Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Prajnaparamita-18K - Chapter 09 - Apprehending neither appearance nor emptiness - 309

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The Transcendent Perfection of Wisdom
in Eighteen Thousand Lines - 309
Daśa­sāhasrikā­prajñā­pāramitā

– Chapter 09 - Apprehending neither dharma nor non-dharma, neither appearance nor emptiness –

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]

09. CAUSAL SIGNS – Apprehending neither dharma nor non-dharma, neither appearance nor emptiness.

(i.e. Résumé: Practicing without practicing by way of not perceiving / apprehending anything (physical, conceptual, mental), ex. apprehending neither appearances nor emptiness:
-
If Bodhisattvas practice a dharma, they practice a causal sign;
then they do not practice the perfection of wisdom; they are without skillful means.
If Bodhisattvas practice, possess, form a notion of, believe in a any dharma,
then they do not practice the perfection of wisdom; they are without skillful means.
If, while practicing the perfection of wisdom they do assert a dharma (existence), or do-not assert a dharma (non-existence), or both assert and do-not assert together (both existence & non-existence together), or neither (neither existence nor non-existence), then they do not practice the perfection of wisdom; they are without skillful means; they have fallen into one extreme or another.
The perfection of wisdom is beyond all extremes & middle like those four extremes: existence, non-existence, both together, neither – the same for any duality.
Bodhisattvas with skillful means do not practice any dharma in absolute terms [T2], just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively [T1], because of the Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [U2T].
-
Ex. Bodhisattva who abide by means of meditative stabilizations [T1] do not see even those meditative stabilizations [T2] [U2T].
They do not mentally construct those meditative stabilizations because all phenomena [T1] do not exist [inherently] [T2] [U2T].
They do not distinguish or form a notion of them because that meditative stabilization and those bodhisattva great beings [T1] do not exist [inherently] [T2] [U2T] [just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively].
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Bodhisattva great beings should train like that in the six perfections… thus in the perfection of wisdom.
Bodhisattvas training like that do train in the perfection of wisdom, by way of not apprehending anything.
Similarly, they train in the perfection of concentration, the perfection of perseverance, the perfection of patience, the perfection of morality, and the perfection of giving, by way of not apprehending anything.
Similarly, they train in the thirty-seven dharmas on the side of awakening, by way of not apprehending anything,
and similarly, up to they train in the eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha, by way of not apprehending anything.
Bodhisattva great beings training like that (in the six perfections…) do train in the perfection of wisdom, by way of not apprehending anything.
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The purity of all dharmas:
Because of the state of absolute purity bodhisattvas do not apprehend (reify, objectify) any dharma in absolute terms [T2], just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively [T1] [U2T].
Not being produced, not stopping, not being defilement, not being purification, not appearing, not being apprehended, and not occasioning anything [in absolute terms] is called the purity of all dharmas.
-
In short, nothing really exists and changes / increases / decreases / being defiled or purified, being 'this' or 'non-this' – in absolute terms [T2], just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively [T1] [U2T].
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Bodhisattvas training like that [T1] do not train in any dharma [T2] [U2T],
because those dharmas [T1] do not exist in the way foolish, ordinary people take them to be [T2] [U2T].
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"When bodhisattvas practicing the perfection of wisdom do not apprehend and do not see the perfection of wisdom,
then, Śāriputra, bodhisattvas training in the perfection of wisdom like that
go forth to the knowledge of all aspects by way of not apprehending anything.
They go forth to the knowledge of all aspects by way of not apprehending the emptiness of the knowledge of all aspects.
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===============================
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[From Chapter 6: Practicing without apprehending anything.]
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Perceiving / acting / practicing / teaching the perfection of wisdom without apprehending or perceiving any inherently existing and separate subject / being, relation / action / process, object / phenomena; any characteristics / properties / attributes / marks / signs / names … in absolute terms [T2], just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively [T1]; thus more and more in accord with the inconceivable true nature of Reality as it is here & now [U2T].
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Bodhisattvas should practice the perfection of wisdom using valid tools / adapted skillful means, but without apprehending any dharmas in absolute terms, without any attachment / fixation / absolutes because all dharmas are empty of inherent existence <==> because dependently co-arisen / interdependent, merely labeled / imputed by the mind. Genuine-emptiness  [U2T] does not contradict valid conventional / relative / inter-subjective concepts / truths / views / methods / practices / goals… On the contrary the two truths (dependent origination / functionality and emptiness of inherent existence) are inseparable / interdependent / in harmony; one implies / proves / enables the other. That is the meaning of the 'Union of the Two Truths.'
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__________________________________________________________________________________
Bodhisattvas thus practicing without practicing the perfection of wisdom
should train in valid conventional / relative / inter-subjective words / concepts / ideas /
truths / views / methods / practices / levels / goals / characteristics / properties /
attributes / marks / signs / names / labels [T1] —
but without any attachment / fixation / absolutes,
without apprehending anything in absolute terms [T2] [U2T].
___________________________________________________________________________________
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"Bodhisattva great beings should practice the perfection of wisdom like that [T1], without apprehending any / all dharmas in absolute terms [T2], just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively as possible tools / adapted skillful means [T1] [U2T]; thus acting more and more in accord with the inconceivable true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now, with the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths [U2T] free from all extremes & middle.
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"If bodhisattva great beings practicing [T1] the perfection of wisdom do not apprehend in absolute terms [T2] a perfection of wisdom, that bodhisattva, that word for bodhisattva, or even that bodhicitta, or awakening, then just that is the advice about the perfection of wisdom of bodhisattvas; just that is the instruction."
-
Result:
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.)

