & duration & change & cessation, free from all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / differentiation, causality / production / action / laws, form / matter-energy, space & time — nevertheless, sentient beings perceive the voice of Dharma (the voice of Reality as it is) due to the maturation of previous karma, according to their individual aspirations and interests, and designate the compassionate Tathāgata accordingly. [T1] [U2T] The Tathāgata (Reality as it is) is still perceived / heard according to one's conditioning / karma or accumulated merit & wisdom; sentient beings still have faith in him, are still inspired by him; he still possesses three inseparable kayas, pure qualities and perform enlightened activities; he is still useful / meaningful / not completely uncaused / not completely non-existent / not completely non-functional … Conclusion: the three Jewels – Buddha, Dharma, Sangha – are NOT about mere-emptiness / nothingness / non-existence / non-functionality / non-acting / non-perception / non-feeling / non-thinking / non-ideation / non-conceptualisation / non-discrimination / non-differentiation / rejecting-all / uselessness / meaninglessness / total escape from samsara / total extinction.
        Although a Buddha is empty of inherent existence [T2], he still possesses three inseparable pure kayas, pure qualities and enlightened activities [T1] [U2T]. He is not arising / existing / real / acting / changing / ceasing, not completely non-arising / non-existing / unreal / non-acting / non-changing / non-ceasing, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning he is indescribable / inconceivable. So we say that everything is 'unarisen, unborn, uncaused, non-existent, unreal, unchanging, non-acting, non-thinking, non-moving, unceasing' as a temporary imperfect adapted skillful means / antidote to our usual positions, until we can directly perceive / realise / experience the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T]. Meanwhile we should not grasp at, get attached to, those antidotes, otherwise they turn into poisons. This applies to the Buddha and all things / phenomena; to the Ground and its inseparable natural spontaneous manifestations [UGM].
        All dharmas are like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions: 'There, but not there.': not really existent / caused / functional / perceptible / acting, not completely non-existent / uncaused / non-functional / imperceptible / non-acting / uselessness / meaninglessness, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned ordinary mind(s).
        All dharmas are appearing [T1] but empty [T2]; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].
        "Yet, Mañjuśrī, sentient beings with varied beliefs perceive the speech of the Tathāgata,
        issuing forth in accordance with their manifold inclinations [T1]."
        Add to this that the true Buddha is the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T].
        Because of our ignorance, we perceive Reality as it is, not objectively (that is impossible) or directly (too much noise), but indirectly dualistically conceptually according to our conditioning / karma [U3S].]

      • [II-8. The simile of the earth as a basis Although Buddhahood is just like the earth as a basis & support, does not form mental constructs or concepts, beyond all mental constructs, concepts, points of reference, and mental engagement, free from mind, mentality, and consciousness, neither speculation nor the domain of speculation, invisible, not to be beheld, not an object of thought or deliberation, without mental engagement, free from thought, free from mind, mentality, and consciousness, with respect to all, he is the same, neutral, without concepts, and he does not make any distinctions — In short Buddhahood (or Reality as it is) is indescribable / inconceivable (tetralemma: it is not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth, for whatever 'this' is), free from all extremes & middle, free from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, free from all defining limitations, free from all conditioning / karma, free from any origination & duration & change & cessation, free from all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / differentiation, causality / production / action / laws, form / matter-energy, space & time — nevertheless, sentient beings perceive the voice of Dharma (the voice of Reality as it is) due to the maturation of previous karma, according to their individual aspirations and interests, and designate the compassionate Tathāgata accordingly. [T1] [U2T] The Tathāgata (Reality as it is) is still perceived / heard according to one's conditioning / karma or accumulated merit & wisdom; sentient beings still have faith in him, are still inspired by him; he still possesses three inseparable kayas, pure qualities and perform enlightened activities; he is still useful / meaningful / not completely uncaused / not completely non-existent / not completely non-functional … Conclusion: the three Jewels – Buddha, Dharma, Sangha – are NOT about mere-emptiness / nothingness / non-existence / non-functionality / non-acting / non-perception / non-feeling / non-thinking / non-ideation / non-conceptualisation / non-discrimination / non-differentiation / rejecting-all / uselessness / meaninglessness / total escape from samsara / total extinction.
        Although a Buddha is empty of inherent existence [T2], he still possesses three inseparable pure kayas, pure qualities and enlightened activities [T1] [U2T]. He is not arising / existing / real / acting / changing / ceasing, not completely non-arising / non-existing / unreal / non-acting / non-changing / non-ceasing, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning he is indescribable / inconceivable. So we say that everything is 'unarisen, unborn, uncaused, non-existent, unreal, unchanging, non-acting, non-thinking, non-moving, unceasing' as a temporary imperfect adapted skillful means / antidote to our usual positions, until we can directly perceive / realise / experience the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T]. Meanwhile we should not grasp at, get attached to, those antidotes, otherwise they turn into poisons. This applies to the Buddha and all things / phenomena; to the Ground and its inseparable natural spontaneous manifestations [UGM].
        All dharmas are like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions: 'There, but not there.': not really existent / caused / functional / perceptible / acting, not completely non-existent / uncaused / non-functional / imperceptible / non-acting / uselessness / meaninglessness, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned ordinary mind(s).
        All dharmas are appearing [T1] but empty [T2]; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].
        Add to this that the true Buddha is the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T].
        Because of our ignorance, we perceive Reality as it is, not objectively (that is impossible) or directly (too much noise), but indirectly dualistically conceptually according to our conditioning / karma [U3S].]

      • [II-9. The simile of space Although Buddhahood is just like space, everywhere the same, free from concepts and distinctions, non-arisen, non-existent and unceasing, not past, future, or present, indefinable, non-elaborate, formless, cannot be shown or made known, without contact, without dwelling, not comparable, beyond compare, no simile and is beyond all similes, has no basis, ungraspable, beyond visible range, free from mind, mentality, and consciousness, has no characteristic, without syllables, voice, and mental engagement, has no striving or giving up; no removal, no addition, beyond the realm of words, reaches and enters everywhere — In short Buddhahood (or Reality as it is) is indescribable / inconceivable (tetralemma: it is not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth, for whatever 'this' is), free from all extremes & middle, free from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, free from all defining limitations, free from all conditioning / karma, free from any origination & duration & change & cessation, free from all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / differentiation, causality / production / action / laws, form / matter-energy, space & time — nevertheless, sentient beings perceive the voice of Dharma (the voice of Reality as it is) due to the maturation of previous karma, according to their individual aspirations and interests, and designate the compassionate Tathāgata accordingly. [T1] [U2T] The Tathāgata (Reality as it is) is still perceived / heard according to one's conditioning / karma or accumulated merit & wisdom; sentient beings still have faith in him, are still inspired by him; he still possesses three inseparable kayas, pure qualities and perform enlightened activities; he is still useful / meaningful / not completely uncaused / not completely non-existent / not completely non-functional … Conclusion: the three Jewels – Buddha, Dharma, Sangha – are NOT about mere-emptiness / nothingness / non-existence / non-functionality / non-acting / non-perception / non-feeling / non-thinking / non-ideation / non-conceptualisation / non-discrimination / non-differentiation / rejecting-all / uselessness / meaninglessness / total escape from samsara / total extinction.
        Although a Buddha is empty of inherent existence [T2], he still possesses three inseparable pure kayas, pure qualities and enlightened activities [T1] [U2T]. He is not arising / existing / real / acting / changing / ceasing, not completely non-arising / non-existing / unreal / non-acting / non-changing / non-ceasing, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning he is indescribable / inconceivable. So we say that everything is 'unarisen, unborn, uncaused, non-existent, unreal, unchanging, non-acting, non-thinking, non-moving, unceasing' as a temporary imperfect adapted skillful means / antidote to our usual positions, until we can directly perceive / realise / experience the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T]. Meanwhile we should not grasp at, get attached to, those antidotes, otherwise they turn into poisons. This applies to the Buddha and all things / phenomena; to the Ground and its inseparable natural spontaneous manifestations [UGM].
        All dharmas are like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions: 'There, but not there.': not really existent / caused / functional / perceptible / acting, not completely non-existent / uncaused / non-functional / imperceptible / non-acting / uselessness / meaninglessness, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned ordinary mind(s).
        All dharmas are appearing [T1] but empty [T2]; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].
        "Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata is the dharmakāya."
        Add to this that the true Buddha is the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T].
        Because of our ignorance, we perceive Reality as it is, not objectively (that is impossible) or directly (too much noise), but indirectly dualistically conceptually according to our conditioning / karma [U3S].]

  • [ANSWER PART III – see: JAA Part II for the Table of Content and Résumés of the last sections
    [III. The Nature of Awakening

    • [III-1. Awakening. – in 23 points]

    • [III-2. Praise – in 44 points.]

    • [III-3. Getting approval – in 13 points.]

  • [ANSWER PART IV:]
    [IV. Merit]

  • Colophon

[Goto TOC]




Summary

[Question: How could an empty / illusion-like Buddha 'function and help' empty / illusion-like sentient beings using adapted skillful means in an empty / illusion-like world? By acting / teaching without acting / teaching, spontaneously effortlessly uninterruptedly, without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling into any extreme or middle, without accepting / affirming or rejecting / negating anything in absolute terms, in perfect accord with the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now, in accord with the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T]. Why? Because Buddhahood is directly realising that everything, including oneself, is this indivisible Reality as it is / Ground / Basis / Source with its inseparable manifestations. Everything, Reality as it is, is trying to teach us the inconceivable liberating Truth: the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now, the Union of the Two Truth [U2T]. Everything is the true compassionate Buddha, the inseparable three pure kayas [U3K] – with or without awareness / wisdom –.
-
A Buddhas can 'function and help' because 'he / Reality as it is' is not not mere-emptiness / nothingness / complete non-existence.
-
The {inconceivable unique non-dual non-conceptual all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned empty-of-inherent-existence unchanging unceasing pristine equal pure perfect divine free enlightened} true nature & dynamic of all dharmas – physical / body, conceptual / speech, mental / mind; individual, collective, cosmic; subject / mind, relation / action, objects / phenomena; pure, impure; enlightened or not; +, ++, +++ – is pointed by the concept of the Union of the Two Truths free from all expremes & middle [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T]. Everything is appearing [T1] but empty [T2]; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma. 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.': not really existent / caused / functional, not completely non-existent / uncaused / non-functional / uselessness / meaninglessness, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned ordinary mind(s).
-
The important point, the reason why we talk about a hidden Buddha-nature (in all sentient beings, in everything -- physical / body, conceptual / speech, mental / mind; individual, collective, cosmic; subject / beings, relation / action, object / phenomena, pure or impure; enlightened or not --) and its inseparable pure kayas, qualities and enlightened activities, is that Buddhahood, the true nature of Reality as it is, is not mere-emptiness / nothingness / non-existence / non-functionality / non-acting / non-perception / non-feeling / non-thinking / non-ideation / non-conceptualisation / non-discrimination / non-differentiation / rejecting-all / uselessness / meaninglessness / total escape from samsara / total extinction. Buddhahood is inconceivable – beyond existence / causality / functionality, beyond non-existence / non-causality / non-functionality, beyond both together, beyond neither –, and comes with its inseparable three kayas [U3K], pure qualities & enlightened activities [U2T]. It is devoid of stains (empty of what is not in accord with Reality as it is), but not devoid of the inseparable three pure kayas, pure qualities, and enlightened activities (not empty of what is in accord with the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now [U2T]). Meaning the two truths are not in real opposition, but more like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, in Union [U2T]. With wisdom things can be directly perceived as primordially timeless / equal / pure / perfect / divine / complete / free / enlightened / the inseparable three pure kayas / the true Buddha …, and there is a way to act without acting more and more in accord with the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now [U2T], thus acting more and more efficiently, and accumulating more and more merit & wisdom together. The Buddha-dharma is not about accepting / affirming / seeking / adding / doing / perceiving / knowing anything in absolute terms, not about rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / not-doing / not-perceiving / not-knowing something else in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. It is not about changing / improving / purifying something; or going somewhere else. It is about spontaneously personally non-dualistically non-conceptually directly perceiving / realising / experiencing here & now the inconceivable true nature of all dharma as it is here & now [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T] – ex. the three spheres, the three vajras, apparent opposites, the two truths –. That direct wisdom is what purifies without purifying everything and nothing.]

[Goto TOC]

The main topic of this sūtra is
an explanation of how the Buddha (+) and all things (-)
share the very same [interdependent <==> and] empty nature [U2T / Uopp] [A] [C].

Through a set of similes, the sūtra shows
how an illusion-like Buddha may dispense appropriate teachings to sentient beings
in accordance with their propensities (i.e. conditioning / karma). [U2T]
His activities are effortless since his realization is free from [grasping at any] concepts.
Thus, the Tathāgata's non-conceptual awareness results in great compassion [T1]
beyond any reference point [T2] [U2T] [A].

(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. SUMMARY: It is about understanding / perceiving / realising / experiencing without understanding / perceiving / realising / experiencing, and acting without acting more and more in accord with, the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now as pointed by concepts like: the Union of the Two Truths [U2T], the Union of the three spheres [U3S] of any relation / action, the Union of opposites [Uopp] about any duality / triad / quad / etc., the Middle way free from all extremes & middle. Acting in accord with valid conceptual concepts, truths, methods, goals [T1], but also more and more in accord with the emptiness of all dharmas [T2], thus without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling for any extreme or middle about anything.)

(i.e. 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.)




Introduction

[Goto TOC]

[Like space:]
"Space has no abode;
It is free from elaboration, and stainless.
Your mind is the same as [like] space,
And you are free of any point of reference:
(i.e. The true Buddha, the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now, is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned ordinary mind(s); it is beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma; beyond all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / differentiation, causality / production, form / matter-energy, space & time.)
I bow to you!"

[1. Buddha-nature:

It is about the wisdom of directly perceiving / realising / experiencing the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now as pointed out by concepts like: the Buddha-nature, in everybody & everything, with its inseparable three pure kayas, qualities and activities, the Union of the Two Truths [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T], the primordial spontaneity, equality, purity, perfection, divinity, completeness, freedom, enlightenment … of everybody & everything – of all dharmas: physical / body, conceptual / speech, mental / mind; individual, collective, cosmic; subject / beings, relation / action, object / phenomena, pure or impure; enlightened or not –. And about spontaneously compassionately acting more and more accord with it. In opposition to doing nothing because of having fallen into the extreme of mere-emptiness / nothingness / no-thought / no-concept / no-idea / no-action / no-path / nihilism.]

[Goto TOC]

The Ornament of the Light of Awareness (Jñānālokālaṃkāra, hereafter JAA) is of particular significance for its discussion of the nature of a buddha, his appearance to sentient beings [U2T] [A], and his beneficial activities. These themes are in turn related to the doctrine of buddha nature [U2T] (tathāgatagarbha), important for both general Mahāyāna Buddhism and Secret Mantra. The JAA has even been interpreted as propounding an explicit Vajrayāna perspective of purity, and has been quoted by masters of secret mantra in India, Tibet, and Japan.

Although this sūtra is called "an ornament" (alaṃkāra), it is perhaps rather about an ornament.
More literally, alaṃkāra means "something that completes," and according to the conventions of ancient and medieval Indian literature, that is what an ornament should do. Therefore, rather than being a dispensable decoration,
the sūtra completes and adorns the light or appearance (āloka) of a special type of knowledge (jñāna).
This knowledge is a meaningful awareness, not just the awareness of an ordinary object. This awareness can engage with, or descend into (avatāra), the scope of all buddhas, which is their object or, more precisely, their domain (viṣaya). If we follow the interpretation of the Ratna­gotra­vbihāga,
the light of awareness is itself the ornament that allows bodhisattvas to descend or enter into the domain of all buddhas.

