Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Prajnaparamita-10K - Chapter 02 - All phenomena - 252

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Analysis of "The Transcendent Perfection of Wisdom
in Ten Thousand Lines" - 252
Daśa­sāhasrikā­prajñā­pāramitā

– Chapter 02 - All Phenomena –
[Not complete – Work in Progress]

https://read.84000.co/translation/UT22084-031-002.html


02. ALL PHENOMENA – All dharmas are empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> because dependently co-arisen  [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T]. So we can perceive / use them but without any attachment / fixation.

(From the Introduction: Chapter 1 & 2: In response to a question about what is the Transcendent Perfection of Wisdom which bodhisattvas are to perfect, Lord Buddha replies that it is the absence of fixation with respect to all phenomena, all meditative experiences, all causal attributes acquired by bodhisattvas, all fruitional attributes manifested by buddhas, and all attainments up to and including omniscience. Along with unconditioned phenomena, such as the abiding nature of all things and the finality of existence,
these are all attributes with respect to which a great bodhisattva being should cultivate detachment.
Bodhisattvas do perceive such phenomena distinctly, but only on the relative level [T1];
in an ultimate sense they consider them to be illusory, in the manner of a dream and so forth [T2] [U2T].)
-
(i.e. Bodhisattvas should act without acting – actions of the body, speech and mind –, in accord with valid conventional relative teachings / truths / methods / practices / goals [T1], but without any grasping / attachment / apprehension / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points / absolutes [T2] [U2T]; without falling into any extreme or middle; more and more in accord with the Middle Way: not accepting / affirming / seeking / adding / improving / doing in absolute terms, not rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / subtracting / not-doing anything in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively; thus more and more in accord with the transcendent perfection of wisdom; more and more in accord with the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is; more and more in accord with the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T] beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma.
-
That is acting / perceiving conventionally / relatively [T1] but not really / ultimately [T2];
thus in accord with the Union of the Two Truths [U2T].)

2.1

Then, once again, the Blessed One addressed the venerable Śāradvatī­putra in the following words,
"Śāradvatī­putra, if you ask what are the 'ten powers of the tathāgatas,' they are as follows: [F.12.a]

  1. definitive knowledge that things which are possible are indeed possible; 51

  2. definitive knowledge that things which are impossible are indeed impossible;

  3. definitive knowledge, through possibilities and causes, of the maturation of past, future, and present actions, and of those who undertake such actions;

  4. definitive knowledge of multiple world systems and diverse dispositions;

  5. definitive knowledge of the diversity of inclinations and the multiplicity of inclinations that other sentient beings and other individuals have;

  6. definitive knowledge of whether the acumen of other sentient beings and other individuals is supreme or not;

  7. definitive knowledge of the paths that lead anywhere;

  8. definitive knowledge of all the afflicted and purified mental states and their emergence, with respect to the faculties, powers, branches of enlightenment, aspects of liberation, meditative concentrations, meditative stabilities, and formless absorptions;

  9. definitive knowledge of the recollection of multiple past abodes, and of the transference of consciousness at the death and birth of all sentient beings; and

  10. definitive knowledge that through one's own extrasensory powers one has actualized, achieved, and maintained in this very lifetime the liberation of mind and the liberation of wisdom in the state that is free from contaminants because all contaminants have ceased, and so one can say, 'My rebirths have come to an end. I have practiced chastity. I have fulfilled my duties. I will experience no other rebirths apart from this one.' 52

Śāradvatī­putra, these are called the ten powers of the tathāgatas.


2.­2

"Śāradvatī­putra, if you ask what are the 'four assurances' [proclaimed by the tathāgatas], they are as follows:

  1. "When I claim to have attained genuinely perfect buddhahood, if some virtuous ascetic, brāhmin, god, demon, Brahmā, or anyone else should say that I have not attained manifestly perfect buddhahood with respect to these particular phenomena here, [F.12.b] I would correctly disregard that reason for contradicting me, based on their worldly doctrines. By correctly disregarding that reason, I have found happiness and abide therein. To have attained this absence of trepidation is to have attained fearlessness. I claim my exalted place as a great leader. I will rightly roar the lion's roar in the midst of the assembly! I will turn the wheel of Brahmā which has not previously been turned [in the world] in conformity with the sacred doctrine by any virtuous ascetic, brāhmin, god, demon, Brahmā, or anyone else!