Then venerable Subhūti said to the Lord,

  • "Lord, if bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom without skillful means
    practice form 164
    they practice a causal sign; they do not practice the perfection of wisdom.

  • If they practice feeling, perception, volitional factors, or consciousness
    they practice a causal sign; they do not practice the perfection of wisdom.

  • If they practice 'form is permanent' or 'impermanent'
    they practice a causal sign; they do not practice the perfection of wisdom.

  • If they practice 'feeling, perception, volitional factors, or consciousness is permanent' or 'impermanent'
    they practice a causal sign; they do not practice the perfection of wisdom.

  • If they practice 'form is happiness' or 'suffering'
    they practice a causal sign.

  • If they practice 'feeling, perception, volitional factors, or consciousness is 'happiness' or 'suffering'
    they practice a causal sign.

  • If they practice 'form is self' or 'no self'
    they practice a causal sign.

  • If they practice 'feeling, perception, volitional factors, or consciousness is self' or 'no self'
    they practice a causal sign.

  • If they practice 'form is calm' or 'not calm'
    they practice a causal sign.

  • If they practice 'feeling, perception, volitional factors, or consciousness is calm' or 'not calm'
    they practice a causal sign.

  • If they practice 'form is isolated' or 'not isolated'
    they practice a causal sign.

  • If they practice 'feeling, perception, volitional factors, or consciousness is isolated' or 'not isolated'
    they practice a causal sign; they do not practice the perfection of wisdom.

  • "Lord, if bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom without skillful means practice the thirty-seven dharmas on the side of awakening
    they practice a causal sign.

  • Similarly, if they practice the clairvoyances, the perfections, the five eyes, the powers, and the four fearlessnesses, up to the eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha,
    they practice a causal sign; they do not practice the perfection of wisdom.

  • "Lord, if it occurs to bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom, 'I am practicing the perfection of wisdom,' they practice what they falsely consider a fact. 165
    Those bodhisattva great beings practice just a causal sign.

  • Lord, if it occurs to bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom, 'Someone who practices thus, practices the perfection of wisdom and cultivates the perfection of wisdom,'
    they practice just a causal sign.

  • You should know that this is the bodhisattva great beings' lack of skillful means."

  • (Note g.255: Causal sign: "A causal sign is the projected reality (objects) that functions as the objective support of a cognitive state. It cannot be separated out from the cognitive state (subject) and to that extent may enjoy a modicum of conventional reality. To "practice with a causal sign" means to look at an apparent phenomenon within accepting that it has more reality than it actually does.")

Śāriputra asked,
"Venerable Subhūti, why should one know that this is the bodhisattva great beings' lack of skillful means?"

"Venerable Śāriputra," replied Subhūti, "bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom like that

  • possess, form a notion of, and believe in form, and
    possess, form a notion of, and believe in feeling, perception, volitional factors, and consciousness,

  • so they practice an enactment of form, and
    they practice an enactment of feeling, perception, volitional factors, and consciousness.

I say that this creates their birth, old age, sickness, death, pain, lamentation, suffering, mental anguish, and grief.

