The Transcendent Perfection of Wisdom
in Eighteen Thousand Lines - 305
– Chapter 05 - Gaining forbearance for dharmas that are not produced –
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.
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.
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.
Note: All comments within (i.e. …) or [...] are from the commentator (me), not the translators.)
[Back to Résumés of chapters 1-41]
05. TONGUE – Gaining forbearance for dharmas that are not produced…
(i.e. Résumé: Gaining forbearance for dharmas that are not produced.
Context: A miracle-like demonstration of the perfection of wisdom for the bodhisattva great beings [T1]; a demonstration without any attachment / fixation / absolutes [T2] [U2T].
Gaining forbearance for dharmas
that are produced / caused without being produced / caused,
that exist / are-perceived without existing / being-perceived,
that change / function without changing / functioning,
that produce / cause without producing / causing their own effects,
and that cease / stop without ceasing / stopping.
In short, empty causes / producer, empty causality / production, empty effect / product; empty characteristics / properties / attributes / qualities / features / marks / relations / oppositions / processes / activities / changes; and empty names / labels.
Empty but not completely non-caused, non-existent, non-functional…
Ex. They are produced conventionally / relatively [T1], but not in absolute terms [T2] [U2T].
Gaining forbearance in the perfection of wisdom.
Gaining forbearance in the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now (everywhere, at any time).
Gaining forbearance in the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T] free from all extremes & middle.
Gaining forbearance in acting without acting, without any attachment / fixation / absolutes; thus 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.
The true nature & dynamic of those dharmas: All dharmas are 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 [U3S] in dependence of its conditioning / karma, not completely non-existent / non-caused / non-functional / useless / meaningless. One aspect / truth implies / proves / enables the other (<==>) [U2T]. They are appearing but empty, empty but still appearing. They are like illusions, reflections, mirages, dreams, echos, magical tricks: 'There, but not there.' [U2T].
All dharmas are 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 their true nature & dynamic is indescribable / inconceivable for our flawed dualistic conceptual conditioned ordinary mind(s). It has to be personally spontaneously non-dualistically non-conceptually directly perceived / realised / experienced in the here & now. And that is the liberating factor: directly realising the Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T].
Since everything is empty of inherent existence [T2] <==> because interdependent [T1] [U2T],
then there are no real three stages of becoming, or three times [U3T]: i. dependent origination or production / beginning / birth / coming / before / past, ii. duration / middle / life / abiding or changing / during / present, iii. cessation / ending / death / going / after / future, and no complete absence of them either.
They exist conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively [T1], but not in absolute terms [T2] [U2T], not objectively, not independently of the subject / mind.
"Because where there is no intrinsic nature there is
no [inherently existing] production, stopping, _____
decrease, increase, defilement, or purification."____
The important point is that 'genuine-emptiness' does not mean complete non-causality / non-existence / non-functionality … but the Union of the Two Truths [U2T], the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle.
Billion beings gained forbearance for dharmas [T1] that are not produced [T2] [U2T].)
Then at that time the Lord extended his tongue and with it covered the great billionfold world system.
Then from his tongue light beams of many colors, various colors, issued forth.
Having issued forth, a great illumination spread through as many world systems as there are sand particles in the Gaṅgā River to the east.
Similarly, a great illumination spread through as many world systems as there are sand particles in the Gaṅgā River to the south, west, and north, in the intermediate directions to the northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest, below and above.
Then those infinite countless bodhisattva great beings in as many world systems as there are sand particles in the Gaṅgā River to the east saw that array of light and asked the lord buddhas of each of their respective buddhafields,
"Lord, through whose power has such a great illumination spread through these worlds like this?"
Those lord buddhas said to those bodhisattva great beings,
"In the western direction, O children of a good family, there is a world system called Sahā. There the tathāgata, the worthy one, the perfectly complete buddha Śākyamuni has extended his tongue in order to demonstrate the perfection of wisdom to the bodhisattva great beings, causing this great illumination to pervade as many world systems as there are sand particles in the Gaṅgā River in each of the ten directions."
Connect this in the same way with as many world systems as there are sand particles in the Gaṅgā River in the south, west, and north, below, and above, up to in all the ten directions in the same way.
The bodhisattva great beings then said to those lord buddhas,
"Lord, we will also go to that Sahā world system to see, salute, and honor that tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete buddha Śākyamuni, to see those bodhisattva great beings who have gathered from the ten directions, and to listen to the perfection of wisdom."
Those lord buddhas replied,
"Go then, you children of a good family, if you feel that now is the right time."
Those bodhisattva great beings then bowed their heads to the feet of those tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas, circumambulated them seven times, and, carrying many parasols, flags, and banners, flowers, garlands, incense, creams, powders, and robes, and gold flowers and silver flowers, proceeded toward the tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete buddha Śākyamuni with a great chorus produced by a marching band with instruments and drums 108 from the ten directions.
Then the Cāturmahārājika gods, up to the Akaniṣṭha gods, took celestial flowers, garlands, incense, creams, and powders; celestial blue lotus, lotus, red lotus, white lotus, mandārava, big mandārava, and nāgavṛkṣa flowers; and tamāla leaves and approached the tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete buddha Śākyamuni. Then those bodhisattva great beings and those gods strewed near, strewed in front, and strewed flowers all around the body of the tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete buddha Śākyamuni those flowers, garlands, incenses, creams, powders, robes, parasols, flags, and banners.
Those flowers and so on then rose up and stayed there suspended in the sky over the great billionfold world system — a second floor of flowers, square with four corners and four pillars, equidimensional, and perfectly proportioned, delightful and pleasing to the mind.
