Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Prajnaparamita-18K - Chapter 04 - The great perfection equal to the unequaled - 304

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The Transcendent Perfection of Wisdom
in Eighteen Thousand Lines - 304
Daśa­sāhasrikā­prajñā­pāramitā

– Chapter 04 - The great perfection equal to the unequaled –

Source: https://read.84000.co/translation/toh10.html

More Analysis of Mahayana Sutras : https://www.gilehtblog.com/2022/07/toc-400.html

[Note: The two truths are:
T1: conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances / tools / adapted skillful means, 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 / causality / functionality, non-existence / non-dharma / non-causality / non-functionality, both together, neither; difference / manyness / diversity / duality, identity / oneness / sameness / non-duality, both together, neither; permanence / continuity / eternity, impermanence / discontinuity / annihilation, both together, neither; individuality, collectivity, universality, a combination of those, none of those; subjectivity, relation / action / process, objectivity, a combination of those, none of those; the 1st truth alone / dependent origination [T1], the 2nd truth alone / mere-emptiness [T2], both two truths together as if different and in opposition [2T], neither of the two truths as if identical and one [1T,]; 'this', 'non-this', both together, neither – for whatever 'this' is.
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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.
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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 evident.
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Note: All comments within (i.e. …) or [...] are from the commentator (me), not the translators.)


[Back to Résumés of chapters 1-41]