"Furthermore, bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom without skillful means

  • possess, form a notion of, and believe in eyes;
    possess, form a notion of, and believe in ears, nose, tongue, body, and thinking mind;

  • possess, form a notion of, and believe in a form;
    possess, form a notion of, and believe in a sound, a smell, a taste, a feeling, and a dharma;

  • possess, form a notion of, and believe in eye consciousness; and
    possess, form a notion of, and believe in ear consciousness, nose consciousness, tongue consciousness, body consciousness, and thinking-mind consciousness.

  • "If they possess, form a notion of, and believe in eye contact;
    if they possess, form a notion of, and believe in ear, nose, tongue, body, or thinking-mind contact;

  • if they possess, form a notion of, and believe in a pleasurable feeling or suffering feeling, or a neither pleasurable nor suffering feeling that arises from the condition of eye contact;

  • if they possess, form a notion of, and believe in a pleasurable feeling or suffering feeling, or a neither pleasurable nor suffering feeling that arises from the condition of ear, nose, tongue, body, or thinking-mind contact;

  • if they possess, form a notion of, and believe in the thirty-seven dharmas on the side of awakening, five eyes, six clairvoyances, six perfections, four fearlessnesses, four immeasurables, four concentrations, four absorptions, or ten tathāgata powers;

  • if they possess, form a notion of, and believe in the eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha;

  • or if they possess, form a notion of, and believe in the dharmas of the state of a worthy one, of a pratyekabuddha, of a bodhisattva, or of a buddha, they practice an enactment.

I say that those practicing enactments are not released from birth, old age, sickness, death, pain, lamentation, suffering, mental anguish, and grief; they are not released from suffering, and so on.

  • "Venerable Śāriputra, if those bodhisattvas do not even have the good fortune to realize the śrāvaka or pratyekabuddha level, how could they fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening? It is impossible.

  • "Venerable Śāriputra, you should know that bodhisattva great beings
    practicing the perfection of wisdom like that
    are without skillful means."

Śāriputra then asked,
"Venerable Subhūti, how do you know when bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom have skillful means?"

"Venerable Śāriputra," replied Subhūti,
"if, when bodhisattva great beings practice the perfection of wisdom

  • they do not practice form;

  • do not practice feeling, perception, volitional factors, or consciousness;

  • do not practice the causal sign of form;

  • do not practice the causal sign of feeling, perception, volitional factors, or consciousness;

  • do not practice 'form is permanent' or 'impermanent';

  • and similarly do not practice 'form is happiness' or 'suffering,' 'self' or 'no self,' or 'calm' or 'not calm';

  • do not practice 'feeling, perception, volitional factors, or consciousness is permanent' or 'impermanent,' 'happiness' or 'suffering,' 'self' or 'no self,' or 'calm' or 'not calm';

  • do not practice 'form is empty' or 'not empty,' 'has a sign' or 'is signless,' or 'is wished for' or 'is wishless';

  • do not practice 'feeling, perception, volitional factors, or consciousness is empty' or 'not empty,' 'has a sign' or 'is signless,' or 'is wished for' or 'is wishless';

  • do not practice 'form is isolated' or practice 'it is not isolated';

  • do not practice 'feeling, perception, volitional factors, or consciousness is isolated' or practice 'it is not isolated,'

  • then, Venerable Śāriputra, when bodhisattva great beings practice the perfection of wisdom like that
    you should know that they have skillful means.

"And why?

  • Venerable Śāriputra, because that emptiness of form is not form,
    form is not other than emptiness, and emptiness is not other than form.
    Form itself is emptiness and emptiness itself is form.
    (i.e. U2T-2T: The two truths are not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither. One implies the other. They are inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony <==> thus both empty of inherent existence.)

  • And the emptiness of feeling . . . perception . . . volitional factors . . . and consciousness is not consciousness,
    and consciousness is not other than emptiness,
    and emptiness is not other than consciousness.
    Consciousness itself is emptiness and emptiness itself is consciousness.

  • Similarly, Venerable Śāriputra, because the emptiness of the constituents . . . sense fields . . . and dependent originations . . . and the thirty-seven dharmas on the side of awakening . . . the perfections . . . the clairvoyances . . . the tathāgata powers . . . the fearlessnesses . . . the detailed and thorough knowledges . . .
    up to the emptiness of the distinct attributes of a buddha are not the distinct attributes of a buddha, the distinct attributes of a buddha are not other than emptiness, and emptiness is not other than the distinct attributes of a buddha.
    Emptiness is the distinct attributes of a buddha and the distinct attributes of a buddha are emptiness.