Then from that retinue hundreds of thousands of a hundred million billion beings rose from their seats, cupped their palms together in a gesture of supplication to the Lord, bowed forward to him, and said to the Lord,
"Lord, in a future time may we too obtain just such attributes
as the tathāgata, worthy one, perfect, complete Buddha has acquired;
may we impart moral instructions 109 to the śrāvaka community just as the Tathāgata teaches today;
and may we teach the Dharma to just this sort of retinue." 110
Then the Lord,
aware of the aspiration of those children of a good family, and aware of
their forbearance for all dharmas [T1] that are not produced, 111 do not occasion anything,
and do not appear [T2] [U2T], smiled.
Venerable Ānanda then inquired of the Lord,
"Lord, why did you smile? What is the cause, and what is the condition?"
"Ānanda," replied the Lord, "from this retinue a hundred thousand one hundred million
billion beings have gained forbearance for dharmas [T1] that are not produced [T2] [U2T].
In a future time in sixty four ten millions eons, 112 during the Puṣpākara eon they will arise in the world as tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas called Bodhyaṅgapuṣpa."
This was the fifth chapter, "Tongue," of "The Perfection of Wisdom in Eighteen Thousand Lines."113
Access to other chapters on the Blog:
(Work in progress. Empty files means they are not done yet.)
Chapter 0 – Introduction to the Sutra
Chapter 1 – Introduction / the Assembly
Chapter 2 – Production of the Thought
Chapter 3 – Designation
Chapter 4 – Equal to the Unequal
Chapter 5 – Tongue
Chapter 6 – Subhūti
Chapter 7 – Entry into flawlessness
Chapter 8 – The Religious Mendicant Śreṇika
Chapter 9 – Causal Signs
Chapter 10 – Illusion-like
Chapter 11 – Embarrassment
Chapter 12 – Elimination of Views
Chapter 13 – The Six Perfections
Chapter 14 – Neither Bound nor Freed
Chapter 15 – Meditative Stabilization
Chapter 16 – Dhāraṇī Gateway
Chapter 17 – Level Purification
Chapter 18 – The Exposition of Going Forth in the Great Vehicle
Chapter 19 – Surpassing
Chapter 20 – Not Two
Chapter 21 – Subhūti
Chapter 22 – Śatakratu
Chapter 23 – Hard to Understand
Chapter 24 – Unlimited
Chapter 25 – Second Śatakratu
Chapter 26 – Getting Old
Chapter 27 – Reliquary
Chapter 28 – Declaration of the Good Qualities of the Thought of Awakening
Chapter 29 – Different Tīrthika Religious Mendicants
Chapter 30 – The Benefits of Taking Up and Adoration
Chapter 31 – Physical Remains
Chapter 32 – The Superiority of Merit
Chapter 33 – Dedication
Chapter 34 – Perfect Praise of the Quality of Accomplishment
Chapter 35 – Hells
Chapter 36 – Teaching The Purity of all Dharmas
Chapter 37 – Nobody
Chapter 38 – Cannot Be Apprehended
Chapter 39 – The Northern Region
Chapter 40 – The Work of Māra
Chapter 41 – Not Complete Because of Māra
Chapter 42 – Revealing the World
Chapter 43 – Inconceivable
Chapter 44 – Made Up
Chapter 45 – A Boat
Chapter 46 – Teaching the Intrinsic Nature of All Dharmas
Chapter 47 – Taming Greed
Chapter 48 – A Presentation of the Bodhisattvas' Training
Chapter 49 – Irreversibility
Chapter 50 – Teaching the Signs of Irreversibility
Chapter 51 – Skillful means
Chapter 52 – Completion of the Means
Chapter 53 – The Prophecy about Gaṅgadevī
Chapter 54 – Teaching the Cultivation of Skillful Means
Chapter 55 – Teaching the Stopping of Thought Construction [in absolute terms]
Chapter 56 – Equal Training
Chapter 57 – Practice
Chapter 58 – Exposition of the Absence of Thought Construction [in absolute terms]
Chapter 59 – Non-attachment
Chapter 60 – Entrusting
Chapter 61 – Inexhaustible
Chapter 62 – Leaping Above Absorption
Chapter 63 – Many Inquiries about the Two Dharmas
Chapter 64 – Perfectly Displayed
Chapter 65 – Worshiping, Serving, and Attending on Spiritual Friends as Skillful Means
Chapter 66 – A Demonstration of Skillful Means
Chapter 67 – Morality
Chapter 68 – Growing and Flourishing
Chapter 69 – An Explanation of Meditation on The Path
Chapter 70 – An Explanation of Serial Action, Training, and Practice
Chapter 71 – The True Nature of Dharmas That Cannot Be Apprehended
Chapter 72 – Teaching the Absence of Marks
Chapter 73 – Exposition of the Major Marks and Minor Signs and the Completion of Letters
Chapter 74 – Exposition of the Sameness of Dharmas
Chapter 75 – Exposition of Non-complication –
Chapter 76 – The Armor for Bringing Beings to Maturity
Chapter 77 – Teaching the Purification of a Buddhafield
Chapter 78 – Teaching the Skillful Means for the Purification of a Buddhafield
Chapter 79 – Teaching the Non Existence of an Intrinsic Nature
Chapter 80 – Teaching that there is No Defilement or Purification
Chapter 81 – Yogic Practice of the Ultimate
Chapter 82 – The Unchanging True Nature of Dharmas
Chapter 83 – Categorization of a Bodhisattva's Training
Chapter 84 – Collection
Chapter 85 – Sadāprarudita
Chapter 86 – Dharmodgata
Chapter 87 – Entrusting