  2. "When I claim I am one whose contaminants have ceased, if some virtuous ascetic, brāhmin, god, demon, Brahmā, or anyone else should say that these particular contaminants of mine have not ceased, I would correctly disregard that reason for contradicting me, based on their worldly doctrines. By correctly disregarding that reason, I have found happiness and abide therein. To have attained this absence of trepidation is to have attained fearlessness. I claim my exalted place as a great leader. I will rightly roar the lion's roar in the midst of the assembly! I will turn the wheel of Brahmā which has not previously been turned in the world in conformity with the sacred doctrine by any virtuous ascetic, brāhmin, god, demon, Brahmā, or anyone else!

  3. "When I claim to have explained those things which cause obstacles on the path, if some virtuous ascetic, brāhmin, god, demon, Brahmā, or anyone else should insist in this respect that even though one might depend on those things, there will be no obstacles and that that would be impossible, I would correctly disregard that reason for contradicting me, based on their worldly doctrines. By correctly disregarding that reason, I have found happiness and abide therein. To have attained this absence of trepidation is to have attained fearlessness. I claim my exalted place as a great leader. I will rightly roar the lion's roar in the midst of the assembly! I will turn the wheel of Brahmā which has not previously been turned in the world in conformity with the sacred doctrine by any virtuous ascetic, brāhmin, god, demon, Brahmā, or anyone else! [F.13.a]

  4. "When I claim to have explained the path through which suffering will genuinely cease, having ascertained that śrāvakas will find it conducive to the attainment of sublime emancipation, if some virtuous ascetic, brāhmin, god, demon, Brahmā, or anyone else in the world should say in this respect that even if one practices this path, it will not be conducive to emancipation, that suffering will not cease, and that that is impossible, I would correctly disregard that reason for contradicting me, based on their worldly doctrines. By correctly disregarding that reason, I have found happiness and abide therein. To have attained this absence of trepidation is to have attained fearlessness. I claim my exalted place as a great leader. I will rightly roar the lion's roar in the midst of the assembly! I will turn the wheel of Brahmā which has not previously been turned in the world in conformity with the sacred doctrine by any virtuous ascetic, brāhmin, god, demon, Brahmā, or anyone else!

These are called the four assurances. 53


2.­6

"If you ask what are the 'four kinds of exact knowledge,' they comprise

  1. exact knowledge of meanings,

  2. exact knowledge of dharmas,

  3. exact knowledge of their language and lexical explanations, and

  4. exact knowledge of their eloquent expression.


2.­7

"If you ask what is 'great loving kindness,' it is an action in which the tathāgatas engage on behalf of all sentient beings, treating enemies and friends identically [Uopp]. That is called great loving kindness.


If you ask what is 'great compassion,' it is unstinting loving kindness toward all sentient beings [T1], when there are actually no sentient beings [T2] [U2T]. That is called great compassion. 54


2.­8

"If you ask what are the 'eighteen distinct qualities of the buddhas,' they are as follows:

  1. The tathāgatas are without clumsiness;

  2. they are not noisy;

  3. they are without false memories;

  4. they are without differentiating perceptions;

  5. they are without uncomposed minds;

  6. they are without the indifference that lacks discernment;

  7. they do not degenerate in their resolution;

  8. they do not degenerate in their perseverance;

  9. they do not degenerate in their recollection;

  10.  they do not degenerate in their meditative stability; [F.13.b]

  11. they do not degenerate in their wisdom;

  12. they do not degenerate in their liberation, nor in their perception of liberating gnosis;

  13. all the activities of their bodies are preceded by gnosis and followed by gnosis;

  14. all the activities of their speech are preceded by pristine cognition and followed by gnosis;

  15. all the activities of their minds are preceded by gnosis and followed by gnosis;

  16. they engage in the perception of gnosis which is unobstructed and unimpeded with respect to the past;

  17. they engage in the perception of gnosis which is unobstructed and unimpeded with respect to the future; and

  18. they engage in the perception of gnosis which is unobstructed and unimpeded with respect to the present.

These are called the eighteen distinct qualities of the buddhas. 55


2.­9

"If you ask what is the 'understanding of all phenomena,' it is the partial understanding of selflessness with respect to personal identity 56 that śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas acquire with reference to the twelve sense fields. That is called the understanding of all phenomena.