(i.e. A non-dualistic non-conceptual direct awareness of the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now; a direct awareness of the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T]. A special type of direct knowledge beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma.)

Although texts preserved as sūtra or sūtrānta are classified as "Word of the Buddha" (buddhavacana), this does not necessarily mean that the Buddha is the main speaker. For example, the bulk of the Prajñā­pāramitā­hṛdaya (the "Heart Sūtra") consists of a dialogue between the venerable Śāriputra and the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara. In the present sūtra, however, Buddha Śākyamuni is not only there to offer a seal of approval but is, in effect, the main speaker.

The sūtra locates its teaching in Rājgir, on the mountain of Vulture Peak. Although this is also the place where many of the prajñāpāramitā teachings are set, the Buddha is here dwelling in the Womb of the Dharmadhātu Palace. The symbolism is perhaps more attuned to the third turning of the dharmacakra, taking place in a variety of locations and teaching a wide array of advanced topics.

The teaching does not take place within the ordinary appearance of our world sphere. Just before the Buddha sits on his lion throne, the entire environment is transformed into the purest gold and jewels. Such emphasis on the purified appearance of the environment of the sūtra may be significant in the light of its more esoteric interpretations.

The audience is made up of two kinds of individual: hearers who have already become arhats, and bodhisattvas who are close to buddhahood, i.e., on the tenth or last level (bhūmi), called "Cloud of Dharma." The hearers are headed by Ājñāta­kauṇḍinya; his name means "Kauṇḍinya who understood," and he is described in other sūtras as the first monk to have been praised by the Buddha for having understood his teaching. The bodhisattvas are headed by Mañjuśrī, the embodiment of wisdom or higher knowledge, who is also the main interlocutor of this sūtra.

The Buddha signals that an exceptional teaching will take place through a prātihārya, an extraordinary display of light meant to attract audiences from very far away. Prātihārya is sometimes translated as "miracle," but rather than being an inexplicable testimony of divine intervention, prātihāryas are classified in Mahāyāna scholasticism as a means to draw the listeners' attention, and to instill reverence toward what is going to be taught.
(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.)

If we follow Buddhist cosmology and cosmogony, the appearance of a buddha may be understood as an exceptional event, resulting from a myriad of positive causal concomitances. Each buddha conforms to specific cosmic regularities, due to inner causal factors (his aspirations during countless previous lives) and outer ones (the collective merit of sentient beings); and each buddha arises within a specific area of the universe, called a "buddhafield" (buddhakṣetra). This will be the field of activity of one, and only one, buddha‍—at least in the sense that only one buddha will enact the specific set of activities that, just as the sun cannot avoid shining, no buddha can avoid performing. Certain teachings will be taught by all the buddhas; the jeweled throne that appears and invites Buddha Śākyamuni to sit and teach suggests that this is, indeed, one of those recurrent teachings.

Infinite buddhafields may exist at the same time. Mahāyāna sūtras often specify that diligent and wise bodhisattvas can perceive and even visit other buddhafields, paying their respects and obtaining teachings from the buddhas residing there. In this sūtra, after Buddha Śākyamuni emits light that fills the entire trichiliocosm, a very large number of bodhisattvas arrive from other buddhafields‍—suggesting once more the importance of the teaching about to be given.

______________________________________

[2. The question:

What is the meaning of non-arising / unborn / uncaused, non-existent / non-functional, and non-cessation / unceasing?
To what does it apply?
What is the relation between this and the two truths: dependent origination and emptiness of inherent existence?]

[Goto TOC]

Mañjuśrī is the bodhisattva associated with wisdom (prajñā).
The JAA's thematic focus on wisdom and the prajñāpāramitā is quite clear:
Mañjuśrī begins by asking the Buddha
about the meaning of non-arising and non-cessation [D].

As the Heart Sūtra puts it,
all dharmas are "emptiness [U2T] [A], without characteristics, non-arisen, non-ceased [D]."
-
That all dharmas neither arise nor cease [D] seems to be a specifically Mahāyāna doctrine that sets the Mahāyāna sūtras, and the treatises associated with them, apart from their non-Mahāyāna counterparts. While all Buddhist schools agree that dharmas are dependently arisen, within a Mahāyāna perspective this also entails that in some sense they do not arise and do not cease (in the Yogācāra scheme of three natures, this regards only their "wrongly imagined nature," the parikalpita).

______________________________________

[3. The answer:

The Tathāgata / true Buddha is the {inconceivable unique non-dual non-conceptual all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned empty-of-inherent-existence unchanging unceasing pristine equal pure perfect divine free enlightened} Ground / Basis / Source / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Suchness / True nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now / Union of the Two Truths free from all extremes & middle [U2T] … and its inseparable spontaneous natural unborn unconditioned empty-of-inherent-existence unchanging unceasing free pristine manifestations [UGM]. It is a ground / basis / source… without being a real ground / basis / source… With awakening / enlightenment, everything is directly perceived / experienced as the inseparable three pure kayas of the Buddha: pure body, speech and mind; pure subjects / minds, relations / actions, objects / environments / worlds. What makes them 'pure' is the direct wisdom of being fully aware of their inconceivable true nature & dynamic as it is here & now [U2T / U3S / Uopp / U2T-2T]; they are 'pure' because there is nothing to accept, nothing to reject in absolute terms.]

[Goto TOC]

In response to Mañjuśrī, the Buddha answers that
"non-arising and non-cessation […] [D] designates the Tathāgata." [I]
(i.e. the Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T])
-
The Buddha is a synonym for [the true nature & dynamic / ] the non-arising of all dharmas [T2 - emptiness],
[but still] appearing in a certain way to sentient beings according to their karma and their dispositions. [T1] [U2T]
-
In other words, in the landscape of the JAA,
there is no ultimate difference between the Tathāgata and the tathatā, the nature of things [I];
nor, furthermore, between the teacher and the place where the teaching occurs (the lion throne at the center of the Womb of Dharmadhātu Palace), between the teacher and the assembly of listeners (bodhisattvas on the tenth bhūmi), or between the teacher and the Dharma that he teaches (which is the nature of a Buddha's appearance as a teacher).
All these differences appear within
-
the close-knit fabric of interdependence [T1] and its ultimate emptiness [T2] [U2T - Union of the Two Truths] [A].
-
The JAA relates the teachings on dependent arising and emptiness to a specific perspective regarding a type of awareness (jñāna), which, unlike ordinary consciousness, is free from a point of reference.
(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.)

______________________________________

[4. Ratna­gotra­vibhāga:

There is a close relationship between the JAA and the Ratna­gotra­vibhāga – about the Buddha-nature in everybody & everything, with its inseparable three pure kayas, its pure primordial qualities and its enlightened activities. The themes of the JAA are mostly related to the completely purified state (+++), i.e., a perfect and complete Buddha and his activity. "Thus the Ratna­gotra­vibhāga provides some keys for understanding the sūtra according to a number of topical subdivisions and an overall rationale behind its structure."]

[Goto TOC]

An analysis of the contents of the JAA should take into account its close relation to the Ratna­gotra­vibhāga, the principal treatise on buddha nature within Indian Buddhist literature. Despite being a treatise rather than a sūtra, the Ratna­gotra­vibhāga is invested with special authority, as it is considered to have been revealed by Maitreya, the very next buddha in our specific universe. Within the Tibetan tradition, Asaṅga (the recipient of Maitreya's revealed texts) is believed to be the author of its main commentary, in which the JAA is cited. Although the term tathāgatagarbha never occurs in the JAA, Maitreya and Asaṅga clearly interpret the text in the context of the teachings on buddha nature [U2T].

The Ratna­gotra­vibhāga is composed of three sections (five chapters), dealing with the tathāgatagarbha in a non-purified (+ / mistaken / impure / the basic element of sentient beings), partially purified (++ / unmistaken / both pure & impure / the basic element of bodhisattva), and completely purified state (+++ / most exactly unmistaken / completely pure / the basic element of tathāgata), respectively.
-
(i.e. Ratna­gotra­vibhāga - From the ten topics of the ultimate basic element:
– vi - Manifestation of the basic element / of the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is [U2T]: Manifesting differently as 1. the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of mistaken ordinary beings (+), 2. unmistaken bodhisattvas (++), and 3. most exactly unmistaken perfect buddhas (+++). It is the same primordial Buddha-nature [U2T], but with ignorance, or some wisdom, or perfected non-dualistic non-conceptual direct wisdom releasing the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now [U2T].
– vii - Phases of the basic element / of the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is [U2T]: Its phases: 1. impure / the basic element of sentient beings (+), 2. both pure & impure / the basic element of bodhisattva (++), and 3. completely pure / the basic element of tathāgata (+++). What purifies without purifying is the non-dualistic non-conceptual wisdom of directly realising the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of reality as it is here & now._

The themes of the JAA are mostly related to the completely purified state (+++), i.e., a perfect and complete Buddha and his activity.

The Ratna­gotra­vibhāga makes use of the JAA in two different sections.

In chapter 1, the JAA is quoted in connection with one of the crucial verses that explain the nature of buddhahood: "1. unproduced, 2. effortless, 3. not arisen by understanding from others, 4-6. buddhahood is endowed with the power of awareness and compassion, and 7-8 has the two purposes."
-
(i.e. Ratna­gotra­vibhāga - The eight qualities of the first vajra point – Buddha –: The true Buddha, the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now [U2T] is: 1. [all-pervading, timeless, unborn, unconditioned, unchanging, unceasing], 2. effortless (beyond causality / production / action), 3. not being produced through other conditions (no real basis), possessing 4. wisdom, 5. compassion, 6. power, and 7-8. endowed with the two welfares (self & others).)

The Vyākhyā (commentary) quotes from various sections of the sūtra and relates them to the first four qualifications found in the verse:

  • i. When the JAA states that "non-arising" and "non-cessation" [D] are epithets of the Tathāgata [I], it shows that the Buddha is unproduced.

  • ii. The nine examples explain what it means for the Tathāgata to be non-arising and non-cessation [D] [I] (given in the Ratna­gotra­vibhāga as the reason for his being unproduced).
    (i.e. Ratna­gotra­vibhāga - The nine examples: It is like: i. a buddha in a decaying lotus, ii. honey amid bees, iii. kernels in their husks, iv. gold in filth, v. a treasure in the earth, vi. a sprout and so on from a small fruit, vii. an image of the victor in a tattered garment, viii. Royalty in the womb of a destitute woman, ix. and a precious statue in clay.)

  • iii. The explanations of all that has been pacified show that, since all his elaborations and concepts have been pacified, the Tathāgata is effortless with respect to his own activities.

  • iv. The next section shows that the Tathāgata realizes for himself the gates to the realization of the nature of all dharmas, and goes on to explain the sixteen features of the Tathāgata's realization (this links to not arisen by understanding from others).

  • v. One sentence describes the Tathāgata's great compassion, showing that he is endowed with unexcelled awareness and compassion. (i.e. Union of interdependence / compassion and wisdom / emptiness.)

According to the Vyākhyā, therefore, the JAA is an elaborate exposition of the nature of buddhahood‍—buddha nature in its fully purified form [U2T]. Furthermore, chapter 4 of the Ratna­gotra­vibhāga can be considered a commentary on the section of the JAA presenting the nine examples of a buddha's activity; this also regards buddha nature [U2T] in a fully purified state, and activity is in fact the final topic in the list of seven "crucial terms" (vajrapada) through which Maitreya's treatise, in its opening stanza, parses its own contents.

______________________________________

[5. Using nine similes

Nine similes to describe without describing the inconceivable Tathāgata / Ground / Suchness / U2T; 'It is like a reflection, the Dharma drum, a rain cloud, the god Mahābrahmā, the rays of the sun, the wish-fulfilling jewel, an echo, the earth as a basis, and space.']

[Goto TOC]

In the JAA (i.e. and Chapter 4 of the Ratna­gotra­vibhāga) the appearance of a Buddha is compared to

  1. Indra's Palace reflected upon the emerald ground,

  2. the Dharma drum that plays for the gods,

  3. a rain cloud,

  4. the god Mahābrahmā,

  5. the rays of the sun,

  6. the wish-fulfilling jewel,

  7. an echo,

  8. the earth, and

  9. space.

The Ratna­gotra­vibhāga elaborates on the significance of each example, on their mutual relationship, and on the overall purpose of the whole set. A verse in chapter 4 (4.83) interprets the initial sections of the JAA (including the nine analogies) as a syllogism, including a thesis, an analogy, and a logical ground or proof (pratijñā, dṛṣṭānta, hetu):

"The thesis is that all effort has been pacified;
The logical ground is that wisdom is free from concepts;
The analogies starting with Śakra's image
Are for the sake of establishing the subject matter."

Thus the Ratna­gotra­vibhāga provides some keys for understanding the sūtra according to a number of topical subdivisions and an overall rationale behind its structure.

______________________________________

[6. Buddha's activity:

A Buddha spontaneously acts without acting, without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling into any extreme & middle, without accepting / affirming or rejecting / negating anything in absolute terms; acting in perfect accord with the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now; acting in perfect accord with the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T].
"So although he is free from delusion in the form of conventions [T2],
he still appears to engage with conventions in order to benefit others [T1] [U2T]."
"A buddha is free from mental constructs and intentional mental elaborations [T2],
yet his teachings are attuned to each and every mindset [T1] [U2T]."
Although everything is empty of inherent existence [T2],
there are still conventional / relative valid useful meaningful words, concepts,
truths, methods, goals, teachings, paths, activities … [T1] [U2T].
The two truths are not in real opposition, but are more like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, codependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, in Union … One truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].
-
The important point, the reason why we talk about a hidden Buddha-nature (in all sentient beings, in everything -- physical / body, conceptual / speech, mental / mind; individual, collective, cosmic; subject / beings, relation / action, object / phenomena, pure or impure; enlightened or not --) and its inseparable pure kayas, qualities and enlightened activities, is that Buddhahood, the true nature of Reality as it is, is not mere-emptiness / nothingness / non-existence / non-functionality / non-acting / non-perception / non-feeling / non-thinking / non-ideation / non-conceptualisation / non-discrimination / non-differentiation / rejecting-all / uselessness / meaninglessness / total escape from samsara / total extinction. Buddhahood is inconceivable – beyond existence / causality / functionality, beyond non-existence / non-causality / non-functionality, beyond both together, beyond neither –, and comes with its inseparable three kayas [U3K], pure qualities & enlightened activities [U2T]. It is devoid of stains (empty of what is not in accord with Reality as it is), but not devoid of the inseparable three pure kayas, pure qualities, and enlightened activities (not empty of what is in accord with the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now [U2T]). Meaning the two truths are not in real opposition, but more like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, in Union [U2T]. With wisdom things can be directly perceived as primordially timeless / equal / pure / perfect / divine / complete / free / enlightened / the inseparable three pure kayas / the true Buddha …, and there is a way to act without acting more and more in accord with the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now [U2T], thus acting more and more efficiently, and accumulating more and more merit & wisdom together. The Buddha-dharma is not about accepting / affirming / seeking / adding / doing / perceiving / knowing anything in absolute terms, not about rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / not-doing / not-perceiving / not-knowing something else in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. It is not about changing / improving / purifying something; or going somewhere else. It is about spontaneously personally non-dualistically non-conceptually directly perceiving / realising / experiencing here & now the inconceivable true nature of all dharma as it is here & now [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T] – ex. the three spheres, the three vajras, apparent opposites, the two truths –. That direct wisdom is what purifies without purifying everything and nothing.]