  • "Venerable Śāriputra, when bodhisattva great beings practice the perfection of wisdom like that
    you should know that they have skillful means.

  • Venerable Śāriputra, when bodhisattva great beings practice the perfection of wisdom like that
    they have the good fortune to awaken fully to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening.

  • "If, while practicing the perfection of wisdom they assert any dharma,
    they are not practicing the perfection of wisdom.

  • Even if they do not so assert, they are not practicing the perfection of wisdom.

  • Even if they do assert when they so assert and do not assert when they do not so assert, 166
    they are not practicing the perfection of wisdom.

  • Even if they neither so assert nor do not so assert,
    they are not practicing the perfection of wisdom."

"Venerable Subhūti, why do bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom not so assert?" asked Śāriputra.

Subhūti replied,

  •  "Because, Venerable Śāriputra, the perfection of wisdom is without an intrinsic nature and cannot be found.

And why?

  • Because, Venerable Śāriputra,
    __________________________________________________________
    Because the perfection of wisdom [T1] is not a real thing [T2] [U2T].
    __________________________________________________________

  • Because of this one of many explanations bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom
    do not assert 'I am practicing,'
    do not assert 'I am not practicing,'
    do not assert 'I am practicing when I am practicing and not practicing when I am not practicing,' and
    do not assert, 'I am neither practicing nor not practicing.'

And why?

  • Because they have comprehended
    __________________________________________________________________________
    Because all dharmas as things [T1] that are not real and do not accept them [T2] [U2T],
    __________________________________________________________________________
    so 167 bodhisattva great beings thus practicing the perfection of wisdom are close to the knowledge of all aspects.

  • "Furthermore,
    ____________________________________________________________________
    Because all dharmas are the same as things [T1] that are not real [T2] [U2T], 168
    ____________________________________________________________________
    that knowledge of all aspects is not two and cannot be divided into two.


"It is the vast, prized, infinite, constant meditative stabilization, sarva­dharmānutpāda by name, of bodhisattva great beings that cannot be stolen and is not shared in common with śrāvakas or pratyekabuddhas.

  • Bodhisattva great beings abiding by means of this meditative stabilization quickly and fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening."

Śāriputra then asked,

  • "Venerable Subhūti, do bodhisattva great beings abiding by means of this meditative stabilization alone quickly and fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening, or do they also do so by means of other meditative stabilizations?"

"Venerable Śāriputra," replied Subhūti,

  • "bodhisattva great beings abiding by means of other meditative stabilizations as well
    also quickly and fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening."

Śāriputra then asked,

  • "Venerable Subhūti, what are those other meditative stabilizations, abiding by means of which bodhisattva great beings quickly and fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening?"

"Venerable Śāriputra," replied Subhūti,

  • "there is a meditative stabilization of bodhisattva great beings, śūraṅgama by name. Abiding by means of that meditative stabilization bodhisattva great beings quickly and fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening. Similarly, there is the meditative stabilization rājamudra, the meditative stabilization siṃhavikrīḍita, the meditative stabilization sucandra, the meditative stabilization sarva­dharmodgata, the meditative stabilization sarva­dharma­mudra, the meditative stabilization vilokita­mūrdhā, the meditative stabilization dharma­dhātu­niyata, the meditative stabilization niyata­dhvaja­ketu, the meditative stabilization vajraratna, 169

  • the meditative stabilization sarva­dharma­praveśa­mudra, the meditative stabilization samādhirāja, the meditative stabilization raśmipramukha, the meditative stabilization balavyūha, the meditative stabilization samāhitāvasthā­pratiṣṭhāna, the meditative stabilization rājamudra the meditative stabilization balavīrya, the meditative stabilization samudgata, the meditative stabilization nirukti­niyata­praveśa, the meditative stabilization adhivacana­praveśa, the meditative stabilization digvilokita, the meditative stabilization ādhāramudrā, the meditative stabilization asaṃpramoṣa, the meditative stabilization sarva­dharma­samavasaraṇa­samudra,