04. EQUAL TO THE UNEQUALED – The great perfection equal to the unequaled.

(i.e. Résumé: This perfection of wisdom is the great perfection equal to the unequaled.
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The perfection of wisdom is great, vast, special, best, superb, sublime, unsurpassed, unrivaled, unequaled, calm & gentle. matchless, incomparable, uncrushable, [inconceivable, unique, all-pervading, timeless, unborn, unconditioned, unchanging, unceasing, pristine,] space-like, the perfection of both all good qualities [T1] and emptiness [T2] [U2T].
Meaning, the "true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is" is not 'mere-emptiness / nothingness / non-existence'
but 'genuine-emptiness free from all extremes & middle' = that is the Union of the Two Truths free from all extremes & middle [U2T].
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The perfection of wisdom is directly realising the perfection of the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now; the perfection of all dharmas. The perfection of wisdom is the perfection of the Union of the Two Truths [U2T].
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The perfection of wisdom transmutes all perceived dharmas (body, speech, mind; subject / beings, relations / actions, objects; causes, causality, effects; all apparent opposites, the two truths themselves; space & time; dependent origination & emptiness)
into 'equal to the unequal' – simply by becoming fully aware of their true nature & dynamic [U2T / U3S / Uopp / U2T-2T].
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Practicing the perfection of wisdom is practicing [T1] without practicing [T2] [U2T] the six perfections… for the benefits of all sentient beings [T1] – even if everything is empty of inherent existence –, connecting others with those six paramitas,
always acting [T1] without acting [T2] [U2T], without establishing anything, without any attachment / fixation / absolutes [T2] [U2T];
thus more and more in accord with the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now [U2T].
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Therefore, bodhisattva great beings who want to complete / perfect / purify all dharmas
should train in the perfection of wisdom – in the Union of the Two Truths [U2T];
______________________________________________________________________
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Bodhisattvas should train in the perfection of wisdom,
should train in the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now (everywhere, at any time),
should train in the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T] free from all extremes & middle,
and should act more and more in accord with it —
because not knowing it, and not acting in accord with it, is a mistake and necessarily brings more suffering for self & others.
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Training-in / teaching without training-in / teaching the perfection of wisdom or the Union of the Two Truths [U2T],
but without any grasping / attachment / apprehension / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points / absolutes;
without falling into any extreme or middle;
without any duality / di-vision between subject & object & action, cause & causality & effect, right & wrong, movement & rest, samsara & nirvana;
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 about all dharmas [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T]
beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma.
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Bodhisattvas should bow down to the perfection of wisdom, the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now, the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T] about all dharmas, the inconceivable spaceless timeless unborn unconditioned unchanging unceasing pristine Ground / Basis / Source / Suchness / Dharmata / Dharmadhatu / Genuine-emptiness / Buddha-nature / True-Buddha – and its inseparable spontaneous natural pristine manifestations.
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====================================
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Copy of the Résumé of Chapter 2:
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Completing / perfecting / purifying / transcending with the perfection of wisdom [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T].
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Bodhisattvas should train in the perfection of wisdom,
should train in the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now (everywhere, at any time),
should train in the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T] free from all extremes & middle,
and should act more and more in accord with it —
because not knowing it, and not acting in accord with it, is a mistake and necessarily brings more suffering for self & others.
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For the sake of all beings, Bodhisattvas should complete / perfect / purify all valid concepts / ideas / views / activities / methods / practices / goals / all-dharmas (physical, conceptual, mental; subject, relation / action, object) with the perfection of wisdom, with skillful means, by way of not apprehending / objectifying anything in absolute terms, using those dharmas without any attachment / fixation / absolutes – free from all extremes & middle – without being contaminated / conditioned by them.
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The Brief Exegesis / the single thought that resumes all. Bodhisattvas should train in the Perfection of Wisdom, combining it to all practices / activities of the body, speech and mind. Everything a Bodhisattva may want comes from practicing the Perfection of Wisdom.
The single, all-encompassing statement / the 'single thought': "Bodhisattva great beings who want to fully awaken to all dharmas in all forms should make an effort at the perfection of wisdom [U2T]." ( 2.1, 4.4)
"Even that thought [T1] is no thought [T2], because the basic nature of thought is clear light [U2T]", because the true nature & dynamic of all dharmas is indescribable / inconceivable / unthinkable in absolute terms – not thought can do the job –. (7.21)
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Bodhisattvas should train in the Perfection of Wisdom [U2T]: always combining virtuous methods / practices [T1] – ex. bodhicitta, the four immeasurable attitudes, the six paramitas, etc. – with more and more wisdom [T2] [U2T]. Thus acting more and more in accord with the true nature of Reality as it is, with the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T] free from all extremes & middle.
This applies to all activities of the body, speech and mind of a Bodhisattva.
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Ex. Although a Bodhisattva knows that all sentient beings are empty of inherent existence [T2], not really existent <==> he will still make the vow to attain Buddhahood for the sake of all sentient beings, will still generate the bodhicitta motivation, practice the six perfections … because they are not completely non-existent / non-caused / non-efficient. He knows that those beings are indescribable / inconceivable: not inherently existent, not completely non-existent, not both together, not neither. The same for his actions. So he works without working for their benefits: knowing that the three spheres involved – ex. subject / bodhisattva, relation / action / guiding, object / sentient beings; or subject / cause / teachings / practices, relation / action / causality / production, object / effect / merit / enlightenment – all all empty of inherent existence [T2], not really existent / caused / functional <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances / tools / adapted skillful means [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind [U3S], not completely non-existent / non-caused / non-functional / useless / meaningless.
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Ex. Giving without giving, without any attachment / fixation / absolutes – about the three spheres of giving – subject / giver, relation / action / giving, objects / gift / recipient; or about cause, causality, effect –. That is, not grasping at any of those three spheres as if existing independently / separately / absolutely / inherently, and as having inherently existing characteristics / properties / attributes / qualities / features / marks / relations / oppositions / processes / activities / changes, and names / labels.
The same for all other virtuous practices – ex. the other five perfections, about generating Bodhicitta –;
the same for all activities of the body, speech and mind.
Acting / practicing / giving without acting / practicing / giving,
but without any grasping / attachment / apprehension / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points / absolutes;
without falling into any extreme or middle;
without any duality / di-vision between subject & object & action, cause & causality & effect, right & wrong, movement & rest, samsara & nirvana;
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 about all dharmas [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T]
beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all dualistic conceptual proliferations, beyond all defining limitations, beyond all conditioning / karma.
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The same for all other Buddhist virtuous practices; the same for all activities of the body, speech and mind.
Acting / practicing without acting / practicing, without any attachment / fixation / absolutes.
Always combining all activities of the body, speech and mind with more and more Perfection of Wisdom, with more and more awareness of the Union of the Two Truths [U2T] about all dharmas involved – ex. about the three spheres (subject, relation / action, object) [U2T-3S], about all apparent opposites / dualities [U2T-opp], even about the two truths themselves [U2T-2T] –.
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Benefits: Obtaining the three types of knowledge (all-knowledge, knowledge of all path aspects, knowledge of all aspects); transcending the two types of obscurations (emotional obscurations – caused by grasping at an ego –, and cognitive obscurations to omniscience – caused by grasping at the three spheres –); surpassing the dualistic teachings, practices and goals of the śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas; etc.
Everything a Bodhisattva may want comes from practicing the Perfection of Wisdom [U2T].
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Conclusion: Bodhisattvas use without using ordinary dharmas, perform without performing ordinary activities, practice without practicing ordinary practices, … but without any grasping / attachment / apprehension / obsession / fixation / reification / reference points / absolutes … thus are not contaminated by them. Why? Because Bodhisattvas are fully aware of the true nature & dynamic as it is [U2T] of all dharmas involved, they are not fooled by illusory appearances, not grasping them, not attached to them, not slaves to them, not creating more karma because of them, not suffering because of them. And that is nirvana here & now. That is the benefits of practicing the perfection of Wisdom, or directly realising the Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas.)