[Goto TOC]

The activity of a buddha is a complex matter, and it is therefore understandable that the Ratna­gotra­vibhāga gears its interpretation of the JAA toward the illustrations that help make this difficult point easier to assimilate.

Buddhas are free from delusion in the form of conventions [T2],
yet appear to engage with conventions in order to benefit others [T1] [U2T] [A].
A buddha is free from mental constructs and intentional mental elaborations [T2],
yet his teachings are attuned to each and every mindset [T2] [U2T].

This seeming paradox has been tackled through a number of divergent solutions, some of which (as we shall see) are directly linked to the contents of the JAA.

______________________________________

[7. Awakening:

Explanation of the nature of Awakening]

[Goto TOC]

Following the nine analogies, the JAA discusses the nature of awakening. The topic is brought up to explain why a buddha's activity is as described in the nine analogies. The answer is that a buddha's activity could not be otherwise because of the nature of a buddha's awakening. The JAA's progression follows the questions posed by Mañjuśrī, directly enunciating the first part of the syllogistic structure discussed above (the relationship between thesis and logical ground).
-
(i.e. From chapter II of the Ratna­gotra­vibhāga – The topic of Buddha Awakening / Suchness without stains:
Eight points describing Buddhahood / Stainless Suchness: Its

  1. nature / purity: two truths: pure luminosity but obscured by the two types of obscurations; empty but still endowed with all the stainless buddha qualities & activities, and is permanent, everlasting and eternal;

  2. cause / two wisdoms (conventional indirect / dualistic / conceptual conditioned / wisdom, and primordial direct / non-dualistic / non-conceptual / unconditioned wisdom);

  3. fruition / two freedoms: the primordial freedom, and realised freedom (freedom from both afflictive and cognitive obscurations) that is the fruit of both the conventional dualistic conceptual indirect wisdom, and of the primordial non-dualistic non-conceptual direct wisdom about the true nature of Reality as it is here & now [U2T];

  4. function / two functions: the function of the two fruitions / wisdoms is the fulfillment of one's own welfare and that of others, respectively;

  5. endowment / the ultimate characteristics of buddhahood: the {inconceivable unique non-dual non-conceptual all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned empty-of-inherent-existence unchanging unceasing pristine equal pure perfect divine free enlightened} Ground / Basis / Source / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Primordial awareness / Suchness / true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now / Union of the Two Truths free from all extremes & middle / inconceivable three pure kayas (trikaya) / the true Buddha;

  6. manifestation / profundity (dharmakaya): The Ground unterruptably effortlessly manifesting through the three inseparable buddha-kāyas that are characterized by profundity (6) (dharmakaya), vastness (7) (sambhogakaya), and magnanimity (8) (nirmanakayas) respectively, in an inconceivable manner for as long as saṃsāric existence remains [U3K] [U2T] [UGM];

  7. permanence / vastness (sambhogakaya): Various reasons for the permanence / uninterruptability of the spontaneous effortless manifestations through the three kayas [U3K] [U2T] [UGM]; and

  8. inconceivability / magnanimity (nirmanakayas): Inconceivable Ground & manifestations [UGM]; inconceivable inseparable three pure kayas [U3K], inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now; inconceivable inseparable two truths [U2T]; beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma; beyond all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / differentiation, relation / causality / production, form / matter-energy, space & time.)


This section offers several remarkable explanations of a buddha's awakening, relying on fundamental categories of Buddhist thought, such as the twelve entrances (āyatana) and the eighteen bases (dhātu). These categories subsume the entirety of existent things (dharmas) within schemes that may highlight the dependent arising of sentience, defined as the perception of objects. Mañjuśrī most consistently praises the Buddha for the lack of that perception.

The section on the nature of awakening concludes with several verses extolling Śākyamuni Buddha as "you who are free of any point of reference" (nirālamba). Freedom from point of reference is jñāna rather than vijñāna; it is not mind or conventions (buddhi or saṃvṛti). Mañjuśrī is asked by the Buddha to rely on jñāna, and he responds to the teachings with an extensive praise of its nature. This section is therefore related to the Laṅkāvatāra's explicit discussion of the distinction between jñāna and vijñāna; as also to the Bodhi­caryāvatāra, and a number of other treatises wherein ultimate truth is described as never within the range of consciousness.

______________________________________

[8. Influence of the JAA]

[Goto TOC]

One of the first prominent authors to employ the JAA is probably the Madhyamaka philosopher Bhāviveka (6th century), who inaugurates a long trend of quoting the JAA when discussing the nature of buddhahood. More specifically, he cites the JAA in order to prove that a buddha is devoid of any conceptuality or mind whatsoever [in absolute terms].

Candrakīrti and Kamalaśīla also quote the JAA in the context of establishing that all dharmas share the same nature as the Buddha.

The JAA starts to be quoted in a Mantranaya context at least by the 8th century, in Buddhaguhya's commentary on the Mahā­vairocana­sūtra. The latter text is of special importance for East Asian Buddhism. Kūkai (Kobo Daishi, 8th–9th century), who founded the Shingon school of Japan, brought the JAA back to Japan from his visit to China in 806. The JAA influenced his visualization techniques relating to the dharmakāya. In this instance, the JAA had a direct bearing on very practical aspects of tantric meditation.

The Vajrayāna adept Naḍapāda (Nāropā, 10th–11th century), whose lineage became influential in Tibet during the later translation period, quoted from the JAA in the Sekoddeśa­ṭīkā, a text primarily associated with the Kālacakra tradition and still extant in Sanskrit. In this work Naḍapāda cites the following verse to corroborate his explanation of a buddha's awareness in relation to the four mudrās:

"With your unplaced awareness,
You see all the fields,
And the conduct of all beings.
You are free of any point of reference:
I bow to you!"

Naḍapāda's quote brings up the doctrine of "non-abiding" or "no ground to stand upon" (apratiṣṭhāna), the idea, recurrent in some sūtras, that the mind should not abide within any dharma [in absolute terms] whatsoever. This theme was also important for subsequent secret mantra authors who made use of the JAA for scriptural support.

According to Tibetan sources, Advayavajra (11th century, also known as Maitrīgupta and Maitrīpa) was a student of Naropa, Ratnākaraśānti (10–11th century), Jñānaśrīmitra (10–11th century), and Śabarapāda (10–11th century?). He is also considered one of the two main teachers of Marpa Chökyi Lodrö (mar pa chos kyi blo gros, 1012–1097). The colophons to his works describe Advayavajra as both a great scholar (paṇḍita) and a realized Vajrayāna adept (avadhūta). Although his works are short, they reflect this double characterization. His Madhyamaka interpretation is especially attuned to Vajrayāna practice and to the context and terminology of mahāmudrā. In both regards, recurrent notions in the JAA play an important role within his writings, and he cites the JAA in at least three texts.

Furthermore, the relationship between non-arising and primordial purity has been linked in the Tibetan tradition to the JAA, which thus becomes an important element in the exposition of secret mantra within that fold.

Many scholars throughout the Mahāyāna Buddhist world have taken the JAA as an authoritative source of inspiration; we hope that contemporary readers may also find some of its depth transmitted in this English translation.

The translation presented here is primarily based on the Sanskrit edition by the Study Group on Buddhist Sanskrit Literature (2005). The Sanskrit was also compared to the Tibetan translation in the Degé Kangyur. In several instances the Tibetan proved useful by offering more complete readings. Hence, we have at times followed the Tibetan rather than the Sanskrit reading. On occasion, we have also consulted Kimura's transliteration of the Sanskrit manuscript (GRETIL version, 2004) and reverted to its readings. For the most part, the Tibetan follows the Sanskrit closely, although in a few instances it appears to be based on a different manuscript tradition. This is certainly plausible if the proposed date of the Sanskrit manuscript (11th–13th century) is correct, since the Tibetan translation was produced centuries earlier.




The Translation

[Homage]

Homage to the Buddha!

[A Great Assembly]

[Goto TOC]

Thus have I heard, at one time, the Bhagavat was dwelling on the Vulture Peak Mountain in Rājgir, on a summit of infinite gems, in the Womb of Dharmadhātu Palace, together with a great assembly of twenty-five thousand monks. All of them were arhats who had exhausted their outflows. They were without afflictions and controlled. Their minds were perfectly liberated, and their wisdom was perfectly free. They were knowledgeable great elephants who had accomplished what needed to be done. They had laid down their burden and fulfilled their own benefit. They had destroyed the bonds of existence and, thanks to their correct knowledge, their minds were perfectly liberated. They had obtained supreme perfection in mastering all mental states. The sixty-eight great hearers, headed by Ājñāta­kauṇḍinya, were also there.

Moreover, present with the Bhagavat were seventy-two quintillion bodhisattvas, such as the youthful Mañjuśrī, Dhanaśrī, Buddhiśrī, Bhaiṣajyarāja, and Bhaiṣajya­samudgata. All of them were turning the Dharma wheel that does not turn back. They were skilled in inquiring about the vaipulya sūtras of the Heap of Jewels and had obtained the level called Cloud of Dharma. In terms of wisdom, they were like Sumeru, and all of them had thoroughly cultivated the dharmas of emptiness, no sign, no wish, no arising, no birth, and no existence. The greatly profound Dharma appeared to them , and they had the postures of the tathāgatas. In other world spheres, they had been sent out by quintillions of tathāgatas. All of them were fully clairvoyant and well settled in the essential nature of all dharmas.

At that time, the Bhagavat thought, "To generate great swiftness, strength, impetus, and stamina in the bodhisattva great beings, I shall give a Dharma discourse. From as many world spheres as there are grains of sand in the river Ganges, I shall cause splendorous bodhisattva great beings to assemble. Hence, I will display a sign to show that there is to be a great teaching of the Dharma. I shall cause a great light, so that bodhisattva great beings shall come to me and ask for a great Dharma teaching."

With that thought, the Bhagavat illuminated the ten directions with great clouds of light rays that shone in as many worlds as there are atoms of dust in the great trichiliocosm‍—an uncountable and inconceivable number. At that very time, as many bodhisattva great beings as there are atoms of dust in ten ineffable quintillion buddhafields approached him from all the ten directions; each and every bodhisattva great being arrived with exceptional feats beyond imagination. They first performed a fitting, inconceivable worship of the Bhagavat, and then sat down in front of him on lotus seats that appeared through the force of their aspirations. They stayed still, looking at the Bhagavat without blinking.

A lion throne within a great, jeweled lotus then appeared at the center of the Womb of Dharmadhātu Palace. It was an uncountable number of leagues in width, and of unprecedented height. It was made of gems and jewels sparkling in every way, with lightning for lamps, and a surrounding railing made of gems and jewels. Its staffs were of gems and jewels of inconceivable brilliance, and incomparable gems and jewels enclosed it. Jewel garlands splendid beyond comparison beautified the throne, studded with many types of precious gems. It was hung about with raised parasols, standards, and flags.

From above the lion throne within the great lotus of gems and jewels, ten innumerable quintillions of light rays now issued forth in all directions and illumined the very many world spheres in the ten directions by their great brightness.

And at that very time, from each and every one of the ten directions, gods, nāgas, yakṣas, gandharvas, demigods, garuḍa, kinnaras, great serpents, śakras, brahmās, and world protectors arrived, as many as there are atoms of dust in the ineffable quintillion buddhafields.

Some of them arrived together with a quintillion apsarases, uncountable and beyond conception, singing and playing musical instruments while they sat in jeweled palaces. Some arrived with palaces that were made of flowers, others with palaces were made of heaps of uragasāra sandalwood. Some palaces were made of pearls, others of diamonds, and others still of gems and jewels that shone like diamonds.

Some were made of gold from the river Jāmbū, and others were built with gems that shone in all colors. Some were made of the vaśirāja gem and others of wish-fulfilling jewels. Still other palaces were made of those gems worn by Śakra.

Yet others arrived with uncountable, inconceivable quadrillions of apsarases, singing and playing musical instruments while they sat in palaces of great jewels, gems beaming uninterruptedly from the array of pure, ocean-ground jewels.

As they arrived, they first worshipped the Bhagavat in an inconceivable, matchless, immeasurable, and limitless manner. Then they arranged themselves on one side, on seats that manifested through their own aspirations. After having seated themselves, they stayed still, looking at the Bhagavat without blinking.

At that very moment this world sphere, a great trichiliocosm, turned into Jāmbū River gold. It was adorned with trees of many great gems and jewels, divine flowering trees, trees of fine fabrics, and trees of uragasāra sandalwood perfume. It was covered with a net of precious moon gems, sun gems, and vidyutpradīpa gems. Parasols, standards, and flags were hoisted.

Innumerable quintillions of apsarases with half their bodies in sight thronged all trees, which were enveloped by strings of pearls and garlands of great precious jewels.

At that time these verses rang out from the lion throne with its great, jeweled lotus inside:

"Come, be seated, king of the best among men!
I came about by the force of your merit.
Fulfilling my wish, today I shall support you,
Victor, best among the two-footed.

"My body is made of jewels.
Oh Guide, for your sake,
At my center is a beautiful jewel lotus;
Protector, please fulfill my wish today!

"Seated on this jewel lotus,
You shall beautify this entire world and me.
You shall teach the Dharma to many millions of living beings.
Hearing such Dharma, one obtains a lion throne like this!

"Thousands of light rays shining from your limbs
Illuminate many world spheres.
This is the sign of someone in whom joy is born.
Guide, ascend to me!

"Quickly, take your seat and grant your favor!
In the past, in this very place,
I have supported eighty million self-arisen sages.
May the Bhagavat also, today, bestow his favor!"

At this the Bhagavat arose from his previous seat and sat down on the lion throne with its great jewel lotus inside. He sat with his legs crossed and observed the entire gathering of bodhisattvas. Then, to those bodhisattva great beings, he signaled that he was about to deliver a distinguished Dharma teaching.


[QUESTION:

Requesting a teaching about non-arising, non-existence and non-cessation, about the Union of the Two Truths [U2T], about the three stages of becoming: origination / beginning / birth / coming, duration / middle / existence / change / staying, cessation / ending / death / going / extinction. Note: In Reality as it is, everything is not really arising / existing / ceasing, not completely non-arising / non-existent / non-ceasing, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning this is indescribable / inconceivable. So we say that everything is 'unborn, non-existent, undying' as a temporary imperfect adapted skillful means / antidote to our usual positions, until we can directly perceive / realise / experience the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T]. Meanwhile we should not grasp at, get attached to, those antidotes, otherwise they turn into poisons. This applies to the Buddha and all things / phenomena; to the Ground and its inseparable manifestations [UGM].]

[Goto TOC]

At that very time, the entire assembly of bodhisattvas had the thought,
"The youthful Mañjuśrī should now inquire of the Tathāgata, the Arhat, the Perfect and Complete Buddha,
about non-arising [, non-existence] and non-cessation [D].
We have not heard that Dharma teaching for a long time."

The youthful Mañjuśrī had understood the Bhagavat's signal, and he also knew what the bodhisattva great beings were thinking. So he arose and adjusted his upper robe so that one shoulder was uncovered. He then knelt in front of the Bhagavat with his right knee placed in the center of a lotus.

With joined palms he then addressed this question to the Bhagavat
"Bhagavat, 'non-arising' [, non-existence] and 'non-cessation' [D] have been spoken of. Bhagavat,
to what dharma do the terms 'non-arising' and 'non-cessation' refer?"

He also expressed his question in verse:

"Guide, you speak of 'non-cessation' [, non-existence] and 'non-arising.' [D]
Greatly wise one,
How do you explain those terms?