  • the meditative stabilization ākāśaspharaṇa, the meditative stabilization vajramaṇḍala, the meditative stabilization dhvajāgra­keyūra, the meditative stabilization indraketu, the meditative stabilization śroto'nugata, the meditative stabilization siṃha­vijṛmbhita, the meditative stabilization vyatyasta ,170 the meditative stabilization ratnajahā, the meditative stabilization vairocana, the meditative stabilization aneṣa, the meditative stabilization aniketasthita, the meditative stabilization niścitta, the meditative stabilization vimalapradīpa, the meditative stabilization anantaprabha, the meditative stabilization prabhākara, the meditative stabilization samantāvabhāsa, the meditative stabilization śuddhasāra, 171 the meditative stabilization vimalaprabha, the meditative stabilization ratikara, the meditative stabilization vidutpradīpa, the meditative stabilization akṣaya, the meditative stabilization ajeya, the meditative stabilization tejovatin, 172

  • the meditative stabilization kṣayāpagata, the meditative stabilization āniñjya, the meditative stabilization avivartta, the meditative stabilization sūryapradīpa, the meditative stabilization candravimala, the meditative stabilization prajñāpradīpa, the meditative stabilization śuddha­pratibhāsa, the meditative stabilization ālokakara, the meditative stabilization kārākāra, the meditative stabilization jñānaketu, the meditative stabilization vajropama, the meditative stabilization cittasthiti, the meditative stabilization samantāvaloka, the meditative stabilization supratiṣṭhita, the meditative stabilization ratnakoṭi, the meditative stabilization vara­dharma­mudra, the meditative stabilization sarva­dharma­samatā, the meditative stabilization ratijaha, the meditative stabilization Dharma­samudgata­pūrṇa,

  • the meditative stabilization vikiraṇa, the meditative stabilization sarva­dharma­pada­prabheda, the meditative stabilization samākṣarāvakāra, the meditative stabilization akṣarāpagata, the meditative stabilization ārambanacchedaḥ, the meditative stabilization avikāra, the meditative stabilization aprakāra, the meditative stabilization nāma­niyata­praveśa, the meditative stabilization aniketacārī, the meditative stabilization vitimirāpagata, the meditative stabilization cāritravatin, the meditative stabilization acala, the meditative stabilization viṣayatīrṇa, the meditative stabilization sarva­guṇa­saṃcaya, the meditative stabilization sthitaniścitta, the meditative stabilization śubha­puṣpita­śuddhi, the meditative stabilization bodhyaṅgavatin, the meditative stabilization ananta­pratibhāna, 173

  • the meditative stabilization asamasama, the meditative stabilization sarva­dharmātikramaṇa, the meditative stabilization paricchedakara, the meditative stabilization vimativikaraṇa, the meditative stabilization niradhiṣṭhāna, the meditative stabilization ekavyūha, the meditative stabilization ākārābhinirhāra, the meditative stabilization ekākāra, the meditative stabilization ākārānavakāra, the meditative stabilization nairvedhika­sarva­bhava­tamo'pagata, 174 the meditative stabilization sarva­saṃketa­rūta­praveśa, the meditative stabilization sarva­giri­ghoṣākṣara­vimukta, the meditative stabilization jvalanolka, the meditative stabilization anāvilakṣānti, 175

  • the meditative stabilization lakṣana­pariśodhaṇa, the meditative stabilization sarvākāra­varopeta, the meditative stabilization sarva­sukha­duḥkha­nirabhinandin, the meditative stabilization akṣayakaraṇḍa, the meditative stabilization dhāraṇīmati, the meditative stabilization samyaktva­mithyātva­sarva­saṃgrasana, 176 the meditative stabilization sarva­rodha­nirodha­saṃpraśamana, the meditative stabilization anurodhāprati­rodha, the meditative stabilization vimalaprabha, the meditative stabilization sāravatin, the meditative stabilization paripūrṇa­vimala­candra­prabha, the meditative stabilization vidyutprabha, the meditative stabilization mahāvyūha, the meditative stabilization sarva­loka­prabhākara,

  • the meditative stabilization samādhisamata, the meditative stabilization arajovirajonaya­yukta, the meditative stabilization araṇa­saraṇa­sarva­samavasaraṇa, 177 the meditative stabilization araṇa­samavasaraṇa, the meditative stabilization anilambha­niketa­nirata, the meditative stabilization tathatā­sthiti­niścitta, 178 the meditative stabilization kāya­kali­saṃpramathana, the meditative stabilization vākkali­vidhvaṃsana­gagana­kalpa, 179 and the meditative stabilization ākāśāsaṃga­vimukti­nirupalepa.