Then venerable Śāriputra, venerable Mahā­maudgalyāyana, venerable Subhūti, venerable Pūrṇa Maitrāyaṇī­putra, and venerable Mahākāśyapa, as well as other monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen celebrated for the state of their clairvoyance,
and very many bodhisattva great beings said to the Lord,


"This, Lord ‍— that is,
______________________________________________________________________
the perfection of wisdom ‍— is the great perfection of bodhisattva great beings.
______________________________________________________________________

  • This perfection of wisdom, Lord, is the vast perfection of bodhisattva great beings.

  • This perfection of wisdom, Lord, is the highest perfection of bodhisattva great beings.

  • It is the special perfection,

  • it is the best perfection,

  • it is the superb perfection,

  • it is the sublime [F.54.b] perfection,

  • it is the unsurpassed perfection,

  • it is the unrivaled perfection,

  • it is the unequaled perfection,

  • it is the perfection equal to the unequaled,

  • it is the calm and gentle perfection,

  • it is the matchless perfection,

  • it is the perfection for which no example does justice,

  • it is the space-like perfection,

  • it is the perfection of the emptiness [T2] of particular defining marks,

  • it is the perfection endowed with all good qualities [T1] [U2T].

  • This, Lord ‍— that is, the perfection of wisdom ‍— is the uncrushable perfection of bodhisattva great beings.


"Lord, bodhisattva great beings practicing in this perfection of wisdom

  • have bestowed a gift equal to the unequaled.

  • They have fulfilled the perfection of giving equal to the unequaled.

  • They have obtained a body equal to the unequaled.

  • And they will obtain this, namely, the dharmas of unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening equal to the unequaled.


"Similarly with morality, patience, perseverance, and concentration,

  • and they have developed wisdom equal to the unequaled. 106

  • They have obtained a body equal to the unequaled.

  • And they will obtain this, namely, the dharmas of unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening equal to the unequaled.


"The Lord, too, practicing this very perfection of wisdom

  • came to acquire form equal to the unequaled;

  • and he came to acquire feeling, perception, and volitional factors equal to the unequaled,

  • and consciousness [F.55.a] equal to the unequaled.

  • He fully awakened to an awakening equal to the unequaled.

  • He turned the wheel of the Dharma equal to the unequaled.

Similarly, past, future, and present buddhas, having practiced this very perfection of wisdom,

  • have fully awakened, will fully awaken, and are awakening to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening.

Therefore, Lord, (i.e. the single, all-encompassing statement – the 'single thought'.) (similar to 2.1)
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bodhisattva great beings who want to perfect all dharmas
should make an effort at the perfection of wisdom [U2T]."
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[Because that thought [T1] is no thought [T2] [U2T]
because the basic nature of thought is clear light [U2T].]
[Thus, it (the perfection of wisdom) should be taken up by way of no causal sign and no absence of causal sign, without taking it up.]
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(i.e. Pure perception & pure actions: Bodhisattvas should always combined conventional relative virtuous activities (all actions of the body, speech & mind) / perceptions / feelings / concepts / symbols / images / ideas / thoughts / views / methods / practices / goals / tools / adapted skillful means <==> with more and more wisdom / genuine-emptiness [U2T]; thus acting more and more in accord with the inconceivable true & dynamic nature of Reality as it is, with the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T / U2T-3S / U2T-opp / U2T-2T].
Why?
Because, in Reality as it is, everything is like an inconceivable 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 / tools / adapted skillful means [T1], merely labeled / imputed by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma, not completely non-existent / non-caused / on-functional. And vice versa; one aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T]. Everything is like illusions, reflections, mirages, dreams, magical tricks: 'There, but not there.'. Not really existent / caused / functional, not completely non-existent / non-caused / non-functional, not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth; not 'this', not 'non-this', not both together, not neither, and there is no fifth – for whatever 'this' is. Meaning that everything is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned ordinary mind(s); it has to be personally spontaneously non-dualistically non-conceptually non-conditionally perceived / realised / experience in the here & now. Meaning there is no independent / universal / absolute / inherently existing basis for any discrimination / differentiation / ranking / judgment / acceptation / rejection in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively if it helps someone to get closer to the inconceivable liberating Truth [U2T]. In that sense everything is primordially equal, pure, perfect, divine, complete, free, enlightened, the inseparable three pure kayas, the true Buddha.)