2.­10

"If you ask what is the 'understanding of the aspects of the path,' it is the emancipation from cyclic existence that bodhisattvas acquire through the path of the bodhisattvas, inasmuch as they are not attracted by the vehicles of the śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas, even though they understand the paths of all three vehicles. That is called the understanding of the aspects of the path.


2.­11

"If you ask what is the 'understanding of omniscience,' it is the knowledge that the tathāgatas have, without hesitation, with regard to all things, in all their aspects, throughout all the three times. That is called omniscience. 57


2.­12

"If you ask what are the 'six transcendent perfections,' (i.e. Union of the Two Truths about all virtuous methods / practices.)
they comprise

  1. the transcendent perfection of generosity,

  2. the transcendent perfection of ethical discipline,

  3. the transcendent perfection of tolerance,

  4. the transcendent perfection of perseverance,

  5. the transcendent perfection of meditative concentration, and

  6. the transcendent perfection of wisdom.

These are called the six transcendent perfections. 58


2.­13

"If you ask what are the 'six extrasensory powers,' they comprise

  1. (1) the extrasensory power realizing knowledge of [miraculous] activities,

  2. (2) the extrasensory power realizing knowledge of divine clairvoyance,

  3. (3) the extrasensory power realizing knowledge of divine clairaudience, [F.14.a]

  4. (4) the extrasensory power realizing knowledge of other minds,

  5. (5) the extrasensory power realizing knowledge of recollection of past lives, and

  6. (6) the extrasensory power realizing knowledge of the cessation of contaminants.

These are called the six extrasensory powers. 59


2.­14

"If you ask what are the 'five eyes,' they comprise

  1. (1) the eye of flesh,

  2. (2) the eye of divine clairvoyance,

  3. (3) the eye of wisdom,

  4. (4) the eye of the sacred doctrine, and

  5. (5) the eye of the Buddha.

These are called the five eyes. 60


2.­15

"If you ask what are the 'thirty-two major marks of a superior man that the tathāgatas possess,' they are as follows: 61
(Note: "This following list of the major physical marks that identify the buddha body of emanation actually comprises thirty-three major marks.")
(i.e. Union of the Two Truths about the three Jewels / three kayas.)

  1. The Blessed One has feet that are well positioned. In this regard, 'excellent positioning of the feet' means that the soles of his two feet entirely touch the ground. Just as when the long, evenly balanced base of a basket is placed on level ground, the bottom of the base entirely touches the ground, in the same way, the Blessed One is endowed with feet that are well positioned.

  2. The Blessed One has feet that are marked with the motif of the wheel. In this regard, the expression 'marked with the motif of the wheel' denotes the perfectly formed motif of a wheel with a thousand spokes, a hub, and a circumference, which elegantly appears on the soles of his two feet.

  3. The Blessed One has hands and feet that are tender and soft. In this regard, 'the tenderness and softness of his hands and feet' means that, unlike those of human beings, they resemble tree cotton or shrub cotton. 62

  4. The Blessed One has long toes and fingers. In this regard, 'long toes and fingers' means that the fingers of his hands and the toes of his feet are exceedingly long, unlike those of other human beings.

  5. The Blessed One is endowed with hands and feet that are webbed. In fact, his hands and feet are prominently webbed, [F.14.b] unlike those of other human beings.

  6. The Blessed One is endowed with broad heels. In this regard, 'broad heels' means that the bases of his two heels are broad, unlike those of other human beings.

  7. The Blessed One is endowed with inconspicuous ankle bones, In this regard, 'the inconspicuousness of his ankle bones' means that, being endowed with broad heels, he is also endowed with inconspicuous ankle bones, unlike those of other human beings.

  8. The Blessed One is endowed with calves resembling those of an antelope. In this regard, 'calves resembling those of an antelope' means that his calves are slender and tapered, just like those of Śarabha Aiṇeya, the king of ungulates.

  9. The Blessed One is endowed with arms that reach down to his knees when standing, without bending down. In this regard, the expression 'arms that reach down to his knees when standing, without bending down' means that when the Blessed One is standing upright, the palms of both hands can touch and probe around his kneecaps, without him having to bend down.

  10. The Blessed One is endowed with a contracted male organ. In this regard, the 'contractedness of his male organ' means that he resembles a thoroughbred elephant or a thoroughbred steed of noble breed.

  11. The Blessed One is endowed with hairs that grow finely and distinctly, curling to the right. In this regard, the expression 'hairs that grow finely and distinctly, curling to the right' means that from each of the pores of his skin a single hair finely grows, bluish black in color, curling softly into rings, lustrous and curling to the right.