  • Abiding by means of those meditative stabilizations, bodhisattva great beings quickly and fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening.
    Venerable Śāriputra, those are the meditative stabilizations of bodhisattva great beings.
    Abiding by means of those meditative stabilizations, bodhisattva great beings quickly and fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening.
    And there are infinite, countless other meditative stabilization gateways and dhāraṇī gateways as well, having trained in which bodhisattva great beings quickly and fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening."

Then through the Lord's might venerable Subhūti also spoke as follows:

  • "Ah! Venerable Śāriputra, you should know the earlier tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas have prophesied the unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening of bodhisattva great beings abiding by means of those meditative stabilizations,

  • and those tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas, now dwelling and maintaining themselves in the ten directions in as many world systems as there are sand particles in the Gaṅgā River, those tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas too prophesy those bodhisattva great beings.

  • ___________________________________________________________
    But those who abide by means of those meditative stabilizations [T1]
    do not see even those meditative stabilizations [T2] [U2T],
    ___________________________________________________________
    because they do not falsely project on account of those meditative stabilizations, 'I have been absorbed; I am absorbed; I will become absorbed.' Those bodhisattva great beings do not conceive of those. They do not occur to them."

Śāriputra then asked,
"Venerable Subhūti, do tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas prophesy bodhisattva great beings who have stood in those meditative stabilizations?"

  • "No indeed, Venerable Śāriputra," replied Subhūti.

  • "And why?

  • Because, Venerable Śāriputra,
    _________________________________________
    the perfection of wisdom is not one thing (object),
    the meditative stabilization another (relation / action),
    and the bodhisattva (subject) yet another [U3S].
    _________________________________________

  • Bodhisattvas themselves are the meditative stabilization, and the meditative stabilization itself is the bodhisattva."

Śāriputra then asked,
"If, Venerable Subhūti, the meditative stabilization is not one thing and the bodhisattva another, the bodhisattva not one thing and the meditative stabilization another ‍— that is, if just the meditative stabilization is the bodhisattva and just the bodhisattva is the meditative stabilization because all dharmas are the same, then is it possible to teach the meditative stabilization?"

  • "No indeed, Venerable Śāriputra," replied Subhūti.

"Venerable Subhūti, do the children of a good family form a notion of those meditative stabilizations?" asked Śāriputra.

  • "No, Venerable Śāriputra, they do not form such notions," replied Subhūti.

"Venerable Subhūti, how do they not form such notions?" asked Śāriputra.

  • "They do not mentally construct them [as inherently existing], Venerable Śāriputra," replied Subhūti.

"How, Venerable Subhūti, do they not mentally construct them?" asked Śāriputra.

  • ______________________________________________________
    "They do not mentally construct those meditative stabilizations
    because all phenomena [T1] do not exist [inherently] [T2] [U2T].
    ______________________________________________________
    180 Venerable Śāriputra, by the same token, those children of a good family do not distinguish them and do not form a notion of them," replied Subhūti.

"Why, Venerable Subhūti, do they not distinguish or form a notion of them?" asked Śāriputra.

  • _________________________________________________________________________
    "Venerable Śāriputra, they do not distinguish or form a notion of them
    because that meditative stabilization and those bodhisattva great beings [T1]
    do not exist [inherently] [T2] [U2T] [just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively]."
    ___________________________________________________________________________
    181 replied Subhūti.

The Lord then complimented venerable Subhūti:

  • "You who are the foremost of śrāvakas at the conflict-free stage
    have, as is to be expected, given an explanation of what I have taught. 182
    Those are eloquent statements.
    Excellent, excellent, Subhūti.

  • _______________________________________________________________________
    Subhūti, bodhisattva great beings should train like that in the perfection of wisdom.
    _______________________________________________________________________
    They should train like that in the perfection of concentration,
    the perfection of perseverance,
    the perfection of patience,
    the perfection of morality, and
    the perfection of giving.
    Similarly, they should train like that in the thirty-seven dharmas on the side of awakening,
    up to they should train like that in the eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha."

Then venerable Śāriputra asked of the Lord,
"Lord, do bodhisattva great beings training like that train in the perfection of wisdom?"