  • Lord, the world with its gods, humans, and asuras rightly bows down to
    any bodhisattva great being who has practiced in this perfection of wisdom."


Those great śrāvakas having spoken thus, the Lord said to them, and to those very many bodhisattva great beings,

  • "Exactly so, children of a good family, exactly so. It is just as you say. 107

  • The world with its gods, humans, and asuras rightly bows down to
    any bodhisattva great being who practices this perfection of wisdom.

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  • Śāriputra, it is thanks to bodhisattva great beings that the human realm appears in the world and that the realm of gods appears in the world.

  • Similarly, that great sāla tree–like royal families, great sāla tree–like brahmin families, great sāla tree–like business families, and wheel-turning emperors; the Cāturmahā­rājika gods; the Trāyastriṃśa, Yāma, Tuṣita, Nirmāṇarati, [F.55.b] Para­nirmita­vaśa­vartin, Brahmapurohita, Brahmakāyika, Brahmapārṣadya, Parīttābha, Apramāṇābha, Ābhāsvara, Parīttaśubha, Apramāṇaśubha, Śubhakṛtsna, Bṛhatphala, Asaṃjñisattva, and Śuddhāvāsa ‍— Avṛha, Sudarśana, Sudṛśa, Atapa, and Akaniṣṭha ‍— gods; and the gods in the Ākāśānantyāyatana, in the Vijñānānantyāyatana, in the Ākiṃcityāyatana, and in the Naiva­saṃjñā­nāsaṃjñāyatana appear in the world, and that stream enterers appear in the world, and that once-returners, non-returners, worthy ones, pratyekabuddhas, bodhisattvas, and tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas appear in the world.

  • Śāriputra, it is thanks to bodhisattva great beings that the Three Jewels appear in this world, and that ordinary requirements for sustaining oneself ‍— food, drink, beds and seats, and medicines for sicknesses, tools, gems, pearls, beryl, conch shells, crystals, corals, silver, and gold ‍— appear in the world.

  • Śāriputra, all the requirements for all the happiness of gods and humans, the happiness of existence, and the happiness of nirvāṇa, they all, Śāriputra, appear in the world thanks to bodhisattva great beings.

And why?

Because bodhisattvas practicing the bodhisattva practice, standing [without standing] in the six perfections,

  • personally give gifts and connect others with giving as well,

  • personally protect morality and connect others with morality,

  • personally develop patience and connect others [F.56.a] with patience,

  • personally work hard at perseverance and connect others with perseverance,

  • personally produce concentration and connect others with concentration, and

  • personally develop wisdom and connect others with wisdom.

Thereby, Śāriputra, bodhisattva great beings have set forth for the benefit and happiness of all beings."

This was the fourth chapter, "Equal to the Unequaled," of "The Perfection of Wisdom in Eighteen Thousand Lines." [B5]




Access to other chapters on the Blog:
(Work in progress. Empty files means they are not done yet.)