  12. The Blessed One is endowed with body hairs that point upwards. In this regard, the 'pointing upwards of his body hairs' means that the hair that grows from his head and the hairs of his body point upwards and finely grow, bluish black in color, all curling softly into rings, lustrous and curling to the right. [F.15.a]

  13. The Blessed One is endowed with delicate, soft, and lustrous skin. In this regard, the expression 'delicate, soft, and lustrous skin' means that neither water nor dust adhere to his body, or settle upon it.

  14. The Blessed One is endowed with a golden complexion. This means that his physical form is elegant, fine, and beautiful to behold, just like an offering post fashioned of finest gold that is adorned with various gemstones, for which reason it is said to resemble the color of gold.

  15. The Blessed One is endowed with seven prominent parts. In this regard, the expression 'seven prominent parts' means that the two prominent [backs of] his legs are elegant, fine, beautiful to behold, and filled out with flesh and blood. Similarly, the two prominent [backs of] his arms are elegant, fine, beautiful to behold, and filled out with flesh and blood. There are also two prominent parts at his shoulders and one prominent part at the nape of his neck, which are elegant, fine, beautiful to behold, and filled out with flesh and blood.

  16. The Blessed One is endowed with amply curved shoulders.

  17. The Blessed One is endowed with collarbones that are well covered.

  18. The Blessed One is born with an extremely upright posture.

  19. The Blessed One is endowed with a girth like the banyan tree. In that regard, the expression 'endowed with a girth like the banyan tree' means that the width of his body is proportionate to its length, and its length is proportionate to its width. That is designated as a 'girth like the banyan tree.'

  20. The Blessed One is endowed with lion-like cheeks.

  21. The Blessed One is endowed with forty teeth.

  22. The Blessed One is endowed with close-fitting teeth.

  23. The Blessed One is endowed with teeth whose tips are long, sharp, and white.

  24. The Blessed One is endowed with a superior organ of taste. This means that within his straight throat he has a gullet that is straight and not crooked, enabling him to swallow without hesitation.

  25. The Blessed One is endowed with a long and slender tongue. In this regard, the expression 'long and slender tongue' means that, when the Tathā­gata wishes, his tongue can protrude from his mouth, [F.15.b] and is capable of touching and probing around his nostrils, eye sockets, and ears, and it can even cover his whole face, as far as the hairline.

  26. The Blessed One is endowed with the divine voice of Brahmā.

  27. The Blessed One is endowed with wide eyes and bovine eyelashes.

  28. The Blessed One is endowed with deep blue eyes.

  29. The Blessed One is endowed with completely perfect eyeballs.

  30. The Blessed One is endowed with the splendor of an aureole of light, extending a full arm span. 63

  31. The Blessed One is endowed with a visage that resembles the full moon.

  32. The Blessed One is endowed with a hair ringlet that grows between his eyebrows, and which is as soft as cotton, and white as a water lily, the moon, a conch, the filament of a lotus, the milk of a cow, and hoar-frost.

  33. The Blessed One is endowed with a crown extension.

These are called the thirty-two marks of a superior man that the tathāgatas possess.


2.­33

"If you ask what are the 'eighty minor marks,' they are as follows : 64
(Note: "In fact only seventy-eight minor marks are listed here, in contrast to the standard listings of eighty …)