  • "Śāriputra," replied the Lord,
    "bodhisattva great beings training like that do train in the perfection of wisdom, by way of not apprehending anything.

  • Similarly, they train in the perfection of concentration, the perfection of perseverance, the perfection of patience, the perfection of morality, and the perfection of giving, by way of not apprehending anything.

  • Similarly, they train in the thirty-seven dharmas on the side of awakening, by way of not apprehending anything, and similarly, up to they train in the eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha, by way of not apprehending anything."

Then venerable Śāriputra asked the Lord,
"Lord, do bodhisattva great beings training like that train in the perfection of wisdom by way of not apprehending anything?"

  • "Śāriputra," replied the Lord, "bodhisattva great beings training like that do train in the perfection of wisdom, by way of not apprehending anything."

"Lord what do you mean, they do not apprehend anything?" asked Śāriputra.

"Śāriputra," replied the Lord,

  • "because of the state of absolute purity they do not apprehend a self,
    up to they do not apprehend one who knows, or one who sees.

  • Because of the state of absolute purity they do not apprehend aggregates, constituents, sense fields, or dependent origination;

  • because of the state of absolute purity they do not apprehend suffering;

  • because of the state of absolute purity they do not apprehend origination, cessation, or the path; because of the state of absolute purity they do not apprehend the desire realm, form realm, or formless realm;

  • because of the state of absolute purity they do not apprehend the thirty-seven dharmas on the side of awakening;

  • because of the state of absolute purity they do not apprehend . . .
    up to the eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha;

  • because of the state of absolute purity they do not apprehend a stream enterer;

  • because of the state of absolute purity they do not apprehend a once-returner, a non-returner, the state of a worthy one, or a pratyekabuddha; and

  • because of the state of absolute purity they do not apprehend . . . up to a bodhisattva, awakening, or a buddha."

"Lord, what is purity?" asked Śāriputra.

  • "Śāriputra," replied the Lord,
    _______________________________________________________________
    "not being produced, not stopping, not being defilement, not being purification,
    not appearing, not being apprehended, and not occasioning anything [in absolute terms] [T2] [U2T]
    is called the purity of all dharmas."
    _______________________________________________________________

"Lord, in what dharmas do bodhisattva great beings training like that train?" asked Śāriputra.

  • "Śāriputra," replied the Lord,
    "bodhisattva great beings training like that [T1] do not train in any dharma [T2] [U2T].
    And why?
    Because, Śāriputra, those dharmas [T1] do not exist in the way foolish, ordinary people take them to be [T2] [U2T]."

"Lord, how do those dharmas exist?" 183 asked Śāriputra.

  • "Śāriputra," replied the Lord,
    "as they do not exist, so do they exist.
    Thus, they do not exist, so one says 'ignorance.' " 184
    (i.e. Note 184: "The word vid means both "exist" and "know." The word saṃvid has the same two meanings, perhaps intensified, "completely exist" or "completely know." In Skt, therefore, the sentence means, at one and the same time, "As they are not known, so are they known. Thus, not being known, they say 'ignorance,' " and "As they do not exist, so do they exist. Thus, not existing, they say 'not existing.' ")

"Lord, why are the non-existent called ignorance?" 185 asked Śāriputra.

  • "Śāriputra," replied the Lord,
    "form does not exist because of inner emptiness, up to the emptiness that is the non-existence of an intrinsic nature.
    Feeling, perception, volitional factors, and consciousness do not exist because of inner emptiness, up to the emptiness that is the non-existence of an intrinsic nature.
    The constituents, the sense fields, dependent origination, and the perfections do not exist because of inner emptiness, up to the emptiness that is the non-existence of an intrinsic nature.
    The thirty-seven dharmas on the side of awakening do not exist because of inner emptiness, up to the emptiness that is the non-existence of an intrinsic nature . . .
    up to the eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha do not exist because of inner emptiness, up to the emptiness that is the non-existence of an intrinsic nature.

  • "Those foolish people settle down on them because of ignorance and craving, mentally constructing what does not exist.
    Having settled down on what does not exist, they are attached to the two extremes, namely permanence and annihilation.
    They do not know, and they do not see.
    They imagine dharmas where those dharmas do not exist, so they settle down on name and form, they settle down on the applications of mindfulness, up to they settle down on the eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha.
    When they have thus settled down on them, they mentally construct dharmas that do not exist, hence they do not know and do not see them.