" 'Non-cessation' [, non-existence] and 'non-arising,' [D]
Why are they called so?
Great sage, please tell us
Through analogies and reasons!

"These many bodhisattvas have come here,
Wishing for awareness;
They were sent to salute you, Lord, by many guides of the world.
So please teach the lofty and excellent, good Dharma!"


[ANSWER:

What is unborn, non-existent and unceasing? The Tathāgata / true Buddha is the {inconceivable unique non-dual non-conceptual all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned empty-of-inherent-existence unchanging unceasing pristine equal pure perfect divine free enlightened} Ground / Basis / Source / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Suchness / True nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now / Union of the Two Truths free from all extremes & middle [U2T] … with its inseparable spontaneous natural unborn unconditioned empty-of-inherent-existence unchanging unceasing free pristine manifestations [UGM]. They are conventionally / relatively arising / born, existing and ceasing / dying [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S], but ultimately unarisen / unborn, empty of inherent existence, unceasing / undying [T2] [U2T]. — With awakening / enlightenment, everything is directly perceived / experienced as the inseparable three pure kayas of the Buddha: pure body, speech and mind; pure subjects / minds, relations / actions, objects / environments / worlds. What makes them 'pure' is the direct wisdom of being fully aware of their inconceivable true nature & dynamic as it is here & now [U2T / U3S / Uopp / U2T-2T]; they are 'pure' because there is nothing to accept, nothing to reject in absolute terms.]

[Answer Part I:]

[I. "When the Tathāgata teaches about 'non-arising [, non-existence] and non-cessation,' this expression actually refers to the {inconceivable unique non-dual non-conceptual all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned empty-of-inherent-existence unchanging unceasing pristine equal pure perfect divine free enlightened} Tathāgata / Ground / Basis / Source / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Suchness / True nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] and its inseparable spontaneous natural pristine manifestations (all dharmas / fabrications / appearances – physical / body, conceptual / speech, mental / mind; individual, collective, cosmic; subject / beings, relation / action, object / phenomena, pure or impure; enlightened or not).]

[Goto TOC]

In reply, the Bhagavat said to the youthful Mañjuśrī:

"Good, Mañjuśrī, good! Mañjuśrī, it is good that you think to ask the Tathāgata about this matter. You are striving for the benefit of many people, for the happiness of many people, and with compassion for the world. You are doing so for the goodness, benefit, and happiness of a great group of beings, both gods and men. You are also acting so that the bodhisattva great beings who have come here may obtain the level of a buddha. Mañjuśrī, you should apply yourself to this point without alarm, without fear, and without hesitation. And, Mañjuśrī, you must rely on awareness.

Mañjuśrī,

when the Tathāgata teaches about 'non-arising [, non-existence] and non-cessation [D],'
this expression actually refers to the Tathāgata [I].
(i.e. the Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T])

______________________________________

[Answer Part II:]

[II. Nine similes demonstrating the meaning of unarisen and unceasing. Nine similes for the {inconceivable unique non-dual non-conceptual all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned empty-of-inherent-existence unchanging unceasing pristine equal pure perfect divine free enlightened} Tathāgata / Ground / Basis / Source / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness / Suchness / True nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now / Union of the Two Truths [U2T] and its inseparable spontaneous natural pristine manifestations (all dharmas / fabrications / appearances – physical / body, conceptual / speech, mental / mind; individual, collective, cosmic; subject / beings, relation / action, object / phenomena, pure or impure; enlightened or not). — "The nine examples explain what it means for the Tathāgata to be non-arising and non-cessation." [U2T]]

[Goto TOC]

  1. (i.e. Indra's Palace reflected upon the emerald ground,

  2. the Dharma drum that plays for the gods,

  3. a rain cloud,

  4. the god Mahābrahmā,

  5. the rays of the sun,

  6. the wish-fulfilling jewel,

  7. an echo,

  8. the earth, and

  9. space.)

______________________________________

[II-1. The simile of a reflection

Although Buddhahood is just like a dream / magical illusion / trick of the sight / mirage / reflection / echo / City of Gandharvas / emanated apparition, non-existent [T2], non-arisen, and non-ceased, does not move, does not think, elaborate, construct, conceptualize, not a construct, not a concept, inconceivable, not a mental placement, peaceful and cool, not seen, not heard, not smelt, not tasted, not touched, not a sign, not a cognition, and not something that can be made known — In short Buddhahood (or Reality as it is) is indescribable / inconceivable (tetralemma: it is not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth, for whatever 'this' is), free from all extremes & middle, free from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, free from all defining limitations, free from all conditioning / karma, free from any origination & duration & change & cessation, free from all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / differentiation, causality / production / action / laws, form / matter-energy, space & time — nevertheless, sentient beings perceive the voice of Dharma (the voice of Reality as it is) due to the maturation of previous karma, according to their individual aspirations and interests, and designate the compassionate Tathāgata accordingly. [T1] [U2T] The Tathāgata (Reality as it is) is still perceived / heard according to one's conditioning / karma or accumulated merit & wisdom; sentient beings still have faith in him, are still inspired by him; he still possesses three inseparable kayas, pure qualities and perform enlightened activities; he is still useful / meaningful / not completely uncaused / not completely non-existent / not completely non-functional … Conclusion: the three Jewels – Buddha, Dharma, Sangha – are NOT about mere-emptiness / nothingness / non-existence / non-functionality / non-acting / non-perception / non-feeling / non-thinking / non-ideation / non-conceptualisation / non-discrimination / non-differentiation / rejecting-all / uselessness / meaninglessness / total escape from samsara / total extinction.
Although a Buddha is empty of inherent existence [T2], he still possesses three inseparable pure kayas, pure qualities and enlightened activities [T1] [U2T]. He is not arising / existing / real / acting / changing / ceasing, not completely non-arising / non-existing / unreal / non-acting / non-changing / non-ceasing, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning he is indescribable / inconceivable. So we say that everything is 'unarisen, unborn, uncaused, non-existent, unreal, unchanging, non-acting, non-thinking, non-moving, unceasing' as a temporary imperfect adapted skillful means / antidote to our usual positions, until we can directly perceive / realise / experience the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T]. Meanwhile we should not grasp at, get attached to, those antidotes, otherwise they turn into poisons. This applies to the Buddha and all things / phenomena; to the Ground and its inseparable natural spontaneous manifestations [UGM].
All dharmas are like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions: 'There, but not there.': not really existent / caused / functional / perceptible / acting, not completely non-existent / uncaused / non-functional / imperceptible / non-acting / uselessness / meaninglessness, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned ordinary mind(s).
All dharmas are appearing [T1] but empty [T2]; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].
"Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata [Reality as it is] is in the realm of non-arising [not inherently existing]. [T2]
On the other hand, he appears in the world as a reflected image [T1] [U2T]."
Add to this that the true Buddha is the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T].
Because of our ignorance, we perceive Reality as it is, not objectively (that is impossible) or directly (too much noise), but indirectly dualistically conceptually according to our conditioning / karma [U3S].]

[Goto TOC]

"It is as follows. Mañjuśrī, imagine that this wide earth were made entirely of beryl, so that in that beryl one could see reflections of the abode of the Thirty-Three; of Śakra, lord of the gods; and of his Palace of Victory. And imagine that Śakra, lord of the gods, could be seen there, playing and enjoying himself with the five divine objects of pleasure.

"At that time, the gods might call out to all the men, women, boys, and girls of Jambūdvīpa, 'Come here, men and women! Look at Śakra, lord of the gods, as he is playing, enjoying, and amusing himself with the five divine objects of pleasure in his Palace of Victory. Come, all men and women, offer gifts and make merits. Take up discipline and abide by it. Then you shall also get to play, enjoy, and amuse yourself in such Palaces of Victory. You will become like Śakra himself and will come to possess wealth like his. The lord of the gods, Śakra, has all divine enjoyments, and so shall you.'

"Then, Mañjuśrī, all those men, women, girls, and boys, who could see the abode of the Thirty-Three along with Śakra, lord of the gods, and his Palace of Victory reflected in the wide earth of beryl, would fold their hands toward this reflection. They would scatter flowers and offer perfumes toward it, saying, 'May we also obtain such a body as that of Śakra, lord of the gods; may we also play, enjoy, and amuse ourselves in the Palace of Victory, just like Śakra, lord of the gods.'

"However, those beings would not understand that this would merely be a reflection in the wide earth of beryl, a reflection occurring due to the complete purity of the beryl, wherein the abode of the Thirty-Three, along with Śakra, lord of the gods, and his Palace of Victory, could be seen. Wishing for the state of Śakra, they would then offer gifts and make merits. They would take up discipline and abide by that. They would then dedicate the roots of what is wholesome toward birth in that reflection of the abode of the Thirty-Three.

"Mañjuśrī, in that wide earth of beryl there would, of course, be no abode of the Thirty-Three, and neither would there be a Palace of Victory, or Śakra, lord of the gods. However, due to the purity of the great beryl, the abode of the Thirty-Three along with the Palace of Victory and Śakra, lord of the gods would all be visible. Non-existent, non-arisen, and non-ceased, their reflections would be seen because of the purity of the great beryl.

"In the same way, Mañjuśrī, it is due to the complete purity of the mind, as well as due to proper cultivation, that sentient beings see the body of a tathāgata. Mañjuśrī, it is due to the power of the Tathāgata that sentient beings see him. And still he remains non-existent, non-arisen, and non-ceased. He is neither existence nor non-existence, neither visible nor invisible, neither worldly nor unworldly, neither an object of thinking nor not an object of thinking, neither existent nor non-existent.

"It is so, Mañjuśrī, that sentient beings focus on the reflection of the Tathāgata and offer it flowers, perfumes, garments, and jewels while making this aspiration: 'May we also become like the Tathāgata, the Arhat, the Perfect and Complete Buddha.' Wishing for a buddha's awareness, they offer gifts and make merit. They take up discipline and abide by it. Then they dedicate that root of what is wholesome toward obtaining a tathāgata's awareness.

"It is as follows: Mañjuśrī, the reflection of Śakra, ruler of the gods, on that wide earth made of beryl does not move. Nor does it think, elaborate, construct, or conceptualize. It is not a construct, not a concept, inconceivable, and not a mental placement. It is peaceful and cool, non-arising, non-cessation, not seen, not heard, not smelt, not tasted, not touched, not a sign, not a cognition, and not something that can be made known.

"In the same way, Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata, the Arhat, the Perfect and Complete Buddha does not move. Nor does he think, elaborate, construct, or conceptualize. He is not a construct, not a concept, inconceivable, not a mental placement. He is peaceful and cool, non-arising and non-cessation, not seen, not heard, not smelt, not tasted, not touched, not a sign, not a cognition, and not something that can be made known.

"Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata [Reality as it is] is in the realm of non-arising [not inherently existing] [T2].
On the other hand, he appears in the world as a reflected image [T1] [U2T].

According to the beliefs of sentient beings he displays diverse appearances and diverse lifespans. He appears among sentient beings who have become fitting receptacles for awakening thanks to their maturation and belief. These sentient beings then hear the Dharma according to their dispositions and beliefs. According to their dispositions they understand the three vehicles, and according to their dispositions they obtain belief.

______________________________________

[II-2. The simile of the great Dharma Drum

Although Buddhahood is just like a great Dharma drum, invisible, not to be beheld, bodiless, not true, not real, with no mind, without intention, sign-less, formless, voiceless, non-dual, non-existent, and out of sight [T2] — In short Buddhahood (or Reality as it is) is indescribable / inconceivable (tetralemma: it is not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth, for whatever 'this' is), free from all extremes & middle, free from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, free from all defining limitations, free from all conditioning / karma, free from any origination & duration & change & cessation, free from all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / differentiation, causality / production / action / laws, form / matter-energy, space & time — nevertheless, sentient beings perceive the voice of Dharma (the voice of Reality as it is) due to the maturation of previous karma, according to their individual aspirations and interests, and designate the compassionate Tathāgata accordingly. [T1] [U2T] The Tathāgata (Reality as it is) is still perceived / heard according to one's conditioning / karma or accumulated merit & wisdom; sentient beings still have faith in him, are still inspired by him; he still possesses three inseparable kayas, pure qualities and perform enlightened activities; he is still useful / meaningful / not completely uncaused / not completely non-existent / not completely non-functional … Conclusion: the three Jewels – Buddha, Dharma, Sangha – are NOT about mere-emptiness / nothingness / non-existence / non-functionality / non-acting / non-perception / non-feeling / non-thinking / non-ideation / non-conceptualisation / non-discrimination / non-differentiation / rejecting-all / uselessness / meaninglessness / total escape from samsara / total extinction.
Although a Buddha is empty of inherent existence [T2], he still possesses three inseparable pure kayas, pure qualities and enlightened activities (like teaching the Dharma) [T1] [U2T]. He is not arising / existing / real / acting / changing / ceasing, not completely non-arising / non-existing / unreal / non-acting / non-changing / non-ceasing, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning he is indescribable / inconceivable. So we say that everything is 'unarisen, unborn, uncaused, non-existent, unreal, unchanging, non-acting, non-thinking, non-moving, unceasing' as a temporary imperfect adapted skillful means / antidote to our usual positions, until we can directly perceive / realise / experience the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T]. Meanwhile we should not grasp at, get attached to, those antidotes, otherwise they turn into poisons. This applies to the Buddha and all things / phenomena; to the Ground and its inseparable natural spontaneous manifestations [UGM].
All dharmas are like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions: 'There, but not there.': not really existent / caused / functional / perceptible / acting, not completely non-existent / uncaused / non-functional / imperceptible / non-acting / uselessness / meaninglessness, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned ordinary mind(s).
All dharmas are appearing [T1] but empty [T2]; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].
"Mañjuśrī, there is no Tathāgata [to grasp as inherently existing, independently, absolutely] [T2].
However, the designation 'Tathāgata' comes about in the world because of the voice of Dharma [T1] [U2T]."
Add to this that the true Buddha is the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T].
Because of our ignorance, we perceive Reality as it is, not objectively (that is impossible) or directly (too much noise), but indirectly dualistically conceptually according to our conditioning / karma [U3S].]

[Goto TOC]

"It is as follows: Mañjuśrī, a great Dharma drum for making sounds of Dharma, which come about through the force of merit of the gods of the Thirty-Three, is placed in the atmosphere above the Vaijayanta Palace, beyond visible range. The divine scions cannot see it or behold it.

"However, Mañjuśrī, it is a great Dharma drum. Sometimes the gods in the heaven of the Thirty-Three become so intensely and continuously oblivious from playing with, enjoying, and delighting themselves with their divine pleasures that they fail to enter the divine hall called Sudharma to jointly chant the Dharma. And, Mañjuśrī, Śakra, lord of the gods, becomes so intensely and continuously oblivious from playing with, enjoying, and delighting himself with his divine pleasures that he fails to sit on his Dharma seat to speak of the Dharma.

"Mañjuśrī, at such times, that great Dharma drum, not to be seen or beheld, hanging in the atmosphere beyond visible range, plays a Dharma sound that addresses all the gods in the heaven of the Thirty-Three, 'Friends! Form, sound, smell, flavor, and touch are impermanent; do not be careless. Do not quickly fall down from this abode! Friends, all co-producing factors are suffering! Friends, all co-producing factors are without self! Friends, all co-producing factors are empty! Do not become careless: for those who die and fall from here, to take birth here once again is difficult. So chant the Dharma together, and delight in the pleasant joy of Dharma. Remain with Dharma as your essence, being inclined toward the Dharma, with Dharma pouring like rain, recollecting and placing the Dharma in the mind. You shall not then have to part from these divine enjoyments and delights in games of pleasure.'