  1. The lord buddhas are endowed with copper-colored nails. 65

  2. Their bodies are firm, like that of Nārāyaṇa. 66

  3. Their kneecaps are elegant. 67

  4. Their bodies are clean. 68

  5. Their bodies are soft. 69

  6. Their bodies are supple. 70

  7. Their bodies are lustrous. 71

  8. Their bodies do not slouch. 72

  9. Their fingers and toes are compact. 73

  10. The lord buddhas have round fingers and toes. 74

  11. Their fingers and toes are tapering. 75

  12. Their blood vessels and nerves are inconspicuous. 76

  13. Their ankles are inconspicuous. 77

  14. Their body is well formed. 78

  15. Their body is well proportioned. 79

  16. Their senses are completely purified. 80

  17. Their understanding is perfectly pure. 81

  18. Their behavior is perfect. 82

  19. The lord buddhas are endowed with splendor and intelligence. 83

  20. They are worthy of beholding. 84 [F.16.a]

  21. Their mouth is not too wide. 85

  22. Their mouth is without blemish. 86

  23. Their lips are red like the balsam fruit. 87

  24. Their mouth is compact. 88

  25. Their voice is deep [like the trumpet of an elephant or the rolling of thunder]. 89

  26. Their navel is deep. 90

  27. Their navel is well rounded. 91

  28. Their navel curls to the right. 92

  29. Their arms and legs are compact. 93

  30. The lord buddhas are endowed with [well-proportioned] arms and legs, as intended. 94

  31. Their palms are even. 95

  32. The lines of their palms are unbroken. 96

  33. The lines of their palms are extended. 97

  34. Their body is immaculate and without unpleasant odors. 98

  35. Their complexion is radiant. 99

  36. Their [sense faculties]‍—the 'gates to the sense fields'‍—are excellent. 100

  37. Their face is moonlike. 101

  38. They speak first. 102

  39. Their face is without frowns of anger. 103

  40. The pores of their body all emit a pleasant odor. 104

  41. Their mouth is fragrant. 105

  42. Their gait is that of a lion. 106

  43. Their gait is that of a mighty elephant.

  44. Their gait is that of a swan.

  45. Their head is [large], similar to a parasol. 107

  46. Their speech is sweet and fully perfected. 108

  47. They are endowed with sharp eye-teeth. 109

  48. Their nose is prominent. 110

  49. Their tongue is red. 111

  50. The lord buddhas have a tongue that is slender and large. 112

  51. Their body hairs are bluish black. 113

  52. Their body hairs are clean. 114

  53. Their eyes are wide. 115

  54. Their orifices are without deterioration. 116

  55. Their palms and soles are red. 117

  56. Their navel does not protrude. 118

  57. Their abdomen is not misshapen. 119

  58. Their abdomen is slender. 120

  59. The lord buddhas have an abdomen that is unwrinkled. 121

  60. Their joints are elegant. 122

  61. Their joints are extended. 123

  62. Their hands and feet are utterly pure. 124

  63. They have a symmetrical aureole of light, extending a full arm span. 125

  64. Their luminosity radiates as they walk. 126 [F.16.b]

  65. They satisfy whichever gods and humans encounter them. 127

  66. They are never mistreated though visible to all creatures.

  67. They instruct sentient beings.

  68. Their speech is pervasive, in conformity with their assembly, but it does not extend outside their assembly.

  69. Their torso resembles that of a lion. 128

  70. The joints of their bodies are well articulated. 129

  71. The pinnacle of their crown cannot be seen. 130

  72. The hair of their heads is bluish black, soft, and long. 131

  73. The hair of their heads is not dishevelled. 132

  74. The hairs of their heads point upwards, finely and curling into locks. 133

  75. The hair of their heads is untangled. 134

  76. Their hearts are excellently adorned with the śrīvatsa motif. 135

  77. The markings on their palms and soles blaze with splendor. 136

  78. The lord buddhas are endowed with markings, as if they were drawn in the colors of vermilion, realgar, minium, indigo bark, and verdigris. 137

"These are called the eighty minor marks."


2.­73

Then the venerable Śāradvatī­putra asked the Blessed One, "Reverend Lord, if great bodhisattva beings should not cultivate fixation on all these phenomena, consequently do bodhisattvas not consider all these things to be distinct? That is to say, if bodhisattvas do not consider those phenomena that are virtuous, those that are non-virtuous, those that are specific, those that are non-specific, those that are mundane, those that are supramundane, those that are contaminated, those that are uncontaminated, those that are conditioned, those that are unconditioned, those that are common, and do not those that are uncommon, [F.17.a] how then will the path of enlightenment be attained, and if it is not attained, how will omniscience be acquired?"


2.­74

Then the Blessed One addressed the venerable Śāradvatī­putra as follows:

"Śāradvatī­putra, bodhisattvas do perceive all such phenomena distinctly [T1],
but that pertains to the relative truth, not the ultimate truth [T2] [U2T]."