  1. Chapter 0 – Introduction to the Sutra

  2. Chapter 1 – Introduction / the Assembly

  3. Chapter 2 – Production of the Thought

  4. Chapter 3 – Designation

  5. Chapter 4 – Equal to the Unequal

  6. Chapter 5 – Tongue

  7. Chapter 6 – Subhūti

  8. Chapter 7 – Entry into flawlessness

  9. Chapter 8 – The Religious Mendicant Śreṇika

  10. Chapter 9 – Causal Signs

  11. Chapter 10 – Illusion-like

  12. Chapter 11 – Embarrassment

  13. Chapter 12 – Elimination of Views

  14. Chapter 13 – The Six Perfections

  15. Chapter 14 – Neither Bound nor Freed

  16. Chapter 15 – Meditative Stabilization

  17. Chapter 16 – Dhāraṇī Gateway

  18. Chapter 17 – Level Purification

  19. Chapter 18 – The Exposition of Going Forth in the Great Vehicle

  20. Chapter 19 – Surpassing

  21. Chapter 20 – Not Two

  22. Chapter 21 – Subhūti

  23. Chapter 22 – Śatakratu

  24. Chapter 23 – Hard to Understand

  25. Chapter 24 – Unlimited

  26. Chapter 25 – Second Śatakratu

  27. Chapter 26 – Getting Old

  28. Chapter 27 – Reliquary

  29. Chapter 28 – Declaration of the Good Qualities of the Thought of Awakening

  30. Chapter 29 – Different Tīrthika Religious Mendicants

  31. Chapter 30 – The Benefits of Taking Up and Adoration

  32. Chapter 31 – Physical Remains

  33. Chapter 32 – The Superiority of Merit

  34. Chapter 33 – Dedication

  35. Chapter 34 – Perfect Praise of the Quality of Accomplishment

  36. Chapter 35 – Hells

  37. Chapter 36 – Teaching The Purity of all Dharmas

  38. Chapter 37 – Nobody

  39. Chapter 38 – Cannot Be Apprehended

  40. Chapter 39 – The Northern Region

  41. Chapter 40 – The Work of Māra

  42. Chapter 41 – Not Complete Because of Māra

  43. Chapter 42 – Revealing the World

  44. Chapter 43 – Inconceivable

  45. Chapter 44 – Made Up

  46. Chapter 45 – A Boat

  47. Chapter 46 – Teaching the Intrinsic Nature of All Dharmas

  48. Chapter 47 – Taming Greed

  49. Chapter 48 – A Presentation of the Bodhisattvas' Training

  50. Chapter 49 – Irreversibility

  51. Chapter 50 – Teaching the Signs of Irreversibility

  52. Chapter 51 – Skillful means

  53. Chapter 52 – Completion of the Means

  54. Chapter 53 – The Prophecy about Gaṅgadevī

  55. Chapter 54 – Teaching the Cultivation of Skillful Means

  56. Chapter 55 – Teaching the Stopping of Thought Construction [in absolute terms]

  57. Chapter 56 – Equal Training

  58. Chapter 57 – Practice

  59. Chapter 58 – Exposition of the Absence of Thought Construction [in absolute terms]

  60. Chapter 59 – Non-attachment

  61. Chapter 60 – Entrusting

  62. Chapter 61 – Inexhaustible

  63. Chapter 62 – Leaping Above Absorption

  64. Chapter 63 – Many Inquiries about the Two Dharmas

  65. Chapter 64 – Perfectly Displayed

  66. Chapter 65 – Worshiping, Serving, and Attending on Spiritual Friends as Skillful Means

  67. Chapter 66 – A Demonstration of Skillful Means

  68. Chapter 67 – Morality

  69. Chapter 68 – Growing and Flourishing

  70. Chapter 69 – An Explanation of Meditation on The Path

  71. Chapter 70 – An Explanation of Serial Action, Training, and Practice

  72. Chapter 71 – The True Nature of Dharmas That Cannot Be Apprehended

  73. Chapter 72 – Teaching the Absence of Marks

  74. Chapter 73 – Exposition of the Major Marks and Minor Signs and the Completion of Letters

  75. Chapter 74 – Exposition of the Sameness of Dharmas

  76. Chapter 75 – Exposition of Non-complication –

  77. Chapter 76 – The Armor for Bringing Beings to Maturity

  78. Chapter 77 – Teaching the Purification of a Buddhafield

  79. Chapter 78 – Teaching the Skillful Means for the Purification of a Buddhafield

  80. Chapter 79 – Teaching the Non Existence of an Intrinsic Nature

  81. Chapter 80 – Teaching that there is No Defilement or Purification

  82. Chapter 81 – Yogic Practice of the Ultimate

  83. Chapter 82 – The Unchanging True Nature of Dharmas

  84. Chapter 83 – Categorization of a Bodhisattva's Training

  85. Chapter 84 – Collection

  86. Chapter 85 – Sadāprarudita

  87. Chapter 86 – Dharmodgata

  88. Chapter 87 – Entrusting

  89. Résumés in bullet points of all chapters.




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