"At that time, Mañjuśrī, due to the sound of that great Dharma drum‍invisible, formless, inconceivable, not a mental construct, out of sight, unborn, unceasing, beyond the way of words (inconceivable), and devoid of mind, mentality, and consciousness—all the gods in the heaven of the Thirty-Three are roused, scared, alarmed, and very distressed. They enter the divine hall called Sudharma and remain there, delighting in the pleasant joy of Dharma. They make the Dharma their essence, they become inclined toward the Dharma, with Dharma pouring like rain, recollecting and keeping the Dharma in mind. When they die and fall from that abode, they will again reach excellent places. Śakra, the king of the gods, then enters Sudharma, the divine hall, takes a seat on the Dharma throne, and teaches the Dharma.

"Mañjuśrī, when the demigods battle against the gods, whenever the gods of the heaven of the Thirty-Three are being defeated, the Dharma drum emits a sound that makes the demigods so frightened, alarmed, agitated, and distressed that they flee. Nevertheless, Mañjuśrī, that great Dharma drum does not have a producer, nor does it have a body. Mañjuśrī, that Dharma drum is invisible, not to be beheld, not true, not real, with no mind, without intention, sign-less, formless, voiceless, immaterial, non-dual, and out of sight.

"Nevertheless, Mañjuśrī, for those gods in the heaven of the Thirty-Three who have previously purified themselves, a sound comes forth from the great Dharma drum. It occurs to pacify all the misfortunes, troubles, and afflictions of the gods of the Thirty-Three.

"Mañjuśrī, in the same way that from that great Dharma drum, a sound issues forth‍—invisible, bodiless, not to be beheld, not true, not real, with no mind, without intention, sign-less, formless, voiceless, immaterial, non-dual, and out of sight‍—due to the maturation of previous karma of those gods in the heaven of the Thirty-Three, to pacify all their misfortunes, troubles, and afflictions, and prompts the careless gods, and in the same way as that sound of Dharma occurs to pacify all the misfortunes, troubles, and afflictions of the gods of the Thirty-Three, so, too, Mañjuśrī, although the Tathāgata, the Arhat, the Perfect and Complete Buddha is invisible, not to be beheld, bodiless, not true, not real, with no mind, without intention, sign-less, formless, voiceless, non-dual, non-existent, and out of sight [T2], nevertheless, Mañjuśrī, sentient beings perceive the voice of Dharma due to the maturation of previous karma, according to their individual aspirations and interests. [T1] [U2T] And that sound of Dharma occurs to pacify all misfortunes, troubles, and afflictions of all sentient beings. Being the voice of Dharma, it is regarded in the world as the voice of the Tathāgata.

"Mañjuśrī, there is no Tathāgata [to grasp as inherently existing, independently, absolutely] [T2].
However, the designation 'Tathāgata' comes about in the world because of the voice of Dharma. [T1] [U2T]
It is exclusively due to the maturation of sentient beings' previous wholesome karma that they perceive the voice of the Tathāgata. That voice emerges in order to produce happiness for all sentient beings and to prompt those who are careless. Mañjuśrī, as those sentient beings hear that sound, they form the concept of a tathāgata, thinking, 'This is the Tathāgata's body.'

"The speech of the Tathāgata is heard so that beginner bodhisattvas and all immature, ordinary people may generate roots of what is wholesome by taking the Tathāgata as their reference point. However, Mañjuśrī,
the Tathāgata should be known to be non-arisen [non-existent] and non-ceasing.
(i.e. the Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]) (i.e. Here 'non-arisen and non-ceasing' means not caused / produced / arisen / existent / ceasing, not uncaused / unproduced / unarisen / non-existent / unceasing, not both together, not neither. [U2T]) (i.e. There are no real three stages of becoming – origination / birth / coming, duration / life / staying, cessation / death / going –; or total absence of them.)

______________________________________

[II-3. The simile of a rain cloud

Although Buddhahood is just like a rain cloud, not arisen, not really existent / unreal [T2], not ceasing, just a designation, merely labeled / imputed by the mind [T1] — In short Buddhahood (or Reality as it is) is indescribable / inconceivable (tetralemma: it is not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth, for whatever 'this' is), free from all extremes & middle, free from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, free from all defining limitations, free from all conditioning / karma, free from any origination & duration & change & cessation, free from all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / differentiation, causality / production / action / laws, form / matter-energy, space & time — nevertheless, sentient beings perceive the voice of Dharma (the voice of Reality as it is) due to the maturation of previous karma, according to their individual aspirations and interests, and designate the compassionate Tathāgata accordingly. [T1] [U2T] The Tathāgata (Reality as it is) is still perceived / heard according to one's conditioning / karma or accumulated merit & wisdom; sentient beings still have faith in him, are still inspired by him; he still possesses three inseparable kayas, pure qualities and perform enlightened activities; he is still useful / meaningful / not completely uncaused / not completely non-existent / not completely non-functional … Conclusion: the three Jewels – Buddha, Dharma, Sangha – are NOT about mere-emptiness / nothingness / non-existence / non-functionality / non-acting / non-perception / non-feeling / non-thinking / non-ideation / non-conceptualisation / non-discrimination / non-differentiation / rejecting-all / uselessness / meaninglessness / total escape from samsara / total extinction.
Although a Buddha is empty of inherent existence [T2], he still possesses three inseparable pure kayas, pure qualities and enlightened activities (like teaching the Dharma) [T1] [U2T]. He is not arising / existing / real / acting / changing / ceasing, not completely non-arising / non-existing / unreal / non-acting / non-changing / non-ceasing, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning he is indescribable / inconceivable. So we say that everything is 'unarisen, unborn, uncaused, non-existent, unreal, unchanging, non-acting, non-thinking, non-moving, unceasing' as a temporary imperfect adapted skillful means / antidote to our usual positions, until we can directly perceive / realise / experience the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T]. Meanwhile we should not grasp at, get attached to, those antidotes, otherwise they turn into poisons. This applies to the Buddha and all things / phenomena; to the Ground and its inseparable natural spontaneous manifestations [UGM].
All dharmas are like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions: 'There, but not there.': not really existent / caused / functional / perceptible / acting, not completely non-existent / uncaused / non-functional / imperceptible / non-acting / uselessness / meaninglessness, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned ordinary mind(s).
All dharmas are appearing [T1] but empty [T2]; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].
"Mañjuśrī, this word appears among gods and men: Tathāgata [T1].
However, Mañjuśrī, there is no Tathāgata to be found [T2] [U2T]."
"Mañjuśrī, when the teaching of the Dharma is taken as a point of reference [T1]
for an unreal tathāgata who has not arisen nor ceased, and who is non-existent and primordially unborn, [T2]
the designation 'the Tathāgata, the Arhat, the Perfect and Complete Buddha' becomes established in the world [T1] [U2T]."
Add to this that the true Buddha is the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T].
Because of our ignorance, we perceive Reality as it is, not objectively (that is impossible) or directly (too much noise), but indirectly dualistically conceptually according to our conditioning / karma [U3S].]

[Goto TOC]

"It is as follows: Mañjuśrī, at the end of summertime, during the first month of rains, due to the maturation of sentient beings' previous karma, and to generate, out of the multitudes of seeds and elements, all the grass, thickets, medicinal herbs, and trees on earth, winds begin to blow in the atmosphere and the sky above; then water comes about due to that wind, and it falls on the great earth. Thus, the great earth is satisfied, and all sentient beings in Jambūdvīpa are joyful and happy. Referring to this, the notion of a 'cloud' comes about in the world.

"Mañjuśrī, whenever not much rain falls from the atmosphere and the sky above, all the sentient beings in Jambūdvīpa think, 'Here there is not a cloud.' But when, Mañjuśrī, a lot of rain falls on the great earth from the atmosphere and the sky above, they say: 'Oh, a great cloud is pouring down water, satisfying the great earth.'

"However, Mañjuśrī, when this happens [T1] there is neither a cloud [T2], nor anything that can be designated as a cloud [T1] [U2T]. (i.e. Here 'No' means not existent / functional / real, not non-existent / non-functional / unreal, not both together, not neither. [U2T])

Mañjuśrī, a large mass of water is generated by the wind, and then it falls from the atmosphere above. Mañjuśrī, the mass of water disappears in the atmosphere itself, due to the ripening of sentient beings' previous karma.

"Mañjuśrī, that cumulus of water above in the atmosphere, stirred by the wind and releasing water, is designated a cloud due to the maturation of sentient beings' previous karma [T1]. However, Mañjuśrī, no cloud can be found there, nor anything that could be designated a cloud. [T2] [U2T]

Mañjuśrī, the cloud is non-arisen [non-existent] and non-ceasing; it does not enter the way of mind, and it is free from coming  [lasting] and going. [D]
(i.e. Here 'non-arisen and non-ceasing' means not caused / produced / arisen / existent / ceasing, not uncaused / unproduced / unarisen / non-existent / unceasing, not both together, not neither. [U2T]) (i.e. There are no real three stages of becoming – origination / birth / coming, duration / life / staying, cessation / death / going –; or total absence of them.)

"In the same way, Mañjuśrī, for bodhisattva great beings who have accumulated previous roots of what is wholesome; for other sentient beings who wish for the awareness of a hearer or a pratyekabuddha; and for those sentient beings who have accumulated roots of what is wholesome and possess the causes to be shown the path to nirvāṇa, the Tathāgata, the Arhat, the Perfect and Complete Buddha with unobstructed brilliance comes to be counted as arisen in the world.

"Whatever he says is thus (tathā), undistorted, thus and not otherwise. Therefore, he was given the name Tathāgata among gods and men. Mañjuśrī, this word appears among gods and men: Tathāgata [T1]. However, Mañjuśrī, there is no Tathāgata to be found [T2] [U2T] [A].
(i.e. Here 'No' means not existent / functional / real, not non-existent / non-functional / unreal, not both together, not neither. [U2T])

The Tathāgata, Mañjuśrī, is not a sign, and he is free from signs.
He is not placed in any of the primary or intermediate directions.
He is unreal [U2T], non-arisen, [non-existent] and non-ceasing [D].
(i.e. Here 'non-arisen and non-ceasing' means not caused / produced / arisen / existent / ceasing, not uncaused / unproduced / unarisen / non-existent / unceasing, not both together, not neither. [U2T]) (i.e. There are no real three stages of becoming – origination / birth / coming, duration / life / staying, cessation / death / going –; or total absence of them.)

"On the other hand, Mañjuśrī, the appearance of the Tathāgata satisfies and entertains this world, including the gods, through the Dharma. And then, due to the ripening of previous karma of beginner bodhisattvas and immature, ordinary people who are guided by means of nirvāṇa, it appears that the Tathāgata is no more to be seen. They think, 'The Tathāgata has passed into complete nirvāṇa.' However, Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata neither arises nor ceases.
The Tathāgata, Mañjuśrī, is non-arisen [non-existent] and non-ceasing [D]
(i.e. the Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T]).
(i.e. Here 'non-arisen and non-ceasing' means not caused / produced / arisen / existent / ceasing, not uncaused / unproduced / unarisen / non-existent / unceasing, not both together, not neither. [U2T]) (i.e. There are no real three stages of becoming – origination / birth / coming, duration / life / staying, cessation / death / going –; or total absence of them.)

Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata, the Arhat, the Perfect and Complete Buddha is primordially in complete nirvāṇa. [I]

"Mañjuśrī, when some water is taken as a point of reference [T1] for an unreal cloud [T2] that has not arisen nor ceased, and is non-existent, the designation 'cloud' is established in the world [T1]. (i.e. Here 'not-existent' means not existent / functional / real, not non-existent / non-functional / unreal, not both together, not neither. [U2T])

In the very same way, Mañjuśrī, when the teaching of the Dharma is taken as a point of reference [T1] for an unreal tathāgata who has not arisen nor ceased, and who is non-existent [T2] and primordially unborn, the designation 'the Tathāgata, the Arhat, the Perfect and Complete Buddha' becomes established in the world [T1] [U2T]. (i.e. Here 'non-existent' means not existent / functional / real, not non-existent / non-functional / unreal, not both together, not neither. [U2T])

______________________________________

[II-4. The simile of the god Mahābrahm

Although Buddhahood is just like a dream / magical illusion / trick of the sight / mirage / reflection / echo / City of Gandharvas / emanated apparition, empty [T2], dependent [T1] [U2T], unreal, without syllables, without voice, without place, not an existent thing, inconceivable, without signs, and free from mentality, mind, and consciousness, non-arisen, non-existent and unceasing [T2] — In short Buddhahood (or Reality as it is) is indescribable / inconceivable (tetralemma: it is not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth, for whatever 'this' is), free from all extremes & middle, free from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, free from all defining limitations, free from all conditioning / karma, free from any origination & duration & change & cessation, free from all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / differentiation, causality / production / action / laws, form / matter-energy, space & time — nevertheless, sentient beings perceive the voice of Dharma (the voice of Reality as it is) due to the maturation of previous karma, according to their individual aspirations and interests, and designate the compassionate Tathāgata accordingly. [T1] [U2T] The Tathāgata (Reality as it is) is still perceived / heard according to one's conditioning / karma or accumulated merit & wisdom; sentient beings still have faith in him, are still inspired by him; he still possesses three inseparable kayas, pure qualities and perform enlightened activities; he is still useful / meaningful / not completely uncaused / not completely non-existent / not completely non-functional … Conclusion: the three Jewels – Buddha, Dharma, Sangha – are NOT about mere-emptiness / nothingness / non-existence / non-functionality / non-acting / non-perception / non-feeling / non-thinking / non-ideation / non-conceptualisation / non-discrimination / non-differentiation / rejecting-all / uselessness / meaninglessness / total escape from samsara / total extinction.
Although a Buddha is empty of inherent existence [T2], he still possesses three inseparable pure kayas, pure qualities and enlightened activities [T1] [U2T]. He is not arising / existing / real / acting / changing / ceasing, not completely non-arising / non-existing / unreal / non-acting / non-changing / non-ceasing, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning he is indescribable / inconceivable. So we say that everything is 'unarisen, unborn, uncaused, non-existent, unreal, unchanging, non-acting, non-thinking, non-moving, unceasing' as a temporary imperfect adapted skillful means / antidote to our usual positions, until we can directly perceive / realise / experience the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T]. Meanwhile we should not grasp at, get attached to, those antidotes, otherwise they turn into poisons. This applies to the Buddha and all things / phenomena; to the Ground and its inseparable natural spontaneous manifestations [UGM].
All dharmas are like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions: 'There, but not there.': not really existent / caused / functional / perceptible / acting, not completely non-existent / uncaused / non-functional / imperceptible / non-acting / uselessness / meaninglessness, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned ordinary mind(s).
All dharmas are appearing [T1] but empty [T2]; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].
"Mañjuśrī, through this explanation you should understand that 'non-arising and non-cessation'
is an appellation of the Tathāgata [Reality as it is]."
"The Tathāgata is a reflected image
Of the wholesome Dharma without.
Yet here there is no tathatā and no Tathāgata, [T2]
While an image is seen in the entire world." [T1] [U2T]
Add to this that the true Buddha is the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T].
Because of our ignorance, we perceive Reality as it is, not objectively (that is impossible) or directly (too much noise), but indirectly dualistically conceptually according to our conditioning / karma [U3S].]