(i.e. Bodhisattvas may perceive / know / use conventionally / relatively phenomena / things [T1] but without perceiving / knowing / using them in absolute terms [T2], without any grasping / attachment / apprehension / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points / absolutes [T2] [U2T]; without falling into any extreme or middle; more and more in accord with the Middle Way: not accepting / affirming / seeking / adding / improving / doing anything in absolute terms, not rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / subtracting / not-doing anything in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively; thus more and more in accord with the transcendent perfection of wisdom; more and more in accord with the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is; more and more in accord with the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T] beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma. Why? Because the true nature & dynamic as it is of all dharmas is like a Union of being empty of inherent existence [T2], not really existent / caused / functional <==> because of being conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing / impermanent appearances [T2], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S] in dependence of its conditioning / karma, not completely non-existent / non-caused / non-functional / useless / meaningless. And vice versa; one aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T - Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas]. They could be co-dependent with their parts & wholes (when applicable), with their causes & conditions & effects (when applicable), with their conceptual opposites (always), and especially co-dependent with the mind merely labeling / imputing them (always) – co-dependent with the mind, but not from the mind-only, not the mind-only. All dharmas are: not existent / caused / functional, not non-existent / non-caused / non-functional, not both together, not neither; not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; not dependent, not independent, not both together, not neither; not empty, not non-empty, not both together, not neither; not dependently arisen, not empty of inherent existence, not both together, not neither; not equal / pure / perfect / divine / complete / free / enlightened, not  unequal / impure / imperfect / ordinary / incomplete / bounded / unenlightened, not both together, not neither; not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither – for whatever 'this' is. Meaning inconceivable.)


2.­75 [Question:]

"Reverend Lord, in what way does that pertain to the relative but not the ultimate truth?" he asked.


[Answer:]


  • The Blessed One responded, "Śāradvatī­putra, whenever a bodhisattva considers which of those things constitute mundane virtuous phenomena, they include the following: respect for one's father, respect for one's mother, respect for a virtuous ascetic, respect for a brāhmin, acts of service undertaken on behalf of a clan chieftain, meritorious deeds originating from generosity, meritorious deeds originating from ethical discipline and meditation, merits endowed with service, merits endowed with skillful means, the paths associated with the ten virtuous actions, the mundane contemplation of a bloated corpse, the contemplation of a worm-infested corpse, the contemplation of a bloody corpse, the contemplation of a putrefied corpse, the contemplation of a blue-black corpse, the contemplation of a devoured corpse, the contemplation of a dismembered corpse, the contemplation of a skeleton, the contemplation of an immolated corpse, and likewise, the four meditative concentrations, the four immeasurable aspirations, the four formless meditative absorptions, the recollection of the Buddha, the recollection of the Dharma, the recollection of the Saṅgha, the recollection of ethical discipline, the recollection of renunciation, the recollection of the god realms, the recollection of quiescence, the recollection of respiration, and the recollection of death. [F.17.b] These are considered to be mundane virtuous phenomena. 138


  • "When a bodhisattva considers which things constitute non-virtuous phenomena, they include the following: the slaying of living creatures, theft, sexual misconduct, lying, slander, verbal abuse, irresponsible chatter, covetousness, malice, wrong views, anger, enmity, hypocrisy, annoyance, violence, jealousy, miserliness, and pride. These are considered to be non-virtuous phenomena.


  • "When a bodhisattva considers which things constitute non-specific phenomena, they include the following: non-specific physical actions, non-specific verbal actions, non-specific mental actions, the non-specific four primary elements, the non-specific five sense organs, the non-specific five psycho-physical aggregates, the twelve sense fields, the eighteen sensory elements, and the maturation of past actions. These are considered to be non-specific phenomena.


  • "When a bodhisattva considers which things constitute supramundane phenomena,139 they include the following: the four applications of mindfulness, the four correct exertions, the four supports for miraculous abilities, the five faculties, the five powers, the seven branches of enlightenment, the noble eightfold path, the three gateways to liberation, the faculties that will enable knowledge of all that is unknown, the faculties that acquire the knowledge of all things, the faculties endowed with the knowledge of all things, the meditative stability endowed with ideation and scrutiny, the meditative stability free from ideation and merely endowed with scrutiny, the meditative stability free from both ideation and scrutiny, the [eighteen] aspects of emptiness (starting from the emptiness of internal phenomena and ending with the emptiness of the essential nature of non-entities), the ten powers of the tathāgatas, the four assurances, the four kinds of exact knowledge, great loving kindness, great compassion, and the eighteen distinct qualities of the buddhas. [F.18.a] These are considered to be supramundane phenomena.


  • "Then, if you ask what constitutes contaminated phenomena, they include the following: the five psycho-physical aggregates which are encompassed in the three world systems, the twelve sense fields, the eighteen sensory elements, the four meditative concentrations, the four immeasurable aspirations, and the four formless meditative absorptions. These are called contaminated phenomena.