  • "Why do they not know and see them?
    Because they do not know and see form.
    They do not know and see feeling, perception, volitional factors, or consciousness.
    They do not know and see the constituents, the sense fields, dependent origination, or the thirty-seven dharmas on the side of awakening,
    up to they do not know and see the eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha, and they are, therefore, counted as fools.

  • "They will not emerge.
    From what will they not emerge?
    They will not emerge from the desire realm.
    They will not emerge from the form realm.
    They will not emerge from the formless realm.
    They will not emerge from śrāvaka and pratyekabuddha dharmas.

  • "There is nothing in which they place their faith.
    What does it mean that there is nothing in which they place their faith?
    They do not place their faith in 'form is empty of form,'
    up to they do not place their faith in 'awakening is empty of awakening.'

  • "They do not rest. 186
    In what do they not rest?
    They do not rest in the perfection of giving,
    and they do not rest in the perfection of morality, the perfection of patience, the perfection of perseverance, the perfection of concentration, or the perfection of wisdom.
    They do not rest on the irreversible level, up to they do not rest in the eighteen distinct attributes of a buddha.
    That is why they are called fools.

  • "They settle down.
    What does it mean that they settle down?
    They settle down on form.
    They settle down on feeling, perception, volitional factors, and consciousness.
    They settle down on the eyes.
    They settle down on the ears, nose, tongue, body, and thinking mind.
    They settle down on a form.
    They settle down on a sound, a smell, a taste, a feeling, and a dharma.
    They settle down on the aggregates, constituents, and sense fields.
    They settle down on greed, hatred, and confusion,
    they settle down on distortion, up to they settle down on awakening.
    They are, therefore, counted as fools."

"Lord, do bodhisattva great beings training like that not train in the perfection of wisdom and do they not go forth to the knowledge of all aspects?" asked Śāriputra.

  • "Śāriputra," replied the Lord, "bodhisattva great beings training like that do not train in the perfection of wisdom and do not go forth to the knowledge of all aspects."

"Why, Lord, do those bodhisattva great beings not train in the perfection of wisdom and not go forth to the knowledge of all aspects?" asked Śāriputra.

  • "Śāriputra," replied the Lord, "here
    bodhisattva great beings without skillful means mentally construct a perfection of wisdom and settle down on it.
    Similarly, they mentally construct a perfection of concentration, perfection of perseverance, perfection of patience, perfection of morality, and perfection of giving, and settle down on them.
    They mentally construct all the buddha-dharmas, all-knowledge, the knowledge of path aspects, and the knowledge of all aspects.
    Śāriputra, because of this one of many explanations, those bodhisattva great beings do not train in the perfection of wisdom and do not go forth to the knowledge of all aspects."

"It is the case, then, Lord," said Śāriputra, "that bodhisattva great beings training like that do not train in the perfection of wisdom and do not go forth to the knowledge of all aspects."

  • "Śāriputra, bodhisattva great beings training like that do not train in the perfection of wisdom and do not go forth to the knowledge of all aspects," said the Lord.

Śāriputra then asked,
"Lord, how do bodhisattva great beings train in the perfection of wisdom so that while training they do go forth to the knowledge of all aspects?"

  • "Śāriputra," replied the Lord, "when bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom do not apprehend and do not see the perfection of wisdom, then, Śāriputra, the bodhisattva great beings training in the perfection of wisdom like that
    go forth to the knowledge of all aspects by way of not apprehending anything.
    Similarly, when they are practicing the perfection of concentration . . . the perfection of perseverance . . . the perfection of patience . . . the perfection of morality . . . and the perfection of giving and do not apprehend and do not see the perfection of giving,
    up to do not apprehend and do not see awakening; when they do not apprehend and do not see all-knowledge, the knowledge of path aspects, up to the knowledge of all aspects, then, Śāriputra, the bodhisattva great beings practicing the perfection of wisdom like that are training in the perfection of wisdom and go forth to the knowledge of all aspects by way of not apprehending anything."

"Lord, by way of not apprehending what do they go forth to the knowledge of all aspects?" asked Śāriputra.

  • "Śāriputra," replied the Lord,
    "they go forth to the knowledge of all aspects by way of not apprehending the emptiness of the knowledge of all aspects." 187

This was the ninth chapter, "Causal Signs," of "The Perfection of Wisdom in Eighteen Thousand Lines."




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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