[Goto TOC]

"It is as follows: Mañjuśrī, every day the great and unsurpassed Brahmā, who controls ten trichiliocosms, looks upon all the classes of gods, as far as the class of the gods of the Four Great Kings. At that time, Mañjuśrī, while the great Brahmā, who controls ten trichiliocosms, looks upon all the classes of gods, they all abandon their games of pleasure, delights, and enjoyments. They stop playing their percussion instruments and halt their singing. Shifting their attention from their games of pleasure and delights, they respectfully fold their hands and look toward the great Brahmā without blinking. For a moment, the great Brahmā offers sight of himself to all the classes of gods. At that time, the gods all long to be born in the world of the great Brahmā, and they dedicate their roots of what is wholesome toward taking birth in the world of the great Brahmā.

"Moreover, Mañjuśrī, that great Brahmā, without falling down from that Brahmā Palace, empowers another great Brahmā as the controller of ten trichiliocosms, thanks to the power of his previous aspirations and due to the prior accumulation of virtue on the part of the gods.

"Mañjuśrī, that emanated great Brahmā (emanated apparition) looks upon all the classes of gods, as far as the class of the gods of the Four Great Kings. At that time, Mañjuśrī, among all the classes of gods, all the scions of the gods abandon their games of pleasure, delights, and enjoyments. They stop playing their percussion instruments and halt their singing. Shifting their attention from their games of pleasure and delights, they respectfully fold their hands and look toward the great Brahmā without blinking. For a moment, the great Brahmā offers sight of himself to all the classes of gods. At that time, the gods all long to be born in the world of the great Brahmā, and they dedicate their roots of what is wholesome toward taking birth in the world of the great Brahmā.

"Still, Mañjuśrī, no Brahmā is there to be found [T2]. Mañjuśrī, Brahmā is empty [T2], dependent [T1] [U2T], unreal, without syllables, without voice, without place, and also not an existent thing. He is inconceivable, without signs, and free from mentality, mind, and consciousness. He is non-arisen [non-existent] and unceasing [D]. And yet, Mañjuśrī, a semblance of him offering sight of himself appears among all the classes of gods, by the power of his own previous roots of what is wholesome and aspirations, and due to the previous accumulations of roots of what is wholesome on the part of those gods [T1] [U2T].

"Yet, Mañjuśrī, those gods do not think, 'This Brahmā is an emanation. He is empty [T2], dependent [T1] [U2T], unreal, without syllables, without voice, without place, and also not an existent thing. He is inconceivable, without signs, and free from mentality, mind, and consciousness. He is non-arisen [non-existent] and unceasing [D].'
(i.e. Here 'non-arisen and non-ceasing' means not caused / produced / arisen / existent / ceasing, not uncaused / unproduced / unarisen / non-existent / unceasing, not both together, not neither. [U2T]) (i.e. There are no real three stages of becoming – origination / birth / coming, duration / life / staying, cessation / death / going –; or total absence of them.)

"Mañjuśrī, in the same manner the Tathāgata, the Arhat, the Perfect and Complete Buddha is empty [T2], dependent [T1] [U2T], unreal, without syllables, without voice, without place, and also not an existent thing. He is inconceivable, without signs, and free from mentality, mind, and consciousness. He is non-arisen [non-existent] and unceasing [D].

"Still, Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata, the Arhat, the Perfect and Complete Buddha is seen in the world. This is due to the power of his previous aspirations during his practice as a bodhisattva, and also due to the power of all the roots of what is wholesome of the beginner bodhisattvas, of those who set out on the vehicles of the hearers and the pratyekabuddhas, as well as of all the immature, ordinary people. He is seen in the world as a tathāgata adorned with hundreds of thousands of marks, like a reflected image; and he does not move from his place. [T1] [T2] [A]

"However, Mañjuśrī, the beginner bodhisattvas and all those who set out on the vehicles of the hearers and the pratyekabuddhas, as well as all immature, ordinary people, do not think, 'The Tathāgata, the Arhat, the Perfect and Complete Buddha is empty, dependent, unreal, without syllables, without voice, without place, and also not an existent thing. He is inconceivable, without signs, and free from mentality, mind, and consciousness. He is non-arisen [non-existent] and unceasing [D].'

"Yet, Mañjuśrī, from the body of the Tathāgata, adorned with hundreds of thousands of marks, during all the empty postures of a tathāgata, a great Dharma teaching emanates for the sake of varied sentient beings with diverse beliefs.

"That Dharma teaching occurs to pacify all the troubles, harms, and afflictions of all sentient beings. In that regard, the Tathāgata is the same, neutral, without concepts, and does not make any distinctions. Thus, Mañjuśrī, through this explanation you should understand that
'non-arising [, non-existence] and non-cessation' is an appellation of the Tathāgata [I]
(i.e. the Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T])."
(i.e. Here 'non-arisen and non-ceasing' means not caused / produced / arisen / existent / ceasing, not uncaused / unproduced / unarisen / non-existent / unceasing, not both together, not neither. [U2T]) (i.e. There are no real three stages of becoming – origination / birth / coming, duration / life / staying, cessation / death / going –; or total absence of them.)

Then, at that time, the Bhagavat spoke the following two stanzas:

"The Tathāgata always has the quality of non-arising [D],
And all dharmas resemble the Sugata.
Yet immature minds, by their grasping at signs,
Roam the world among non-existent dharmas.

"The Tathāgata is a reflected image
Of the wholesome Dharma without .
Yet here there is no tathatā and no Tathāgata,
While an image is seen in the entire world.

______________________________________

[II.5. The simile of the rays of the sun

Although Buddhahood is just like the rays of the sun, everywhere the same, neutral, without concepts, and does not make any distinctions, beyond all constructs, concepts, and elaborations [T2] — In short Buddhahood (or Reality as it is) is indescribable / inconceivable (tetralemma: it is not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth, for whatever 'this' is), free from all extremes & middle, free from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, free from all defining limitations, free from all conditioning / karma, free from any origination & duration & change & cessation, free from all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / differentiation, causality / production / action / laws, form / matter-energy, space & time — nevertheless, sentient beings perceive the voice of Dharma (the voice of Reality as it is) due to the maturation of previous karma, according to their individual aspirations and interests, and designate the compassionate Tathāgata accordingly. [T1] [U2T] The Tathāgata (Reality as it is) is still perceived / heard according to one's conditioning / karma or accumulated merit & wisdom; sentient beings still have faith in him, are still inspired by him; he still possesses three inseparable kayas, pure qualities and perform enlightened activities; he is still useful / meaningful / not completely uncaused / not completely non-existent / not completely non-functional … Conclusion: the three Jewels – Buddha, Dharma, Sangha – are NOT about mere-emptiness / nothingness / non-existence / non-functionality / non-acting / non-perception / non-feeling / non-thinking / non-ideation / non-conceptualisation / non-discrimination / non-differentiation / rejecting-all / uselessness / meaninglessness / total escape from samsara / total extinction.
Although a Buddha is empty of inherent existence [T2], he still possesses three inseparable pure kayas, pure qualities and enlightened activities [T1] [U2T]. He is not arising / existing / real / acting / changing / ceasing, not completely non-arising / non-existing / unreal / non-acting / non-changing / non-ceasing, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning he is indescribable / inconceivable. So we say that everything is 'unarisen, unborn, uncaused, non-existent, unreal, unchanging, non-acting, non-thinking, non-moving, unceasing' as a temporary imperfect adapted skillful means / antidote to our usual positions, until we can directly perceive / realise / experience the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T]. Meanwhile we should not grasp at, get attached to, those antidotes, otherwise they turn into poisons. This applies to the Buddha and all things / phenomena; to the Ground and its inseparable natural spontaneous manifestations [UGM].
All dharmas are like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions: 'There, but not there.': not really existent / caused / functional / perceptible / acting, not completely non-existent / uncaused / non-functional / imperceptible / non-acting / uselessness / meaninglessness, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned ordinary mind(s).
All dharmas are appearing [T1] but empty [T2]; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].
Add to this that the true Buddha is the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T].
Because of our ignorance, we perceive Reality as it is, not objectively (that is impossible) or directly (too much noise), but indirectly dualistically conceptually according to our conditioning / karma [U3S].]

[Goto TOC]

"It is as follows: Mañjuśrī, here in Jambūdvīpa the rays of the sun only shine at first on the great king of mighty mountains. After that, they shine on the Cakravāḍa and Mahācakravāḍa ranges. After that, they shine on the elevated regions of the earth. After that, they shine on the low-lying regions of the earth here in Jambūdvīpa.

"Yet those sun rays, Mañjuśrī, do not form mental constructs or concepts. They do not think or ponder. The rays of the sun, Mañjuśrī, are free from mentality, mind, and consciousness; they are unborn [non-existent] and unceasing [D], without characteristics, free from characteristics; without mental placement, free from mental placement, without elaboration, free from elaboration; without torment, free from torment; not abiding hither, not abiding thither; not high, not low; not bound, not liberated; not knowing, not ignorant; not afflictions, not free from afflictions; not speaking the truth, not speaking falsely; not over there, not here; not on dry land, not in the stream; not the domain of reasoning, not the domain of non-reasoning; neither with form, nor formless. Yet, Mañjuśrī, due to the distinction of higher, middling, and lower places on the earth, the light shines differently, at higher, middling, and lower degrees causing varied shades.

"In the same way, Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata, the Arhat, the Perfect and Complete Buddha does not form mental constructs or concepts. He does not think or ponder. Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata is free from mind, mentality, and consciousness. He is unborn [non-existent] and unceasing [D]. He is without characteristics, free from characteristics; without mental placement, free from mental placement, without elaboration, free from elaboration; without torment, free from torment; not abiding hither, not abiding thither; not high, not low; not bound, not liberated; not knowing, not ignorant; not afflictions, not free from afflictions; not speaking the truth, not speaking falsely; not over there, not here; not on the shore, nor on the non-shore; not on low land, nor on non-low land; not on dry land, nor on non-dry land; not in the stream, nor in the non-stream; not on the plains. [Uopp]

"He is not omniscient, not non-omniscient; not reasoning, not non-reasoning; not acting, not non-acting; neither behavior nor non-behavior; neither mindful nor unmindful, neither with intention nor free from intention; neither mind nor without mind; neither originated nor unoriginated; neither name nor no name; neither form nor no form; neither verbal expression nor non-verbal expression; neither a possible object of imputation, nor not a possible object of imputation; neither visible nor invisible; neither a conducive way nor not a conducive way; neither leading along the way, nor not leading along the way; neither having obtained the result, nor not having obtained the result; neither a concept, nor not a concept; neither free from concepts, nor not free from concepts. [Uopp]

"Similarly, Mañjuśrī, the rays of awareness from the round sun of the Tathāgata shine brilliantly in the three realms, unimpeded throughout the dharmadhātu with neither edge nor center.
Once they shine, they first descend upon the bodies of bodhisattvas, whose aspirations are like the great lord of mountains.
After that, they descend upon the bodies of those who set forth on the Vehicle of Pratyekabuddhas.
Then they descend upon the bodies of those who have set forth on the Hearers' Vehicle.
After that, they descend upon the body of sentient beings with wholesome aspirations, according to their specific inclinations.
After that, the rays of awareness from the round sun of the Tathāgata even descend upon the body of those sentient beings with mental continua that are stuck in what is wrong.
The rays assist all these beings by producing causes for what will come later, and increase their wholesome dharmas.

"In that respect, Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata is everywhere the same, neutral, without concepts, and does not make any distinctions. Moreover, Mañjuśrī, the round sun of the Tathāgata's awareness does not think, 'I will teach this person the vast Dharma, but I will not teach that one.' Neither do they have the concept, 'This person has vast beliefs, that one has middling beliefs. This one has belief in the Hearers' Vehicle. This one has wholesome aspirations while that one is low, with wrong aspirations.'

"Mañjuśrī, the round sun of the Tathāgata's awareness does not think, 'This sentient being has vast beliefs, so I will teach him the Great Vehicle. This one has middling beliefs, so I will teach him the Pratyekabuddha Vehicle. This one has belief in the Hearers' Vehicle, so I will teach him the Hearers' Vehicle. I shall come to understand the aspirations of sentient beings with either wholesome or unwholesome aspirations, then purify them and straighten up their view. Even for sentient beings stuck in what is wrong, I shall teach a fitting dharma.'

"The light of the rays of awareness from the round sun of the Tathāgata does not have any such concepts. And why? Because the light of the rays of awareness from the round sun of the Tathāgata has cut off [is beyond] all constructs, concepts, and elaborations [T1]. On the other hand, Mañjuśrī, because of variations in sentient beings' inclinations to wholesome intent, the light of the rays of awareness from the round sun of the Tathāgata is varied too. [T2] [U2T]

______________________________________

[II-6. The simile of the the wish-fulfilling jewel

Although Buddhahood is just like the wish-fulfilling jewel, inconceivable, free from what can be conceived, free from mind, mentality, and consciousness, non-grasping, the act of not holding on, not obtained, not obtainable, has eliminated arbitrary truths as well as attachment, aversion, and delusion, neither true nor false, neither permanent nor impermanent, neither shining nor not shining, neither worldly nor non-worldly, without deliberation or analysis, non-arisen and unceasing, inconceivable, imponderable, essence-less, not possibly an essence, empty of non-existence, free from striving or giving anything up, cannot be clung to, not a conventional expression, the cutting off of conventional expressions, not bliss,free from bliss, the destruction of bliss, cannot be counted, free from counting, not movement, has reached non-movement, has cut off [is beyond] all movement, has cut off [is beyond] all conventional expressions, cannot be seen or beholden, ungraspable, not space, not lack of space, not visible, not to be described, not an assemblage, not a non-assemblage, neither mentally constructed nor not mentally constructed, not established, shown, afflicted, or purified, not name, not form, not sign, not karma, not the maturation of karma, not past, not future, not present, nothing whatsoever, without impurity, without syllables, without voice, beyond a voice, not speech, not a characteristic, he is free from all characteristics, not perceived inside, outside, or in between – In short Buddhahood (or Reality as it is) is indescribable / inconceivable (tetralemma: it is not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth, for whatever 'this' is), free from all extremes & middle, free from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, free from all defining limitations, free from all conditioning / karma, free from any origination & duration & change & cessation, free from all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / differentiation, causality / production / action / laws, form / matter-energy, space & time — nevertheless, sentient beings perceive the voice of Dharma (the voice of Reality as it is) due to the maturation of previous karma, according to their individual aspirations and interests, and designate the compassionate Tathāgata accordingly. [T1] [U2T] The Tathāgata (Reality as it is) is still perceived / heard according to one's conditioning / karma or accumulated merit & wisdom; sentient beings still have faith in him, are still inspired by him; he still possesses three inseparable kayas, pure qualities and perform enlightened activities; he is still useful / meaningful / not completely uncaused / not completely non-existent / not completely non-functional … Conclusion: the three Jewels – Buddha, Dharma, Sangha – are NOT about mere-emptiness / nothingness / non-existence / non-functionality / non-acting / non-perception / non-feeling / non-thinking / non-ideation / non-conceptualisation / non-discrimination / non-differentiation / rejecting-all / uselessness / meaninglessness / total escape from samsara / total extinction.
Although a Buddha is empty of inherent existence [T2], he still possesses three inseparable pure kayas, pure qualities and enlightened activities [T1] [U2T]. He is not arising / existing / real / acting / changing / ceasing, not completely non-arising / non-existing / unreal / non-acting / non-changing / non-ceasing, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning he is indescribable / inconceivable. So we say that everything is 'unarisen, unborn, uncaused, non-existent, unreal, unchanging, non-acting, non-thinking, non-moving, unceasing' as a temporary imperfect adapted skillful means / antidote to our usual positions, until we can directly perceive / realise / experience the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T]. Meanwhile we should not grasp at, get attached to, those antidotes, otherwise they turn into poisons. This applies to the Buddha and all things / phenomena; to the Ground and its inseparable natural spontaneous manifestations [UGM].
All dharmas are like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions: 'There, but not there.': not really existent / caused / functional / perceptible / acting, not completely non-existent / uncaused / non-functional / imperceptible / non-acting / uselessness / meaninglessness, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned ordinary mind(s).
All dharmas are appearing [T1] but empty [T2]; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].
"Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata is the same, neutral, without concepts, and does not make any distinctions."
Add to this that the true Buddha is the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T].
Because of our ignorance, we perceive Reality as it is, not objectively (that is impossible) or directly (too much noise), but indirectly dualistically conceptually according to our conditioning / karma [U3S].]