  • "If you ask what constitutes uncontaminated phenomena, they include the following: the four applications of mindfulness, and likewise all those [aforementioned causal and fruitional] attributes, up to and including the eighteen distinct qualities of the buddhas. These are uncontaminated phenomena.


  • "If you ask what constitutes conditioned phenomena, they include the following: the world system of desire, the world system of form, the world system of formlessness, and likewise, the five psycho-physical aggregates, the four meditative concentrations, the four immeasurable aspirations, the four formless meditative absorptions, and similarly, all those [aforementioned] attributes extending from the four applications of mindfulness, up to and including the eighteen distinct qualities of the buddhas. These constitute conditioned phenomena.


  • "If you ask what constitutes unconditioned phenomena, they include the following: Non-arising, non-abiding, non-disintegration, and non-transformation with respect to all things, and similarly, the cessation of desire, the cessation of hatred, the cessation of delusion, the abiding of phenomena in the real nature, reality, the expanse of reality, maturity with respect to all things, the real nature, the unmistaken real nature, the inalienable real nature, and the finality of existence. These are called unconditioned phenomena.


  • "If you ask what constitutes common phenomena, they include the following: the four meditative concentrations, the four immeasurable aspirations, the four formless meditative absorptions, and the [first] five extrasensory powers. These are common phenomena from the perspective of ordinary persons.


  • "If you ask what constitutes uncommon phenomena from the perspective of ordinary persons, they include the following: the thirty-seven aspects of enlightenment, [F.18.b] the ten powers of the tathāgatas, the four assurances, the four kinds of exact knowledge, the three gateways to liberation, and [all the aforementioned attributes], up to and including the eighteen distinct qualities of the buddhas. These are called uncommon phenomena.


"Śāradvatī­putra, although bodhisattvas see all these phenomena distinctly
from the perspective of the relative truth [T1],
they do not become fixated on them as ultimately real [T2] [U2T].

(i.e. Bodhisattvas may perceive / know / use conventionally / relatively phenomena / things [T1] but without perceiving / knowing / using them in absolute terms [T2], without any grasping / attachment / apprehension / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points / absolutes [T2] [U2T]; without falling into any extreme or middle; more and more in accord with the Middle Way: not accepting / affirming / seeking / adding / improving / doing anything in absolute terms, not rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / subtracting / not-doing anything in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively; thus more and more in accord with the transcendent perfection of wisdom; more and more in accord with the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is; more and more in accord with the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T] beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma. Why? Because the true nature & dynamic as it is of all dharmas is like a Union of being empty of inherent existence [T2], not really existent / caused / functional <==> because of being conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing / impermanent appearances [T2], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S] in dependence of its conditioning / karma, not completely non-existent / non-caused / non-functional / useless / meaningless. And vice versa; one aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T - Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas]. They could be co-dependent with their parts & wholes (when applicable), with their causes & conditions & effects (when applicable), with their conceptual opposites (always), and especially co-dependent with the mind merely labeling / imputing them (always) – co-dependent with the mind, but not from the mind-only, not the mind-only. All dharmas are: not existent / caused / functional, not non-existent / non-caused / non-functional, not both together, not neither; not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; not dependent, not independent, not both together, not neither; not empty, not non-empty, not both together, not neither; not dependently arisen, not empty of inherent existence, not both together, not neither; not equal / pure / perfect / divine / complete / free / enlightened, not  unequal / impure / imperfect / ordinary / incomplete / bounded / unenlightened, not both together, not neither; not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither – for whatever 'this' is. Meaning inconceivable.)

If you ask in what way they do not become fixated, Śāradvatī­putra,
it is as if someone were to see the corps of elephants, cavalry, chariots, and infantry
without becoming fixated on the notion, 'This is an army.'

Śāradvatī­putra, in the same way,
great bodhisattva beings perceive all phenomena distinctly [T1],
but do not become fixated on them [T2] [U2T]. 140


2.­86

"Śāradvatī­putra, just as when someone afflicted by intense heat perceives various mirage-like images,
moving in the manner of waves,
but does not become fixated on the notion that this mirage is actually water, in the same way,

Śāradvatī­putra, great bodhisattva beings perceive all things distinctly [T1]
but do not become fixated on them [T2] [U2T].