[Goto TOC]

"It is as follows: Mañjuśrī, in the great ocean there is a great, precious jewel called Fulfilling All Wishes. When it is attached to the top of a banner and a sentient being makes a wish, sentient beings will perceive corresponding words coming forth from the jewel. However, that great, precious jewel does not form mental constructs or concepts. It does not think or ponder. It is inconceivable, free from what can be conceived, and free from mind, mentality, and consciousness.

"In the very same way, Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata, the Arhat, the Perfect and Complete Buddha does not form mental constructs or concepts. He does not think or ponder. He is inconceivable, free from what can be conceived, and free from mind, mentality, and consciousness. He is non-grasping, the act of not holding on. He is not obtained, not obtainable. He has eliminated arbitrary truths as well as attachment, aversion, and delusion. He is neither true nor false, neither permanent nor impermanent, neither shining nor not shining, neither worldly nor non-worldly. He is without deliberation or analysis. He is non-arisen [non-existent] and unceasing [D].
(i.e. Here 'non-arisen and non-ceasing' means not caused / produced / arisen / existent / ceasing, not uncaused / unproduced / unarisen / non-existent / unceasing, not both together, not neither. [U2T]) (i.e. There are no real three stages of becoming – origination / birth / coming, duration / life / staying, cessation / death / going –; or total absence of them.)

"He is inconceivable, imponderable, essence-less, and not possibly an essence. He is empty of non-existence; he is free from striving or giving anything up. He cannot be clung to. He is not a conventional expression; he is the cutting off of conventional expressions. He is not bliss, he is free from bliss; he is the destruction of bliss.

"He cannot be counted; he is free from counting. He is not movement, he has reached non-movement; he has cut off [is beyond] all movement and has cut off [is beyond] all conventional expressions.

"He cannot be seen or beholden, he is ungraspable. He is not space, not lack of space. He is not visible, not to be described, not an assemblage, and not a non-assemblage. He is neither mentally constructed nor not mentally constructed. He is not established, shown, afflicted, or purified. He is not name, not form, not sign; not karma, not the maturation of karma. He is not past, not future, not present. He is nothing whatsoever. He is without impurity, without syllables, without voice, beyond a voice, not speech. He is not a characteristic, he is free from all characteristics; not perceived inside, outside, or in between. [Uopp]

"And Mañjuśrī, the awareness jewel of the Tathāgata is completely pure in its intent, and is fixed at the top of the banner of great compassion. According to his or her inclinations and beliefs, a sentient being perceives a Dharma teaching issuing forth from that jewel. And in this respect, Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata is the same, neutral, without concepts, and does not make any distinctions.

______________________________________

[II-7. The simile of the echo

Although Buddhahood is just like a dream / magical illusion / trick of the sight / mirage / reflection / echo / City of Gandharvas / emanated apparition, not past, future, or present, not perceived inside, outside, or in between, non-arisen & not non-arisen…, not existent & not non-existent…, not empty & not non-empty…, not ceasing & not unceasing…, not accepted & not rejected…, not permanent & not impermanent…, not endowed with awareness & not without awareness…, not wisdom & not non-wisdom…, not knowledge and not ignorance…, not liberation & bondage…, not blameworthy & not free from blame…, not recollection & not non-recollection…, not placed & not unplaced…, not sitting & not non-sitting…, not the earth element, not the water element, not the fire element, and not the wind element…, not co-produced & not unproduced…, not free from elaboration & not with elaboration…, not speech & not non-speech…, not visible & not invisible…; without syllables, free from non-syllables, without voice, beyond voice, without comparison, beyond comparison, not a characteristic, free from characteristics; neither peace nor not peace, neither long nor short, neither sentient nor insentient, and neither mental nor not mental; neither to be beheld, nor not to be beheld; empty of the nature of seeing, non-recollection, non-mental-placement, not deliberation, not analysis, free from mind, mentality, and consciousness, the same, neutral, without concepts, does not make any distinction, beyond the three time — In short Buddhahood (or Reality as it is) is indescribable / inconceivable (tetralemma: it is not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth, for whatever 'this' is), free from all extremes & middle, free from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, free from all defining limitations, free from all conditioning / karma, free from any origination & duration & change & cessation, free from all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / differentiation, causality / production / action / laws, form / matter-energy, space & time — nevertheless, sentient beings perceive the voice of Dharma (the voice of Reality as it is) due to the maturation of previous karma, according to their individual aspirations and interests, and designate the compassionate Tathāgata accordingly. [T1] [U2T] The Tathāgata (Reality as it is) is still perceived / heard according to one's conditioning / karma or accumulated merit & wisdom; sentient beings still have faith in him, are still inspired by him; he still possesses three inseparable kayas, pure qualities and perform enlightened activities; he is still useful / meaningful / not completely uncaused / not completely non-existent / not completely non-functional … Conclusion: the three Jewels – Buddha, Dharma, Sangha – are NOT about mere-emptiness / nothingness / non-existence / non-functionality / non-acting / non-perception / non-feeling / non-thinking / non-ideation / non-conceptualisation / non-discrimination / non-differentiation / rejecting-all / uselessness / meaninglessness / total escape from samsara / total extinction.
Although a Buddha is empty of inherent existence [T2], he still possesses three inseparable pure kayas, pure qualities and enlightened activities [T1] [U2T]. He is not arising / existing / real / acting / changing / ceasing, not completely non-arising / non-existing / unreal / non-acting / non-changing / non-ceasing, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning he is indescribable / inconceivable. So we say that everything is 'unarisen, unborn, uncaused, non-existent, unreal, unchanging, non-acting, non-thinking, non-moving, unceasing' as a temporary imperfect adapted skillful means / antidote to our usual positions, until we can directly perceive / realise / experience the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T]. Meanwhile we should not grasp at, get attached to, those antidotes, otherwise they turn into poisons. This applies to the Buddha and all things / phenomena; to the Ground and its inseparable natural spontaneous manifestations [UGM].
All dharmas are like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions: 'There, but not there.': not really existent / caused / functional / perceptible / acting, not completely non-existent / uncaused / non-functional / imperceptible / non-acting / uselessness / meaninglessness, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned ordinary mind(s).
All dharmas are appearing [T1] but empty [T2]; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].
"Yet, Mañjuśrī, sentient beings with varied beliefs perceive the speech of the Tathāgata,
issuing forth in accordance with their manifold inclinations [T1]."
Add to this that the true Buddha is the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T].
Because of our ignorance, we perceive Reality as it is, not objectively (that is impossible) or directly (too much noise), but indirectly dualistically conceptually according to our conditioning / karma [U3S].]

[Goto TOC]

"It is as follows: Mañjuśrī, sentient beings perceive an echo issuing forth as the intimation of someone else's speech.

"But that echo is not past, future, or present. It cannot be perceived inside, outside, or in between [T2]. It is non-arisen [non-existent] and unceasing [D]. It is not cut off, not permanent; it is not endowed with awareness, nor is it without awareness. It is neither wisdom nor not wisdom, neither knowledge nor ignorance, and neither liberation nor not liberation.

"It is neither blameworthy nor free from blame, neither recollection nor non-recollection, neither placed nor unplaced, neither sitting nor not sitting. It is not the earth element, not the water element, not the fire element, and not the wind element. It is neither co-produced nor unproduced, neither free from elaboration nor with elaboration, neither speech nor not speech, and neither visible nor invisible. [Uopp]

"It is without syllables, free from non-syllables, without voice, beyond voice, without comparison, beyond comparison, not a characteristic, free from characteristics. It is neither peace nor not peace, neither long nor short, neither sentient nor insentient, and neither mental nor not mental. It is neither to be beheld, nor not to be beheld. It is empty of the nature of seeing. It is non-recollection, and non-mental-placement. It is not deliberation, not analysis, and free from mind, mentality, and consciousness. In all regards it is the same, neutral, without concepts, and does not make any distinctions. It is beyond the three times. However, Mañjuśrī, the echo, the voice of many sounds, comes forth for sentient beings with varied inclinations, as the intimation of the voice of many sounds, and sentient beings perceive it to be just that way. [T1] [U2T]

"In the very same way, Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata, the Arhat, the Perfect and Complete Buddha is not past, future, or present. He cannot be perceived inside, outside, or in between [T2]. He is non-arisen [non-existent] and unceasing [D]. He is not cut off, not permanent; he is not endowed with awareness, nor is he without awareness. He is neither with wisdom nor without wisdom. He is neither knowledge nor ignorance, neither liberation nor not liberation.

"He is neither blameworthy nor free from blame, neither with recollection nor without recollection, neither placed nor unplaced, neither sitting nor not sitting. He is not the earth element, not the water element, not the fire element, and not the wind element. He is neither co-produced nor unproduced, neither elaboration nor non-elaboration, neither speech nor not speech, and neither visible nor invisible. [Uopp]

"He is without syllables, without voice, beyond voice, without comparison, beyond comparison, not a characteristic, free from characteristics. He is neither peaceful nor not peaceful, neither long nor short, neither sentient nor insentient, and neither mental nor not mental. He is neither to be beheld, nor not to be beheld. He is empty of the nature of seeing. He is non-recollection and non-mental-placement. He is not deliberation, not analysis, and free from mind, mentality, and consciousness. In all regards he is the same, neutral, without concepts, and does not make any distinctions. He is beyond the three times. Yet, Mañjuśrī, sentient beings with varied beliefs perceive the speech of the Tathāgata, issuing forth in accordance with their manifold inclinations. [T1] [U2T]

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[II-8. The simile of the earth as a basis

Although Buddhahood is just like the earth as a basis & support, does not form mental constructs or concepts, beyond all mental constructs, concepts, points of reference, and mental engagement, free from mind, mentality, and consciousness, neither speculation nor the domain of speculation, invisible, not to be beheld, not an object of thought or deliberation, without mental engagement, free from thought, free from mind, mentality, and consciousness, with respect to all, he is the same, neutral, without concepts, and he does not make any distinctions — In short Buddhahood (or Reality as it is) is indescribable / inconceivable (tetralemma: it is not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth, for whatever 'this' is), free from all extremes & middle, free from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, free from all defining limitations, free from all conditioning / karma, free from any origination & duration & change & cessation, free from all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / differentiation, causality / production / action / laws, form / matter-energy, space & time — nevertheless, sentient beings perceive the voice of Dharma (the voice of Reality as it is) due to the maturation of previous karma, according to their individual aspirations and interests, and designate the compassionate Tathāgata accordingly. [T1] [U2T] The Tathāgata (Reality as it is) is still perceived / heard according to one's conditioning / karma or accumulated merit & wisdom; sentient beings still have faith in him, are still inspired by him; he still possesses three inseparable kayas, pure qualities and perform enlightened activities; he is still useful / meaningful / not completely uncaused / not completely non-existent / not completely non-functional … Conclusion: the three Jewels – Buddha, Dharma, Sangha – are NOT about mere-emptiness / nothingness / non-existence / non-functionality / non-acting / non-perception / non-feeling / non-thinking / non-ideation / non-conceptualisation / non-discrimination / non-differentiation / rejecting-all / uselessness / meaninglessness / total escape from samsara / total extinction.
Although a Buddha is empty of inherent existence [T2], he still possesses three inseparable pure kayas, pure qualities and enlightened activities [T1] [U2T]. He is not arising / existing / real / acting / changing / ceasing, not completely non-arising / non-existing / unreal / non-acting / non-changing / non-ceasing, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning he is indescribable / inconceivable. So we say that everything is 'unarisen, unborn, uncaused, non-existent, unreal, unchanging, non-acting, non-thinking, non-moving, unceasing' as a temporary imperfect adapted skillful means / antidote to our usual positions, until we can directly perceive / realise / experience the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T]. Meanwhile we should not grasp at, get attached to, those antidotes, otherwise they turn into poisons. This applies to the Buddha and all things / phenomena; to the Ground and its inseparable natural spontaneous manifestations [UGM].
All dharmas are like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions: 'There, but not there.': not really existent / caused / functional / perceptible / acting, not completely non-existent / uncaused / non-functional / imperceptible / non-acting / uselessness / meaninglessness, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned ordinary mind(s).
All dharmas are appearing [T1] but empty [T2]; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].
Add to this that the true Buddha is the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T].
Because of our ignorance, we perceive Reality as it is, not objectively (that is impossible) or directly (too much noise), but indirectly dualistically conceptually according to our conditioning / karma [U3S].]

[Goto TOC]

"It is as follows: Mañjuśrī, it is through having the earth as their basis and support that all grass, thickets, herbs, and trees grow to become sizeable. But, Mañjuśrī, the earth does not form mental constructs or concepts. With respect to everything it is the same, free from concepts, free from distinctions. It is free from speculations and free from mind, mentality, and consciousness.

"In the same way, Mañjuśrī, it is through having the Tathāgata as their basis and support that all the roots of what is wholesome of all sentient beings grow and become sizeable. Whether it is the roots of what is wholesome of those on the Vehicle of the Hearers, on the Pratyekabuddha Vehicle, or on the Great Vehicle; or of all tīrthikas such as the Carakas, Parivrājakas, and Nirgranthas, and so forth; or of any others, down to the roots of what is wholesome of those stuck in what is wrong; it is through having the Tathāgata as their basis and support that they grow and become sizeable.

"However, Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata does not form mental constructs or concepts. Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata, the Arhat, the Perfect and Complete Buddha has cut off [is beyond] all mental constructs, concepts, points of reference, and mental engagement. He is free from mind, mentality, and consciousness; he is neither speculation nor the domain of speculation. He is invisible, not to be beheld, not an object of thought or deliberation. He is without mental engagement, free from thought, and free from mind, mentality, and consciousness. With respect to all, he is the same, neutral, without concepts, and he does not make any distinctions.

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[II-9. The simile of space

Although Buddhahood is just like space, everywhere the same, free from concepts and distinctions, non-arisen, non-existent and unceasing, not past, future, or present, indefinable, non-elaborate, formless, cannot be shown or made known, without contact, without dwelling, not comparable, beyond compare, no simile and is beyond all similes, has no basis, ungraspable, beyond visible range, free from mind, mentality, and consciousness, has no characteristic, without syllables, voice, and mental engagement, has no striving or giving up; no removal, no addition, beyond the realm of words, reaches and enters everywhere — In short Buddhahood (or Reality as it is) is indescribable / inconceivable (tetralemma: it is not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth, for whatever 'this' is), free from all extremes & middle, free from all dualistic conceptual proliferations, free from all defining limitations, free from all conditioning / karma, free from any origination & duration & change & cessation, free from all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / differentiation, causality / production / action / laws, form / matter-energy, space & time — nevertheless, sentient beings perceive the voice of Dharma (the voice of Reality as it is) due to the maturation of previous karma, according to their individual aspirations and interests, and designate the compassionate Tathāgata accordingly. [T1] [U2T] The Tathāgata (Reality as it is) is still perceived / heard according to one's conditioning / karma or accumulated merit & wisdom; sentient beings still have faith in him, are still inspired by him; he still possesses three inseparable kayas, pure qualities and perform enlightened activities; he is still useful / meaningful / not completely uncaused / not completely non-existent / not completely non-functional … Conclusion: the three Jewels – Buddha, Dharma, Sangha – are NOT about mere-emptiness / nothingness / non-existence / non-functionality / non-acting / non-perception / non-feeling / non-thinking / non-ideation / non-conceptualisation / non-discrimination / non-differentiation / rejecting-all / uselessness / meaninglessness / total escape from samsara / total extinction.
Although a Buddha is empty of inherent existence [T2], he still possesses three inseparable pure kayas, pure qualities and enlightened activities [T1] [U2T]. He is not arising / existing / real / acting / changing / ceasing, not completely non-arising / non-existing / unreal / non-acting / non-changing / non-ceasing, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning he is indescribable / inconceivable. So we say that everything is 'unarisen, unborn, uncaused, non-existent, unreal, unchanging, non-acting, non-thinking, non-moving, unceasing' as a temporary imperfect adapted skillful means / antidote to our usual positions, until we can directly perceive / realise / experience the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T]. Meanwhile we should not grasp at, get attached to, those antidotes, otherwise they turn into poisons. This applies to the Buddha and all things / phenomena; to the Ground and its inseparable natural spontaneous manifestations [UGM].
All dharmas are like dreams / magical illusions / tricks of the sight / mirages / reflections / echos / Cities of Gandharvas / emanated apparitions: 'There, but not there.': not really existent / caused / functional / perceptible / acting, not completely non-existent / uncaused / non-functional / imperceptible / non-acting / uselessness / meaninglessness, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth. Meaning indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned ordinary mind(s).
All dharmas are appearing [T1] but empty [T2]; empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T].
"Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata is the dharmakāya."
Add to this that the true Buddha is the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now [U2T].
Because of our ignorance, we perceive Reality as it is, not objectively (that is impossible) or directly (too much noise), but indirectly dualistically conceptually according to our conditioning / karma [U3S].]

[Goto TOC]

"It is as follows: Mañjuśrī, space is everywhere the same, free from concepts and distinctions. It is non-arisen [non-existent] and unceasing [D]; it is not past, future, or present. It is indefinable, non-elaborate, and formless; it cannot be shown or made known. It is without contact, without dwelling, not comparable, and beyond compare. It has no simile and is beyond all similes. It has no basis; it is ungraspable and beyond visible range. It is free from mind, mentality, and consciousness. It has no characteristic; it is without syllables, voice, and mental engagement. It has no striving or giving up; no removal, no addition. It is beyond the realm of words. It reaches and enters everywhere. And still, Mañjuśrī, sentient beings experience space as being low or high, according to whether the place is low, middling, or high.

"In the same way, Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata, the Arhat, the Perfect and Complete Buddha is everywhere the same, free from concepts and distinctions. He is non-arisen [non-existent] and unceasing [D], he is not past, future, or present. He is indefinable, non-elaborate, and formless; he cannot be shown or made known. He is without contact, without dwelling, not comparable, and beyond compare. He has no simile and is beyond all similes. He has no basis, he is ungraspable and beyond visible range. He is free from mind, mentality, and consciousness. He has no characteristic; he is without syllables, voice, and mental engagement. He has no striving or giving up; no removal, no addition. He is beyond the realm of words. He reaches and enters everywhere. And still, Mañjuśrī, according to whether sentient beings are low, middling, or high, they see the Tathāgata as low, middling, or high.

"Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata does not think,
'This sentient being has low inclinations and beliefs, so I will show him a low perfection of the form body.
This sentient being has middling inclinations and beliefs, so I will show him a middling perfection of the form body.
This sentient being has vast inclinations and beliefs, so I will show him a vast perfection of the form body.'

"Mañjuśrī, this is also what you should understand regarding how the Dharma is taught. Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata does not think,
'This sentient being has low beliefs, so for him I shall make a speech relating to the Hearers' Vehicle.
This sentient being has middling beliefs, so for him I shall make a speech relating to the Pratyekabuddha Vehicle.
This sentient being has vast beliefs, so for him I shall make a speech relating to the Great Vehicle.'

"Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata does not think,
'This sentient being has belief in giving, so for him I shall make a speech related to giving.'
Nor does he think so for discipline, forbearance, diligence, or concentration.

"Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata does not think,
'This sentient being has belief in the perfection of wisdom, so for him I shall make a speech related to the perfection of wisdom.'
Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata does not think in that way.
And why is that?
Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata is the dharmakāya.
Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata is utterly non-arisen [D].
(i.e. the Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T])

"Mañjuśrī, for the Tathāgata, a consciousness chasing after names, forms, and etymological explanations does not occur. Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata does not form mental constructs or concepts.
Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata is momentary, and his characteristic is to be inexhaustible.
He is fixed at the pinnacle of non-exhaustion, the pinnacle of reality.
Mañjuśrī, the Tathāgata, the Arhat, the Perfect and Complete Buddha is the pinnacle of the sameness of all dharmas,
the pinnacle of their non-duality,
and the pinnacle of their utter non-arising.
(i.e. the Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Union of the Two Truths [U2T])
In all regards he is the same, free from concepts, and free from distinctions.
He is not low, nor middling, nor high.

"Mañjuśrī, just in the same way, all dharmas are the same, free from concepts, and free from distinctions.
They are not low, nor middling, nor high.
And why?
It is because no dharmas are perceived [T2].
Mañjuśrī, this non-perception of all dharmas is their sameness.
Their sameness is their remaining fixed.
Remaining fixed means that they do not move; not moving means being without any abode.

[Goto TOC]




[See JAA Part I for the first sections]
[See JAA Part II for the last sections]




Comments from another text

[i.e. Genuine-emptiness free from all extremes & middle = the Union of the Two Truths [U2T] = the single principle [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T] [A].].
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[i.e. [A] The Single Principle – U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T –: Equality / Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas: Union of being conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S] in dependence of its conditioning / karma, not completely non-existent / non-functional <==> and being empty of inherent existence, not really existent / functional [T2]. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>). [U2T]. Note: The Union of the three spheres [U3S / U2T-3S], the Union of apparent opposites [Uopp / U2T-opp], the Union of the Two Truths about the two truths themselves [U2T-2T], the Union of samsara & nirvana, etc. are specific cases of the single principle: the Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas. And vice versa: all are specific cases of the Union of opposites [Uopp / Uopp-2T / Uopp-3S], or all are specific cases of the Union of the three spheres [U3S / U3S-2T / U3S-opp]. There is just one single principle and various ways to express it.]
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[i.e. [B] U3S / U2T-3S - Union of the three spheres: The interrelation / inseparability / interdependence / co-emergence / co-evolution of the three spheres -- ex. subject / actor / perceiver / knower / acquirer / mind, relation / action / perception / cognition / acquisition, object / result / perceived / known / phenomena. The karmic cycle: one sphere is conditioned by the others, and is conditioning the others, in a limitless and centerless cycle of causality.]
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[i.e. [C] Non-duality / Uopp - The Equality / Union of apparent opposites: ex. the Equality / Union of samsara (-) & nirvana (+). The primordial equality / purity / perfection / freedom / enlightenment of all phenomena of both samsara & nirvana. It is a consequence of the Union of the Two truths about all dharmas.]

(i.e. [A] The single Truth / Principle: The {inconceivable unique non-dual non-conceptual all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned empty-of-inherent-existence unchanging unceasing pristine equal pure perfect divine free enlightened} true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now is the Ground / Basis / Source / Dharmata / Suchness / Dharmadhatu / Buddha-nature / Genuine-emptiness free from all extremes & middle = Union of the Two Truths free from all extremes & middle [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T]. Extremes like: existence / mere-appearances / causality / naïve realism [T1], non-existence / mere-emptiness / nihilism [T2], both together as if different and in opposition / dualism [2T], neither as if identical or one / monism / oneness [1T]; or the extremes of subject-only / subjectivism, object-only / objectivism, relation-only / action-only / relationism / processism, a combination of those / dualism / pluralism, none of those / monism / oneness.)

(i.e. [A] The inconceivable unique principle, the Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T-all]: All dharmas – physical / body, conceptual / speech, mental / mind; individual, collective, cosmic; subject / beings, relation / action, object / phenomena, pure or impure; enlightened or not; including the three stages of becoming, including the three spheres [3S], including apparent opposites [opp], including the two truths themselves [2T], including the three Jewels, including the three times, including the three vajras, including the three kayas – are not really different / separate / in opposition, but more like inseparable / interdependent / co-defined / co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, non-dual / harmony – conventional dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1] <==> thus empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> merely labeled / imputed by the mind [T1] [U3S]. They are like illusions: 'there, but not here' [U2T]. They are not existent / functional, not non-existent / non-functional, 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; not dependently originated / arisen / born / coming, not unoriginated / unarisen / unborn / uncoming, not both together, not neither; not ceasing / dying / going, not unceasing / undying / ungoing, not both together, not neither; not real, not unreal, not both together, not neither. Meaning their true nature & dynamic is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned mind(s). Meaning there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis to discriminate / differentiate / judge them in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. So we have nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / remove / not-do in absolute terms, nothing to change / improve / purify in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.. So we may as well consider them as primordially equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, enlightened, the inseparable three pure kayas of a Buddha (trikaya), the true Buddha.)

(i.e. [B] Union of the three spheres [U3S] / Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres [U2T-3S]: Apparent opposites like the three spheres – subject / being, relation / action, object / phenomena – are not really different / separate / in opposition, but more like inseparable / interdependent / co-defined / co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, non-dual / harmony – conventional dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1] <==> thus empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> merely labeled / imputed by the mind [T1] [U3S]. They are like illusions: 'there, but not here' [U2T]. They are not existent / functional, not non-existent / non-functional, 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; not dependently originated / arisen / born / coming, not unoriginated / unarisen / unborn / uncoming, not both together, not neither; not ceasing / dying / going, not unceasing / undying / ungoing, not both together, not neither; not real, not unreal, not both together, not neither. Meaning their true nature & dynamic is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned mind(s). Meaning there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis to discriminate / differentiate / judge them in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. So we have nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / remove / not-do in absolute terms, nothing to change / improve / purify in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.. So we may as well consider them as primordially equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, enlightened, the inseparable three pure kayas of a Buddha (trikaya), the true Buddha.)

(i.e. [C] Non-duality / Union of apparent opposites [Uopp] / Union of the Two Truths about apparent opposites [U2T-opp]: Apparent opposites – including the three stages of becoming, including the three spheres [3S], including the two truths themselves [2T], including the three Jewels, including the three times, including the three vajras, including the three kayas – are not really different / separate / in opposition, but more like inseparable / interdependent / co-defined / co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, non-dual / harmony – conventional dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances [T1] <==> thus empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> merely labeled / imputed by the mind [T1] [U3S]. They are like illusions: 'there, but not here' [U2T]. They are not existent / functional, not non-existent / non-functional, 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; not dependently originated / arisen / born / coming, not unoriginated / unarisen / unborn / uncoming, not both together, not neither; not ceasing / dying / going, not unceasing / undying / ungoing, not both together, not neither; not real, not unreal, not both together, not neither. Meaning their true nature & dynamic is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned mind(s). Meaning there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis to discriminate / differentiate / judge them in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. So we have nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / remove / not-do in absolute terms, nothing to change / improve / purify in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.. So we may as well consider them as primordially equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, enlightened, the inseparable three pure kayas of a Buddha (trikaya), the true Buddha.)

(i.e. [D] 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 non-dual non-conceptual all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned empty-of-inherent-existence unchanging unceasing pristine equal pure perfect divine free enlightened} 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 / add / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / remove / not-do in absolute terms, nothing to change / improve / purify in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.. In that sense all phenomena -- physical / body, conceptual / speech, mental / mind; individual, collective, cosmic; subject / beings, relation / action, object / phenomena, pure or impure; enlightened or not -- 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 / 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. [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. [E] Tetralemma: Phenomena are not existent / functional, not non-existent / non-functional, not both together, not neither; not different / separate / many / 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; not positive (+), not negative (-), not both together, not neither; not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither; etc. Meaning their true nature & dynamic is indescribable / inconceivable, beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma (individual, collective, cosmic).)

(i.e. [F] 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? [F] 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 / body, conceptual / speech, mental / mind; individual, collective, cosmic; subject / beings, relation / action, object / phenomena, pure or impure; enlightened or not (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. [G] The Middle Way: Since the true nature & dynamic of everything is the inconceivable Union of the Two truths, then the best attitude with anything / any-situation is the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle: nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / eliminate / remove / not-do in absolute terms, nothing to change / improve / purify in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. if it helps someone to get closer to the inconceivable liberating Truth [U2T]. That is acting without acting, more and more in accord with the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now as pointed by concepts like: the Union of the Two Truths [U2T], the Union of the three spheres [U3S] of any relation / action, the Union of opposites [Uopp] about any duality / triad / quad / etc. Acting in accord with valid conceptual concepts, truths, methods, goals, but also more and more in accord with the emptiness of all dharmas, thus without any grasping / attachment / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points, without falling for any extreme or middle about anything.)

(i.e. [H] All dharmas are like illusions 'There, but not there'. All phenomena are not existent / functional, not non-existent / non-functional, 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; not caused / produced / arisen, not uncaused / unproduced / unarisen / unborn, not both together, not neither; not empty, not non-empty, not both together, not neither; etc.; so we say all phenomena are 'non-existent / equal / pure / perfect / one / unarisen / unborn / empty' simply as temporary imperfect antidotes to our usual positions: imperfect existence & opposition. But we should not get attached to those antidotes, otherwise they turn into poisons.)

(i.e. [I] All phenomena are inseparable spontaneous pristine manifestations of the {inconceivable unique non-dual non-conceptual all-pervading timeless unborn unconditioned empty-of-inherent-existence unchanging unceasing pristine equal pure perfect divine free enlightened} Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / True nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now / Union of the Two Truths / Genuine-emptiness / Buddha-nature / inseparable three kayas (trikaya). The inconceivable true nature & dynamic of all phenomena is the True Buddha. In that sense, all dharmas are primordially spontaneous, timeless, equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, enlightened, the inseparable three pure kayas (trikaya), the true Buddha.)

(i.e. There are no absolutes, only adapted skillful means: In Reality as it is here & now, since the true nature of all dharmas is the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T], then there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis for discrimination / differentiation / judgment in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. There are no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing words, concepts, truths / views, methods / paths, goals, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively; just possible adapted skillful means.)

(i.e. There are no absolutes basis for judgment: In Reality as it is here & now, since the true nature of all dharmas is the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T], then there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis for discrimination / differentiation / judgment in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. There are no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing words, concepts, truths / views, methods / paths, goals, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively; just possible adapted skillful means.)

(i.e. There are no absolutes, everything is relative: In Reality as it is here & now, there are no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing words, concepts, ideas, views, truths, methods, milestones / goals.)

(i.e. Here 'No' means not existent / functional / real, not non-existent / non-functional / unreal, not both together, not neither. [U2T])

(i.e. Here 'non-arisen and non-ceasing' means not caused / produced / arisen / existent / ceasing, not uncaused / unproduced / unarisen / non-existent / unceasing, not both together, not neither. [U2T]) (i.e. There are no real three stages of becoming – origination / birth / coming, duration / life / staying, cessation / death / going –; or total absence of them.)

(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.)

[See JAA Part I for the first sections]
[See JAA Part II for the last sections]

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