2.­87

"Śāradvatī­putra, just as when someone perceives diverse visual imagery in a dream,
but on awakening does not become fixated on the notion that that visual imagery actually exists, in the same way,

Śāradvatī­putra, great bodhisattva beings perceive all things distinctly [T1]
but do not become fixated on them [T2] [U2T]."


2.­88

"Śāradvatī­putra, just as when someone perceives the moon reflected in water,
but does not become fixated on the notion that these reflections are actually the moon, in the same way,

Śāradvatī­putra, great bodhisattva beings perceive all things distinctly [T1]
but do not become fixated on all things as entities [T2] [U2T].


2.­89

"Śāradvatī­putra, just as when someone perceives an optical aberration,
but does not become fixated on these perceptions as entities, in the same way,

Śāradvatī­putra, [F.19.a] great bodhisattva beings perceive all things distinctly [T1]
but do not become fixated on all things as entities [T2] [U2T].


2.­90

"Śāradvatī­putra, just as when someone moves through space by the power of miraculous abilities,
but does not become fixated on the notion that this is space, in the same way,

Śāradvatī­putra, when great bodhisattva beings investigate all things [T1],
they do not become fixated on the entirety of these phenomena [T2] [U2T].


2.­91

"Śāradvatī­putra, just as when someone hears the sound of an echo,
but does not become fixated on the notion that this is sound, in the same way,

Śāradvatī­putra, great bodhisattva beings perceive all things distinctly [T1],
but they do not become fixated on them [T2] [U2T].


2.­92

"Śāradvatī­putra, just as when someone sees a gandharva castle in the sky,
but does not become fixated on the notion that this is actually a castle, in the same way,

Śāradvatī­putra, great bodhisattva beings perceive all things distinctly [T1],
but they do not become fixated on them [T2] [U2T].


2.­93

"Śāradvatī­putra, just as when someone sees the reflection of their face in a mirror,
but does not become fixated on the notion that it is actually their face, in the same way,

Śāradvatī­putra, great bodhisattva beings perceive all phenomena distinctly [T1],
but they do not become fixated on them [T2] [U2T].


2.­94

"Śāradvatī­putra, it is in this manner that great bodhisattva beings perceive all things distinctly [T1],
but do not become fixated on those phenomena [T2] [U2T].
One who is without fixation on anything
will reach the transcendent perfection of wisdom,
and swiftly attain manifestly perfect buddhahood in unsurpassed and genuinely perfect enlightenment."

(i.e. Bodhisattvas may perceive / know / use conventionally / relatively phenomena / things [T1] but without perceiving / knowing / using them in absolute terms [T2], without any grasping / attachment / apprehension / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points / absolutes [T2] [U2T]; without falling into any extreme or middle; more and more in accord with the Middle Way: not accepting / affirming / seeking / adding / improving / doing anything in absolute terms, not rejecting / negating / abandoning / eliminating / subtracting / not-doing anything in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively; thus more and more in accord with the transcendent perfection of wisdom; more and more in accord with the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is; more and more in accord with the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T] beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma. Why? Because the true nature & dynamic as it is of all dharmas is like a Union of being empty of inherent existence [T2], not really existent / caused / functional <==> because of being conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing / impermanent appearances [T2], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S] in dependence of its conditioning / karma, not completely non-existent / non-caused / non-functional / useless / meaningless. And vice versa; one aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T - Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas]. They could be co-dependent with their parts & wholes (when applicable), with their causes & conditions & effects (when applicable), with their conceptual opposites (always), and especially co-dependent with the mind merely labeling / imputing them (always) – co-dependent with the mind, but not from the mind-only, not the mind-only. All dharmas are: not existent / caused / functional, not non-existent / non-caused / non-functional, not both together, not neither; not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; not dependent, not independent, not both together, not neither; not empty, not non-empty, not both together, not neither; not dependently arisen, not empty of inherent existence, not both together, not neither; not equal / pure / perfect / divine / complete / free / enlightened, not  unequal / impure / imperfect / ordinary / incomplete / bounded / unenlightened, not both together, not neither; not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither – for whatever 'this' is. Meaning inconceivable.)


2.­95

This completes the second chapter from "The Transcendent Perfection of Wisdom in Ten Thousand Lines," entitled "All Phenomena." 141


Access to other chapters:

The Transcendent Perfection of Wisdom in 10k Lines
[Not complete – Work in Progress]


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